The advancement of science and technology has allowed society to find more efficient and eco-friendly ways to travel around easily. Electric bikes were patented back in 1895 by Ogden Bolton, Jr., and now, electric bikes can be seen everywhere. They are more affordable, and they can quickly swerve through traffic jams than cars and motorcycles.
It’s no surprise that electric bikes can go fast. In fact, some e-bikes can go up to speeds of 28 mph, which can still be fatal on some occasions, and this is also why you should still prioritize your safety in riding electric bikes.
So, do you need a special helmet for an electric bike? You don’t necessarily need to purchase and wear a special helmet when riding an electric bicycle. However, it would be best if you looked for helmets that function like a motorcycle helmet or ones that have Multi-Directional Impact Protection System technology to keep yourself protected from the high speeds that electric bikes can travel at.
This article will tackle everything there is to know about an electric bike helmet.
Let’s get right into it.
Are Helmets Required for Electric Bikes?
Like most laws in the world, helmet laws also differ in different parts of the globe. In this article, we will only take the various local laws in the various states of the United States regarding the need to wear a helmet.
Before going into it, it’s crucial first to determine the class of e bike you currently have. Your e-bike can be categorized into three main categories:
Class 1 – Class 1 e-bikes are known as the pedal assist e bike, wherein you need to pedal to get the motors running. The class 1 e bike can travel at a maximum speed of 20 mph.
Class 2 – Class 2 electric bikes are regarded as the throttle assist e bikes where the engine starts by twisting the handles of the e bike or by simply pushing a small button. These types of e bikes can go up to 20 mph.
Class 3 – The last type of electric bike is the class 3 bike which typically has the pedal assist but might also have the throttle boost integrated. This type of e bike is the fastest ebike among the three, as it can travel at a top speed of 28 mph.
In states such as Iowa, Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Carolina, Vermont, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota, riders are not required to wear a helmet when riding an e bike.
However, in states such as Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington, laws require that riders wear a helmet for the three different e bike classes.
Different states have different helmet laws for the various e bike classes and ages (see how old you have to be to ride an ebike), so to be sure, check your local laws regarding helmets before going out on the streets.
Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular in places like the Netherlands. And that is why laws have been put in place to encourage riders to wear helmets with MIPS technology when riding an electric bike or wear special pedelec helmets that will give sufficient protection for the rider when going out on biking adventures.
Is a MIPS helmet necessary for an E-bike rider?
Although not necessary, MIPS helmets are essential when riding an electric bike. A MIPS helmet will provide adequate protection for your head and brain in electric bike accidents.
MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, and these modern helmets will protect the rider’s brain when the head hits at an angle during accidents. Regular cycling helmets do not have these extra safety features, which means they do not provide you with appropriate protection when traveling at speeds comparably faster than a regular bicycle.
Here are the different types of e-bike helmets sold on the market:
Road bike helmets
A road bike helmet is excellent for places where it’s typically hot as they are designed to be very breathable and keep your head cool. Since they are intended for off-road trails and hot weather conditions, they are designed to provide good air circulation, but they will also protect you from head injuries if you trip over an obstacle and fall headfirst.
Full face helmets
A full-face helmet is one of the best electric bicycle helmets for riders that live in cold weather conditions. Not only are they comfortable, warm, and convenient, but these helmets will ensure excellent protection against accidents from any angle.
Perhaps the most unreliable among the helmets mentioned in this article are the skate helmets. They were designed similarly to a regular helmet and considered a standard bicycle helmet. However, they have been used by some e bike riders riding commuter-type electric bikes.
Despite this, skate helmets will still provide enough protection in minor accidents and keep your head safe and cool during the summer season.
Enhanced Helmets For E-Bike Users
Perhaps the perfect helmet for e bike riders is the enhanced helmet with MIPS technology. Although these helmets might be a bit bulkier in their design, they make up for it with their protection for your head.
These enhanced helmets will reduce the rotational forces felt by the rider’s brain in case of accidents, and they will also provide you maximum protection when traveling at higher speeds.
Moreover, enhanced helmets for e bike users also have an integrated rear light, a visor, and a reflector to keep the rider visible even in low light conditions such as during rains or at night.
Tell me the best way to choose an E-bike bike helmet?
Ebike helmets are indeed a vital tool to have when going on adventures, but with the thousands of e bicycle helmets flooding the market, it can be easy to get confused about choosing the best ones.
Here are some factors you have to consider to find the best helmet.
To lessen the hassle of looking for the right helmet on this already flooded market, set a price range where you are comfortable buying a helmet. It’s generally advised to keep away from the low-end price range as they are made with poor materials and last a very short amount of time.
After all, it’s all about your safety, so be sure to purchase an e bike helmet in the mid to high-price range.
Comfort is one of the top things you should consider when purchasing bike helmets. Most electric bike helmets are made from two different types of materials, polystyrene foam, and polycarbonate shell. Manufacturers use these materials because they are lightweight, and comfortable, but they will also provide the protection needed for an ebike helmet.
Most modern e-bicycle helmets have something that’s called a dial fit system that allows users an easy way of adjusting their smugness based on their preferences. It’s best to try out the helmet you are planning to purchase before buying it; however, if you are trying to buy a helmet online, the best way to do this would be to use a tape measure and list down the dimensions of your head.
Ventilation is also a crucial factor you have to consider. Good helmets have excellent ventilation that will provide you great airflow that will keep you cool in hot weather conditions when you are riding your e bike for prolonged periods.
However, you also need to keep your area’s climate in mind, as you might not want to wear a road bike helmet in freezing weather.
Adequate lighting is a thing that most manufacturers of electric bicycles have integrated into their products, and e-bike helmets are quickly catching up to this trend as well. Be sure to purchase an e bike helmet with integrated lights or options of putting led lights into the helmet to keep you visible when riding at night.
As mentioned earlier, be sure to purchase and wear a helmet that is MIPS certified as they will ensure you maximum protection in case of emergencies on off-road terrains and even on the busy city streets. You could also wear motorcycle helmets to provide you protection even at high speeds.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does an E-bike helmet cost?
You can find e-bicycle helmets available for as low as $10. However, they should be avoided as much as possible as they cannot be relied on to protect your head in case of accidents fully.
Mid-priced helmets can range from $80-$150, which will provide you with adequate protection, and these helmets are also MIPS-approved. However, if you want to splurge money to buy a bicycle helmet, you can find high-end ones costing you about $250 or more.
What type of helmet should I wear for an electric bike?
The type of helmet you should use entirely depends on your preferences. However, it should be noted that you should wear a helmet that has MIPS technology and one that has adjustable airflow to provide you with excellent ventilation even when going out for hours on a hot day.
Safety is the most critical factor you have to think of consistently when going out on rides on your electric bicycles. Electric bikes are a great way to maneuver through the busy streets, but it’s far more essential to get to your destination safely.
Whether you are an expert electric bike rider, or just a person looking to dip your toes in the electric bike industry, we hope this informative article has helped you become knowledgeable about electric bike helmets.
Andrew Strider is an electric bike enthusiast. He currently owns 5 electric bikes and is an active member of his local electric bike club where he is able to test many other models/brands a few times a month.
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