Consumer Reports helmet testing

Consumer Reports tested various bicycle helmets for their impact resistance. I’ve gotta admit the results kind of surprised me.

According to the various news reports on this testing now floating around, Nutcase Street Sport 8 Ball and the Bern Brighton Thin Shell EPS for women performed poorly in their tests, while Specialized Echelon and Bontrager Solstice Youth earned CR’s top rankings. While these helmets from Specialized and Bontrager have less ventilation and more weight than other similar sporty bike helmets, in general I would have expected even the best sporty style helmets to fare worse than the more solid helmets from Bern and Bontrager. Go figure.

The news video below goes into some detail on CR’s testing methods, but I think you’ll need to buy the print magazine to see all of the details. I might run out to Safeway in a minute (it’s just across the street from my office) to see if they carry Consumer Reports. I’d kinda like to see how the other helmets they tested fared.


  1. I’ve been reading that Nutcase has been getting consistently bad test results for years.

  2. Where can we find the data? This seems very relative and not so useful. Is a Nutcase 99% as good as the Specialized or are we talking about 10, 20, 30%… differences?

    Maybe they should be rated to say the extent of impact they can handle. Though maybe that’s too hard because of all the factors involved with what you hit, how it’s hit, etc.

  3. CR tested only 13 helmets: 9 adult and 4 youth models.  There is an image of the test results embedded in this Bike Portland article.

    It’s good to see independent helmet testing, but I would like to see a much wider range of lids undergo the test procedures, as well as a detailed explanation of the meaning for each feature that CR rated them upon, such as “fit adjustments” and “ease of use”.

  4. Ok, so important to notice is that this goes beyond safety. Impact and adjustability are probably the big concerns here, but weight and ventilation do not impact safety. I wonder how they ranked ventilation anyway – overall size of holes? Number of holes? How much air can be forced through a design?

  5. sure they impact┬ásafety… if they are as bad as my helmet was it means it says at home… (not much good it does me there right?)

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