Video: Mountain Bike Helmets vs Hydraulic Press

May 14, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

The Hydraulic Press Guy is back and this time he's turning his attention to helmets. There's probably not much that can be learned scientifically from this (especially as it's a sponsored video from Specialized) but it's still satisfying to watch mountain bike helmets get the crushing treatment.

In the video, he compares a Specialized Ambush (0:45) to a supermarket special helmet (3:30) with a 10-year-old motorbike helmet (4:40) and military helmets (7:30) thrown in for good measure.

Again, take these with a pinch of salt, but the modern mountain bike helmet performs admirably well, only starting to break under a pressure of around 1,500kgs (3,300lbs), the equivalent of a small car resting on top of it. For comparison, the cheap helmet was around 800kgs (1,760lbs). This is hardly a real-world test, and you definitely should not base your next buying decision around it, but it's still interesting to watch what total failure looks like.


90 Comments

  • + 138
 How did he put the cabbage back together for subsequent testing though?
  • + 23
 It’s a strong cabbage. The cabbage took the first 600kg before the helmet even touched the base plate. I’m cabbage I trust.
  • + 24
 @T-Bot: I'm cabbage too. Nothing to be ashamed of.
  • + 38
 @T-Bot: yup. Pretty sure we should just wear a cabbage. All those layer act as slip planes and avoid having to pay MIPS royalties as they are created by ma nature.
  • + 7
 @onemind123: That is where you are wrong. Cabbage is already named in patent infringement lawsuit.
  • + 7
 @onemind123: Organic MIPS
  • + 4
 @rcrocha: fukking specialized. Or was it Tony Ellsworth?
  • + 3
 @rcrocha: Cabbage stole another vegetable's brand name?
  • + 3
 @rcrocha: Specialized suing us all for using the word Cabbage in 3..., 2..., 1...,
  • + 2
 That's a pressing matter that you bring up
  • + 81
 surely this is a case of judging a fish on its ability to climb a tree?
  • + 60
 Not sure a test that would take a billion years is workable.
  • + 8
 @BenPea: Thou shalt climb that tree!
  • + 9
 @BenPea: I like your evolutionary humour
  • - 2
 Yeah this test is stupid, it does nothing to study the frequency response of the helmets to high speed strikes. It's practically a zero frequency impact, whereas in a crash high frequency movements will be excited and the whole helmet will actually vibrate around like a cymbal at high speed: youtu.be/kpoanOlb3-w

This video is amazing though, all science and product reviews should be done like this!
  • + 7
 @dannyboybiker: this test shows I need to wear a military helmet when riding on the road so when I get ran over by a car my head won’t blow up like a watermelon....
  • + 5
 @scotttherider: I'd wear a watermelon, best MIPS system there is.
  • + 5
 This guy just crushes stuff for fun and views.
  • + 3
 @dannyboybiker: so do you leave any of the pink fruit or just the rind?
  • + 2
 @scotttherider: All the fruit even the pips, that's the MIPS.
  • + 1
 @dannyboybiker: last question....do you bag it or anything to keep the juice outta your eyes or just safety squint it?
  • + 4
 @dannyboybiker: Fuvk me, MIPS: melon pips. This was the inspiration. Water melon's probably in a class action suit alongside cabbage. Is this Specialized's fault?
  • + 41
 Looking forward to see the Enve rims performance at this test.
  • + 21
 I reckon they couldn't take a whole (As)ton.
  • + 3
 "Instead of breaking the mold with the coveted M735E wheels, ENVE literally rammed a hydraulic piston rod through their mold, so it never had to produce anything again."
  • + 41
 How depressing
  • + 15
 Ugh. These puns need to be squashed.
  • + 6
 I thought it was quite imPRESSive
  • + 4
 Got anymore brain busters?
  • + 4
 Trying to squeeze a good one outta my brain.
  • + 1
 these puns really crush my spirit
  • + 28
 Looks like I'll be wearing a ballistic helmet out in the trails
  • + 17
 Me 4! I are only had 7 concussions so far.....
  • + 14
 Will be wearing one for sure on my next bike holiday to Yemen.
  • + 13
 Next time I put my head in a hydraulic press I’ll be sure to wear my steel helmet Madder
  • - 29
flag inked-up-metalhead (May 14, 2019 at 0:35) (Below Threshold)
 please do if you tjink pinkbikes editors are actually saying this is a definitive, scientific test:

