Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

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Bicycle Helmets for the 2005 Season

This is history!

Current year here

Summary: Our review of helmets being sold in 2005. Trends first, then individual models. Index to manufacturers last.

There are some new helmets in 2005 that are worth a look if you are inclined to replace yours. The comments below identify some actual advances in helmetry. At last there are some new models appearing with the rounder, smoother profile that we think is best for crashing. (We have a page on snag points.)

At the high end, you will still find bigger vents and bigger prices, but no verifiable improvement in safety performance. Giro is the price king for ordinary road helmets, with Lance Armstrong's helmet at $225, but some others are close behind. Target and Wal-Mart both have models that meet the same CPSC impact standard at an everyday price of $7.14. And for $15 they both have better looking and better fitting models.

Ring fit systems, the "one size fits all" solution, are more common this year. They work well for some, but not at all for others, who find that they have to tighten the ring uncomfortably to get a stable fit. We have a page on ring fit systems for background.

In the descriptions below we comment frequently on strap anchors, the little pieces that hold the ends of the straps. If they stick up above the shell, they are an unnecessary impediment to smooth sliding when you hit the pavement. The best helmets put the anchors below the surface of the shell, or at least recess the anchors to make a smooth surface. Some just run the straps between shell and liner, eliminating the front anchors. If a manufacturer is asking you to pay a premium price for a helmet, we think the least they should do is recess the strap anchors or put them under the shell.

Foams are finally evolving. In addition to EPS, EPP and Zorbium there is now a foam on the market called Tau ReUp foam used by Shain that encapsulates EPS beads in EPU to provide a limited level of multi-impact protection. Shain has published data in their catalog showing that the foam can take four impacts at the same location before it fails to pass on bike helmet drops in the lab. That's three more impacts than EPS, although it falls short of being a true multi-impact foam equivalent to what you find in football helmets. In addition Pro Tec has a modified EPP as well that they are calling SXP. They say it permits them to meet multi-impact standards without making their helmets thicker. And some Hopus models have a layer of resilient APE foam in addition to EPS for multi-impact performance, a feature they call SIS. We have a page on foams for details.

We recommend looking for a helmet that:

1. Meets the CPSC bicycle helmet standard. (Look for the sticker inside) For skateboard use find one that also meets the ASTM F1492 Skateboard standard.

2. Fits you well.

3. Has a rounded, smooth exterior with no snag points.

4. Has no more vents than you need.

We always recommend checking Consumer Reports for brand and model recommendations. They had a helmet article in their July, 2004 issue, rating 29 helmets. Unfortunately, it covers only a handful of the helmets on the market, and is already out of date. (We have more recent reports here.

Since there is no lab test data available for most helmets we do not make brand and model recommendations. We do recommend steering away from models with obvious disadvantages like snag points on the outer surface. And it will not surprise you that it is advantageous to have lots of thicker, less dense foam in a helmet, leading to our recommendation that you find one with no more vents than you need. It is frustrating for us not to have specific model recommendations based on impact performance, but the data just does not exist in the public domain.

Some Interesting New Models

What We Did Not Find Again This Year

There is still no helmet on the market identified as an "anti-concussion" or softest-landing helmet. You get protection from catastrophic injury, while lesser blows are assumed to be survivable. And nobody advertises that their helmet can take blows that exceed the CPSC standard, although Consumer Reports testing indicates that some can. With our legal climate we may never see that happen, since advertising a helmet like that would expose the manufacturer to lawsuits whenever someone was injured in it, whether or not the helmet performed well.

There has been almost no effort to apply standard electronic and wireless technologies to bicycle helmets. You should be able to find a helmet with a rear-facing camera and a heads-up display to replace your old mirror, but you can not. You should be able to find one with a Bluetooth wireless headset that you could use with an intercom system or your Bluetooth cell phone, but you can not, although the German company Vemar is selling a motorcycle helmet equipped that way. The efforts to build in lights have not been impressive, although there are a few helmets with LED flashers built into the rear and you can always add a flasher with a hook-and-loop mount. Bell even sells a saddle with a powerful built in 5 LED flasher, but their only helmet model with a mount for a flasher is the Citi/Metro. It looks like we will be waiting at least until 2006 for those things to develop.
Here is an index to our reports for other years.

The Helmets

The typical helmet listed below is made of EPS foam with a thin plastic shell taped or glued onto the foam. It has at least some vents, nylon or polypro straps, a plastic buckle, no reflective trim and either a ring fit ("one size fits all) or squishy foam fitting pads inside. If no contrary information is in the writeup for each brand or model, those features are assumed. Many have a rear stabilizer wrapping around the back of the head, which we note only if it has some unusual feature. We also note the largest and smallest sizes available where relevant, and any bright colors. Prices are the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price, what you might pay at your local bike shop with fitting services included. You may find discounts available. Internet pricing is lower (no fitting help over the wire), particularly on prior years' models. If you are searching for a model and don't find it here, use our search function to check our writeups for previous years to see if it has been discontinued.


Abus is a German company also known as a manufacturer of high-security padlocks. They have a unique ratcheting strap fastener with a toothed tab sliding into a slot that we have only seen on Abus and Uvex helmets. It would have to be adjusted carefully to be sure it does not bear against the line of the jaw. Their rear stabilizers are also adjusted by a ratchet device. Visors mount with pins. Some models may have bug-proof mesh for the front vents. Abus' bicycle helmets include helmets for toddlers, youth and adults. All of the models on their website are certified only to European standards and will not be sold in the US. Sizes run from 46 to 62 cm. Some of their models appear to be reasonably well rounded, but we have not seen them in person for more than three years, so it is difficult to comment based on the photos on the web. Abus models on the website include:

Action Bicycle

The Hard Head line of helmets is produced for Action Bicycle by Strategic Sports in Hong Kong. Their models include the Acclaim, an otherwise standard adult helmet with visor and rear stabilizer that has a ring fit system and retails for $35. Other models include a full face BMX helmet for $80, a child helmet at $20, and a skateboard helmet that retails for $36, or $40 in full chrome.


See Lucky Bell below.


See Fox below.

AJ Industries / Zone

We have no 2005 info. Please see our 2004 writeup.

All Pro and All Top

See THH below.

Alpha Helmets

Alpha helmets have been found in the US under two brands, but not as Alpha. Some are made by Mien Yow Industries Ltd. in Taiwan. They have a line of well-rounded models led by the complex-looking Vortex and including one model with a flashing LED taillight built in. For 2002 they added the C-Tec, with squared-off ribs but a rounded shape overall. In 2003 they introduced some models that are inmolded, notably their G4 model, although most are taped on. For 2005 they informed us they are working on a skate model with a thin shell that will be inmolded. The manufacturer says their retail prices run in the $35 range. Alpha also makes hockey, ski and batting helmets. The brand known as Alpha Helmets in the US has been made by Strategic Sports and distributed in the US by J & B Importers below. J&B is dropping the Alpha name in 2006.

Answer Products

See Knucklebone below.

Armor Pro

Armor Pro is a brand imported by San Diego Speed, located in Pomona, California. They have classic skate-style helmets in chrome, yellow and black, retailing for about $30.


