It cannot be stressed enough that when riding a bike, it is vital that you wear a properly fitted helmet.
Your helmet provides you with protection against head injury should you crash or fall.
The best way to ensure that your head will not sustain any injuries when riding your bike is by wearing your helmet whenever you ride.
As a helmet doesn’t work if it isn’t correctly fitted, knowing how to adjust the straps to secure it before riding is essential. Read on to learn more.
Correctly Fitting Your Helmet
Your helmet can only give you protection if it fits well. Make sure that you try on various sizes to find which one feels both comfortable and secure on your head.
With proper adjustment, your helmet will stay in place in the event of a crash or fall.
How to Adjust Your Bike Helmet’s Straps
If you have long hair, tie it tightly at the base of your neck to ensure that it does not get in your face or obstruct your helmet from fitting firmly on your head.
Place your bike helmet on the top of your head. Ensure that the front of your helmet is low on your forehead, around one or two finger-widths above your eyebrows. It should feel comfortable and snug.
Pull the side straps of your helmet so that they form a “Y” beneath each earlobe. Make sure that both the rear straps and front straps are even on both sides, are not twisted, and check that they fit snuggly against your head.
Adjust your straps so that the bicycle helmet fits correctly. They may need to be tightened or loosened to fit properly. Pull the loose ends of your strap through the loop and away from your body at the fastener or clip to tighten it. You can slacken the straps by pushing some of the fabric through the loop until it is comfortable.
Buckle your chin strap and check that you can place one finger between your chin and the buckle. You should also be able to breathe without feeling any constriction from the helmet. Loosen or tighten the helmet as needed.
Do a final test for fit by opening your mouth while looking up with your eyes only. If the helmet pulls down on the top of your head as you look up, it fits properly and is secure.
Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind
- Bike helmets are only made to be used by bike cyclists, roller skaters, and skateboarders. They are not to be used for mopeds, motorcycles, or motorsports
- Should your helmet be subjected to a crash, you should immediately discard of it and get a new helmet. Although the damage may not be visible, its safety capabilities may be compromised
- It is recommended that you replace your helmet every 3 years, or if it no longer properly fits you
- When worn correctly, your helmet can protect your head from knocks experienced in a fall or crash. However, as it is made from expanded polystyrene foam, it can be pierced by sharp objects
- Your helmet cannot guard you against spine, cervical, or other injuries should you be in a collision. Always practice proper road safety when cycling and exercise good judgment and care. Adhere to all traffic regulations and ensure that you do everything you can to avoid accidents of any nature
- Never use your helmet in climbing activities, and never allow children to use a bike helmet for play activities where a strangulation risk exists
- Never remove or modify the components of your bike helmet unless adjusting the straps. Doing so can damage the integrity of the helmet and void the helmet’s warranty. Any changes that need to be made should be done by the manufacturer of your helmet to ensure your safety and the helmet’s integrity
It is vital that you always ensure that your helmet fits properly before you ride your bike. While you may have adjusted it the last time you rode, you should check it every time you wear it, even if it has been stored since you last wore it. The straps of your helmet should be comfortable and snug against your face without restricting your movements or breathing.
Check that you can fit one finger between your strap and your chin. If you feel like the helmet is moving while you are riding, stop immediately and re-adjust the straps to ensure your safety.