There are many different materials helmets can be made out of. But the two most common shell materials for bike helmets are PC Inmold and ABS. Here at Nutcase we have a few categories of helmets and below you will learn the difference for each.
- Baby Nutty
- Little Nutty
We utilize two different types of helmet constructions:
PC INMOLD (Baby Nutty and Vio)
In-mold is the best current production technology for making ultra lightweight helmets with a high level of firmness and maximum protection. Injecting EPS (expandable polystyrene)foam directly into the PolyCarbonate shell in one operation created by pressure, heat and steam. The the outer graphics "PC" shell is vacuum formed to the foam creating the helmet. This helmet is perfect for baby helmets since it is light enough for their necks yet provides the best protections.
Here are some of the qualities of our PC Inmold Helmets
- Extremely strong and flexible (even more so than ABS)
- Flexible, with very high tensile strength (twice that of ABS)
- Stable at high temperatures (works at much higher temperature than ABS– 130 ºC vs 80 ºC)
- Resilient, with high impact resistance (more than ABS)
- Tough even at low temperatures (works at much lower temperature than ABS– -40 ºC vs -20 ºC)
- Resistant to chemicals and weathering (resistant to UV light, whereas ABS would degrade)
- Safe (exclusively used by medical devices)
- Can be melted down and recycled
ABS (Little Nutty and Street)
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, or ABS, is a widely used plastic with many desirable properties. In fact, it combines the best properties of acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene to make a plastic that is one of the most versatile in the world– you see it on pipes, computer keyboards, luggage cases, wall socket covers, LEGOs, clarinets, and on and on. We use this strong technology in our Little Nutty and Street Collections. It provides an incredibly durable and protective shell on the outside of the foam. This
Here are some of the qualities of the Nutcase ABS helmets:
- Extremely strong and rigid (from the styrene-acrylonitrile)
- Shiny, scratch-resistant surface (from the styrene)
- Stable at high temperatures (from the acrylonitrile)
- Resilient, with high impact resistance (from the butadiene rubber)
- Tough even at low temperatures (from the butadiene rubber)
- Partially resistant to chemicals and weathering (from the butadiene rubber)
- Safe (not carcinogenic)
- Can be recycled
So which is right for you?
Either one of these helmet types could be right for you, except for if you're a baby. For Toddlers and above, you should ask yourself the following questions.
- Is the helmet in my budget? Polycarbonate shell helmets tend to be more expensive than helmets with ABS shells. Get the helmet that you can afford and will wear.
- Does the helmet look and feel good? Any one of our helmets - Baby Nutty, Little Nutty, Street and Vio pass rigorous safety standards and are very safe. So if you like the color/graphic or fit of one helmet over another, you should buy it. You’ll be more likely to wear a helmet that you like, which is the most important consideration.
- Is the helmet thick enough to protect my head? Helmets made from polycarbonate may be thinner and lighter than helmets made from ABS. Although they are both safety certified in the country where you live, the thinner helmets will tend to localize the impact. This can matter for people who have a more fragile head, such as seniors. If that’s the case, you may prefer a thicker helmet, even if it’s made out of the heavier ABS.
- Will I be wearing the helmet for very long rides? If you plan on having long bike rides, an ABS shell helmet like our Street helmet will tend to be heavier over the long haul. So if you love long biking trips, consider getting a helmet with a polycarbonate shell like our Vio.
- Do I care if the helmet gets scratched up? Small surface scratches should not affect the safety of the helmet, since most of the impact is absorbed by the EPS liner. However, there is no denying that Nutcase helmets are known for their cool graphic elements. If this is something you value, then consider getting one of our Little Nutty or Street helmets.