Proper Sizing for Helmets

Helmet Fitting:

  1. Use a soft tape measure to measure the circumference of your head just above your ears.
  2. Most helmet manufacturers use centimeters as their unit of measure, so be sure to record your size in centimeters.
  3. After writing down your size, refer to the chart for each helmet brand to determine which size you need.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY HELMET FITS CORRECTLY?

  1. The chin strap is tight enough that only one or two fingers can be forced between the strap and your chin/neck.
  2. There is absolutely NO movement forward and back over your forehead. All helmets should be SNUG when new, so that when they wear in a bit and get bigger, the helmet does not slip over your eyes or back on your head. (Anyone wearing their helmet back at the top of their forehead needs to pull it down towards their eyebrows in order to protect face and head during a forward fall.)
  3. A little movement side to side (rocking over ears) is ok, as women’s faces tend to be more narrow. The chin strap should keep the helmet from moving in a side to side direction so much that safety is an issue.
  4. The adjusters on the side straps should be just under your ear lobes. If they have slid down towards the clasp, they need to be adjusted.

CAN I REPLACE JUST THE LINER IN MY HELMET?

Yes and no. There are two types of helmets.

SINGLE IMPACT:

A single impact helmet usually carries a safety rating, and is often used for bicycling. The helmet complies with U.S. CPSC Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets for Persons Age 5 and Older”. This type of helmet has a hard foam liner inside the colored plastic “shell”, and a thin lining of soft foam inside that. These helmets are meant to protect your head at high speeds (such as bicycling). If they take a hard impact, that hard foam is meant to crack, and the helmet has done its job and should be disposed of.

MULTIPLE IMPACT:

A multiple impact helmet (most common in derby) has a soft foam liner that is thicker, and no hard foam between it and the shell. It is not meant to protect the wearer from high speed impacts, nor does it carry a safety rating.

The shells of each brand of helmet are the same size, it is only the liner that is different. So a person with a small helmet has the same size shell as a person with a large size helmet. The liner is thicker in the small helmet than in the large.

DO I NEED TO REPLACE MY MULTIPLE IMPACT HELMET AFTER A BAD FALL?

Sometimes. If you get a level 2 or above concussion, why take the chance on there being damage to the foam or shell that you cannot see? As a general rule, no, but you do only get the ONE brain, so…