Q: HOW EFFECTIVE ARE HELMETS AT REDUCING CHANCES OF INJURY?Helmets are the most effective means of preventing, and reducing the severity of, riding-related head injuries (by anywhere from 45-88% of the most commonly reported brain injuries in action sports according to scientific studies). That said, there is no helmet that can guarantee the prevention of all injuries. Riding within your limits, and with respect to your surroundings, is an essential part of personal safety.
Q: HOW DO HELMETS WORK?When you fall or crash and hit your head, a helmet’s liner compresses like an airbag to absorb energy, so that the brain doesn’t move around the inside of the skull with as much force. The addition of a rotational energy management system within the helmet – which is a growing trend in helmet design - can provide an additional measure of protective capability in certain impacts. By absorbing energy during the impact, a helmet reduces the likelihood of the most common brain injuries, such as concussions and hemorrhaging.
Q: WHAT’S THE BEST HELMET TO BUY?The best helmet we can recommend is the one that fits your head comfortably and securely, offers the most coverage you’re comfortable with, and that meets the most relevant standards for the type of riding you enjoy. Design, features and price can also be considerations, but those are personal choices that we can’t provide guidance on. By asking this question, we recognize that you may be seeking to understand what the “safest” helmet is. There’s a reason we can’t provide the simple answer you’re seeking: Every impact is a unique event, and we can’t predict how you’re going to impact the helmet. See “What’s the Safest Helmet?” for more information on this question.
Q: WHICH HELMET IS THE SAFEST?The primary purpose of a cycling, snow or powersports helmet is to help reduce the chances of, and/or the severity of, head and brain injury from a fall or crash. So, the desire to understand which helmet(s) can provide the best protective capability is a common question. Unfortunately, safety isn’t simple, and there’s a valid reason we can’t provide a simple answer to the question of which helmet is safest: Every impact is a unique event, and we can’t predict how you’re going to impact the helmet. The truth is that every fall or crash is a unique event defined by many variables. From rider mass and velocity, to surface friction and density, to temperature, to biological variances and more – there are a huge range of factors that prevent us from knowing exactly what will happen when you fall. And it is important to understand that there is no single helmet that can prevent all potential injuries. Helmet testing provides us with data that demonstrates how effective a given helmet can be at managing energy across the scenarios outlined in various helmet standards test protocols. We impact about 200 helmets of each model during development to understand how that shape works to the various worldwide standards and to our own internal standards. We aren’t allowed to share our test data (keep in mind there would be hundreds of documents for each model) with the world however, as this information is considered proprietary. We completely understand the desire to know which helmet is “best”, but even with test data this would be misleading. Each accident is different, and in some accidents the “better” helmet from one scenario may not work as well as one which had slightly lower marks. Nearly every type of activity has a standard that we test to, and those test results can be taken as a predictor of the helmet’s potential to help reduce the chances or severity of injury. But that data is not equivalent to a guarantee, because there is no way to correlate the test results directly to every crash. This also relates to why helmet manufacturers don’t share test data. For all of the work that’s done in good faith, and with proper protocols and controls in place, even the test results can vary slightly from one test to another. Relying solely on test results to rank or score a helmet’s “Safety” could lead to assumptions or even claims that would be irresponsible to publish.
Q: WHAT IS A “MULTI-IMPACT” HELMET?Some helmets are referred to, or claim to be designed for, “multi-impact”. There are two reasons why we do not claim that any helmet is truly a “multi-impact” helmet:
- No helmet that we know of, regardless of the liner material or construction method used, can offer unlimited multiple-accident protection.
- There is no way to predict how hard you might hit your head the next time you fall, so we believe that it is best to wear a helmet that has not been impacted previously.