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Old 10-13-07, 08:35 PM   #1
BluesDawg
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Time to buy a new helmet

My trusty Bell Ghisallo is showing its age. the pads have been coming loose for months and now one of the attachment points of the fit ststem has come loose. No complaints. It has been a good, comfortable helmet for 6 years. Looking around at helmets I think look decent and would be comfortable and well ventilated, and are available at good discounts, I see the Giro Monza and Eclipse, Bell Furio and Ghisallo (again), Louis Garneau Oz-zy and Limar 907.

If anyone has anything good or bad to say about any of these or knows of another good helmet I can get for $50 -$100, I'd like to hear it.

Jet, I believe you have a Limar 907. Are you still happy with it?

Last edited by BluesDawg; 10-14-07 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 10-13-07, 09:35 PM   #2
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Lots of info here about helmets, from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.
http://www.bhsi.org/index.htm
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Old 10-13-07, 11:05 PM   #3
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If you've got a BIG head, like I do, one of the best options is the Bell Triton. Works very nicely if your hat size is 7 3/4 or larger.

Personally, I hate paying more than about $35 for a piece of foam.
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Old 10-14-07, 12:44 AM   #4
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My LBS hates me buying helmets. I have all the stock out -starting from the economy ones and try till I find the one I like. However the last one I got was at the suggestion of the LBS. A Rudy Project.

My suggestion is that you go into the shop and get all the stock out and try until you find the one that feels right. Any suggestions from anyone else- might not work unless you have identical shaped head and tastes. Everyone is different and just face it- You know that a white helmet is not right for you.

http://www.parker-international.co.u...9-33b5098c8f1c
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Old 10-14-07, 03:20 AM   #5
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I've had both the Furio and the Ghisallo, and found that I liked the fit of the Ghisallo much better. The Furio seemed rather 'shallow' in comparison.

Last edited by Ziemas; 10-14-07 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 10-14-07, 05:37 AM   #6
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I have the Limar 907 and have been pleased with it. It fits well and has plenty of ventilation.

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4210
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Old 10-14-07, 05:37 AM   #7
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I've used both the Monza and Eclipse extensively. Giro's seem to fit me better than other models (I also have a Ghisallo). I think both Giro's are are good value and usually you can find great deals on last year's models via eBay and Google. Like you, I've had to do some "repairs" to the attachment points that seem to be holding for the moment anyway.
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Old 10-14-07, 05:56 AM   #8
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I have the Limar 907 and have been pleased with it. It fits well and has plenty of ventilation.

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4210
Limar IS the helmet specialist. http://www.helmets.org/images/plimar2.jpg
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Old 10-14-07, 07:23 AM   #9
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stapfam is right, try on as many as you can before choosing. A helmet is one item I won't buy mail order/online.

I have a Louis Garneau Oregon that I love, even though it's a lower level LG model. Very comfortable. I tried the Oz-zy, but the Oregon felt better, perhaps it was the price.
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Old 10-14-07, 09:02 AM   #10
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Thanks for the advice about trying on several models, but out here in Podunk USA, that is not a practical option for me. Fortunately, I have enough experience to know I have a head that seems to fit well in both Bell and Giro helmets. So despite the validity of the advice to the contrary, I have had very good luck buying helmets by mail order. (By the way, my current helmet is white and it has served me very well).

I know that fit varies by individual, but things like air flow, sweat management, quality of materials and construction , ease of adjustment and whether it sits up high on your head or has a nice low profile are less subject to individual differences.
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Old 10-14-07, 09:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe View Post
I've used both the Monza and Eclipse extensively. Giro's seem to fit me better than other models (I also have a Ghisallo). I think both Giro's are are good value and usually you can find great deals on last year's models via eBay and Google. Like you, I've had to do some "repairs" to the attachment points that seem to be holding for the moment anyway.
jppe, what differences do you see between the Monza and Eclipse? Does one sit lower on your head? Does one seem to cool your head better than the other? I have read some reviews that said the Monza tends to channel sweat to fall into your eyes. Have you noticed this? One drawback of review sites is that non-issues can get blown up into seeming like major problems.
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Old 10-14-07, 11:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
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jppe, what differences do you see between the Monza and Eclipse? Does one sit lower on your head? Does one seem to cool your head better than the other? I have read some reviews that said the Monza tends to channel sweat to fall into your eyes. Have you noticed this? One drawback of review sites is that non-issues can get blown up into seeming like major problems.
I also have a Pneumo that is a couple years old. All 3 seem to fit and sit on my head the same way and provide the same degree of ventilation-even though the Monza and Pneumo probably have more vents. I have noticed that the Pneumo and the Monza tend to drip fluids more directly in front of my eyes for some strange reason. I don't have that issue with the Eclipse, however. The Eclipse does seem to look a little smaller on your head.

