Virginia Tech’s Helmet Lab just recently released its first set of safety ratings for bicycle helmets, and everyone should go take a look. Riders are constantly vigilant in looking out for their safety, so it’s surprising that it took this long to get a comprehensive look at what helmets are safe and why.
Initially rating football and hockey helmets, the Lab has now turned to bicycle helmets with a 5-star scale. The initial set of ratings look at 30 popular adult-sized helmets, with more to come.
The study made a few important findings even with that initial set: road-style helmets performed better than the rounder, smoother urban-styles, and that helmets with MIPS (which is designed to reduce the rotational forces on the head by
creating a low-friction “slip plan” between the liner and shell of the helmet) performed much better than those that didn’t.
Another interesting find was that helmet price wasn’t always an indicator for safety. Four helmets under $100 made it into the four and five star categories!