How to Test Bike Helmets

How to Test Bike Helmets
Testing the fit of a helmet is important for several reasons. First, a helmet placed too high on the forehead provides little to no protection against a fall or crash. Second, a helmet that is too tight can cause headaches and dizziness. When testing a helmet, you always want to check its placement and fit. Taking this precaution will help to ensure your cycling experience is safe.

As far as the overall safety of a helmet, such concerns are monitored by the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, which is a consumer-funded organization that provides consumers with product recall information and consumer reports on bike helmets. The organization also provides product lab test results. Before any helmet is sold in the United States, it is tested for reliability, safety and quality in a test lab such IMR Test Labs.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Place the helmet low on your forehead, just above your eyebrows. Measure one to two finger widths between your eyebrows and the helmet. This is where the helmet should rest for correct fit.
Step 2
Double check the placement of the helmet by looking up to see the very edge of your helmet. Keep your head still as you move your eyes. If you cannot see your helmet, it is most likely too high on your forehead.
Step 3
Adjust the straps of your helmet under your ears. For a proper fit, the straps on your helmet should form a "Y" under the ears and fit snugly against the head. If you can move the helmet more than an inch, it is too lose. Tighten the straps as necessary and then test the fit again.
Step 4
Test the overall fit of the helmet. Check that you have enough room to insert a finger between the helmet's buckle and your chin. A properly adjusted helmet will allow you to open your mouth while wearing it and still feel the helmet pull down.

Tips & Warnings

Just because a helmet is expensive does not necessarily mean it is safe.
Choose a helmet with a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or Snell sticker, which can be found on the inside of the helmet.
Beware of helmets that are cracked or broken.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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