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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Helmet Fitting

Apologies in advance for repetition of previous info or discussion, but have been reading prior posts as best I can to find info on the best way or ideas to try on helmets. My wife wants a new helmet (full face). She began to find her current Bell version was not too comfy on longer rides (1 hour+) last year. Problem is, she thinks she has some unconventional "fitting" issues, 1) too tight around the ears (side to side), 2) it also feels better without the cheek pads in, but without the pads, it is too loose. Fine, I understand it needs to fit well, but where do you go to try on these helmets to have any idea where to begin. Its a helmet and I'll get her whatever she wants price wise, but before we start spending money and returning the discards, are there any known retail locations that stock a decent variety of better helmets? We've been to several dealers, but usually very disappointing selection. Would appreciate anyone sharing a positive experience or guidance. FWIW, nearest metro area is Chicago. Many thanks!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:33 AM
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Something you may want to look in to is changing out some of the padding in the helmet. Kind of like custom fitting it. You can buy replacement cheek pads for most brands of helmets and for the most part they use the same shell or 2 different shells. You can get a Large helmet then order the XL cheek pads if she needs more room in that part of her face.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Good idea. I'll look into that. Thanks!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:46 AM
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I don't know if you can do that will bells but I know you can with AFX between some of their sizes. That is what my wife and I have. She has a large and I have an XL. When I was installing the Scala riders in them I got the pads mixed up and wondered why mine felt a little snugger in the cheeks and smelled like foundation

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:50 AM
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She may need to look into a different BRAND.

Sometimes when you read helmet reviews you'll find that one helmet is more 'round' and another more 'oblong'. Pads are one thing but if the shape of the helmet is no good it'll never fit.

Go to a dealership with a good helmet selection and try some on from various brands. The general rule of thumb for full face fit is that you should be able to stick a finger in between your forehead and the liner but it should be a tight fit, and when you twist the helmet side to side it should push/drag your cheeks along with it (but not be so tight you can't talk). Keep in mind overtime the padding will 'break in' so it SHOULD be a tag snug/tight when new.

I found that Bell helmets are a no go for me, I also had trouble getting Arai helmets to fit, but Shoei and HJC seemed to fit well. I currently have an HJC CL-16 that I've had for a couple years, and I've ridden several hours at a time with it on.

Is there a CycleGear in Chicago? I bet you'll find a helmet there. Beyond that, dealers that specialize in sportbikes (usually something like 'powersports' in the name) will have a better selection. We got our helmets from a dealer that mostly sells sportbikes, dirtbikes, and ATV's. Cruiser-specific and Harley dealerships aren't likely to have more than a selection of half lids and maybe a couple 3/4 helmets.

Now, if it fits in the forehead and around her head and is just TIGHT, not 'hot spots' in certain areas, replacing cheek pads may be the ticket! Just need to determine what the situation is. Also, how new is the helmet? Ours were both pretty tight for the first month or so but eventually the pads broke down and became a little easier. I'd prefer for it to be tight at first and soften up, than to be comfortable at first than then too loose afterwards.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWVA_08V2k View Post
I don't know if you can do that will bells but I know you can with AFX between some of their sizes. That is what my wife and I have. She has a large and I have an XL. When I was installing the Scala riders in them I got the pads mixed up and wondered why mine felt a little snugger in the cheeks and smelled like foundation
Ha! I did the same thing cleaning the helmets (pads are washable). I stuck it on and couldn't even get it over my head. I wear an xtra large. My wife wears and xtra xtra small, the very smallest 'adult' size HJC had, we thought we were going to have to order a youth helmet for her! With HJC they only have three shell sizes, small, large, and XXXL. My helmet is the 'large' shell with the 'XL' cheek pads. You can continue to get the smaller cheek pads until you hit the XXXL helmet. Hers is a small shell with the XXS cheek pads. So yeah, they didn't really work well in my helmet!

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 11:53 AM
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Here is a link to Webbikeworlds helmet reviews.
This list is sorted by helmet shapes. They have an enormous amount of information about helmets, if you take the time to read it.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...met-shapes.htm

Anyway, many brands have styles that are meant to fit different head shapes. For instance the Arai profile is a narrow helmet while the Arai Quantum II is a round helmet.
If you try a couple on and make sure to get the MFG and Model; you can then check against the list to find what shape and then narrow it to a few different models.

That is what I and my wife did and we both got helmets we are happy with on the internet, sight unseen.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 12:22 PM
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What I did to find my full helmet was I found a motorcycle accessories dealer , he only sells accessories not bikes, he had every brand under the sun, I got to try on all brands and all styles. I tried the dealers but they are to selective. I did a quick search in your area, it seems you have a few stores that sell just accessories.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 07:35 AM
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If you are any where near Aurora, IL. Try out fox Valley Cycles, on Hill St. They have a large selection of various brands and styles but most importantly the have a great staff of knowledgeable people. I don't know squat about giving advise on helmets so I won't interject here other than the recommendation above. Good Luck!



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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to ALL for all the good info. The info from webbikeworld was especially helpful as it provides us some perspective on what NOT to look at/for. And the reference to Valley cycles may be worth a trip.

Thanks again, everyone.
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