IIHS-Virginia Tech news release • June 26, 2018

New tests show some bike helmets protect heads better than others

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injuries in cycling, but, until now, consumers who want to buy one that offers the best protection have had little information to go on. A new ratings program, based on collaborative research by Virginia Tech and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, fixes that.

The first 30 helmets to be tested — all popular adult-size models — show a range of performance, with four earning the highest rating of 5 stars, two earning 2 stars, and the rest in the 3-4-star range. Cost wasn’t a good predictor of performance. Both the $200 Bontrager Ballista MIPS and the $75 Specialized Chamonix MIPS earn 5 stars.

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For more information from the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, go to

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