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Helmets are of utmost importance while riding a bicycle. There have been several instances in my 12 odd years of riding a bicycle where

A styrofoam cap on my head has prevented my untimely demise or permanent brain injury.

It's simple, Helmets save lives, and therefore should not just be worn, but worn PROPERLY.

Before Buying a New Helmet

Check for Fit by loosening the adjustable ratchet all the way

And placing the helmet on your head.

Try to slide one finger between your eyebrow and the helmet.

If your finger just fits, the helmet is the right size. If it wiggles about, you'll need to go for a smaller-sized helmet.

Wearing the Helmet Correctly

Ensure there’s a 2 finger width between your eyebrows and the helmet.

Ensure the V-strap is just below the ears

Ensure the chin strap is tightened so that you can just about squeeze 2 fingers under the strap.

The aforementioned makes sure that your helmet will stay in place if the worst happens and do what it’s intended to do, i.e. Protect your precious brain.


If you're still uncomfortable, check your helmet's retention system as most of them will provide varying adjustments based on your personal needs.

You can see the retention is much lower on the left and much more "inside the helmet" on the right. This MET Rivale provides 15mm of adjustability.

How Often Should I Replace my helmet? Although manufacturers recommend replacing a helmet every two years, this is vastly varied on the storage conditions, handling, exposure, care and knocks that the helmet sees over it's life. You don't need the helmet to be smashed to pieces before needing to replace it. Large cracks are normally caused by impacts. They indicate that the foam beneath has been partially crushed to save your brain.

The second type of crack is the small single crack or multiple cracks that can develop in the shell without major impact damage. Sometimes minor impacts that are not really destructive to the helmet can cause a small, sharp deformation to the outer shell of a helmet, resulting in tiny hairline cracks which can go unnoticed.

Temperature cycling and long hours of exposure to the sun also will diminish the life of a helmet.