The pandemic has reunited many adults with their bicycles. According to a recent survey, nearly 10% of American adults rode a bike for the first time in over a year, and 36% took their kids for their first bike ride.
But whether you’re biking, scootering, or skating around town, safety should always come first, and that means protecting your head. Consumer Reports tests reveal that some bike helmets do a better job than others.
Consumer Reports’ experts rigorously evaluate helmets in the lab, testing how well they absorb an impact at about 14 miles per hour to simulate how a biker might fall in an accident. The test is repeated four times to assess the impact on the front, side, rear, and crown of the helmet.
The best bike helmet for adults is the Giro Register MIPS for around $60. The Giro helmet comes with MIPS technology, which stands for the multidirectional impact protection system. A plastic layer inside the helmet helps prevent transmitting rotational energy to your head if you get into a crash. That’s supposed to help prevent you from getting a concussion.
For adults who prefer a more commuter-style helmet, CR recommends the LEM Boulevard for around $40. In addition to doing very well in the impact performance testing, the helmet rated very well for ventilation. Most commuter and urban helmets don’t have great ventilation.
For kids, CR recommends the Bontrager Tyro for under $50, which gets top marks for impact absorption, ventilation and ease of use.
Another important safety tip to remember is that if you fall and hit your head while wearing a bike helmet, or you see that it’s damaged, it’s time to get a new one because the absorbing materials may no longer protect you.
You can get CR’s complete helmet ratings as well as advice on the proper way to wear a helmet by heading over to CR.org.