Things to keep in mind when buying a new helmet
- The shape of your head.
- The measurement of your head.
- The style of helmet you want.
- How to know if the helmet is a good fit.
The shape of your head
Figuring out what shape head you have is vital. Picking the wrong helmet could lead to major discomfort and actually be life-threatening in the event of an accident. Your helmet should never be too big or too small, there should never be an absurd amount of pressure anywhere on your head and there also should not be any space or room for the helmet to move around. Here are the most common head shapes.
- Intermediate: intermediate is the most common head shape, Your head is oval in shape. A wide majority of people fall into this head shape. Your head is longer than it is wide.
- Long Oval: Your head would appear to be long and thin. For this shape, it is recommended that you buy a long oval helmet as most other helmets would feel loose and uncomfortable.
- Round Oval: Your head is almost as round as it is long. Buying a round oval helmet will be the way to go for you as intermediate helmets will cause pressure on your temples.
The measurement of your head
Now that you know what head shape you have, it’s time to measure your head. Use a plastic or cloth measuring tape to measure the circumference of your head, from your eyebrows around your temples to the back bulge of your head. It is important to get these measurements right as this is going to be the size of your helmet. Getting a helmet that is too big could result in it coming off in the event of an accident. Once you have these measurements you can start looking for helmets, be it online or in-store. It is advised that you go in-store for an actual fitting, but if you are more comfortable shopping online then you can use the measurements and your head shape to find your ideal helmet. It is also important to measure your head in inches, most manufacturers prefer using inches instead of centimeters or millimeters. Measure your head twice, just to be sure. There are some great online stores to buy helmets, and sites like Revzilla, Cyclegear, and Amazon have amazing options for all your helmet needs. It is also important to remember that sizing does differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Be sure to use any online charts that have been provided, and only use the chart of the manufacturer that you intend on buying from. Getting charts and manufacturers mixed up will lead to you having the wrong-sized helmet. Most in-store helmet stores offer a sizing chart, ask an assistant to help you or do it yourself.
Let's take a look at some helmet options and styles.
Now that you know your head shape and measurements it's time to find the helmet that best suits you and your biking needs. There are some factors to take into consideration, the style of helmet you choose depends on the kind of riding that you will be doing.
- Half Helmets: these helmets only protect half of your head (Your forehead). They are a good choice if you are into cruising and not planning on speeding or doing anything too dangerous.
- Open-faced Helmets: This kind of helmet only covers the top and back of your head, leaving your face unprotected.
- Modular helmets: These helmets are adjustable and can be turned into open-faced helmets.
- Full-face helmets: These helmets offer full protection to all of your head.
How to tell if the helmet is a good fit
There are numerous tests that you can do to see if the helmet that you have picked is right for your head. Put the helmet on and move your head from side to side and up and down, if there is any play then the helmet might be too big. You could also try to adjust the chin strap. It is good to remember that your helmet needs to fit you well. There should be no play or movement, the helmet should never swivel on your head.
If at any point of trying on the helmet, you feel like certain parts of your head are under pressure, this is a clear indication that the helmet might be too small for your head size or you are wearing the wrong shape helmet for your head.
Take into consideration the eye post, are you able to see clearly out of the helmet, does the helmet in any way hinder your vision? The eye-port is supposed to rest just above your eyebrow line and never interfere with your vision. If you can’t see properly, try on another style or size.