Atlas is a Swedish manufacturer. We have not seen them in the US. Their website says their helmets meet the European CEN standard. They have an extensive line, including:


The Avenir brand is distributed by Raleigh and made by Strategic. They have a variety of inmolded and taped-on models, mostly with moderate rear snag points, rear stabilizers, pinned-on visors, and prices ranging from about $40 to $60. Models include:


Azonic/O'Neal USA has mostly hard shell, no-vent full face helmets for BMX. They have removable inner liners for cleaning and large, sturdy, bolted-on visors, a potential snagging hazard. Their BMX helmets are made by KBC in Korea or THH in Taiwan, and are said to all be certified to the Snell M-2000 motorcycle helmet standard, therefore exceeding by a wide margin the DOT motorcycle helmet standard, and by an even wider margin any bicycle helmet standard in the world. (We are not able to identify the models on the Snell lists, but look for the Snell sticker inside the helmet to be sure.)


Bell is still the largest company in the bicycle helmet market. They also own Giro, although the two have separate helmet models. They have been making bicycle helmets since 1975. We spend more space on their line than most others because people want the info. Their new Citi is a less expensive variation of the 2004 Metro, a rounder design pitched to urban commuters. Bell has 20 models in this year's lineup, but some are the same model without a visor, or in a larger size for big heads or a smaller size for women. Some models have Bell's no-pinch buckle, a nice design with a tab behind it that keeps the skin from getting in while you push the two pieces together, now included on the adult "sport" models. Bell has reintroduced a reflective logo for 2005, and is no longer using hook-and-loop to hold padding in. (The adhesive on hook-and-loop pads tends to deteriorate over time, particularly in a hot car or trunk.)

At the top of Bell's line are their molded-in-the-shell models, called the Fusion Series. For the 2005 year all are hyper-ventilated and all have rear stabilizers. Among them:

Euro Bells

Bell has helmets made to the CEN European standard that according to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News will not pass the US CPSC standard and cannot be sold in the US market. Foremost among them is the Bell Meteor II time trial helmet, constructed by adding foam under Bell's older time trial shell. Apparently there was not much room left, since this one is available only in small and medium, fitting heads up to 59cm in circumference. Bell says it weighs in at 315g. This is one you may have seen in Tour de France time trials. There is a similar Giro model. If you want a time trial helmet that is certified to the much tougher CPSC standard and can be used in a US race, check out our comment on Chrono Helmets above.

Cheaper Bells

Bell has another entire line of low-priced helmets sold at discount stores and mass-merchant outlets. (More than one fourth of the company's sales are through Wal-Mart alone.) They are occasionally discontinued models from the bike store line, but seldom include the inmolded models. The cheaper ones generally have low-end graphics, chintzy fit pads, slippy straps and cheaper packaging. Most do not have rear stabilizers. But they are designed to the same CPSC standard as any other helmet on today's US market, so they provide fine impact protection. The rounded profiles we consider optimum still persist in this line, since they are cheaper to produce, and the Consumer Reports testing of other brands indicated that the thicker foam may actually provide better impact protection than some of the thinner, more ventilated, more expensive pro models. Models include the adult Reflex, Radar, Adrenaline, Protos and Impulse. Youth sizes include the Edge, Aero, Blade and Deuce. Child helmet models are the Star, Racer and Rex. Toddler helmets include the Shadow, Zoomer and Bellino.

Two models in the low-priced line deserve special attention: the Deuce and the Impulse are the same helmet in adult and youth sizes. Both have the same radically round, smooth shape of the Bell Metro and Citi. Both are inmolded, the only models in this series that are made with that higher-quality construction. They have reasonable vents. The price will likely be right when you find them in a big box store. You can find one on the Nashbar site for $15, an astoundingly low price for a round and smooth inmolded Bell. Unfortunately, they only had the black model when we checked. For a few dollars more you should be able to find the Impulse in a more visible color, and we know there is a mauve version.

Bell's skate models in this low-priced series include the Rage, Mirra and Wicked. All are dual certified to the CPSC bicycle and ASTM F-1492 skateboard standards.

This line sells for low prices: $15 to $40. They are available to non-profits for much less than that, through Safe Kids USA. Because of Bell's name recognition, they are among the best sellers in the low end market. (Check our page on inexpensive helmets for further info on sources of low-cost helmets from various manufacturers.) Bell also produces toddler, skate and child bike helmets for the Fisher-Price brand, and you may see them as X-Games, Barbie, or Hot Wheels brands. Some models come bundled with bike or skate accessories. Reports from the field indicate that you should steer clear of the Bell models with plastic "self-fitting" straps, an uncomfortable feature that led kids to avoid fastening the straps at all. For current production Bell has phased out the plastic in favor of fabric straps.

For Bell's crash replacement policy it is best to call 1-800-BELL or search their website. We found it in the helmet manuals, in .pdf format. As of January, 2005 you send back the damaged helmet with a letter describing your crash "in as much detail as possible," a dated cash register receipt (you did save your receipt, and you can find it, right?) with a check for:

We really don't understand the need for the cash register receipt. The helmet is identifiably a Bell, and has their name on it.

In 2001 Bell became the only helmet manufacturer who joined the Consumer Product Safety Commission's Product Safety Circle. We are not sure how much that actually means to the consumer, but they have pledged to follow ten safety principles, designate a corporate safety officer and publicize their successes in implementing the principles.

In late 2004 Bell Sports was purchased by Fenway Partners, a private-equity holding company. Through them Bell Sports in early 2005 repurchased the Bell motorcycle helmet manufacturing company that it had spun off in 1991. Most consumers were probably unaware of either change. Fenway-Bell also owns Sports Instruments, a maker of heart rate monitors, bike computers and watches.


Bianchi is marketing team helmets to match their bikes. They have several models: the Team Bianchi 909 at $180 and the Team Bianchi 530 at $120 are available in the US. There is also the Celeste Puro F105 at $120, and Motorex Racing F-107 at $120 (available in trademark Bianchi celeste blue), The helmets are made by Limar of Italy, and correspond to Limar models of the same number. See Limar below.


Bravo is the house brand of Asctechs.com/El Sol Trading. They have a skate-style helmet said to be certified for bicycling, skateboarding and snowboarding. The helmet has the classic skate shape. It may be dual certified to bicycle and skateboard standards, but we have not seen it and cannot comment on what standards it actually meets, since the website is vague on that. Pricing is in the $20 range, and there are some bright colors along with the usual black and moss green.


Briko is an Italian company who began breaking into the U.S. market in 1998 but has been slow to push its line here. All of their helmets are made in Italy. They have an innovative "twin cap" construction technique bonding two separate liners to leave air channels. They use reflective trim on their US models, and all of their models for the US market are inmolded. Our data are not current for 2005.

Briko has a number of other helmets for the European market that are not available in the US. These include:


Carrera is an Italian company better known for winter sport helmets that is bringing their line to the US market slowly. Their helmets have the Italian stylishness, moderate to large rear snag points, large vents, and some reflective trim. External strap anchors stick up, and one of their models even has a spoiler. The only model we have seen in person is the Energy. It is new for 2005 and has striking graphics and a unique fit system. Inmolded construction, moderate rear snag point. It retails for $120. For just $12 more you can get an All Weather Protector, a plastic shell that fits over the helmet and covers all vents, anchored by the external strap anchors.


Catlike is a Spanish company named for its founder, whose bicycle racing nickname was "the cat." Their line includes eight models. We don't know about standards or market availability, so check the website if you are interested. Catlike had a recall in 2003 of its Kompact model, so check our recalls page if you need info on that.


