What’s the difference between a regular bike helmet and an eBike helmet? A regular bike helmet is designed to protect you at speeds of 15mph/24km/h. An eBike specific helmet is designed to protect you at speeds of 28mph / 45km/h.

This review looks at five NTA 8776 certified eBike  helmets that have been designed specifically for use on speed pedelecs or fast eBikes and also meet government approval ratings for safety.

Most countries set certain standards or ratings for helmets before they can be sold to the public. So for example, all bike helmets in the US need to have a CPSC rating but according to helmets.org  and cyclehelmets.org, helmets are tested and designed to protect you at speeds of only 24km/h or 15mph.  Therefore the question has to be asked –  is that same helmet going to protect your brain if you crash while riding at 45km/h or 28mph? 
 
Fortunately a new Dutch eBike standard called NTA 8776 came about in 2016. eBike helmets that comply with this new standard have been tested and designed specifically for the speed pedelec or Class 3 market. 
 

Companies such as Abus, BBB Cycling, Met,  and several others all collaborated together to bring about this new standard. These companies and others like Giro, Bontrager, Cratoni and Specialized have created at least one if not more NTA 8776 approved speed eBike helmets as well as their standard bike helmets. You can see the full list here at NEN.nl

While these speed helmets are readily available in Europe and the UK, they have been historically much harder to get in the USA. However this market is beginning to open up and it is now a little easier to get your hands on helmets designed specifically for speed ebikes or s-pedelecs.

These helmets offer significantly more protection than standard government approved helmets as they are designed for higher impact speeds and the helmets also cover all of a person’s head as opposed to just the top of the head. All this while still providing ventilation and still being lightweight compared to moped helmets.
 
In other words your brain will be more protected if you crash at speeds of 45km/h or 28mph wearing one of these helmets compared to a standard bike helmet. 

In the table below we’ll look at five of the best eBike helmets for s-pedelecs from three companies – Abus, Giro and Met – that all meet the Dutch standard and are suited for both complete beginners to eBikes and experienced riders alike.

Comparison Table - Abus Giro and Met

Best Budget Price
ABUS Pedelec+ Helmet Medium Velvet Black
Pedelec 2.0 - Concrete Grey - L
Best In Class
Giro Bexley MIPS Adult Urban Cycling Helmet - Medium (55-59 cm), Matte White (2020)
Best Overall Value
Giro Camden MIPS Matte Black Urban Commuter Bike Helmet Size Large
Product
ABUS Pedelec+ Helmet Medium Velvet Black
Pedelec 2.0 - Concrete Grey - L
Giro Bexley MIPS Adult Urban Cycling Helmet - Medium (55-59 cm), Matte White (2020)
Giro Camden MIPS Matte Black Urban Commuter Bike Helmet Size Large
Rear Visibility
Small triangular light
Small triangular light
Whole rear of helmet lights up
Whole rear of helmet lights up
Reflectors
Behind the ears
Behind the ears
No
No
Special Features
Integrated reflective rain cover; built-in insect net
Ponytail compatible; Integrated reflective rain cover; built-in insect net
MIPS, retractable eyeshield
MIPS
Sizes
Medium 52-57cm Large 57-62cm
Medium 52-57cm Large 57-62cm
Small 51-55cm Medium 55-59cm Large 59-63cm
Small 51-55cm Medium 55-59cm Large 59-63c
Best Budget Price
ABUS Pedelec+ Helmet Medium Velvet Black
Product
ABUS Pedelec+ Helmet Medium Velvet Black
Rear Visibility
Small triangular light
Reflectors
Behind the ears
Special Features
Integrated reflective rain cover; built-in insect net
Sizes
Medium 52-57cm Large 57-62cm
Pedelec 2.0 - Concrete Grey - L
Product
Pedelec 2.0 - Concrete Grey - L
Rear Visibility
Small triangular light
Reflectors
Behind the ears
Special Features
Ponytail compatible; Integrated reflective rain cover; built-in insect net
Sizes
Medium 52-57cm Large 57-62cm
Best In Class
Giro Bexley MIPS Adult Urban Cycling Helmet - Medium (55-59 cm), Matte White (2020)
Product
Giro Bexley MIPS Adult Urban Cycling Helmet - Medium (55-59 cm), Matte White (2020)
Rear Visibility
Whole rear of helmet lights up
Reflectors
No
Special Features
MIPS, retractable eyeshield
Sizes
Small 51-55cm Medium 55-59cm Large 59-63cm
Best Overall Value
Giro Camden MIPS Matte Black Urban Commuter Bike Helmet Size Large
Product
Giro Camden MIPS Matte Black Urban Commuter Bike Helmet Size Large
Rear Visibility
Whole rear of helmet lights up
Reflectors
No
Special Features
MIPS
Sizes
Small 51-55cm Medium 55-59cm Large 59-63c

