Protect Your Neck: Fitting Your Bicycle Helmet

June 25th, 2010 in Safety


Photo: Jørgen Larsen

Photo: Jørgen Larsen

What do you think when you look at the picture above? If a groan or simple indifference was your first reaction, you are among a large amount of bicycle riders who aren’t big fans of helmets. Sure, some helmets look like a spaceship is hovering over your head as you ride, but their importance cannot be underestimated. Hey, when the Mayo Clinic has an article devoted to it, you should probably take heed.

While aesthetics can be a problem with getting people to wear helmets, how they fit also plays a role in picking one up. As a necessary evil, people tend to buy cheap helmets that give minimal safety coverage and that may be difficult to adjust. This poses a problem as if you wear the helmet in an incorrect manner (or it is a flimsy piece of plastic), it obviously does you no good in the case of an accident.

So what’s a person to do!?

Well, there are a few ways to go about being sure your helmet fits.

1. The first and probably easiest is to have someone show you. There are multiple bicycle shops up and down Commonwealth Avenue where the friendly sales people will show you how to solve the fit problem.

bicycleshops2. Check out YouTube. While you’re looking for the newest amazing music video on YouTube, take a second and type in “fitting a bicycle helmet.” There is even an official video from REI so it saves you from impulse buying!

3. Buy a foolproof helmet. Companies like Giro and Bell make their helmets with straps that can be adjusted with one hand or are just easier to fit correctly. There are even a few that…well, actually are pretty good-looking. The best part is, if you do a little digging you can find a good quality helmet that looks good at a decent price. So why not go to a local retailer, try one out, and then find it cheaper online?

Regardless of how you go about it, the message that we’re sending is, wear a bicycle helmet and wear it the correct way. Hopefully you will never have to rely on it, but as the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than end up with a split skull.

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