This German company with an Italian name has an extensive lineup of 20 models, but fewer models for the U.S. market this year. Some of their helmets have a suspension system called the Head Ring with an adjustable head band to fit all sizes. Some models have a "soft shock" liner, but the catalog and website fail to explain what that is all about. Cratoni's child models fit heads as small as 18.5 inches/47 cm and their largest adult models fit up to 23.5 inches/62 cm. Their one-size-fits all models cover from 20.5" to 23.5"/52 or 53 cm to 60 cm. Cratoni's retail prices seem higher than most, but dealers may adjust that.

Cratoni will replace a helmet crashed within three years of purchase for 50 per cent of the recommended retail price.


Ecko has been around since the early 1980's, first in California, then Idaho, now Arizona. Although they don't have a website and we have not seen their current catalog, Ecko has usually produced BMX racing and skateboard helmets. The BMX shells are fiberglass, with both open face and chinbar models. Visors are snap on, and are designed to pop off in an impact to avoid a snagging hazard, a very desirably safety feature. Sizing is U.S. 6 to 7 3/4. Ecko also distributes the RAD, billed as a multisport helmet. It has very small vents and a very well-rounded exterior surface, but we don't know what standards it might meet. We have not seen their 2005 line, and do not know if they are actually still manufacturing, but their helmets are available from some suppliers.


Esco Sport Product Corp. is a Chinese company producing electric and gas scooters, bicycles and carts. Their helmets are certified to CEN standards, not CPSC, so they are not available in the US market. Their website was not up the last time we checked in January, 2005.

El Sol

See Bravo above.

Epsira Oy (Knock)

Epsira Oy is the Finnish manufacturer of Knock helmets, advertised as CEN approved (European standard) and in one case as meeting a Swedish standard. They are supplied to such organizations as the Finnish postal service (in very visible yellow). Most of their designs appear to have nicely rounded contours and would qualify in the US as commuter helmets. They have several models, including the H3, Knock, Inmotion 2 and Champion. Their Yad model, probably new for 2005, is easily the strangest shape of any helmet we have seen on the web. Some of their Knock child helmets have large team logos and cartoon characters called Moomins. One previous model had reflective straps, a feature we have not seen before or since. Epsira Oy has other EPS products and some info up on EPS, but in January of 2005 we could not access the English version of their site. We are not aware of a U.S. distributor for their products, or if they meet our CPSC standard. Sizes run 48 to 62 cm.

First Team Sports

First Team sells mostly ice skates, inline skates and street hockey equipment through mass merchant channels such as Wal-Mart. The website has two "Ultra Wheels" adult model, Helmet 1 and Helmet 2. Helmet 1 is a classic skate-style model. Helmet 2 is a very smooth and round helmet with vents, looking more like a bike helmet than a skate helmet. The web page says only that they are "certified" without identifying the standard. First Team had to recall their Guardian Junior helmet during 2000. See our recalls page for more information.


Flash is a Taiwanese brand of inexpensive child and adult helmets. We have no web link and no further information on them this year.

Fly Racing

Fly Racing has a line of motorcycle BMX racing equipment, including full face helmets. All have bolted on visors, but at least the screws are plastic rather than metal, and would be more likely to break off when you need them to, rather than jerking your neck. If you want another snag point, Fly will sell you a rear fin to add to your helmet. It mounts without screws or glue, so hopefully would pop off in a crash. Fly is one of the few brands whose catalog has replacement parts for their helmets, including mouthpieces, visors, screws, pads and buckles. Sizing runs from 52cm/6 1/2 up to 66cm/8 1/4, a very wide range indeed. Along with their own brand, they distribute helmets made by Gmax and by THH. All of their models meet the DOT motorcycle helmet standard. Their Lite, 606 and Gmax GM26X models meet the tough Snell M-2000 motorcycle helmet standard as well, offering a level of protection considerably above that of any normal bicycle helmet.


Fox Racing has two BMX models in sizes from 18 3/8" to 25 3/4":

Fox Racing helmets are made by AGV, an Italian company that has made motorcycle helmets since 1949.

Free Agent

Free Agent has one model, a very well-rounded classic skateboard-style helmet that comes in one shell size with three pad sets of different thickness. It has an EPP liner, good for multiple impacts. It is dual certified to meet the CPSC standard for bike helmets. It retails for $25 to $35 in standard colors or $5 more with a chrome finish, and can be found on the Internet for as little as $20 plus shipping. It may fit larger heads better than most skate-style helmets.


See Headstart below.


Geartec is handled by KHS in the US as Geartec or DBX. In 2004 they recalled their DBX Engage (Geartec VT-3), DBX Ravage (Geartec FX-2), and Geartec ESPY. See our recall page for details.


Giant supplies a full line of bikes and accessories to bike shops. Their helmets have good quality locking strap junctions. They are made by Strategic, including:


In its seventh year as a subsidiary of Bell, Giro's production facilities and testing are fully integrated with Bell's, but Giro designs still have a unique fit. Giro has been a trend leader for both style and construction techniques, and sometimes has a radical new model at the top of their line, but in 2005 they will be selling mostly the same models as last year. They have dropped their Switchblade downhill model and in 2004 they extended inmolded construction to even the less expensive helmets in their line. The line has been gradually evolving toward a more rounded profile over the past several years, but still has high-end models with more pronounced snagging points. Some of Giro's helmets have reflective surfaces on the rear stabilizers, an ideal place for those who ride in the bent-over position. Visors are mounted with plugs that snap into the helmet shell and have an adjustable angle. Our unscientific hand test showed them to pop out easily on impact. Consumer Reports found Giro's cheaper models more protective than the top of the line in their 2002 article. Giro and other manufacturers have hyper-ventilated models produced for the European market that meet the CEN standard but are not certified to meet the tougher US CPSC standard.

Unobtainable Giros

Giro has a time trial/pursuit helmet that according to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News will not be sold to consumers. Lance Armstrong and the Posties used the Giro Advantage and Rev VI time trial helmets in the 2004 Tour de France time trials. The Advantage may some day be available to consumers, but the Rev VI was designed only for Lance. We don't know what impact standards they may meet, but probably they are designed for the European CEN standard.

This year Giro helmets fit heads from 18.5" (51 cm) to 25" (64 cm).

Giro will sell you a uniquely-shaped case called a "pod" or another called the Tour Bag that is to keep that expensive helmet pristine, but let your helmet dry out after a summer ride before putting it in there!

Giro recommends replacing their helmets after 3 years. Their crash warranty is a discount from retail prices for the first three years. They also offer a credit toward the purchase of a larger Giro helmet for parents whose children outgrow a child model.


See Fly Racing above.

Go On Sport - GOS

Go On Sport is the first new Australian company entering the US market in years. They hope to introduce 5 models here for 2005, in the $20 to $50 range. Their helmets are inmolded, and some have two-piece wrapunder shells. They are manufactured in China by Lucky Bell and Strategic.

Golex (Zhuhai Golex)

Golex is a Chinese producer of bicycle, skateboard, BMX, motorcycle and other types of helmets. There are at least 24 models in their catalog. Three appear on the Snell B-95 certification list, the N6, the V10 and the V-12. They should be available in mass merchant channels, and some may find their way into bike stores.


