Bicycle Helmet Fit Checklist

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Helmet Fit Checklist

___ Level - The helmet should be level on the rider's head.

___ Rim barely visible - When the rider looks up the front rim should be barely visible to

their eye

___ Y below the ear - The Y of the side straps should meet just below the ear

___ Snug strap - The chin strap should be snug against the chin so that when the rider opens their mouth very wide the helmet pulls down a little bit.

___ Skin moves a little - Move the helmet side to side and front to back, watching the skin around the rider's eyebrows. It should move slightly with the helmet. If it does not, the fit pads are probably too thin in front or back, or the helmet may even be too large.

___ Stabilizer snug - If there is a rear stabilizer, make it snug under the bulge on the rear of the head.

___ Palm test - Have the rider put their palm on the front of the helmet and push up and back. If it moves more than an inch more fitting is required.

___ Shake test - Have the rider shake their head around. This can be fun. If the helmet dislodges, work on the

strap adjustments.

___ Is it comfortable? - Ask the rider if the helmet is comfortable and check to make sure there are no

comfort issues that still need to be addressed.




**Why should you replace your helmet every five years? **

The five year replacement recommendation is based on a consensus by both the helmet manufacturers and the Snell Foundation. Glues, resins and other materials used in helmet production over can affect liner materials. Hair oils, body fluids and cosmetics, as well as normal "wear and tear" all contribute to helmet degradation. Petroleum based products present in cleaners, paints, fuels and other commonly encountered materials may also degrade materials used in many helmets possibly degrading performance. Additionally, experience indicates there will be a noticeable improvement in the protective characteristic of helmets over a five year period due to advances in materials, designs, production methods and the standards. Thus, the recommendation for five year helmet replacement is a judgment call stemming from a prudent safety philosophy.


  • Did you crash it? Replace!
  • Did you drop it hard enough to crack the foam? Replace.
  • Is it from the 1970's? Replace.
  • Is the outside just foam or cloth instead of plastic? Replace.
  • Does it lack a CPSC, ASTM or Snell sticker? Replace.
  • You cannot adjust it to fit correctly? Replace!!
  • Do you hate it? Replace. 


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