I’ve been asked a few times what helmet I use when riding an ebike, so I thought I’d share my personal favorite and why I chose it. Since some ebikes can reach speeds close to 30 mph, a standard bike helmet likely won’t offer enough protection, so there are specific features you want to look for, such as MIPS technology, high visibility, and good coverage.
My favorite helmet has become the Nutcase VIO on Amazon, or directly from Nutcase with a coupon code, which offers MIPS protection, LED lights, and proper coverage for the back of the head.
For current sales at Nutcase, click below:
What is MIPS?
MIPS stands for multi-directional impact protection system, developed, in part, by a neurosurgeon. MIPS helmets have a thin layer of plastic material that rotates independently of the helmet and rider’s head. This reduces the rotation of the head, and brain, upon impact. Serious brain injuries can occur if the brain rotates inside the skull. You want the lining in your helmet rotating, not your brain!
A helmet is not something to go cheap on, but there are many options ranging in price from about $50-$200. Mostly, you want to pay attention to the safety certifications of the helmet, whether it has MIPS technology, and that it provides coverage for the back of the head. Many standard bicycle helmets don’t provide the coverage needed for a higher speed accident. If you have a fast ebike, you might want to look at scooter/moped helmets for even better protection.
The VIO isn’t the cheapest option, but it also provides rechargeable LED lighting, which city commuters will appreciate.
Pros of the Nutcase VIO
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Large vents for cooling
- MIPS technology
- Magnetic buckle
- USB rechargeable lights
Cons of the Nutcase VIO
- Visor could use better attachment points
- A bit pricey
I’ve been using the VIO for a year, and found that it is super comfortable to wear, the straps are easy to adjust and click together by a reliable magnetic buckle. I don’t even notice it when I’m riding, but it has protected me during a crash.
The lights are visible from 350 feet away, according to Nutcase. The front light puts out 200 lumens, so it will get a driver’s attention. The sidelights aren’t as bright, but have different settings, such as constant on, or flashing.
The lights are rated to last about 3 hours, and require 2 hours for a full charge. Admittedly, I haven’t used the lights too much, since I rarely ride at nighttime. But, I did use the helmet on the 4th of July last year when I cruised around the neighborhood watching fireworks. Driver’s definitely noticed me, slowed down, and gave me plenty of room. It is great to have the added visibility available, when and if I do ride at night or when visibility isn’t as good, such as in early morning, or evening.
I can attest to the helmet’s protection in a crash. I hit the pavement hard, and while the rest of me got bruised up pretty bad, and I will likely need shoulder surgery in the future, my head, which also received impact, wasn’t hurt at all. The helmet barely shows a scratch from the impact.
So, I’m impressed with the helmet for everyday riding, and for providing good protection.
The helmet is very comfortable for summer rides, since the vents provide plenty of ventilation. For cooler weather riding, I just wear a thin skull cap or beanie beneath the helmet.
The only con I’ve discovered is that the attachment points for the visor leave something to be desired. They work, and I’ve never had the visor fall off when riding, but I wish it clicked in more securely.
Now, I’m looking into more protective gear for my elbows and knees. If I hadn’t been winter when I wrecked, I would have been wearing short sleeves and shorts. My right leg and arm would have been hamburger! From now on, I’ll be wearing proper gear when riding during warm weather. I learned my lesson. At least I’m smart enough to know to always wear a good helmet.
You can check out the current price and availability of the Nutcase VIO on Amazon. It’s also available at other retailers.
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