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Bicycle Helmet Performance Ratings


Summary: Here are updated 2020 ratings from two independent labs of bicycle helmets tested for both high-level and low-level impacts. Consumer Reports and Virginia Tech ratings can help you select a helmet. Unfortunately, neither has tested many helmets, so the list at the bottom of this page where their ratings concur is short. If your helmet is European, we also have the independent Folksam and University of Strasbourg recommendations for European models below.


Consumer Reports: Top impact protection ratings in April 2021 from high impact testing

Bell Avenue MIPS LED, Bell Daily MIPS LED, Bell Disney Frozen Tiara, Bell Sidetrack ll MIPS, Bell Span, Bell Stratus MIPS, Bell Super Air MIPS, Bell Trace MIPS, Bontrager Charge WaveCel, Bontrager Circuit MIPS, Bontrager Specter WaveCel, Bontrager Tyro, Coros LINX, Electra Commute MIPS, Garneau Equipe, Garneau Majestic, Garneau Nino, Garneau Raid MIPS, Garneau Vitesse, Giant Rev Comp MIPS, Giro Agilis MIPS, Giro Register MIPS, Giro Scamp MIPS, Kali Alchemy, Lazer Compact DLX MIPS, LEM Boulevard, LEM Flow, Livall Bling BH60, POC Pocito Omne SPIN, Raskullz Mohawk, Razor V17, Smith Convoy MIPS, Specialized Align, Specialized Chamonix MIPS, Specialized Shuffle Youth SB, Uvex Quatro Junior

Virginia Tech: Top ratings for preventing concussions (in order) in April 2021

Five Stars: Fox Dropframe Pro (MIPS), Lazer G1 MIPS, Bontrager Rally MIPS, Specialized Align II (MIPS), Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS, Lazer Century MIPS, SCOTT Centric Plus (MIPS), Giant Rev Pro MIPS, Liv Rev Pro MIPS, Lazer Sphere MIPS, Lazer Cyclone MIPS, POC Octal X SPIN, SCOTT ARX PLUS (MIPS) 2020, Bontrager Specter WaveCel, Fox Speedframe Pro (MIPS), Bontrager Ballista MIPS, Lazer Anverz NTA MIPS, Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS, Bontrager Starvos WaveCel Asia Fit, Bontrager Starvos WaveCel Round Fit, Lazer Jackal MIPS, Bontrager Starvos WaveCel, Giro Tyrant Spherical, Bell Z20 MIPS, Specialized Prevail 2 Vent (MIPS), Bontrager Solstice MIPS, Troy Lee Designs A1 Classic MIPS, POC Tectal Race Spin, Bontrager XXX WaveCel, Bell Formula MIPS Bell Formula MIPS, Bontrager Rally WaveCel, Lazer Z1 MIPS, Giro Manifest Spherical, Specialized Echelon II MIPS, Bontrager Velocis MIPS, Rudy Project Racemaster MIPS, Lazer BLADE+ MIPS, Louis Garneau Raid MIPS, Bell Z20 Aero MIPS, Giro Aether Spherical, Bern Union MIPS, Specialized S-Works Prevail II (MIPS), Bell Stratus MIPS, Giro Synthe MIPS, Lazer Chiru MIPS, Specialized Chamonix MIPS, Bontrager Blaze WaveCel, SCOTT Stego Plus (MIPS), Giro Syntax MIPS, Bontrager Charge WaveCel, Giro Chronicle MIPS, Lazer Impala MIPSS, Specialized Ambush (MIPS), Smith Route MIPS, Lazer Compact DLX MIPS.

