Do you know the thickness of your skull? If you tape three pennies together and turn them sideways, you will have the thickness of your skull. If you place the taped pennies inside a helmet, you will see how much the padding of the helmet adds protection for your skull.
Buying a Helmet
When buying a helmet, make sure a set of foam fitting pads are included with the package. Pads can lower the helmet on your head, bringing protection down further on the sides. Make sure pads touch evenly all around but don’t make the helmet too tight. Your helmet should sit level on the head and remember this thought, if you walk into a wall, the helmet should hit before your nose does.
Always look for the CPSC sticker on your helmet, which means it’s been approved. Pick white or bright colors to be best seen by others. Make sure there are vents and a means of sweat control. Most importantly, don’t wait until you crash to buy a helmet!
Fitting the Helmet
When fitting a helmet you should use the “Eye-Ear-Mouth” test.
- With the helmet on your head, look upward and the front rim of your helmet should be barely visible to your eyes.
- The Y of the side straps should meet just below your ears.
- Snugly (not tightly) against your chin is how you test the chin strap.
- If your helmet is on right, you’ll know when you open your mouth very wide and you can feel the helmet pull down a little bit. This will also tell you if you need to adjust the length of the rear straps and/or the length of the front straps.
When adjusting the straps make sure they are even on both sides. You want a well-adjusted strap to keep your helmet on if you should crash. You also want to make sure that when your straps fit you can shake your head around violently and it won’t move more than an inch or won’t expose your forehead. If you experience movement, you will need to adjust your straps.
When you’ve completed all the checks, your helmet should feel solid on your head and be comfortable just like you are wearing a baseball cap.