Bicycle vs Hockey Helmets: What's the Difference

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is involved with the development and testing of equipment standards, including those for both hockey and bicycle helmets. The CSA tests hockey helmets for withstanding a variety of repetitive impacts from both large and small objects such as pucks, sticks and the boards. In contrast, bicycle helmets must be able to withstand a single blow from a large object at relatively high speeds. Once involved in a collision, the bicycle helmet should be discarded. Bicycle helmets are put through tests including: the ability of the outer shell to withstand scraping along pavement, and collision with cars, pavement and other such masses.

It is quite clear that hockey helmets are designed and tested to protect the head of the hockey participants, while bicycle helmets are designed and tested to protect the head of the bicycle rider; they should not be interchanged. For example, long openings along the top of the bicycle helmet can allow a skate blade or stick to penetrate through the skull.

When purchasing a hockey helmet, it should be CSA approved. Your bicycle helmet should be CSA, CPSC, ASTM or Snell approved. Regardless of the helmet type, the helmet must be properly sized to the individual in order for it to be effective. Remember safety is everyone's business and it's up to you to protect yourself and your loved ones.