GPR makes helmets in China to be sold under other brands. They are a large manufacturer for the European market, and were looking to bring their lines to the US in 2004, but we have not seen them here yet under their own brand. You can see at least one of their interesting new designs in a patent search.


We have not seen the GT helmet line this year. For 2004 it included:

We do not have current pricing on the GT line.

Happy Way Enterprises

This Taiwanese manufacturer has a slick looking line of Expanded PolyUrethane (EPU) helmets. All are fully inmolded models, including the D2 and the Vivid for adults and a G6 model for toddlers. They are near the $40 retail level. Adding a rear stabilizer or 3M reflective tape adds about a dollar and a half each. The EPU makes the helmet a little heavier than an EPS helmet, but some consumers like the solid feel of the inmolded models. Happy Way sells mostly in Europe, but in the US they sell to importers and OEM's with their own brands. Their sizing fits 47 to 62 cm. heads.

Headstart PTY (Australia)

Once one of at least three helmet companies called Headstart. This one had nine adult models under the Gear brand name. Their web page is "under construction."

Headstart (Malaysia)

This Headstart is located in Malaysia, and should not be confused with the Canadian manufacturer called Headstart Technologies or the Australian company above. When we last heard, Malaysia's Headstart was represented by Damar in New York. We are not familiar with their helmets.

Headstart Technologies

This formerly Canadian manufacturer and user of EPP foam has moved to the US and changed its line, supplying helmets imported from China with the usual EPS liners. We have not seen their new line.

Helmets R Us (formerly Century Cycles)

This unique West Coast distributor of bicycle products has taken on the Zhuhai Safety lines labeled T-Star and Celuk to sell to dealers or non-profits at very low prices. They will fill small orders. Their models start at about $5 each, with skateboard helmets at $6.50 and downhill mountain bike helmets that look identical to major brands for just $30. See the writeup below on Zhuhai Safety for descriptions. They are mostly certified to Snell's tough B-95 standard. They have rear stabilizers and full cover shells, features almost never seen in this price range. Sizes range from 19.3 inches to 24.5 inches (49 to 62 cm)

Her Sheen Enterprise

This Taiwanese firm makes a line of five helmets in Expanded PolyUrethane (EPU). They had been making EPU car parts for years before expanding into helmets. Colors are mostly drab, but there is a white or stars-and-stripes model available for most models. The profiles are nicely rounded, and prices are down in the under-$10 range FOB Taiwan. We don't see their helmets on the web any more, so they may not be still producing them.

Hong Kong Sports

HKS has five helmets on Snell's B-90 list, including the M3, M5 V-01 and two Schwinn models. They manufacture for a number of other US brands as well, some of them well known.


Hopus is a Taiwanese company with an extensive line of helmets featuring the only hard shell bicycle-style helmets we are aware of for 2005. They say their hard shells are all made with industrial grade ABS for best impact performance. Some of them have a layer of resilient APE foam for multi-impact performance, a feature they call SIS. Hopus also has thin-shell models, some inmolded. Their 2005 catalog currently shows photos of 17 models, all CPSC and CEN certified. Most of their models are sold with other brands on them. Their models include:

Hopus has sizes in most models to fit 50 to 62 cm heads, but some models only go to 60 cm. This company is your best bet if you are looking for a bike-style helmet with a hard shell. You can contact them through their website to ask who sells their helmets in your market.

J&B Importers - JBI.Bike

J&B is an old established bicycle wholesaler with warehouses all over the US. Their products are sold in bike stores. For 2005 they have added a high end line of L.A.S. helmets from Italy with price points ranging from about $70 to almost $200. See L.A.S below for more. J&B's lower cost Alpha line for 2005 has models beginning at about $15 retail to about $30. One has a full lower shell at $15, unusual at that price point. The profiles are the well-rounded ones we favor. Their skate model has the unfortunate old-time name of Skidlid. Colors are solid, with some metallic finishes, including a skateboard helmet in full chrome for only $25. One toddler model goes for $16 with rear stabilizer. Their add-on visors should run about $4 in a bike store, and are mounted with hook-and-loop. They have Alpha helmet pad replacements retailing at about $3. At the dealer level, shipping is free on J&B orders over $500. J&B has an active program for schools and non-profits either through a local shop or direct. Their Alpha helmets are made in China by Strategic.

KBC Corp.

KBC has one model on the Snell B-95A bicycle helmet standard list, the AZX. They have 19 additional motorcycle helmet models on the tough Snell M-2000 list. We have never seen the AZX model, but the KBC helmets available from dealers on the web are full-face motorcycle-style helmets for BMX selling for about $200. If you have the KBC Midnight Flame, Classic Cruiser or TK-9 model, you can do a search for the DOT report of failure to meet the DOT motorcycle helmet standard, dated October of 2003. That standard is much more severe than bicycle helmet standards, but if a manufacturer labels a helmet as DOT-compliant and it is not, we consider it serious. Note that unlike CPSC, DOT makes its reports public.

Kent International

Kent is a supplier of low-cost helmets to toy and discount stores. Some may also be labeled XFactor. They have toddler and child models at retail price points of $10 to $17 (with vents), and a child helmet called the V9 for $11 that also comes as the V9 Pro with a lower shell and nicer graphics for $17. Their youth helmets are mostly in the $11 to $22 range. Some are nicely rounded while others have longer overhangs in the rear. For 2005 Kent has a BMX helmet at $35 with and ABS shell and an unfortunate bolted-on visor. Kent has an "Aggressive Series" skate style helmet with a hard shell in the classic skate shape and a multi-impact EPP liner for $20 to $22 depending on finish. If it is dual certified it would be a good bike/skateboard helmet, but we have not seen one and the website mentions only the CPSC standard.


Knucklebone brand accessories and clothing for BMX are from Answer Products. Their carbon-fiber shell ACF BMX model has a full chinbar, no vents and a price tag around $190. It has the usual bolted-on BMX visor. The web page also lists a Holeshot model that may come with S&M Bikes logos. Their Jumper Pro model is the familiar skateboarders profile, very smooth and round, with an EPS foam liner. It has a painted and clear-coated shell that includes a chrome model and a very visible white or orange. It also is certified to meet the CPSC bicycle helmet standard, but not the ASTM F1492 Skateboard helmet standard. It retails for $40.


Kong is an Italian climbing company. (Probably named for the King Kong gorilla movie character who climbed all over the New York skyscrapers.) They have one helmet called the Scarab that goes beyond dual certified to be certified to European standards for rock climbing, skateboarding, bicycling, horsback riding and whitewater. All of those standards are easier to meet than the US equivalent, and the Scarab can't be sold in the US as a bicycle helmet unless it meets the CPSC standard, but it is an interesting concept. The Scarab has a ring fit system with dial adjustment. It appears to have external strap anchors. We don't know the retail price.


Kryptonics is a skateboard equipment manufacturer originally founded to make skateboard wheels in 1965. Their helmets are made by Mien Yow in China. They are one of the companies marketing helmets that are dual certified to both the ASTM F1492 Skateboard standard and the CPSC bicycle helmet standard. Some of their helmets come with kits that include other padding for skaters.

Kuji Sports

Kuji Sports is a Chinese company whose website says they ship over 3 million helmets to the US every year, but you have not seen their brand here because the helmets are made for other companies. They have many models in bicycle styles, including toddler and full-face models. Their Reflectek line has reflective shells and should be available at big box stores like Wal-Mart, Kmart, Academy Sports, Dunham Sports, and others, some selling for under $20. They have an inmolded reflective shell model too. We have not seen their reflective line. Kuji Sports has skate-style helmets as well. Retail prices are $7.14 to $35.


