League of Michigan Bicyclists

Facebook: LeagueofMichiganBicyclistsTwitter: LMB and MI Complete Sts on TwitterGjoomla YouTube: MIBicyclistsemailFeedBurner: LMBNewsFlickr: leagueofmichiganbicyclists


Search for articles by title using the alphabetical drop down menus below or by category using the menu to the left.
A+ A A-

How to Fit a Helmet

Everyone-adult and child-should wear bicycle helmets each time they ride. Helmets are the single most effective way to prevent head injuries resulting from bicycle crashes. Wearing a helmet each ride can encourage the same smart behavior in others.

New helmets must meet the uniform safety standard issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC); use an old helmet only if it has a seal from one or more of the voluntary bicycle helmet standards, such as ASTM, Snell, or ANSI. Look for the certification seal labeled on the helmet

Replace any helmet that has been involved in a crash or is damaged. The helmet must fit the person's head now, not a helmet to "grow into."


Measure the person's head for approximate size. Try the helmet on to ensure it fits snugly. While it is sitting flat on top of their head, make sure the helmet doesn't rock side to side. Sizing pads come with new helmets; use the pads to securely fit to their head. Mix or match the sizing pads for the greatest comfort. Also newer helmets will have an adjusting mechanism in the back of the helmet to assist with fit.



Step 1 - Position:

The helmet should sit level on the person's head and low on their forehead-one or two finger-widths above their eyebrow.




Step 2 - Buckles:

Center the left buckle under the chin. On most helmets, the straps can be pulled from the back of the helmet to lengthen or shorten the chin straps. This task is easier if the person takes the helmet off to make these adjustments.



Step 3 - Side Straps:

Adjust the slider on both straps to form a "V" shape under, and slightly in front of, the ears. Lock the slider if possible.






Step 4 - Chin Strap:

Buckle the chin strap. Tighten the strap until it is snug, so that no more than one or two fingers fit under the strap.




Five Step Helmet Fit Test
1. Gently lift the front of the helmet up and back. Helmet moves back to uncover the forehead Tighten front strap to junction. Also adjust padding thickness and/or tighten adjustment wheel in back (if so equipped). Make sure chin strap is snug.
2. Gently lift the back of the helmet up and forward. Helmet moves forward to cover the eyes. Tighten back strap. Make sure chin strap is snug. Adjust padding thickness and/or tighten adjustment wheel in back (if so equipped).
3. Put a hand on each side of helmet and rock from side to side. Have the person shake head "no" as hard as possible. Helmet slips from side to side. Check padding, adjustment wheel and make sure straps are evenly adjusted.
4. Have person open mouth (lower jaw) as wide as possible, without moving their head. The top helmet should pull down. Helmet does not pull down when opening mouth. Tighten chin strap. Make sure the front and back strap junction is under each ear.
5. Check to see if the front edge of helmet covers the person's forehead. The front edge of the helmet should not be more than 1 to 2 finger-widths from their eyebrows. Helmet does not cover the forehead. Position helmet not more than 1 to 2 finger-widths above eyebrows. Tighten any loose straps. Make adjustments so the helmet stays over the forehead.



League of Michigan Bicyclists




law-enforcement small-banner