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Old 10-08-12, 04:13 PM   #1
UK_Cyclist
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Best Helmet Manufacturer?

I'm looking to purchase a road helmet for under 80. That's my absolute maximum budget.

I wanted to please ask members of the Forum for advice on which manufacturers of helmet they would recommend from personal experience.

Are there a few or a single manufacturer which are renowned for building the most protective helmets?

I would be very appreciative for any opinions and advice. Thank you so much!
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Old 10-08-12, 04:21 PM   #2
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I've come across Louis Garneau helmets. They look pretty neat. Any opinions?

I've also come across: Alpina, BELL, Bontrager, Giro, HardnutZ, Kask, Mavic Syncro, MET and Specialized.
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Old 10-08-12, 04:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UK_Cyclist View Post
I'm looking to purchase a road helmet for under 80. That's my absolute maximum budget.

I wanted to please ask members of the Forum for advice on which manufacturers of helmet they would recommend from personal experience.

Are there a few or a single manufacturer which are renowned for building the most protective helmets?

I would be very appreciative for any opinions and advice. Thank you so much!
Quote:
Originally Posted by UK_Cyclist View Post
I've come across Louis Garneau helmets. They look pretty neat. Any opinions?

I've also come across: Alpina, BELL, Bontrager, Giro, HardnutZ, Kask, Mavic Syncro, MET and Specialized.
Go to http://www.bhsi.org to get a good idea of what helmet to get. Then look for the helmet you choose from the website, in the UK.
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Old 10-08-12, 06:04 PM   #4
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I'm personally a fan of Specialized helmets because they go through the trouble of being Snell Foundation certified, which is a very tough certification to earn. There are probably other helmets on the market built to just as good of standards but that Snell sticker takes the guess work out for me.
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Old 10-09-12, 09:07 AM   #5
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@Myosmith, Thanks so much for your informative reply. That's very interesting
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Old 10-09-12, 09:10 AM   #6
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Does anyone know of any other official certificates/level of safety standards which bicycle helmets are built to satisfy?
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Old 10-09-12, 06:17 PM   #7
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SNELL & CPSC.

Though those standards are primarily evaluating the helmet's ability to absorb impact from a fall or lower speeds. The hard shell multi-sport helmets (skiing & skating), such as Berns, are evaluated by other criteria for impacts at speed. The trade-off usually being more protection for less ventilation and increased weight. Heavier helmets can also contribute to more neck trauma in a crash, the trade-off being less risk of skull fracture.

Be mindful that any collision is going to put a lot of stress on a person's neck. Helmets are only good for slight deceleration on impact and help keep one's skull intact. That buys the ER docs time and makes it easier to treat injuries when one's insides remain inside, though the level of trauma from gravitation forces is going to remain constant. Helmets will reduce the severity of injury, and may buy one time for medical treatment, but even the best ones aren't going to be a silver bullet to fully protect oneself from every type injury. The shell and padding material can only overcome physics to a certain degree, though anything is usually better than nothing.
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Old 10-10-12, 05:45 AM   #8
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You probably don't need a helmet, unless you're off-roading or doing silly stuff. Save your money, spend it at Peter Yard's for tasty stuff.
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Old 10-10-12, 07:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
I'm personally a fan of Specialized helmets because they go through the trouble of being Snell Foundation certified, which is a very tough certification to earn. There are probably other helmets on the market built to just as good of standards but that Snell sticker takes the guess work out for me.
This is very true.
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Old 10-10-12, 08:32 AM   #10
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Define "best".
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Old 10-10-12, 09:39 AM   #11
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Define "best".
Myosmith already did, where were you?
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Old 10-10-12, 10:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Myosmith already did, where were you?
Myosmith addressed "standards". What makes a product the "best"? What is the baseline standard and best according to which set of parameters?
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Old 10-10-12, 10:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
Myosmith addressed "standards". What makes a product the "best"? What is the baseline standard and best according to which set of parameters?
Thatz right, which helmet manufacturer provides the "coolest" helmets in all meanings of the word? For some, being cool IS the standard.
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Old 10-10-12, 01:36 PM   #14
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@Fenway, Thank you for your detailed reply. The ventilation/protection trade-off is interesting. Hmm... That's given me something to think about...

Last edited by UK_Cyclist; 10-10-12 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 10-10-12, 01:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
Define "best".
I mean in terms of overall combination of impact protection, weight and ventilation.
From my understanding so far, those 3 aspects are the most important.
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Old 10-10-12, 03:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
Myosmith addressed "standards". What makes a product the "best"? What is the baseline standard and best according to which set of parameters?
You need to study the ratings that come on helmets. The toughest standard to meet is the Snell rating. However getting the Snell is entirely voluntary for the helmet manufactures, and it cost money to have their helmets tested to see if they qualify, so since it's not required by the feds to have a Snell rating anymore 99% of all manufactures aren't going to waste their money to get it. Is that saying that 99% of all helmets are inferior to the Specialized, probably not, and I'm sure some of the companies would probably pass it, problem with that is you're going to be second guessing whether or not the company setting on your head could or could not pass the more stringent Snell rating. So why gamble on whether or not your brain bucket could pass the test when you already know that Specialized passes all the federal requirements PLUS goes beyond the fed requirement by passing the Snell.
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Old 10-10-12, 04:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UK_Cyclist View Post
I mean in terms of overall combination of impact protection, weight and ventilation.
From my understanding so far, those 3 aspects are the most important.
Don't believe either of the standards (Snell & CPSC) consider weight or ventilation at all. The relationship between passing either of these standards and "protection" or significant reduction of head injury risk is vague at best.

