A range of new safety tests have been undertaken on popular UK cycle helmets, in a bid to inform purchasing decisions and ultimately improve rider safety.
Government figures show cyclists are over-represented in serious crashes. In 2018, 4,205 pedal cyclists suﬀered a serious injury or fatality on roads in Great Britain – more than 11 per day.
As a result, the Road Safety Trust funded Folksam, a Swedish insurance company, to expand their annual tests to include helmets available to UK consumers.
The research conducted by Folksam included 27 cycling helmets, 23 of which are available on the UK market.
Five physical tests were conducted on the helmets available in the UK, including two shock absorption tests with straight perpendicular impact and three oblique impact tests.
The tests were performed by Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), which is accredited for testing and certification in accordance with the European standard. Computer simulations were subsequently carried out to evaluate the risk for concussion.
Eight helmets were given the ‘recommended’ label, including the following four that are readily available on the UK market:
- Bell Super Air R MIPS
- Bontrager Specter WaveCel
- Scott Vivo Plus MIPS
- Specialized S-Works Prevail II with ANGi MIPS
Oliver Carsten, a trustee at the Road Safety Trust, said: “All the recommended helmets from the current set of tests incorporate technology for protection against rotational forces, either in the form of Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) or in the form of competing technologies such as Bontrager’s WaveCel.
“In general, helmets with such technologies performed better than helmets without, but it is not the case that all the tested helmets with such protection are recommended.
“We hope that these test results will help to inform purchasing decisions by UK consumers, and also encourage helmet manufacturers to raise their game and bring to market new helmet models that perform at least as well as the best existing models.”