LAS (or L.A.S.) is an Italian company with a line of high-end helmets that have been made in Italy since 1974. They are available for 2005 in US bike stores with distribution handled by J&B Importers. Most of them have moderate snag points in the rear. All have removable and washable straps and come with cloth storage bags. There are some nice bright colors available. Models include: The regular LAS line can fit heads from 20 7/8" to 24"/51cm to 64cm. Only the Baby is sized at 45cm.


Lazer is produced by a Belgian company, Cross HM S.A., established in 1919. Their extensive bike helmet line has seldom been seen in the US in the past, but Lazer is now marketing through Quality Bicycle Products, a major distributor to US bike shops. Their helmets are interesting, and appear to be well designed. The high end models have recessed strap anchors, but they are still external. The catalog says Lazer helmets meet the relevant standards of each market: Europe, the US and Australia, so some models will not be available in some markets. Lazer has extensively revised their 2005 line.

Lazer is probably the only helmet company whose corporate accessories include an umbrella, possibly a comment on Belgium's climate. Lazer has been around a long time in Belgium and has an extensive line of interesting helmets.


Limar is an Italian brand marketed in the US for 2005 by Bikeline. Their models usually have some bright color choices and nice graphics. Some of them are not available in the US market. All of the inmolded models have external strap anchors sticking up above the surface of the shell.

Some Limar models are available in Bianchi colors.

Louis Garneau

Louis Garneau is a Canadian designer and manufacturer with an extensive helmet line along with many other products. Some of their helmets are inmolded. On others they use polypropylene lower sections, and some models have a molded in lower shell to protect the foam from nicks (reducing sliding resistance as well). Visors are mounted with pins, replacing the former hook-and-loop fasteners to facilitate flipping off easily in impacts without melting off in hot cars the way hook and loop adhesive can.

A few Louis Garneau models still have only partial shells, leaving EPS foam exposed. Bell pioneered the design years back with its Evo Pro and eventually dropped it. We have always believed it is an inferior design technique, given the evidence that plastic slides much better on pavement in an impact than foam. (Check this link to lab testing on snagging for more on that) We would recommend steering away from those models. In fairness, Louis points out that he has kept the foam sections slightly lower than the plastic shell-covered parts and that wrapping the shell over the ribs reinforces them against impact. And the Envoy model has lesser areas of foam exposed. If that reassures you, you can ignore our advice, but we think the foam will still hit the road if you hit hard enough, and there is no reason to risk that when there are lots of all-plastic shells out there, including some nice ones from Louis Garneau.

For the European market Garneau has insect mesh in the vents of some models. Garneau uses the term "bonded polystyrene" for its inmolded models. Some models may be available without visor for $5 less. Custom team graphics or stickers are available for 2005. Some Louis Garneau models are designed for the Canadian market and may not be available in the US, but all of the ones listed below are sold here.

Louis Garneau still has a free replacement guarantee for the first year.

Lucky Bell

Lucky Bell is a Hong Kong company producing EPU helmets mostly for other brands but with their own Aerogo brand. They have 11 bicycle models, most of them round and smooth, with small to reasonable vents, nicely recessed strap anchors and visors. They include the 390, 391, 392, 393, 395, 396, 397 (with upturned rear snag point) and 399 (with diagonal ribs) for adults. There are also two skate-style models, including the 801 with vents in blue or a bright yellow and the 901 classic skate style, as well as the 991 snow sports helmet.


MET is an Italian manufacturer whose helmet line we have not seen, but they have a fine website. The comments below are vague because we are limited by the info on the web. MET has models for road and offroad biking, a BMX model, youth and toddler models and a chrono shaped time trial racing helmet. Almost all of them have snag points in the rear and the elongated shapes that we do not consider optimal. MET says their road and off-road helmets differ in the placement of the vents to optimize them for the type of riding intended, in addition to adding a visor for off road use. Most of their helmets are inmolded, and some have lower wrap around shells as well. Strap anchors are under the shell in some models, a nice touch. Logos are reflective, although generally small. The top of the line models are radically different in appearance. Their Element model is described with the line "We have not just designed a helmet and then put holes in it, we have created a helmet around the air flow." That is great advertising copy. Among others on the website, the Bad Boy and Drop Off models seemed to have very nicely rounded contours. The Parachute has a removable chin guard that splits into two pieces to fit in your pack. An interesting concept, although it is hard to say how rigid it would be in a crash, and it apparently has no impact padding. The Testagrossa is produced for larger heads, and fits up to 64 cm. The toddler model is said to have a flattened rear to avoid cocking a child's head forward when sitting in a child carrier. Met's helmets are all made in Italy. You can order replacement visors and replacement pads directly from them through their website. We wish more manufacturers would do that, since finding replacement pads is sometimes a real challenge. MET's helmets are not available in the US and Canada. You can read their fascinating explanation on the website. Regarding standards, all they say is "Each and every Met helmet passes the safety standards that apply in the countries in which they are sold, EN 1078 label in Europe or AS/NZS 2063 in Australia/New Zealand for instance." They candidly say they have not designed a helmet specifically for women, but all their helmets are designed for both men and women, a refreshing statement.


Michelin, best known in the US for tires, has launched a new line of helmets for 2005 in conjunction with Zefal, best known in the US market for pumps. Michelin has a network to distribute tires, lubricants and other accessories to bicycle stores, so adding helmets will help to round out their product line. Since known brands sell more helmets, they may be hoping that the well-known brand name will help. The helmets all have at least some reflective trim.


Mongoose is a supplier of a full line of bicycles and accessories targeting the "extreme sports kid," a male between 7 and 17 years of age "driven by attitude." For 2005 their line is from PTI, and it includes:

Netti - Atom

Netti is an Australian company that has been around since 1948 as a distributor of cycling goods. They say they are Australia's biggest manufacturer and distributor of bicycle clothing and helmets. We have not seen their helmets in the US market for a long time, but their website is very good about identifying the standards met, and they do have models certified to meet the US CPSC standard as well as the Australian AS2063 standard, which is in some respects more advanced than our own. Netti models for 2005 include:


See Qranc below.


Oktos is a French company selling accessories and sunglasses as well as helmets. They sponsor European racing teams. Their helmets are made by Strategic Sports to the European CEN standard and marketed in Europe. All appear to have taped on shells except the Aereo. They fit sizes 54 to 62cm. Oktos has six models:


Polybid is an Israeli company. They produce a unique folding helmet we reviewed in prior years under the Motorika brand name. The last time we saw them their other helmet designs are all round and smooth, and all featured glued-on shells. The website has only a flash movie now, and we don't use flash.


ProRider is a supplier of BMX and bicycle helmets from China and is also the home of the CNS (Children - N - Safety) National Helmet Program, selling directly to schools and non-profit organizations. Many of their helmets are Snell-certified in addition to meeting the CPSC standard, and have the rounder, smoother shapes that are best for crashing. Pro Rider is one of only two companies with a helmet on the Snell N-94 multisport list, their "7-Vent" model. Prices are very low, in the under $10 range and as low as $4 including shipping when purchasing in large quantities for a helmet program. They will also sell to individuals at slightly higher prices but still below $10.

