When Consumer Reports tested the Cannondale Teramo bike helmet in November 2014, it failed the test we use to evaluate the strength and holding power of the chinstrap. The helmet’s buckle broke into pieces in four out of the five samples we tested, so we rated it as a Don’t Buy: Safety Risk. But because design of the chinstrap buckle on the Cannondale Teramo has changed (see photo below), we tested new samples of this helmet, and found that the chinstrap buckle remained intact.

Consumer Reports’ chinstrap retention test is modeled after, but not identical to, the Consumer Product Safety Commission standard. We put all helmets through the same chinstrap test: We drop an 8.75-pound weight 0.6 meters (about 2 feet). The weight pulls on the strap to simulate the force that might occur in an accident. In this part of our testing, we check to see whether the strap stretches too much or breaks or comes loose where it is attached to the helmet, and if the buckle remains intact. If the chinstrap or buckle breaks in a fall, a helmet might not stay in place, and you could be at greater risk of injury as a result. 

The buckle on the Cannondale Teramo ($130) stayed in one piece this time. We then put the helmet through our tests for impact absorption, ventilation, ease of use, fit adjustment, and weight. The Cannondale Teramo rated Excellent for impact absorption, Good for ventilation, Excellent for ease of use, Very Good for fit adjustment, and Excellent for weight (just over half a pound). Overall, we gave it a score of 79, making the Cannondale Teramo one of our Recommended bike helmets. As we did when we tested the Cannondale Teramo in 2014, we will be sharing our test results with the CPSC.

Cannondale Teramo bike helmet buckles
If you are buying a Cannondale Teramo, be sure the helmet has the new buckle design.

The appearance of the buckle on the Teramo we originally tested is different from the buckle on the Teramo helmets included our new tests, and Cannondale confirmed that the buckle has changed. The male end of the old buckle had a forked center prong, and two curved side prongs. The prongs on the new buckle are straight and appear to be thicker than the prongs on the old buckle. The new buckle also has a flip up clasp to help adjust the chinstrap.

If you own a Cannondale Teramo with the old buckle, we recommend that you do not use it. If you purchase a new Cannondale Teramo helmet, be sure that it has the new buckle design.

Inside CR’s Bicycle Helmet Test Lab

'Consumer 101' TV show host, Jack Rico, finds out what happens when Consumer Reports testers strap a bicycle helmet into CR's crash simulator. Plus, CR expert, John Galeotafiore, demonstrates the correct way to wear a helmet.