How do I know if my bike helmet is too small?

It is one thing to show your love for bicycles and another to be safe all the time. A bike helmet is the only protective gear you should wear every time you go out no matter what. Your helmet is the last resort for your safety. It is quite obvious that wearing a helmet will not substitute for other essentials for safe bike riding.

To experience a safe bike riding you need proper bike riding skills, an experienced guide who can provide you with tips, a proper and suitable bike, etc. Always wear a bike helmet and ride as though it is not there on your head to protect you. All bike lovers ask the same question: “How do I know if my bike helmet is too small?”

Every rider out there must be able to choose a helmet that attaches itself to the head appropriately. There are so many factors that riders take into consideration before they choose their ideal bike helmet.

However, the most important consideration is the proper fitting of the helmet. A proper size helmet and a good fit on your head help you in concentrating on the ride and do not let your focus wander off the road. A proper bike helmet for you is the one that suits your head shape and should also fit the head circumference properly in order to be a comfortable wear.

Are you confused regarding the best mountain bike helmet? Follow the post to know more.

What are the essential checkboxes to tick for a bike helmet?

Well, the helmet should be an extended part of your head in order to be truly secure. Let us now check all the bare essentials before you try on your bike helmet.

  • Must be the correct size for you and the correct head shape that fits you.
  • The bike helmet must suit the real purpose i.e., the type of biking you are accustomed to. The two types at the top of the list would be, – “Road Biking” and “Mountain Biking”. You can also check out the different types of bikes available to be more knowledgeable before buying a bike for yourself.
  • Must be leveled up just above the ears when you are all done trying to wear it.
  • Make sure the adjustable straps are used properly. That means you need to adjust the straps and make them tight enough to let the straps flatten out on your cheek or all other skin parts.
  • Always treat your bike helmet with the dignity it deserves and use it undamaged.
  • Your bike helmet must be truly comfortable.

How do I know if my bike helmet is too small?

Let us first understand that the bike helmet comes in two main shapes and a variety of sizes. It is quite obvious that not all sizes or shapes will fit yours. This is why you need to follow proper guidelines to check the correct fitting for your bike helmet. As we mentioned above, a proper helmet feels like an extension of your mind and body and should be so comfortable that you do not even feel that you are wearing something on your head.

So far as figuring out whether your bike helmet is too small for your head is concerned, it is rather simple.

If you wear the helmet for a short trip and you experience minor to strong headaches after that, your bike helmet is definitely smaller than your head size. The smaller bike helmets can be truly frustrating every time you wear them.

You can also see a red line across your forehead and a line over your hair at the rear end of your scalp. It may well be that a part of your helmet is in particular more distressing than the helmet as a whole.

This happens when let’s say, a bolt holding the inner linings come loose or when the padding loosens up. If the problem pertains to the latter variety you should consider refurbishing your helmet parts from the inside.

After a while, you will no longer feel like wearing the helmet, and instead, you may find yourself attempting to trust your instincts over your helmet. However, our advice would be to avoid such contemplations altogether and find a suitable replacement.

How to wear a bike helmet properly?

1: Start by holding the helmet straight, upside-down, and make sure the visor is looking away from you through the line of your vision.

2: The bike helmet straps must remain straightened and aligned with your skin.

3: Make sure the helmet is level with your head when you finally put it on. The helmet should not be tipping over to one side.

When you are checking whether the bike helmet is of the right size or not keep in mind that –

  • The adjustable knob at the rear end of the helmet is used to its maximum capacity. Not every helmet will have this adjustable dial, however, if you have one it must be at the top portion of your neck. Dial the adjustable knob to-and-fro to see which sizing is suiting your head the most and stick to that.
  • Check the snug factor of your helmet by grabbing the helmet on top of your head and gently twisting it clockwise and anti-clockwise
    Now check whether the helmet is too loose. It may be fixed by adding an extra layer of the inner foam so that it fits in properly. If that is not fixing the issue that helmet is too large for your head.
  • Next up is to try and fit in one finger between your helmet and your scalp or forehead. Ideally, there should only be a space for one finger and nothing more. If your finger is fitting in too tightly the helmet is tight. On the other hand, if there’s more space available for another fingertip the helmet is too loose.
  • As we said earlier, the straps of your bike helmet must lay flat on your skin surface.
    Straps must always form a ‘V’ shape around your ears and the clasps/sliders should be right underneath your earlobes.
  • If the clasps or the slider is not in its position it will be irritating. So make sure they are not touching the skin under your lobes.
    Once you are done with this, simply buckle up to find the buckle right on the underside of your chin.

How to check for proper fitting of my bike helmet?

Here’s a list of checkboxes to tick to see if your helmet is fitting you properly or not. To see if the helmet is securely placed on your head –

  • You should have a gap of one finger between your head/scalp and the interiors of the helmet.
  • The sliders/clasps or the end part of the “V” of your adjustable strap must be right beneath your ear lobes.
  • You should place one or two fingers between your eyebrows and the starting point of the helmet on your forehead. That is the ideal gap between the eyebrows and the helmet.
  • Now for the last part, you will have to check if your helmet is stuck in proper balance on your head. Try and grab your helmet from the top and slowly pull it upwards and backward, in that order. Also, see if it moves very easily or keeps on the snug fit while moving sideways. If it stays on properly without giving you a headache your helmet is properly fitting you.


Q. What should I do if the helmet moves too far forward when the rear is lifted?

Try tightening the straps behind your ears or the back straps.

Q. What should I do if the helmet is moving too far back when the front is lifted?

Try and tighten the straps in front of the ears or the frontal straps.

Q. What if my helmet moves more than an inch when gently adjusted with my straps off?

This means your helmet is too loose for a comfortable ride.


The ideal time to change your helmet is normally two to three years. Not every bike helmet remains at its optimum for a longer period than that. Every time you feel like asking the question – how do I know if my bike helmet is too small or not, come back and refer to the guidelines mentioned above.

You should also know that expensive helmets need not necessarily provide you with security. A more expensive helmet may have a few more desirable adjustability features and perhaps will be more comfortable but that does not by itself make it a safe helmet. Choose a helmet under 50 which suits you the best by maintaining all the parameters to judge on.

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