'This is hardly a real-world test, and you definitely should not base your next buying decision around it, but it's still interesting to watch what total failure looks like.'
  • + 7
 I'll be trading in my cheap helmet for that specialized one just as soon as I've trained my neck and skull to hold a load greater than 800kg Wink

Love his commentary though
  • + 5
 So when I show up at the trails on my next ride with a tactical helmet and people ask why, I'll point them in the direction of this video - who'll be laughing when a gum tree falls on their head now!?
  • + 8
 That was oddly satisfying...
  • + 2
 Twss
  • + 3
 And free cole-slaw!
  • + 5
 And if you put a finnish accent under an hydraulic press, what happens then?
  • + 7
 It sounds like a c-Russian accent..., I'll see myself out
  • + 6
 You got to laugh at people taking this seriously
  • + 5
 What a surprise that a finnish guy takes a swedish helmet to crush in a hydraulic press :-P
  • + 2
 Out of the HPC’s other mountain bike related videos why did only this one make it onto the homepage? Crushing a 36 or putting a set of guide ultimates on an industrial lathe till they blow up was definitely a lot more interesting than crushing helmets.
  • + 4
 i need tld military helmet
  • + 1
 Isn't disintegrating sooner rather than later (and so dissipating energy of impact) what helmet is actually supposed to do? No structural damage to helmet means all the damage gone to your head, isn't it?
  • + 1
 given that the shelf life of a motorcycle helmet is 4-5 years max depending on construction material this isnt a fair test but it is a good highlight of why that lid needs replacing anyway tho
  • + 3
 There isn't bad press! even an hydraulic press for Specilaized... Nice free ad for the red S
  • + 5
 they actually paid the dude to make the video. sponsored content Smile
  • + 3
 Hello, clickbait, my old friend. (immediately scrolls to comments)
  • + 2
 But how do they fair when using red cabbage? Or even a nice head of Iceberg or bushel of kale?
  • + 2
 You mean a bicycle helmet stuffed with lettuce can't stop a hydraulic press?
  • + 3
 I see enough total failure watching my helmet cam footage.
  • + 3
 Cool specialized logos on the back wall.
  • + 2
 “Carn-Nee-Vour-Oos Plant” - I love this dude’s accent, LOL.
  • + 1
 Dear Specailized, I was just riding along with my new Ambush helmet, when...
  • + 2
 That's it, i'm getting a Ballistic helmet for Downhilling.
  • + 2
 Keep up the bike related scientific content Pinkbike!
  • + 0
 Thanks for wasting a perfectly good helmet, I will make sure i don't buy a specialized product ever. Lets just keep wasting the unlimited materials we have.....
  • + 1
 7.58...the money shot....????
  • + 1
 This is some good press for Specialized new helmet!
  • + 1
 Man, I like this Estonian English... Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
  • + 1
 Even the doors behind the press are sponsored by Specialized..........
  • + 1
 my lids are forever known now as hel-e-mets.
  • + 1
 Imagine the smell of his work shop now. Ugh.
  • + 1
 Also waiting for someone to talk about impulse...
  • + 1
 Pretty sure the spesh helmet was completely fucked up at 1600
  • + 1
 Contact will be pissed when you drop your specialized helmet by accident
  • - 1
 What exactly was the point of that test? Was it just Specialized jumping on the "this sort of video is trending on youtube' train or what?
  • + 0
 He should test bikes in it. Carbon vs. aluminium and we can finally find out if more expensive bikes are better!
  • + 2
 Search for Santa Cruz carbon vs aluminium they did some destructive testing and carbon was significantly better in every test.
  • + 3
 @Paul7189: have they also tested for typical everyday risks like the force of an hydraulic press?? ;-)
  • + 1
 Imagine this is a bike made from large square tubes: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaSXRoD2xaQ&t=495s
  • + 1
 @Paul7189: I saw that famous marketing video. If it was the other way around and Santa Cruz marketing dept said to their engineers that they wanted to make a video to prove aluminium was stronger than carbon they would certainly do it. Too many people fell for that video.
  • + 1
 How about an angry significant other test?
  • + 1
 And here we GOOO Big Grin
  • + 1
 Do it for E-Bike.
  • + 4
 Ebike battery in a hydraulic press.
  • + 1
 But will it blend..
  • + 1
 8:00 making sauerkraut!
  • + 1
 WHY????
  • - 2
 Dumbest video so far guys. One could put the molds that are machined from a solid billet into that press and wouldn't be any different.
  • + 1
 Beautifully mesmerizing.
  • + 1
 Hello it's a me Mario
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