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Skate Helmet vs Bike Helmet: Is There a Difference?

FAQs Written by MARSH HARRISON / Checked by GODFREY RICE

skateboarding helmet vs bike helmet

If you already own a bike helmet and are picking up skating, or vice versa, you might wonder if it is necessary to purchase another sport-specific helmet. To help you decide, we have put together this comprehensive comparison guide on skate helmets vs. bike helmets.

We will look at 5 different aspects:

  • The Coverage
  • The Impact Resistance
  • The Vents
  • The Visors
  • The Style

To get a brief idea of their distinctions, look through this summarized comparison chart.

Helmets for Skating  Helmets for Biking/Cycling
Coverage – Covers the top and back of the head – Most do not cover the back of the head, except helmets for mountain cycling.
Impact Resistance – Multiple impacts – Single impacts
Vents – Usually only a few small ones – Usually many large ones
Visors – Usually not included – Usually included
Style – Youthful, trendy – Casual, simple

As you can see, there are a few important differences. We will look through them in detail later.

Helmets for Skating & Helmets for Biking/cycling – Detailed Dive

skate-helmet-vs-bike-helmet

1. What is a Skate Helmet?

A skate helmet is a protective gear that covers your head while skating. It is meant to safeguard your head from impacts in an accident. As implied in the name, skate helmets are made for skaters. It can loosely refer to helmets for skateboarding and rollerskating.

2. What is a Bike Helmet?

A bike helmet is also protective headgear. But it is for bikers and cyclists, not necessarily skaters. It is designed to endure only one major impact. On the marker, you might find skate style bike helmets, but these are usually only similar to skateboard helmets in style.

  • Note: Bike helmets are sometimes referred to as scooter helmets, and vice versa, when it comes to kick scooters. However, the helmets for motor scooters differ drastically, ranging from common open-face to full-face ones with helmet covers.

At first glance, a skate helmet vs. bike helmet appears more similar than different. But we will explore the differences now.

Helmets for Skating & Helmets for Biking/cycling – Differences

1. Coverage

The first difference between skate and bike helmets is the shape. Most biking helmets are designed without coverage for the head’s back. This is not because manufacturers are stringy on material but because riders don’t normally fall backward in the event of a crash.

However, mountain bikes do provide coverage for the back of the head. So, if you wear a BMX helmet on the road (a mountain bike helmet) and somehow fall backward, your head’s back will be shielded.

On the other hand, a proper helmet for skating provides full head coverage. You can put two and two together: these helmets cover the back of the head because skaters are more likely to fall backward.

2. Impact Resistance

Since skating helmets and bicycle helmets are worn as safety equipment, it is essential to take note of their abilities to withstand extreme force and prevent a more severe head injury.

A certified helmet for biking meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which entails that bike helmet shells can sustain a single impact, such as a collision with a vehicle or a fall at speed. A collision as such compresses the internal foam and will require you to get new headgear.

  • Note: Because of this characteristic, bicycle headwear is sometimes also called single-hit helmets.

As for skating, helmet safety standards mandate a thicker outer shell and softer foam that ensures the same headgear can withstand several low impacts. Unlike bike headwear, you can get more service life from skating helmets.

3. Vents

Many people dismiss vents as a fancy add-on feature. But in reality, it places a crucial role in bike riding and skating. Vents make it possible for air to flow in and out of the helmet. Thus, your head can stay cool and sweat-free.

Bike helmets offer large vents in the front and the back. Meanwhile, most skateboard helmets only have a few small air ventilation holes. This is because keeping the head cool is not as critical for skaters, as they do not generate as much heat or spend long hours under the sun as bikers do.

4. Visors

Skateboard helmets typically do not have visors, while some bicycle helmets do.

More specifically, mountain bike helmets include visors, whereas road bike ones don’t. This is because road cyclists tend to wear sunglasses as they travel. Plus, riding bikes requires cyclists to keep their heads low. Equipped visors can interfere with their line of sight.

On the other hand, sunglasses usually aren’t enough to protect mountain bikers’ eyes from debris; hence riders tend to require either visors or goggles. That said, visors don’t hold in heat as much as goggles, so they are a more popular choice for riders in hot regions.

