Join Date: Jun 2004
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
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I rode for 1yr. with a cheap Schwinn helment from Target for $19.99.
I later upgraded to a $120 Giro E2 - mainly because I wanted maximal venting for riding in 115degF weather.
Yes the Giro is better vented, lighter and looks better, but frankly is not fantastically better, certainly not 5x better. If I had to continue to to use the Schwinn I wouldn't be too upset.
As someone else pointed out the cheap and the expensive ones all provide the same level of certified protection. Some folks may even make the suggestion that the cheap ones provide better protection as they are over built instead of spending lots of engineering money to minimize the materials for weight and venting, but still just pass the certification.