We are often asked why we require women to bring their own helmets on tour with them and don't provide them ourselves. The reason we do this is that we want women to be using a helmet that best fits their head. In addition, there are also sanitary concerns with reusing helmets between folks.
We sometimes see women wearing their helmets incorrectly and would like to refresh everyone on the proper way to wear your helmet and get the best protection from it should you have a crash.
When purchasing a helmet it can help to have measured your head before shopping.
To find your size, wrap a flexible tape measure around the largest portion of your head—about 1 in. above your eyebrows. Or, wrap a string or ribbon around your head, then measure the length of string with a straight-edge ruler or yardstick. Then look for a helmet to try on in this size range, most brands come in Small, Medium, Large and some Extra Large and some in a Generic one size fits all. Try on several helmets to see what brand feels the most comfortable on your head.
A good-fitting helmet should be snug but not annoyingly tight. It should sit level on your head (not tilted back) with the front edge 1 in. or less above your eyebrows so that your forehead is protected. Push the helmet from side to side and back to front. If it shifts noticeably (1 in. or more), you need to adjust the fit. This is the CORRECT way to wear your helmet:
To adjust the fit, first expand the sizing wheel before you place a helmet on your head. Almost all helmets have a sizing wheel on the back of the helmet's internal sizing ring. Once the helmet is in place, reach behind your head and tighten the ring (usually by twisting a wheel) until you get a snug fit.
Next, buckle and tighten the chinstrap. The straps should form a "V" as they rest under each ear. Adjust the straps around both ears until you have a comfortable fit and can fit a finger between the strap and your neck.
Finally, with the chinstrap buckled, open your mouth wide. The helmet should press against the top of your head as you do so. If not, tighten further and repeat. Just don't overtighten the strap until it's uncomfortable.
We often see women riding with their helmets tilted way back on their heads, especially if they are wearing a cap with a visor beneath it. This is NOT the way to correctly wear your helmet. Don't do this: