As we get closer and closer to the release of the latest Snell SA2015 rating, we’re seeing more and more questions on when the helmets will be available. We should be seeing our first shipments in early October, with at least Bell Helmets committing to this timeframe. More news from the other manufacturers as it comes in. For a quick primer on the rating change, and whether it is worth it to wait, check out our previous article on Snell ratings and how they apply to you: We also have a better idea on the changes that are coming with the latest homologation from Snell, AND the changes from FIA: FIA 8860-2010: The current Grand-Daddy of helmet certifications, the FIA 8860-2010 is mandatory for many professional levels of racing, such as Indy Car & IMSA. These helmets will remain unchanged into next year, with the next update not due until 2017. FIA 8859-2015: Formerly known as the 8858 standard, the latest 8859-2015 rating will be required at all FIA-sanctioned events. In the past, FIA-events would recognize helmets with only a Snell-rating – this will no longer be the case. Obviously, just about all US-based events require Snell-ratings only, so this only applies to International racers. The most important safety updates follow: Energy requirements have been updated for all helmet sizes. These are known as “head-forms” in engineering speak – basically, helmets are tested using different sized heads, with each size requiring different levels of protection. FIA 8859 has additional energy requirements for the largest sizes. A permanent mount is required for the chin-strap. The strap cannot be removed without destroying the helmet. The strap’s pull-tab is also not allowed to slide further then 7mm. Snell SA2015: The biggest update to the Snell rating is a requirement for Head-and-Neck Restraint compatibility across all helmets. This comes in the form of the pre-installed M6 hardware that was typically only found on helmets with a Snell/FIA rating (formerly known as the SAH-rating). Additionally, all new impact testing is being used that mimics that of the above FIA-testing. Low velocity testing is now required; as is protection against lower impact points, such as strikes against window frames and other lower structures.
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