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Old 30 Sep 2008
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High(er)-speed helmet impact tests?

The current EU-norm 22-05 specifies the test be carried out in such a way that the impact speed equals about 27 kms per hour. And impact points are specific, each helmet is only tested once, and at these prescribed points.

I was hoping the new SHARP testing criteria would be tougher, and in some ways it seems to be.. but still they dont test at any considerably higher velocity (it is said in their explanation about testing protocols, that their research strongly suggested such a test be done, but many of the current helmets would not pass it - (ok, what the hell is that supposed to mean then???)) And even if they have specified more impact points, they are still known beforehand.

I´d expect my bicycle helmet to be quite okay at speeds in which the ECE22-05 test is done, and to be honest, the SHARP protocol doesnt seem that much stricter. Well, maybe a little.

Does anyone know, if some well-established institute has ever tested, what will actually happen, if the speeds are equivalent to what is normal in everyday riding on the highways, or even many smaller roads?

I just came to think of this, as when I go to work each day, there are speed limit regions of 30,40,50,60,80,100 and 120 kms per hour. I wouldnt be able to know, in which of these regions I would get into a possible accident. All the current "official" methods seem to concentrate on the very slow end of this speed scale.

Personally, I am much more worried about how my head would survive, if I crash on the motorway, or, say, at 100kms per hour, than if I do so in town, at almost running-speed. I know that if Im unlucky, I can be seriously hurt or killed anywhere; a car can run over me, and thats it, even though I dont have much speed at all.

Still, I think that all legally possible speeds should be tested, and I´m also quite sure that the highest probability of very severe consequences exists, when the crash speed is high, not when its low.

Modern sportsbikes can go over 100 kms per hour (in 1st gear I mean, and there are still 5 higher gears left!!), yet our helmets only get tested at 1/3 of that 1st gear speed. Why?

Is it because some of the worst ones would suddenly start to look unsalable?

Im not trying to pick up a fight about which helmet is best, I´m just curious, why these products dont seem to be getting any reliable, comparable testing done at "real-world" speeds. Or if its just me, who hasnt followed the news, and cannot find the right information on the web, then I apologise.

Last edited by pecha72; 30 Sep 2008 at 10:59. Reason: add
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