Bicycling can be dangerous, landing about 300,000 people in an emergency room every year. A helmet can save your life, but only about 20 percent of adults wear one.
Consumer Reports just finished testing 14 bike helmets to see how well they resist impact and absorb force. The chin straps and buckles were also tested for stretching and breaking. Consumer Reports checked for ventilation too by judging airflow at high speed.
Some of the helmets have MIPS technology, a special lining that is said to reduce force when there’s impact at an angle. Consumer Reports says MIPS may lower the risk of traumatic brain injury. It can reduce the rotational force by 25 to 43 percent.
Consumer Reports recommends three MIPS-equipped helmets:
- Scott Arx Plus for $125
- Bell Gage for $195
- Bell Draft for $60
Consumer Reports also found some very good helmets without MIPS. Consumer Reports Best Buys include:
- Cannondale Quick for $40
- Bell Draft, also for $40
- Schwinn Intercept for $22
For maximum effectiveness, make sure your helmet fits properly. It should be snug and the straps should make a Y around the ears.