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  1. #1
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    need help with first helmet

    I am 60 and planning to buy my first helmet. I am willing to spend up to $125. I've read good reviews of the Giro Indicator which is only about $40 and is relative light (304 g) and good airflow. Also good reviews for the Bell Sweep($125) 297g. A person can probably find the right fit in a bike store but you won't know about the airflow and noise until you ride with it. Also, I will need to wear a skull cap or something to protect my head from sunburn and I have very light sensitive eyes. Should I buy a helmet with a visor or is it possible to find a good lightweight hat with a visor and spf protection and wear it under my helmet. I appreciate any advice. Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    A $40 helmet will protect your head as well as a $150 helmet will. Don't think an expensive helmet does anything for noise. Even cheap helmets have plenty of vents. Beyond that, I would take manufacturers claims of superior airflow with a grain of salt. Visors don't do much to protect the eyes. Get protective eye wear. Sunglasses for sunny days, clear lenses for cloudy days, to keep dirt or bugs out of your eyes.

    Wear a cycling cap or bandana under your helmet if you think your head might get sunburn through the vents.

    A more expensive helmet might get you a better fit, but then again might not. Everybody's head is a little different. Fwiw, I have never paid more than $40 or $50 for a helmet, and have sometimes gotten them on sale for $25 or $30.
    Last edited by MRT2; 04-19-14 at 10:36 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member raqball's Avatar
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    A little above your price range (I think they run $150)

    But I have and absolutely love the Specialized S3 helmet..

    Plenty of vents, very lightweight and comes with a clip on visor (I don't use it)..

    I wear a skull cap under it and have no issues whatsoever..

    My .02

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    Would forget looking at brand, and concentrate on fit, for visors, as noted, eye protection in the form or glasses is a better option, there are now a few helmets out there with visor's, but these are normally high end, like the Giro Air Attack Shield. For airflow, vent's aren't that important, it's how they are designed, a couple of well placed vents & exhausts are better than lots of badly placed ones.

    What are you planning to use the helmet with, is an important question, road riding to MTB to MUP all have different types of helmets.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=jimc101;16684797]Would forget looking at brand, and concentrate on fit, for visors, as noted, eye protection in the form or glasses is a better option, there are now a few helmets out there with visor's, but these are normally high end, like the Giro Air Attack Shield. For airflow, vent's aren't that important, it's how they are designed, a couple of well placed vents & exhausts are better than lots of badly placed ones.

    What are you planning to use the helmet with, is an important question, road riding to MTB to MUP all have different types of helmets.[/QUOTE]
    True, but I don't now if it matters all that much.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RoadTire's Avatar
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    I'll support all of the above as I just purchased my second helmet, and what a change in comfort.

    Comes down to fit, fit, fit. My older helmet is for a more round head and never felt right, my new one fits my head shape. Leave just enough room for a bike cap / skull cap / or skull cap with ear flaps if you ride in slight chilly weather and get ear aches.

    Second is sale, sale, sale. Helmets can be purchased half price. I like REI for that, ship to store free if needed, return to store w/o shipping fees, and great customer service.

    Other considerations are mtb vs road - that can make a difference of visor or maybe not a visor, noise at higher speeds or in a strong headwind. (not to dilute the thread, but noise is also from the straps I guess) and read reviews about the fastening system. Sometimes a nice helmet will get a few comments about the plastic bands breaking so I avoid those helmets.
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  7. #7
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B2mac View Post
    I am 60 and planning to buy my first helmet. I am willing to spend up to $125. I've read good reviews of the Giro Indicator which is only about $40 and is relative light (304 g) and good airflow. Also good reviews for the Bell Sweep($125) 297g. A person can probably find the right fit in a bike store but you won't know about the airflow and noise until you ride with it. Also, I will need to wear a skull cap or something to protect my head from sunburn and I have very light sensitive eyes. Should I buy a helmet with a visor or is it possible to find a good lightweight hat with a visor and spf protection and wear it under my helmet. I appreciate any advice. Thanks
    Mountain bike helmets come with visors. I ride on the roads with a visor. They can easily be removed and then put back on.

    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 04-19-14 at 12:19 PM.
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  8. #8
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    One of the things you get with more expensive helmets, aside from styling and graphics, is better adjustment thingies for the straps and headband; not totally necessary in all cases but nice to have and help to get the best fit. I've never had a noisy helmet.

