fb pixel

Bike Helmets

Many cyclists, regardless of age, think that only children and inexperienced riders need to wear helmets.  Not true!  By Florida law, bicycle riders under 16 years of age must wear a helmet that is properly fitted, fastened securely, and meets the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets, § 316.2065(3)(d).  For all other riders, it’s a matter of common sense to protect your head.  The use of a properly fitted bicycle helmet was found to reduce head injury by 48%, serious head injury by 60%, traumatic brain injury by 53%, face injury by 23%, and the total number of killed or seriously injured cyclists by 34%.1


Eric fits helmet on Mayor Gonzalez

BWCF Staff and State Certified Helmet Fitter, Eric Trull, fits a helmet on Kissimmee Mayor Gonzalez during the 2022 Kissimmee Bike to Work Day Event

Properly fitting a helmet – a few basic steps!

Download a full pdf from Alert Today Florida to take with you HERE. Thanks to Alert Today for the illustrations included below!


Measure your head just above the eyebrows to be sure you purchase the proper size.

  • Note that some helmets may be measured in centimeters.

Adjust the fit. This could be with included removable pads and/or built-in mechanical adjustments.

  • If your helmet has additional pads, you may need a combination of thin and thick pads to get the best fit. 
  • If your helmet has mechanical adjustments, they’re typically located at the rear of the helmet and could be a wheel that spins or straps with ratchets. Adjust each to loosen or tighten until the helmet is snug.

Position the Helmet. The helmet should be level and sit about 2 finger lengths above the eyebrows.


Adjust the straps. The straps should make a “V” just under each ear.

  • A helpful tip with children: Keep the “2-finger” method going to keep it simple. Make a “peace sign” and hold it up to the bottom of your ear as an example!

Buckle the strap.  The strap should feel snug but not uncomfortable. 

  • It should be tight enough that you can not put more than 2 fingers between your chin and strap for the proper fit.

The Final Fit. Test the fit to ensure there is little movement when the head is shaken.

  • A helpful tip with children: Ask them to “do a dance,” shaking their whole body and head. Of course, you should demonstrate to keep it fun!
  • If needed, go back through the previous steps to get the best fit possible.

And remember…

  • Double-check the fit of the helmet every time you ride.
  • Adjustments will need to be made because of changes in hair length and styles or as the child grows.
  • Replace a helmet that becomes too small.
  • Replace a helmet that has sustained damage – “One crash and the helmet is trash.”
  • Don’t store helmets in a hot car or garage.

References:

  1. Hoye A. Bicycle helmets – to wear or not to wear? A meta-analyses of the effects of bicycle helmets on injuries. Accid Anal Prev 2018;117:85-97.