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Cycling Conduct: Helmet Types

By USA Triathlon | Jan. 22, 2014, 5:25 p.m. (ET)

This week’s rule is 5.9a — Type of Helmet.

The rule requires that participants use helmets that meet the U.S. national standard for bicycle helmet safety. That standard is set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is the federal regulatory body that has jurisdiction over bicycle helmets.

The law requires that a helmet must meet or exceed the CPSC standard in order to be allowed for sale in the United States. Therefore any helmet you may buy from a retailer in the U.S. will be a CPSC-certified model. The CPSC approval sticker is required to be in the helmet.

Here’s the rule:

5.9. Helmets.
(a) Type of Helmet.

All participants shall wear a protective head cover, undamaged and unaltered, which meets or exceeds the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Helmets manufactured prior to March 10, 1999 must meet or exceed the safety standards of (i) the American National Standard Institute (ANSI Z-90.4), (ii) The Snell Memorial Foundation (Protective Headgear for Bicycle Users), or (iii) ASTM F-1446 or F-1447, and which is clearly labeled by the manufacturer as satisfying such standards. Removal of helmet cover, if required for that helmet to meet such safety standards, shall constitute an impermissible alteration in violation of this Section 5.9(a). Any violation of this Section 5.9(a) shall result in disqualification.

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