Advocacy & Safety - Helmets
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08-15-07, 03:02 PM
I'm becoming an avid bicyclist and recently purchased my first decent road bike. My question is that I've been using a toys R us Bell $17 helmet.(Actually, it says Schwinn on it, but I have a feeling it's bell as it looks exactly like a Bell model) Anyway, I was wondering whether a more expensive helmet would offer me more protection? I understand that the $100 helmets are more aero and lighter. Well I honestly don't care about saving weight where my safety is concerned. This helmet fits me like a glove. So what do you think, should I keep it or chuck it?
08-15-07, 03:04 PM
As long as it fits you well and has ANSI and/or Snell certification (perhaps others can clarify which one is the current standard to really depend on?), you shouldn't have a problem at all - especially based on your criteria.
08-15-07, 03:22 PM
The single most important aspect of a helmet -- for both comfort and protection -- is its fit. If this one fits you perfectly, stick with it, and when you need a new one, give serious thought to buying another one just like it. (Unless you shop around and find an even better fit.)
One thing to keep in mind, though: if the helmet has taken any kind of hard impact, in a crash or just from being dropped, then replace it even if you see no visible damage. A helmet is good for one impact, then it's done its job and should be retired with honor.
08-15-07, 03:51 PM
What they said. And I'll add helmet shape as a factor to consider. From the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (http://www.helmets.org/replace.htm):
As new styles have become more "squared-off" and designers have begun adding unnecessary ridges and projections that may increase the sliding resistance of a helmet shell, there is good reason to stay with one of the more rounded designs of the early to mid 90's. Those round, smooth shells like the original Bell Image that Consumer Reports rated highly in 1993 are more optimal for crashing than some of the newer designs. So think twice about "moving up," and look for a rounded, smooth-shelled design when you do.
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