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Old 12-09-10, 07:35 AM   #1
slipknot0129
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Should I buy a walmart helmet?

Their probably the cheapest in price. Theres also no other stores that sell bicycle helmets where I live. Only thing I dont like is that the helmets dont look that good. Should I buy a bicycle helmet from walmart? Cant buy online because I cant make sure it fits right. How do you make sure a helmet fits you when trying one out?
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Old 12-09-10, 07:42 AM   #2
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A walmart helmet will offer you no more or less protection than any other helmet you can buy. However, they are usually heavier, bulkier, and have less vents than some of the better ones available online or at your LBS.

Helmets have sizes based on the circumference of your head. Measure your head around your temple, and then when you buy a helmet, choose the size that fits your head. They are also adjustable for a tight fit - at least the better ones are.
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Old 12-09-10, 07:50 AM   #3
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Since its the most critical part of your body your trying to protect, Invest some money and go get a proper helmet from a bike shop that can help you with fit, etc...
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Old 12-09-10, 08:09 AM   #4
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The previous post should be revised to say that the Wal-Mart helmet will provide _as_much_ protection as a helmet from any other source. Maybe a little more, as the less expensive helmets tend to use more foamin order to meet the CPSC standard. All new helmets sold in the U.S. must meet the CPSC standard; what you're paying extra for in the higher-end helmets is style, comfort, and fashion.

Buy the smallest helmet that will comfortably fit your head. That lessens the amount of padding that you'll need to use in order to adjust the fit. Wear it square and level on your head... you should be able to look straight up with your peripheral vision and see the helmet. Adjust the chin straps so that the Y-shaped ear straps meet just below your ears, and the chin strap tightened so that you can slip a finger between the strap and your neck, but when you open your mouth widely (like a yawn) you should feel the strap pull a little bit. (The "Eyes-Ears-Mouth" check.) Buy a helmet where you like the style or color, if you like the way it looks, you'll be a lot more likely to wear it. Look for lots of foam in the construction, and not as many vent holes that can catch on rough, paved surfaces.
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Old 12-09-10, 08:11 AM   #5
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I bought a bunch of minimum -cost helmets from Wal-Mart as an emergency supply to hand out to people who attended a city-organized bike-to-work-week ride/event that required helmets for the ride. (A city council member was among the people who didn't bring helmets, so it was nice to be able to accommodate them.)

I think comfort varies between styles. The ones I bought had plastic supports that touched the sides of the wearer's head above the ears; I found these straps uncomfortable. I did see other, more expensive helmets that looked like they would be just as comfortable as most high-end helmets.

Incidentally, the most expensive helmet I own is also one of the least comfortable for me. I didn't realize until after a ride or two that the plastic support on the back, which rests against the back of the head just above the neck, would contact my neck when I'm in an aero position. The plastic shape is pointed and irritating when it makes contact. I've adjusted it as best I can but it still makes contact on occasion.

So moral of the story is, try it on for comfort and fit before you buy.
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Old 12-09-10, 08:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neccros View Post
Since its the most critical part of your body your trying to protect, Invest some money and go get a proper helmet from a bike shop...
Safety-wise, the Wal-Mart helmets are no worse than LBS helmets.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 12-09-10, 09:29 AM   #7
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You should only buy a helmet from a store where the salespeople ride bikes and know how to fit helmets--Walmart's helmet may have to meet the same standards as an LBS's helmets, but you can be reasonably sure that the LBS's staff will know how to fit and adjust the helmet.
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Old 12-09-10, 09:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Feldman View Post
You should only buy a helmet from a store where the salespeople ride bikes and know how to fit helmets--Walmart's helmet may have to meet the same standards as an LBS's helmets, but you can be reasonably sure that the LBS's staff will know how to fit and adjust the helmet.
It's not rocket science...
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Old 12-09-10, 11:34 AM   #9
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It's a little more complicated to correctly fit more expensive helmets than the ones at Wal-mart. Road helmets usually come in 2 or 3 adult sizes. All the helmets at Wal-mart are considered "Sport" helmets and have only 1 adult size. They have a larger range of adjustment to fit different heads. Road helmets, because they fit closer to the head, may fit differently, depending on weather your head is rounder or more elongated. Write-ups in the magazines usually mention weather a particular helmet fots better on rounder or longer heads.

Road helmets offer better ventilation and more generally look better. All hemets sold have to meet the CPSC protection guidelines. As far as I know, only Specialized has their helmets tested and certified by Snell at this time.

