Thursday, April 16, 2009

Helmet Fit Check List

I was happy to replace to replace my aging and slightly battered cycling helmet the other day. Attached to the helmet was a handy little fit check list and I thought it would be useful to remind all the cyclists out there of how to get a good fit for yourself and for our little budding cyclists.

I've found that getting a good tight fit on a kid's helmet is harder than it is for me to get a good fit on my helmet. And its waaaay more important.

So here we go:
Eyes - The rim of the helmet should be 1 to 2 finger widths above the eyebrows.

Ears - The straps should form a "V" just underneath the ear lobe.

Mouth - When the rider opens his mouth, the buckle should feel snug on the chin and the helmet should hug the head.

Before using the helmet, check the fit, stand in front of a mirror and grab the helmet with both hands and twist it to the left and to the right. If the helmet fits right, the skin on the forehead will move as the helmet moves. If the skin does not move, then the helmet is too loose and is unsafe for use and you need to start over with the fitting. If it does fit right then grab the helmet with both hands and try to remove it by rolling the helmet forward and backward. If you can roll it off the head completely or so far that it blocks vision or backward enough to expose the forehead, then, surprise, it doesn't fit right and is unsafe to use.

Lastly, take a short test ride to ensure proper fit without being too tight. Most helmets these days come with a set of fit pads to finalize the fit and make it feel just right.

And, oh yeah, always wear your helmet when you go out and ride your bike.
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