The Best and Worst Bicycle Helmets

The Best and Worst Bicycle Helmets

bicycle rider with helmet

July 3, 2018

Ellis Law Corporation

Auto Accident

Bicycle crashes can be just as threatening to life and limb as crashes in any other type of vehicle. Bicyclists are not protected by tons of metal, as motorists in cars and trucks are. Bicyclists can be thrown off bicycles by unforeseen divots in pavements or unexpected dashes in front of them by small animals.

Bicycle Fatalities Rising

In 2016, 835 bicyclists died in collisions with motor vehicles, the largest number of fatalities since 1991, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Like motorcyclists, bicyclists need to wear helmets to ensure their safety in the event of a collision or other bicycle accident. Use of a helmet can reduce the chances of sustaining a head injury by half.

A New Ratings System

Which helmet should you buy?

While helmet use has long been recommended, consumer information about the best brand of helmet has been scarce.

However, a partnership between Virginia Tech University and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has reviewed 30 models of bicycle helmet and rated them. The ratings were published for the first time in June.

The rating system uses stars, with 5 being the highest (termed “best available” on the ratings list) and 2 being the lowest (termed “adequate”). Ratings with 4 stars are termed “very good” and those with 3 stars termed “good.”

The list in each category is given below. Note that models are listed from best helmet to worst helmet within each category.

Helmets are listed from best to worst within rating categories.

4-Star, Best Available

  1. Bontrager Ballista MIPS
  2. Garneau Raid MIPS
  3. Bell Stratus MIPS
  4. Specialized Chamonix MIPS

3-Star, Very Good

  1. Scott ARX Plus MIPS
  2. Bontrager Quantum MIPS
  3. Specialized Prevail II
  4. Smith Overtake
  5. Giro Savant
  6. Bell Draft MIPS
  7. POC Octal
  8. Giro Foray MIPS
  9. Giro Synthe
  10. Giro Sutton MIPS
  11. Specialized Evade II
  12. Garneau Le Tour II

3-Star, Good

  1. Triple 8 Dual Certified MIPS
  2. Bell Reflex
  3. Bontrager Solstice
  4. Bern Brentwood
  5. Bell Division
  6. Schwinn Thrasher
  7. Giro Revel
  8. Schwinn Flash
  9. Kali City
  10. Nutcase Street
  11. Specialized Centro
  12. Bontrager Electra

2-Star, Adequate

  1. Lazer Genesis
  2. Bern Watts

Call an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney in the Los Angeles Area

Bicycle accidents, whether they involve a collision with a motor vehicle or not, can do serious damage, causing injuries, property damage, and even death.

If you or a loved one are in need of an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in southern California, call the Ellis Injury Law Firm at 310-641-3335. Our initial consultation is always free. We have been serving the southern California community for more than 2 decades.

Additional Resources:

  1. National Safety Council. “Bike Safety: Live to Ride Another Day.”
  2. IIHC News. “New tests show some bike helmets protect better than others. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Highway Loss Data Institute.