Islabikes guide to helmets

After your bike, getting a helmet is the most important thing you need for cycling.  A correctly fitted bike helmet protects your head from injury if you fall off your bike. A good helmet will provide a balance of coverage, ventilation and comfort.

Choosing the correct helmet

The majority of parents/carers will make their children wear helmets whilst cycling and it is essential that the chosen helmet is correct.

A family decision

Choosing a helmet should be a decision that is made together with your child. This is important so that they can choose one that they like and therefore would be more likely to wear.

Getting the right size helmet

Helmets that are not the right size will be uncomfortable to wear and, more importantly, will not protect your child’s head from injury properly.

Helmets normally come with a size recommendation in centimetres, covering a range of sizes. This is a measurement of the circumference of the head.

To measure your child’s head, just follow these steps:

  • Take a cloth measuring tape and wrap it around the head about an inch above the eyebrow.
  • Measure from here, making sure the tape is level all the way around.

If you do not have a measuring tape you can use some string instead. Mark or cut the string and then straighten it out next to a tape measure or ruler to get the circumference.

Every head is different

It is important to note that whilst measuring will start you in the right direction it is a fact of life that children’s heads can be a variety of different shapes.


How to fit a child’s helmet

It’s so simple to do and yet so easy to get wrong.

Fitting a child’s helmet is a quick and simple process but one that so many people get consistently wrong.

A common misconception among many parents/carers is that as long as their children are wearing a helmet, then they are significantly safer than they would be if they were not wearing one. Although true to a point, the number of children (and adults) seen riding around with a poorly fitted helmet is staggering.

Here at the Islabikes Fitting Studio we take the time to carefully select an appropriate helmet and ensure the following three steps (eyes, ears and mouth) are followed when fitting a helmet.

Step One (Eyes):

Make sure your child’s forehead is not exposed. A correctly fitted helmet should be worn facing the right way (amazingly many people do get this wrong) and should not be worn on the back of the head, thus exposing the forehead. This will not protect your child if they go over the handlebars face first. The brim of the front of the helmet should really be about a centimetre above the eyebrows, so high enough to not restrict their vision, but low enough to protect their forehead in the event of a fall.

Step Two (Ears):

Make sure the helmet fits securely and does not wobble. This is a very quick and simple process, and should only take five minutes. First adjust the fitting at the back of the helmet so that the helmet is secure and does not move side to side or backwards and forward. You will need to adjust the straps so that they make a comfortable V shape under each ear.

Step Three (Mouth):

Make sure the chinstrap is snug but not restrictive. Once buckled up, your child should be able to look up above them and still be able to breathe and talk properly. Your child should be able to get a couple of fingers between the strap and the neck, but no more. They should also be able to open and close their mouth comfortably.

It is also advisable to carry out a quick weekly check to ensure these three things are still true of your child’s helmet as through day to day use the straps may become twisted, undone or the fit altered in some way.

For helpful, expert advice on fitting helmets please call our customer service team on +44 (0)800 008 6297.

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