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Is there a reference on on-line source of information on what certifications have been awarded to all helmets currently available on the market?

For example I'm specifically trying to determine what certifications the 2011 POC Trabec Race Helmet has, but can find no sites that list them. (The manufacturer has a list for it's own products, but does not include this helmet.)

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Check out helmets.org for a good yearly rundown of helmet technology. They identify a lot of models which support new helmet tech like conehead foam, MIPS, Koroyd, and other technologies. –  Benzo Feb 3 at 18:07
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think the reality is that the best you can hope for is a per-country, per-tester, per-standard or per-certification list. There are many bicycle helmet safety standards I don't believe there is any single worldwide source of bicycle helmet certification info.

When you're at the store trying the helmet on to see if it fits comfortably, look inside the helmet for a certification sticker. Mine has a Snell sticker that says "B90A" and I can go to Snell's Helmet Certification List to search via the testing standard (B90A), make and model to find that they have tested that helmet to that standard. (and if I want I can also look around for the details of that standard).

Or perhaps you're not trying the helmet on and are contemplating buying the helmet site unseen? That sounds likes a bad idea to me, I'd want to insist on trying on a helmet before buying to make sure it fits my particular head well.

Snell essentially has their own higher standards that exceed the standard US standards and has a very nicely searchable online database. POC does not appear to use Snell because they don't list Snell on the POC for the other helmets and I can't find POC helmets on the Snell site.

The POC link you provided has some stuff with a European standard (EN), some with a "CPSC" and some with "ASTM". CPSC is the US "Consumer Products Safety Commission" who certifies testing procedures and testing labs and publish recall information, but I don't believe they actually do helmet testing directly. ASTM seems to be a worldwide standards organization, who similarly to CPSC certifies testing procedures, not helmets.

It's quite likely that POC uses the same outside lab for testing all of their helmets to the standards, so it's worth looking at who certifies to those standards they do list.

By searching on ASTM's website for "bicycle helmet" and clicking the "Laboratory" refinement button, and they have a listing for Biokinetics and Associates and ICS Labs. Otherwise ASTM's site isn't really very useful...

Biokinetics has a client listing that includes Bell (one of the bigger helmet manufacturers), but not POC. No product listing.

ICS doesn't appear to list their clients, and the Certified Products link is under construction.

Which all leads back to: look inside the helmet for the certification sticker.

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What distinguishes the POC Trabec helmet is the MIPS System. There are a few other helmets available on the market with MIPS.

The product description for the helmet mentions this: "MIPS system, letting the outer shell and liner move in relation to each other and thereby reducing the rotational forces to the brain"

The MIPS page describes it like this: "The brain is surrounded by a low-friction cushion of cerebrospinal fluid. MIPS imitates the brain's way of protecting itself by giving the helmet its own low-friction layer between the outer shell and the liner, to absorb much of the energy created by an oblique blow to the head."

This absorbs some additional impact and the floating shell is designed to reduce rotational force on the brain, which in theory is to reduce the forces that cause a concussion. This is something that standard CPSC certified helmets with EPS foam tend to not do well where the impact doesn't deform the foam.

Read for more info about MIPS: http://mipshelmet.com/how-it-works

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