Although the Eclipse is slightly smaller it is a little lighter-but not noticeably so. I have the utmost confidence in the Eclipse as I crashed a few years ago and landed on my head on the asphalt. The Eclipse cracked in multiple places but held together and I had no issues whatsoever with any contusions.

I think the Eclipse is the best deal among the three.......but not factoring in how they look.
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Old 10-14-07, 02:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Limar IS the helmet specialist. http://www.helmets.org/images/plimar2.jpg
OK, now I know their helmets are 'hot', but the question is, are they cool?
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Old 10-14-07, 03:22 PM   #14
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I upgraded from the Eclipse to the Atmos. I like both and maybe the Atomos has more ventillation. I think the Eclipse is very good value. Back then, it was $100.00.
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Old 10-14-07, 04:36 PM   #15
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Limar IS the helmet specialist. http://www.helmets.org/images/plimar2.jpg
Really like the Limar 911 model. Unfortunate model name however. Also Rudy Project Ayron is a very nice helmet.
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Old 10-14-07, 08:39 PM   #16
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Thanks to all for the input. I just placed an order from Nashbar for a Limar 907 for $60. Add in a Park chain link tool and a pair of cheap tires. With a 10% off coupon plus tax and 2 day shipping it came in a few pennies under a c-note.

It came to a 3-way choice between the Giro Eclipse, the Limar, and the Bell Ghisallo. I like the looks of the Limar and could find no0thing bad written about it. At the price it seemed a good time to try something new.
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Old 10-14-07, 09:52 PM   #17
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Trying on helmets is certainly an interesting experience. I did a lot of reading of reviews a couple of months back to identify a few possibilities for me. I really wanted to like a couple of the Giros based on general reviews, but in trying them on and testing them against Bell helmets, I found the Bells a much better fit (in general) to my head. And then, among the Bells, the Bell Variant (a newer model) was THE fit for me. Like they molded it from my own noggin. Even after the fact, when I go into local bike shops, I'll occasionally put on a helmet I haven't tried yet (and a couple that I've already tried) and each time I'm convinced that I chose the right one for me in the Variant. Others just don't feel quite right. The Variant goes for around $99, but I got it for $79 plus discount from Performance Bike. (I know you already bought, but if it doesn't work out, you can always check out other possibilities... )
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Old 10-15-07, 08:10 AM   #18
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Just bought a Giros because of the fit. Tried at least 20 that day and liked the idea of adjustable for winter riding in a stocking cap and this helmet fit over it well enough and adjusted tight over the cap.
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Old 10-15-07, 08:14 AM   #19
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Get another Ghisallo.
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Old 10-15-07, 08:25 AM   #20
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The LBS told me the foam which helmets are made from gets hard in about 5-6 years and the helmet should be replaced. Is this a sales ploy or truth? (my Bell helmet is about 12 years old now)

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Old 10-15-07, 08:29 AM   #21
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The LBS told me the foam which helmets are made from gets hard in about 5-6 years and the helmet should be replaced. Is this a sales ploy or truth? (my Bell helmet is about 12 years old now)

knotty
Yeah, that sounds about right. I only keep mine for 3 or 4 years.
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Old 10-15-07, 09:09 AM   #22
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The LBS told me the foam which helmets are made from gets hard in about 5-6 years and the helmet should be replaced. Is this a sales ploy or truth? (my Bell helmet is about 12 years old now)

knotty
sales ploy (but maybe it was an unintentional sales ploy from an ill-informed employee)

I remember when helmets came with no recomondation for replacement (unless the helmet was damaged), then the recomondation was for every 7 years, then it was every 5 years and now it seems the recomondation is for every 3. seeing how the basic standards, materials and construction hasn't changed much over the years I wondered what's the deal?

