Consumer Reports finds best bike helmet options

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Bicycling can be dangerous as it lands around 300,000 people in the emergency room every year. While a helmet can save your life, experts say only about 20 percent of adults wear one. (KABC)

Bicycling lands around 300,000 people in the emergency room every year. While a helmet can save your life, experts say only about 20 percent of adults wear one.

Consumer Reports tested helmets to help bike riders find the safest options.

Elliot Scott loves biking, but two years ago, he collided with a fellow biker at about 30 mph. The impact sent him flying through the air.

"The impact was hard. Many of the bones broke in my body, and my head did come down rather hard on the pavement," he said.

Consumer Reports tested 14 adult-size helmets this year to see how well they resist impact and absorb force.

The chin straps and buckles were also tested for stretching or breaking. Consumer Reports checked for ventilation by judging airflow at high speed.

Some of the helmets have MIPS technology, a special lining which claims to reduce force when impacted at an angle. Consumer Reports tested those claims and said MIPS may lower the risk of traumatic brain injury.

"We found it can reduce rotational force by 25 to 43 percent," said Rich Handel of Consumer Reports.

In conclusion, Consumer Reports recommends three MIPS-equipped helmets: the Scott Arx Plus for $125, the Bell Gage for $195 and the Bell Draft for $60.

As for helmets without MIPS, some of the best buys include the Cannondale Quick for $40, the Bell Draft, also for $40, and the Schwinn Intercept for $22.

The most important piece of advice, however, is that it's essential to always wear a helmet.

"If I didn't have my helmet on, I am pretty sure I would have been killed," said Scott.
Related Topics:
societybicyclesafetyconsumer reportsstudy
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