How to Size and Fit a Kids Bike Helmet

Kids MUST wear a Bike Helmet when on a bike whether a passenger or riding independently. It must be a Helmet that fits them now not one they grow into. Follow these simple steps and get the correct size and fit and the protection they need.

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Waterproof jacket for older kids

Welcome. A child must be able to sit up independently and wear a helmet to ride on a bike.  This can happen anywhere from 9 months onwards.  For more on this topic see Biking with Babies on Board. A kids head grows and changes.  Each child will have different rates of growth and times when they are growing.  So you can’t just guess size, you need to get a helmet that fits them now, not something they can grow into.  A simple measurement and you  know you will have the correct size helmet then you need to fit it correctly to your child’s head shape. Straps move so it is important to do a quick helmet check before each ride.

A quick pre-ride check , yes a helmet check that you do before every ride

  1. is it level – around the head, no tilting
  2. is it low – sitting just above the eyebrows
  3. is it snug – does it fit snug not tight on your head, are the v clips snug below your ears and is the chin strap snug under your chin
  4. is it stable – use the palm of your hand to check forward, backward, side to side movement, the movement should be no greater than 1-2cm

Helmet Size 

To get the right size helmet you must measure.  To do this place a tape measure around the head 1cm above the eyebrows and make sure the tape is level all the way around the head. Take the measurement in centimetres.  If you don’t have a tape measure use string or wool then lie this along a ruler.

Now match that head circumference (measurement) to the correct helmet size…

Kids/Youth Bike Helmet Sizing Guide

Womens/Youth Girls Recreation Helmet Sizing Guide

Womens/Youth Girls Mountain Bike Helmet Sizing Guide

Mens/Youth Boys Recreation Helmet Sizing Guide

Mens/Youth Boys Mountain Biking Helmet Sizing Guide

Helmet Fit 

How to adjust your Helmet so it fits snug on your head

Once you have the right sized helmet. Job done…. No!  That bike helmet will not perform and protect your head unless

  the straps are adjusted and fitted correctly

if the helmet uses different thicknesses of pads for fit (like a town helmet) you need to use the correct thickness of pads to get the optimal fit to the shape of your head

the occipital dial or slide is tightened

IT IS ESSENTIAL YOU TAKE THE TIME TO ADJUST THE HELMET TO FIT YOUR HEAD. THERE IS TOO MUCH RISK IN NOT DOING THIS PROPERLY… A HELMET WILL ONLY WORK CORRECTLY IF FITTED CORRECTLY.

STRAPS

There are different straps on different helmets but most commonly you have 2 straps attaching to each side of the helmet that come together forming a ‘V’ below the ears and are secured under the chin.

Adjust using the 2v2 rule.

  • 2 – the helmet should sit level on the head. The front of the helmet should sit no more than 2 finger breadths above the eyebrows.
  • v – the side straps make a V with the adjustable clip forming the bottom of the V just below the ear lobe.
  • 2 – you should be able to get a maximum of 2 fingers under the chin strap when fastened. The straps should not be twisted

PADS

A street style often comes with two sets of pads, one thicker than the other.  Usually these pads are secured by velcro sticking to inside surfaces of the helmet shell.  You can take advantage of the pads to create a good match to the shape of your child’s head.  This is important in street style helmets that often have a single chin strap so need to have a firm fit onto the head.  Detachable and washable pads are ideal especially if your child tends to sweat. The Multisport Helmet has different pad thicknesses to adjust for size. 

DIAL/SLIDE

Found at the back of helmets where your head meets the very top of your neck – this dial/slide when tightened or screwed in will secure the back of the helmet to the head.  This feature can often be absent in cheaper helmets.

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