Most people, including myself, have bike helmets, so I was wondering if I could wear a bike helmet when I started climbing. I thought any helmet was better than his. Later experienced climbers said that cycling helmets and mountaineering helmets are actually very different and can lose protection if replaced. Does it make sense? But what if you don’t have a climbing helmet? You can still wear a bike helmet – this is a climbing helmet and a bike helmet. We’ll do some comparisons.
Short Answer: No. You must not use a bicycle helmet when climbing. This is because some protection may be lost. But if you don’t have anything else, it’s better than no bike helmet. There are several differences between mountaineering helmets and cycling helmets. Read on for more details.
Cycling helmets have a softer shell, whereas mountaineering helmets typically have a very hard shell. Cycling helmets are also better protected from side impacts and usually have vents. In this post, we will be answering the following questions:
How do safety standards for mountaineering and cycling helmets compare to each other? Can you compare?
Are there any compromises in protection when wearing a cycling helmet when climbing? Are there situations where a bicycle helmet can provide better protection than a mountaineering helmet?
- Bike Helmet - Designed to withstand a single impact with the ground
- Bike Helmets vs Climbing Helmets - Different Safety Standards for Different Activities
- Bike Helmet - CPSC and EN 1078
- Climbing Helmet - EN 12492 and UIAA 106
- A Brief Comparison of Two Standards
- Additional References
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Bike Helmet – Designed to withstand a single impact with the ground
The bicycle helmet is disposable. Designed to withstand a single impact to the ground and absorb impact energy from crushing and deformation. This design is necessary because a lot of energy is released in a bicycle accident. As a result, a bicycle helmet is probably a helmet that provides more protection than a real motorcycle helmet. But after the first failure, it is almost useless.
On the other hand, there are mountaineering helmets. They are designed to protect you from many small impacts like falling stones. Thus, it cannot absorb the same amount of energy as a bicycle helmet, but provides protection against multiple impacts. And they aren’t designed to withstand pounding ground like bicycle helmets. Common Climbing Scenario: You are hit by a falling rock while descending. The majority of head injuries while climbing are caused by bumping into rocks, not by falling to the ground.
This is why bicycle helmets are not suitable for climbing. If you fall while hiking and hit your head against a wall, your bike helmet will break and deform. From now on, he’ll lack protection, but the ascent hasn’t been completed yet, and if he goes down, a stone may still fall on his head. At this stage, the bicycle helmet is no longer a reliable protection device.
Bike Helmets vs Climbing Helmets – Different Safety Standards for Different Activities
The standard used to measure the helmet also sees different scenarios of the protection needed. The testing and evaluation criteria for these helmets vary widely. Climbing helmets use the EN 12492:2000 standard, which tests multiple blows to the helmet. A small weight of 5 kg drops from a height of 2 m to the top of the helmet at various angles. Then, another 5 kg flat impact object is hit from the front, side and back, and a penetration test is performed. In all these tests, up to 10 kN of force is transmitted to the helmet, so mountaineering helmets are not designed to absorb large shocks.
Falling on a bike usually involves a lot of force (think 10kN or more) and the amount of force actually transmitted to the head should be small. This is achieved using a physically deformed crush design. … Let’s take a closer look at the standards used and their comparison.
There are four main standards. 2 for cycling, 1 for CPSC standard American style, 2 for European EN 1078 and 2 for climbing. Climbing has European standard EN 12492 and international standard UIAA 106.
Bike Helmet – CPSC and EN 1078
The American CPSC standard, CPSC, stands for Consumer Product Safety Commission, and tests bicycle helmets in the form of a 5 kg head that fall from 2 meters onto a flat anvil. There is another test for a hemispherical anvil and a curb-shaped anvil at a distance of 1.2 m. All these tests are performed on helmets at idle at ambient temperature, freezing and high temperatures. It is also performed when the helmet is in the water for 4 hours. The helmet must withstand a total of 5 hits. 2 on flat anvils and hemispheres and 1 on curb.
EN 1078 Details
Standard EN, EN stands for Europe, one is impact tested from a flat anvil and the other from a curb just 1.5 m, the helmet also meets UV, temperature and aging conditions. Therefore, this test is slightly less stringent than the US standard.
Climbing Helmet – EN 12492 and UIAA 106
The Mountaineering Helmet has two main safety standards: EN 12492: 2000 and UIAA 106. By the way, all of these standards don’t really test a helmet’s ability to reduce traumatic brain damage. … only the protection against direct physical impact is tested. But traumatic brain injury due to acceleration forces is a huge problem in bike accidents, and there are helmet systems to protect against these injuries (called MIPS). This article here goes a bit more in detail about these injuries..
EN 12492 Detail
According to this standard, the helmet must be in the shape of a head and must transmit an impact with an impact mass of 5 kg. At 60 degrees, three different shocks were tested: side, front and rear. After this test, another impact mass falls on the helmet in the form of a head from a distance of 2 meters, and this mass has the shape of a hemisphere.
Then another test is performed in which the flat striker hits the helmet from 50 cm from the front, back and sides. Unlike bicycle helmets, climbing helmets are also penetration tested with a standard impact weight of 3 kg, which drops from 1 meter. And there is a test of the maintenance system. Transmitting more than 10 kN of force to the dummy head to pass the test is not permitted.
UIAA 106 Details
For the UIAA 106 safety standard, all tests are the same, but the force delivered is lower. Only a force of 8 kN is allowed. Remember, the less force transmitted to your head, the less likely you are to injure yourself. Low power means no head injuries!
A Brief Comparison of Two Standards
When comparing different standards, it can be seen that bicycles and bicycle helmets have higher acceleration and higher impact forces. This may not be obvious as standard safety tests for bicycle helmets only require a fixed mass and distance, whereas tests for mountaineering helmets indicate transmitted forces. But we can calculate the test force for the bike helmet.
Assuming a 5 kg headform is subjected to a load of 250 g in the bike helmet test, the equation F = ma gives: 5.0kg x 250g x 9.8m/s2/g = ~12kN. It can also be seen that
US standards are slightly stricter than European standards. Why is this so, I don’t know. There seems to be a reason for this, but I’m not sure. To be more secure, follow US standards.
Some Notable References:
- American CPSC Standard: CPSC Cycling Helmet Standard
- Bicycle Standards Comparison Brief: Here
- European Standard EN 12492: Helmets for Climbers and Mountaineers
- UIAA Standard 106
You enjoyed this post. If you want to know more about other climbs, check out my articles on how to start climbing, how to find a good climbing mentor, and why you should always wear a climbing helmet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Is a climbing helmet different from a bike helmet?
There are some differences between climbing helmets and bike helmets. Read below for more information. Bicycle helmet shells are soft, while mountaineering helmet shells are usually very hard. Bicycle helmets are also protected from side impacts and usually have vents.
Can I wear a climbing helmet for biking?
Most climbing helmets are not as suitable for cycling as bicycle helmets are for climbing. The safest option is to buy a good helmet specifically designed for each sport. If you need to use a multipurpose helmet, something like the Meteor III is better than a hardshell suspension style.
Should I climb with a helmet?
In conclusion, “Wearing a helmet greatly reduces the chance of severe or severe head injuries. People who do not wear a helmet are more than twice as severe as those who wear a helmet. You may be injured. “
Can you use a climbing helmet as a hard hat?
To know if you can use a climbing helmet as a hard hat, then you need to watch this video.
What is a multi sport helmet?
Multi-sport helmets are mostly made of butyl nitrite foam. This is a “squeeze”, but it is a high density foam suitable for many impacts. It is mainly black or gray.