Met Grancorso Helmet Gloss Safety Yellow Downhill Mountainbike
Optional rear light. Extra cost
Lower part

Helmet includes reflective materials.
Small 52-56cm Medium 56-58cm Large 58-62cm
Check Price on Amazon
Best Budget Price
ABUS Pedelec+ Helmet Medium Velvet Black
Pedelec 2.0 - Concrete Grey - L
Best In Class
Giro Bexley MIPS Adult Urban Cycling Helmet - Medium (55-59 cm), Matte White (2020)
Best Overall Value
Giro Camden MIPS Matte Black Urban Commuter Bike Helmet Size Large
Product
ABUS Pedelec+ Helmet Medium Velvet Black
Pedelec 2.0 - Concrete Grey - L
Giro Bexley MIPS Adult Urban Cycling Helmet - Medium (55-59 cm), Matte White (2020)
Giro Camden MIPS Matte Black Urban Commuter Bike Helmet Size Large
Rear Visibility
Small triangular light
Small triangular light
Whole rear of helmet lights up
Whole rear of helmet lights up
Reflectors
Behind the ears
Behind the ears
No
No
Special Features
Integrated reflective rain cover; built-in insect net
Ponytail compatible; Integrated reflective rain cover; built-in insect net
MIPS, retractable eyeshield
MIPS
Sizes
Medium 52-57cm Large 57-62cm
Medium 52-57cm Large 57-62cm
Small 51-55cm Medium 55-59cm Large 59-63cm
Small 51-55cm Medium 55-59cm Large 59-63c
Best Budget Price
ABUS Pedelec+ Helmet Medium Velvet Black
Product
ABUS Pedelec+ Helmet Medium Velvet Black
Rear Visibility
Small triangular light
Reflectors
Behind the ears
Special Features
Integrated reflective rain cover; built-in insect net
Sizes
Medium 52-57cm Large 57-62cm
Pedelec 2.0 - Concrete Grey - L
Product
Pedelec 2.0 - Concrete Grey - L
Rear Visibility
Small triangular light
Reflectors
Behind the ears
Special Features
Ponytail compatible; Integrated reflective rain cover; built-in insect net
Sizes
Medium 52-57cm Large 57-62cm
Best In Class
Giro Bexley MIPS Adult Urban Cycling Helmet - Medium (55-59 cm), Matte White (2020)
Product
Giro Bexley MIPS Adult Urban Cycling Helmet - Medium (55-59 cm), Matte White (2020)
Rear Visibility
Whole rear of helmet lights up
Reflectors
No
Special Features
MIPS, retractable eyeshield
Sizes
Small 51-55cm Medium 55-59cm Large 59-63cm
Best Overall Value
Giro Camden MIPS Matte Black Urban Commuter Bike Helmet Size Large
Product
Giro Camden MIPS Matte Black Urban Commuter Bike Helmet Size Large
Rear Visibility
Whole rear of helmet lights up
Reflectors
No
Special Features
MIPS
Sizes
Small 51-55cm Medium 55-59cm Large 59-63c
Product Met Grancorso Helmet Gloss Safety Yellow Downhill Mountainbike
Rear Visibility Optional rear light
Reflectors Lower part
Special Features Helmet includes reflective materials. Choice of bright colors helps with visibility
Sizes Small 52-56cm Medium 56-58cm Large 58-62cm

