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helmet sizing

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by wiinis, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. hi, i can't decide between a shoei small or medium helmet.

    i went to the shop today and tried on helmets for 2 hours. i decided that the arai and shoeis were the most comfortable for my head. agv was loose around the sides of the top of my head and they didn't have shark in a small.

    my head is 57cm. both brands specify small as 55-56cm, and medium as 57-58cm.

    after 20mins the small felt a little tight on the top of my forehead and back of my head. the medium was comfortable. the small felt as if it could potentially give me a headache after a long time, though it wasn't unbearable.

    i'm worried if i get the medium.. once it loosens up it will be too loose (i am already at the bottom end of the medium).

    will the small loosen up enough to be comfortable, even though i am already 1cm too big judging by their specs?

    i am going to try them all on again but am looking for any guidance as to how much the small will actually expand.

  2. They will loosen up, a helmet which moves when you buy it will possibly flop around after a few weeks.
    I saw a guy the other day pull up at a set of lights and spend the whole red light time playing with his helmet, looked like it was loose and he couldn't get comfortable.
  3. If you feel the medium is perfect, then after a while it may end up too large ... get the small. It will improve over time, ( as poppy stated ), and more than likely be 'just right'
  4. If you get a helmet that is tight to begin with, before you go riding with it wear it around the house to help with the lossening.

    This should help avoid headaches while riding and you get a chance to get used the weight and feeling of having a helmet on.

    Also you look awesome watching TV with a helmet and good safety incase the roof falls on you.
  5. +1
  6. You'll get less helmet hair with the medium.

    In all seriousness, your head is 57 not 56, so you are not a small, that is why it ended up feeling uncomfortable.

    After owning maybe half a dozen Shoei helmets now I can say that they are top quality helmets that don't give all that much from new, so the medium will be the perfect helmet for you and the last thing you want distracting you when riding is a tight cramped helmet giving you a headache.

    There have been numerous studies in the USA over the years indicating that simply wearing a helmet increases your risk of having an accident due to the distraction/blinkering effect of wearing it, an uncomfortable pain inducing helmet must increase this even more so.
  7. thanks for the replies - i appreciate the comments.

    you've all pretty much confirmed what i was thinking - that i should get the small and hopefully it will be comfortable once broken in.

    i was just a little concerned about the tightness around the top of my forehead and the back of my head, and wasn't sure if this area actually loosened up very much.

    anyway i'll also take a trip down to springwood and hopefully try a shark helmet there too just for comparison.. but i think i'll get the small shoei at this stage. just need to choose which graphic.

    as for helmet hair.. not a huge issue as i shave my head to 6mm long every fortnight :p

    and geeth, yeah i'm going to look awesome watching tv at night.. i also bought some of the k-legs leggings which i've been trying on at home for comfort.. tight bright yellow kevlar leggings, no shirt and a helmet.. sounds pretty sexy huh? :shock: .. my girl didn't even want to look at me with the leggings on :p

    edit: ah ok thanks banoobi.. yeah i'll take that into consideration. when i tried on the medium shoei the salesman said he could see a gap down the sides and that i should definitely get a small. hmm.. will try them both again and see how i go. it kind of feels like i'm right between the two sizes which is a little annoying.
  8. When I was looking at helmets, I started trying on Larges but they gave me a headache within a min, it was snug but unbearable. I ended up with a XL it had a little movement but bugger all and after wearing it for about a month it hasn't loosened up much.
  9. Ended up getting an Arai Profile in a small.

    I did some research on the net and found out that Arai make 3 different shell shapes for different head shapes - round, intermediate oval and long oval.

    The helmets I had tried on were all for intermediate oval head shapes - the Arai Vector, Shoei TZR/XR-1000 and a few others.

    I figured that because I was getting pressure on my forehead and back of my head that i was probably a long oval head shape.. and yeah sure enough when I tried the Arai Profile which has a shell for long ovals I have a perfect fit.

    Much more comfortable.. no pressure points.. just snug all around. I'm really happy i found it.

