Everyone knows that a bike helmet can make all the difference in a crash, protecting your head from fatal or life-altering injuries. What you don’t know is that some bike helmet technologies are a bigger hindrance than anything else. If you’re looking for a new helmet and want to know more about innovative bike helmet technology, read on to learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to bike helmets.
Does Helmet Price Really Reflect Safety?
If you’ve ever asked if price reflects safety while helmet shopping then you’ve heard the same tired answer that every customer hears. A sales associate has told us all that all the helmets pass the same safety certification test regardless of their price. However, just because they all passed the same certification test does not mean they all offer the same level of protection. Don’t let a sales associate lull you into a false sense of security. At the end of the day, there are differences between helmets.
Every single bike helmet since 1975 follows the same base model with some degree of variation. While all these helmets will protect from scrapes, bruises, and visible damage, there’s one injury not all bike helmets cover: Concussions.
Concussions are not always the most noticeable bike accident injury. Sometimes presenting as a persistant headache and nothing else, they can lead to brain injuries later in life. Recent research on football helmets and their effectiveness in preventing concussions is now also being applied to bike helmets.
As a good general rule of thumb, a bike helmet that is concussion proof will have a helmet lining that breaks on impact. This means the helmet absorbs the impact and not the brain. Do your research when shopping and make sure you’re not paying more for aesthetics. Helmets that have been certified under ASTM certification guidelines may provide better protection than those with the basic CSPC standards that are required on all helmets.
New Helmet Designs
Even the best helmet is useless if a rider doesn’t wear it. Some new helmet designs may make helmets more wearable. For bicyclists who struggle with their helmet taking up space once they get to work or school, a new foldable bike helmet offers convenience as well as protection.
Bike riders often complain that their helmets can limit vision or ruin their hair. A new invisible bike helmet, which sits at the user’s neck and inflates like airbags on impact, is in the works as well.
Choose the Right Helmet
For now, regardless of whether you’re going with convenient, cutting-edge or standard bike helmets the most important thing is to choose a good helmet, preferably one with ASTM certification. And a good bike helmet should also fit the wearer properly, so make sure you are fitted by a professional. And remember, when it comes to bike helmets, price is not always a guarantee of safety.