How to properly adjust a cycling helmet



Many of us on WIRED bikes as part of a daily commute to work or for sports. Like many other people in the United States. According to non-profit non-profit organizations People for bicycles, around 50 million Americans ride a bike regularly while traveling, for fitness or leisure. The popularity of bicycles is also growing. According to most latest data available from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Americans undertook 84 million bike trips in 2019.

So we all ride bikes a lot, which is great! But every now and then we notice something unusual: Someone is wearing a helmet wrong. Terribly wrong.

Although tying a bucket to the brain is not a safe path to safety – smarter streets and dedicated cycling infrastructure have a much greater positive impact on bike safety than any equipment the rider uses – there is no denying that in falls, falls and collisions wearing a helmet can reduce the chances of serious head injuries. So, if you are going to travel the world on two wheels, you should wear a helmet. But you also need to make sure it fits properly and that you are wearing the thing properly.

Check your head

First make sure the helmet is not backwards. Yes, it seems silly, but we’ve seen a good number of people on the street wearing a helmet the wrong way. Here’s how to recognize the front from the back. As you hold it flat, with the straps facing the ground, you will notice that the helmet is not a perfect bowl. The perimeter is irregular. Look for the part of the helmet where the rim rises the most. This is the front of the helmet. It is designed to hug your forehead just above your eyebrows, so the front will often be the part of the helmet that uses the least amount of material. The back of the helmet will usually be bulkier and will go down lower so it can cover most of the back of your skull.

Other ways to recognize the front from the back: Does your helmet have a sun visor? If so, that’s the front. Also, most helmets have a plastic stabilizer on the back through which the belt is passed, as well as a rotating button for adjusting the strength of the fit. Higher grade helmets may even have flashing red lights on the back. Look for these features. But even on cheaper helmets, the shape of the helmet makes it obvious.


If your helmet is too small or too big, it won’t protect you properly when your foot greets the sidewalk. If you’re buying a new helmet and can’t try it out in person, measure the head circumference, then pair that measurement with the sizing guide on the company’s website to determine what size you want to buy. If you do not have a flexible measuring tape, use a tape or cloth, and then measure that distance toward a ruler or hard measuring tape.

Another thing you’ll want to check: is the helmet approved by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. If so, there will be a CPSC label somewhere inside. This means that the helmet meets the applicable regulatory standards.

Get in shape

This person wears a helmet properly, although the chin strap could be tightened a little tighter. Ideally, there should be no more space between the belt and the skin than the toe.

Photo: Getty Images

Now that you’ve got the right size helmet and you know you’re wearing it the right way, let’s call it the right clothes.


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