Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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Adobe Acrobat PDF version of the entire report is available (3.5 MB). To view PDF files, you will require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

ISBN 0-7778-3884-2 (Printed version)

ISSN 1913-7516
(Internet version)

Cycling Skills
Ontario's Guide to Safe Cycling

Safety Equipment


wrong helmet position:  too far back

wrong helmet position:  too far forward

right helmet position

An approved bicycle helmet can greatly reduce the risk of permanent injury or death in the event of a fall or collision. A helmet works by absorbing the forces of a crash, so if the helmet has been in a collision, it should be replaced even if there is no visible damage.

The best helmet is one that fits properly, is worn correctly and has been manufactured to meet strict safety standards. Look for a safety standards sticker meeting the approval of safety organizations such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Snell, ANSI, ASTM, BSI, CPSC and SAA.

Helmets from other sports such as hockey, baseball, and football are not recommended for cycling. They are designed and tested for different types of impact.

To provide maximum protection, the helmet should fit level and square on your head. It should fit snugly and not slip when you move your head.

In Ontario, it is the law that every cyclist under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet.

To check a proper fit:

  • There should be two finger widths between your eyebrows and the helmet.
  • The straps should be flat against the face.
  • The side straps should meet just below the ear making a V-shape under your ear lobe.
  • The chin strap should be fastened snugly with enough room to fit one finger between your chin and the strap.
  • Use the sizing pads provided with the helmet to adjust the fit.