    This site has a lot of good information which pointed me in the right direction - http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-helmets/motorcycle-helmet-faq.htm

  10. I bought a medium because i thought it would settle in a bit and give. also they had run out of large... last night after wearing it for about 4 hours for the day I thought my left ear would fall off...

    I wish i had bought a large and will do so as soon as finances allow.

    Get the comfortable helmet imo as they don't really shrink that much.
  11. I wouldn't necessarily just go on the measurements. My head measures 60cm, though I went a medium which fits nice and snug (I didn't even measure before buying, just tried on helmets). I didn't feel 'confident' in a helmet that moved around freely on my head.

    Also, keep in mind that the measuring device you use may not be as accurate as the measuring device the helmet manufacturers use etc etc. Either the two devices may just simply differ. I know, for example, I couldn't even get a a small in a Shark RS2R on my head, yet a small in the Shark RSI was a perfect fit - different factory? different mould? different something, who knows.

    Shoei is a little more consistent, I have a medium in both the XR1000 and X-11 and both fit the same.

    In short, try them on and go with what feels best. Don't worry about the numbers.

    As for fit, I know the Shoei booklet talks about fit and makes reference to going for a smaller size if a larger size moves, or you can squees a finger in between your forehead and the foam etc. But no reference to a helmet being too snug or too tight. Obviously if it hurts when you have it on in the store, or you can feel constant and uncomfortable pressure its too small. But I deduce from this that a snug fit is essential for the helmet to protect you properly. And as has been said above, the helmet will mould to your head the more you wear it.
  12. TCShadow...
    mate you have brought your helmet for a good reason im guessing...
    not sure what helmet you have... but there are alot that you can change the thickness/lining of the helmet.
    take it in to a shop & ask what options you have.

  13. Fixed :wink:

    Have had my KBC for about 2 months now, only ride about twice a week tho currently ... already it's starting to not rip my ears off anymore when putting it on/taking off :p though I couldn't go any smaller if I tried: it's already XS!
  14. When I was first getting into motorcycling I was advised by an experienced rider to simply find a helmet you like, work down in sizes until you can no longer get it on, and then purchase the next size up, as you'll then be assured of an appropriately firm, snug fit.

    Another mate with over 20 years riding experience swears by the push and pull method. When shopping for a new helmet he goes into a store with a mate, tries on helmets he likes, and then gets his mate to try to move the helmet on his head by pulling and pushing it etc while he tries to look straight ahead and keep his head perfectly stationary. He'll then buy the helmet that has the most minimal movement.

    I've also previously been told by a salesman at Peter Steven that it's always better to go for the tighter size, as he claims helmets loosen up by about 20% after continued use.

    Hope this helps!


    "I live my life a corner at a time.... Knee down!"
  15. Probably also worth pointing out that the helmets in stores (especially the bigger, busier stores) can just about be 'worn in' by other cutomers trying on the same helmet, over and over again.

    I found this with the Shoei XR1000 that i bought. The salesman actually suggested that i try on a new one, which he got from the store room out back and unpacked for me.

    Both were exactly the same helmet( size, model, even graphics), but the new one fit much(!) tighter than the display one. It still probably loosened up a bit more than what the display helmet was, but not by that much.
  16. Why dont you go and get fitted by a person that works in motor cycle accessories, its not much use asking people who dont know. Go into any bike shop and ask for the most experienced person to fit you up. I have been to afew shops and had a sales person fit me up incorrectly then I went back afew days later and got someone with more experience it was perfect. Some of these sales people have no clue but you only need one good and experienced person to help.
  17. Valid point there. I was in a shop and the assistant (who was smokingly hot) just kept saying, "Yeh that fits fine" to basically every size of every model I tried on. She clearly didn't give a toss. Another assistant in that same shop tried on helmets with me for over an hour til we found the perfect fit.

    You can tell pretty quickly whether the person helping you actually knows what they're talking about/gives a toss about you buying the right item for your needs in the right size.