Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

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Bicycle Helmets for the 2011 Season

This is history!

Current year here

Summary: Our review of helmets being sold in 2011: trends first, then individual models. Index to manufacturers last. There is no radical safety improvement this year that would compel you to replace your current helmet. Almost all of the helmets described below meet standards and offer good if not excellent protection. We have tested a sample of cheap and expensive helmets and found no performance differences.

There are new helmets in 2011 that are worth a look if you need a new one. There are more new models appearing with the rounder, smoother profile that we think is best when you crash. But there is still no major advance in impact performance, ventilation or wearability this year that would compel you to replace your current helmet. In 2009 Bell introduced a True Fit system in their inexpensive line. It is worth a look for easier fitting. POC introduced skate-style helmets with slip-planes, a potential improvement in impact protection for those who wear a skate helmet, but we regard the technology as unproven.

Almost all of the helmets listed below meet national or international standards and offer good protection, although some standards are tougher than others. For the US market the CPSC standard is required by law for any bicycle helmet. Without comparative test data we usually do not know if a particular model exceeds the requirements of the standard and offers superior protection. Most probably do not, except those that provide additional coverage.

Highlights for 2011

We recommend looking for a helmet that:

1. Meets the CPSC bicycle helmet standard.

2. Fits you well.

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

We usually recommend checking Consumer Reports for brand and model recommendations. But their most recent helmet article for adults was in their June, 2006 issue. They can only test a fraction of the models described below, and most of what they tested is no longer on the market. Their 2009 article covered only kid's helmets. You can read either article on the Consumer Reports website if you pay their fee. We hope they will produce another helmet article this year.

Some Interesting New Models

Kali has expanded its line of dual-density foam helmets to include some that use a unique interface between the layers that is not simply a flat line, but has teeth of lower density foam extending upward into the high density top layer. It buffers the change in density as your head crushes the first layer of foam and continues to begin crushing the second layer. Kali also thinks that it may permit some lateral displacement of energy in a crash. ConeHead foam Bell has begun to bring their True Fit system to the bike shop line, calling it the One Step.

Several companies are now producing chunky "mountain style" helmets similar in shape to the Giro Xen, but with enhanced rear coverage. The first we saw three years ago was a Toby Henderson design, his THE F-14. He followed that up with this year's THE F-20 (on the left below), marred only by a useless rear spoiler that should be easily removable.

Others now have similar models, including the Giant Realm, Fox Flux (with another useless spoiler), POC Trabec, Pro-Tec Cyphon and SixSixOne Recon. All are worth a look if you want a helmet with more rear coverage like a skate helmet, but big vents for bicycling. In addition to the extended coverage there is a fit advantage, since helmets with lower rear coverage are less likely to ride up in front to expose your forehead, and are generally easier to fit well.

The helmet model Realm helmet model Fox Flux helmet model POC helmet model Cyphon helmet model SixSixOne Recon helmet model Note, however that not every helmet in this style actually has additional rear coverage. When you actually put on some of them (like the Giro Xen) and position them correctly on your head the "additional coverage" disappears. The ones with additional coverage may be the answer if your helmet seems to perch way up on top of your head.

Rounder, Smoother Helmets

We recommend smooth helmets that do not have points to snag when you crash. The selection of well-rounded models is extensive and growing for 2011, including:
Consumer Reports highly rated helmets still available:
Value Helmets

Many manufacturers have quality inmolded helmets priced in the $30 to $40 range. That includes the Bell Solar, Bell Impulse/Deuce ($25 at discounters), Casco Ventec, Cratoni Neon, Eleven81 Open Road, Giant Talos, Giro Transfer, J&B Commuter, Lazer X3M and Tempo, Louis Garneau Olympus and Arcterus (XXL), Serfas Cosmos Plus, Specialized Align, Uvex Viva, Vigor NOX and Vigor Fast Traxx.

There are many, many more very decent inexpensive helmets on the market that are not inmolded. We can't list them all. In the US we are fortunate to have a mandatory national standard for bike helmets ensuring at least the minimum impact performance level, whatever the price. Our sampling with lab tests showed that cheap and expensive helmet performance was very similar.

Bell's True Fit models produce a good fit with minimal fiddling in some very competitively priced helmets found in discount stores.

Extra Large Helmets

See our page on helmets for very large heads.

Extra Small Helmets - XXS size

The smallest helmets advertised are the Casco Mini Pro, KED Meggy Sport and Specialized Small Fry for 44 cm (17.3 inch) heads, then the Abus Smiley, L.A.S. Roadspeed Baby, Michelin MK and the Limar 123 Jr. Kid, all for 45 cm (17.7 inch) heads, available in Europe but not in a US, and the Angeles Toddler Trike Helmet at 45.7 cm (18 inches). There are many others with 46 cm (18.1 inch) helmets. Pryme has a heavy BMX helmet that small, if you can imagine putting that kind of weight on your baby. Ask your pediatrician about this one before buying! We have a page explaining why tiny helmets may not be a good idea, with another page asking if you really want to take your baby along yet.

Helmets for Rounder Heads

If your head is the rounder shape mostly associated with Asian parentage, only three manufacturers in the US market have models they have identified as providing a good fit for rounder heads: Bern, Cratoni and Selev. Cratoni says some of their helmets fit round heads with just a different pad set. Bern has a special pad kit they call the "Japan Fit" kit with top pads and inserts that convert their models to fit rounder heads. It can be ordered directly from Bern. That suggests that you might be able to resolve the problem by making pad changes if your helmet is fitted with pads, or you can try a ring-fit model. TSG has a helmet called the Kraken with a segmented liner that they say can adapt to hard-to-fit heads.

Specialized has one model, the Contour, that they market in Japan. It is of course made for Asian heads, but they don't sell it in the US.

In other markets you may find more choices for rounder heads. The Japanese standard requires that the helmet fit them, and of course you could not market a helmet anywhere in Asia that fit only square heads! We have more details on our page on fitting rounder heads.

Helmets for Narrow Heads

At least three manufacturers have identified for us their models for longer, narrower heads: Cratoni and Lazer. In addition, riders have said that the Lazer Genesis/Helium) fit their longer head better. TSG has a helmet called the Kraken with a segmented liner that they say can adapt to narrow heads.

Downhill Mountain Bike Racing Helmets

A few manufacturers now have helmets certified to the ASTM F1952 Downhill Mountain Bike Racing Helmet standard, including Bell, Giro, Pro-Tec, Scott, Specialized and Troy Lee. Coverage and impact requirements are tougher than the CPSC bicycle helmet standard. Some have hard shells as well. Note that these still fall short of the impact protection offered by the BMX motorcycle helmets used by some downhill racers.

Hard Shell Bike Helmets

Some riders still prefer a hard shell bike helmet for road or trail riding. The only real bicycle helmet design from a major US manufacturer is the Pro-Tec Cyphon. In addition, Hopus Helmets produces hard shell bike helmets in Asia. You can look for them under their Aegis brand, but you may find them under other brands. Alpha has at least one model as well, and the Spiuk Rasgo comes close. The Stash folding helmet has a hard shell as well, but may be hard to find and only meets the CEN European standard. You can also look at any of the skate style helmets with hard ABS shells that have stickers inside saying they meet the CPSC bike helmet standard. Most of them have very small vents that would make for hot cycling, but Hopus has some models vented like bike helmets.

Chrono or Time Trial Helmets

Chrono models are the long-tailed time trial helmets designed only for pursuit racing and time trials. They do not make sense for street or normal road riding. You will know you need one when your coach tells you that. See our page on chrono models for more detailed writeups on them.

"Women-Specific" Designs

Most women-specific designs differ only in colors and graphics from the "male" helmet model they are based on, but some of them are lovely helmets. Ponytail ports for women or men are generally limited to small spaces above the rear stabilizer. Many helmets will take a good three-to-four fingers of ponytail if you are willing to thread it through every time you put your helmet on and take it off. A few of the others who claim "ponytail compatibility" are noted below. Many riders find it better to wear their ponytails lower down on the head while riding or tuck the hair up under the helmet to keep it off their neck in summer.

Skateboard helmets

The "skateboard" helmets now on the market in big retail stores are almost all bicycle helmets in the classic skate style that Pro-Tec has made for decades. They are not well ventilated, but are protective enough for bike riding as long as the sticker inside certifies that they meet the CPSC bike helmet standard. Some have better rear coverage than bike helmets do, and are more stable on the head because of that. Others actually have no more coverage than a standard bicycle helmet.

If you need a multi-impact helmet for aggressive, trick, extreme skating or skateboarding with frequent crashes, look for a true multi-impact skate model meeting the ASTM F1492 skateboard helmet standard. We have a page listing helmets certified to both standards. Dual certification to bike and skateboard standards is the biggest advance in skateboard helmets in recent years, denoting superior protection.

Made in USA Helmets

Some consumers ask us where to find a helmet made in the US, or in another country. Although most helmets sold in the US market are now made in China, Taiwan and other Asian countries, Bell is still making millions of helmets every year here for its discount store line. See the Bell discount line comments below. Others are still made in Belgium, Germany, Italy and France. You will find comments on that in the writeups below on a number of European brands, and we have a page up on where helmets are made. Note that most country of origin statements may neglect to inform you that components were imported from elsewhere, including China. Bell has explicit labels noting that.

If you are outside the US

In most markets you will find helmets that meet your national standard, or the European CEN standard, and at least some that meet the US CPSC standard. The European bicycle helmet standard can be met with thinner foam and a less protective helmet than the helmet required to meet the US CPSC standard. (We have a page up on that.) Some European helmets may exceed the CEN standard by a wide margin and pass CPSC, but unless identified with a CPSC sticker inside there is no reliable data to prove which ones they are. Major US brands sometimes produce less protective models for the European market to make them a little bit thinner, lighter and better ventilated so they can be competitive there. For that reason you can not just judge by the brand or even the external appearance of the helmet.

We recommend buying a helmet with a US CPSC sticker or Snell Foundation sticker inside if you can, even if you live outside the US, for the better impact protection. Those helmets are available from a large number of European or Asian manufacturers as well as US producers. If there is no CPSC sticker inside the helmet it does not meet the labeling requirements of the CPSC standard and probably does not meet the impact protection requirements either. The Australian standard is comparable to CPSC, so US manufacturers market the same models there. Canada has its own standard, but it is similar to the CPSC standard and most models sold there are US models.

Cooling performance

We have no ventilation test results on any of the helmets listed below, and there is no generally recognized ventilation testing method or standard. So our comments on ventilation are just an indication and not a definitive ranking. We try to report findings by others on cooling, even though we have no confidence in most of them. A study done years ago indicated that ventilation is basically determined by the size of the front vents. In short, we don't recommend that you make any purchasing decisions based on our comments on ventilation. Prices

Although we don't calculate averages, manufacturers' suggested retail prices seem to be about the same as last year, although some are slightly higher. Others have had to adjust their pricing to the economic times, raising some and lowering others. Economic conditions have forced many street prices lower, particularly on high end models. The lowest prices in discount stores in the US market have increased now to about $18, and are mostly in the $20 to $35 range. In bike stores where you can get help with selection and fitting you would expect to pay more, and the prices generally start about $30 and go up as high as you want. For many buyers the fitting service is well worth the extra you pay in a bike store. For an idea of what the lowest prices would be without any fitting help you can check Ebay or the Internet retailers, but be sure to include the shipping charges to compare. Prices in markets outside the US are generally higher at current exchange rates, particularly in Europe.

