How do I know when my motorcycle helmet is too small?
On the surface, a motorcycle helmet that is slightly too small or overly large may not seem like a big deal, but it is. To better illustrate why, think about a non-motorcycle hat. We've all had to borrow a hat from a friend or relative because of the weather, and often it doesn't quite fit. Every time you bend or move your head, it needs readjusting. Your hand is constantly reaching up, the hat creeps up on your head, and it's a frustrating experience. Of course, this is just a hat for keeping the rain off or to stop your hair from getting wet. Imagine if your life depended on it!
Right away, you can see the importance of a well-fitting motorcycle helmet. Putting the safety concerns in the event of an impact aside for now, we all know in life that we do things much better when we are comfortable and relaxed. Riding is no different. A well-fitting helmet will mean that once it's strapped on, you can forget about it and concentrate on the road. As the popular saying goes, if something feels right, it probably is right.
Avoiding that creeping sensation
When you're trying a motorcycle helmet on for the first time or checking your existing one, simply place the helmet on your head, either while sitting or standing upright, and concentrate for a moment. For obvious reasons, all motorcycle helmets will have a soft, pliable lining, such as styrofoam, which will settle onto your head. Is there excess movement? One thing to check is whether you can fit your fingers between the lining and your skull. If you can easily do this, there is a problem.
If everything is fine in that regard, however, it is time to check a little closer. A motorcycle helmet needs to sit snugly, but they are not welded to your head. This means small amounts of movement are to be expected, but nothing that feels too sloppy. A helmet that is likely to lift in the wind is not going to provide the desired level of safety. One of the biggest mistakes bikers make is choosing a helmet that is too large for their head, which will lead to excess movement and that dreaded wind buffeting. All of it is very irritating while riding and downright dangerous in a crash.
Next, concentrate on your skull. Is the helmet creeping up? The curved shape of the lining will cause your head to slowly but surely push the helmet up if it is too small. This means that if there is an impact, your head will not be sitting in the place that the helmet was designed to be. It may not be off by much, but the margins are fine here. If you get that creeping sensation, it almost certainly means the helmet is not the right size for you, and it's time for a new one.
Choosing a new helmet
If you are in the market for a new helmet, what is the best way to determine what will fit? What is the right helmet for you? There are two critical factors here: the shape of your head and the size of your head. Taking proper measurements is vital. Luckily, we have a clear, concise measuring guide in the form of a quick quiz to help you through the process.
If you are tired of that mushroom-headed look and want to stand out from the crowd, or you want the experience of pure biking while still enjoying the open road safely, we have a range of DOT-approved beanie-style helmets. They feature simple, clean, no-fuss designs for the real bikers out there. They are made of lightweight but ultra-strong materials such as ABS or fiberglass, proving that style does not need to be compromised for safety.
They come in a range of finishes, from matte black to carbon-fiber effect, and they will suit any style, from vintage and classic to that high-tech futuristic look. We even have a Beanie with a twist - a reversible peaked version. The peak can be worn forward to help block the sun or reversed for maximum aerodynamic performance during high-speed riding. Either way, whether you are simply cruising or riding it hard, it has a great profile.
This is one of many fully DOT-approved helmets offering style and safety in perfect harmony. The size options range from 2x small to 2x large, so there is bound to be the right one for you in there. If you have any questions, we are more than happy to answer them!
Wearing a motorcycle helmet with the correct fit is vital for safe and enjoyable riding. It is worth taking the time to make sure you are getting the perfect helmet. If possible, try it on for 30 minutes or so and really think about how it feels. Check the straps. Do they feel comfortable? Can they be adjusted to suit you perfectly? Do they irritate you or dig into your skin? Does the top of your head fit snugly against the top lining of the helmet?
With the straps fastened, try moving the helmet. When you rock it from side to side and front to back, the movement should not be excessive, and it shouldn't feel like it is about to come off. It is necessary to take your time with all these checks, but it will be worth it in the long run. A helmet that is too large or too small can be dangerous in an accident. If it's too large, it can fly off in a crash or shake your head around excessively inside of it during impact, causing trauma. On the other hand, if the helmet is too small, your head may not be sitting correctly for the protection to work and you could take the full force of the impact with none of the dissipation of shock that the helmet is designed to provide.
In addition to the impact issue, a badly fitting helmet will increase fatigue as your neck constantly makes minor adjustments to keep it straight. This can lead to a loss of focus during a ride, and it can cause excessive heat buildup around the skull. On any long journey, these things can become major problems.
Finally, when you have chosen your new helmet, remember that the lining will probably need 12 to 24 hours to mold itself to your shape. Once the helmet is ready, the open road awaits. Enjoy it safely!