DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE
BICYCLE HELMET SAFETY CERTIFICATION
Different territories around the world have their own certification for bicycle helmets — in fact there are at least 10 recognised cycling helmet certifications globally. Some helmet safety tests are more demanding than others.
The European and USA helmet certifications are two of the most widely issued. If you are buying a helmet in either territory, it will have passed one of the following cycle helmet certifications:
- CEN / EN 1078 — mandatory European cycle helmet certification
- CPSC — mandatory American cycle helmet certification
HOW ARE HELMETS TESTED?
For the most common set up, helmets are mounted on a steel headform which has a triaxial accelerometer built-in (used to measure acceleration).
The headform and helmet falls onto an anvil and the acceleration is measured (see the illustration above).
Lower acceleration values demonstrate that the helmet has absorbed more energy and less force is transferred to the headform.
Different countries specify different rules for:
- Speed (by changing the height from which the headform is dropped).
- Anvils – flat, kerb or hemi (to represent different impact surfaces).
- Impact location (where on the helmet the impacts occur).
- Temperatures (to measure performance in a range of conditions).
MANDATORY HELMET REQUIREMENTS
To pass mandatory CEN and CPSC certification for sale in the EU or USA, helmets must pass safety standards tests for these areas:
– Shock absorption during impact(s)
– Displacement, or ‘roll-off’
– Fastening system durability
– Exposure to extreme or enduring high and low temperatures
– Performance in dry and wet conditions
– Field of view
– Labelling and instructions for use
THE REALITY OF A REAL-LIFE IMPACT
Lab testing is designed for accurate repeatability in order to ensure the different test results represent differences in helmet performance.
However, these tightly controlled circumstances are not representative of real-life accidents which vary wildly depending on the activity and scenario.
Below are just some of the variables which can affect performance in a real-life impact (other than the helmet construction and materials used).
– Impact surface and angle
– Velocity at contact
– Number of impacts
– Temperature and conditions
– Head shape and size
– Full head of hair or bald
– Fastened tight or loose
– Wet or dry head and helmet
– Camera or light mount
– Condition of the helmet
MORE SPECIFIC TESTING
Helmets for specific usage might also undergo supplementary or specific tests. For example, the recently developed Dutch NTA 8776 safety standard for e-bike (speed pedelec) helmets.
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F1952-15 certification is for helmets intended for downhill mountain bike use and appears on most, but not all full-face helmets — it is not obligatory.
Other certifications exist in the territories and might be considered more comprehensive than CEN or CPSC testing, but they are not mandatory in the EU or US.
NON-MANDATORY TEST CONSIDERATIONS
It is possible to test helmets for conditions that more closely match a real-life impact, but the tests below are are not required by CEN or CPSC which means helmet manufacturers don’t have to do these tests to sell their helmets. Below are some of the non-mandatory test considerations.
– Varied impact surfaces
– Angled impacts
– Impacts when travelling at different velocities
– Exposure to personal products (skin creams, hair product, etc.)
– Resilience to rain, sweat, dust, vibrations
– Multiple impacts in one crash
– Penetration from pointed impact
– Enduring exposure to perspiration or saturation
TIME FOR MODERNISED TESTING
In most territories, bicycle helmet safety tests have not changed for a number of years, while bicycle technology and the way people ride has transformed dramatically.
Some existing non-mandatory tests could help to better helmet safety standards, but they are not consistent or agreed among helmet manufacturers.
For these reasons, there is a consensus in the helmet safety industry that current safety certification is inadequate and in need of updating.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
In conclusion, do not take helmet certification for granted:
– Research the latest impact protection technology available
– Be cautious of marketing hype and question aggressive claims
– Think about upgrading your helmet to something more modern
– Make sure it fits correctly and the fit system is always correctly engaged
– If you do have a head impact, replace your helmet
– Ride safely and within your limits
why choose koroyd?
More versatile than alternatives
Beyond the lab, no matter how you fall, you want the best energy absorber. Koroyd is optimised for maximum protection and absorbs more energy per millimetre than traditional materials, regardless of the angle of impact.
performaNCE AT DIFFERENT VELOCITIES
Koroyd is proven to perform consistently better than EPS foam (expanded polystyrene) when impacted in a high or low speed accident, further validating that Koroyd really is the ultimate damage control system.
consistent at adverse temperatures
The performance of EPS foam (expanded polystyrene) is much more variable in comparison to Koroyd because it stiffens when cold and softens when hot.
Koroyd’s ability to absorb energy is more consistent than EPS foam in temperatures of -20°C to +50°C.
PROTECTION WITHOUT COMPROMISE
Koroyd provides advanced breathability and ultralight feel, but first and foremost, better protection which may reduce the risk of suffering a life-changing injury.
Click below to learn more about the technology and the unique performance advantages of Koroyd..