5. Style

Though not as emphasized as safety standards, style is worth considering when choosing a helmet to wear. Both bike helmets and skate helmets today come in many styles. They have various designs so users can wear helmets that fit their preferences.

In general, skate-style helmets tend to be more youthful, filled with swag, and have street vibes, whereas bike helmets are more casual and simple with solid, plain colors. For kid headwear, there can be prints of characters, like a cat or a pirate.

Helmets for Skating & Helmets for Biking/cycling – Pros and Cons

Now, let us go over the pros and cons of bike vs skate helmets as a recap.

Pros Cons
Helmets for Skating – Covers the back of the head
– Withstand multiple impacts
– Trendy, young style
– Lack vents
– Lack visors
Helmets for Biking/Cycling – Often equipped with vents
– Often come with visors
– Meet the CPSC standards
– Most do not cover the entire head
– Casual, simple style

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why is it important to choose the correct helmet?

You have probably read this somewhere before: a helmet saves lives. Wearing one can reduce your risk of brain injury and skull fracture in an accident. Choosing suitable headwear ensures that you can keep yourself safe. This is the same for both bike helmets vs. skate helmets.

Some things to think about to choose a perfect biking helmet or skating helmet:

  • Who is wearing the helmet? If it’s your little one, you need a bike or skate helmet kids, for instance.
  • Is it certified? What different helmet safety standards does it meet?
  • Does it fit snugly all around? Remember to take hairstyles into account as well.
  • Are the straps secure and easy to use?
  • Can you see fully and clearly with the helmet on?

2. Can you use a bike helmet for skateboarding?

Yes, it is possible to rely on bike helmet shells while skateboarding, as long as they are dual-certified. Specifically, the need to meet the CPSC 1203 and ASTM F1492 standards. If you are contemplating a multi-sport helmet, look for the standard stickers. Also, check whether the headgear can cover the back of your head.

For outdoor skateboarding helmets, however, not all regular bicycle helmets can fit the task. Considering that you may travel on rough terrain littered with rocks and obstacles, full-face helmets tend to be a better choice.

3. Can you use a bike helmet for roller skating?

Yes, road bike helmets can be used for in-line skating as long as they fit snugly on your head. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a dual-certified helmet; however, the gear still has to be either ASTM or CPSC-verified.

4. Can you use a skateboard helmet for cycling?

You can wear a skate helmet for cycling if it is a CPCS-compliant product. If you do not remember, a reliable biking helmet meets the helmet standard Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Wearing a helmet that is not up to par means you are not giving yourself adequate protection. Case in point: make sure you look for a CPSC skate helmet if you want to use it for cycling.

Here are some popular skate helmets for biking:

  • OUWOR Skateboard Bike Helmet, CPSC Certified
  • Gonex Skateboard Helmet, CPCS Certified
  • Retrospec Skateboard Helmet for Adult, CPSC Certified

5. When should you replace your helmet?

For both bike helmets and skateboard helmets, it is critical to get a new helmet after sustaining a big blow. You must also get a new one if you notice signs of damage. This applies to both skate and bike helmet shells. Several common signs to look for:

  • Cracks
  • Bumps
  • Scrapings
  • Deflated Foam Paddings

Also, check the straps, buckles, and any adjustment systems. They should all work smoothly. If not, you should certainly consider switching to a new one.

  • Note: For a bicycle helmet, safety requirements call for a replacement in 5 years, even if it has not combat extreme force or sustained a major impact.

Conclusion

Congrats! Now, you know the essentials to skate helmets vs. bike helmets. Hopefully, you can apply what you have read to browse modern headgear and pick the right one for yourself.

Share your selection experience with us in the comments down below. We (and probably other readers) would love to hear from you and see pictures of your bike and skate helmets!

Always remember: helmets save lives – always wear one while on the road or skating.

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Marsh-Harrison

Content Writer - Marsh Harrison

Harrison is a skating enthusiast who picked up the sport during her student exchange years in Canada. She has been a skating coach for children and teens for 3 years and now holds classes as a freelancer. Harrison entwines her experience leading skating classes in the content published on Cora to help readers fall in love with skating, just like she did.