4 Points to Consider When Choosing a Bicycle Helmet
A list of helmet safety tips from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.
- Safety Standards
- A sticker inside of a bike helmet describes the safety standard it meets.
- Helmets made after 1999 for U.S. sale must meet the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) standard, so look for a CPSC sticker.
- The International American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard is comparable.
- Helmet Fit: Snug, Level and Stable
- You want the helmet to be comfortably touching the head all the way around, level and stable enough to resist even violent shakes or hard blows and stay in place.
- It should be as low on the head as possible to maximize side coverage and held level on the head with the strap comfortably snug.
- The Right Helmet for the Right Activity
- The safety standards for biking and inline skating are identical.
- However, aggressive skating and skateboard helmets have their own safety standard, designed for multiple hits with lesser impact severity.
- Skating and skateboard helmets do not have to be designed for bicycling. Do not use a skate helmet for bicycling unless it has a CPSC sticker!
- After a Crash
- Helmets are designed to withstand one crash only.
- Structural damage is not always visible, so always replace a helmet that has been worn in a crash and never buy a used helmet.
WHN EXPERT TIP – Comfort and Style: “Choose a helmet like you would any piece of apparel. Look at how well it fits you, how well you think you look in it. It’s important that you think it looks good on you and matches your own personal style.” Randy Swart, the Director of the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.