6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Best Bike Helmets, Bike Locks and Bike Racks

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(ABC 6 News) – Planning on spending some time on a bike this summer? Before you hit the streets or trails, you’ll need a good helmet.

That’s where expert testing from Consumer Reports comes in to help you find the best helmet that combines safety and comfort.

When Summer Payne isn’t working at Consumer Reports, you can find her riding around Connecticut, along with a few of her friends in a group called “Black Girls Do Bike.”

“The idea is to connect women who have a common interest in cycling and also to increase representation for black women in the sport,” says Payne.

Before Summer and her fellow cyclists push the pedals with their feet, they protect their heads.

“We’re representing the league when we’re out on the road as well, so we have to wear a helmet. That’s first and foremost, safety first, right,” says Payne.

Consumer Reports experts test helmets in a special lab, measuring how well they absorb impact at about 14 mph, it simulates how a biker might fall in an accident.

To make sure the helmet stays on your head in a crash, they also test the strength of the chinstraps, attachment points, and buckles by dropping an almost nine-pound weight two feet, so that it yanks on the straps.

But of course, human nature suggests many of us won’t wear a helmet if it’s not comfortable and easy to use, so CR looks at that, too.

“We also evaluate the helmets for ventilation, fit adjustments, ease of use, and other key features,” says Consumer Reports’ Kevin Loria.

In its latest round of testing, CR says the best bike helmet for adults is the Bontrager Starvos WaveCel, which got perfect scores for Impact Absorption, Fit Adjustment, and Ease of Use.

Now that you’ve got the protection you need for your head, it’s time to protect your bike from thieves with a good bike lock.

“In our tests we found that U-locks offered the best security against thieves,” says Loria.

The Kryptonite New York FAHGETTABOUDIT Mini U-Lock performed the best, acing tests against bolt cutters, hacksaws, and brute force.

CR also wants to remind you that helmets don’t last forever – so remember to replace your helmet every five years or right away if it’s damaged.