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Bicycle helmets in the testThese four surviveno crash!

“Bicycle helmets are ugly”, “nothing happens if you drive carefully”. There is no question that if you don't want to wear a bicycle helmet, you will always find arguments. But it is also clear that if there is a collision with an inattentive driver, the cyclist is at risk of life-threatening head injuries.

Anyone who wears a helmet while cycling expects reliable protection, but also comfort - a helmet that pinches or restricts the field of vision becomes a risk. BILD has therefore tested ten bicycle helmets. But only six of them really offer protection in the worst-case scenario.

No helmet obligation for German cyclists

Pros have had to wear a helmet on the Tour de France since 2004; everyday cyclists in Germany are not obliged to wear a helmet. The discussion about this is controversial.

The General German Bicycle Club (ADFC) is against a legal regulation. Especially since studies examining the benefits of bicycle helmets have come to very different or even surprising results for decades: According to a study from Australia, compulsory helmets are generally bad for health because fewer people ride their bikes and therefore less for their health would do.

As an argument, opponents of helmet compulsory often cite the bicycle city of Amsterdam, where hardly anyone cycles with a helmet. The German Bundestag also prefers to rely on voluntariness and justified a petition request as early as 2008 with the words: "Many cyclists will not understand this and will no longer use the bike as before, but leave it there."

Ultimately, everyone has to decide for themselves whether to wear a helmet. However, this does not apply unreservedly to parents who act as role models: if mom and dad drive without a helmet, their children will sooner rather than later follow suit.

Micro, hard or twin shell?

Modern bicycle helmets are available in three versions:

Microshell: Of these helmets of the simplest variant, four models are being tested. They are manufactured using the so-called in-mold process, with the inner rigid foam being injected directly into the outer shell. Because they have a very thin outer shell, they are usually comparatively light.

Hardshell: With their separate, thicker outer shell, they are usually a little heavier, but their protective effect is better, at least in theory. Five helmets with this design are being tested.

Twinshell: The test winner from Alpina shows how well the most elaborate and expensive variant combines protective effect with low weight. Such helmets have an additional layer between the inner and outer shell.

An exciting technology is the “Multi-Directional Impact Protection System” of the Smith Maze tested: MIPS is designed to reduce rotational forces in particular by shifting the helmet a few millimeters forwards, backwards or to the side in the event of a fall, thus absorbing some of the energy.

Stay away from used helmets!

The best way to buy your next head protection is in person in a bike shop, because you can only find a helmet with a fitting that fits perfectly and does not pinch anywhere. Never buy a used helmet, because not every fall leaves externally visible traces. However, every accident damages the helmet and then it has to be disposed of.

In addition, according to experts and manufacturers, helmets should be replaced about every five years, as the material changes over time and therefore the protective effect is reduced. The production date is usually on a sticker in the helmet. However, when not in use and properly stored, a helmet will last longer. Nevertheless, pay attention to the date when buying from a specialist store so as not to take home any old-fashioned goods.

Measure

Measure the circumference of your head with a tape measure. Make sure that the band is aligned horizontally from the forehead to the back of the head. Make a note of the value.

Try on

Manufacturers indicate a size range, about 52 to 56 centimeters. Find a suitable helmet based on the size of your head and put it on. If available, turn the wheel at the back of your head to adjust the helmet. The straps will be adjusted later.

To adjust

If the rotary knob on the back of the head is not enough, on some helmets too thin pads can be exchanged for thicker ones.

Hard shells

The thick outer shell ("hardshell") is easy to see on the left helmet. However, it is not completely connected to the inner shell, as is the case with the microshell helmet on the right.

Check the date

Take a look inside the helmet: In addition to the CE approval seal, you will also find a sticker with the production date printed on it. This should be as up-to-date as possible, since helmets have to be replaced after a few years, with regular use around every five years.

Furnishing

The helmet should have reflectors to be more visible at night. Integrated lighting such as a red LED rear light is helpful, but in no way replaces the mandatory bicycle lighting.

Helmets with luxury equipment

The test field covers all equipment variants; some are a matter of taste, others are important and practical: a so-called "spin dial", for example, is very useful to properly adjust the helmet. With this adjustment wheel on the back, you can adjust the extent of the inner padding so that the helmet fits perfectly.

