VANCOUVER -- The pandemic has pushed many people to try new forms of exercise or rediscover old ones – like cycling. But whether you're biking, scootering, or skating around town, safety should always come first, and that means protecting your head with the best helmets on the market.

At Consumer Reports, experts rigorously evaluate bike helmets in their lab, testing how well they absorb impact at about 23 kilometres an hour to simulate how a cyclist might fall in an accident.

"We repeat the test four times," says Consumer Reports' Peter Anzalone. "We impact the helmet on the front, side, rear and crown to simulate a rider falling off their bike and hitting those parts of their head." 

After all this testing, the experts found the best bike helmet for adults is the Giro Register MIPS, which costs about $85. 

"This GIRO helmet comes with MIPS technology, which stands for multi-directional impact protection system," Anzalone says. "It's a plastic layer inside the helmet that helps prevent transmitting rotational energy to the head if you get into a crash, and that's supposed to help against getting concussions." 

For kids, at $65, there's the Bontrager Tyro, which gets top marks for impact absorption, ventilation and ease of use from Consumer Reports. 

But remember, if you've fallen and hit your head while wearing a helmet, you need to get a new one – the absorbing materials may no longer protect you if you fall again. 

With files from Consumer Reports