What We Did Not Find Again This Year

There is still no reasonably vented bicycle helmet on the market identified as an "anti-concussion" or softest-landing helmet. The concussion issue, so much in the news during 2010, is not simple. A softer landing will always help, but there are other factors in a crash, some that a helmet design can't even address. Many point to rotational force as a prime concussion mechanism, but that does not mean simply jerking the head to one side, since rotational forces in the brain can result from a simple straight-on impact. The one manufacturer with slip-plane technology that they say addresses the concussion issue has only skate style models, with very small vents. We think that if you choose a helmet with a round, smooth shape it will shift on your head when you hit anyway, so question the value of the slip-plane design.

Current helmets are optimized for best protection from catastrophic injury, but since lesser blows are survivable and no helmet can do it all, the design priority remains protection against the hardest impacts. Partly for that reason, there are no helmets promoted for the needs of seniors, who need softer landings in an impact. And no manufacturer advertises that their helmet protects against blows that exceed the CPSC standard by a wide margin, although Consumer Reports ratings based on their lab testing have indicated that some can. With our legal climate we may never see that kind of advertising, since it would expose the manufacturer to lawsuits whenever someone was injured in the helmet, whether or not it had performed well. That unfortunately reduces the incentive to produce a more protective helmet that exceeds the standard by a wide margin, so just passing the standard with enough margin to accommodate quality control problems becomes the designer's goal. Bigger vents and a thinner, lighter helmet will sell more helmets at higher prices than extra impact protection that you can't advertise and the consumer can't assess in the store. Without lab test results we can't tell you what brands might be the best performers.

Electronics have still not spread to bicycle helmets. We have yet to see on our market a mainstream helmet with a rear-facing camera and a heads-up display to replace your old mirror, although the technology is out there. Bluetooth headsets and cell phone earphones tuck in the ear, but you need to keep your wits about you to ride a bicycle safely, and the conversation on a cell phone can be too much of a distraction anyway. There are more helmets available now with LED flashers built into the rear, but most of them are too small and still have limited output, so most riders who need one are still adding a more powerful flasher with a hook-and-loop mount. LEDs improve every year, and you might want to replace an old flasher with a brighter one. There is one company making built-in batteries to power helmet accessories, but we have not seen one in the US market yet.

Here is an index to our reports for other years.

The Helmets

If no other information is in the writeup for each brand or model, these features are assumed:

We have a page on helmet types with longer descriptions.

Many helmets have a rear stabilizer wrapping around the back of the head, but we note those only if they have some unusual feature. Stabilizers add some stability and comfort but are not part of the retention system and are not tested for strength in labs certifying helmets to standards. They can not substitute for careful strap adjustment, although you may think you have adjusted the helmet correctly because it seems more stable. With a hard blow the helmet can still be knocked out of position or even fly off if the straps are too loose.

We note the largest and smallest sizes available where relevant, and any bright colors. Prices are the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, the price you might pay at your local bike shop with fitting services included. Discount store and Internet pricing is usually lower but no fitting help is included. There are often deals on closeouts of prior year models. If you are searching for a particular 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.

We have a page of definitions for most of the terms used below in addition to the page explaining helmet types.



Abus is a German company also known in the US as a manufacturer of locks. We have not seen the Abus helmet line in person. 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, but it provides strap adjustment every time you fasten it and would be easy to tighten with one hand when your strap loosens from sweat on a ride. (Few riders would think to do that.) Their rear stabilizers are also adjusted by a ratchet device. Visors mount with breakaway pins. Some models have bug net in the front vents. Abus bicycle helmets include models for toddlers, youth and adults. As far as we know all of the models on their website are certified only to European standards and will not be sold in the US. Sizes run from 45 to 62 cm (17.7 to 24.4 inches). The Abus models in their Urban and City line are all well-rounded, including two adult models introduced in 2008, the Urban-I and Lane-U. The more recent Urbanaut has two long narrow vents that can be closed when used as a ski helmet, and has a dual-density EPS foam liner said to reduce weight an improve impact performance. The shell is has ABS and polycarbonate sections. It is a unique style, as is the Metronaut with a cloth cover shaped like cap with a big visor in the front. If that cap is covering a full size helmet it will be very large. Most Abus helmets have reflective trim and bug net. Abus announced in 2009 their intention to bring their line of bike locks to the US market, but said at that time that they had no plans to sell their helmets here.

Action Bicycle - Acclaim helmets

The Acclaim line of helmets produced for Action Bicycle includes the Metro, a nicely rounded design with a ring fit system that still has some elongation in the rear. Action has models from other manufacturers as well.


See Hopus below.


See Lucky Bell below.


See Fox below.

AGV has one five star motorcycle helmet among those tested and ranked by the British government's SHARP project, the only ranking system of its kind.

All Pro and All Top

See THH below.

Alpha Helmets

Alpha helmets have previously been found in the US under two other 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 very well-rounded Argo Nuts 2 with an ABS hard shell and a flashing LED taillight built in. They have skate and toddler models as well. The manufacturer says their retail prices run mostly in the $20 to $25 range. Alpha also makes hockey, ski and batting helmets.


Angeles is primarily a tricycle and baby buggy manufacturer. We have not seen their trike helmets in person, but the Angeles Toddler Trike Helmet is available from Best Price Toys at $22 to $30 and is among the smallest toddler helmets on the market, designed for heads as small as 45.7 cm (18 inches). It is advertised as meeting both the CPSC standard and the Snell B95A standard, but we were unable to identify it on the current Snell certification list. As of December, 2010, the Best Price Toys site includes an incredible statement: "Safety Tip: For maximum protection, CPSC recommends replacing after 1 year of use." Whoever wrote that should be ashamed--CPSC has never made that recommendation.


Armor is the brand distributed by SDS Skateboards in the US. They have a skate model with the usual hard ABS shell that comes as the Youth Series, Old School Series and Graphic Series. It is the classic skate shape with small vents and CPSC certification, but is not certified to the ASTM F1492 skateboard standard. There are some bright, very visible colors along with drab camouflage. Retail runs from $20 to $35. You can ignore the statement that their helmets use "high density ABS foam." That's the shell material, not the foam. And the ace skateboarders in videos on the SDS page don't have a helmet on, either.


Ascent helmets are made in Taiwan, and sold in the US market by Performance and Bike Nashbar. There are at least five models, none of which we have seen. Some are inmolded, others have glued-on shells. Retail prices start at $25 plus shipping. The Strada is an inexpensive buy if you want a model with radical lines.


The Avenir brand is distributed by Raleigh, and sold online as well. They have a variety of inmolded and taped-on models, mostly with moderate rear points, rear stabilizers, pinned-on visors, and prices ranging from about $15 to $40. 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 the standard large bolted-on BMX visors, always a potential snagging hazard. Azonic helmets fit sizes from 54 cm/20.5" to 64 cm/25".


Barbieri Accessories began in 1985 with a revolving brush chain cleaner, adding other accessories like carbon fiber and titanium mini pumps. Perhaps to round out their accessory line, they have three helmet models. all with visor and certified to European standards.


BBB (Bikeparts for Bikers by Bikers) is an aftermarket bike component manufacturing company founded in the Netherlands in 1999. They distribute a wide variety of bike parts and accessories, and have been expanding to new markets. In Europe they have 21 helmet models. Some part of their helmet line may reach the US as well. High end models have anti-bacterial pads. BBB attempts to position itself as a value brand.


Bell is still the largest company in the bicycle helmet market. They also own Giro, although they still use the Giro brand. They have been making bicycle helmets since 1975. We spend more space on their line than most others because people want the info.

In 2009 Bell announced a new fit system called True Fit for some of their discount store models. It attempts to make fitting easier and more automatic, and in our testing it succeeded. You can check it out on our True Fit page. For 2010 they brought the system to a few of their higher-end models, including the Dart and Splash kid's models below and the adult Giro ProLight. In the bike store line it is known as One Step. There should be more of them in 2011.

All of Bell's adult and youth models are now inmolded. Their toddler helmets and their mass merchant line have taped on shells. All of the models below come in white or at least one bright color combination. We found that the straps on many Bell models would not stay in place when adjusted despite their "cam lock" side pieces, and would have to be sewn or locked with rubber bands snugged under the strap fittings to hold the adjustments, but that is a common problem.

Some Bell models have a no-pinch buckle with a tab behind it that keeps the skin from getting in while you push the two pieces together. It is now included on some adult models, presumably for seniors and others with loose neck skin.

This year's Bell models include:

Bell's European Market Helmets

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 chrono helmet for time trials. This is one you may have seen in Tour de France time trials. Models sold in Europe, even with the same name as a US model, may meet only the European CEN standard required there, not CPSC. Buyers have to check the sticker inside to be sure.

Bell's Discount Line

Bell has a separate 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 related to models from the bike store line. These cheaper versions 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 if adjusted carefully. You may need to either sew or use rubber bands under the edge of the buckles to hold the adjustments, but that is true of some of the most expensive models. The $10 models seem to have disappeared from Wal-Mart shelves. The medium-priced line starting around $20 fit better anyway. Many of these helmets are still produced in the US--millions of helmets each year--but labeled as containing US and Chinese components. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports does not even test the helmets in this line, since the model names change and go out of date by the time their article is published.

The rounded profiles we consider optimum have always persisted in this line, since they are cheaper to produce. Models include the adult Reflex, Radar, Adrenaline, Impulse (see below), Bellisima, Escape, Explorer and Shifter. The Radar/Adrenaline/Bellisima got Bell's True Fit system in 2009. Youth sizes include the Edge, Aero, Blade and Strata. The Aero and Blade also got Bell's True Fit fitting system in 2009. Child helmet models are the Star, Racer, Rex and Blaze/Bella. The Racer and Rex got the True Fit system in 2009. The Blaze has ten LED's that are run by a motion-activated circuit "for fun effects." It has the usual taped-on shell, poor strap fitting pieces that do not lock, and sells for $20. We don't know how the battery is replaced. Toddler helmets include the Bambino, Shadow, Zoomer, Bellino and Beamer/Bling. The Beamer has the ten LED lights. The Zoomer, Bellino and Beamer/Bling got the True Fit fitting system in 2009. Many of the names are for the same model with different graphics or packaging.

Some models in the low-priced line deserve special attention. Bell recalled their Exodus full-face model in May of 2011. We have more on our recalls page. It had been sold at Wal-Mart and on Amazon. It was a youth sized helmet.

On a more positive note, the Impulse/Impulse Headphones/Vogue/Shifter-Cruiser are the same helmet in adult and youth sizes. This model has the same radically round, smooth shape of the Bell Citi. It is inmolded, a higher-quality construction technique that is unusual in the discount store series. It has reasonable vents, and the upscale camlock strap adjusters. The price will likely be right when you find it in a big box store. We found a sample at Wal-Mart in 2011 for $30 and with Toys R Us also had them for $30. The Impulse is made in USA of US and Chinese components.

Bell has two more low-priced inmolded models in this line: the Escape and the Explorer in youth size. We don't know the designations in the adult size. The Escape is a compact shape model with a minimal rear point that mostly meets our rounder, smoother criterion. The Explorer has pronounced rear points. Both have the upgraded strap fittings. We don't have retail pricing for them, but it should be in the $30 range. Our local Wal-Marts usually have one of Bell's inmolded models, but the pricing is moving up somewhat.

Bell's skate-style models in this low-priced series include the Rage, Psycho, Maniac, Bike Candy, Coaster and Wicked. Again, the names designate graphics and color differences more often than model differences. Some are said by Bell to be dual certified to the CPSC bicycle and ASTM F1492 skateboard standards, at least in the medium and large sizes. They may not be dual certified in the small size.

