Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

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Bicycle Helmet Performance Ratings

Summary: Here are ratings posted as of June 2024 from two independent labs of bicycle helmets tested for both high-level and low-level/rotational impacts. Consumer Reports and Virginia Tech ratings can help you select a helmet. Unfortunately, neither has tested many helmets, so the list below where their ratings concur is short--28 models. If your helmet is European, we also have links to the independent Folksam and University of Strasbourg recommendations for European models below. Consumer Reports and Virginia Tech test only US market models, and those are rarely the same as those sold in Europe even if the brand, model name and appearance are identical.

The list below includes helmets that received both Excellent or Very Good impact protection ratings (5 or 4) from Consumer Reports and Virginia Tech's Five Star and Four Star helmets for preventing concussions. The list would be longer if the two had tested an identical set of helmet models, and if manufacturers did not change their helmet model names for the same model. Virginia Tech now has 197 helmets with Five and Four Star ratings, while Consumer Reports has 123 with impact protection rated 5 or 4.


Five or Four Va Tech Stars and 5 or 4 CR Impact protection rating:

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: 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.

Imperial College London has launched a new helmet ratings scheme

Imperial College London's HEAD lab began working in 2022 on a new ratings scheme for "bicycle helmets used on UK roads," funded by a grant from the UK's Road Safety Trust. You can read about the project on this page requesting input on helmet selection. We think it is related to the New Cycle Helmet Assessment Programme (NCHAP). That project had included discussion of a STAR ratings system for European helmets.