Some online stores are pretty good about their return policies. Check into them before you dismiss them outright. You may be able to get a helmet you'll like better from Performance, Nashbar, or others without spending a lot.
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Old 12-09-10, 12:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feldman View Post
You should only buy a helmet from a store where the salespeople ride bikes and know how to fit helmets--Walmart's helmet may have to meet the same standards as an LBS's helmets, but you can be reasonably sure that the LBS's staff will know how to fit and adjust the helmet.
Of the many helmets I've bought at various bike shops, I've never -- not once -- had them offer to fit it for me.

I've done it myself (fitting others) when doing some volunteer work at the shop, but not the LBS employees.
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Old 12-09-10, 06:39 PM   #11
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It's not rocket science...
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Old 12-09-10, 06:48 PM   #12
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http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...0_20000_400902

Twenty five bucks at performance bike.
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Old 12-09-10, 07:03 PM   #13
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The Schwinn and Bell helmets at my local Walmart seem overpriced - as much as $50+ for a heavy helmet with smallish vents. The low-end Bell and Giro helmets at Performance Bike are on sale for $25 all the time and those seem like a much better deal to me. They are perfectly good helmets with decent ventilation and their fit system with the dial works quite well IME.
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Old 12-09-10, 07:33 PM   #14
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Walmart helmets are junk. I would NEVER buy a bike helmet from them. They are an 'all-in-one' type of store. They don't specialize in anything.

An LBS is the only place to buy a bike helmet.
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Old 12-09-10, 08:04 PM   #15
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The OP did say, "There's also no other stores that sell bicycle helmets where I live." So an LBS may not be available. I bought a Bell Impulse at Walmart and I love it. Plenty of ventilation and only cost ~$25.
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Old 12-09-10, 08:06 PM   #16
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Walmart helmets are junk.
Why?
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Old 12-09-10, 09:19 PM   #17
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Save your money and put it toward a Road Skills I course from LAB. That will protect you far better from head injuries than any helmet ever could.

@Chris516: Wrong. Walmart helmets are made by the same manufacturers making all the other helmets, and to the same worthless standards that all the other helmets meet. Walmart helmets are no worse, and no better, than LBS helmets.

But the fact of the matter is that they are all equally useless.
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Old 12-10-10, 07:50 PM   #18
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Buying a helmet from Walmart will be fine but like others said, are heavier and might have less vents. I wear Walmart helmets and have been in a crash with one while landing on my head. The helmet was cracked to bits but my head was fine. Exactly what a helmet is supposed to do.

What an LBS will offer is a lighter helmet and a much higher markup.
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Old 12-10-10, 07:59 PM   #19
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How to fit a bike helmet.

Step 1: Put helmet on head
Step 2: Connect the strap and adjust if necessary.

I went to rocket science school for that, but I give the info to bike forums for free.
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Old 12-10-10, 08:03 PM   #20
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Check out this website if you haven't already. Lots of information.
http://www.bhsi.org/index.htm
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Old 12-10-10, 08:45 PM   #21
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Check out this website if you haven't already. Lots of information.
http://www.bhsi.org/index.htm
Lots of great information at this website too:
http://cyclehelmets.org/
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Old 12-10-10, 09:00 PM   #22
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Id still prefer to buy a BIKE helmet from a BIKE store, not a grocery/clothes/electronics store...'nuff said
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Old 12-10-10, 10:11 PM   #23
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Id still prefer to buy a BIKE helmet from a BIKE store, not a grocery/clothes/electronics store...'nuff said
Why?
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Old 12-10-10, 10:29 PM   #24
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Why? I believe there are those that simply do not like Wal Mart for various reasons, but why is not the issue. In any case, to the OP, all bicycle helmets sold at Wal Mart are just as good for safety as any other approved helmet sold at a LBS. Price has little to no correlation in the safety equation as well. The helmet that I like the most, cost very little, I believe it is called the Bell Metro, fits like a glove.
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Old 12-10-10, 11:02 PM   #25
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I bought a Bell helmet at Wal-Mart. My wife's helmet is a Giro, bought at an LBS at much more cost. The Giro is lighter. Both our helmets fit our own heads well.

I don't remember which was which, but the helpful staff at the LBS said that one brand fit better on more-oval-shaped heads and the other fit better on rounder heads. We did notice this difference in the store.

There is nothing wrong with Wal-Mart helmets if you can find one that is comfortable. But if those don't work out for you, an LBS with trained staff will help you find the helmet that fits you best, and it may not be a matter of size but of shape.
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