The Perfect Fit: Decoding Motorcycle Helmet Tightness Guidelines

A helmet should fit snugly, but not so tight that it feels uncomfortable. The helmet should be tight enough to have firm contact all around your head. Check for pressure points by rotating the helmet from side-to-side and up and down. If the helmet moves or slips on your forehead, it’s too loose.

Size

The helmet should fit snugly on your head without touching or slipping anywhere. It should feel tight, but not uncomfortable or painful – just like a big hug. It should also be firmly held in place and not move around your head easily, even at the top back corners (if you put your finger there and it goes in with ease, the helmet is too small).

To check for proper size, try to slide a finger between the helmet padding and forehead. There should be little to no movement – the helmet is too large. Hold the helmet steady and push down on it with one hand on the back of the helmet. The helmet shouldn’t move and the padding shouldn’t leave your forehead. Check the cheek pads for a good fit too; they should be tight, but not so much that you can’t open your mouth and bite down lightly. If they’re too loose, swap out the cheek pads for a smaller version (if the helmet model allows this). This will give a perfect fit even after they soften over time with wear.

Shape

A helmet should fit snugly without any areas of increased pressure (hot spots). The interior should come into contact with most of the head, but it shouldn’t be so tight as to cause pain or restrict blood flow. With time, a helmet may loosen slightly as it “breaks-in”, but it should never become so loose that it can move freely when worn. If you’re having trouble determining the correct size, try placing the helmet on your head and holding it steady while you move it from side to side. If the padding moves easily or is not pushed against your skin, it’s too big and should be size down.

Another thing to try is putting one finger between your forehead and the helmet at the center of the front, to know more click here gcmag.com.au/how-tight-should-a-motorcycle-helmet-be-ensure-your-safety/. If the helmet is squeezing your temples, it’s not long-oval enough for you. Do both of these tests for 15 to 30 minutes, and you should have a better idea of whether the helmet will be comfortable for an hour or more of riding.

Padding

Most helmets have a comfort patting or liner that compresses and wears over time. This is a good thing as helmets that are too tight can cause headaches and ones that are too loose are downright dangerous. However, this is no excuse for a helmet that has become too loose and if you can fit one or two fingers between your head and the chin strap it’s definitely too loose and you need to find a smaller size.

You can try tightening the chin strap and swapping out the cheek pads for ones that are a couple of mm’s thicker but these are temporary fixes, if the lining is worn out or too loose it’s time to buy a new helmet. It’s also worth mentioning that there is no such thing as breaking in a helmet; it doesn’t take a few hours of wearing it around the house to make it comfortable or safe. It will only do this over months of continuous wear and use.

Straps

Many helmets are fitted with a chin strap that is fastened under the chin. The strap should be tight, but not so tight that it feels uncomfortable or choking you. It should be snug enough to stop the helmet moving around if you shake your head from side to side or up and down. If the chin strap is too loose, then the padding will move around and create pressure points around your temples and cheeks. This will not only be uncomfortable but can also compromise the safety of the helmet in a crash.

When it comes to the chin strap, it can be difficult to find that sweet spot, but practice makes perfect. Try to position the buckle under your chin and slightly forward of your ear lobes. Once you have it positioned correctly, feed the strap end through both d-rings and the slider (if there is one) and pull it tight. You should only be able to fit two fingers between the strap and your throat.

Conclusion

The helmet should fit snugly and be comfortable to wear. It should feel tight everywhere there’s foam, but not painfully tight. A helmet that’s too loose can be distracting or even fall off in a crash. Use a cloth measuring tape to take a rough measurement from just above your eyebrows to the largest point on the back of your head. Cross-reference this against a chart to find your size.