Standard & Testing

Certification for helmets that is used for
e-bikes, micromobility and other light powered vehicles

What is standard NTA-8776

The Netherlands introduced a new e-bike helmet standard known as NTA 8776 in 2016. To meet the NTA 8776 standards, helmets undergo dual crash simulation tests, targeting distinct impact zones. A steel head is placed inside the helmet and subjected to drops onto a flat anvil and a curbstone anvil. The standard mandates that the maximum force exerted on the head must not surpass 250 g, equivalent to 250 times the earth’s gravitational force. This measurement is captured using a triaxial accelerometer embedded within the steel head. These rigorous tests are conducted under varying conditions, including cold, hot, room temperature, and simulated rain, ensuring helmets meet safety criteria across diverse environments.

Since 2015, several states have enacted legislation categorizing ebikes into three distinct categories.. Some states mandate helmet usage for specific or all three ebike categories. However, these categories may not be helpful for selecting a helmet because the severity of a crash can vary significantly. Generally, crashes involving powered bicycles tend to be more severe than those involving pedal cycles. Moreover, ebike riders often travel at higher speeds than pedal bike riders, and there’s a observed tendency for ebike riders on trails to maintain speed where pedal bike riders might slow down.

Why does testing to NTA-8776 matter?

Helmet safety testing is crucial because it ensures that helmets can effectively protect the brain against impacts, penetrations, and other hazards. Without accurate and proper testing, helmets may not provide important protection, putting consumers at risk of serious injury.

Electric bikes (ebikes) often operate near their maximum speeds on city streets, which are usually faster than what most pedal cyclists can achieve, especially on uphill terrain. The average speed of a pedal bike in real-world conditions is about half of what an ebike can reach, so pedal cyclists are less likely to be at top speed during a crash. However, the impact severity in a head-on crash involving an ebike is likely to be higher due to its higher speed and potentially heavier weight compared to a pedal bike.

Ebikes are not limited to shared-use trails but are also used on streets alongside cars and trucks, making their interactions with heavier motor vehicles different from regular bicycles. While bicycle helmets are designed and tested for speeds around 14 mph, corresponding to typical falls from a bicycle, they may not provide adequate protection for impacts at higher speeds common with ebikes and motorcycles. Additionally, considerations such as ventilation and weight are less compromised in helmets designed for powered vehicles compared to those for pedal cyclists.

Standard bicycle helmets lack protection for the face and jaw joint, which are crucial areas in high-speed crashes. Modifications to increase the speed of gas-powered motors or ebikes can exceed the designed limits of helmets, emphasizing the need for specialized helmets designed for these higher speeds. Even unmodified ebikes can reach speeds up to 28 mph, highlighting the importance of appropriate safety gear for riders of such vehicles.


Testing helmets according to the NTA 8776 standard offers significant benefits in enhancing safety for e-bike riders. By subjecting helmets to rigorous crash simulations and stringent impact resistance criteria, NTA 8776 ensures that certified helmets provide optimal protection against head injuries during cycling accidents. This standard’s comprehensive testing procedures, including multiple impact tests and assessments under various environmental conditions, contribute to the development of helmets that are robust, reliable, and capable of mitigating the severity of head impacts. Ultimately, NTA 8776-certified helmets offer cyclists peace of mind, knowing they are wearing headgear that meets high safety standards and significantly reduces the risk of serious head injuries on the road or trail.

About ACT Lab

ACT Lab is an ISO/IEC 17025 independent third-party accredited laboratory conducting consumer product safety and compliance testing. Specialties include mechanical and chemical testing of bicycles, bicycle components, e-bicycles and accessories, helmets and head protection, scooters, sporting goods, children’s products, toys, outdoor industry products and more. Founded in 2008 with operations in USA, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Czech Republic, ACT Lab allows customers to deliver safer, more reliable products more effectively and consistently to market. For more information, please visit act-lab.com.


COTECNA is a leading provider of testing, inspection, and certification services. We offer solutions to facilitate trade and make supply chains safer and more efficient for our clients. Our trusted network of professionals and certified laboratories provide expertise across five key sectors: government & trade solutions, agriculture, food safety, minerals & metals, and consumer goods & retail. Founded in Switzerland in 1974, COTECNA started off as a family business and has now grown to become a world-class international player with over 5,000 employees in more than 100 offices across approximately 50 countries.  For more information, please visit cotecna.com.