A helmet is the most important piece of riding gear you will own. It protects your most valuable asset: your brain. Because a lot of people have not been through a proper helmet fitting, you might not be wearing the right size or shape helmet for your head. Whether you wear a half, three quarter, modular or full face, how your helmet fits will affect how it protects you. Let’s help you know what to look for when sizing the best helmet for your head!
Measuring Your Head
First, you should take a full 360-degree measurement of your head. Measure your head from just above your eyebrows around to the furthest part of the back of your head with an apparel measuring tape. If you don’t have a tape on hand, you can always use a piece of string and a ruler. Most manufacturers use centimeters as their sizing unit, but you can always convert from inches. This measurement will let you know what size you should start with.
There are a few things that can affect your final helmet size such as: your hairstyle, your overall head shape, and if you wear a beanie or skull cap under your helmet. Hairstyle and what you wear under your helmet can be easily changed. The one thing you can’t change is the shape of your head. The most common head shapes are round oval, intermediate oval, and long oval. Some top brands, like Arai, make all three head shapes for that perfect fit. Other brands stick with one or two types and the entry level brands may only give you one shape to choose from to cut costs, limiting your options for the proper fit. You can determine your head shape by having a friend take a picture of your head from above, comparing the front-back length to the side-side width. A head that is about equal in length and width will prefer a round helmet, a head that is more egg-shaped will prefer an intermediate oval, and a head that is significantly longer than it is wide will prefer a long oval helmet.
Fitting Your Helmet
Your helmet should fit snug all around with just enough room when pushing forward from the rear of the helmet to just fit the tip of your finger up to the first joint between your helmet liner and forehead. If you get a hotspot or pressure point along the top of your head or around your temples, you should look for a different head shape so you can keep the right size and not have to sacrifice fit for comfort or safety. Your cheeks should feel like they have good pressure on them, and it should not be easy to fit a finger between your cheek and the cheek pad. Remember, your helmet will break in between 15 and 20 percent after a few good rides as it starts to fit to your head. When you are first trying on a brand new helmet, a tight fit is essential. If you get a helmet that is too loose, it will be even more loose once it breaks in, which does not offer the same protection as one with the correct fit.
Make sure when you try on helmets to not get stuck on one brand or graphic. You may be missing out on that perfect fit or feature that will surprise you. At Sprocketz, we carry top name brands like: Arai, Shoei, Bell, Icon, HJC, LS2, Troy Lee, Nolan, Fox, Alpinestars, Answer, AFX, Daytona, Thor, Speed and Strength, and THH. We are more than happy to help size and fit any of our helmets. Additionally, we can order sizes or graphics that are not available in store to help you get your perfect helmet.