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  1. #1
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    more on the Snell certificate

    Hi,

    I'm posting this info from a correspondence I'm having with a Snell Foundation representative, I thought it might interest some of ye

    I asked about the CPSC standard vs the Snell and also about the differences between the Snell B95A and B90A and that was the reply:

    "The CPSC standard is the mandatory standard for bicycle helmets in the US.
    All bicycle helmets in the US must meet the CPSC standard by law. But The
    CPSC standard is a self-certifying standard, which means that the helmet
    manufacturer is responsible for making sure that its products is CPSC
    compliant. CPSC does perform some random testing to check on helmet
    compliance, but no manufacturer has to submit helmets for CPSC for testing
    and approval before bringing its products into the market.

    Snell standards are voluntary but are more stringent than the government
    mandatory standard CPSC. All Snell certified helmets must pass a complete
    comprehensive certification testing process at the Snell lab to be
    certified. Production and distribution of those certified helmet will carry
    a Snell certification sticker with a unique serial number to track production
    quantity. Then Snell buys back random samples of certified helmets in the
    market place based on production quantities to verify the performance of
    those helmets sold to the public. The difference in the Snell B-90A
    standard and B-95A standard is that the B-95A standard requires more areas
    on the helmet be tested for impact protection in the back of the head. Some
    helmets certified to the B90A standard is styled in such a way that the back
    of the head is not covered by sufficient amount of impact absorption foam
    and thus will have trouble passing the B-95A standard testing.

    Snell certification tests are pass or fail testing under different
    environmental conditions (Hot, Cold, Wet, Ambient) onto different impact
    surfaces. A helmet sample that does well in one condition or on one surface
    may not do so well in another. Only when all tests pass the standard
    requirements, a helmet model and size becomes Snell certified products. So
    we cannot rank one helmet model against another. Basically when a helmet
    become Snell certified, it means we strongly recommend that helmet model to
    the general public. Snell certification means that it is the most protective
    headgear available in the market. "





    so as far as I understand now the B95A certification is the most demanding standard for bicycle helmets,
    on the Snell website here ( http://www.smf.org/cert ) one can find a list of helmets that have achieved this standard, I think its interesting to note
    that amongst them are some Chinese lower-cost helmets as well, now i'm trying to figure out which of these helmets listed there is available to purchase in USA and where however the helmet I'd care to use must be regular and not the full-face DH style....

  2. #2
    Slob GrouchoWretch's Avatar
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    I'd wear full face with a face shield much of the year if I were still riding in Wyoming. But not San Antonio.
    1970s AMF Roadmaster 3-speed
    2012 GT Zum City

  3. #3
    Vegan on a bicycle smasha's Avatar
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    now look into the forces involved in the "impact tests" they do, and ask why they're marketed as "bicycle helmets", rather than "pedestrian helmets"
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    From what I have read, the Snell B-95A standard requires a smooth exterior and has a chin bar test. Sounds like a full face motorcycle style helmet with no vents to me. The biggest difference as far as actual impact testing between CPSC and B-95A is the drop height (2M vs 2.2M). I have also read that the European CE EN1078 standard, which is also newer than the B-95A, also has a 2.2M drop test and allows vents. So, IMO, the best helmet for me would be the ones meeting CS EN1078 which every Bell helmet meets.

    Russ

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roushe View Post
    From what I have read, the Snell B-95A standard requires a smooth exterior and has a chin bar test. Sounds like a full face motorcycle style helmet with no vents to me. The biggest difference as far as actual impact testing between CPSC and B-95A is the drop height (2M vs 2.2M). I have also read that the European CE EN1078 standard, which is also newer than the B-95A, also has a 2.2M drop test and allows vents. So, IMO, the best helmet for me would be the ones meeting CS EN1078 which every Bell helmet meets.

    Russ
    great to hear about that why pay for a helmet more than for a Bell if it offers just the same protection? I also understand that the affordable Specialized Align meets both the B90A AND the CS, so its also a good way to go...
    the representative in Snell suggested to me the most protective helmet there is (in their opinion and testing) but its not for regular rides...

    he wrote:
    "I can see that you really want all the protection that you can get for bicycling. The only B-95A certified helmets that are easily available in today's market is the Specialized Dissident model. It is designed for mountain biking and downhill biking. You should find it in any Specialized bicycle dealer shops in the US. Make sure you find a size that fit your head."
    Last edited by emman123; 02-24-13 at 12:42 AM.

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