Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-11-05, 10:34 PM   #1
jhglaw
Lawman
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes: Spec. Tarmac Expert SL4
Posts: 196
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
extra safe helmet

All bike helmets seem to be made of a styrofoam-like inner material and a thin plastic outer shell with lots of holes for ventilation. I understand that helmets with more holes are supposed to be made of better foam to make up for having less material. Are there helmets that are made of stronger material that have fewer holes in order to provide more impact protection? or, are all bike helmets designed to have the same ANSI required impact protection with only a little extra strength for manufacturing variance? I would not mind wearing a little extra weight for a little more impact protection.
jhglaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 11:10 AM   #2
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
Posts: 24,633
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhglaw
All bike helmets seem to be made of a styrofoam-like inner material and a thin plastic outer shell with lots of holes for ventilation. I understand that helmets with more holes are supposed to be made of better foam to make up for having less material. Are there helmets that are made of stronger material that have fewer holes in order to provide more impact protection? or, are all bike helmets designed to have the same ANSI required impact protection with only a little extra strength for manufacturing variance? I would not mind wearing a little extra weight for a little more impact protection.
Bell helmets used to make the V1 Pro, a very nice helmet with holes with ventilation and a HARD plastic shell. The rest was pretty much like any other helmet. BTW the ANSI rating has been dropped for CPSC rating.

Helmets used to be ANSI and SNELL rated... but no longer true for bike helmets.

All your answers can be found here: http://www.bhsi.org/
genec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 03:23 PM   #3
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
Posts: 6,521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The foam isnt there for strength but to absorb the shock of impact through crushing. Therefore a stronger foam may not be better since it may transmit the shock rather than absorb it.
AndrewP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 03:41 PM   #4
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
Posts: 24,633
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewP
The foam isnt there for strength but to absorb the shock of impact through crushing. Therefore a stronger foam may not be better since it may transmit the shock rather than absorb it.
The helmet I mentioned had the same foam, but rather then the thin skin shell that today's helmets have, it had a thicker tougher shell. So the action of the foam is still the same, but the hard outer shell offered more protection against puncture type failures.
genec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 03:47 PM   #5
Treespeed
Warning:Mild Peril
 
Treespeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle Refugee in Los Angeles
Bikes: Cilo, Surly Pacer, Kona Fire Mountain w/Bob Trailer, Scattante
Posts: 3,171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You could always go with a motorcycle helmet if you wanted more protection.
__________________
Non semper erit aestas.
Treespeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 03:50 PM   #6
GGDub
Dog is my copilot.
 
GGDub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Bikes: Lemond Maillot Jaune, Specialized Stumpjumper, Kona Jake the Snake, Single-Speed Rigid Rocky Mtn Equipe, Soon-to-be fixed Bianchi Brava
Posts: 802
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Having hit a ditch and pile-driving myself at 35+ mph, I can tell you a helmet that meets the ANSI/SNELL standard is pretty safe. Mine was a Limar F105, so a lightweight racing-style helmet. Like it was said before, the foam is there to dissipate the impact, which is why the helmets are designed for one crash only. They're actually supposed to crack on impact. The thin shell is actually to prevent foam degradation due to UV rays nothing more.
GGDub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 04:08 PM   #7
closetbiker
Senior Member
 
closetbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vancouver, BC
Bikes:
Posts: 9,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhglaw
All bike helmets seem to be made of a styrofoam-like inner material and a thin plastic outer shell with lots of holes for ventilation. I understand that helmets with more holes are supposed to be made of better foam to make up for having less material. Are there helmets that are made of stronger material that have fewer holes in order to provide more impact protection?

From

http://www.helmets.org/helmet05.htm

Quote:
it will not surprise you that it is advantageous to have lots of thicker, less dense foam in a helmet, leading to our recommendation that you find one with no more vents than you need.
closetbiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 04:10 PM   #8
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
Posts: 24,633
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treespeed
You could always go with a motorcycle helmet if you wanted more protection.
How about something in between... like the old Bell V1-Pro.

Here is the V1-Pro for comparison:


It is no longer available. The hard shells have given away to the "microshell."

There are other helmets available, like the BMX style full face helmets.

genec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 04:21 PM   #9
Treespeed
Warning:Mild Peril
 
Treespeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle Refugee in Los Angeles
Bikes: Cilo, Surly Pacer, Kona Fire Mountain w/Bob Trailer, Scattante
Posts: 3,171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are also the full-face snowboarding helmets. Living in Los Angeles I can't imagine giving up any ventilation.
__________________
Non semper erit aestas.
Treespeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 04:24 PM   #10
randya
Senior Member
 
randya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: in bed with your mom
Bikes: who cares?
Posts: 13,689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Or a regular hardshell BMX / Skate helmet, many models to choose from...
randya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 04:28 PM   #11
supcom
You need a new bike
 
supcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 5,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In general, helmet manufacturers certify only that their helmets meet the current CPSC standards. Nobody, to my knowledge claims any of their helmets provides better protection than that (however you would define 'better').

However, as I recall, Consumer Reports did a test a few years ago to determine which of a representative sample of then-current helmets provided the greatest impact protection. Not surprisingly, the less expensive (more material, less vents) helmets did better in many cases than the expensive helmets.

Perhaps CU has done tests since then, but alas, I have no access to the magazine any more.
supcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 04:40 PM   #12
alanbikehouston
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 5,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
In general, helmet manufacturers certify only that their helmets meet the current CPSC standards. Nobody, to my knowledge claims any of their helmets provides better protection than that (however you would define 'better').

However, as I recall, Consumer Reports did a test a few years ago to determine which of a representative sample of then-current helmets provided the greatest impact protection. Not surprisingly, the less expensive (more material, less vents) helmets did better in many cases than the expensive helmets.

