How to Choose the Right Bike Helmet

A well-fitting helmet is important for both comfort and safety. If it’s too loose, it can shift and move around on your head during riding, which can compromise its effectiveness in an impact. If it’s too tight, you might feel uncomfortable or even be unable to wear it at all.

To find out your size, wrap a flexible tape measure around the largest portion of your head (just above your ears) where the helmet will sit. Make sure to keep it as snug as possible and redo the measurement a few times to ensure accuracy. Once you have your head circumference, check the manufacturer’s sizing tables to establish what size helmet will fit you. The sizes you see on the table may vary slightly amongst brands and it’s best to try a couple of different models to compare.

Everyone’s head is a bit of a different shape, and that’s why helmets come in three main categories: round oval, intermediate oval, and long oval. The most common of these is the intermediate oval, which fits most people in western countries. To determine your head shape, have a friend take a photo of the top of your head, flattening out your hair so you can see your head’s outline clearly. Compare this to the shapes in the chart below to help narrow down your options.

If you’re shopping for a bike helmet, it should be labelled with the relevant sizing information as well as a safety standard mark such as DOT, SNELL, ECE, or SHARP. These indicate that the helmet has passed rigorous testing and meets safety standards in various regions.

The padded interior of the helmet should be comfortable against your head with no gaps or chafing points. It should also have a good amount of ventilation, as the more air that passes through the helmet, the more breathable it will be while riding. Finally, the chin strap should lock in securely without pinching or pulling at your neck while it’s on.

Some helmets feature extra features to enhance safety or add a personal touch. For example, some have built-in MIPS technology to reduce rotational forces caused by certain impacts. Other features that are available include a built-in face mask for increased protection in mountain biking and a visor to increase visibility on road rides.

As you can imagine, a helmet that provides all of these features will be more expensive than one that doesn’t, but remember that the best bike helmets offer superior protection and fit at every price point. As such, the additional cost may be worth it for you if it will make you feel more confident and secure while you ride. Choosing the right helmet isn’t an easy task, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort to get it right! Good luck and happy riding!