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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 09-17-08, 08:40 AM   #1
steve-in-kville 
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How much to spend for a helmet?

So the LBS has 'em for $20 all the way to $100+. I want to have two, one for night time riding (install head lamp) and another for day time (mirror).

What is a reasonable price to pay for a commuter?
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Old 09-17-08, 08:46 AM   #2
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Check out safety ratings and such for various helmets or wait for riders who've been in accidents to chime in their experiences.

The least expensive helmets make the rider look ********, as do the most expensive helmets.

Something around the median price range that will keep you safe, but prevent you from looking.... ********.
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Old 09-17-08, 08:51 AM   #3
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High end helmets look nice.
What you are buying at that range is looks, venting, and weight.
The low end helmets have this lovely mushroom head look.
The most bang for your buck with looks thrown in are somewhere around $60-$80. IMHO

If looks are not a consideration (god knows they are not for many commuters) then pick the cheapest helmet with a good safety rating.
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Old 09-17-08, 09:07 AM   #4
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The one that fits & you like... Otherwise, you won't want to put it on. I LOVE my latest helmet. It fits soooo well & is nice & vented.

If you buy from a bike shop, they should all have equivalent safety ratings. Try on several different brands & see what feels good. Then try on several models @ different prices & see if you can tell the difference. If not, buy the cheaper ones.
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Old 09-17-08, 09:11 AM   #5
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All of them meet safety regs. Some have nice features; I have a Bell Metro with a visor and a clip on the back for a blinkie; it keeps the blinkie straight and level which is nice.

I can't use the cheapies because my head is too big.

The cheap helmets have pretty cruddy size adjustments, often just "here's some more foam that you can cram in the helmet if it's too big" rather than proper adjustments.

I don't spend much on helmets, but I do get up from the real cheapies. Look around online and see if anyone's got some older models on closeout. I bought my Metro for $40, which was a good deal.
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Old 09-17-08, 09:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
The low end helmets have this lovely mushroom head look.
I have a cheap Mace skate-style helmet. It's a little on the biggish-looking size, not as sleek as the Bell or the Giro. Any Super Mario fans in the house?

I'm wondering if any of the skate-style helmets have that plastic band with the twisty knob. I really liked that in my commuter helmet but I prefer the hard shell of the skate helmet (which has the 'cram in more foam' style of size adjustment).
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Old 09-17-08, 09:19 AM   #7
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I would look at the Bell Citi or Metro. They are both under $100 and they both look good -- they have a rounded back with no sharp points.
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Old 09-17-08, 09:23 AM   #8
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Having just been hit by a car while commuting two days ago and having a helmet save my head I suggest:

1.) Get a helmet that fits you well and that has size adjustments that you like. You won't wear and uncomfortable helmet. Plus a helmet that isn't really adjusted right for your head won't protect you as well.

2.) Get a helmet that has adequate ventilation for the type of riding you do. You won't wear a hot helmet either.

3.) Pick one you think looks okay.

I agree that the 60-80 dollar range seems to be the most bang for your buck. I can usually find a helmet that fits all my criteria in that range. After a couple of years of riding and sweating in it you will want to buy a new one. By that time they will be even better.
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Old 09-17-08, 09:27 AM   #9
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You don't need to spend more than $20. Here's the Giro Transfer.
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Old 09-17-08, 10:50 AM   #10
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I got mine for 35 bux at the LBS and it looks decent. Could have more vent holes I guess but it fits really comfortably. Its made by Bell and its got this dial in the back that you turn to set the size of the inner headband so you can make fine adjustments as to how tight it is around your dome and always get a perfect fit.

my only gripe is It gets stinky after just a couple days of commmuting.
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Old 09-17-08, 11:04 AM   #11
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All name brand helmets meet safety ratings. The rest of the price is in looks and comfort, supply and demand.

Part of the reason I got mine was it is well vented. Another is it has a visor. Another is I like the way it looks. It's a Bell, and I don't even remember the model. $60, happened to be on sale.

Comfortable too, by the way. Found that out later. Didn't like my Giro. That fell apart after 2 weeks.
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Old 09-17-08, 11:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
So the LBS has 'em for $20 all the way to $100+. I want to have two, one for night time riding (install head lamp) and another for day time (mirror).

