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Helmet Safety Ratings

1855 Views 25 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  irisharse3
Does anyone have an explanation of the various safety ratings(DOT, Snell, ECE, etc.)and which are more strenuous?
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DOT is the minimum US standard - even a 1/2 helmet "Skid Lid" style can pass this.
ECE/BSI are the Euro and British standards
Snell is a voluntary US certification because DOT is so easy to pass

There have been a lot of discussions around here and other sites as to which provides better protection, with one of the main points being that the Snell standard dictates a double hit in the same spot which tends to make helmets designed to pass it "harder" than the Euro certs, therefore transmitting more force to the head in the vast majority of lesser hits but standing up better to that 1 in a million time you'll hit the exact same spot twice. It is very rare to have a helmet pass both Snell and ECE, I think I've only heard of a couple. Most manufaturers will make different versions of the same model to pass the local certification as they require some different engineering in the foam.

Try this article as a starter:

Personally, my main street and dirt helmets are both DOT/ECE certified, but it's a personal decision. Either way you go you're probably much better off than anyone was 10 years ago.
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Don't forget that Snell also uses twice the height as DOT and differently shaped impact anvils.
This is just opinion, but DOT is pretty much useless in my book, isn't the main comparison between Snell and the Euro certs? Hell, this passes DOT:
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Any helmet sold in the US needs to be DOT approved.
It's legal to sell non-DOT helmets, just not to wear them while riding, you still need to check for the sticker when buying.
This is the article SNELL finally waved the white flag and admitted its M2005 standards sucked and picked up the ECE standard:

This is from SNELL so how biased against SNELL can it be?

They state M2005 and M2010 are incompatible. and from the looks of the requirements M2010 is actually BETTER than ECE22.05 standards... It's probably a good time to wait another season before getting another lid.
I hadn't seen that yet, thanks for helping to validate my decision to pay extra for a helmet from Europe.
Definitely take the Sharp with a grain of salt. The best helmet you can find (soon) will be Snell M2010. The best helmet you can find NOW is ECE22.05/BSI Gold star versions.
I'm going to hold off on praise for the new Snell standard until they start hitting the public and independant tests can be run.
So a cliff notes version at this time is:

ECE/BSI > Snell 2005 > DOT

Correct? But Snell 2010 will overtake all?
I didn't get a chance to look at the Snell 2010 stuff yet, but I'd hold off on putting it up on a pedistal until the helmets have gone through a 3rd party lab.
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