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Choosing the proper helmet for your sport is important when you want to hit the roads at speed. But what helmet should you choose? For a long time the argument, skateboard helmet vs bike helmet, has heated up a lot of mind engines.
How do they differ? Which is more durable? Are they lightweight? Similar performance? What offers better protection?
If these queries also blow your mind, read the whole article to feed your thoughts, and stay seated.
Related: Recommended Skate Helmet
Comparison between Skateboard and Bike Helmet
Many often regard all helmets to be the same and even believe that they perform the exact way. But, if that was to be true, this article would never have existed.
On the other hand, there are many types of helmets in all the categories, i.e. skating, skiing and biking, etc which makes the general comparison and decision-making a lot harder. Still, there remain some specific aspects which can aid you to make your choice.
In this concern, skate helmets are quite different from bike helmets. Some of the most noteworthy points which separate them are:
Every country has a board or commission which sets its own parameters of certifying a helmet. The helmets go through a series of tests to earn a degree that ensures the proper standard of the product. Each specific standard has its checklist to fulfill before certifying.
For our instance, the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) deals with the approval of bike helmets in the US. Every bike helmet is ratified by CPSC which ensures your safety for once, at high speed.
On the other hand, if you have a skateboarding helmet it should probably have an ASTM (American Society For Testing and Materials) International F1492 seal inside it as this standard verifies the safety measure of skateboarding helmets.
But there are some helmets that meet both CPSC and ASTM standards and are best recommended for both skating and biking usages.
Shape and Size
Helmets show variety in designs and sizes and are mostly seen in case of bikes. Mountain bike helmets cover the entire face, along with the back of the head, providing full safety for the high adrenaline sport. These helmets are bigger and heavier in size and weight respectively.
While road bike ones only guard the center and forefront of your brain, they are almost feather-light, yet tough enough to console a cyclist’s bad day.
A typical skateboarding helmet usually covers all of the skulls, including the back of the head, where skaters are more tend to be hit when they fall.
For helmets, the more the surface it covers, the better protection you receive.
Though most people are unaware of this fact, helmets can withstand a limited number of blows or just a simple ‘Boom’!
Many helmets are engineered to take a few or more ‘less nasty’ blows and still survive to fight later. This technology is used in skateboarding helmets so that they can absorb the energy of the small crashes every skateboarder suffers from (hitting a branch isn’t accounted to be a crash).
Meanwhile, most bike helmets are made to endure one ‘hell of a crash’ and then to bid farewell to your lifesaving headgear. They are designed to serve you on your worst day; a terrible accident. If you feel a bit wobbly and see stars in broad daylight (which is quite usual) yet survive, express gratitude to your safeguard and buy a new one.
In short, skate helmets resist several moderate strikes while bike helmets deal with a single rampage and are later to be disposed of.
The reason for such big dissimilarity among the helmets is because of the next point discussed below.
This is the most significant divergence in this skate helmet vs bike helmet debate. The inside of a helmet is highly important as this is the portion that prevents injuries.
Expanded PolyStyrene, EPS, or Styrofoam is one of the most popular inner lining materials of a helmet. Usually found in most bike helmets, EPS is a type of crushable foam that is cheap, lightweight, and breaks down at a hard impact.
The helmet with EPS needs to be replaced once it has taken a hefty blow. It should never be reused to secure better safety.
Another foam used in helmets is Expanded PolyPropylene or EPP. This foam is a bit squishy and has a rubbery texture which allows it to restore the shape and size of the shell, slowly after the impact.
This multi-impact foam is best used in light sports helmets like skateboarding, road biking, roller skating, etc.
There are other types of foam technologies like EPU (Expanded PolyUrethane), Tau Multi-Impact Technology Foam, E-PLA (Expanded Polylactic Acid), etc that are also widely used in the helmet producing industries.
Carbon fiber or Kevlar-reinforced fiberglass, or thin or thick plastic, etc make the outside of your helmet. Certain bike helmets, like road bike ones, have a thin plastic crust while others have a solid and rough plastic surface.
Skateboard helmets usually have a harder and stronger outer surface than a bike helmet, which may sometimes have a thin sheet of plastic cover only.
Vents are a pretty cool and funky feature of a helmet. Bicycling helmets are more ventilated than skateboard helmets. This is because bikers tend to generate more heat than skaters.
You feel hotter than the sun while skating?
Skateboard helmets do have vents. It’s just that they are lower in number and space than bike helmets.
Further, vents are used in road bike helmets to work in compliance with aerodynamics and gain better drag and velocity.
Visors are an important part of a motor biker’s helmet as they reduce glaring and also help to obtain better visibility in sunlight.
Unfortunately, visors aren’t available in skating headgears but are vastly seen in mountain bikes, moto racers, and even F1 racing helmets.
Is Skateboard Helmet a Substitute for Bike Helmet?
Although skateboard helmets vary a lot from bike helmets, some of them can be utilized as an alternative to the other. But not any skateboarding helmet can be used for biking or vice versa.
In such cases, it is highly recommended to choose a helmet that is compliant to both CPSC and ASTM certification. Trust me, you will find loads of helmets with such a resume.
If you prefer safety to be your topmost priority, I recommend you reach out for a bike helmet with EPS which also ensures covering all the head, including the back. That’s the safest way to lead. A well-rounded EPS helmet can resist outrageous smacks, as well as minor head bumps.
But if you cannot relate yourself to any of the above-mentioned criteria, feel free to wear the helmet you already have and if you don’t, buy one instantly. You can’t but regret when you have a deformed skull. Therefore, better safe than sorry.
However, if you want to design your own helmet, here are the steps to customize.
Bike or Ski Helmet?
Though they may seem quite similar, ski and bike helmets also have their respective differences. Skiing helmets are much more durable than bike helmets.
They also focus on the fact of keeping your head warmer even in freezing environments. Meanwhile, bike helmets try to cool the user as much as possible and provide proper air ventilation into the helmet through vents.
Final Words- Helmet is a Must!
Without a doubt, there isn’t any person in this entire universe who would like to have his brain squashed while falling off his/her ride. Whether playing cricket or racing in MotoGP, certain sports require helmets as a must besides having good wrist guards and knee pads.
Your head is precious and deserves better shielding against impacts that can format your memory.
Well, guess what? This was the reason why helmets were invented.
But when coming down to choosing a helmet, disputes like skateboard helmet vs bike helmet will gradually arise. But until you have your head intact and are able to understand the logic, you will never deviate to choose the wrong option.