Do You Need an E-Bike-Specific Helmet?

Helmets With More Coverage
For all bike riders, it’s essential to make sure a helmet fits securely, Swart says—and this is equally true for anyone getting on an electric bike. But beyond that, e-bike riders might look into a helmet that provides more coverage on the sides and back of the head, like a commuter or skate-style helmet, Galeotafiore says. These typically have less ventilation than some road cycling helmets. But e-bike riders might not need quite as much ventilation as conventional road cyclists, since the motor might kick into gear before they get too sweaty.

Light Motorcycle Helmets
Anyone riding an electric bike that goes faster than a Class 3 electric bike, exceeding 28 mph—something that’s more like a light motorcycle—should use a light motorcycle helmet, Swart says.

Helmets That Meet the Downhill Mountain-Biking Standard
For regular electric bikes, Swart says he often recommends riders look at helmets that meet the downhill mountain biking standard, ASTM F1952. Most of these helmets have a chin guard that protects the lower face, though this isn’t a required feature. (CR does not currently rate any downhill mountain biking helmets that meet the F1952 standard, but you can check the helmet itself, the box, or the manufacturer website for this certification.)

Helmets That Meet the Dutch Electric Bike Standard
Riders could also look for helmets certified to meet a Dutch standard created specifically for e-bikes, NTA 8776. This standard requires helmets to have more protection on the sides and back of the head, like that found on many skate- and urban commuter-style helmets. Some of the helmets in that style in CR’s ratings are certified to meet the NTA 8776 standard.

Here are a few such options for electric bike riders.