What is a reasonable price to pay for a commuter?
Didn't read the other posts(time crunch...sorry). http://www.bikeisland.com has one called the Bell Venture for about 35.00. No shipping. I got one and find it to be very comfortable, stylish(if that's important) and functional for a very reasonable price. Ordered it on a Monday and it was delivered on Thursday.
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Old 09-17-08, 11:22 AM   #13
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The OP really should try the helmet on first. I purchased a giro that did not even remotely fit me well. It looked and felt awful. Anyhow, I nosed dived into the ground and cracked it. Went back to my bell furio and couldn't be happier.
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Old 09-17-08, 11:23 AM   #14
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Things I look for in a helmet:

Comfortable fit on my giant Sasquatch cranium
Adequate ventilation
Light weight because I ride long-distance, too, and a heavy helmet takes a toll
Removable/washable padding so I don't get head-funk

I leave my mirror and headlamp on my helmet all the time. I have a Petzl Tikka lamp which I removed the elastic strap and zip-tied it through the vents of my helmet. It's a barely noticeable amount of weight, even after 100+ miles on the bike. The mirror is just a safety "always gotta have it" item for me, so it's a permanent fixture on my helmet.
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Old 09-17-08, 05:19 PM   #15
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I got an orange Bell Metro about a year ago. The rain cover fit well and I even have the cold
weather inserts with ear muffs that slide into the straps. The muffs worked great for errand
running. I could still hear cars coming up behind me.
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Old 09-17-08, 05:58 PM   #16
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I bought a Giro Indicator helmet from Bike Nashbar for $37.99 plus shipping. Fits me a lot better than my old helmet and has great ventilation.
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Old 09-17-08, 06:00 PM   #17
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My LBS used to have a sign... "If you have a $5 head, buy a $5 helmet."
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Old 09-17-08, 06:11 PM   #18
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I prefer a real euro-trash look to my helmets. My Catlike Kompact fits better than any helmet I've owned [out of Bell, Giro, Louis Garneau, Vetta and Specialized]. It has no goofy visor to get in the way, and minimal padding. Perfection in polystyrene!

That said, YMMV. Try on every helmet you can find to see which one fits the best. Then try on a couple of other helmets from the same maker to see if you like more/fewer features. I like light weight, giant vents and a snug fit. You may not...
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Old 09-17-08, 06:18 PM   #19
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All helmets meet safety standards. All adults on bikes look like dorks anyway. IMHO buy the cheapest helmet that's comfortable, because the only difference in looks is whether you look like a super dork or an uber dork. Comfort is affected by internal shape, strap and fit system, and venting.
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Old 09-17-08, 06:29 PM   #20
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I picked mine up for $25..it's a Bell of some sort. It fits well, has plenty of vents, and dosen't make me look like a mushroom. let's face it, the really expensive time trial helmets looks silly.
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Old 09-17-08, 07:05 PM   #21
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There are various helmets in the $20-$50 range that have a little style and fit very well.

I have a Bell Solar, which was a bargain on sale for $20...

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Old 09-17-08, 08:04 PM   #22
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The wife was shopping at the local Good Will the other day. She told me when she got home that they had a large selection of bike helmets there.

I never thought about the head funk issue, I guess it would be like buying someones used shoes, (only on your head)

Well anyway, it may be an option for those on a tight budget.
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Old 09-17-08, 08:59 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzylou View Post
My LBS used to have a sign... "If you have a $5 head, buy a $5 helmet."
so if your head is priceless get the most expensive model our bike store carries. Hell yes we take Amex!



I have a 35 dollar head
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Old 09-17-08, 09:25 PM   #24
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Consumer Reports tested helmets in 2007 and found some differences in impact absorption (Bell Citi, Bell Slant, and Specialized Aurora rated "very good" vs all the others which rated "good"). Of course, they only tested a handful of models, so it's not like those are the best 3 helmets in the world. Also, I wasn't super clear on what the amount of difference was--maybe they're all almost the same and they decided to count a small deviation as making a difference.

But those two Bells can be had for less than $50, so you definitely don't have to spend more than that.
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Old 09-17-08, 09:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
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The wife was shopping at the local Good Will the other day. She told me when she got home that they had a large selection of bike helmets there.

I never thought about the head funk issue, I guess it would be like buying someones used shoes, (only on your head)

Well anyway, it may be an option for those on a tight budget.
I just bought a helmet from Goodwill for $2.99. It had never been used.

Photo: $00.99 Red Bell Helmet from Goodwill.
Makes the Corvette Look Good.

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