Mountain bike helmets have evolved over the years, morphing from what looked like styrofoam bowling balls to the comfortable and well-ventilated options that exist today, many of them equipped with features that are claimed to reduce the amount of rotational force that reaches the brain during a crash. There's still plenty of room for improvement, though, and a significant amount of research and development is currently underway in order to figure out what more can be done to keep riders' heads as safe as possible.
What will the helmets of the future look like? Will they all have electronic sensors to determine when a crash occurs? It there a new material that can absorb impacts better than the EPS and EPP foams that currently prevail? In order gain more insight, I asked several of the key players in the helmet world what their thoughts were on the future of helmet safety.
What's next for mountain bike helmet safety? Now that technologies that are designed to reduce rotational impacts have become commonplace in higher end helmets, what comes next? Do we need more stringent standards? Are there any materials in the pipeline that could improve the level of impact protection?Dr. Chris Leatt - Founder, Leatt Corporation
Peter Halldin - Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer, MIPS
Dave Ahumada - MTB Global Marketing Manager & Chris Blum - MTB Global Category Manager, Fox
Oscar Huss - Director of Product Development, POC
Eric Richter - Brand Manager, Giro
Craig “Stikman” Glaspell - Global Category Director - Bike, Troy Lee Designs Vernon Felton - Global Mountain Bike Marketing Manager, Specialized Bicycles
Brad Waldron - CEO/Lead Engineer, Kali Protectives