Two questions about helmets

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
I need to buy myself a new lid and was noticing that there is quite a difference in weight between different helmets (well 100 grams or so). is a lighter helmet likely to offer any less protection than a heavier one?

Also, does anyone know whether Specialized helmets sold in the UK are Snell certified as they are in the US?
 

Willo

Well-Known Member
Location
Kent
I recently bought a new helmet and looked at Snell and Specialized. None were labelled as Snell certified but the guy in the shop told me they were, it's just that they don't label as such in the UK (I didn't check but you there are lists online). I ended up going for what felt comfortable and had the best fit and ended up with a Met (as I had before) but much lighter. I'm sure at my level of capability the weight doesn't make any difference, but being lighter and having better ventilation is noticeable in terms of comfort.

I asked about Snell recently and someone poste a link to a good article. I'm on my b'berry, but will try and find the link for you whenI get to the office.
 

Willo

Well-Known Member
Location
Kent
I recently bought a new helmet and looked at Snell and Specialized. None were labelled as Snell certified but the guy in the shop told me they were, it's just that they don't label as such in the UK (I didn't check but there are lists online). I ended up going for what felt comfortable and had the best fit and ended up with a Met (as I had before) but much lighter. I'm sure at my level of capability the weight doesn't make any difference, but being lighter and having better ventilation is noticeable in terms of comfort.

I asked about Snell recently and someone poste a link to a good article. I'm on my b'berry, but will try and find the link for you whenI get to the office.
 

KRUSSELL

Active Member
Location
Wellingborough
As a motorcycle rider I would imagine the rules are the same with bike lids, which is that no helmet may be sold in the uk without proper testing and certification, and I know that for motorcycle helmets, the uk has the strictest tests in the world.
I hope this reassures you.

Ride safe
 

John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
Location
Crewe
As a motorcycle rider I would imagine the rules are the same with bike lids, which is that no helmet may be sold in the uk without proper testing and certification, and I know that for motorcycle helmets, the uk has the strictest tests in the world.
I hope this reassures you.
The tests for cycle helmets are different.

IIRC, the toughest standard is Snell, although relatively few helmets are tested to this level (it's an expensive process, and not required by law).

The current standard requires that;

Cycle helmets are only designed and tested to withstand an impact equivalent to an average weight rider travelling at a speed of 12 mph falling onto a stationary kerb shaped object from a height of 1 metre.
The standard for bike helmets isn't a UK one, it's a harmonised EU one, (EN1078?) that replaced the British Standard (tbh, I've no recollection of whether the BS was tougher, I suspect not).
 
OP
Danny

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
As a motorcycle rider I would imagine the rules are the same with bike lids, which is that no helmet may be sold in the uk without proper testing and certification, and I know that for motorcycle helmets, the uk has the strictest tests in the world.
I hope this reassures you.

Ride safe
Helmet standards are a source of endless debate, and as far as I am aware companies like Bell do not explicitly set out the standards they test their helmets against. Snell have developed the most widely regarded common standard for helmets and Snell certification provides some measure of assurance that a helmet will meet this standard. There will of course be those who argue that the Snell standard is inadequate and/or that Snell certification provides no assurance about the actual performance of any given helmet.

However on balance I would choose a Snell certified helmet over a non-certified helmet. However they are difficult to find in the UK.
 

BentMikey

Rider of Seolferwulf
Location
South London
Cunobelin is your man for this. I recall him saying that the EN standard used over here in Europe is not nearly as stringent as the Snell std required in the US. Spesh are supposed to be Snell certified, apparently.
 
Also, does anyone know whether Specialized helmets sold in the UK are Snell certified as they are in the US?
I was under the impression that they were, but when I checked my box closely a few months back they had the logos on the box but the text said something like 'tested to at least one of these standards' with Snell as well as some others listed.
 
OP
Danny

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
Cunobelin is your man for this. I recall him saying that the EN standard used over here in Europe is not nearly as stringent as the Snell std required in the US. Spesh are supposed to be Snell certified, apparently.
I recall him saying something similar. But I suspect he will be along shortly to explain that even helmets with the most stringent standards offer no protection.
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
I was under the impression that they were, but when I checked my box closely a few months back they had the logos on the box but the text said something like 'tested to at least one of these standards' with Snell as well as some others listed.

When I was trying to buy my last helmet that sentence appeared everywhere and infuriated me...
angry.gif
I don't want to know that its be tested to one of the following standards - I want to know which one.
 
Cunobelin is your man for this. I recall him saying that the EN standard used over here in Europe is not nearly as stringent as the Snell std required in the US. Spesh are supposed to be Snell certified, apparently.
...enters stage left!

Snell standards and EN1078 are worlds apart.

RIght form the start where the prototypes or specific batches can be tested under EN1078, whereas Snell always takes helmets off the shop shelves - you have the confidence of knowing what you are wearing is what is being tested.

There is an American helmet site which discusses this in more detail than you may need.


Secondly - weight.

This is not clear cut.

There is an argument that lighter helmets have less absorbent material than heavier ones, additionally there are claims that the remaining material is denser to maintain form and structure, Again decreasingt he ability to absorb the energy of an impact. Some companies (Specialized) are playing with tow density foams to enable structural integrity but enhance the energy absorption.

There will always be a trade off between the weight and the ability to absorb the impact energy

Having said all of that
 
OP
Danny

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
Thanks for the helpful post Cunobelin.

Presumably weight is also related to the number and size of the ventilation slots.
 
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