Consumer Reports

Which bike helmets and locks provide the best safety and security?

NBC Universal, Inc.

Planning on spending some time on a bike this summer? Before you hit the streets or trails, you’ll need a good helmet. That’s where expert testing from Consumer Reports comes in to help you find the best helmet that combines safety and comfort.

Consumer Reports experts test helmets in a special lab, measuring how well they absorb impact at about 14 mph – it simulates how a biker might fall in an accident. 

To make sure the helmet stays on your head in a crash, they also test the strength of the chinstraps, attachment points, and buckles by dropping an almost 9-pound weight 2 feet so that it yanks on the straps.

But of course, human nature suggests many of us won’t wear a helmet if it’s not comfortable and easy to use, so Consumer Reports looks at that, too. 

The experts also evaluate the helmets for ventilation, fit adjustments, ease of use, and other key features.

In its latest round of testing, Consumer Reports says the best bike helmet for adults is the Bontrager Starvos WaveCel, which got perfect scores for impact absorption, fit adjustment, and ease of use.

Now that you’ve got the protection you need for your head, it’s time to protect your bike from thieves with a good bike lock.

Consumer Reports tests found that U-locks offered the best security against thieves.

The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini U-Lock performed the best, acing tests against bolt cutters, hacksaws, and brute force.

And if you’re planning on taking your bikes with you on vacation, you’ll need a good bike rack. Despite its high price tag, Consumer Reports liked the Küat NV 2.0 for being well-built and easy to load.

Consumer Reports also wants to remind you that helmets don’t last forever—so remember to replace your helmet every five years or right away if it’s damaged.

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