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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-28-07, 10:46 AM   #1
Bklyn
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Best Helmet for the Money (And Cool-Looking?)

The helmet took a couple of hits recently, so I worry about its integrity. It also stinks. So I'm in the market.
When I bought my current one, a Bell Slant, I wasn't concerned with how it looked. But it's huge and dorky. So I'd like to avoid that this time.
So what is not huge and pumpkiny and not too expensive?
What to avoid?
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Old 09-28-07, 10:57 AM   #2
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And PS: What's the difference between a road helmet and a mountain helmet? Besides about $50....
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Old 09-28-07, 11:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bklyn View Post
And PS: What's the difference between a road helmet and a mountain helmet? Besides about $50....
More Airflow and less weight on a road helmet. And many MTB helmets have visors.

They're more expensive for several reasons:
1) Target demographic for Road bike/racing accessories makes more money, so they can charge more.
2) Because they have to comply to the same crash standards, usually with less material. More R&D, and possibly more elaborate manufacturing and higher-end materials go into it.

But mostly, because anything for road bikes can be sold at a higher price, and people will pay it.

That said, what's your budget? IMHO all helmets look dorky, and most people on bicycles look dorky too. You're either dressed like a bum (like me, mostly plain-clothes commuter), dressed like an office lemming in a suit on a bike (not terribly chic) or dressed like a superhero that forgot the cape.

I'm not doing this to look pretty, so I don't really care about helmet style so much as I care about having something properly protecting my noggin.

My wife bought the Bell Sweep R. It functions well, lightweight, and looks about as good as a helmet can look in my opinion. I think at the time it was $130.

http://www.bellbikehelmets.com/produ...l.asp?prodID=0

Last edited by ax0n; 09-28-07 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 09-28-07, 11:10 AM   #4
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I'm not doing this to look pretty, so I don't really care about helmet style so much as I care about having something properly protecting my noggin.
I'm completely with you. But I just wish there was something that looked as cool as I feel.

Budget, I guess is $60ish?
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Old 09-28-07, 11:16 AM   #5
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My bell solar works great and fits in your budget. I got the Blue/Silver/White striped one. The striped versions take away from the kind of goofy shape and makes it look considerably cooler than the solid color versions:

http://www.bellbikehelmets.com/produ....asp?prodID=24
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Old 09-28-07, 11:16 AM   #6
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Well, if my wife's opinion means anything...she thinks I look quite dashing in this:



And I must agree ...the visor is removeable, so I took it off.

I think I had mine for $30ish at Performance. Its a Tirreno Tora Sport.
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Old 09-28-07, 11:53 AM   #7
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Bell Alchera if you want a road helmet.
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Old 09-28-07, 12:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
IMHO all helmets look dorky, and most people on bicycles look dorky too.

I'm not doing this to look pretty, so I don't really care about helmet style so much as I care about having something properly protecting my noggin.
Find something comfortable in a color you can live with and you'll soon forget you're wearing it.

Giro fits my head best

$60 is more than enough for a good helmet.
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Old 09-28-07, 12:28 PM   #9
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i'm very pleased with my giro encinal and it's priced just shy of $50. it's comfy, well vented, not too dorky, and came in a wide selection of colors.
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Old 09-28-07, 12:38 PM   #10
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I have the Bell Sweep R. I also like the Giro Atmos but it doesn't fit my head as well as the Bell.

I've had the Sweep R for a little over a year now and just replaced the pads because they were delaminating. I called Bell and they sent me two sets of replacement pads for free.
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Old 09-28-07, 01:33 PM   #11
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I bought a Bell Metro, which I've found is perfect for commuting. Vented well and doesn't mess the hair up. http://www.bellbikehelmets.com/produ...l.asp?prodID=8.

The shape and the flat black color made me feel a little less dorky than anything else I tried on. I also liked the option of adding the winter kit. The Bell Citi is almost the exact same, but a bit better priced (just no winter kit or rain cover option).
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Old 09-28-07, 08:59 PM   #12
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I am more than happy with my Bell Influx, a mountain helmet. It goes for around $60, but I got mine on eBay, from a guy who bought the wrong size, for $20. Gross, I know, but it got a good washing. The Bell "GPS" fit gimmick really works very well for a secure, comfortable fit.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:22 PM   #13
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My Bell Solar is surprisingly well ventilated, and it's basically a road helmet, it just doesn't have as big of ventilation holes as the higher end ones. If the next summer feels too hot, I may get a more expensive one, but for the cooler months, it can't be beat, especially for 30 bucks.


I also think that visors are dorky. But I've been hanging out with roadies...
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Old 09-28-07, 09:27 PM   #14
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Another vote for the Bell Metro. I own 4 of them. Each one is set up for different seasons and/or riding conditions. Just like wearing different hats depending on the the time of year or the occasion. . . . .

And no need to fuss around switching-out accessories as you are going out the door!
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Old 09-28-07, 09:29 PM   #15
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I wear a Bell Citi.

I subscribe to the Dukakis theory that no helmet, no matter how cool I think it looks off of my head, should ever be worn as either a fashion statement nor as a means to be elected President.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:51 PM   #16
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The Bell Metro is the only helmet that didn't make me feel self-conscious. Superficiality aside, it's got loads of options and accessories that I really dig. I got mine on sale from Nashbar for very cheap. Check out their inventory and you should find a previous year model for dirt cheap with all the fixins.
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Old 09-28-07, 10:18 PM   #17
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I'm really quite happy with my Bell Furio.
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Old 09-29-07, 03:39 AM   #18
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I can;t decide whether the desert/khaki ones of these:

look cool or are a bit crass... I'd get the khaki one and maybe stick a peace sign sticker on it a la Full metal jacket poster but i'd probably get run over by marines with PTSD...
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Old 09-29-07, 06:46 AM   #19
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I have a Giro Indicator which can usually be picked up for around $35. I think it looks similar and as good as helmets costing much more, it fits my head good and, it's comfortable. It's actually the helmet the local police use on bike patrol too so I figured it must be halfway decent.
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Old 09-29-07, 06:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
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i'm very pleased with my giro encinal and it's priced just shy of $50. it's comfy, well vented, not too dorky, and came in a wide selection of colors.
I ordered a grey Giro Encinal from Nashbar a while ago for 30 or 35 bucks on sale. Quite comfy and doesn't look bad at all. Honestly, who cares how it looks? I mean, if you're whizzing around at 15+ mph it's not like anyone's gonna get a good look at your helmet anyways...

Oh, and you may as well pop off the visor unless you actually have a need for it...
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Old 09-29-07, 08:02 AM   #21
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I have a Bell Metro. It's great. It has a bunch of accessories you can buy (I think you can buy a package with the helmet and all the accessories, too).
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Old 09-29-07, 09:00 AM   #22
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Bell furio for commuting.
I intend to purchase a different helmet next year for recreational rides. Something along the lines of an Atmos or Sweep.
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Old 09-29-07, 09:47 AM   #23
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costco.com has a very nice Bell sweep XC for a very good price now. it's only $39.99 +tax delivered
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Old 09-29-07, 10:03 AM   #24
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Bell furio for commuting.
I intend to purchase a different helmet next year for recreational rides. Something along the lines of an Atmos or Sweep.
I have to admit, my wife's Sweep is really nice. If it wasn't pink and white, I'd probably borrow it more often
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Old 09-29-07, 10:07 AM   #25
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Interesting that no one has mentioned the bicycle helmet safety institute (http://www.helmets.org/) yet.
A helmet advocay program with tons of information. It's a great source of, as far as I can see, consumer oriented information. (as compared to the helmet manufacturers websites)
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