This line sells for low prices: $20 to $40. Some models are available to non-profits in large quantities for much less than that, through an arrangement for Safe Kids International. 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 for helmet programs.)

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.

Bell's Replacement Policy

"Consumers who damage their Bell helmets in a cycling accident within 3 years of purchase are eligible to receive 30% off the MSRP of any new Bell helmet. Consumers can take advantage of the Crash Replacement program by sending their crashed helmet directly to Bell Sports or by visiting any participating Bell retailer. Bell retailers are not obligated to process crash replacement helmets. Dealers who do not want to participate in the program can refer all crash customers to Bell Sports Customer Service."

In 2004 Bell Sports was purchased by Fenway Partners, a private-equity holding company. The Giro part of Bell was included. Through Fenway, Bell Sports in early 2005 repurchased the Bell motorcycle helmet manufacturing company that it had spun off in 1991. Then Bell merged with Riddell, known as a football helmet maker. In 2006 Riddell Bell merged with Easton Sports, and after 2007 the company has been known as Easton-Bell Sports, owned by Fenway Partners, Jim Easton, and The Ontario Teachers Pension Fund. Most consumers are probably unaware of any of those changes, and as far as we can tell the changes have had no effect on the company's technical competence or product quality.

Bern Unlimited

Bern's helmets are skate or ski shaped, so they are very well rounded except for the rigid visor on one. They have small vents, and none has enough ventilation for hard bicycle riding in warm weather. Some of them use Brock Foam, a formulation that provides multi-impact protection, but those are called hard hats rather than helmets and Bern says they "do not meet action sports head protection standards" but may work better in lesser multiple impacts to prevent concussion. Just don't hit too hard! Their catalog is very clear on the helmet liners that meet impact standards and the ones that do not. You can check the sticker inside to be sure. Caution: some of Bern's models come with different liners that do or don't meet the CPSC bike helmet standard. That includes their Macon, Brentwood, Watts and Brighton models.

Bern has a trademarked Zip Mold foam that they say uses liquid injected foam that is inmolded and is used in helmets that meet the CPSC bike helmet standard. It is expanded polyurethane (EPU) a foam in use for many years by a few Taiwanese manufacturers.

Some Bern helmets have interchangeable liners for water sports, ski and winter sport use, including underneath layers and a knit winter cap. There is a ponytail port on ladies models. There is a channel in the foam liner for glasses and a removable goggle strap clip on the rear. Bern has paired male/female models, with pastels for the ladies.

Bern's big news for the 2011 season is its G-2 model, with the rounded commuter shape and larger vents than a skate helmet. The vents can be closed if needed. It meets the ASTM F2040 snow sports standard, and can be used with a knitted cover for winter. Retail is $100. Other bicycle models include the Nino for kids, also meeting the CEN and CPSC bicycle helmet standards and the ASTM F2040 ski helmet standard. There is a visible white option. The girl's model is the Nina, in white and pastels.

Bern's sizes range from 48 cm in the Nino model to 63.5 cm. in the Macon and Brentwood models. Those two models have three sizes of shell, with fit pads handling the intermediate sizes.

Some Bern models with EPS or Expanded PolyUrethane (EPU) "Zip Mold" liners are sold in the US market, labeled with stickers certifying that they meet the CPSC standard and the ASTM F2040 ski helmet standard. That would include the Brentwood, Berkeley, Brighton, Carbon Fiber, G2, Nino, Nina, Macon and Watts. But the multi-impact Brock foam version of the same models would not meet CPSC. It could not be sold here as a bicycle helmet, but could legally be sold as a skateboard helmet. Others are certified to the CE 1385 Canoe/Kayak standard. No Bern model is listed as meeting the ASTM F1492 skateboard helmet standard, although most of them are skate style helmets made for use by skateboarders.

For rounder (Asian) heads, Bern has a special pad kit they call the "Japan Fit" kit with top pads and inserts for their "Hard Hat" models that convert them to fit rounder heads. The kit can be ordered directly from Bern. Longer heads are accommodated by adding fit pads on the sides.

The side strap adjustors on this year's Bern helmets hold very well.

Retail prices for Bern's models are in the $45 to $100 range, but can be much higher with options, and the carbon model is $200.

Bern will replace crashed helmets with EPS (one crash) liners for half the retail price.


Bianchi markets team helmets to match their bikes. They have several models, mostly available in trademark Bianchi celeste blue. The helmets are made by Lazer of Belgium, and correspond to Lazer models of the same number. We found two Bianchi Road models with CPSC certification on their website. The profile is reasonably rounded.


BiOS is a French company founded by a neurosurgeon whose marketing says their helmet is based on head anatomy rather than testing to standards. Their pitch:

"The cranium comprises zones of maximum resistance called also the resistance pillars of cranium and fragile zones. Certain fragile zones are crossed by arteries located in furrows situated on the inner surface of the skull. The fractures of the fragile zones may wound the brain by intracranial haemorrhages.

BiOS is the first helmet in the world designed to distribute the impact in a way adapted to the resistance of the various zones of the head. Because of its patented anatomical design, BiOS better absorbs the energy by deviating the impact towards the resistance pillars of the cranium and thus better protecting its fragile zones."

There are few skull fractures in bike crashes if the rider is wearing a good helmet. It is difficult to see how redirecting impact toward stronger areas of the skull could protect better against the total g forces to the brain that are causing the injury.

In addition, the helmets are claimed to be less bulky than traditional helmets. The liner is thin overall, but has a separate raised ridge of thicker, harder foam glued in, in a front to back arc that runs along the side of the head. It also has small patches of a squishy foam at the temples and in the rear, with a diamond of the same material right in the middle of the upper forehead. The only advantage we can see for that kind of liner complexity is a weight saving, at a possible disadvantage of raising the point loading on the skull in the spots where the foam is thicker and harder. The manufacturer may be betting that the skull can take more load in that area, but we would not, since impact angles vary so much, while heads move around in helmets and you can't say for sure where the harder foam will contact the skull in a real world impact.

Bios also maintains that the design is adapted to brain vulnerabilities and not just to skull strength.

BiOS says their helmets are for bicycling, roller skating, skateboarding, kite surfing, rafting, kayaking, jet skiing, paragliding "and other outdoor or indoor sports." The only statement we can find on their site says: "BiOS was tested in conformity with standards NF EN 1078, NF EN 1385. The results are spectacular: up to 6 times better than the requirements of the standards." There is a video clip of a BiOS helmet in an apparent CE test, with a 38g peak acceleration. That would indeed be a truly spectacular result, and about 1/6 of the permitted 250g in the test. A sample of the helmet that we bought in December of 2008 has a CEN sticker inside.

An analysis of one crashed helmet leads BiOS to say that in that particular crash, "All these numbers demonstrate that the protective capacity of the BIOS during this real impact was at least 3 x 2,5 x 5 = at least 37.5 times better than required by the standards." There is more info on their French page than the English version. Prices on the website are reduced this year to 89 to 119 euros, plus shipping of another 10 to 21 euros. There are custom logos available for 19 euros more, reflective stickers for 10 euros, and a signature model for an additional 100 euros. We paid $148 US with shipping for the sample we ordered in December of 2008. It came reeking of cigarette smoke.

BiOS models fit heads from 53 to 61 cm. BiOS offers custom made-to-measure helmets designed for your head for an additional 50 euros. We don't know how they handle the ordering, but it would appear that the maximum size is still 61 cm, probably limited by the available shell sizes.

At the bottom of the BiOS web pages appears a small "Made in France." Bios informs us that all of the major components of their helmets are made in France.

BiOS will replace a helmet for the original owner if it is structurally damaged by a head impact for 10% to 50% of its original price depending on "the importance of the head impact." They don't explain that further on their website. The offer is valid for the Carbone and Bix for 2 years after the original purchase date, and for the Anatomic for one year.

BiOS informed us in April of 2008 that they were looking for a local manufacturing partnership in North America for the US and Canadian markets.


Bravo (or "Bravo?" with a question mark added) is the house brand of Asctechs.com/El Sol Trading. They have Signature Series and Classic Series skate-style helmets said to be certified for bicycling, skateboarding and snowboarding. The helmet has the classic skate shape. If the website is to be taken at face value, it is dual certified to bicycle and skateboard standards, but a search for "standard" on their site did not return any hits. The helmets also have "a special moldable inside to mold the shape of your head after just a few days of wearing." We don't know what that may be. Sizing on some is given by measuring your head, but others are labeled "one size fits most." Pricing is in the $25 to $35 range, and there are some bright colors including chrome along with the usual black and moss green. Asctechs has motorcycle helmets as well, labeled as meeting the DOT motorcycle helmet standard.

Bravo Sports

Bravo Sports is an importer of many types of equipment. They import helmets labeled with various brands for mass merchant channels such as Sears, Target, and Toys R Us. They have a line of skate helmets under the brands Kryptonics, Pulse, VFX Gear and World Industries. We have not seen the helmets and do not have their retail pricing. The website mentions only the CPSC bicycle helmet standard, not the ASTM skateboard standard. In fact at least one of their pages mislabels the CPSC standard in a statement "World's aggressive helmet complies with CPSC 1203 Standards for Bicycle and Skateboarding." The word skateboard does not appear anywhere in the CPSC standard, so they just added that, and we consider it misleading.


Briko is an Italian company who began breaking into the U.S. market over ten years ago but has been slow to push its line here. Briko changed their line completely during 2008, and trimmed it back considerably for 2010. All are inmolded. Most have bug net in the vents. All are listed as meeting the CEN 1078 bike helmet standard and some meet the US CPSC standard. Their models include:


Carnac, a noted French bike shoe maker, introduced its first helmet model, the Hades in 2010. The Hades is constructed with uniquely angular planes rather than flowing or aerodynamic lines. In black, it appears to be inspired by the F-17 Stealth fighter plane, itself a 25 year old design that is being phased out. The Hades is inmolded with slippery strap adjustors and a padded chin strap. Sizes fit 54 to 62 cm heads. We find little to recommend about it, unless you like the unusual style. When certified to the CPSC standard it can be sold in the US, and should retail for about $280.


Carrera is an Italian company better known for winter sport helmets. Their helmets have Italian stylishness, moderate to large rear points, large vents, and some reflective trim. All are inmolded. We don't know which models are CPSC certified for sale in the US market. All of Carrera's models are available in bright visible colors, and have good locking side pieces on the straps.


Casco is a German company whose helmets we do not see in the US market. In addition to about a dozen bike helmet models they make helmets for equestrian, snow and firefighting use. Their Upsolute models are inmolded. They make some of the roundest, smoothest shell configurations available. Some are unique designs, but our descriptions come from the website and catalog since the only Casco model we have seen is the Warp II. Their website info on standards includes only CEN and the German DIN standard, not the US CPSC standard, probably explaining why we do not see them in the US market. For 2011, Casco informed us that they are looking into CPSC certification, and we hope to see them here soon.

The website says that inmolded CASCO helmets with their add-on Monocoque-Inmold are heat-resistant up to 100 degrees C (212 degrees F), a claim we have never seen before from any manufacturer. Baking EPS foam at that temperature for any period of time normally results in deterioration, with the foam eventually turning yellow and shrinking. And the only really heat-resistant shells we know of are fiberglass, not the plastic Casco is using. Casco also advertises an aluminum "roll bar" reinforcement in some models. All are apparently ring fit. Most come in two models, fitting 52 to 57 cm heads or 58-62 cm.