Pro Supergo

Pro Supergo is apparently not affiliated with the Supergo bike shops in California or with the former Supergo helmets we remember from the 1970's. The helmets are produced in Taiwan by Prowell. (See below)


Pro-Tec was one of the original skate helmet companies in the 1970's, and popularized the classic skate-style helmet with a round, smooth hard shell and small round vents. The company has changed hands a couple of times since then, and for 2004 they brought out an almost completely revamped line, much improved from earlier years. Pro-Tec now uses a new foam they call SXP that replaced the lower grade protection of prior years with full performance liners that are dual certified to meet both the CPSC bicycle helmet standard and ASTM F1492 Skateboard requirements. The SXP foam is a different formulation of Expanded PolyPropylene, allowing Pro-Tec to upgrade their protection while still meeting multiple impact tests without making the helmets thicker. It is a multi-impact foam, although it does lose some performance with multiple hits in the same location. We have more comments on our foam page. The helmets look exactly the same as older Pro Tec models, and Pro Tec continues to sell the older designs through skate shops, so you will have to examine them in the store for the standards sticker inside or be very careful about the model you buy. We were encouraged by the changes Pro Tec made in 2004. They supply so many helmets to the skateboard community that the long overdue improvements in their line represented significant progress. If you have an older Pro-Tec and want to stay with the brand, it would make sense to replace it with a new one now. For an alternate manufacturer using the same new foam, see Shain below.

Prowell Helmets

Prowell is a Taiwanese company producing a line of helmets in EPU foam. Several of their models are inmolded, some with lower shells as well. They generally have a high quality appearance, seeming solid (if a bit heavy) in the hand, including the F-22 introduced in 2000. It has moderate vents, but a substantial lip projecting out in the rear. Most of Prowell's models should retail for about $20. The company manufactures helmets for other brands, notably Vigor, and supplies the Pro Supergo line for Supergo.

Primal Wear

(Not to be confused with Pryme, the next manufacturer)

Primal Wear has helmets with wild graphics to go with their similarly designed clothing line. They have five helmet models:

Pryme Protective Gear

Pryme has a line of helmets for BMX, downhill racing and skate use, most of them with catchy names. We don't have official MSRP pricing for Pryme this year, so we are quoting what we have seen on the Internet, and it should be considered approximate.

Pryme has a useful sizing chart on their website. Their helmets are made in China by Zhuhai Safety.


Originally known as Protective Technologies International, PTI Sports is one of the largest and perhaps least known helmet producers in the US. They claim that their $62 million in sales in 2003 made them the second largest US helmet and accessory company after Bell. Their products are marketed as Schwinn, Mongoose or PTI brands through discount stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and Toys `R Us, usually at prices in the $10 to $30 range. In 2001 they announced a new line of helmets and other accessories promoted with cyclist Greg Lemond's name. They subsequently dropped that branding, and were reportedly sued by Lemond for $3.46 million for breach of contract. In mid-2002 PTI licensed the Schwinn brand from its current owner, Pacific Cycle USA, and have been marketing Schwinn-branded helmets since then. For their 2005 helmets, see Schwinn below. PTI had one helmet recall in 2004 involving three toddler helmet models and a total of 9,000 helmets outstanding. We have details on our recalls page. You will find PTI products under Mongoose above and Schwinn below.

Qranc/OGK Helmets

Qranc seems to have disappeared, at least from the US market. Their US phones have been disconnected, and the web link has been dead since December of 2000. A search on OGK turns up only stale motorcycle helmet pages. We still list them here only because people keep asking us where they are.

Rage with Solo Sound System

A round smooth skate-style helmet. Certified to CPSC, with no indication that it meets the ASTM skateboard standard even though it has a skateboard on the box. This one's main feature is twin speakers molded into the helmet liner, with a jack at the rear to plug in your mp3, CD player or skateman. We found the music sound quality abysmal, worse than the little stuffed bears with voices inside. Fit pads cover the speakers if you are not careful. Might work ok for voice intercoms or news, and it's better than riding with your ears plugged up with earphones. Retails for $39. Rage is produced by Gen-X Sports of Canada, a Huffy subsidiary since 2002 that in 2004 sold the Gen-X name and will produce products under the Huffy brand. We don't have further news for 2005.

Rand International

Rand sells through mass merchant channels like Kmart and Rose's. Their helmets feature Barbie and Sesame Street characters among others. They had to recall their L.A. Crusin' helmet during 2000. See our recalls page for more information.

Reevu Helmets

Reevu has had two models of a unique helmet with a built in rear view mirror in a housing that begins at the front lip of the helmet and curves back over the center to provide a wide angle mirror. The housing is made of DuPont nylon, and can be popped off to clean the polycarbonate mirrors inside. We tried one and posted a review, finding it an interesting concept but not a great helmet or mirror. Reviews on the web by users are generally favorable, but say it takes some getting used to and you must fit carefully to get the mirror lined up well. The mirror may be obscured by eyeglass frames. A favorable email comment to us by a two-year user noted that objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, like the convex rear view mirrors on the passenger side of cars. We have not seen it for sale in the US yet, possibly meaning that it does not meet our CPSC standard. Two Reevu models have been available in the UK. The LX is the basic model, available for 30 to 50 UK pounds. It appears to have few front vents. The more expensive LDX has more vents and sells for up to 65 pounds. Both have a ring fit system for size 55 to 61 cm. heads. The design raises some snag hazard questions because the mirror housing sticks up in the back. This helmet is an interesting development but the website in March, 2005 has only the vaguest of references to meeting standards: "Reevu cycle helmets' designs have been tested to destruction. It has been designed to conform to all relevant international impact standards for protective cycle helmets." Our sample had a sticker saying it meets the European EN1078 standard, but we would steer clear of this one until there is a model that is certified to meet the CPSC standard. The company has evidently ceased to manufacture the two models, and is working on a new one.


See Kuji Sports above.


REM is an Italian brand with a line of inmolded helmets. We don't see them in the US market. Models include the X-5, X-2, Spry, Delfino, Frizz, Blackride full face, Free Ride full face, R-105 toddler and two skate style helmets: the R-206 and Sport. Some of their models have vent "pipes" and some have double layer liners, with an upper cap inmolded and a softer liner below. There are air channels between the layers. Their website mentions only European standards, but says their helmets meet the standard of any country where they are sold.

Rudy Project

This European manufacturer markets sunglasses and sporting attire from founder Rudy Barbazza. We are not sure which models you may find in which markets, since some of their racing helmets do not meet the CPSC standard and would not be legal here, and their website does not discuss standards. We have been informed by a user that at least one model, the Ayron, is CPSC-certified. In addition to the Ayron, bicycle models include the Skurya, Kaena, T-rex Ferox, Bayor, Pyovra and Bocya. There is also a skate model called the Skyanto, the full-face Korassa and two time trial chrono models: the Synton Supercomp and Synton Open. In general their models have the usual rear snag points and external strap anchors. As you move toward the lower end of the line the shapes improve to rounder, smoother designs. Some are inmolded. Visors are attached with hook-and-loop. Rudy Project has some interesting innovations, and perhaps they will find wider US distribution at some point. You may have seen their helmets on Tour de France riders. We have one complaint from a rider who experiences strap creep with his Rudy Project helmet and suggests you look carefully at the strap locking mechanism before buying. That would actually apply to any helmet on this page.

