I have been subjected to both types of helmets for several years, beginning with recreational ice skating and continuing with cycling to work. Owning a two-wheeler is the riskiest property somebody could have. In the United States, 751 bikers have passed away as of 2020, and the figure is growing.
The fact that 97 percent of the riders were not wearing helmets is what I found to be the most disheartening. However, these figures demonstrate the importance of helmets. Thus, comes choosing a suitable helmet for your desired activity.
The decision between a bike helmet and a skateboard helmet tends to be the most puzzling for users. I have prepared the most detailed skate helmet vs bike helmet comparison that will help you in making the right decision.
Let’s start with the basics.
What’s A Skateboard Helmet?
You will be surprised that about 64,500 U.S children and teens are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year. We have to say that skateboard helmets are quite underrated here. It’s mostly because they don’t know what a skateboard helmet provides to their user. Let’s check them out.
The skateboard helmet is more focused on the back side of the user as skaters tend to fall on the back side rather than the front.
It’s more stylish than you think. With multiple designs and colors, they are now considered a trend.
A hard shell is used outside so that it doesn’t break immediately after the collision.
A tight strap and strong buckle hold the whole helmet through thick and thin.
Makes sure other drivers notices you are skating by letting them spot you through perceptible helmets.
That’s all the basics about these helmets that you need to know. Now, let’s get started with a discussion about bike helmets vs skateboard helmets.
What’s A Bike Helmet?
As the name suggests, bike helmets are the ones that provide some distinct features that make them suitable for biking. Mostly, to prevent you from accidents while almost not interfering with your ride. These helmets are capable of only soaking in one impact but a severe one.
Nevertheless, here are some of the features that a bike helmet will provide you:
Satisfactory ventilation keeps your head chilly even after hours of cycling.
Excellent aerodynamics that minimizes the drag caused by air. This means even with greater pedals; your head will not feel the pressure of the air pushing.
Significantly lightweight that will put almost no pressure on your head and not feel suffocated wearing it.
A steady fit that will not come off even when colliding in heavy speeding. Moreover, not move when passing through rough tracks.
Compresses the foam to your head when it comes across a severe impact.
Let’s Discuss Skate Helmets Vs Bike Helmets
The two helmets differ greatly in many aspects, despite the fact that they have a similar purpose.
Let’s examine their differences in more detail.
01. Safety Standard
Knowing each of their safety standards is what you should learn first. It’s certainly the most important than the skateboard vs bike helmet functionalities comparison.
Three safety standards are maintained in the United States. CPSC certification, ASTM certification, and finally, ANSI certification. Don’t be confused; I will explain it as simply as possible.
02. CPSC Certification
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the common ground for all the helmets out there. It’s unfeasible that a helmet can be imported or manufactured in the U.S without having this certification. CPSC is a primary certification that every helmet is bound to have, and there’s no escaping it.
Essentially, it’s the baseline of any helmet’s main motive. As per the law, the CPSC certification is only given to those helmets that protect against skull fractures and severe brain injuries when the helmet is used properly.
Nevertheless, a bike helmet or a skateboard helmet both have CPSC certification.
03. ASTM Certification
While the CPSC certification is mandatory, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is voluntary. Meaning that the manufacturers are not bound to give this certification. Nevertheless, don’t worry they come through CPSC certification and then can apply for ASTM.
An ASTM certification is mostly used in skateboarding helmets. The helmets go through lab testing, where a dummy head is present. As a result, several intentional damages are tried to be done to the helmet. If the dummy survives, then it gets the ASTM certification.
However, it is said that the helmets that manage to pass CPSC certifications can easily acquire the ASTM certification as well.
04. ANSI Certification
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certification is not for skateboard helmets but bike helmets. Similar to ASTM, it’s a voluntary certification.
However, regarding bike helmets, ANSI has adopted the ASTM certification protocol. It was done back in 1995, but later on, in 2003, ANSI officially announced that they follow the same procedure as ASTM for testing.
The ANSI certification mainly died because it was easy to meet the requirements for a helmet. As a result, they didn’t keep their pride before safety.
Nevertheless, there’s no winner when it comes to the debate about skateboard helmet vs bike helmet. Both of them are CPSC certified, and you can easily trust a helmet with your life with that certification.
05. Types Of Foam
Both skateboard and bike helmets use the same type of foam called expanded polystyrene (EPS). Moreover, other helmets except these also use EPS as their foam as they are such a good fit.
They are selected for protective devices because they absorb an insane amount of energy. The energy from a crash is converted, channeled, and dissipated by EPS foam, which stops it from reaching the body or brain.
On the other hand, it’s lightweight and easy to ventilate adds up to the pros of why EPS should be used in helmets. I feel that the material itself was made for this purpose.
However, I do feel that EPS is less comfortable than soft foam but safe. While a soft foam will compress after a collision, the rigid EPS foam will not compress and does not bounce back. Thus, I would choose this foam any day and any time of the year.
Doing a skateboard helmet vs a bicycle helmet and not talking about their vents is quite unfair. Ventilation is one of the crucial factors that you should look out for. Whether it be skating or cycling, vents give you access to keep your head cool.
Only bike helmets have been able to achieve ventilation. More number of small holes are present in the helmet that has better ventilation. These small holes work by letting the air pass through the helmet and reach your head surface.