I checked one of the biggest helmet promotion site on the web (BHSI) and they posted

Newer helmets from the late 1980's and the 90's may or may not need replacement...Deterioration depends on usage, care, and abuse... Occasionally somebody spreads rumors that sweat and ultraviolet (UV) exposure will cause your helmet to degrade. Sweat will not do that... At least one shop told a customer that the EPS in his three year old helmet was now "dried out." That is highly unlikely, unless the EPS is placed in an oven for some period of time and baked...EPS is a long-lived material little affected by normal environmental factors. Unless you mistreat it we would not expect it to "dry out" enough to alter its performance for many years... Way back in the 1980's the Snell Foundation tested a [Bell] Biker for us that was about ten years old, and had yellowed from the sun. It still performed essentially like a new one at that time...In sum, we don't find the case for replacing a helmet that meets the ASTM or Snell standards that compelling if the helmet is still in good shape and fits you well.

I emailed the BHSI for confirmation of this information and the director emailed me back and said if there were problems with older helmets not working, the BHSI would know about it, and they haven't found any problems with older helmets. The director also added he uses a helmet he bought in 1992 and considers it better than many of the newer helmets because of it's rounder design.
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Old 10-15-07, 09:51 AM   #23
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my other hobby is racing cars. For auto racing we are allowed to use helmets meeting the previous Snell spec. The current spec was issued in 2005 and the previous in 2000, and before that 1995. Before that was before my time. So the short of it is you are allowed to use a helmet that could be up to 10 years old. I think that the rationale here is not the the helmet is worn out or used up after 10 years, but that technology has improved enough by that point that we are all better served by replacing our helmets. I assume that holds true for biking helmets too. It looks like the current Snell standard for bike helmets is B-95, revised in 98.

I've biked for a long time and had a few helmets and each one was better than the previous. Here's what I've had:

1. Leather hairnet -- only worn in races, I trained bare headed, unless it was cold

2. Bell Biker -- heavy, hot, dorky looking

3. Bell V1 Pro -- heavy, not quite so hot, a little less dorky looking

4. Bell Image -- looked a lot like the V1 pro, but with a much thinner shell and a lot lighter. Just as hot though.

5. Giro Altirus (sp?) -- cooler, lighter and a little sportier looking

I think I'm ready to replace the Giro though. The shell is discolored and its not molded in the shell like the new ones are. Other than that its still fine. I've been looking at the Bell Ghisallo, the Giro Monza and Eclipse too. I sweat a LOT so I'd like the best ventilation I can get but I'm also cheap and the cost of those three are below my pain threshold. The Giro I have now fits really well which makes me lean toward them but I like the way the Bell looks better! Anyone help me out here?

Last edited by buddyp; 10-18-07 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 10-15-07, 10:06 AM   #24
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Bicycle helmets are not given the care and consideration they deserve. (what do you do with yours when your not riding?)

Given that the foam is designed to trade compression distance for lower G forces in a one time use, the older a helmet gets and the more knocking about it has received the less effective it will be when time comes for its ultimate "one time use".

Back when I played around in race cars the helmet lived in a padded case between uses. I could never understand how motorcyclists could carry one hanging off the back and still expect it to work when needed.

I don't think that there is any magic age that a helmet should be scrapped but they do wear out with repeated banging around. Personal choice.
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Old 10-15-07, 10:35 AM   #25
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... I think that the rationale here is not the the helmet is worn out or used up after 10 years, but that technology has improved enough by that point that we are all better served by replacing our helmets. I assume that holds true for biking helmets too...
the testing standards for bicycle helmets are now overseen by the CPSC and not Snell, so there has been much discussion that those standards have been reduced over time, and considering that the materials have not changed and the new designs have more to do with ventalation and areodynamics (that can result in tortional injuries), so the argument can certainly been made that older helmets protect better

Quote:
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Bicycle helmets are not given the care and consideration they deserve. (what do you do with yours when your not riding?)...the older a helmet gets and the more knocking about it has received the less effective it will be when time comes for its ultimate "one time use"...
This is the issue in replacement. Whether the helmet has been damaged in a single blow, or has been "dinged" many times that has led to damage, the helmet should be replaced.

If one is careful, and not "dinged" or "banged" the helmet is everyday handling, it could last far far longer than the recomended replacement suggestion

Incidently, I still have my Bell V-1 Pro that I replaced (after 5 years) with my Bell Image (because I was concerned with the degredation issue) and it was designed to today's standards and is in good shape. If I break my Image, I'll just go back to the Pro
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