Casco has several models with nearly perfect round profiles and numerous vents. Those CEN-standard helmets would be worth a look if you are willing to settle for less than full CPSC protection. Our

Casco models include: Based on the Warp II sample that we have, we would like to see the rest of CASCO's line, and regret that they do not make CPSC-certified models.


Catlike is a Spanish company named for its founder, whose bicycle racing nickname was "the cat." All of their helmets are inmolded except the toddler model. Most of their line is designed to the European CE standard and sold only in Europe. Catlike had a recall in 2003 of its Kompact model for failing to meet the CPSC standard, so check our recalls page if you need info on that. In the fall of 2007 Catlike had recently taken on a US distributor, and were looking into CPSC certification for their models. The strap side pieces on their models slip easily, a common problem. Our retail pricing is not up to date.


This German company has an extensive lineup. Some of their models are for Europe, while others are also available in the U.S. market and meet the CPSC standard. All of their adult helmets are inmolded. All have at least some reflective trim. The company has developed a bright red 6 LED flasher that can be added to the rear stabilizer of any Cratoni helmet for $15. Cratoni's strap fittings seem to hold better than many other manufacturers, including the side pieces that lock by twisting a cam. Some of their models have an optional rubbery surface that we don't recommend due to concern about sliding resistance in a fall. Cratoni has several models that they sell in Asia just by changing the interior padding to fit rounder heads. (We have a page up on fitting rounder heads.) We don't have their current pricing.

Cratoni's child models fit heads as small as 47 cm (18.5 inches) and their largest adult model fits up to 65 cm (25.6 inches). Their ring fit models normally cover from 52 to 60 cm (20.5 to 23.5 inches).

Cratoni will replace a crashed helmet for 50 per cent of the manufacturer's suggested retail price.

Crazy Stuff

Crazy Stuff has a line of European-standard helmets for kids 3 to 8 years old. The helmets are fanciful cartoon characters. Unfortunately, they have snag points all over the shell in the form of rigid ears, horns and fins. Many models have rigid teeth along the front edge, the same edge that often contacts the nose and face when a helmet is takes a hit on the back. You can see a brochure with the designs laid out here.

We appreciate the motivation to add play value to helmets so that kids will take to them readily. But this particular line strikes us as a very bad idea. The helmets could not be sold in the US because the horns, ears and fins would not meet the CPSC limits on projections from the shell, even if the impact protection were sufficient. But the teeth are particularly troublesome. Parents do not realize the potential for facial injury that they represent. We can only think that if these helmets meet the EN1078 helmet standard, that standard needs to be amended.


Dahon is a folding bicycle manufacturer and importer. They have one helmet, a folder called the Pango, and the most interesting design of the folding helmets we have seen over the years. It has a round, smooth profile, although the surface is a plastic mesh. Here it is unfolded: Dahon helmet 1

Then the sides slide up into the top.

Dahon helmet 2

And the back folds down.

Dahon helmet 3 Fits 55 to 61 cm heads. Retail seems high at $129. The only other current folding helmet we know of is the Stash. The Pango is not certified to the CPSC standard, so it will not be available in the US.


Docmeter is a French company with a line of bicycle and other helmets. There are several models, including conventional mountain bike-style, inmolded helmets priced at about 50 to 60 euros. There is one bike model with the company's rear air bladder fit system. The air bladder appears to be a rear stabilizer that blows up with a built-in pump to ensure a snug fit. Air bladder fit pads have been tried in the past and abandoned by other companies, notably Bell. We had concerns in the past about the long term durability of the bladders. Although the websites mention only the CEN European standard, the company has informed us that their helmets meet the CPSC standard as well. As always, check for the CPSC sticker inside any particular model.


Ebon is made by Co-Union Industry of Taiwan. Their bike helmets are inmolded, including the toddler models, with modest-to-pronounced rear points. They also have skate models. They use a ring fit system. Some models have well-recessed strap anchors. Their strap adjustment pieces slip too easily. Visors are attached with pins to flip off in a crash, as they should. There is a rainbow graphics option, the only rainbow bike helmet we have seen. Some models have rear LED flashers, and a few have front LED's as well. Ebon's child sizes go down to 47 cm and most adult models fit up to 63 cm. They are nice looking helmets, and prices should be in the $25 and up range, depending on whose brand is on the one you buy.


The Eleven81 helmet line is distributed in the US market by Hawley Company. All are inmolded and have a ring fit system. Most are available in white or other bright and visible colors. The male buckle pieces are all red to highlight the release tabs. The strap sidepieces do not hold well on Eleve81 models. Models include: Hawley offers a consumer-direct lifetime crash replacement guarantee

El Sol

See Bravo above.


Elustar was new to the US in 2010. Their helmets are distributed in the US market by Q Cycle. They also have European models certified only to the CEN standard. They have a range of models included inmolded designs and others with taped on shells. All are ring fit, and the samples we saw had side strap adjustors that did not hold well. Their BH101 is inmolded with minimal rear points, selling for $60. Some models are priced as low as $25.

Epsira Oy (Knock)

Epsira Oy is the Finnish manufacturer of Knock helmets, certified to the European CEN standard. They are supplied to such organizations as the Finnish postal service in very visible orange. Most of their designs appear to have nicely rounded contours and would be called commuter helmets in the US. Vents are modest in keeping with the Finnish climate, and one model has a plastic weather guard that covers the whole top and closes vents against wind and rain. They have several models, including the H3, Knock, Inmotion 2 and Champion. Their Yad model below is still our nominee for the strangest shape of any helmet design on the web, with a huge bumpout in back that we would not recommend for its shape. Knock Yad helmet Some of the Knock child helmets have large team logos and cartoon characters. The Yad is available in yellow with Hilarious Hiiri (a cartoon mouse) graphics. All of Epsira Oy's helmets have either reflectors or a reflective band around the helmet. One previous model had reflective straps. Epsira Oy makes other EPS products and has some info up on EPS. We are not sure their products are still current.


Esco Sport Product Corp. is a Chinese company producing electric and gas scooters, bicycles and carts. It appears that some of their bike helmets are made with EPS foam and others with EPU, but that's about all we can tell from the website.


Etto is a Scandinavian manufacturer with 21 helmet models on their website. Some are interesting designs, but unfortunately they are never seen in the US. The website does not discuss standards or pricing. All Etto models have at least some reflective material on the back, and most have bug net in the front vents. Their most innovative feature--a slow release hydraulic buckle for youth helmets to prevent "hanging" on playground equipment called EttoTech--was on hold for further development when we checked with them at the end of December, 2005, and has disappeared from their website. Some of Etto's models have strap anchors that are not recessed at all, sitting up on top of the shell.

Etto dealers will replace crashed and damaged helmets "at only a small part of the cost."

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 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. All of Fly's models meet the DOT motorcycle helmet standard. Their Lite and 606 models, as well as the THH TX-10 model that they sell, are on the Snell M-2005 motorcycle helmet standard list as well, offering a level of impact protection considerably above that of any normal bicycle helmet, including a chinbar with effective energy managing padding. Some Fly models have the rubber debris deflectors known as roost guards.

Fly models are all designed to connect with neck braces, available from them at $200 or $300.

Fly's catalog has replacement parts for their helmets, including mouthpieces, visors, screws, pads and buckles. Sizing runs from 52 cm (6.5 inch) up to 66 cm (8 1/4 inch), a very wide range. Along with their own brand, they distribute helmets made by Gmax and by THH.


Fox Racing has BMX and skate style helmets to compliment their line of racing accessories.

Fox has other models on their website that are promoted for motorcycle use. Their crash replacement policy is a consumer-direct 30 percent discount off the retail price.

Free Agent

Free Agent is a KHS Bicycles brand. They have a very well-rounded classic skateboard-style helmet that comes in one shell size with three pad sets of different thicknesses. It has an EPP liner, good for multiple impacts. It is dual certified to meet the CPSC standard for bike helmets and the ASTM F1492 skateboard standard. It retails for $25 to $35 in standard colors or $5 more with a chrome finish, and can be found on line for as little as $20 plus shipping. It may fit larger heads better than most skate-style helmets. Free Agent also has a full face BMX helmet at $100, used by their team riders. It has the standard BMX rigid visor that could be a snagging hazard. Retail is $100.


Fuji has been a major bicycle supplier to the US market for many years. In 2007 they added a helmet line to complement their bikes, with model names matching bike models in most cases. For 2010 they introduced the helmets below, but by mid-2011 they expect to have a new lineup. Their helmets are mostly inmolded, with terrycloth strap pads and nicely recessed strap anchors, but slippy side adjustors. : For crashed helmets, Fuji will replace at "a discounted price."


See Louis Garneau below under "L"


See Headstart below.


Giant supplies a full line of bikes and accessories to bike shops. Their helmets have good quality locking strap fittings that hold well.


A subsidiary of Bell, with design, production and testing facilities fully integrated with Bell's, but Giro designs still have a unique fit. The Giro brand has been a trend leader for both style and construction techniques. The line has been gradually evolving and adding rounded compact profile models over the past several years, but the most expensive high-end models still have the elongated shape and pronounced external points. All Giro helmets are inmolded, and high end models have lower shells molded in as well. High-end models use fitting pads, but the less expensive ones are ring fit. Most are available in white or another visible color. Some Giro helmets have reflective surfaces on the rear stabilizers, a logical place for those who ride in the bent-over position. Visors are mounted with pins that snap into the helmet shell and have an adjustable angle. Our unscientific hand test showed them to pop out readily on impact. Strap fittings are not among the best for holding securely after adjusting, although on the Rift model they do hold well. Bell, Giro and other manufacturers have lighter hyper-ventilated models produced for the European market that meet the CEN standard but are not certified to meet the tougher US CPSC standard. Alberto Contador wears the Prolight model, and Lance Armstrong returned to racing in 2009 with the Giro Ionos. Promotion fees of course play a role in a professional's helmet selection.

Bell/Giro dealers can purchase helmets for use in test rides at half the normal dealer price, but those helmets are not to be sold.

Giro also sells helmets in Europe. Their 2009 catalog said they were certified to the European standard, so they may not have the same protection as the US models listed above even if the names are the same.

This year Giro helmets fit heads from 48 cm (18.75") to 65 cm (25.6"). A graphic in their 2007 catalog showed that they considered the 63 cm size as the tail of the bell curve distribution of head sizes, but they added a centimeter for the Atlas II in 2008, and another centimeter when the Venti replaced it in 2010.

Bell/Giro recommends replacing their helmets after 3 years. The Giro crash warranty is the same as Bell's, a 30% discount if you crash within 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 that has attempted to enter the US market in this century. They hoped to introduce five models here beginning in 2005, in the $20 to $50 range, but we have not seen them in the US market since. Their helmets are inmolded, and some have two-piece full wrap shells. They are manufactured in China. In 2011 their website still says "under construction." Their products are available through Sportz Australasia Pty Ltd.

Golex (Zhuhai Golex)

Golex is a Chinese producer of bicycle, skateboard, BMX, motorcycle and other types of helmets. There are at least 29 models in their catalog. Golex helmets should be available in mass merchant channels, and some may be found in bike stores, probably under other brand names.


GPR makes helmets in China to be sold under other brands. They are a large manufacturer for the European market, and have been looking to bring their lines to the US for some time. You can see at least one of their interesting new designs in a patent search. We do not have a current catalog or pricing for GPR. Their models include:


Synergy Sport has one helmet in their Gray line for triathletes, the Aerodome. It is a full chrono or time trial helmet, not suitable for street use. It is inmolded with the long teardrop shape of the classic chrono, with six small slit vents in the front and partially recessed strap anchors. It has soft "wings" on the sides. Strap junctions do not hold well. It is CPSC certified and comes in one size. It retails for $150. Synergy Sport has a "Life Time Crash Replacement Warranty" and the consumer can return a crashed helmet for a free replacement.