Interesting too

Lockable strap distributors are also helpful so that you don't have to readjust the helmet every time. Many helmets have reflectors stuck to them for better visibility in the dark. The KED F395 / Berlin has the largest reflective surface on its back. The Abus Youn-I Ace and the Alpina Campiglio shine with integrated LED taillights; they certainly do not replace the bicycle taillight, but they are good additions.

The Carrera Foldable C can be pushed together for transport. However, the space savings are quite small, and because the helmet has to be held together with a strap, this quickly becomes a nuisance. The quickest way to open the closures of the Nutcase and Melon operate, the hooking mechanism of the Casco Roadster however, is a bit fiddly.

1. Hövding

The hairstyle is right: when you fall, the airbag flares up in the ruff and protects your head. Clever, but not cheap at around 300 euros.

2. Closca Fuga

Lay flat: The Fuga can be pushed together - perfect for transport. Price: around 110 euros

3. Lumos

Flashes: The helmet equipped with LEDs - among other things to indicate the direction - is available from 170 euros.

4. Overade Plixi

Space-saving: The Overade is extremely small. The price is also okay at 75 euros.

1. Head circumference

Put the helmet on straight - not too deep on your forehead or neck. Turn the wheel on the back to adjust the helmet to the head circumference.

2. Belt divider

Open the divider and adjust the straps so that they come together below the ear and do not bump. Fasten the belt splitter again. Repeat for the other side.

3. Chin strap

Now adjust the chin strap. It must not be too tight or too loose; a finger should still fit snugly between the chin and the strap.

4. Last check

Check whether the helmet sits securely, comfortably and, above all, straight on your head. Then nothing stands in the way of the first exit.

5. Shorten

Are the straps too long in the end? Then just cut them to size with scissors. Then use a lighter to fuse the cut edges of each end to prevent them from unraveling.

Bend and break

When it crashes, any helmet is better than no helmet. However, the test showed that some models put up with more than others. The tests were carried out according to the EN1078 bicycle standard as well as the Dutch standard NTA 8776 - it stipulates higher test speeds and thus takes into account the increased average speed caused by eBikes.

In terms of shock absorption, the Alpina Campiglio the best result. However, the significantly cheaper one at 45 euros also did well Uvex Hlmt 5. Surprising: Despite the mobile construction of the Carrera Foldable C With him, too, all laboratory measurements remained within the framework. For the Abus Youn-I Ace, the Casco Roadster and the KED F395 on the other hand the requirements were too tough. During the shock absorption test, they exceeded the permitted limit values ​​with an impact speed of 23.4 km / h.

The popular one also shows weaknesses Melon Urban Activewho failed the stripping test. In this test, an attempt is made to pull the closed helmet off the test head with a strong jerk. Helmets that failed one of the tested protective functions were downgraded to a grade of 5.0 in this area.

After the test, all helmets were ready for the dustbin: in the event of a fall, the helmet absorbs a lot of kinetic energy and deforms, some even break open. In the test, too, there were candidates who looked badly battered after the impact tests, such as the Casco Roadster.

Tip: Some manufacturers like Giro offer exchange programs. If a helmet breaks in a fall, you can get a new one at more favorable terms - it's worth asking.

When it comes to wearing comfort, it became clear how different the testers' heads and sensations can be Giro Reverb and at Uvex pressed the cushion lightly on the forehead, the Nutcase pressed with the neck tape. At the Carrera the chin strap scratched the skin of one test person, while a second had no problems with it. The Smith Maze MIPS also has few air inlets. This is useful in the rain, but in the sun it quickly gets quite warm. On the other hand, all testers praised the magnetic closures of the helmets Nutcase and Melonthat are very easy to close and open.

All of this shows: Take your time trying on and look for a helmet that fits and you like - only then will you put it on regularly!

3 questions to ...

