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How to Tell if a Motorcycle Helmet is Too Small?

Sizes of helmets range from extra small to extra large. Usually, people know what helmet size is suitable for them but still are confused about how to determine if the helmet is too small or not.

Before buying a motorcycle helmet, you should make sure it fits on your head properly and is comfortable.

Here’s how to tell if a motorcycle helmet is too small. A few factors determine whether your helmet is the right size.

Should a Motorcycle Helmet Fit Tight?

The best way to tell if you need a new motorcycle helmet is by checking how tight it fits on your head.

You should be able to fit one or two fingers between your head and the inside of the helmet. It may be too big for your head if you can fit more than that.

If it’s too loose, there’s no way it will provide adequate protection when you’re riding. It also means that debris could still get into your eyes while riding, even if you’re wearing other protective gear (like goggles).

The fit of your helmet is critical for safety. If the helmet does not fit correctly, it could actually increase the risk of injury in an accident.

A loose-fitting helmet can work its way up during a crash, exposing your face and head to potential injury.
It may also be possible for the helmet to rotate on your head during an accident, potentially causing neck or spine injuries.

What Happens if a Helmet is Too Tight?

If the padding inside your helmet doesn’t completely cover your head, you may experience pressure points where your face touches the helmet’s shell or where the padding meets your cheekbones or forehead (if there’s no padding there).

Pressure Points

Pressure points can be harrowing and make it difficult to wear your helmet for long periods without feeling like it will fall off (or even hurt more).

The same goes for pressure points at any other part of your head where there isn’t sufficient padding coverage in your helmet.

Too tight helmets can cause headaches, neck pain, and even temporary facial paralysis. It might even be uncomfortable for you to wear for long periods.

Moreover, a tight-fitting helmet makes it challenging to hear and see clearly, posing a severe safety risk while riding your motorcycle.

A tight helmet can also make your head hot, but it won’t be as protective if it shifts around when you crash.

How to Tell if a Motorcycle Helmet is Too Small?

The following factors contribute to determining whether a helmet is too small or not:

1. You Can’t Put it on Comfortably

One of the easiest ways to tell if a motorcycle helmet might be too small is to try putting it on for size.

If you can’t put it on comfortably without feeling like there is too much pressure around your ears or forehead, you should try another size up or down until you find one that fits perfectly.

2. It Pulls or Scrapes Your Skin

If your helmet straps are too tight, they can pull against your ears and neck, causing discomfort and pain. If the chin strap is too loose, it won’t hold the helmet in place during an accident or sudden stop.

If the cheek pads are too pressed in, they might push up by the wind, causing redness and irritation after a while.

3. It Presses on Your Face

If you feel pressure in the front of your helmet, your helmet is too small. The pressure is caused by the inner liner pressing on your face, and it can lead to discomfort and even pain over time.

You may also notice red marks forming around the chin if your helmet is too small.

4. The Helmet Presses Down Around Eyes While Opening Your Mouth

If your helmet is too small, it will press down around your eyes while opening your mouth. It will also feel tight around your head and cause headaches or sore spots on your forehead.

If this happens every time you open your mouth, your chin strap isn’t functioning correctly and needs adjusting.

5. The Chinstrap is Painfully Tight Even at its Loose Setting

The chin strap should be snug enough that it can only be pulled out from under your chin by one or two inches. The helmet is too small if the strap is so tight that you can barely breathe with it on.

However, if there is any play in the strap when it’s loose, this isn’t necessarily an issue because some helmets have extra material built into the chin strap to be adjusted even after they’re worn a few times.

6. Your Ears are Crushed Against the Sides of Your Head

Suppose your ears are crushed against the sides of your head. Try moving the ear pads away by adjusting them up or down inside the helmet (depending on how they’re crushing).

If that doesn’t work, try moving them around inside the helmet until they’re in their most comfortable position. Your ears should not be touching any part of the outside of your helmet when you put it on.

7. You Can’t Stick Your Finger Between Your Chin and Strap

It is the most important test to check if your helmet fits. Your helmet is too small if you can’t fit a finger between your chin and strap. There should be no gap whatsoever between your chin and the edge of your helmet.

8. There are Red Marks on Your Skin After You Take it Off

When you remove your helmet after riding your bike, there should be no red marks on your skin where the helmet was resting. If there are red marks and they’re big enough, they could be from an improper fit.

It means that the helmet is either tight or too small. Either way, this needs to be fixed as soon as possible so that you don’t get injured when riding again.

9. Your Vision is Impaired

When your helmet is too small, it will push down on your face and make it harder for you to see. You won’t be able to react quickly enough to avoid obstacles. You may also have trouble seeing other riders around you.

Second, if your helmet pushes down on your face and obscures part of your vision, you won’t be able to see how much space there is between yourself and the handlebars. That makes it more likely to ride off the road or into another vehicle accidentally.

10. You Can’t Freely Move Your Head Without it Wiggling Around

If you can’t move your head side-to-side or up-and-down while wearing a helmet and notice that it does not move around freely, it is probably too small for you.

If there is not enough friction between the chin strap and your skin, when you move around, there’s nothing holding your head in place, an indication of a too-large helmet.

It would be best if you had a snug fit so that when you turn your head quickly or hit something with enough force, there’s enough friction between the strap and your chin so that it doesn’t come off quickly.

How to Measure Your Head for a Motorcycle Helmet?

A good way to do this is with a measuring tape.

To measure your head circumference, wrap the measuring tape around your head just above your eyebrows. The tape should be tight enough so that it won’t slip over your ears, but not so tight that it causes discomfort. This measurement is your head circumference.

Conclusion

In general, when buying a motorcycle helmet, you should always keep in mind that it should fit snugly and slightly over your eyebrows without being too tight.

Your helmet should be fastened correctly, so always take your time to find out how to properly hook your chin strap and strap the main straps on the sides of your head correctly. This way, you’ll be sure that the helmet will protect you from any accident.

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Charles Johnson

Charles is an Automobile Engineer who has been writing for different blogs since 2014. He has participated in several cycling events and loves riding motorcycles. He wants to share his skills and knowledge, so you can confidently choose the right gear.