Bike Helmets-6/4/12

Published On: Jun 12 2012 11:25:41 AM CDT   Updated On: Jun 26 2012 03:36:51 PM CDT

Brent Mather learned firsthand just how important it is to wear a bike helmet. Brent Mather, "I was hit by a car several years ago. And if it wasn't for the helmet, I'm pretty positive my injuries would have been far worse." Consumer Reports tests bike helmets - both adult and youth sizes - to see how well they'll protect in an accident. Because a helmet can't do any good if it doesn't stay in place, testers perform this test. It assesses whether the chinstraps will stretch, break, or open upon impact.

All 13 bike helmets passed this test. To see how well a helmet will protect your head upon impact, Consumer Reports performs this test. Rich Handel Consumer Reports "The act test simulates what happens when a helmet impacts different surfaces, like a flat surface like a street, a rounded triangle like a curb, and a hemispherical surface, which simulates hitting a rock." Two adult helmets did poorly - the Nutcase Street Sport 8 Ball and the Bern Brighton Thin Shell E-P-S for women. On the plus side, two helmets rated very good for impact resistance. They're the Specialized Echelon for adults - which costs 60 dollars - and for children, the 45-dollar Bontrager Solstice Youth. But a helmet can only protect when it's worn properly. Make sure it's level on your head, with no more than one or two fingers-width above the brow. The straps should form a "V" under each ear with the buckle centered under the chin. Lastly, when you open your mouth, the helmet should pull down. All this will help ensure your next ride is a safe one."