... ROLAND HUHN, Legal Advisor ADFC (General German Bicycle Club)How do you minimize the risk as a cyclist? Roland Huhn: The greatest danger for cyclists are turning cars. That is why the ADFC is committed to structurally protected intersections, but also to driver assistance systems that warn of cyclists in the blind spot. Cyclists would do well to be particularly careful at junctions and junctions. Cyclists can also make a significant contribution to road safety through their own behavior, especially through the correct use of the paths. Driving on the sidewalk or against the prescribed direction of travel of the cycle path is an imposition for other road users and dangerous. Despite the dangers, the ADFC is against compulsory helmets. Why? We are not against helmets - they can prevent or at least mitigate head injuries. We advise our members on buying a helmet. However, we speak out against a helmet law. As we know from Australia, where the helmet requirement was introduced at the end of the 1990s, such a requirement suddenly reduces the use of bicycles. You can get a good rate of helmet wearing even without a law, as the steadily increasing numbers show. What should you look for when buying? A good fit - the helmet should not slip when you shake your head, even with the chin strap open. This is only possible with a fitting. And good ventilation. You don't want to have a bright red head right away.

Conclusion

The most important thing about a bicycle helmet: it has to fit. Because only then can he really protect in the event of an accident. If it sits too loosely, it slips when falling and loses its shock-absorbing effect. That is why it is gross nonsense to put the helmet on a thick woolen hat or hood in winter.

You also have to like it visually, otherwise it will stay at home. The helmets in the test offer something suitable for every taste with their original shapes, colors and decorations. Some manufacturers also offer helmets in a matt black stealth look, but the cool look comes at the expense of safety - with bright signal colors you are more visible to other road users. Fortunately, all test candidates are also available in such variants.

Places 1-3

MANUFACTURERALPINANUTCASEUVEXInternetwww.alpina-sports.com/de-de/nutcasehelmets.comwww.uvex-sports.com/deProduktCampiglioNT1-MHlmt 5 Bike

Available helmet sizes / number of color variants 3 (51–61 cm) / 33 (52–64 cm) / 442 (55–61 cm) / 4

Furnishing10,00%

very good1,24

satisfying2,66

Well2,44 Weight 300 grams, 460 grams, 405 grams

Reflectors / lighting

Yes / Yes

Yes No

Yes No

Ventilation openings / front with insect protection

many / yes

present / no

few / no upholstery removable yes yes yes

Protective function57,00%   

very good1,46

Well1,54

Well1,79

Shock absorption curb (19.5 km / h): helmet previously warmed up / cooled down (results in acceleration due to gravity = g)

very good (102 g) / good (168 g)

very good (115 g) / very good (119 g)

very good (129 g) / very good (133 g)

Shock absorption surface (23.4 km / h): helmet previously heated / cooled

good (186 g) / very good (120 g)

good (179 g) / satisfactory (211 g)

sufficient (240 g) / good (173 g)

Shock absorption in wet conditions: 19.5 km / h / 23.4 km / h

very good (92 g) / good (181 g)

very good (105 g) / good (185 g)

good (187 g) / good (188 g) stripping test passed passed

Check the belt system / dynamic elongation (max. 35 mm) / permanent elongation (max. 25 mm) / can be opened with one hand

passed / very much (33 mm) / very much (24 mm) / yes

passed / much (28 mm) / little (10 mm) / yes

passed / very much (35 mm) / little (11 mm) / yes Handling and comfort 30.00% good 1.85 good 2.40 satisfactory 2.63

Individually adaptable (helmet size and chin strap / put on / take off) simply easy

Chin strap difficult to adjust

Unintentional adjustment of the belt system during transport (e.g. when hanging on a rucksack)

Belt strap distributor can be fixed with a lock, easy to open

Belt distributor cannot be fixed, straps can be moved

Strap distributor fixable, can be moved with a little force

Comfort: fit (e.g. pushing) / chinstrap and lock (e.g. scratching, fastening function)

good fit, a bit wide, lock closes and opens easily

good fit, neck tape presses slightly, good magnetic closure

pushes the front over the forehead, rather uncomfortable restriction of the field of vision slightly upwards, helmet is slightly upwards slightly upwards

Processing, safety assessment (sharp edges, clamping points)

good, no sharp edges

good, no sharp edges

Rotary knob for setting fiddly lighting on / offgood and simpleno lightingno lightingAccessories and instructions 3.00% sufficient 4.42 satisfactory 2.83 sufficient 4.42