Greenline is a bicycle company with a helmet that goes along with their bikes. It is a simple, somewhat elongated helmet with a reasonably rounded profile. The company uses various suppliers, so details of the models can vary. Retail is $25. They also have a toddler model with taped on shell and vents.

Guang Zhou Long Sheng

Guangzhou Longsheng Sporting Goods Company is a Chinese manufacturer of a line of adult, toddler and skate style helmets. They market to both the US and Europe. Profiles are generally well-rounded, but there are points on the high-end road models. The inmolded models are priced about $30, while glued shells are $15 and those with taped-on shells go for $12. Visors on some models add about $0.50 to the price. The side strap adjustors are simple buckles, and do not hold their adjustment at all, a serious oversight.


Halolux is a Hong Kong company with a helmet that has fiber optic lights incorporated in the shell. LED's in the rear "lightbox" generate the light, and the optical fibers carry it in a ring around the shell. We have not seen them yet and don't know how much light can be generated by two coin cells that are said to last 60 hours. The light can be flashing or steady. According to the web page, the Halolight ELF model first introduced in July of 2008 is certified to both the CPSC and CEN European standards. It appears to be an elongated design with lots of ridges and a medium rear point. It is inmolded, and fits heads from 20.5 inches to 24.4 inches (52 cm to 62 cm); Retail is reported to be $55 in the US market. Note that the same halo effect using LED's and fiber optics is incorporated in some Aegis designs.


Hamax is a Norwegian company with a line of bicycle accessories and other products. Their helmets are child models, with taped-on shells, ring fit and insect net in the front vents. There is reflective tape on the rear. The company's website mentions only European standards. Their sizing fits 48 to 62 cm. heads. We do not have retail prices for Hamax.

Happy Way Enterprises

This Taiwanese manufacturer has a nice 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 them. 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.

Headlight AB

Headlight is a Swedish company with a line of reflective helmets. Headlight has several models, certified to either European standards for the Euro market or CPSC for the US market. They have two grades of reflective shells, so the whole helmet is reflective, using the silver gray color that normally produces the best reflective performance. They apply graphics on top of that. In Europe they were formerly known as Solid, but now produce their helmets with the distributor or retailer's brand on them.

Headstart PTY (Australia)

Once one of at least three helmet companies called Headstart. This one had nine adult models under the Gear brand name. The web link is to a listing of manufacturers, and we do not know if it is current or not.

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 reportedly moved to the US and changed its line, supplying helmets imported from China with standard EPS liners. We can't find them on the web now.

Helmets R Us

This unique West Coast distributor of bicycle products provides helmets to dealers or non-profits at very low prices. They will fill small orders. In large quantities 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. (Prices are much higher for individual orders.) Some models have rear stabilizers and full cover shells, features almost never seen in this price range. Helmets R Us also has a genuine dual-certified skate-style helmet, the Model 17, that has the stickers inside attesting to the fact that it is certified to both the ASTM F1492 and CPSC bicycle helmet standards, at a very low price. Sizes range from 49 to 62 cm (19.3 to 24.5 inches).

Hong Kong Sports

The HKS name is not familiar to consumers and you will not find helmets under their company brand, but they manufacture millions of helmets for a number of US and other brands, some of them well known.

Hopus/Aegis Helmets

Hopus is a Taiwanese company with an extensive line of helmets, who recently began using their brand Aegis as the company identifier. They are known for innovative construction techniques. They say their hard shells are all made with industrial grade ABS for best impact performance. Some of them have a layer of resilient foam for multi-impact performance, a feature they call SIS. Hopus also has thin-shell models, some inmolded, and a unique fiberglass model that is inmolded. Some have stainless steel bug net in the vents. Their US models are all CPSC certified, but others may meet only CEN and be intended for the European market. Most of their models are sold with other brands on them, but in 2010 Hopus launched their own Aegis brand. In 2009 Hopus introduced a unique halo lighting system that uses LED's to light a 30 cm diameter ring around the helmet, on an inmolded model that retails for a very modest $20 to $40. We found the light output of the halo ring disappointing and the switch on our sample broke, but the feature is unique.

Hopus has a large line, many of them not on the web. They include:

Hopus has sizes in most models to fit 50 to 62 cm heads, but some models only go to 60 cm. The are one of the only companies that still makes a bike style helmet with a hard shell. You can contact them through their website to ask who sells their helmets in your market.


IXS is a Swiss company with motorcycle history going back to 1906. Their entry into clothing and helmets is more recent. Most of their models are motorcycle-style full face helmets, but they also have road and skate-style models. All of their helmets are either compact shape with minimal rear points or very well rounded. All of their adult bicycle helmets are inmolded, but child models are taped or glued on. Most are European models that probably do not meet the CPSC standard for sale in the US, but IXS says there are CPSC models coming. The current models include: The largest helmets in the IXS line fit 62cm/24.4 inches.

J&B Importers - JBI.Bike

J&B is a long-established bicycle wholesaler with warehouses all over the US. Their products are sold in bike stores. For 2010 they revamped their helmet line completely. J&B's Airius line has models beginning at about $15 retail to about $30, with a few high end models ranging as high as $80. Their inmolded models start at $22. The profiles vary from the well-rounded ones we favor to elongated models with rear points. Colors are solid on the lower cost models, with higher end graphics as prices rise. Their largest helmets are 63 cm/24.8 inches. They have an unfortunately named "Skid Lid" (a name from the past) skate-style helmet, certified only to the CPSC bicycle helmet standard. With a built-in speaker it is $40. J&B has an active program for schools and non-profits either through a local shop or direct. They offer an unusual lifetime crash replacement for all of their models.


Hangzhou Joy Kie Industrial and Trading Co exports an extensive line of bicycle, motorcycle and other helmets. The range from nicely rounded road helmets to elongated designs with rear points. There are toddler models, skate style models and downhill mountain bike models with full chinbars. Pricing is low but we don't have exact retail in the US.

Kali Protectives

Kali was one of the most interesting companies that entered the market in 2009. They have some unique manufacturing techniques that should in time produce a full line of helmets that are all inmolded, some with dual-density foam liners molded together so there is no gap between them, and no gap between liner and shell, using all the shell space for foam. Liner density can be different in areas of the helmet, or there can be saw teeth of less dense foam extending into the dense section. Kali liner foam We have more on that on our page on helmet foams.

Kali can make full face helmets with chinbars this way, a new capability among manufacturers. The resultant helmet is lighter and has a thicker liner than normal motorcycle helmets. Visors have Kali's Pop Out breakaway mount to avoid snagging hazards. The liners and fit pads are anti-microbial, a feature that you may or may not appreciate. Some motorcycle/BMX models mate with body protectors. The Kali models all have Sanskrit names: We expect Kali to continue to produce innovative new products.


Kask is an Italian manufacturer who entered the US market in 2010. Some but not all of their helmets meet the US CPSC standard, and the Australian standard as well. All meet the CEN European standard. There are some nice bright color combinations in the line. Their strap adjustors are average in holding power. Straps have a unique vinyl section at the chin, and some are reflective. Pads are treated with Sanitized brand chemicals. Kask informs us that their helmets are produced in Italy with no Asian components. Their helmets are expensive in the US. Kask bike helmet models include: Accessories include a winter cap and a storage bag. Their website has model-specific listings for insect net replacement screens in plastic that are shaped to fit the vents, as well as pad replacement kits and visors.

Kask has some interesting helmets. If their claim to use no Asian components is correct, they would be one of the few helmet manufacturers still doing that.

KBC Helmets

KBC has manufacturing facilities in Korea and China. They have more than 20 motorcycle helmet models on the Snell M-2005 motorcycle helmet list and one on the newer M2010 list. KBC has a range of helmets ranging from full-face motorcycle-style helmets for BMX selling for about $200 to "half helmets" for the Harley crowd.


KED is a German company that had manufactured helmets in Germany for other brands for more than ten years before introducing its own line. Some of their models have LED flashers built into the rear, with a replaceable $3 battery/chip unit to power them for 120 hours. (We were not particularly impressed with the light output.) Their helmets with glued on shells are made with a cold-gluing process that leaves no space underneath the shell and makes the helmet look inmolded. Gluing the shells on allows them to put the strap anchors under the shell, a good feature. KED's strap adjusters tend to slip, a common problem. They put a thoughtful pad under the buckle to prevent skin pinches. All models have bug net in the front vents except the Paganini Race. The website says all of their current models have only CEN certification. The website emphasizes that the helmets are made in Germany. Models include:

KED's catalog has a listing of useful spare parts for their helmets. It includes visors, fit pads, ring fit parts, the LED battery/chip replacement, buckles and more.

Kent Bicycles

See Razor below.


Kestrel is a subsidiary of Fuji Advanced Sports, and a manufacturer of high-end carbon fiber bike frames. They showed one road and two chrono models for 2009 at Interbike, but by 2010 their website had just two helmets, both by Louis Garneau: the Garneau Superleggera chrono and Kestrel Diamond, both Garneau helmets in Kestrel colors and logo. They have disappeared from the Kestrel site in 2011.


A Knucklehead Company entered the US market in 2008, and is now delivering a line of bike and skate helmets that they make in China for companies who want their own helmet brand. Some of their models are inmolded, while lower priced ones have glued or taped on shells. Sizes run from 44 to 62 cm (17.3 to 24.4 inches). The company provides free replacement of crashed helmets.


Kong is an Italian climbing equipment company. They have one helmet from Casco called the Scarab that goes beyond dual certified to be certified to European standards for rock climbing, bicycling/skateboarding, equestrian use 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. It is also used for spelunking, so there is a clasp in front for a caving light. We were surprised to see this one selling online in the US market despite its lack of CPSC certification. Some of the retailers had no regard for the fact that the helmet did not meet US standards, and CPSC does not enforce their requirements.


Kryptonics is a skateboard equipment manufacturer originally founded to make skateboard wheels in 1965. They have one skate-style helmet, available in black, pink or blue. We see their helmets in discount sporting goods stores. They do not meet the ASTM skateboard standard. Instead the web page has a statement saying: Each helmet is designed to pass CPSC 1203 standards for bicycle, inline skate and skateboards use." That statement is incorrect, since the CPSC standard is not for skateboarding. Further down their page they once had the correct statement "Complies with US CPSC safety standards for bicycle helmets for persons age 5 and older." But now they have cut out the "bicycle." We would not recommend buying a helmet from any manufacturer who is that confused about standards, since there are real dual-certified helmets out there from other manufacturers that do meet bicycle and skateboard standards.

Kuji Sports

Kuji Sports Ningbo is an Asian company based in Taiwan and China whose website says they ship over 3 million helmets every year. You have not seen their brand here because the helmets are made for other companies. They have many models in bicycle styles, including inmolded road helmets, glued or taped on shell road helmets, toddler and full-face models. They also have four hard shell skate models. Their Reflectek line has Headlight's reflective shell design and is available at big box discount stores, some selling for under $20. Retail prices are about $10 to $35.


Kylin Motorcycle Fittings is a Chinese manufacturer of bicycle, motorcycle, ski and other helmets. Many of their models are motorcycle/BMX helmets, but they have 12 bicycle helmets and one classic skate style model. Some are inmolded, some taped on. Some have Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA) covers. Some of the less expensive models are nicely rounded, but the upper end of the line all have rear points. All meet the CEN standard, and many are designed to CPSC. Their helmets will appear in the US market under other brands. Sizes run up to 62 cm/24.4 inches. Prices should be around $15 to $40.


