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How to Measure for an Open Face Helmet

February 12, 2020

A helmet is definitely THE most important thing to have when riding a mountain bike, or any bike for that matter! One of the most important things about that helmet, is how well it fits. If it doesn’t fit properly, then it won’t protect you properly, so you really need to make sure whatever helmet you have fits your head well.

There are four major steps to making sure any given helmet is right for you:

  1. Measuring
  2. Trying it on
  3. Position and fit
  4. Straps

Measuring

The first step is to measure your head. For this, you’ll need a cloth tape, or piece of string. Wrap that around your head, typically two finger widths above your eyebrows.

From here, compare that diameter to the sizing chart available on the helmet you like. Go ahead and add that size to your cart, proceed to the check out, and wait patiently for it to rock up at your doorstep.

Trying it on


How the helmet should fit


Don't wear it like this!

Now that your swanky new helmet has arrived, you’ll want to carefully remove it from the packaging and back the retention dial all the way out. Pop the helmet on your head and tighten the dial until it is snug, but not too tight that it’s uncomfortable. Give your head a good shake around, the helmet shouldn’t move. You should find it difficult to stick your finger under the retention system.

Positioning and fit

Now that it’s nice and snug, it needs to sit in the right position. None of this 12 o’clock business! It should sit horizontal, around 2-3 fingers above your eyebrows, with no tilts or slants in any direction.

Now, you want to focus on how the helmet conforms to your head. Everyone has a different head shape, and that means not every helmet will fit everyone. See if there are any parts where the helmet does not meet your head, and any parts where one bit is tighter or firmer than other parts. If there are any of these cavities or hot spots, and they’re noticeable or uncomfortable, then that helmet probably is not for you.

Straps

Last, but not least, are the clasps and straps. Clip the helmet up under your jaw, and tighten it until it’s snug under your chin. It shouldn’t be tight, but it shouldn’t dangle either. 1-2 fingers in between the strap and your jaw should be plenty. For the yokes, you want to position them somewhere comfortable and out of the way of your ears, preferably with even lengths fore and aft. I find it best to have them just at the pointy part of my jaw.

Should the helmet not fit well in any way, you may be able to return the helmet and grab a different size (take a look at our returns policy).

Once you’ve got your new helmet fitting perfectly, stick it on your head and go ride!

Shop Open Face Helmets »

Meet Jacob!

Jacob started mountain biking about 6 years ago when his Dad roped him into a pairs race. It's been an addiction ever since and he now spends most days researching, reading about new parts, and getting out and riding! He's part of our customer service team and loves to talk all things MTB! He's a Level 1 MTB Instructor, and races local and national enduro... on a steel hardtail. Ask him about that.