Features of NTA 8776 Helmets

Some of the common features of NTA 8776 helmets are the materials used to make the helmet. Commonly the inside of the helmet is made from expanded polystyrene (EPS). If you are involved in a serious accident, this will compress and absorb shock on impact.
 
The outer shell tends to be made from polycarbonate which is an injection-moulded reinforced plastic. As there is a certain flexibility in the material it means that in the event of a mild knock the impact will be partially dispersed by the shell’s flexion. Many of these helmets will also fuse the two materials (known as in-mold) together making the helmet even stronger.
 
As these eBike helmets have to withstand higher impacts, they tend to be heavier, rounder and cover all of your head compared to standard bike helmets.
 
One other common feature is the retention system which is basically a small wheel at the back of the helmet which enables you tighten the fit of the helmet.  Each company may have a slight variation to this and call it by some specific company name but the principle remains the same.

- Best if you're on a budget

ABUS are best known for their security products and were one of the first companies to develop helmets for the eBike market. After the first success with the Pedelec helmet, they came up with the Pedelec +. Made with EPS Core and Polycarbonate shell this helmet provides deep temple cover and neck protection. The design of the helmet includes a small visor to offer some shading from the sun.

Safety Features

  • A clever safety feature is the rechargeable LED triangular light high up on the back of the helmet. This can either be set to show as a steady light or flashing. It’s positioning means that it won’t get blocked by high collars or scarves. It also means that it’s one less accessory needed for your eBike.
  • In addition to the built-in light the helmet has reflectors on each side behind the ears for increased visibility
  • The Zoom Evo Adult is the Abus version of the rear wheel retention system

Comfort Features

  • 13 air vents connected with flow channels to keep you cool as you ride

Convenience features

  • A built-in net offers full protection from insects – very useful when travelling at speed.
  • There is also a handy reflective rain cover integrated in the helmet. So one less thing to carry or lose.
  • The very clever fidlock magnetic strap buckle which enables faster securing of your helmet with just one hand and is helpful for people with less mobility in their hands

Colors

The Pedelec+ comes in a choice of four colors
  • Concrete Grey,
  • Midnight Blue,
  • Motion White,
  • Velvet Black

Overall impressions of Abus Pedelec+

Pros

Cons

Good visibility at rear

Can be a little noisy in the wind

Keeps hair dry in the rain

No eye protection

Prevents insects and bugs getting in your hair

The Pedelec 2.0 has essentially the same features as the Pedelec+ (see above) with one addition
Ponytail compatibility.
The rear of the helmet has a wider gap between the bottom of the helmet and the retainer system to accommodate ponytails and pigtails. The advantage is that the helmet remains perfectly aligned on your head.
It is also lighter in weight than the Pedelec+

Overall impressions of Abus Pedelec 2.0

Pros

Cons

Good visibility at rear

No eye protection

Keeps hair dry in the rain

Prevents insects and bugs getting in your hair

Helmet fits comfortably even if you have long hair

- Premier helmet

Made with EPS Core and Polycarbonate shell.

Safety Features

  • MIPS or Multi Directional Impact Protection System is commonly found within Giro helmets. This is a secondary liner within the helmet which is designed to slide on impact to reduce rotational forces and jarring of the brain.
  • Like the Abus helmets, the Bexley features a rear light. However this light is so large it covers the whole of the back of the helmet making you extremely visible to other road users.
  • The Roc Loc City Air is the Giro version of the rear wheel retention system and provides fine tuning the snug factor of the helmet.