San Diego Speed

See Armor above.


The Schwinn brand is now the property of Pacific Cycle USA. In mid-2002 they licensed the Schwinn brand to PTI who now markets Schwinn-branded helmets. We usually see them in big box stores or on the Internet at retailers like Amazon. They have some very inexpensive models, but the better ones that can be fitted well start at about $16. Most of their adult models also have a "youth" size. The line for 2005 includes:


Selev is an Italian company with models mostly for the upscale road rider market. They will distribute in 2005 through Trialtir in the US, assuming their helmets pass CPSC certification. Their helmets are all inmolded. Two of them are said by the manufacturer to fit rounder Asian heads better than others. Their models include:


Despite the Euro-sounding name, Serfas is a US-based company, known for grips and for saddles, where there are actual differences between men's and women's models. All Serfas helmets have a ring fit system that accommodates sizes from 52 to 63cm. Their helmets are made in China by Fang Master. This year's lineup includes: Serfas has a one year crash replacement policy, through the dealer.

Seven 20

Seven 20 is a skate brand. They have one skate-style helmet made for Mosa Sports (Pro Tec) in China. The ones we have seen are certified only to a European standard, EN 1385. Retail is about $25, but we have seen them at Sports Authority and Modell's for $15. Not recommended for bicycle riding because it is not certified to meet the CPSC bicycle helmet requirements. Not recommended for skateboarding because it is not certified to the ASTM F-1492 skateboard standard.


Shain (pronounced "shine") is an established Italian brand that was new to the US market in 2004. Their big news for 2005 is the use of a new foam they call Re-Up, or "Tau Multi Impact Technology." Their unique catalog courageously includes results of lab tests that show their helmet handling four hard impacts in the same spot before registering over 300g. That is not true multi-impact performance, but a lot closer to it than any standard EPS helmet can manage. Under normal bicycle use you would not have to throw the helmet away after the first impact, and if you are a reasonable rider this helmet should be good for five to ten years of normal crashes. This is the same foam formulation that Pro Tec is using for some of its skate helmets. All of Shain's helmets meet the US CPSC standard.

But Shain has another wrinkle as well, supported by data published in their catalog. They have added an inner shell to some of their standard EPS helmets, and claim that it permits EPS to withstand two hits in the same spot. Inner shells are not a new idea--Louis Garneau and others have had them for years--but Shain is the first to claim that they can meet standards with two hits at the same spot due to the inner shell. We have a page on helmet foams.

Shain helmets have some European features like bug mesh in the forward vents on some models. All are inmolded except the toddler helmet. They also have reflective logos, a feature we appreciate even though the logos are too small to add much to the cyclist's visibility at night. Shain has an extensive line, but not all are available in the US. The line includes:

Shenzhen Hezhen Bicycle Inc.

A Chinese manufacturer located in mainland Shenzhen. We have not seen their line, but they have informed us that they produce 15 models, including some BMX style with fiberglass shells and some rated as bicycle/skate helmets. They say they export to 20 countries, including the US.

Shenzhen Qukang Industry Development

Although we have not seen their 2005 line, this Taiwanese manufacturer makes both EPS and EPU helmets. Their EPU helmets are inmolded, and they attempt to assuage the environmental concerns about EPU on their site. The styles are well-rounded, but vents look small. They have a fiberglass BMX model. We don't have current pricing. You may see their helmets with other brands on them.


SixSixOne is primarily a BMX and skate equipment company. They have bicycle, BMX/Downhill and skate style models in their line. They seem to have many dealers in the UK.

Smith Safety Gear - Scabs

Smith is a supplier of skateboard protectors and other gear. Their skateboard helmet is a classic Pro-Tec style with the small round front vents, and squishy EVA foam. It is not certified to the CPSC standard, and not recommended for bicycling. Carries the Scabs brand, a name that may resonate with 'boarders. It retails for $30. We don't know what standard it may meet. The Scabs brand also appears on the Ricks Thorne Signature Pro Model, which is certified to the CPSC standard for bicycling and promoted as a BMX helmet. Available in visible white in addition to the standard dark colors. The two are similar, so check for the CPSC label if you want a helmet for bicycling. If you need a skateboard helmet, look for one that meets the ASTM F-1492 standard instead.

Solid (Headlight Helmet AB)

This Swedish manufacturer has helmets under their Solid brand with reflective outer shells in silver, yellow, red, blue and black. The silver and yellow would probably be a lot more reflective than the blue and black, but they say all of their helmets meet the Swedish standard for reflectivity, even after ageing. The site mentions only European standards. Shell designs are well-rounded, with minimal rear snag points. "Headlight" apparently refers to light weight, not to lights added to helmets.


Specialized is one of the major U.S. helmet manufacturers and a supplier of a wide range of bicycles and components. All of their adult bicycle-style helmets are inmolded. For 2005 they have straps in one model attached directly to the interior nylon and carbon fiber reinforcing, eliminating the nasty external strap anchors found on some competitors' high-end helmets. They also have a "U Turn" strap junction piece with a fliptab lock that they claim will eliminate strap creep. (We have not tried it.)

You can call Specialized at 408-779-6229 to find out what their current replacement policy is.


Spiuk is a Spanish supplier of a wide range of bicycles, components and clothing. Their helmets are coming to the US market in 2005. They have some nice bright color combinations on all models including team graphics. Their models for this year include: We do not know anything about what standards the Spiuk products might meet.


Sportcraft (Sportscope) has one basic model, introduced in mid-year 1999, constructed of segments of foam closely connected by an inner mesh. It may help those with a rounder Asian head who find that most US-made helmets feel like they have corners inside. During 2003 the Sportscope brand was apparently sold to Sportcraft, a different company entirely despite the similarity in names. You can find the helmets on the Sportcraft website. There is at least one new model with a "Lighted Jewelry Design," that runs on AAA batteries and is motion-activated, but we have not seen it. In fact, we are not seeing the Sportscope/Sportcraft helmets around any more in the US market.


Star Helmets (formerly Zhuhai H.N.Z. Star Safety Helmets), located in Zhuhai, China, produces a number of models under the Star brand. Some are certified to the tough Snell B-95 standard, but we are unable to match the model numbers, so check the Snell list for details. Most should sell in the $10 to $20 range in the US market, with the BMX models around $65 and ski models probably in the same range.

Strategic Sports

Strategic Sports produces helmets for a number of U.S. companies with the U.S. company's brand, and have informed us that they rank among the world's largest helmet producers, with annual sales in the millions of helmets. For 2005 several of their helmets appear on Snell's list. We have comments on some models under various other brands in this review, but you are not likely to see the Strategic Sports name on any helmets in your market.

Tung Kuang / Tong Ho Hsing (THH or TKLI)

TKLI sends its line to the U.S. through Trans National Trading Company of Vernon, California. In China they are known as Shanghai Tung Kuang, or in Taiwan as Tung Kuang I Light Industry Co. Ltd., appearing on the Snell certification list as Tung Kuang I. They market their own Alltop and Allpro brands, but also produce helmets for other companies under different brand names. Their EPS models are probably all made in China and have taped-on shells, while the EPP models would come from Taiwan and may be inmolded. Most of their designs feature the round, smooth shapes that we prefer. Their 2005 models include: STKI also produces helmets for other uses, including military, baseball, motorcycle, equestrian, football and snow sports.