Concurrence

Five Va Tech Stars and Excellent CR Impact protection:
  • Bell Stratus MIPS
  • Bontrager Charge WaveCel
  • Bontrager Specter WaveCel
  • Lazer Compact DLX MIPS
  • Louis Garneau Raid MIPS
  • Specialized Chamonix MIPS



Folksam Testing of European Models

The respected Swedish insurance company Folksam publishes extensive helmet test reports every year. Their helmet report for 2020 rates European models, and they provide their actual test data. Note that even US brands included in the test are the helmet sold in Europe, so the test results are irrelevant to US buyers, who would find a different version of the helmet in the US market. If you are buying a European helmet, their recommendations are:
  • Hövding 3 airbag (not a helmet, does not meet helmet standards)
  • Biltema Cykelhjälm MIPS
  • Tec Quadriga MIPS
  • Scott Vivo Plus MIPS
  • Bell Super Air R MIPS
  • Bontrager Specter WaveCel
  • OCCANO MIPS HELMET
  • Specialized S-Works Prevail II/ ANGI MIPS
Again, these are not the US model! They are the European version, and in most cases would be a completely different helmet to meet the European standard and European marketing requirements, even if the outside appearance and model name is the same. We have a page up on the Hovding airbag.

University of Strasbourg Testing of European Models

The Strasbourg program is known as CERTIMOOV. They have a star rating system with 128 helmet models rated in March 2021.

Their top tier with four stars includes (with rating number): Hovding 3.0 4.5, Alpina Mythos 3.0 LE 4, HONGHUI HONGHUI 4, Kali Alpine Carbone Pulse 4, Lazer Revolution MIPS 4, Casco Activ-2U 4, Limar 555 4, COOP Rawlink 4, Scott ARX 4, Bontrager Starvos-Wavecel 4, MET Espresso 4, Scrapper SCR Urban 2 4/5 Bontrager Starvos MIPS 4, CIGNA CIGNA 4, Harald Nyborg Busetto 4.

The second group, with 3.5 stars: Smith Session-Mips 3.5, Bell Stratus MIPS 3.5, Bontrager Charge-Wavecel 3.5, ALPINA XIMO 3.5, Abus Hyban 2.0 3.5, Specialized Propero 3 3.5, Giro Scamp MIPS 3.5, Casco Roadster 3.5, BTWIN CBH-100 3.5, BTWIN CBH-100 3.5, B'Twin KH 300 3.5, Kask Mojito 16 3.5, BELL Sidetrack-II-MIPS 3.5, Kali Central 3.5, Bobike Baby Helmet One 3.5, Livall BH 60 3.5, ETAPE Pluto-Light 3.5, Scott Spunto 3.5, OLPRAN HM-10 3.5, HARALD-NYBORG Bornehjelm-121791 3.5, Scrapper SCR S038 3.5, Ked Puky PH1 3.5, Uvex Kid-2 3.5, Uvex City i-vo 3.5, Prophete Artikel Nr.0424 3.5, Zerorh ZY 3.5, Alpina Ximo Flash 3.5/5 OXFORD METRO-GLO 3.5, BOBIKE Helmet-One-Plus 3.5, B'Twin 100 3.5, KLS ZIGZAG 3.5, Cratoni Allset 3.5, Giro Quarter FS 3.5/5 Author Creek HST 3.5, Giro Synthe MIPS 3.5, BUTTERFLY KIDZAMO 3.5.

The other helmets tested by CERTIMOOV fell in the 3.0 to 2.0 range.

Once again, these are not the US model! They are the European version, and in most cases would be a completely different helmet to meet the European standard and European marketing requirements, even if the outside appearance and model name is the same.

Concurrence for European models

The only model recommended by Folksam and earning 4 or 3.5 Stars from CERTIMOOV was the Hövding 3 airbag. It is not a helmet and does not meet the European EN1078 helmet standard, but performs very well in some tests if it is deployed and if its air pressure is adequate. We have a page up on it.

French Source of testing data: Que Choisir

There is a French consumer magazine, Que Choisir, that tests bicycle helmets and publishes ratings. Unfortunately the ratings are behind a paywall, and the site refuses to accept our credit cards to subscribe.
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This page was revised on: April 16, 2021. BHSI logo