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 in US bike stores with distribution handled by Trialtir, who have info on LAS's current US models but do not distinguish those made in Italy from the Chinese models. LAS dropped some of its more radical designs in 2010, but continues the emphasis on style. There are some nice bright colors available and finish quality is good. Most models have silver-impregnated liner material to retard bacterial growth, a feature that some may want to avoid. The strap junctions do not hold well on most LAS helmets. The Euro models meeting only the CEN standard are different designs from the US models we list first. All should be available in Italy.

US Models

European Models

The regular LAS line fits heads from 51 cm to 64 cm (20 7/8" to 24").


Lazer is the brand of a Belgian company, Cross HM S.A., established in 1919. Their helmets have not been well known in the US in the past, but Lazer is now marketing through Quality Bicycle Products, a major distributor to US bike shops. Their high end models have nicely recessed strap anchors. Kid's models have bug net in the front vents and chin protectors on the straps. Lazer's catalog still refers to "Multi-impact Protection" for these one-hit helmets, apparently unaware that to the rest of the world a multi-impact helmet can take multiple hits on the same spot. They really mean there is internal reinforcement so the helmet will remain in one piece after the first hit, and could take a hit on a different spot.

Some of Lazer's models have a ring fit system that narrows the band as it is tightened, rather than just pushing the head forward in the helmet.

Lazer has a four star and a five star motorcycle helmet among those tested and ranked by the British government's SHARP project, the only ranking system of its kind.

The models below are all certified to the CPSC standard and could be available in the US market. Lazer sells the same helmets in Asia, where heads are rounder, and says that their fit system adjusts. Some models come in a women's version with pastel colors and bright colored straps, said to be "ponytail friendly." Their built-in LED models run on button cells to reduce the bulk of the battery and permit the helmets to pass impact standards, although button cells don't last very long and are expensive. Laser has a plastic shell that fits over the helmet to keep rain and wind out, something you might appreciate in cold, wet climates. For 2011 the O2, Sphere, Genesis, Tardiz and Helium will have this optional Aeroshell. Some models have a new 2011 "Magic Buckle" that closes magnetically. We will reserve judgment on that one.

LED Helmets

LED is a Canadian company based in Alberta. They have one "one size fits most" helmet, a nicely rounded road helmet with reasonable vents that has four flashing single LED's around the helmet attempting to cover 360 degrees. We have not seen them, but the company provided test lab results showing the helmets meet the ASTM F1447-02 standard, so they would probably meet the CPSC standard as well. All of the results were good, with reasonable g levels. We don't know what power source they are using for the LED's or how bright they are. Retail should be "in the low to mid 30's."


Limar is an Italian brand. Their models usually have some bright color choices and nice graphics. Some of them are CEN certified only and are not available in the US market. Many of the inmolded models have unfortunate external strap anchors sticking up above the surface of the shell. Kid's models have nice pinch protector tabs on the buckle. Their side strap adjustors have not held well in the past, but the ones on the Ultralight Pro 104 are excellent. Pricing varies by $5 to $10, so we cite the high end of the range, and you may find it for less. Limar has rounded out its line with helmets from other manufacturers, a common practice.

Some Limar models are available in Bianchi or Michelin colors.

Limar has a 3 year crash replacement guarantee, offering a replacement helmet through the dealer at half off.

Louis Garneau

Louis Garneau is an independent Canadian designer and manufacturer with an extensive helmet line along with many other bicycle products. All of their adult models are inmolded. For 2010, LG removed all carbon fiber from their line, using "composite" instead (normally fiberglass cloth). For the European market, Garneau has bug net in the vents of some models. Some models are available without visor for $5 less. Custom team graphics or stickers are available. 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 meet the CPSC standard and are sold here. Although Garneau used to make many helmets in Canada, at least some of the models below are made in China, so look for the country of origin sticker inside if that matters to you. Louis Garneau is one of the sponsors of Team Type 1, a racing team that includes riders with type one diabetes.

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

Lucky Bell

Lucky Bell is a Hong Kong company producing Expanded PolyUrethane (EPU) helmets mostly for other brands, with some under their own Aerogo brand. They have bicycle models, most of them round and smooth, with small to reasonable vents, nicely recessed strap anchors and visors. There are also skate-style models. We can't find the Aerogo pages on the web any more.

Mace Gear

Mace is a Canadian company with a line of bike clothing for skate and BMX. Their products are distributed through Norco. Mace's skate models fit sizes from 50 cm up to 62 cm.


Mavic is entering the helmet market in 2012, and introduced three models at Eurobike in August of 2011. Press reports say colors will be black and a very visible yellow. We have not seen the line yet, but they are marketing in the US, so must meet the US CPSC standard. Mavic says they developed the designs in-house, but the helmets are made for them by a third party.


MET is an Italian manufacturer whose helmet line we have not seen, but they have a fine website and a good catalog. The comments below are limited to 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 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, 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. The last time we checked, MET's helmets were not available in the US. 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.

In the past, Met's helmets have all been made in Italy, and their website talks about their manufacturing processes, but emphasizes Italian design rather than exclusively Italian origin. 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 has a three year warranty against product defects. They call it "comprehensive" but with some caveats:
"Helmets returned for inspection must be sent in proper individual protective packaging, postage prepaid to the MET distributor in your country, with a dated proof of purchase and a letter explaining the reasons for returning the helmet. MET shall not be held liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages. The warranty does not apply to helmets which have not been used properly according to the MET helmet owner's instruction manual. The warranty does not cover normal wear. The warranty does not cover damages caused by accidents, abuse, negligence, incorrect adjustment, or for use other than that intended by the manufacturer. Any modification made by the user will render the warranty null and void. The warranty does not cover damages due to heat exposure.
We cannot find any crash replacement info on the MET site.


Michelin, best known in the US for tires, launched a line of helmets in 2005 in conjunction with Zefal, best known in the US market for pumps and accessories. Since known brands sell more helmets, both companies may be hoping that the well-known brand name will help. All but the toddler helmet are inmolded. The Michelin line has been updated for 2011, dropping their urban helmet.

Mien Yow Industry

See Alpha above.


Mobo is the brand name of ASA Products helmet line with LED-powered fiber optic rings around them providing light. We have only seen those on Hopus/Aegis helmets in the past. The Mobo 360 degrees LED Light Helmet is a standard road model, inmolded with moderate vents and otherwise not exceptional, but the retail price is very high at $119. We have not been impressed with the light output, although the ring effect is cool. At Interbike, Mobo had a police model that retails for about $90, with POLICE graphics and the LED ring. We don't see it now on their website. They also have a skate-style helmet for only $20, but without the LED ring. Mobo models fit heads 22.75 to 24.5 inches (57 to 62.5 cm)


Mongoose is a Pacific Cycle brand, so the helmets are not produced by the same people who make the bicycles. The company is positioned as 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." We have not seen their helmet line for 2011 and do not have pricing for their models.

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, and we don't find the helmets any more on their website, but do find some of them still on line, with prices below in Australian dollars. Netti models include:


In addition to their bicycles, Nishiki has a complementary line of clothing and accessories. They have two helmet models, the Havasu and the Takoma. Both are inmolded, with rear snag points, the Havasu being the better rounded model. They come in women's colors as well. Both are certified to the CPSC standard for the US market. They retail for around $40.


Nutcase has a single classic skate helmet with ABS hard shell in many colorful and whimsical graphics designed to convince stubborn kids that wearing a helmet is cool. Their helmet is certified only to the CPSC bicycle helmet standard, not the ASTM skateboard standard, despite the skateboarding label and the words "multi-sport" including skateboarding on the box. Their product literature also misquotes the title of the CPSC bicycle helmet standard and adds the word skateboard to it. We would not recommend buying a helmet from any manufacturer who is that confused about standards. The retail price is $45 to $60 for the models sold in bike shops. There are ear pads for winter riding.

A shop specializing in large bikes for large people informs us that the Nutcase in L/XL fits many customers who have large heads. Nutcase says their smaller models fit round Asian heads well, but larger ones may not. The Nutcase site fitting chart says that size fits heads up to 64 cm (25"). Nutcase has agreed to produce the Macinac Island community helmet that will be designed as part of a community project in 2010 for distribution in 2011. For 2011 Nutcase is adding reflective material to their helmets and a new magnetic buckle they call the Fidlock. They may bring in their Crossover model to the US during the year, a helmet that can be dual-certified to bike and skate standards. It would sell for $60 if marketed here.

Nutcase produces the Flex for roller derby use, but sells it only to pro skaters and does not sell it in the US.


Oktos is a European company selling accessories and sunglasses as well as helmets. They sponsor racing teams. Their helmets are made in China to the European CEN standard and marketed in Europe. Some are inmolded. They fit sizes 54 to 62 cm (21.3 to 24.4 inches). We have not seen their 2011 line. Prices on the US website are apparently all set at $135, but the helmets can be found for much less on European sites. In the US, Oktos helmets are distributed by Persons-Majestic Co.


See Azonic above.


Orbea is an old and established Spanish bicycle manufacturer. In 2010 they developed a line of helmets with distinctive styling with four models: Odin, Thor, Rune and Ari. All are road helmets with large vents and rear points. Although press reports indicated they were bringing some of them to market with prices ranging from $99 to $199, we have not seen them yet. Orbea's website has no standards information.

Pacific Cycle

See Schwinn below, or Mongoose above. Pacific Cycle owns the Schwinn brand. In 2009 they bought PTI, the former manufacturer of Schwinn brand helmets.


Poc is a Swedish company who entered the US bicycle market for the first time in 2009. Their other lines include body armor, gloves and protective eyewear as well as ski helmets. Some of their helmets meet standards other than the CPSC and CEN bicycle standards--check the sticker inside to be sure. Although bike standards have eliminated penetration tests because epidemiology shows no penetration injuries, POC uses a double overlapping shell construction to ensure that there are no straight-through vents where a sharp object can penetrate. This would inevitably reduce air flow, but POC remains concerned about preventing penetration by sharp objects. We do not share that concern, but if you do and want at least some ventilation in a penetration-protective helmet, the POC approach on their Flow models is unique. The helmet is molded in the thin inner shell, with a thicker outer shell.

For 2011 Poc has two models that incorporate the MIPS anti-rotational injury design, with a slip-plane layer that mitigates rotational force by sliding the outer layer over a Teflon-coated inner layer at the moment of impact. We have more on that technology on our sliding resistance page, or you can check it out on the MIPS website. They are also using a new magnetic Fidlock buckle this year.

Poc's models for this year include:

POC's XL models fit 62 to 63 cm (24.6 inch) heads.


Potenza is a brand of Seattle Bike Supply, a large distributor of bicycles and related products. Their helmets have simple strap fittings, but they seem to hold well. These are not the same models sold by ProRider (below) even though the two companies are in the same ZIP code. Pricing should be reasonable.


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 B95-certified in addition to meeting the CPSC standard. Most of their models have the rounder, smoother shapes that we believe are best when you crash. Prices are very low for the models with taped-on shells over plain white foam, in the under $10 range and sometimes as low as $4 each including shipping when purchased in large quantities for a helmet program. For a dollar or two more you can get better looking models that are more likely to be accepted by the kids than the white foam models. ProRider will also sell to individuals at somewhat higher prices but still below $20 including shipping.

