If you have been following our XNITO journey for a while then at this point you know that our proudest spec is the fact that our helmet will pass the Dutch NTA 8776 safety standard. What you probably don’t know, however, is why that is so important. We are going to break that down for you so that you understand why we are choosing this standard over standards that are already common in the US. In the US, the typical bike helmet advertises one of three safety ratings: CPSC, ASTM F1447, or SNELL B-90A. There are other standards, but at your local bike shop or sporting goods store this is what you’re going to find. So let's figure out just what that means:
- CPSC: The CPSC standard is the government standard. Any helmet that is sold must pass the criteria of this standard, though that isn’t exactly hard to do. In order to pass, the helmet must be dropped from a height of two meters onto a flat anvil, and 1.2 meters onto a hemispheric curbstone anvil. The headfoam sensor must register less than 300 g of force. The CPSC protects people at speeds up to about 15 mph, and has been the government standard since 1999.
- ASTM F1447: The ASTM F1447 standard was the standard before the CPSC was put into law. The criteria for the ASTM matched the cpsc in every way, except for one key difference: it was self certifying. Manufacturers could put an ASTM sticker on their helmet without an independent certification process. Nowadays, ASTM isn’t really used in new helmets but there are still plenty of ASTM helmets in circulation.
- SNELL B-90A: The SNELL standard is a slightly higher standard than the CPSC. It requires helmets to pass a 2.2 meter drop onto a flat anvil, and a 1.3 meter drop onto a curved anvil. This standard came into production after Pete Snell, a race car driver, died from a head injury caused by a faulty helmet. Though there is no question that it provides solid protection, because it is designed for high speeds many people consider it too stiff for lower impact crashes and less protective for people who aren’t riding a high speed motorcycle or race car.
So why are we telling you all this? Its simple: we want you to know just how safe our XNITO helmet will be. The Dutch NTA 8776 standard has yet to hit the US market, but it is already considered the safest standard for e-bike riders. The Dutch NTA standard protects people at speeds up to 28 mph. Not only that, but it covers more of the surface of the head than US standards, and focuses on extra protection to the frontal and occipital lobes of the brain. We are launching our XNITO helmet simply because ebike riders are dangerously underprotected.