See Podium above.

Trek USA

Trek supplies a wide line of bikes and accessories to dealers, and their helmet graphics are designed to complement your Trek bike. Some models have reflective panels. Their line for 2005 includes inmolded models made here and taped-on shell designs made for them in China. Most have ring fit systems.

Trek has a one year free replacement policy for crashed helmets.


Troxel is a long-time producer of bicycle components that still markets some bicycle helmets under other brands, formerly producing for GT, and now known as SafeTech. We have not seen their line for 2005, but they have four models on the website, including toddler, youth, skate and adult models. Troxel is better known for their equestrian helmets.

Troy Lee Designs

Troy Lee has a BMX line known for rad graphics. Their top of the line $375 D2 Carbon model has exposed carbon fiber mesh in a sunken rear section, a style quirk that we would avoid. The $295 D2 Sprocket has a fiberglass shell with kevlar and carbon fiber reinforcements. Or if you don't want graphics you can have the D2 Tank for the same price in a plain matte. Their 2004 line features a redesigned "Orbit" visor. Troy Lee pioneered the bolted-on BMX visor, claiming that the plastic mounts pull out when the visor is snagged. Unfortunately there is no standard for testing that, and nobody will do it for you at the bike shop or bike show, either, so we regard the visors as potential snag points. The D2 fits heads from 53 to 62 cm (21 to 24.5 inches). Troy Lee will replace helmet liners after a crash if the shell is not damaged.


This German company sells a TSG skate helmet in the US in the classic skate style. It is advertised as certified to CPSC. It comes in 38 colors and graphics schemes, including very visible fluorescent yellow, white or orange. TSG had to recall one of their models during 2000. See our recalls page for details. Note that the company has a snowboard helmet that is very similar in appearance but has a rear goggle strap. We don't know what standard it may be certified to, so for bicycle use be sure a TSG has a label inside that says it complies with the CPSC standard.

TSG has a matched set that includes a helmet and protective pads for skate park rental programs. To deter theft, the helmet and pads are the same unusual blue. The helmet has "Rental" woven into the strap and on a prominent decal. The pads have "rental" on them as well, and are supplied in a "super durable/washable" material. We don't see it in their current catalog, but it still appears on the website. We do not understand why this idea has not been developed by a bicycle helmet manufacturer, preferably with an easy-to-clean interior to prevent passing lice to the next wearer. It is possible that renters don't want a helmet that says "Rental" on it, or possible that some would steal it for the same reason!

TSG has a free crash replacement policy. Their helmets are made in Taiwan by Kar Cen.

Tung I Hsing

See THH above.


Uvex is best known for its optical products. They introduced their helmet line in the US market in late 2002. The helmets are designed and made in Germany, and all of them are inmolded using Bayer's polycarbonate material. The have reflective logos, nicely recessed strap anchors and front vent mesh for insect protection. They have a unique buckle that uses a ridged tab that inserts and zips in that we have only seen on Abus and Uvex helmets. They have a ring fit system with a dial adjuster. For 2005 the line includes:

Variflex - VFX

Variflex is an importer of helmets selling mostly skate equipment, scooters and accessories through mass merchant channels such as Sears, Target, and Toys R Us. For 2005 they have a line of skate, bike and toddler helmets. We have not seen them and do not have their retail pricing. Variflex had to recall their X-Games Aggressive and some of their TSG models during 2000. See our recalls page for more information, and see TSG above. They bill a number of their models as "multisport" helmets, but the website mentions only the CPSC bicycle helmet standard. One of their skate models is a unique licensed Spongebob Squarepants model in bright yellow called the Spongehead.

Vigor Sports

Vigor Sports (Hong Jin Cycle Corp.) is a Korean company with a large and varied line of helmets, some made for them by other companies. They have some EPU foam helmets as well as more conventional EPS. Their models that are not inmolded have 3M reflective tape around the shell edge, a nice feature seldom seen in this price range. The black tape is not 3M's most reflective product, but it represents a substantial additional cost and an effort to make the helmets safer that we wish more manufacturers would adopt. See our cautionary note below about their skate helmets. Vigor made few changes in their line for 2005 beyond updating graphics and prices.

Vigor's crash replacement policy provides a replacement of the same helmet or another current one at 30 per cent off of retail cost for the lifetime of the helmet.

W Helmets

W Helmets (sometimes still referred to as Team Wendy) has one unique BMX/skate helmet for 2005, the Ripper 2. It has the classic smooth skate shape and small round vents. It is dual certified and recommended for bicycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, skiing, mountain biking and snowboarding--but only if you buy the small or medium size. It has a hard polycarbonate shell, a round, smooth shape and minimal vents with mesh protectors. There is a model with optional vent covers for winter use. The helmet is made with a foam liner they call Zorbium, designed to flex in lighter impacts to cushion more, but stiffen up in heavy impacts to avoid bottoming out. The technical term for that is "rate sensitive foam." The foam produces a true multi-impact helmet. The W Helmets website says their helmets are certified to the CPSC adult and child standards as well as the ASTM F2040 standard for snow sports and the ASTM F1492 skateboard standard. But when we ordered one in size large it came with a letter saying that the large size meets only the ASTM 1492 Skateboard standard, so it does not meet the CPSC bicycle helmet standard. Worse yet, the one we received had no standards sticker of any kind inside, which to us means that the manufacturer is not certifying it to any standard. Beware if you wear size large, but otherwise, if the heat and weight do not bother you, this is probably a versatile helmet. The four sizes are made to fit 52 cm to 60 cm (6 1/2 to 7 1/2 US size) heads. There is a ring fit system with a dial adjuster. Weight is supposed to be 500 to 550 grams (heavy for a bicycle helmet) but our large sample actually weighed 670 grams, or about a pound and a half. Retail price is $79 for the adult model and $69 for the youth model. Still available on the W Helmets website in early 2005, although the letter we received said it was a discontinued model.

World Industries

World Industries is a skateboard company with a line of skateboard helmets that are certified to the CPSC bicycle helmet standard. Models include the Skullbo, Rockstar, Battle Helmet, Black Metal Helmet and Heavy Metal Helmet. The helmets they sold from October, 2000 to May 2001 were recalled. We have a page up with the details. World Industries also markets Banshee helmet earphones that you attach to a skate helmet or snow sports helmet. "No more having your headphones come off your head when you fall."


Zefal helmets appear in the US under the Michelin brand.

Zhuhai Golex

See Golex above.

Zhuhai Safety

This Chinese manufacturer (Zhuhai Hindun Safety Helmets, also Zhu Hai Safety Helmet Manufacture Co. Ltd and Zhuhai USA Safety) has an extensive line of bicycle and BMX helmets. Most are sold by others as house brands, including some of the best-known in the US, with others labeled with the Caluk or T-Star brand. Their numerous adult, youth and toddler models feature both nicely-rounded and sharply-edged shells. Some are inmolded, and some have lower shells. Their Series 08 model is on Snell's B-95 bicycle helmet standard list. One of their helmets made for Bell was recalled for a strap anchor problem in 1995, but there have been no further recalls of their products. Sizing runs from 49cm/19.3 inches for the smallest to 64cm/25.2 inches for the large. Zhuhai Safety helmets are provided at low prices for helmet promotion programs through Helmets R Us (above).

Zhuhai Star Safety

See Star Helmets above.

This article is frequently updated during the model year.

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