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Sea Otter Classic 2022: Best E-Bike Rated Helmets On Show
Apr 08, 2022
Though there is no specific safety standard for electric bike helmets in the United States, we’re seeing more and more “e-bike rated helmets” showing up on shelves in the U.S.
If you’re skeptical, I don’t blame you. From tires to seats and drivetrains to bike wash, it seems like there’s an e-bike specific something for anything. But when it comes to helmets (and, quite honestly, many of the components listed above), there actually is reason behind the e-bike specific rating.
The NTA-8776 safety standard is a Dutch-concocted designation given to bicycle helmets with heightened safety features designed to protect riders against the higher possible speeds capable on e-bikes. It’s a standard that’s really only applicable in Europe, but it’s something we’ve been seeing more and more in helmets sold on the U.S. market.
Electric Bike Report scoured the expo area at the 2022 Sea Otter Classic for e-bike rated helmets and found some pretty killer options, including popular helmets from some of the biggest names in the biz.
E-Bike Rated Helmets: ABUS Pedelec 2.0
The ABUS Pedelec 2.0 is a commuter-style helmet with lots of extra features.
A built-in rechargable blinky light helps with visibility.
The Pedelec 2.0 has a rain cover that’s stowable inside a compartment in the back of the helmet.
A helmet that doesn’t just meet the e-bike safety standards, but was actually used to help come up with the standard itself, the ABUS Pedelec 2.0 is a commuter-style helmet with a built-in tail light and rain shield.
In addition to foam and coverage that meets the Dutch NTA standard, it also features MIPS for added protection against rotational forces. It’s a very traditional looking commuter helmet with a small visor and some reflective bits embedded in the shell and straps for increased visibility.
The Pedelec 2.0 also features a rechargeable built-in blinky light and a rain cover that stuffs into its own compartment in the rear of the helmet.
Bosch has been a staple in not only the electric bike space, but the electronic world in general for quite some time now. For the celebration of their ten year e-bike tech anniversary they created a conceptual full suspension commuter that combines futuristic visuals with current Bosch technology.
We spoke with a couple team members at Bosch and we will link our interviews once they are uploaded. Needless to say, I think we can all get behind the visuals of this bike. I know it’s definitely one I could see myself riding.
E-Bike Rated Helmets: 6D ATB-2T
The 6D uses a proprietary design that suspends an inner foam liner inside an outer foam shell.
The inner liner is made of a very supple multi-impact EPP liner.
According to 6D, the ATB-2T’s unique design makes it outperform many of its competitors in impact testing.
It’s farily astonishing how much engineering and thought has gone into the design of the all-new 6D ATB-2T.
The new helmet, which was officially released at the 2022 Sea Otter Classic, is the second generation of the already well-known ATB-1T and features an improved iteration of the company’s very unique omni-directional suspension technology that protects against rotational acceleration. This little bit of brain-protecting tech looks (to non engineers like me) similar to having one helmet nested inside another.
The outer shell of the helmet is made of shock-absorbing high density EPS foam (the stuff you find in most bicycle helmets), while the inner liner, which is suspended and can move slightly, is a multi-impact EPP liner made of much lower-density (squishier) material. Add that all together, and you’ve got an e-bike rated helmet that, according to 6D, absorbs low speed, angular and high velocity impacts better than many of the most popular helmets on the market.
E-Bike Rated Helmets: Kali Traffic
Another commuter-style helmet, but this one is notably affordable for its level of protection.
Integrated lights seem to be becoming the norm among commuter-style helmets.
The Kali is notably smaller than some of the other e-bike rated helmets we saw — achieved by some creative use of special foam.
The team at Kali Protectives really, really cares about your head. So much so, that if you crash in your e-bike rated Kali Traffic commuter helmet they’ll give you a new one and ask that you send the spent one back so they can learn from it.
Like the other commuter-style helmet on this list, the Kali Traffic features a cool built-in tail light for visibility. But where it differs from the ABUS, and most other e-bike rated helmets, is that its a notably smaller lid. To pass the more rigorous NTA-8776 rating, many helmet companies have simply upped the amount of EPS foam used which makes the helmet larger. Kali, on the other hand, has gone to great lengths to source special types of foam that won’t just pass the test, but are lighter and better performing.
The Traffic also boasts the most affordable price tag of any e-bike rated helmet we saw at Sea Otter, which is always an added bonus.
The POC Kortal takes my vote for the best looking e-bike rated helmet we saw at Sea Otter.
The Kortal comes in two versions, the standard and a better specced Race MIPS model.
The Kortal features a visor that snaps off in the event of a crash to help protect the rider’s neck.
Both versions of the Kortal, POC’s recently released flagship mountain bike helmet, pass the NTA-8776 standard and are e-bike rated.
A pretty lux helmet (really everything from POC is pretty luxurious), the Kortal and the slightly nicer Kortal Race MIPS have more coverage than a standard mountain bike helmet near the temples and back of the ears. It also features a breakaway visor, which snaps off during a crash to better protect the neck.
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