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The Origin and Development of Bike Helmets

Author: admin / Comments: 0
The origin and development of bike helmets

We all know that wearing a helmet is mandatory in most cities and states so as a bike rider you may find yourself interested in the history of the bike helmet.

Bike helmets were invented because of the invention of the automobile. The auto forced construction of new roads to accommodate the new-fangled invention. The new roads were also used by cyclists and they were getting bad head injuries if they fell on the road.

The first invented bike helmet was made of leather strips supported by wood and it was about as effective as wearing a normal ball cap. They were often referred to as "hairnets" because what they mostly did was keeping the hair from blowing in the wind. A quite big problem with the "hairnets" was that they also rotted from sweat. This type of helmet was used until the 1970's! Of course, many bike riders that valued their heads were using other types of helmets from other sports such as hockey instead of waiting for the bicycle industry to come up with something.

The origin and development of bike helmets

In 1974 a helmet committee was made with the purpose of testing different types of bike helmets – they called the committee ‘Washington Area Bicyclist Association’ or ‘WABA’. At that time they have found that most bike helmets on the market had some kind of shell with a squishy foam liner, however they have also found that the best helmets were made by a company called ‘Bell Biker’- which is the same brand we use nowadays as well. In 1984 the ANSI head gear committee has adopted the ANSI Z80.4 standard for bike helmets – that was actually the first bike helmet standard in the USA.

In the early 1980's Bell introduced the first helmets designed for children, called the ‘L'il Bell Shell’. Since then foam became a standard use in the bike helmet along with a cloth shell.

The football shaped helmet design that is so conspicuous today has very little to do with protection. It has been proven that a round all covering helmet offers the most protection.

Starting 2006, a change was very visible in the current helmet design, this time with an input coming from Europe. The newer designs were more covering and rounder looking.

If interested to find out more detailed information regarding the history of bicycle helmets as well as very interesting photos of bike helmets, visit this site and find out some very interesting things about these lifesaving accessories every biker should definitely own.

Just in case you don’t already own a bike helmet, check out the selection of bike helmets available here.


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