Lid Picker Review
My goal with this review was to go into it without a specific helmet in mind and use the Lid Picker measuring kit and service to purchase a new helmet. My only criteria outside of fit was a helmet with a sun visor and available in solid white but I was willing to be flexible on both of these for the perfect fit.
I currently wear a Shark Speed-R which is a great helmet but as it broke in I had a feeling it didn’t fit quite right for my head shape. It was fine at lower speeds, and comfortable, but on long highway stretches it was noisy and turbulent, especially riding into a head wind. Far worse than previous helmets I had owned with an almost harmonic vibration at speed as it moved slightly. Having ridden for years without being properly fitted for a helmet I decided to give the Lid Picker a go after hearing about it on the Wheelnerds podcast.
The Lid Picker is around $20 but includes a $15 credit at MotorcycleGear.com to put towards your new helmet purchase if you buy from them. End result if you go this route is $5 over the price of the helmet alone to ensure a good fit, not bad!
I received the Lid Picker within a few days of ordering. The kit included a tape measure, wooden caliper and a nylon cap to keep your hair down. Looking at the measuring tools phrenology came to mind.
Measuring is best done with the help of a friend and is very easy. Basically all that you need to do is take a measurement with the tape of the circumference of your head at the widest point above the ears. Then use the caliper to take width and length measurements, both at the widest point above the ears and above the brow. Go to the provided URL in the instructions, enter the measurements and wait for your report to arrive by email.
I received my report first-thing the next morning along with a personal email suggesting my measurements might have been a bit off since I had very few matches in their system. I went through the process again and discovered I was 1/8 of an inch off in one measurement due to being sloppy, admittedly my fault for rushing. With how precise their report is 1/8 of an inch can make a fairly large difference so follow the instructions closely.
I updated the nice folks at MotorcycleGear.com with the new measurement and they sent a new report with a few more options. For anyone else using the Lid Picker I’d recommend measuring at least twice to be sure and don’t rush it like I did.
Looking at the report I discovered I had been buying the wrong helmets for years and buying them oversized to compensate for the poor fit. I was wearing helmets for round oval heads but my head is a long oval shape. This limited my choices quite a bit since the bulk of the American market leans toward intermediate oval.
Looking at my options I decided to forego the internal sun visor since fit is more important than features and go with an Arai Signet-X. According to the Lid Picker report this model would be the best fit and my head fell right between a large and medium. The medium was “in range” for sizing according to the report, although I was at the top of the range. A bit dumbfounded that the report said a medium would fit since I had been wearing a large in other brands but I went ahead and put in an order knowing I could exchange it as long as I didn’t ride with it on. The request from the salesperson was to wear it for a half-hour around the house and if it was still comfortable after that I should be good to go.
The size medium Arai Signet-X arrived after only a few days. I also picked up an Arai Pro Shade visor for it. The Pro Shade is Arai’s Snell compliant sun visor solution. I’ll post a separate review of both this and the helmet soon.
Taking the helmet out of the box I still assumed a medium would be way to small and would not fit. Gingerly pulled it onto my head and it fit perfectly. No hotspots or pressure points, evenly snug all the way around. I wore it while sitting on the couch for a half hour and no problems at all, still felt great!
Admittedly, I would not have bought such a high-dollar helmet if it were not for the Lid Picker report. I likely would have purchased an HJC RHPA ST had I just picked a helmet and that wouldn’t have fit me correctly at all. The Signet-X would not have even been in consideration.
I’ve got some miles on the Arai now and can confirm it’s the best fitting helmet I’ve owned in nearly 20 years of riding. Quiet, comfortable, and worth every penny.
The only con with Lid Picker this is they don’t have every helmet in the database but the selection they do have covers a lot of brands and riding styles. The MotorcycleGear.com sales people are incredibly helpful and made sure I got the right helmet and fit.
Even if you think you know your head size and shape I would recommend giving the Lid Picker a shot before you pick up a new helmet, you might be surprised like I was.