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Bike Helmet Fitting Tips


It’s great to see so many students and parents walking and biking to school! As the daylight hours are rapidly getting less, please be aware the Greenbelt is open dawn to dusk if you are using it to get to school from the Hay’s Mill and Target trailheads. Before you leave for school, check the time for sunrise to determine if you can use the Greenbelt. Also, if riding your bike, remember to stay on the right, pass on the left, control your speed, and slow down in tight passages! We are hopeful you will find the following guidelines for proper helmet fitting useful.

Safe travels,
Safe Routes to School Task Force

The Proper Helmet Fit

Helmets come in various sizes, just like hats. Size can vary between manufacturers. Follow the steps to fit a helmet properly. It may take a little time to ensure a proper helmet fit. It’s usually easier to look in the mirror or have someone else adjust the straps. For the most comprehensive list of helmet sizes according to manufacturers, go the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI) Web site at: www.bhsi.org/.

Fitting Your Bike Helmet

Step 1


Measure your head to find your size. Try on several helmets in your size until one feels right. Now put the helmet level on your head and adjust the sizing pads or fit ring until the helmet is snug.

Step 2


The helmet should sit level on your head and low on your forehead— one or two finger-widths above your eyebrow.

Step 3

Side Straps

Adjust the slider on both straps to form a “V” shape under, and slightly in front of, the ears. Lock the slider if possible.

Step 4


Center the left buckle under the chin. On most helmets, the straps can be pulled from the back of the helmet to lengthen or shorten the chin straps. This task is easier if you take the helmet off to make these adjustments.

Step 5

Chin Strap

Buckle your chin strap. Tighten the strap until it is snug, so that no more than one or two fingers fit under the strap.

Final Fitting

Does your helmet fit right? Open your mouth wide…big yawn! The helmet should pull down on your head. If not, refer back to step 5 and tighten the chin strap.

Does your helmet rock back more than two fingers above the eyebrows? If so, unbuckle and shorten the front strap by moving the slider forward. Buckle and retighten the chin strap, and test again.

Does your helmet rock forward into your eyes? If so, unbuckle and tighten the back strap by moving the slider back toward the ear. Buckle and retighten the chin strap, and test again.

Roll the rubber band down to the buckle. All four straps must go through the rubber band and be close to the buckle to prevent the buckle from slipping.