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Does Schuberth do any events for custom fitting of helmets to riders?

 

When shopping for a helmet what's the most critical things to look at fit wise for track riding? I learned some of these the hard way by buying an Arai that was a size too big. Would love to avoid some other traps in the future.

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The circumference of your head and shape - Round, oval or in between is the first step.

 

The crown of the head must fit properly first.The rest can be accommodated with cheek pads or such.

 

The resident helmet experts can elaborate more.Usually, a good sales rep can look at your head and figure out what will fit nicely.

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I'll be very interested on this too...my fittings with them have been different than I thought, and the break in was more than I expected.

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... the break in was more than I expected.

Do you mean it took longer than you expected to break it in, or that the helmet changed/loosened up more than you expected?

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To the OP: We sincerely wish we could be at every point of sale to help ensure the product is both presented and fitted properly, but of course that isn't possible. We rely on our dealer network and their staff experience to help us help you.

 

If we're there in person, Stroker has hit on some key points. I used to get the old tape measure out, and still do if people want to know the measurement, but this is a guideline only. I can take a 57 cm tape and turn it into a variety of different shapes, so the measured size is only really going to point us in a general direction.

 

The first thing I look for is ride height. There should be a clear margin of visible forehead area above the eyebrows, especially in a track helmet. You want the weight of the helmet supported by your crown. If it's too big, you'll end up carrying the weight on the top of your head, and this can get very uncomfortable over time. If your head sits too deeply in the helmet, you'll reduce your vertical field of view, which is very important when you're in a race tuck riding position.

 

Next I look for proper compression of the cheeks, and for any obvious gaps in the fit. Best case is even pressure all over, with good compression that does not allow any of the pads to separate from your face when pushed hard to one side or the other. I look for gaps along the sides of the head as well, which will be an indication of how well the rider's individual head shape matches the interior shape of the helmet.

 

Now it gets tricky. Like when you try on shoes, the guy slips it on your foot and laces it up then looks at you and says "how does it feel?". The visual clues we see from the outside don't give us any insight into how it feels to you when you have it on. We try on enough shoes in our lives that we can tell pretty quickly if one is going to work for us or not, but we don't often get new helmets, and when we do, they feel very different from "old reliable" that we've been using for years.

 

What you want is all-over even pressure. If you lay your hand on the table, you get flat even pressure. This is what we want in a helmet. It will loosen up over time, and you can move on to evaluating other features such as venting, visibility, and weight.

Now...if you lift your had off the table some so that you only have your middle 3 fingers on it, the pressure becomes more localized. If you feel this in a helmet, it will still loosen up over time, but it may take longer. Try to imagine that increased, more localized pressure over a period of time in a dynamic situation. Will it be distraction? In cases like this, we suggest more frequent, shorter periods of use to break it in. More like a good pair of hiking boots than a pair of tennis shoes.

Now raise your hand off the table some more so that only one finger is on it. The pressure is very specific, and results in the dreaded "hot spot". While these will also yield over time, they will ALWAYS be present to some degree. If you feel any kind of pressure this localized, run away and find another helmet.

 

Our helmets tend to fit intermediate to round heads better. Longer heads will feel forehead pressure in varying degrees, and only the owner of the head will be able to get a sense of how much pressure is too much.

 

As for as break-in period, our helmets make every effort to be as compact as possible while still providing optimal impact energy management. A part of this equation is the density of the EPS foam we use. While the comfort padding will break in relatively quickly, the higher (comparative) density of the EPS means it's going to hold its shape longer. Again, like a good solid pair of hiking boots, if the head to helmet fit results in localized (but not specific) pressure, shorter, more frequent use is advised.

 

Last, when fitting any helmet, if you're on the bubble between two sizes, go with the smaller one if you can. They never get tighter as you use them.

 

Sorry for the novel, but hope it helps. Please let us know if you have more questions.

 

PP

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Thanks Phil, that gives some good rules of thumb.

 

What might be a silly question, but at the top it says "to the OP". What's OP?

