When you see a fairly serious biker riding down the street with a helmet on, you probably assume that the person paid a lot for his or her gear. As a serious biker, they must know the value of having the best gear and equipment possible to keep them safe on the road. It’s understandable to have this assumption, but what a new study posits is that the cost of your gear doesn’t matter, at least when it comes to helmets.

The study found that all bike helmets, regardless of cost, performed the same. Researchers looked at bike helmets that cost anywhere from $10 to $200, and there was no difference in the way they performed when biking. However, the key factor in this study is that the way a biker wears the helmet is far more important than the cost of the helmet.

The helmet must be snug to the head and shouldn’t be worn further back on the head. Though this may seem obvious, many people go out biking with loose-fitting helmets that are worn further back on the head. This is dangerous and can leave a person with very serious injuries if they are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident.

This post isn’t meant to make bike safety seem illegitimate. To the contrary, this post is meant to highlight just how fragile bikers are on the road. Drivers of other vehicles need to be especially cautious around bikers because if they get into an accident with a biker, the injuries are unlikely to be anything but serious.

Source: KARE, “Study: cheap and expensive bike helmets perform the same,” Renee Tessman, May 12, 2015