By federal law, all helmets sold as "bicycle helmets" in the United States, including helmets for mountain biking, must meet the requirements of the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) bike helmet standard. Look for the CPSC sticker on the inside of the helmet, and do not buy a helmet for biking that does not meet the CPSC safety standard.
Full face mountain biking helmets will sometimes go further and meet additional standards, such as the:
- ASTM F1952 Downhill Mountain Bike Helmet Standard
- ASTM F2032 BMX Helmet Standard
- DOT standard for motorized, wheeled sports
Snell Helmet Standards (which requires the most aggressive testing, although some believe it is too extreme to produce a cost-effective and comfortable helmet that bikers will enjoy wearing.)
Note that most full-face bicycle helmets are not tested to the ASTM F1952 standard for downhill mountain bike helmets or to the ASTM F2032 standard for BMX helmets due to the additional cost to the manufacturer. Both of these certifications test the performance of the helmet's chin bar. Lack of this safety standard does not mean the helmet is unsafe.
If you want a full-face helmet that meets the additional standards of either ASTM F-1952 and/or ASTM F-2032, SportsProtective offers full-face downhill helmets that are tested to meet the ASTM F1952 as well as mountain bike helmets that meet the ASTM F2032 safety standard.
Check our our Bike Tech Talk blog for a lot more information about the different types of helmet standards.