Your helmet is your most important accessory. Helmets are built on thoughtful designs and ride-specific technologies to keep you cool, comfortable and secure on roads, paths or trails.
Helmets are a must for whenever you ride and some states and countries even have laws requiring them. Buying a helmet is a no brainer but when you’re shopping there are a few additional things you might want to consider.
You should Look for a bike helmet that matches your style of riding
Bike helmets fall within three basic types:
Recreational Bike Helmets
These are the budget friendly economical option which provides basic impact protection for casual riding.
Road Bike Helmets
These are light weight helmets that are designed to be well ventilated and are aerodynamic.
Mountain Bike Helmets
These helmets offer extended rear head coverage since a mountain biker is more likely to fall backward and are well ventilated.
Helmet Size Guide
Making sure that you purchase the right size helmet is not only a matter of comfort, it is a decision that can impact your safety.
Use a tape measurer and follow the steps to confirm the circumference of your head and choose the correct helmet.
Step 1: Place the tape measurer about 25 mm above your eyebrows.
Step 2: Ensure the measuring tape is about 15 mm above your ear.
Bike helmet sizing parameters:
- Extra small: below 20″ (51cm)
- Small: 20″–21.75″ (51cm–55cm)
- Medium: 21.75″–23.25″ (55cm–59cm)
- Large: 23.25″–24.75″ (59cm–63cm)
- Extra-large: above 24.75″ (63cm)
- One size that fits all: has a highly adjustable fit system
Bike Helmet Fit and Comfort
To find your approximate helmet size, measure around your head just above the eyebrows as mentioned above. Manufacturers do not always use the same size labels for a given circumference, and some are creative with small/medium or medium/large labels.
- In addition to sizes, helmet shapes vary among manufacturers. You will have to try the helmet on to determine if it fits the shape of your head. A helmet that is fitted and adjusted properly should feel snug but not tight, and should not move from side-to-side or front-to-back.
- The proper helmet fit is one of the most important factors for safety and comfort. A snug, aligned fit will achieve a safe and secure ride. Below are 3 simple steps to determine the proper helmet size.
To find your head circumference:
Wrap a flexible tape measure around the largest portion of your head—about one inch above your eyebrows. Or, wrap a string around your head, then measure the length of string with a yardstick.
Here are some additional Bike Helmet Fit Tips that will benefit you while looking for the perfect fit for yourself:
Brand sizing varies
The sample sizing numbers above differ slightly among helmet brands, so always double-check head circumference on the size you’re considering.
If you’re between sizes, go with the smaller size
Other options are to look at other helmet models or wear a cycling cap or beanie to improve the fit of the larger helmet. Some adults with smaller heads can wear a kids’ size comfortably.
A good-fitting helmet should be snug but not annoyingly tight
It should sit level on your head with the front edge one inch or less above your eyebrows so that your forehead is protected. Push the helmet from side to side and back to front.
An ill-fitting lid can actually compromise effectiveness in a crash. And you’ll be wearing it for every mile of every ride, so you want it to fit comfortably.