What is the safest road bike helmet in 2023?
Since 2011, the researchers at Virginia Tech have been providing unbiased helmet ratings to consumers that allow them to make informed decisions when purchasing different kinds of helmets.
Safest road bike helmets
According to Virginia Tech May 2023, these are the top 5 safest Mips®-equipped helmets for road cycling in 2023:
How does Virginia Tech test road cycling helmets?
Virginia Tech’s testing uses the standard tool used to test bike helmets, which is a drop tower.
The cycling helmet gets dropped down a slider and lands on a steel anvil covered with coarse sandpaper, which they say helps to simulate real-life road conditions better.
Tests are carried out at two different impact speeds and in six positions on the helmet, including on the rim.
The method tests oblique impacts as well as those taken head-on. Each test is repeated twice, for a total of 24 tests on each helmet.
Accelerometers are positioned inside the head form on which the helmet is mounted to measure the linear and rotational forces acting on impact.
A formula is then used to convert this data into an overall score and a star rating, with a lower score being better.
Virginia Tech says its testing is more complete than standard tests, which do not include impacts on the rim, although this is often where contact occurs in a crash. You can read Virginia Tech’s full description of its methodology here.
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