 

CF

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A follow up question on this: regarding fit, I've had a much tougher time than most of my coaches, seems my head is much longer front to back, and you comment on this. We did in the end get it to work, and one thing that surprised me on this was how much it broke in...it was more than expected.

 

If a person is having a difficult time with fitting, what are the options with you? I'm sure far and away would be seeing you in person. If that isn't feasible, is there some other option with you, to do remotely?

 

CF

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Phil,

 

Thanks for the information. The last helmet I purchased was an Arai Corsair V my Arai sales guy gave me a helmet and said "trust me this is your size". I could barely get it on and it was pretty tight but not uncomfortable. I trusted him and he was right. Over time it's broken in and is perfect but its starting to get older. I think for my next helmet I might want to go to the extra step of getting one that's a custom fit.

 

I looked at some of the construction videos on the Schuberth helmets and was quite impressed at the level of detail that goes into them. I have seen some in the showroom at my local BMW dealership and the materials used in the insides look quite comfortable.

 

Next time I'm taking Level 4 at the school I'm going to have to take one of your helmets on a test drive. I have a feeling one might end up following me home. :)

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Cobie, we have discussed doing some fitting videos to help show the visual clues that we see when fitting customers. My idea would be to make them more conversational so that all of the subtleties can be incorporated, but eventually the customer has to put one on his head and see for him (or her) self.

 

Rchase,it sounds like you had a good salesperson helping you. That's awesome. I hope that when you have a chance to try ours on, you'll be able to work with someone of equal quality. The proof would be if they are honest enough to tell you "this may not be the one".

 

Keep in mind the fact that the school helmets have been worn and broken in a bit. A new helmet will feel very different, so if you do make a purchase, and it's tight at first, remember your demo ride to know what it will grow into.

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Fitting videos, brilliant idea! I hope that does happen.

 

CF

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Rchase,it sounds like you had a good salesperson helping you. That's awesome. I hope that when you have a chance to try ours on, you'll be able to work with someone of equal quality. The proof would be if they are honest enough to tell you "this may not be the one".

 

Keep in mind the fact that the school helmets have been worn and broken in a bit. A new helmet will feel very different, so if you do make a purchase, and it's tight at first, remember your demo ride to know what it will grow into.

 

Thanks for the tip on the school helmets. I would have never thought of that but it makes complete sense.

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A follow up on fitting: a key item we find at the school is helmets sitting too low, so that as the rider gets in a lower cornering position on the bike, he/she is unable to see well. We have suggested putting foam in the top of the helmet and this has worked well in many cases.

 

Any guidelines for doing this?

 

CF

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OK...back online...so sorry for the delay.

 

In fitting any helmet, if it is sitting too low, it can either limit your vertical field of view or "creep" down further as the helmet loosens up. Neither of these things is very desirable, and both are indications that the helmet may be too big.

 

Properly fitted, the weight of the helmet will be carried around the crown of the rider's head, not on top. If the rider's head is going into the helmet deep enough to "bottom out", the ride height will be wrong. The most general reason that a helmet ends up too big is because the rider is trying to accommodate his/her head shape. If there's forehead pressure or hot spots, going up a size may help, but there could be unforeseen consequences.

 

Adding foam to the top of the helmet isn't something that we generally recommend. On occasion, a little bit of foam here or there to help "shim up" loose areas can work to ensure stability, but adding enough foam to alter the position of the helmet on the rider's head should be a sign to try the next size down.

 

Hope this helps.

 

PP

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OK...back online...so sorry for the delay.

 

In fitting any helmet, if it is sitting too low, it can either limit your vertical field of view or "creep" down further as the helmet loosens up. Neither of these things is very desirable, and both are indications that the helmet may be too big.

 

Properly fitted, the weight of the helmet will be carried around the crown of the rider's head, not on top. If the rider's head is going into the helmet deep enough to "bottom out", the ride height will be wrong. The most general reason that a helmet ends up too big is because the rider is trying to accommodate his/her head shape. If there's forehead pressure or hot spots, going up a size may help, but there could be unforeseen consequences.