However, the manufacturers need to be super-efficient when creating vents in your helmet. They need to make sure they can provide enough ventilation while also keeping your safety in mind.
As per research, aerodynamics are significantly better with helmets with more ventilation. The open spaces yield less drag force and better aerodynamics. As a result, it increases the cycling speed and better control over the bike.
On the other hand, skateboard helmets do not have the same level of venation as bike ones. There is either no ventilation at all or very little. I have to announce bike helmets as the winner here.
Visors are mainly seen in motorbike helmets. They are a great shield for saving you from mud and dust on the highway. Additionally, it protects you if the sun is directly pointed at you. Contrarily, most bike and skateboard helmets do not provide visors in them.
Bike helmets are against visors due to the vision blocks. The visors block the views of the sides when riding. For my part, I find it very annoying. The view blockage is significant when I switch to the classic aerodynamic position.
What I do when the sun is super active is wear sunglasses. They are an effective way to block the sunlight and give a soothing view.
However, you can choose a visor by shifting to a mountain bike helmet. It will certainly make your helmet heavier due to the visors’ extra weight.
On the other hand, a standard skateboard helmet is strict about not providing a visor at all. When it comes to skateboard helmets, falling is more frequent. As a result, visors are considered riskier in this situation. Reducing the risk is certainly more important than convenience.
07. Helmets’ Shells
There are two types of shells available on the current market. One is rigid shelling, and the other is strong. The strong shelling is seen in skateboard helmets, whereas bike helmets use rigid.
Both have their reasons, and I can tell you guys that there is no winner here. Shells can mean the difference between a severe injury and a minor one. Thus, for their purposes, the manufacturer provides different types of shells.
As aforementioned, bike helmets are more concerned about saving you from that one hard impact. Consequently, they provide shells capable of absorbing the hard collision, and the soft inner layer functions to absorb the energy of the effects. Thus, it is mandatory to replace it right after seeing visible damage.
On the other side, skateboard helmets are meant to be taken with continuous impacts. Thus, strong shelling will save you from buying helmets regularly. Don’t worry; it ensures your safety first rather than the helmets.
08. Head Coverage
Undoubtedly, the most important factor in the bike vs skateboard helmet is considering head coverage. This is the reason why we buy helmets in the first place.
However, you will find helmets that provide full head coverage. I don’t like them as they are very heavy to do anything with. I prefer choosing one specific coverage spot for your desired activity.
Helmet manufacturers think the same way and thus, their head coverage area. Most bike helmets will not have head coverage on the backside. The reason is that there is almost no chance that the biker will get hurt in the back of their head. As if any accident occurs, bikers are most likely to fall or toss in their front or sides.
Therefore, only the top side and the front side are covered area by bike helmets. In skateboard helmets, the head coverage is more focused on the backside. If you think about it, most skaters are likely to fall on their backs due to the skateboard’s mechanisms. Both can be said to be perfect in their way.
After everything about safety, style is also a concern for riders. I bet you would also like to look stylish in your desired helmet. In person, I might even consider a stylish helmet over prioritizing safety. Looking good in the helmet is what everyone wants.
Nevertheless, I have to give the medal to the bike helmets here. They are very stylish, and the design that they manage to pull off suits most of the user’s tastes.
The bike helmets give a sporty look, enhancing the vibe of riding a bike. Whereas a skateboard helmet comes with a classic helmet look. They are more of an oval shape which I don’t like.
However, it’s entirely up to you which one you should go for when it comes to style. Everyone has their taste, and you might even prefer the skateboard helmet’s design over a bike one.
10. New Technology In Helmet
When it comes to evolving, bike helmets have done that very well. I found out how science has contributed so much when I had come across MIPS technology. It stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and is only available for bike helmets.
MIPS has secured its place at the top of the technology in bike helmets as they successfully save up to 50 percent computed strain in the brain. A slip-plane system in the MIPS helmets rotates inside the helmet and mimics that movement that will save you from an accident.
Mostly, it’s used to reduce rotation forces faced by a head. In short, it excels at reducing the incoming energy from the collision and saving your life which normal bike helmets couldn’t have.
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FAQs Regarding Skate Helmet Vs Bike Helmet
That’s all there to know about these helmets’ differences. It’s time to check out some questions that most of you are unclear about.
Q. Can I Use A Skateboard Helmet For Biking?
Answer: You should not use a skateboard helmet for biking. They are made for their purposes. Moreover, a skateboard helmet protects the back side, whereas a biking accident involves the front side of the head.
Q. How To Take Care Of Your Skateboard Helmet?
Answer: Take a towel or anything and absorb some warm water mixed with detergent. Clean the skateboard helmet from both inside and outside and then leave it out in the sun for fast drying.
Q. Why Is Certification Important In The World Of Helmets?
Answer: It is an assurance that the helmet has passed the possible tests to save you from severe injuries. Otherwise, what’s the point of wearing a helmet when you are unsure of its capabilities?
To conclude, each of them has their specialties when it comes to the debate of bike helmets vs skateboard helmets. A bike helmet has severe shelling that can withstand only one crucial accident. In contrast, substantial shelling is present in skateboard helmets that can go through multiple accidents.
However, it all comes down to comfort and style after safety. As a result, I like bike helmets more as they have better ventilation and a style that compliments my bike.