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Can You Wear a Bike Helmet for Roller Skating?

Can you wear a bike helmet for roller skating? a helmet is crucial safety wear to protect the head while roller skating. But can you use a bike helmet? I cover details in this guide. So, read on!

Can you wear a bike helmet for roller skating?

Bike helmets are lifesavers. Research shows bike helmets lower the risk of death by 44% and the risk of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) by 52% in cyclists. But can a bike helmet be used for roller skating? 

A robust helmet will protect your head from wounds, concussions, and skull fractures in case of an accident. At the minimum, it will reduce the severity of the injuries. 

There are several types of helmets certified for different use cases. I draw on my experience and research to provide a comprehensive guide on whether you can swap a roller skating helmet for a bike helmet. Read on!

Can You Wear a Bike Helmet for Roller Skating?

Can you wear a bike helmet for roller skating? Yes, you can wear a bike helmet when roller skating. However, because they expose the back of the head and are single-impact, you should only use bike helmets for recreational roller skating. 

While you can use a bike helmet for roller skating, below are reasons using one may not be a good idea!

1. Bike Helmets Leave the Back of the Head Exposed

Can you wear a bike helmet for roller skating?

Many elements are considered by helmet manufacturers while making a helmet. Weight and comfort are two of these concerns. Helmet manufacturers are striving to build lightweight helmets without sacrificing safety.

Cyclists rarely fall on their backside due to momentum. As a result, the back of a cyclist’s head is at a reduced risk of injury. 

Bike helmet makers exploit this to reduce weight and enhance comfort by leaving the back of the head uncovered.

While this is an excellent bargain for cyclists, it compromises roller skater safety. Skaters, unlike cyclists, are more prone to tumble on their backside. 

Therefore, a bike helmet exposes a roller skater to head injury risks by leaving the skull exposed on the back.

Skating helmets, on the other hand, are designed to protect the back of the skater’s head if they fall on their backside. As a result, they offer extra protection to your head.

2. Bike Helmets Are Single-Impact

Cycling, especially on busy streets, exposes bikers to automobile collisions. These are often high-impact crashes. 

As a result, bike helmets are made of expanded polystyrene (EPS), a material with significant impact absorption.

However, EPSs have a shortcoming. They are brittle and collapse upon a strong impact. They are subsequently rendered ineffective dampers. 

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Therefore, bike helmets are single-impact and must be replaced after that.

Inline skaters fall frequently, and face and head injuries account for 11,000 injuries annually. Most of these injuries are minor, with only 4% needing hospitalization. 

By the way, research shows no statistical difference between inline skating and roller skating accident patterns. So the above figures could as well be for roller skating.

With so many incidents, you’ll be replacing your single-impact bike helmet 24/7. Okay, maybe not daily, but you get the gist. 

Skating helmets are made of expanded polypropylene (EPP). It provides less shock absorption than EPS but is elastic and springy, restoring its original form after an impact. 

As a result, it is well adapted for many low-impact collisions common in skating.

Recommended Helmet Type for Roller Skating

As we have seen, a bike helmet does not provide adequate protection for a roller skater. 

Recognizing the shortcomings of a bike helmet for skating, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (SPSC) has approved using CPSC-certified bike helmets for recreational roller skating only. 

Recreational skating in this context refers solely to non-aggressive skating activities. The CPSC is an independent US government agency mandated to promote the safety of consumer products.

However, if you are an aggressive roller skater and enjoy doing roller skating tricks, you are safe with ASTM F1492 certified helmet. These helmets are designed to withstand several impacts.

The ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) is an internationally recognized body that develops and publishes technical standards set by voluntary consensus to facilitate international trade. 

What Makes a Good Helmet?

The primary goal of a helmet is to protect your head from injuries in the event of an accident. A good helmet must meet this goal while being as comfortable as possible. The following factors constitute a good helmet:

More Reading>> Skating Gear: The Must-Have Complete Gear for Skaters

1. A strong Cover with Collapsible Lining

In case of an accident, a robust shell keeps external objects at bay. To regulate impact energy, it must also have shock-absorbent padding that collapses and increases the time of impact.

Make sure to wear a helmet with adequate padding. If you suffer an accident while wearing a bike helmet that affects the integrity of the padding, it’s time to replace the helmet. 

Another sign that it’s time to replace your helmet is if you notice a crack in the shell of your helmet.

Otherwise, the call to dump the helmet is discretional based on how frequently it’s used and the number of knocks it has taken.

Remember that a bike helmet’s padding is inelastic, and a series of minor accidents will wear it down.

2. Meets Safety Standards

Wear a safety-certified helmet. A safety sticker affirms that the helmet meets the required standards.

You can then use the helmet confident it lives up to its claims. A bike helmet with an SPSC sticker is a sure bet.

3. Use a Fitting Helmet

If you buy a helmet at a physical store, you should try it. The helmet should be two fingers above the eyes to avoid blocking vision. 

If you’re shopping online, measure your head just above the eyebrows in centimeters (helmets are calibrated in centimeters). If you’re in between sizes, go with the larger size. 

4. Sufficient Fastening

Adequate fastening goes hand in hand with the correct fit. Make a snug but comfortable fit with the chin strap.

A chin strap is required to secure the helmet to the head; otherwise, it may fly off during a fall, exposing you.

5. Sufficient Ventilation

Adequate ventilation is required to facilitate sweat evaporation and keep the helmet fresh and comfortable in hot conditions.

Can You Wear a Bike Helmet for Roller Skating? | Wrapping Up

Can you wear a bike helmet for roller skating? You can use a bike helmet for recreational roller skating.

However, it is single-impact and will need replacement after a significant impact. It also exposes your skull at the back.

Aggressive roller skating, however, needs a helmet with elasticity and strength to withstand multiple high-impact falls. An ASTM F1492 sticker guarantees a helmet meets that standard.

Navick Ogutu
Navick Ogutu

Navick is a full-time freelance writer, blogger, and internet marketer. By day, he creates content for multiple sites including inlineskaterstars.com. Over the weekend, he goes out skating with friends.

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