Step 1 - The Visual Examination
Begin with visually examining the shape of your head. Everyone is different and your head shape is very important to insure a proper fit as is the actual size of your head. Notice specific features: Does the eyebrow area protruding from forehead, or is it flush with the forehead? Is the forehead protruding in any way, or is it flat? Are your cheeks full? If you have a full head of hair, is it thick or thin? All of these features and attributes take up volume within a fitted helmet.
Step 2 - The Measurements
Getting the correct head measurement for your helmet is the most important step to getting the right fit for you. Due to varied head shapes and sizes, heads that may look the same size or even when measured by tape may not necessarily fit within the same size helmet. When measuring your head, find the longest distance around your head. This is generally just above the eyebrows, and around to the back of the head sitting just above the ears. Make sure that you have the largest measurement possible, for this is essential for getting the proper fit.
How to Try on a Helmet:
To properly try on a helmet, while holding onto the helmet by the chin straps, make sure that the front of the helmet is facing you, and the top of the helmet is facing the floor. Place your thumbs on the inner section of the helmet straps and balance the helmet with your index fingers. Then, whilie spreading the straps apart, pull up the helmet and slip over your head. This may take a little practice to get a fluid movement down.
Checking Horizontal and Vertical movement:
While the helmet is securely in position. Take careful note of the way that the helmet fits your head. Make sure that there are no gaps between the pads, there they are in direct contact with your cheeks. Make sure that there is not too much pressure. Proper protection should not be a discomfort. Many helmet manufactures have removable cheek pads and replacement pads available with varied thickness.
Check for any gaps that my be between the temples and the crown padding. Make sure to check the back of the helmet as well where the neck roll comes in contact with the skin. Is there any contact? Or does it push the helmet away at the rear, this would cause it to roll down over the eyes in the front. Make sure there is no movement in the helmet's fit. Grab the helmet securely with both hands, one hand on each side, try to rotate the helmet from side to side.
WARNING:This test may be uncomfortable but it is imperative to insure proper fitting. While the helmet is located on your head, fasten tightly the chin strap, while holding your head steady reach over the top of the helmet and grab the back of the helmet's bottom edge with either one or both of your hands. Try then to roll the helmet forward off your head. If it comes off or even comes close to coming off, then the helmet is too large of a size.
Pressure Point Check:
Lastly, remove the helmet, and immediately inspect for any irritations at the forehead and cheeks. A reddening of the skin in a small area could indicate a pressure point. For a short length of time and pressure point may not be noticeable, but over time can cause major discomfort.
"Following these simple steps will help you find a helmet that is comfortable and a correct fit per maunfactures' guidelines."
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