Comfort Features

  • 10 air vents of which 4 are adjustable for wind tunnel ventilation
  • A neat retractable eye-shield to protect you from the wind and glare

Convenience Features

  • Anti-microbial padding to keep the helmet fresh
  • Just as with the Abus helmets, Giro provide a fidlock magnetic strap buckle which enables faster securing of your helmet with just one hand and is helpful for people with less mobility in their hands

Colors

The Bexley comes in a choice of three colors
  • Black,
  • Titanium Flash
  • White

Overall impressions of Giro Bexley

Pros

Cons

Excellent visibility at rear

Expensive

Total eye protection

Extra impact protection with its MIPS technology

- Best all round value

The Camden comes with the exact same features and sizes as the Bexley (see above) minus the eye protection.

This gives riders the benefit of the MIPS technology, the Roc Loc city Air wheel retention and wind tunnel ventilation at a much reduced price.
 

Overall impressions of Giro Camden

Pros

Cons

Excellent visibility at rear

No eye protection

The fit is extremely adjustable

Very comfortable to wear

Extra impact protection with its MIPS technology

- Bright and highly reflective

 

Met grancorso NTA 8776 approved speed pedelec eBike helmetMet have been in the bike helmet business for over thirty years and this is Met’s first attempt at an NTA 8776 approved eBike helmet. The Grancorso looks like a typical urban helmet and comes with a removable visor

Safety Features

  • An optional USB light fitted above retainer wheel
  • The Grancorso is the only helmet with built-in reflective material around the bottom of the helmet for increased visibility
  • The Safe-T Advanced is Met’s version of the rear wheel retention system

Comfort Features

  • 8 air vents connected with flow channels to keep you cool as you ride
  • A removable eyeshield

Convenience features

  • The very clever fidlock magnetic strap buckle
  • Anti-allergenic interior padding

Colors

The Grancorso comes in a choice of five colors
  • Black
  • Anthracite
  • Sand
  • Safety yellow
  • Deep blue

Overall impressions of Met Grancorso

Pros

Cons

Bright reflective colors gives good all round visibility even without lights

Rear lighting only optional

Protects eyes with eyeshield

Very few air vents to keep cool

Cool urban look

Best NTA 8776 helmet

The top 3 NTA 8776 approved ebike helmets in this review are

  1. Giro Bexley for providing all round protection for your head as well as your eyes with it’s adjustable visor. Additionally ensuring visibility with its huge backlight.
  2. Giro Camden for providing the same benefits as the Giro Bexley without the visor
  3. Abus Pedelec+ cheaper than our top two, but still provides the required all round protection plus its built-in accessories

The best ebike helmets for s-pedelecs are NTA 8776 certified and are built to withstand an impact at 45km/h or 28mph.

While you can wear other tough helmets possibly designed for mountain biking for example, unless they are NTA 8776 rated, you are unlikely to get the increased level of protection needed for bombing around on a speed pedelec.

 
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HELMET BUYING GUIDE

The helmet you choose will depend on type of riding you do whether that is recreational, road or mountain biking.

Recreational helmets are generally cheap and cheerful and come in a wide range of looks and styles.

Road helmets tend to focus on ventilation, minimal weight and aerodynamics.

Mountain bike helmets provide extended head coverage compared to road helmets. They tend to come with visors and provide ventilation and retention systems to keep the helmet snug. 

Comfort and Fit

If the helmet is uncomfortable or doesn’t fit properly,  it’s unlikely that a) you’ll wear it and b) that it will do it’s job properly. So especially when buying a helmet online, it’s important that you measure your head properly in order to get the right size helmet for you. To do this wrap a soft tape measure around your head above the ears, 1/4″-1/2″ above your eyebrows.

One feature which used to be only found on high-end helmets is the retainer/retention dial found at the back of helmets. These ensure a more precise adjustment of  how snug the helmet is on your head. If you adjust it correctly, you should be able to hold your head upside down without the straps and the helmet should stay on your head. A lot of these helmets will also offer height adjustability at the back of the helmet.