Pro Supergo

Pro Supergo is not affiliated with the Supergo bike shops in California or with the former Supergo helmets from the 1970's. They have a line of inexpensive Asian-made helmets to complement their other bike accessories. The website shows a number of models, including adult, child, BMX and skate style. Some are in EPU foam, some in EPS. There is even one helmet for hurling. Some of the adult models are inmolded. We do not know what their retail pricing would be.


Pro-Tec was one of the original skate helmet companies in the 1970's, and popularized the classic skateboard-style helmet with a round, smooth hard shell and small round vents. They still sell nearly identical helmets to those old-school models. The company has changed hands since then, and in 2004 they brought out an almost completely revamped line, most of them much improved from earlier years. They began using a foam they call SXP for some models that replaced the lower grade protection of prior years, those helmets are dual-certified to meet both the CPSC bicycle helmet standard and ASTM F1492 Skateboard requirements. If you want a Pro-Tec, we suggest that you take a look at one of those SXP models.

Pro-Tec's SXP foam is a modified formulation of Expanded PolyPropylene (EPP), allowing them 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 hard hits in the same location. We have more comments on our foam page. Most Pro-Tec helmets look exactly the same on the outside and have very similar model names, so you will have to examine them for the standards sticker inside and be very careful about the model you buy for bicycling.

Pro-Tec's 2011 models include:

Most Pro-Tec models fit heads from 53 to 60 cm (20.9 to 23.6 inches).

We were encouraged by the changes Pro-Tec made beginning in 2004, and glad to see that a number of the models noted above are dual-certified to the CPSC bike standard and the ASTM F1492 skateboard standard. Check for the sticker inside the helmet to be sure.

Prowell Helmets

Prowell is a Taiwanese company producing a line of helmets in EPU foam. They have a very interesting web page with an explanation of the foam and their technology. Most of their models are inmolded, some with lower shells as well. They generally have a high quality appearance, seeming solid (and a bit heavy) in the hand. There are 14 models in the line ranging from radical elongated styles with rear points to more rounded commuter helmets and child models. They have a "Shark Fin" LED light designed to mount on top of a helmet and flash in all directions. Most of Prowell's models should retail for about $25. The company manufactures helmets for other brands.

Pryme Protective Gear

Pryme is a brand of Seattle Bicycle Supply. The line includes helmets for BMX, downhill racing, whitewater, snowboarding and skate use, most of them with catchy names. All come with three sets of fitting pads. They fit heads from 52 to 62 cm.

Pryme has a useful sizing chart on their website.


The Pulse helmet is an innovative Australian design by Monash University student Julie-Ann Davies. It includes reflective shell material, large rear light and an "Ear Drop" to let you listen to music or other output on the curb side as you ride. It's only a concept, not anything you can buy. The site maintains that "Cyclists can now listening to their favourite music, answer their mobile phone and record cycling data without compromising their safety on the road." We would not agree. Music and cell phones are fine if your bike is stationary, or perhaps on an offroad trail, but that kind of distraction is the last thing you want if you are riding a bicycle in traffic. Note that the curb side in Australia is on the left.


Raskullz is the brand for a line of child and toddler helmets with rubber animal ears and noses mounted on them. Some go beyond that. All of the projections are soft rubber, but some have a harder core, and do not readily detach. See this page on sliding resistance to see why we think helmets that would not slide easily on pavement present a hazard, and do not recommend them. The packaging mentions ASTM, but does not identify a specific ASTM standard, and the stickers inside the helmets do not mention ASTM at all. Both the ASTM and CPSC child bicycle helmet standards outlaw projections of more than 7mm that do not collapse or break away readily when tested. These collapse partly, but the remaining lump is higher than 7mm. We were dismayed to see that Target is selling Raskullz to unsuspecting parents.


Razor is the line of inexpensive helmets marketed by Kent to mostly discount retail stores and a few bicycle stores. For 2010 there are skate and BMX style helmets. The skate models include the Aggressive Series and Iridium. The packaging says they are multi sport helmets, but certification is only CPSC. One of the BMX models is the Full Face, a youth sized helmet with vents and a removable chinbar, a unique feature at the $45 price point.


Reflectek is produced by Kuji Sports. There is one model with a fully reflective shell and another with a partially reflective shell that sells in discount stores like Wal-Mart, Kmart, Academy Sports, Dunham Sports, and others, sometimes selling for under $20. They are reasonably rounded helmets with a glued-on shell, small point in the rear, adequate but not large vents and a ring fit system. There is also an inmolded "Pro" model too with a partially reflective shell at $40 retail, probably more often seen in bike shops. It has larger vents and a sharper rear point. The same reflective technology has been used on parts of two Ironman models as well. This photo probably overstates the reflectivity, but the contrast with the "normal" helmets is made evident by the camera's flash. Reflectek model shine We have comments and photos of one of the Reflectek helmets on our page on reflective helmets. It was also reviewed by Cycling Reviews.


REM is an Italian brand with a line of inmolded helmets. We don't see them in the US market. Some of their models have vent "pipes" and some have double layer liners, with an upper cap inmolded and a less dense liner below. There are air channels between the layers. We can't find their website any more, but the helmets are available online.


Roar Helmets come from Shang Yang Industrial Co. of Taiwan and Vietnam. They have a line of nicely made CPSC-certified helmets, and their adult models are inmolded. Some have multiple shell pieces covering lower areas of the helmet. Most have modest rear points and recessed strap anchors, and some are very well rounded, notably the KS-04. There are bright color options for each model. They have a unique strap fitting that tightens with a screw. They should all retail in the $35 range. Roar has a child "designer's" helmet that they can customize with printing and graphics for events or other needs. Sizes run from 52.3 cm (20.5") to 62 cm.

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, but check their US web page for the ones certified to the CPSC standard. Most have partially recessed strap anchors and some have small reflective patches in the rear. Their models have cam locking strap fittings that locked the strap very well. They are nice looking helmets, most with bright color options including USA red, white and blue, and some Canadian graphics with maple leaves. We have not seen the Rudy Project line for this year. Models include:

Rudy Project has some interesting innovations, and perhaps they will get wider US distribution at some point.

SDS / 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. In mid-2009 Pacific bought PIT. We usually see them in big box stores or on the Internet at retailers like Amazon. They have some very inexpensive models, and some better ones that can be fitted more easily starting under $20. Most of their adult models also have a "youth" size. We can't find information about the line on the web any more, but at least two of their models have been rated highly by Consumer Reports in the past:

SE Ripper

SE has a classic skate style helmet with a hard ABS shell to complement their BMX and freestyle bikes. CPSC certified only. Retail is about $25.


Scott is a high tech sporting goods company that grew out of the invention of the first aluminum ski pole. They now produce many products, and have a line of bike helmets. They only certify their helmets to the CEN standard. At least one of Scott's models uses "cone-head foam" a very interesting technology. Most have bug net in the front vents. We have not seen their helmets.


Selev is an Italian company with models made in Italy mostly for the upscale road rider market. They obviously make an effort to produce unique-looking designs. Most of their helmets are inmolded, and the more expensive they are, the more points you get on the rear. The website says they meet EN 1078, the European standard, and are all made in Italy. Their models include:

Seven 20

Seven 20 is a skate brand. The ones we have seen are certified only to a European standard, EN 1385 - Helmets for canoeing and whitewater sports, not the CEN bike standard. Retail is about $25, but we have seen them at Sports Authority and Modell's for $15. The one we saw is not recommended for bicycle riding because it is not certified to the CPSC standard or even the European bicycle helmet standard. Not recommended for skateboarding either because it is not certified to the ASTM F1492 skateboard standard.


Shain (pronounced "shine") is an established Italian brand that was introduced to the US market in 2004. Their website says their helmets are "100% made in Italy."

After introducing a new foam in 2005, Shain has cut back on its use until by 2009 all of the Shain models were the standard EPS foam versions. Most are advertised as meeting the US CPSC standard, but we don't see them in the US market. They are the same models in 2011, and the line is beginning to look dated, with elongated helmets with sharp rear points.

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--the Bailen Bike Bucket had one 25 years ago and 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. The data in the catalog shows the g's rising from 137 to 213 on the second drop, and then to 367 g on the third drop. Most people in the helmet industry consider 213 high, and likely to cause a concussion, and anything over 300 g will not pass the US standard. So we would not describe that as multi impact performance.

Shain helmets have some European features like bug net in the forward vents on some models. All are inmolded except the toddler helmet. They have the best strap fittings we have seen, the Duraflex 2, holding their setting despite any combination of pulling and tugging we could devise. 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. The line includes:

Shain will replace a damaged helmet "at a substantially reduced cost to the original owner."

Shenzhen Hezhen Bicycle Inc.

A Chinese manufacturer located in 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, but we don't know what brands they manufacture for.

Shenzhen Qukang Industry Development

Although we have not seen their 2010 line, this Taiwanese manufacturer makes both EPS and EPU helmets. Their EPU helmets are inmolded. The styles are well-rounded, but vents look small. They have a fiberglass BMX model. We don't have current pricing. You would be most likely to see their helmets with other brands on them.


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


Smart helmets come from Shunde Smart Helmet Co in China. They supply helmets for other brands. Most of their helmet models have the elongated shape with many vents and points in the rear, but a few are nicely rounded. Some are inmolded, some taped on. There are kids and skate models as well. We don't have their retail pricing.


Specialized is one of the major U.S. helmet manufacturers sold through bike shops and a supplier of a wide range of bicycles and components. All of their bicycle-style helmets are inmolded. They have the straps in two models attached directly to the interior reinforcing, eliminating the nasty external strap anchors found on some high-end helmets. Other anchors are recessed. They also have a "U Turn" strap junction piece with a flip tab lock that they say will eliminate strap creep. Almost all Specialized models got an improved fit system for 2010. We found it slipped too easily on at least one of their samples. All models are ring fit. Several of the models below are available in a women's color scheme. Some have a new strap junction that curves to fit the jaw. In addition to the CPSC standard, Specialized models are certified to Snell's older B-90 bicycle helmet standard, very similar to CPSC, and the Deviant models to the Snell B-95 standard, somewhat tougher than CPSC. (Specialized is the only major US bike helmet brand still using Snell certification.) They have also certified the Deviant and Deviant Carbon to the ASTM downhill mountain biking standard, F1952. That standard requires better impact performance and coverage than the CPSC standard.

Most Specialized models fit 51 to 63 cm (20.0 to 24.8") heads. The Max fits up to 64 cm (25.5") heads.

Specialized usually has older models of their helmets on their website as Specials at reduced prices. Among them, the Instinct has the nicely rounded profile that we think is optimal, and the older Deviant and Deviant Carbon meet the same standards as the current versions. Prices for the oldest models are down around $30.

Specialized sells replacement pads and visors. You can find them on their website under spare parts.

Specialized will provide a 20% discount voucher for any crashed helmet, but requires proof of purchase and may substitute another helmet if the one that was crashed is no longer available.


Spiuk is a Spanish supplier of a wide range of bicycles, components and clothing. (The name is pronounced spee-yuke.) They have some bright color combinations on most models including team graphics. Strap anchors are nicely recessed. Pricing is from 2010, not this year. Their models include: In some cases Spiuk will replace crashed helmets at a discount.


Star Helmets (formerly Zhuhai H.N.Z. Star Safety Helmets), located in Zhuhai, China, produces an extensive line of helmets under the Star Sport brand. Some are inmolded, the rest have taped on or glued on shells. Their B3-11 model is well vented, round and smooth. Most of the rest have rear points. Some are only CEN certified, but others are certified to CPSC and fourteen appear on Snell's B-95 bicycle helmet certification list, indicating better than CPSC impact protection. Most should sell in the $10 to $30 range in the US market, with the BMX models around $65 and ski models probably in the same range.


