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EN CE Helmet Safety Standards Explained - Bike Helmets

by Jim Bartlett May 18, 2016

EN CE Helmet Safety Standards Explained - Bike Helmets

EN CE Helmet Standards

A "CE" marking indicates that a helmet fulfills the requirements of the European Economic Community (EEC) Directive (89/686/EEC). This is a mandatory directive, thus helmets must be CE-marked if they are to be sold anywhere in Europe. Since 1994, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden has performed and certified tests for CE-marking. A common feature of all types of helmets is that they must protect the head against impact and distribute the force applied to the helmet in the event of an accident. In addition to good performance in an accident and a long life in normal use, helmets must remain safely in position during an accident. Among the CE markings for action sports helmets are:
  • EN 1077 Ski helmets
  • EN 1078 Bicycle helmets
  • EN 1080 Impact protection helmets for young children

EN CE testing typically includes tests for:

  • shock absorption
  • penetration
  • retention systems (chin strap and buckle)

EN 1078: Bicycle helmets and skateboard and roller skate helmets

EN 1078 tests the field of vision, shock absorption, retention systems (including chin strap and buckle) of bicycle helmets and skateboard and roller skating helmets. In order for the test conditions to be as realistic as possible, the helmets are stored for at very cold and very hot temperatures for hours before testing. In addition, they are subjected to several hours of water spray and irradiated with UV light for two days.

EN 1080: Helmets for young children

EN 1080 is a derived standard designed to address problems associated with the strangulation of children playing while wearing helmets.

What If My Helmet Doesn't Meet EN CE Safety Standards?

If you live/shop in the United States, remember that any bicycle helmet sold in the U.S. must meet CPSC bike helmet safety standards. Don't distress if your bicycle helmet doesn't appear to meet EN 1078 bicycle helmet safety standards. This just means that your helmet was probably made by a manufacturer who decided they didn't need to get the EN CE rating. Most (not all) ski/snowboard helmets meet both EN 1077 and ASTM 2040 safety standards. The testing procedure for both standards is similar except that the EN 1077 testing process includes a penetration/puncture test.


Jim Bartlett
Jim Bartlett


Founder of XSportsProtective, snowboarder, mountain biker, father of four young kids who love action sports.

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