Issue 145: Precious Cargo: MET Helmets Factory Visit

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Amanda reckons what you put on your head is worthy of closer examination and makes a visit to MET Helmets. Words Amanda Photography Ulysse Daessle Mountain bikers often have different…

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Amanda Wishart

Art Director

Amanda is our resident pedaller, who loves the climbs as much as the descents. No genre of biking is turned down, though she is happiest when at the top of a mountain with a wild descent ahead of her. If you ever want a chat about concussion recovery, dealing with a Womb of Doom or how best to fuel an endurance XC race, she's the one to email.

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  • Issue 145: Precious Cargo: MET Helmets Factory Visit
  • cx_monkey
    Full Member

    “Any brand relying on external testing won’t receive the results: they simply have a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ – the ‘pass’ could be right on the limit of acceptance and still considered to be safe”

    I’m afraid that’s not true – any external test house (e.g. SGS, ACT, IDIADA, etc) will (in fact must) provide a full report of exact results for each part of the testing process, from the obvious impact testing, to chemical test results on the materials used, etc.

    The other bit of slight misinformation, is that EN 1078 (the CE bicyle helmet certification) was indeed introduced in ’97, however was last revised in 2012 – so not quite as out of date as implied. Don’t dispute it needs an overhaul though, the CE certification for bicycle helmets is pretty much the least stringent of all the global standards for bicycle helmets. The AS/NZS cert is, in my opinion, probably the most thorough and relevant at the moment.

    (I’m a product designer/developer for another protectives brand)

    Full Member

    Product design starts with a ‘mood board’ – usually photos of shapes, structures and textures that will inspire the next design, notably a sports car orientated one at the time of my visit. Aerodynamics, air intake, smooth fluid lines are something that transfers well from car to helmet. Matteo Tenni, Project Manager, explains how they take influence from motorsport design and ultimately end up with a 3D sample of the helmet, to see how the drawings translate to the physical

    So it all starts with a mood board. I suppose i shouldn’t be suprised. But maybe in my dreams they started with a design that would minimise the forces transfered to my head and then moves onto ventilation

    Full Member

    I’ve always liked the look of Met helmets, but they just don’t fit my head. They’re a very weird shape. Or my head is.

    Full Member

    I only started taking this seriously after crashing and losing consciousness recently. Of course my helmet saved me from worse injury, but I’d just lost traction on a lane at 20 km/h and gone straight down (ie on my side). I realised my helmet hadn’t really been up to the job – there are plenty of ways to hit your head harder when mountain biking. Of course the helment met EN1078 – they all do – so choice then is down to comfort and style – odd given helmets provide neither and are only worn for protection.

    Looking for a replacement took me to the virginia tech ratings! but I don’t know if the test procedures are verifiable, and the helmet sample is a subset of what’s avaialble (but did I buy a top 3 performer? – of course I did).

    I see in comments above that test results for helmets are reported to manufacturers in some detail – but I’ve not seen this information publically available. Compare this with car safety tests – not only are the star ratings published but so are the detailed results (random example) going into details of each area of safety and each individual test with ratings for level of protection to different areas. Also the tests are updated regularly as technology improves.

    If we as cyclists are going to take head injury seriously this is the level of test information we need to improve protection – ie full details of test results, and test updated to deal with likely impacts, ie include rotational, and update to factor in new technology like MIPS.

    Full Member

    It was a nice advert for MET who’s helmets I like. Can we have a revisit where they actually explain how they design a helmet to protect my head and not just about how they use a mood board to make it look pretty. Im sure there is an article with enough depth to explain the science and engineering without telling their competitors anything they dont already know

    Full Member

    @alanclarke – some brands do make the test report info available, though not so many – and I agree it would be good info to have out there. I know the brand I work for does not publish the reports, but it’s not something I have control over:

    Leatt however, are a good example of a brand who do publish test reports: example here;

    test reports and certifcates available in the documents tab.

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