What kind of rider are you and in what conditions are you riding?

If you tend to ride in cold and wet conditions, you might prefer a helmet that has less ventilation and doesn’t let the cold and rain in. On the other hand if you’re riding around in hot climates you might prefer a helmet with as many air vents as possible

Commuting on the road or riding at night

If you are commuting daily to work or college then ideally your helmet will be brightly colored, reflective and have built-in lighting systems in the helmet – basically anything to make you more visible to other road users.

cyclists with helmets riding on the beach

What's the difference between a $20 bike helmet and a $300+ helmet

All standard helmets have to meet the basic safety standard set by the country those helmets are being sold in. So in USA, for example, this standard is set by the CPSC while in the UK the standard needs to be EN1078 approved. Therefore a $20 bike helmet should give the same protection as a $300 helmet.
 

So why spend $300 on a bike helmet ?

For the additional features – the most common reasons that people spend the extra money are:
  • the reduced weight of the helmet – so the more money you spend the lighter the helmet (generally but not always)
  • the better type or the greater number of air vents to keep cool (generally but not always)
  • the aerodynamics of the helmet
  • extra internal padding for comfort and sweat absorption
  • newer technology like MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System,
  • for a specific type of riding or type of bike eg mountain biking, speed pedelec, road racing

Other features that you’re unlikely to find on a $20 helmet include

  • external lighting on the helmet on the front and/or back for greater visibility
  • reflectors on the helmet
  • magnetic locking straps
  • retainer dials at the back of the helmet – although they are becoming more and more common in the lower end helmets.

Examples of specialist bike helmets

Leatt DBX 3.0 Enduro V19.1 Adult Off-Road BMX Cycling Helmet
Removable chin bar to modify the helmet from an uphill to a downhill helmet in seconds; 23 vents for maximum ventilation even at low speeds
Giro Vanquish MIPS Bike Helmet
Included Accessories: Magnetic Vivid shield by Zeiss; Fit System: Roc Loc Air MIPS; Ventilation: Wind Tunnel ventilation
Oakley ARO7 MIPS Men's MTB Cycling Helmet - Black/Medium
2 Plutonite Visors w/ Micro Bag: Prizm Road & Clear.; Magnetic visor attachment with upside-down magnetic stowability.
$500.00
Retrospec CM-1 Classic Commuter Bike/Skate/Multi-Sport Helmet with 10 Vents
Fully formed ABS surrounds high quality EPS foam to ensure safety on impact
Mountain bike or enduro helmets like the Oakley AR07 or Leatt DBX will have wider coverage for the back of the head, may have a  removable visor, MIPS technology inside the helmet and chin guard.
 
MIPS stands for multi-directional impact protection system and is an added layer of protection. How it works is at the moment of impact the plastic inside slides to try and protect the brain from any further concussion. This used to be found only on  high end helmets but is increasingly found on medium priced helmets as well.
 
Mountain bikers also may wear googles to protect their eyes or have helmets with eyeshields.

A road racing helmet like the Giro Vanquish Aero helmet is extremely light and very aerodynamic.  A good racing helmet tends to be expensive because of the amount of  skill required to create a safe helmet with less material.

A speed pedelec helmet is designed specifically for speed eBikes. Like mountain bike helmets they tend to cover all of the head and tend to be heavier than road racing helmets.
 

Non-specialist helmets range in price from around $20 to about $50. Beyond that you start getting into the lower-end specialist features like rear-retainer dials to keep the helmet snug on your head and even MIPS which used to be only available on expensive helmets. 

Summary

Whatever type of helmet you go for, it always makes sense to wear one that meets the requirements for the type of riding you do.

While on the subject of protection, you might be interested in reading Bike Accessories You Didn’t Know You Wanted which covers tips and tools to keep your eBike and yourself safe on the roads.

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Last update on 2020-07-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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