 

Adding foam to the top of the helmet isn't something that we generally recommend. On occasion, a little bit of foam here or there to help "shim up" loose areas can work to ensure stability, but adding enough foam to alter the position of the helmet on the rider's head should be a sign to try the next size down.

 

Hope this helps.

 

PP

 

I have had to do this (add foam at the crown) with every helmet I've had, in multiple brands. I wear an XS helmet size (or XXS if available). Is it actually dangerous to have foam in the crown? If the foam is not recommended, and I am already at the smallest helmet size available, what do I do instead? As I am actively racing, I am (in theory) supposed to be in a new helmet every two years, so getting something custom made (like a smaller liner) is not really practical.

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I can't say that it's exactly dangerous, Hotfoot, but correct fit is critical to any piece of safety equipment, helmets included.

 

There's a philosophy I learned a while back that says "know the rules so that you can break them properly". If it is necessary to make adjustments to the fit of a helmet, it can be done if done smartly. If we can't get you a smaller liner (I'm still working on that!), then adding padding to the entire liner would be preferable to adding padding just to the top. Essentially, you'd be making a thicker liner in all dimensions to get it to fit your head properly.

 

I've had to do some custom work in the past and always address the crown area first. Get the helmet to sit correctly on the crown to keep it from settling down too far and it will be more comfortable and in the proper position for visibility, stability, and safety.

 

PP

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OK, got it. Thanks for the info; I look forward to getting a liner that works for me, and will get with you asap about figuring out the best way to add padding all around if needed.

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Since I began riding in 1980, I've used a big variation of helmets. When I were young, I ether had more tolerance or helmets suited me better. Römer, Bieffe, Tommy, Nolan - they all fit comfortably. All but the Bieffes, which I received as a gift to test for the importer, were low priced items.

 

In 1997, I bought the first slightly upscale helmet, an Arai. Other than pressure around the temples, it fit very nicely. I relieved the pressure at the temples by removing all the padding from the area, after which it was comfy. My next helmet was also Arai, with the same pressure points and same solution.

 

Then, in 2003, I bough an AGV Rossi XR2 replica helmet. But first I tried on many top brand lids. Shoeis were the worst - I had a head pain literally within seconds of putting it on. They felt too wide at the neck and much too tight around the crown of my head. Shuberts felt something between a Shoei and an Arai to me, not at all comfy and too wide at the bottom, but not excruciatingly painful. I also tried Nolans and X-lites and a bunch of others, but only the AGV was a perfect fit. Well, almost perfect - the cheek pads are a bit too thick and it's easy to bite my own cheeks. After a crash in 2006, I bought another identical replica and last year I managed to source another of the now obsolete model. I also tried some Schuberts again in 2010 because I'd like a more silent helmet, but also this time they didn't fit me very well.

 

I still use the helmet I bought early in 2007, and what surprised me was how little it has altered inside compared to the new one. There is a little more wind noise in the new one and the cheek pads are a bit tighter, but the overall feel is similar. There are no pressure points, it just feels like even contact all over. It is very tight to get on and off - when I watch racers on TV don and remove their helmets, it seems so easy. Mine will fold the ears and almost burn the skin if I take it on and off many times a day. It takes a real effort to get both on and off. But once in place, it's very good. For me. They also work fine with glasses.

 

This is not to push AGV helmets. My helmet is rather too heavy, the interior cannot be removed and although more silent than the Arais, it's still noisy. Instead, I just wanted to stress the importance - at least to me - of finding a helmet that actually fit your head. I don't buy into the pressure points wearing off with use - for that to happen, the helmet must be permanently deformed, which I cannot believe is good for protection. I could be wrong of course, but that's what I'm sticking with :D I don't know what my next helmet will be, but two things will be mandatory; D-rings and a comfy fit from the first minute. YOMV.

