Video courtesy of The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety & The Virginia Tech Helmet Lab
To determine the safety of some of the top selling helmets on the market, the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab created the first ever helmet safety rating system. This system would help to discover the best bike helmets of 2018 for their safety and impact ratings.
This study was performed in conjunction with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a non profit that is financed by the insurance industry.
During the testing a rating system was developed consisting of a 5 star rating. A helmet given the 5 star rating was determined to be the safest while a 2 star rating would show a lower level of safety.
This testing and rating system was done to help cyclists determine what helmets are going to best protect them and keep them safe in the event of a crash.
When should you replace your bike helmet?
Bike helmets should be replaced every 3-5 years due to their loss of ability to absorb impact. Materials break down with time due to sweat, UV rays and heat. To see when your helmet was made, look inside the shell for a manufacture date. More on helmet safety can be found on the ASTM website.
The four top rated helmets for safety by the VT Helmet Lab.
30 popular helmets in adult sizes were tested to determine their overall safety and given a rating using the new helmet safety rating system.
Of the 30 helmets tested, only 4 helmets were given the 5 star rating. 24 helmets were given ratings in the 3-4 star range and only 2 received a 2 star rating.
The numbers of stars given determine the overall safety of the helmet and it's ability to protect the rider in the event of an impact.
Price did not guarantee a safer helmet, several more affordable models rated higher than some more expensive options.
We've added the list of the safest helmets below, ranked from most safe to least by the VT Helmet Lab.
Video courtesy of Trek Bikes
It is important to point out that the four helmets that received the 5 start safety rating were equipped with the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System or MIPS safety system.
In an impact the MIPS system allows for the outer shell of the helmet to move independently of the inner shell. This action causes the twisting forces on the neck and skull to be minimized, lessening the impact to the brain.
This results in the lessening of the forces that cause concussion and whiplash symptoms. In the end you are given a safer bike helmet.
The short video we've added shows how MIPS works and it's safety effects in the event of a crash or impact.
The List Of The Best Bike Helmets Of 2018 By Their Safety Ratings
Best Available : 5 Stars
- Bontrager Ballista MIPS
- Garneau Raid MIPS
- Bell Stratus MIPS
- Specialized Chamonix MIPS
Very Good : 4 Stars
- Scott ARX Plus MIPS
- Bontrager Quantum MIPS
- Specialized Prevail II
- Smith Overtake
- Giro Savant
- Bell Draft MIPS
- POC Octal
- Giro Foray MIPS
- Giro Synthe
- Giro Sutton MIPS
- Specialized Evade I
- Garneau Le Tour II
Good : 3 Stars
- Triple 8 Dual Certified MIPS
- Bell Reflex
- Bontrager Solstice
- Bern Brentwood
- Bell Division
- Schwinn Thrasher
- Nutcase Street
- Schwinn Flash
- Kali City
- Giro Revel
- Specialized Centro
- Electra Helmet
Adequate : 2 Stars
- Lazer Genesis
- Bern Watts