Stash is a folding helmet designed to be stored in a smaller space than a standard helmet. It folds like the 1990's Motorika, a hard shell model that folded the same way. That one met the CPSC standard but bombed in the US market. The Stash has a truly strange hard outer partial shell of ABS. Aside from the bare foam sections, the shape is round and smooth. Both sides fold into the middle to store it compactly. Stash folding helmet The manufacturer of the Stash, Hatpac Ltd. of the UK, says it meets the CEN EN 1078 European bike helmet standard. If it does, it would be roughly equivalent to any one-piece Euro helmet. At an advertised 300 to 330 grams (about 12 oz.) it would be about a third heavier than a standard thin-shell CEN helmet, but that should not make much difference to any rider, particularly for short trips in town. Since there is no mention of testing to the US CPSC standard, this one probably could not be sold in the US. The typical CEN standard helmet does not meet our more severe impact tests. The Stash has protruding lumps for the hinges that might not pass our limits on protrusions as well. Although their web description of lab test results had indicated the author had some serious confusion about helmet testing, this is a really innovative design that might well encourage people using bikes in town to wear a helmet, particularly those who regularly borrow or rent a bike for short rides. Comes with a pouch, and the company has shoulder bags and backpacks with special Stash compartments. Comes in visible white with chrome trim, as a commuter helmet should, as well as invisible black. The two sizes fit heads from 55 to 58 (21.7 to 22.8") and 60 to 62 cm (23.6 to 24.4"). The Stash retails in the UK market for 50 pounds ($75) or less if you can find it. And we found it once in the Netherlands for 73.5 euros ($102). The Stash web page disappeared in 2010, and Hatpac is similarly difficult to find.

The only other folding helmet we know of is the Dahon, a CEN design not sold in the US.

Strategic Sports

Strategic Sports produces helmets for a number of U.S. and European companies with the other company's brand, and rank among the world's largest helmet producers, with annual sales in the millions of helmets. Ten of their helmets appear on Snell's list. They are the prime licensee of the Cone-head dual density foam design. We have comments on Strategic models under a number of other brands in this review, but you are not likely to see a Strategic Sports brand name, since they avoid publicity.

Taizhou Vista Sports Goods

Taizhou Vista is a Chinese supplier of helmets for other brands. They have 65 bike helmet models on the web, most of them elongated models with many vents and points in the rear. Some are inmolded, some taped on. There are kids and skate models as well. We don't have their retail pricing.

THE Industries

THE, an Enterprise founded by Toby Henderson, has mountain bike fenders, saddles and other accessories. The company provides helmets to Vigor Sports, where Henderson was one of the founding partners. Their F-14 model was the first rounder, smoother model with style and really good rear coverage to catch our eye, finally reaching the market in mid-2007. It has now been replaced by the F-20, a similar helmet with bigger vents and unfortunate rear points in the form of an added-on "air deflector." THE also has two full face helmets and a very round and smooth skate helmet with an ABS hard shell.

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 mostly have taped-on shells, while the EPP models noted below would more likely come from Taiwan and are all inmolded. Most of their designs feature the round, smooth shapes that we prefer, but some of the models have vents that we would find too small for summer use in the US. Most of the models below are on Snell's B-95 list, denoting somewhat better protection than CPSC-only models. We have not seen their line or pricing this year. Previously their models included: TKLI also produces helmets for other uses, including military, baseball, motorcycle, equestrian, football and snow sports.

Top Gear

Top Gear is the house brand for Helmets R Us, a bulk supplier of many models of inexpensive helmets to helmet promotion campaigns. Prices start at $3.65, including shipping for orders over 24. They also sell retail to individuals at about $10 per helmet plus shipping. They have a unique "Face Saver" model with a chinbar at $14. They also have a Model 17 skate style helmet that is dual certified to the CPSC bicycle standard and ASTM F1492 skateboard standard for less than $10.

Trek USA

Trek supplies a wide line of bikes and accessories to dealers, and their helmet graphics are designed to complement your Trek bike. They also market a line under their Bontrager brand to complement their Bontrager bikes, and have expanded it for 2011 and adjusted prices. Some models have reflective panels. Most have ring fit systems. Many have a women's model with different colors and graphics. Current models are:

Trek has a one year free replacement policy for crashed helmets. They have helmet replacement parts on their website and available through their dealers, including buckles, pads and visors.

Triple Eight

Triple Eight is primarily a skate and ski helmet company. We have not seen their helmets, but their website shows a single skate-style model with a choice of liner materials under the Brainsaver logo. They have a Helmet Chooser page that makes it clear which models are CPSC certified, but for the skate models they don't say what if any standard they meet. There is no mention on the website of the ASTM F1492 skateboard standard. Some models have rubberized finishes. We don't recommend those because they are likely to increase a helmet's sliding resistance in a crash. They do have some nice bright colors, including white. Their major innovation is a Sweatsaver Liner, claimed to manage sweat effectively. It has a terrycloth interface with the head, moisture wicking layers and anti-bacterial treatment. Retail prices are $36 to $40.

Troy Lee Designs

Troy Lee is a motorcycle helmet and gear manufacturer with a BMX line known for high quality rad graphics. They originated the large bolted-on visor style that makes the visor a potential point and has become universal on BMX models. Troy Lee says that the plastic mounts in the helmet will 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 still regard the visors as potential snag points. The Troy Lee bicycle line is named D2 for Daytona 2 and has three models.

Troy Lee will replace helmet liners after a crash if the shell is not damaged.

TSG - Technical Safety Gear

This Swiss company sells skate helmets in the US in the classic skate style, and one BMX model. For 2010 the models below are all certified to EN 1078 and US CPSC standards, but not to the ASTM F1492 skateboard standard. TSG's models include:

TSG's skate helmets fit heads from 54 to 60 cm. Their full-face helmets fit heads from 56 to 61 cm.

TSG has a free crash replacement policy.

Tung I Hsing

See THH above.


Urge is entering the US market in 2011 with a line of bicycle helmets that are environmentally sensitive and in some cases linked to green causes in other countries. All of their models are certified to CPSC and the CEN EN 1078 standard for Europe. The line includes:

Urge helmets fit sizes from 54 to 61 cm (21.3 to 24.0 inches)


Uvex is best known internationally for its optical products, but in the bicycle market there is interest in their helmets. Their helmets are designed and all made in Germany except for the Urban, Hero and Viva. All of them are inmolded. They have reflective logos, nicely recessed strap anchors and front vent net for insect protection. They have a unique buckle that uses a ridged tab that inserts and pushes in, that we have only seen on Abus and Uvex helmets. It is adjustable with one hand while riding, particularly useful to take out the slack as you sweat on warm rides and the strap loosens. It is one of the few designs that prompts the rider to automatically adjust the chinstrap each time they put it on. All of their helmets have a ring fit system with a dial adjuster. Some can be had in a sunglasses-plus-helmet combination and there are optional small LED flashers in red and white that replace the rear strap anchor for all inmolded models. The LEDs can either blink or shine continuously. The line includes:

Uvex helmets fit heads up to 63 cm/24.8 inches except for the X-ride/S-Fit above. They offer a crash replacement discount of 30% off the retail price.


Vcan is produced by Shanghai Hehui Safety Products, and includes a line of helmets that vary from beautifully rounded and smooth to angular with very large rear points. Some are inmolded. Strap anchors are recessed or internal on all models. All are ring fit. Most are sold under other brands. Vcan also has skate and snow helmets, but their website emphasizes motorcycle helmets.


Ventura is a house label of the bicycle distributor Cycle Force Group. The helmets mostly retail in the $15 to $35 range.

Vigor Sports - VSI

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. You will see them under various Vigor-owned brands and sometimes produced for other brands as well. They have some models with EPU "double impact" foam as well as more conventional EPS. EPU is a crushable foam that does not recover, so we don't know what "double impact" they are referring to. If you crash in an EPU foam helmet it needs to be replaced. Vigor's models that are not inmolded have a band of 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 some additional cost and an effort to make the helmets safer that we wish more manufacturers would adopt. Some of their models have strap fittings that lock very well. Most are ring fit, and all but two of the adult models have visors. Vigor is connected with THE, (Toby Henderson Enterprises) so they market several THE models.

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.


This Danish company sells a skate-style helmet with covers that convert it into a fashion accessory that does not look like a helmet. It is well suited to places where wearing a helmet is considered over-the-top for normal riders. The looks include a tweed hat with a brim that can flip up or down, a military-style cap in tweed, orange or other colors and two others that conform to the helmet shape but have different detailing and textures. No vents in the covers. Yakkay helmet Meets the CEN standard but apparently not CPSC for the US market. Dealers are listed in a number of European countries. List price in Denmark is 299 Danish Kroner ($60 US), or 90 pounds in the UK ($135 US), but much higher for some high-fashion covers. Lazer now has a similar cap-covered helmet. A great concept for those who would not be caught dead in a helmet.

Yakkay has an accessory called Safe One that is unique for locking a helmet to a bicycle when you get to your destination and want to leave your helmet with the bicycle. It locks the straps to the bike, and has a case that includes a bag to cover your helmet with, keeping it clean and dry. It is well-designed for a helmet that has a fashion cover.


See Kent International.


Xterra is an decade-old triathlete racing tradition, but a new helmet brand for the 2009 season, and their 2010 line was again all new, dropping multi impact EPU foam for standard EPS. All of their models are inmolded. We not longer find a website for them, but some Xterra models are available from Amazon and other online retailers at discounted prices.

YoLite Industrial Co.

YoLite supplies reflective helmets from China. They say that the entire surface of the helmet is reflective. We have not seen them and the website does not have much info on them.


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 under their brand, 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. Sizing runs from 49 cm (19.3 inches) for the smallest to 64 cm (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 page is frequently updated during the model year.

If you see something that needs updating, please send us an email!

Index to Manufacturers

Aerogo / Lucky Bell
Alltop, Allpro (Shanghai Tung Kuang)
Bern Unlimited
Bravo Sports
CNS - ProRider
Crazy Stuff
Diamondback (Avenir)
Docmeter (Helmeter)
Ebon (Co-Union)
El Sol - Bravo
Epsira Oy
Fly Racing
Fox Racing
Free Agent
Louis Garneau
Go On Sport - GOS
Guang Zhou Long Sheng
Happy Way
Headlight AB
Headstart PTY Ltd
Headstart (Malaysia)
Headstart Technologies
Helmeter - Docmeter
Helmets R Us
Hong Kong Sports
Hopus Technology/Aegis Helmets
Hot Wheels
J&B Importers
Kuji Sports
Louis Garneau
Lucky Bell / Aerogo
Michelin (Zefal)
Mien Yow Industry
Mongoose / Pacific Cycle
O'Neal (Azonic/O'Neal)
Pacific Cycle
ProRider - CNS
Pro Supergo
Rudy Project
San Diego Speed
Schwinn / Pacific Cycle
Seven 20
Shanghai Tung Kuang (Alltop, Allpro)
Shenzhen Hezhen Bicycle
Shenzhen Qukang
Strategic Sports
Synergy Sports
Taizhou Vista
Tong Ho Hsing (THH)
Troy Lee
Tung I Hsing
Tung Kuang I Light Industries
Variflex - VFX (Bravo Sports)
Vigor Sports
YoLite Industrial Co.
Zefal (Michelin)
Zhuhai Golex (Golex)
Zhuhai Safety
Zhuhai Star Safety