Consumer Reports Ranks Specialized Echelon Bike Helmet Best Buy

by Stern Dixon, director of marketing

Turns out the best way to test a bike helmet isn’t doing an “endo” on a mountain biking trail. The folks at Consumer Reports recently tested 13 bike helmets marketed to adults and kids. To get all scientific about it, they strapped a metal head filled with sensors inside the helmets and dropped them on an iron anvil. The sensors detected the amount of force on the head caused by the helmet-on-iron collision. The verdict: The Specialized Echelon model at roughly $60 rated tops in their testing. TheBern Brighton Thin Shell EPS and the Nutcase Street Sport 8 Ball both failed the impact test – both are multi-sport helmets meant to go from bike riding to skateboarding and back.

Consumer Reports also ranked helmets on a number of other factors including ventilation, fit, adjustability, ease of use and weight. Also getting recommendations from the staff were the:

  • Bontrager Circuit;
  • Garneau Baristo;
  • Bell Array Road; and in the youth division, the
  • Bontrager Solstice Youth.

In the youth category, the Bern Nino Zip Mold multi-sport also came in last place due to that style’s usual lack of ventilation and adjustment.

The take-away? While any helmet is better than none, cycling-specific helmets tend to be more impact resistant than multisport versions; and tend to be more adjustable and comfortable.

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