Perhaps CU has done tests since then, but alas, I have no access to the magazine any more.
A mountain bike magazine published a list of helmets that meet the MUCH higher standards of the Snell Foundation. The only bicycle helmets sold widely in the USA with Snell approval were from Specialized. Contact Specialized or the Snell Foundation for a list of the helmets that are currently approved.
alanbikehouston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 05:44 PM   #13
Mentor58
'Mizer Cats are INSANE
 
Mentor58's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Clarksville, TN
Bikes: C-dale T800
Posts: 808
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The scary part... I used to ride with one of these...


The good old leather hairnet helmet.

Steve W.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hairnet1.jpg (8.8 KB, 13 views)
Mentor58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 05:54 PM   #14
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
Posts: 24,633
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Ever see a Skid Lid helmet? Wasn't much more then the leather hairnets except it was made of fiberglass... it had 4 "paddles" that came from each side but didn't meet in the middle center of the helmet. Had a nice chin guard though. Very open helmet. Dorky as all heck though.

I think they might have been made in San Diego county.
genec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 05:58 PM   #15
slvoid
2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM
 
slvoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NYC
Bikes: 04' Specialized Hardrock Sport, 03' Giant OCR2 (SOLD!), 04' Litespeed Firenze, 04' Giant OCR Touring, 07' Specialized Langster Comp
Posts: 15,762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Helmets with a lot of vents don't use any "special" foam. They have an inner cage of carbon fiber to keep everything together. During a hard impact, the foam cracks to dissipate energy, much like the carbon also will if it's real bad.

The ideal helmet would actually include a small flap to go over the ears to protect from wind noise (next time you're riding, try cupping your hands over your ears, you'd be surprised at how much more you can hear). It will have a hard outer shell, a foam shell that's 1/2 the thickness of current helmets, then a layer of viscoelastic foam to spread out the energy around your head.

Unfortunately, judging by the prices of helmets nowadays with the given features, such a helmet would cost about $5000.
slvoid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 06:11 PM   #16
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
Posts: 24,633
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Helmets with a lot of vents don't use any "special" foam. They have an inner cage of carbon fiber to keep everything together. During a hard impact, the foam cracks to dissipate energy, much like the carbon also will if it's real bad.

The ideal helmet would actually include a small flap to go over the ears to protect from wind noise (next time you're riding, try cupping your hands over your ears, you'd be surprised at how much more you can hear). It will have a hard outer shell, a foam shell that's 1/2 the thickness of current helmets, then a layer of viscoelastic foam to spread out the energy around your head.

Unfortunately, judging by the prices of helmets nowadays with the given features, such a helmet would cost about $5000.

I donno about that... after seeing the comment regarding the SNELL ratings on some helmets, I checked the Specialized list and found that their SNELL helmets went from about $36 to about $150... no difference in protection rating... just looks and style. So it doesn't cost much more to make a better helmet... it's just that you are charged more for "style."
genec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 06:15 PM   #17
slvoid
2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM
 
slvoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NYC
Bikes: 04' Specialized Hardrock Sport, 03' Giant OCR2 (SOLD!), 04' Litespeed Firenze, 04' Giant OCR Touring, 07' Specialized Langster Comp
Posts: 15,762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I meant cost US more, not them...

Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
I donno about that... after seeing the comment regarding the SNELL ratings on some helmets, I checked the Specialized list and found that their SNELL helmets went from about $36 to about $150... no difference in protection rating... just looks and style. So it doesn't cost much more to make a better helmet... it's just that you are charged more for "style."
slvoid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 06:31 PM   #18
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
Posts: 24,633
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
I meant cost US more, not them...
Yeah but even with all the bells and whistles if it is not "stylish" it should not cost an arm and leg.

And regarding "stylish," some of those helmets would look better on martians... no way I would pay $150 for the "style."
genec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 06:49 PM   #19
randya
Senior Member
 
randya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: in bed with your mom
Bikes: who cares?
Posts: 13,689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A 'stylish' bike helmet is an oxymoron.
randya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 06:59 PM   #20
slvoid
2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM
 
slvoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NYC
Bikes: 04' Specialized Hardrock Sport, 03' Giant OCR2 (SOLD!), 04' Litespeed Firenze, 04' Giant OCR Touring, 07' Specialized Langster Comp
Posts: 15,762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How can this not be stylish?
slvoid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-05, 07:00 PM   #21
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
Posts: 24,633
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by randya
A 'stylish' bike helmet is an oxymoron.
Agreed... but apparently some folks are willing to pay an extra $110 for some pretty odd shapped helmets.
genec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-05, 07:19 PM   #22
Savas
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 518
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here are some helmets that are both stylish and safe.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg B000231FSQ.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg (23.5 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg helmet.00.fadjust-1.0.jpg (80.7 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg viking-horns-helmet-big.jpg (20.0 KB, 3 views)
Savas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-05, 08:38 PM   #23
-phaedrus-
crankin^max
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: durham, nc
Bikes: '00 cannondale m300, '05 specialized allez sport
Posts: 90
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i like the purdy white one....


-phaedrus- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-05, 09:53 PM   #24
slvoid
2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM
 
slvoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NYC
Bikes: 04' Specialized Hardrock Sport, 03' Giant OCR2 (SOLD!), 04' Litespeed Firenze, 04' Giant OCR Touring, 07' Specialized Langster Comp
Posts: 15,762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Look up "crazy helmet" on google images..
slvoid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-05, 10:18 PM   #25
77Univega
Drive the Bicycle.
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Northern California
Bikes: Three-speed modified for comfort.
Posts: 608
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
All your answers can be found here: http://www.bhsi.org/
--- Good site, thanks.
__________________
"The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man's metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well." Ivan Illich ('Energy and Equity')1974
77Univega is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:24 PM.