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I rode with one of the school's SR1 helmets back in May and it fit me perfectly but when I went to try on new hats at my dealer I was a tweener - a 61 (XL) felt comfortable on fit but was too low on my head (bottoming out) and the 59 (L) was very tight on my cheeks and jaw. I felt like the helmet fit me around the crown with no hot spots so I bought the L and set about riding it to break it in. After the first couple of 30 - 45 minutes rides, my jaw really hurt so much that it was affecting my ability to eat and the discomfort was lasting a day or more after the ride! I emailed Schuberth about optional cheek pads that would give a little more room and they replied that no optional pads were available - just be patient and let it break in if it fits me everywhere else. I couldn't endure that so I set about doing my own accelerated break in on it.

 

I found a small bucket that my daughter uses at the beach that fit tightly into the opening in the front part of the helmet. If I pushed it in until the bottoms where flush, it fully compressed the soft cheek pad material and perhaps a bit of the underlying EPS was formed to the bucket. I left it in for about 24 hours and took it out and did a ride. It was better but still way too tight in that area. Back in the bucket, rinse/repeat. After several cycles of my kid's bucket and rides over about a week, it fit perfectly for my track day last week and I feel like I've finally found the perfect solution for me.

 

I love the helmet and everything about it and maybe I've got fatter cheeks than the prototype head but I'd respectfully say that this break-in period is something that the amazing engineering at Schuberth have to do something about. With all the magical material science available today, it shouldn't be a painful process make effective use of one of the most expensive hats on the market. Especially when it's in an area of the helmet that isn't particularly critical for energy absorption - the cheeks. I fear that many people are riding in lids that are too big for their head to get these sensitive areas to fit comfortably and our overall safety would be improved with some optional customizing of these soft parts.

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Hi PittsDriver,

 

I'm glad to hear you were able to break the cheek pads in - and even more glad that you went with the smaller size L and not the "instantly comfortable" XL. While it does take longer than some other helmets to break in an SR1, the snug fit is what you want and a too loose helmet will never tighten up.

 

That said, another tip for breaking in a brand new helmet is to remove the cheek pads (and crown liner if necessary) and wash them - that will help soften them up a bit faster. Also, I've heard stories of people taking the cheekpads out and sitting on them at their desk for a day - funny but effective. Enjoy your SR1!

 

Sarah

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Hi PittsDriver,

 

I'm glad to hear you were able to break the cheek pads in - and even more glad that you went with the smaller size L and not the "instantly comfortable" XL. While it does take longer than some other helmets to break in an SR1, the snug fit is what you want and a too loose helmet will never tighten up.

 

That said, another tip for breaking in a brand new helmet is to remove the cheek pads (and crown liner if necessary) and wash them - that will help soften them up a bit faster. Also, I've heard stories of people taking the cheekpads out and sitting on them at their desk for a day - funny but effective. Enjoy your SR1!

 

Sarah

 

Thanks for that tip Sarah! I've been using it almost exclusively for my local rides and it's now the most comfortable and quiet helmet I own - most likely because I bought my last two helmets in the "instantly comfortable" aisle of the helmet store. There are kids on the S1000RR forum that are complaining about noise and I've been giving this hat my rave reviews for aerodynamics and acoustics.

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Update, I did a 195 mile, 4.5 hour ride today and took the SR-1 with my leathers on the ride. This hat is comfortable, quiet, and just works for me. I'm feeling great about this purchase and this is going to be my hat for all rides going forward.

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Does Schuberth offer different sized padding inserts to adjust the fit on the SR1 ?

 

Also when will you guys next be doing a "Fitment Clinic" here in SoCal ??

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I was told no by Schuberth customer support on the variable sized cheek pads so I set about the process of accelerating the break in on mine. It was pretty tight and uncomfortable at first (my fat cheeks) but the crown fit nicely without my head bottoming in it. Now it's very comfortable for long days of use and I'm really happy I bought the smaller size - it's outer shell is physically smaller so I get better clearance on the neck of my leathers when I'm cocking my head in the tuck. It's light, quiet, and very high quality and looks great. I probably wouldn't have looked seriously at spending that much money on it but for the fact that I got to use one at the CSS camp this past spring and really liked it:

 

4YY_7889-L.jpg

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