Rain protection / winter protection available from the manufacturer no / no no / yes no / no

Instructions: Adjustment / safety / replacement instructions / legibility

yes / yes / yes / good

yes / yes / yes / satisfactory

yes / yes / yes / good

TEST RESULT Price judgment

good 1.64 appropriate

good 1.95 Cheap

good 2.19 low price 105 euros75 euros45 euros

Places 4-6

MANUFACTURERCARRERAGIROSMITHInternetwww.shop-carrera.com de.giro.com

www.smithoptics. com / de ProductFoldable CReverbMaze MIPS

Available helmet sizes / number of color variants 2 (55–61 cm) / 10 5 (47–65 cm) / 73 (51–62 cm) / 2

Furnishing10,00% Sufficient 3.53 Satisfactory 3.34 Satisfactory 3.49 Weight 340 grams280 grams310 grams

Reflectors / lighting no / nono / nono / no

Ventilation openings / front with insect protection many / no few / no few / no cushion removable yes yes yes

Protective function57,00%   good 1.66 good 1.95 good 1.96

Shock absorption curb (19.5 km / h): helmet previously warmed up / cooled down (results in acceleration due to gravity = g)

very good (107 g) / very good (145 g)

very good (126 g) / very good (121 g)

very good (149 g) / very good (138 g)

Shock absorption surface (23.4 km / h): helmet previously heated / cooled

satisfactory (204 g) / equ. (224 g)

sufficient (250 g) / limited (210 g)

sufficient (231 g) / sufficient (240 g)

Shock absorption in wet conditions: 19.5 km / h / 23.4 km / h

very good (124 g) / good (187 g)

s. good (124 g) / sufficient (243 g)

see good (157 g) / satisfactory (222 g) Peel test passed passed passed

Check the belt system / dynamic elongation (max. 35 mm) / permanent elongation (max. 25 mm) / can be opened with one hand

passed / a little much (22 mm) / very little (9 mm) / yes

passed / a little much (19 mm) / very little (6 mm) / yes

passed / a lot (27 mm) / very little (5 mm) / yes

Handling andComfort 30.00%

satisfying2,58

Well2,35

satisfying2,75

Individually adaptable (helmet size and chin strap / put on / take off)

simple, elastic at the back instead of a rotary wheel

simple, over the sides and chinstrap, back of the head fixed with elastic

simple, no adjustment at the back of the head

Unintentional adjustment of the belt system during transport (e.g. when hanging on a rucksack)

Belt distributor cannot be fixed, straps move easily

Belt distributor cannot be fixed, but is rather difficult to move

Strap distributor fixable, relatively easy to slip

Comfort: fit (e.g. pushing) / chin strap and lock (e.g. scratching, fastening function)

rather uncomfortable, takes getting used to even when sitting down

very good fit, sits tight, adhesive pad on the front is pressing something

sits a bit loose, but comfortable, cannot be adjusted more tightly

Restriction of the field of vision very slightly upwards slightly upwards slightly upwards

Processing, safety assessment (sharp edges, clamping points)

partly sharp and burr

sharp seam, surface burr

The transition is partially burred, switch the lighting on / off, no lighting, no lighting, good and simpleAccessories and instructions 3.00%

sufficient4,92

sufficient4,50

sufficient4,42

Rain protection / winter protection available from the manufacturer no / no no / no no / no

Instructions: Adjustment / safety / replacement instructions / legibility

no / yes / yes / satisfactory

yes / yes / yes / satisfactory

yes / yes / yes / good

TEST RESULT Price judgment

good 2.22 Cheap

good 2.29 appropriate

good 2.42 reasonable price 90 euros 55 euros 90 euros

Places 7-10

MANUFACTURERABUS MELONKEDCASCOInternetwww.abus.de

www.melon- helmets.com

www.ked-helm systeme.de

www.casco- helme.de Product Youn-I AceUrban Active IM002F395 / BerlinRoadster o.V.