I believe the EEC has a standard too but I don't what it is.
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Old 10-14-12, 08:06 PM   #18
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You probably don't need a helmet, unless you're off-roading or doing silly stuff. Save your money, spend it at Peter Yard's for tasty stuff.
Skye is correct! you really don't need a helmet for everyday riding. but if you just have to have one, there are all kinds of companies wanting to sell you one, for outrageous prices!
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Old 10-14-12, 08:43 PM   #19
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In the USA, all helmets are required to pass standard. They all have the sticker inside- from $25-$400+ There is no difference in safety.

Find the style and fit you like within your budget. Some helmets conform to a rounder head, some more oval... some fit systems are more comfortable, etc,etc
With technology trickling down, you can get a great in-mold helmet for very little nowadays. In-Mold is where the hardshell is bonded to the foam, making for a nice look.

I would go for comfort and also decide if you want a visor or not. If you like the visor, a MTB or Commuter helmet might give you more coverage.

Also keep in mind that, ideally, you are supposed to replace your helmet every 5 yrs. I don't know how many follow that rule, and i'm sure it varies, but age, chemicals, hair product, sweat, etc will break down the foam.

You can go well under your 80 limit and get a great helmet. There are a ton of $100 helmets that look like pro-level racing helmets, and a lot even cheaper than that.
I think this makes changing helmets every 5 yrs more palatable. Good excuse to change up your look too
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Old 10-14-12, 08:44 PM   #20
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I am currently using a specialized helmet and love it. Once I put it on its like it isn't there. The bell I had was torture
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Old 10-14-12, 08:49 PM   #21
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Since this thread is going, I'll ask here:

What would you guys say is the safest helmet for road riding?

I am recovering from some serious injuries, and will be replacing my helmets.

I'm a fairly fast rider, average speeds about 18 mph in rolling terrain on my daily ride to the store. Usually just over 20 mph on flats. The bike weighs 40 lbs for rack and things. ~5000 miles per year average.

My position is more or less standard road: on the shifter hoods. I ride year round and have two helmets: one has a rain cover for cool weather; one is vented for hot weather. I'm a utility rider: outbound is empty, inbound is groceries and mail.

Thanks so much for the Snell reference; I'm looking into that.

Any thoughts you guys have are greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-19-12, 01:13 PM   #22
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@cruiserhead, Thank you very much for your reply. You've provided me with useful information.
I agree. I had initially thought that certain helmets would provide better protection than others, but I have come to think that if a 30 helmet isn't going to protect you from harm then the accident will be so damaging that even a 200 helmet isn't going to protect you either.

Specialized may be SNELL standard approved, but I understand that gaining such approval costs money and I believe other manufacturers are simply not spending the money for the stamp.

I've visited a few local bicycle shops and have tried on several different helmets. For me, I think the weight and comfort are the key factors to look for. I'm intending to use the helmet for road-use and therefore won't look for one with a visor.

Last edited by UK_Cyclist; 10-19-12 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 10-19-12, 01:15 PM   #23
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@PloddingAlong, Which Specialized helmet are you using? And which year is it from? Thanks!
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Old 10-19-12, 01:35 PM   #24
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Does anyone know which are the lightest weighing road helmets on the market?
I did a bit of research. I found out that:

Specialized S-Works Prevail: 184g
Kask Mojito: 220g
Giro Aeon: 222g

These are the lightest ones I have found so far... :-/


Last edited by UK_Cyclist; 10-19-12 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 10-19-12, 04:48 PM   #25
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenway View Post
SNELL & CPSC.

Though those standards are primarily evaluating the helmet's ability to absorb impact from a fall or lower speeds. The hard shell multi-sport helmets (skiing & skating), such as Berns, are evaluated by other criteria for impacts at speed. The trade-off usually being more protection for less ventilation and increased weight. Heavier helmets can also contribute to more neck trauma in a crash, the trade-off being less risk of skull fracture.

Be mindful that any collision is going to put a lot of stress on a person's neck. Helmets are only good for slight deceleration on impact and help keep one's skull intact. That buys the ER docs time and makes it easier to treat injuries when one's insides remain inside, though the level of trauma from gravitation forces is going to remain constant. Helmets will reduce the severity of injury, and may buy one time for medical treatment, but even the best ones aren't going to be a silver bullet to fully protect oneself from every type injury. The shell and padding material can only overcome physics to a certain degree, though anything is usually better than nothing.
In general, what you are saying is correct. Wearing a helmet is almost always better than not wearing a helmet when in a crash. And, as you very correctly point out, wearing a helmet will not completely protect the rider (although they do help a lot) and should not be thought of a license to be stupid on a bike.

Your comment above (which I bolded), however, is not correct. Yes, the force of gravity (basically) never changes, but it isn't gravity that causes trauma, it is the sudden deceleration of the head hitting whatever it hits. Wearing a helmet slows the acceleration down and therefore the associated force and trauma as you put it.

Cheers,
Charles
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