    For eye protection: sunglasses.



    For sun protection, Headsweats.
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  9. #9
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I like visors cause they help keep the sun out of your eyes.

    Try on many models, from many different manufacturers ----- pick the one you can't feel on your head, and you never will.....

    I like bright colors, but color matching is also OK.........

    You just might fall in love with a 20 or 40 dollar helmet.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  10. #10
    Senior Member raqball's Avatar
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    All helmets are not created equal..

    Me? I'd be terrified to ride with a $20 helmet!

    There are a few things you never want to skimp on / save money on and one of them is on a helmet in my opinion..

    Remember, you are protecting your head!

    My .02

  11. #11
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raqball View Post
    All helmets are not created equal..

    Me? I'd be terrified to ride with a $20 helmet!

    There are a few things you never want to skimp on / save money on and one of them is on a helmet in my opinion..

    Remember, you are protecting your head!

    My .02
    All CPSC certified helmets protect your head more or less equally. The cheaper ones might actually be slightly safer, as they will actually cover more of your head.

  12. #12
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raqball View Post
    All helmets are not created equal..

    Me? I'd be terrified to ride with a $20 helmet!

    There are a few things you never want to skimp on / save money on and one of them is on a helmet in my opinion..

    Remember, you are protecting your head!

    My .02
    You have got to be kidding...................................

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  13. #13
    Senior Member raqball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    You have got to be kidding...................................
    Why would I be kidding? I may have been wrong but kidding? Seriously?

    I assume your comment was meant to cause trouble so I will pass on responding to you...

    Anywho....

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    All CPSC certified helmets protect your head more or less equally. The cheaper ones might actually be slightly safer, as they will actually cover more of your head.
    You know what? You are correct! After reading your response I did a quick Google search and I can now remove my foot from my mouth..

    Thanks for the civil and adult response

  14. #14
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Actually, this is one area you can save a little money. Assuming fit is acceptable, take the money saved a get better quality shorts, saddle, or shoes.

  15. #15
    Senior Member raqball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Actually, this is one area you can save a little money. Assuming fit is acceptable, take the money saved a get better quality shorts, saddle, or shoes.
    I came across this article

    Cheap or Expensive Bicycle Helmets

    I would have never thought them $20 helmets were safe so thanks for clarifying that!


  16. #16
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Why should you be any more put out than I was - at giving really bad info?????

    Wasn't trying to cause trouble - but sure wanted people to research before accepting that erroneous statement.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  17. #17
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Why should you be any more put out than I was - at giving really bad info?????

    Wasn't trying to cause trouble - but sure wanted people to research before accepting that erroneous statement.
    It's all good. We are all back on the same page. So many bike things where more money buys you better performance. Lighter, faster, stronger, or more durable. I am willing to spend a few bucks to stay away from the cheapest Wal Mart helmets, but if funds are really tight, it is an option.

  18. #18
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    A visor tends to block my view on my road bike. If your handle bars are lower than your saddle you might want to investigate that.
    Rydadiamond

  19. #19
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyb View Post
    A visor tends to block my view on my road bike. If your handle bars are lower than your saddle you might want to investigate that.
    +1

    Either that, or you have to crane your neck further to see well and wonder why you get a sore neck riding on the drops. Not an issue for upright riding position with straight bars.

    WalMart as well as some of the name brand, low end helmets are not built as well as their higher cost models. They may be as safe, but I'd argue about their durability and comfort.

    I've probably gone through 6 helmets in the last 10 years. One change was recommended by the emergency room DR. I usually replace helmets, barring any damage, about every 4 years. UV and just banging them around is hard on them. I had a yellow helmet that was bleached to almost white. My helmet gets a lot of hard use. We usually do a long tour every year which means 2-3 months of 8-10 hour days in the sun. Then add the regular year around riding.

    I agree with folks, and look for sales, but also look for a medium priced model. I'm partial to Giro for my oval shaped head

    We also keep a couple of cheap helmets as loaners for visiting friends and family. There is a difference in the molding (bonding of the hard material to the shock absorbing material), adjustment, and materials (buckles, webbing, adjustment mechanisms). Compare them side by side and it is not hard to see the difference.
    Last edited by Doug64; 04-19-14 at 03:30 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    +1

    Either that, or you have to crane your neck further to see well.

    WalMart as well as some of the name brand low end helmets are not built as well as their higher cost models. They may be as safe, but I'd argue about their durability and comfort.

