Bicycle Helmet Standards
Summary: The Consumer Product Safety Commission bike helmet standard is required by law in the US. Some of the Snell Memorial Foundation standards are a bit more difficult to pass, but are not often used. ASTM continues to produce standards for other activities such as skating, skiing and downhill bicycle racing. Australia, Canada, Europe and others have bicycle helmet standards as well, and we discuss them below. We also have a summary standards comparison page.
Standards Discussed Below
All of the standards discussed here require the helmet to pass a lab test where it is placed on an instrumented headform, turned upside down and dropped for a measured distance onto an anvil. The anvil can be flat, round (hemispheric) or another shape like a curbstone, a skate blade or a horse’s hoof. Drop distances vary but are generally between one and two meters (3.3 to 6.6