Available helmet sizes / number of color variants 2 (48-57 cm) / 53 (46-63 cm) / 382 (52-63 cm) / 54 (50-63 cm) / 4

Hooking mechanism

Furnishing10,00% very good 1.10 good 1.84 good 2.51 good 1.96 Weight 270 g 290 g 440 g 345 g

Reflectors / lighting yes / yes yes / no yes / yes yes / no

Ventilation openings / front with insect protection many / yes present / no few / yes many / yes, removable upholstery yes yes yes

Protective function57,00%   

inadequate5,00

inadequate5,00

inadequate5,00

inadequate5,00

Shock absorption curb (19.5 km / h): helmet warmed up / cooled down beforehand (results in acceleration due to gravity = g)

very good (113 g) / very good (126 g)

very good (96 g) / very good (125 g)

very good (163 g) / very good (162 g)

very good (127 g) / very good (124 g)

Shock absorption surface (23.4 km / h): helmet previously heated / cooled

poor (289 g) / good (193 g)

good (168 g) / satisfactory (215 g)

insufficient (382 g) / inadequate (274 g)

insufficient (395 g) / fr. (200 g)

Shock absorption in wet conditions: 19.5 km / h / 23.4 km / h

very good (130 g) / good (186 g)

see good (121 g) / satisfactory (201 g)

s. good (130 g) / sufficient (244 g)

very good (118 g) / good (178 g) peel test passed failed passed passed

Check the belt system / dynamic elongation (max. 35 mm) / permanent elongation (max. 25 mm) / can be opened with one hand

passed / a little much (24 mm) / very little (6 mm) / yes

passed / much (30 mm) / little (14 mm) / yes

passed / much (30 mm) / very much (25 mm) / yes

passed / very much (33 mm) / little (13 mm) / no

Handling andComfort 30.00%good 1.78 good 2.27 good 2.17

satisfying2,58

Individually adaptable (helmet size and chin strap / putting on / taking off) easy

easy, the wheel at the back of the head is a bit difficult to move and positioned high up easy

simple, just over the chin strap and the back of the head; Pages fixed

Unintentional adjustment of the belt system during transport (e.g. when hanging on a rucksack)

Belt distributor can be fixed with a lock (easy to open)

Belt strap distributor can be fixed with a fastener (easy to open)

Belt strap distributor can be fixed, straps can still be moved

side straps not adjustable

Comfort: fit (e.g. pushing) / chinstrap and lock (e.g. scratching, fastening function)

slight pressure on the back of the head or fits well

good fit, chinstrap uncomfortable, clasp sometimes fiddly

good fit, ratchet lock partially notchy

very good fit, tape at the back a bit uncomfortable

Restriction of the field of vision

the screen is easily annoying upwards

very slightly upwards slightly upwards

Processing, safety assessment (sharp edges, clamping points)

good, no sharp edges

Sharp-edged closure

good, no sharp edges

The seam to the styrofoam is a bit dirty

Turn lights on / off well and simply no lights

no lighting

no lighting

Accessories andInstructions 3.00%

very good1,08

sufficient4,42

sufficient4,42

satisfying2,75

Rain protection / winter protection available from the manufacturer yes / yes no / no no / no no / no

Instructions: Adjustment / safety / replacement instructions / legibility

yes / yes / yes / good

yes / yes / yes / good

yes / yes / yes / good

yes / yes / yes / good

TEST RESULT

Price judgment

sufficient3,53    appropriate

sufficient3,85 appropriate

sufficient3,88 expensive

sufficient3,90 expensive price 60 euros60 euros95 euros80 euros

The shock absorption tests in the laboratory unearthed some surprises, the Dutch test standard brought some helmets to their limits. Although the Dutch chose the test speed of 23.4 km / h with eBikes in mind, this speed can also be reached by reasonably fit cyclists on normal bikes in everyday city traffic.

Therefore, TESTBILD decided to also rate the helmets according to the stricter standard. Also surprising: the design or the weight of the helmets hardly allow any conclusions to be drawn about the protective effect. The massive-looking and quite heavy helmet from KED did not provide any better protection than lighter models, even at low speeds. The test winner from Alpina, on the other hand, was one of the lighter models and still impressed with the best shock absorption.

But also the price-performance winner Uvex Hlmt 5 scored “good” in the test of the protective effect. Whether a helmet was too bulky, too heavy or too expensive for you - these excuses no longer work.