How to Choose the Right Bike Helmet

Don’t wait until you’ve had a crash to buy your first bike helmet. If you don’t already own one, go shopping now and use these simple suggestions to make the right purchase.


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You Will Need

  • Retailers
  • Diligence


  1. Step 1

    Find the sticker

    Find the sticker that certifies that your helmet meets established safety standards. This will usually be a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sticker or an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sticker.

  2. Step 2

    Choose color

    Choose a bright, highly-visible color for your helmet to help drivers see you. This is in addition to, not in lieu of, reflective gear and other safety lights.

  3. Step 3

    Examine vents

    Examine the vents on your helmet. Large vents reduce your level of protection, but some venting is necessary to keep your head cool.

  4. Step 4

    Check the fit

    Put the helmet on and make sure there are no gaps between the padding and your head. It should sit level and cover your forehead from a couple of inches above your eyebrows.

  5. Step 5

    Fasten the straps

    Fasten the straps so that the helmet is snug but not tight. Shake your head around and then try to pull the helmet off; you should not be able to.

  6. If your helmet gets damaged, worn out, or is involved in a crash, make sure to replace it.

  7. Step 6

    Wear it

    Wear your helmet every time you ride, even if you are just going down the block. It can’t protect you if it is not on your head.

  8. A study performed in New York found that 97 percent of bicyclists who died in accidents were not wearing a helmet.