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Benefits of cycling

Cycle Helmet Safety Standards Explained

when you buy a cycling helmet you may like me just assume that it’s going to protect your head because you trust the brand that you’ve just bought in which case you may never actually pay attention to the little sticker on the inside of the helmet or on the box that tells you what safety standard it conforms to but it is actually a good idea to know about the safety standards particularly if you’re just about to go buy a new helmet now the good news is that generally speaking even the cheapest helmets from reputable brands will meet the right safety standards and actually a more expensive helmet isn’t necessarily safer if that is not it’s just what better ventilated more Aero lighter looks cooler yeah maybe not everyone the three main standards that we’re going to talk about are the US the European and the Australian now why three well they’re all ever so slightly different although all will ensure that your helmet is actually safe as long as it fits you correctly now they actually have quite similar test protocols although similar only on the surface perhaps because the difference is between them can actually be significant enough for a manufacturer to actually have to change the helmet itself in order to meet the criteria generally just by altering the density of the polystyrene on the inside of the shell now in order to do the testing a manufacturer will send a number of the same helmet to an accredited test facility where they’ll then be tested in various different ways all of which you will be very glad that your own head is a long way away from now so what are these tests then well first of all you’ll be particularly glad to hear impact testing the helmet is fitted to a fake head which has sensors in it that measure force is then dropped from a height of about 1.2 to 1.85 meters onto a flat surface and at various different angles and then this is in order to mimic the effect of hitting your head on a curve I can barely says that wincing the helmeted fake head is then dropped onto the edge of an anvil now in all these different tests the forces detected inside the fake head mustn’t exceed between 250 and 300 G depending on what the standard is so 250 in Europe and Australia and then 300 G in the US then they also test for retention so essentially a hook is placed and the edge of the helmet and then a 10 kilo load is dropped from 25 centimeters to create a sudden movement and will the helmet stay on are by now battered and beleaguered fake head or more importantly will actually stay on your head in the event of a crash now similarly the straps are also subjected to a dynamic yoke which believe it or not is actually the technical term for this but it is essentially to find out whether they’re strong enough or whether they will snap under extreme load and then this one is particularly interesting in Japan and only Japan they do a hair oil test so basically they cover the helmet in white Vaseline leave for 24 hours and then examine it after it but I suppose it’s quite a good thing loyd these helmets are all subjected to similar tests on a daily basis finally all these tests need to be carried out at ambient temperatures are between 17 and 23 degrees and 25% and 75% humidity but then they all have to be done again at minus 20 degrees so rather you cycling in that than me and then plus 50 degrees as well there get rather you than me riding in that but at least you know that even if you decide to stay in and ride on Swift at least your helmet will be right going out as I said if you look inside your helmet you will probably see a number of different stickers broadly speaking all the tests put helmets through their paces but Australia is actually considered to be the most stringent it requires lower G’s in the impact testing and then also has a unique load distribution test where a force is applied in a really small area and because helmet use is required by law in that country it really follows that you absolutely need to make sure that your lid conforms to those safety standards if you live but apart from that what do you as a consumer actually need to know well if you are buying a new helmet you need to make sure have a cursory look to see that it conforms to the safety standards where you live now in this case cask supply helmets to the different territories and so this one has a European safety sticker in it but also bear in mind that in order for a helmet to function it actually has to fit you and be adjusted correctly which funny enough we’ve got a video about oh yeah if you click just up there I’ll take you through to how to know categorically that your helmet is going to fit you or for a bit of information about actually how to choose your helmet with team skies Garant honest you can click just down there otherwise make sure you subscribe to GCN to do that just click on the globe

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