    I've probably gone through 6 helmets in the last 10 years. The last change wasrecommended by the emergency room DR.
    We also keep a couple of cheap helmets as loaners for visiting friends and family. There is a difference in the molding , adjustment, and materials. Compare them side by side and it is not hard to see the difference.
    Fair enough, but $40 or $50 helmet from a lbs, or the same helmet bought on sale should be fine.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Fair enough, but $40 or $50 helmet from a lbs, or the same helmet bought on sale should be fine.
    Agree--but maybe $60 if I like the color

    PS. That silver one was on sale, and economics trumped fashion. Silver is not my favorite color. I did replace it with the same model in high-vis yellow-- that is a color I can live with, no pun intended!
    Last edited by Doug64; 04-19-14 at 03:54 PM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    Agree--but maybe $60 if I like the color

    PS. That silver one was on sale, and economics trumped fashion. Silver is not my favorite color. I did replace it with the same model in high-vis yellow-- that is a color I can live with, no pun intended!
    I have come to appreciate white helmets lately. Matches everything, high visibility, and good in hot weather.

  23. #23
    Senior Member tpelle's Avatar
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    Regarding eye protection, I used to wear contact lenses - can't do so anymore because I've developed sensetivity to the solutions - and always had sunglasses. I kept a pair in my car, in my pickup, in my wife's car, in my son's car, in his Jeep, and a pair or two extra just for spares. I used to just go to the big box home improvement store, such as Lowe's or Home Depot, and buy those wrap-around AOS brand safety glasses. Optically they were great, they were impact rated, shielded the eyes from wind, etc.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member GFish's Avatar
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    You don't need a visor, but it can help block sun and rain. I use a helmet with visor on the commuter drop bar bike for these reasons.

    On the road, I don't use a visor, but will use heavy or light weight cycling caps with short bill for cold days.

    As for helmet recommendations, I do like the fit and feel of more expensive models and imagine that the increased ventilation would help. But, I'm to cheap to pay over $100 for a helmet. So I shop in store and on-line sales to get the best helmet for the money.

    I'm starting to believe that with so many different helmet styles, choosing the right one is a lot like finding the right saddle or shoes, in that some will fit or feel better then others. And I couldn't stop at just one helmet, I like to have more then one color to compliment whatever I'm wearing.

    My current helmets...

    Garneau Quartz II - Good fit, good ventilation and nice straps. After cinching down the helmet, there's still play front to back and side to side, not with the straps, but the helmet moves or rolls independently, if that makes sense. This may be by design to prevent concussions. This helmet feels great while ridding and also looks great. Size large, big enough for cap underneath.

    Giro Saros - Decent ventilation and fit. Used this helmet for 2 years now and still feels and looks good. The only problem is the wheel adjustment in the back broke, drilled out the knob to install a bolt and nut to keep the headband tight. Still works and after washing the pads and strap, it's a good middle of the road helmet. This medium helmet is to small for a cap but looks slimming on the head.

    Specialized Propero - Decent ventilation, good fit. A little heavy, vents are OK, but not enough in really hot weather. This helmet is rather large, looks like a mushroom on the head. The prevail (more $$) is smaller and nicer. I started using this helmet with the visor for MTB rides pretty exclusively. Size large works for caps and beanies.

    Lazer Genesis - (purchased for under $100 on-line) Great ventilation and fit. This helmet is slimming, looks and feels great while riding. One of my new favorites in white. Good straps and pads. Size large is big enough for caps.

    Rudy Sterling - (bonus points from work = free) Just got this helmet last week, going for a first ride in thirty minutes. First impressions... WOW, what a comfortable and good looking helmet. Best pads I've ever seen or tried on in a helmet. Almost no adjustments needed to get the helmet fit dialed in. Inside of the front vents is netting to ward off bugs, really like this feature. Also includes a visor, I'll probably won't use it. The color is bright yellow, so I'll likely use this helmet more then the others for safety reasons.

    Really, I couldn't have just one helmet and been happy, but I'm good for this year.
    Last edited by GFish; 04-20-14 at 12:00 AM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Any approved helmet, any price is only good if it fits your head properly. Any color you like is fine but white does keep your head a tad cooler in hot sunshine and tends to be more visible some dark colors..
    Wear a cycling cap with a bill under helmet; either sunglasses or prescription photosensor lenses.
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