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Bike helmets that pose safety risks for adults, children

Posted at 6:53 AM, Jul 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-15 20:18:01-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Consumer Reports is advising people not to buy three different bike helmets because of potential safety risks.

In Consumer Reports latest round of bike helmet evaluations, three helmets failed CR’s tests-- - the Bontrager Ballista MIPs helmet, the Morpher Flat Folding helmet and the Woom Kids Helmet.

The Bontrager Ballista MIPs helmet failed CR’s retention system strength test. The buckle broke causing the chin strap to release.

“This failure shows that the helmet could come off your head or move out of place if you get into an accident," says Peter Anzalone, Consumer Reports Lead Bike Helmet Tester.

The Morpher Flat Folding helmet and the Woom Kids Helmet both failed Consumer Reports impact test. A failure on this test means the helmet may not adequately protect your head in the event of an accident.

Anzalone says “the impact test simulates what might happen if you get into an accident, fall off your bike, and hit your head.”

Wearing a helmet is essential whenever you ride a bike. If you already own one of these helmets, CR’s advice is to replace it as soon as possible. Use these helmets only if you do not yet have access to another helmet and need to ride your bike.

Consumer Reports is not aware of any incidents or injuries associated with any of these three helmets.

Consumer Reports reached out to all three bike helmet manufacturers.

Trek Bicycle, the maker of the Bontrager helmet, says it stands by the safety of the Ballista MIPS helmet and is not planning any corrective action.

Morpher said, that while the helmet may have failed CR’s tests, it has been certified to pass all required U.S. safety standards at third-party labs and that the helmets are safe for consumers.

Woom Bikes halted U.S. and Canadian sales of its helmets soon after CR contacted the company and is figuring out its next steps.

If you need to buy a new helmet, Consumer Reports’s top tested helmet for adults are the Scott Arx Plus, and CannondaleCAAD MIPS. The two kids helmets that got the highest scores are the Bell Sidetrack MIPS, and the Garneau Nino.

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