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Old 09-28-09, 03:52 PM   #1
Flandry
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Helmet features

I really need to get a new helmet and am tired of a few issues i've had on my last couple. In addition, i've come to recognize some possible features that i'd like in a new one. In the past i've always just picked up the cheapest one that fit me. Are there any additional features in higher-end helmets these days?

My size seems to be right in the average/medium range, but i have noticed that helmets seem to fit too far back on me. Not sure what that means.

Here are some criteria/questions i've come up with:
  • The velcro attachment points for the adjustable pads inside the helmet all came off in the cold of winter. Not cool.
  • The removable, so-called visor wasn't actually enough to provide shade. I'd like it to...otherwise it's pointless.
  • I have a few bikes and would like to put lights on my helmet to minimize shuffling. Is there anything to look for to facilitate this? A dedicated mount bracket or something?
  • Wind noise is pretty annoying and i've had someone point out the http://www.slipstreamz.com products. Is there a helmet with some kind of integrated wind baffles?
  • I bike in the cold/rain a lot. I read that a helmet cover can be a great asset. Is this something that could/should come with a helmet?

I'd appreciate a discussion of these parameters as well as the actual merits of buying a more expensive helmet. What helmets would you recommend, and why? Thanks.
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Old 09-28-09, 04:19 PM   #2
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One feature I would like to see is screening in all the vent holes so the flies can't get in and buzz around and bite. Not sure anyone implements that feature though.
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Old 09-28-09, 05:17 PM   #3
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One feature I would like to see is screening in all the vent holes so the flies can't get in and buzz around and bite. Not sure anyone implements that feature though.
Yeah i hate that, especially in late summer when all the hornets seem to be everywhere.

as for all those features i dont know but i agree with them all.
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Old 09-28-09, 06:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flandry View Post
My size seems to be right in the average/medium range, but i have noticed that helmets seem to fit too far back on me. Not sure what that means.

Here are some criteria/questions i've come up with:
  • The velcro attachment points for the adjustable pads inside the helmet all came off in the cold of winter. Not cool.
  • The removable, so-called visor wasn't actually enough to provide shade. I'd like it to...otherwise it's pointless.
  • I have a few bikes and would like to put lights on my helmet to minimize shuffling. Is there anything to look for to facilitate this? A dedicated mount bracket or something?
  • Wind noise is pretty annoying and i've had someone point out the http://www.slipstreamz.com products. Is there a helmet with some kind of integrated wind baffles?
  • I bike in the cold/rain a lot. I read that a helmet cover can be a great asset. Is this something that could/should come with a helmet?
I'm not sure what you mean that the helmet fits too far back on you either. Can you post a picture of what you mean?

1. I've never messed around with my helmet pads. Do you move yours a lot?

2. How much shade were you hoping for? They should just barely shade the eyes ... otherwise it would be too hard on your neck.

3. You can attach lights to your helmet ... but I have to remove my visor to do that.
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1254183226975

4. I've never really noticed this wind noise everyone talks about ... not even when I was riding in windy Manitoba.

5. You can buy helmet covers separately, but I have to remove my visor to use mine.
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...45524442628993
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Old 09-28-09, 09:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I'm not sure what you mean that the helmet fits too far back on you either. Can you post a picture of what you mean?
Sorry, no camera, but what i mean is that unless i'm constantly pushing it forward it rests on the back of my neck and is decidedly not sitting forward enough. Of course, that makes the visor issue more pronounced. It also makes the straps hit my ears.

Quote:
1. I've never messed around with my helmet pads. Do you move yours a lot?
No, never. Nevertheless they fall off where they are glued to the inside of the helmet when it gets really cold. My computer mount snapped like it was made of ice, too. I don't think this stuff was meant for winter use.

Quote:
2. How much shade were you hoping for? They should just barely shade the eyes ... otherwise it would be too hard on your neck.
Some shade for my eyes would be nice. Not looking for a baseball cap effect.

Quote:
3. You can attach lights to your helmet ... but I have to remove my visor to do that.
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1254183226975
Cool. I wish we had MEC here. Do these fit on pretty much any helmet?

Quote:
4. I've never really noticed this wind noise everyone talks about ... not even when I was riding in windy Manitoba.
Perhaps your ears are ideally shaped or something. Turning my head slightly left or right makes it go away, but face-on into a headwind here on a blustery day makes for some pretty annoying noise.

Quote:
5. You can buy helmet covers separately, but I have to remove my visor to use mine.
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...45524442628993
Nice. Again, wish MEC was in the states.

I guess the question still remains: are any of these available/easier with a upscale helmet, and is there any reason to fork out more than, say, $40 for one.
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Old 09-28-09, 09:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
One feature I would like to see is screening in all the vent holes so the flies can't get in and buzz around and bite. Not sure anyone implements that feature though.
My Rudy Project Zuma has that..... but it was also $130

I think many of the higher end helmets offer this as a feature, also all the pads are attached to it making it really easy to clean everything.
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Old 09-28-09, 10:48 PM   #7
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I've never had good results with a sun visor. Cycling cap works best for me. The short bill slants sharply downward and in the late afternoon you can adjust it to an angle that lets you see a lot of road without being blinded.

A helmet cover works very well in the cold, and probably rain if you get one that's water proof. I've never seen them come with the helmet. Mine cost about $20.00. I saw one priced at $40.00 +. It was Goretex, and I have no idea whether it worked or not. They completely missed the price point on that.
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Old 09-29-09, 01:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Flandry View Post
Sorry, no camera, but what i mean is that unless i'm constantly pushing it forward it rests on the back of my neck and is decidedly not sitting forward enough. Of course, that makes the visor issue more pronounced. It also makes the straps hit my ears.
Sounds like your current helmet doesn't fit you. You really shouldn't be able to push it around your head so easily. A helmet should fit very snuggly.

Go to a bicycle shop and try on a bunch of helmets. They do fit differently. I've got one I picked up fairly inexpensively because I cracked my helmet on a ride and quickly needed a replacement. It seems rounder inside than all my other helmets, so I wear it as a winter helmet with headbands and balaclavas inside. My Bell, on the other hand, is narrower and fits my head quite snuggly.

I've cycled in temps down to -40C in Winnipeg and have never had a helmet problem. My computer has gone black in the cold, and I've had trouble with shifting, but at -40 ... I don't blame the bicycle for not wanting to work properly. You could have probably superglued the velcro back on.

Yes, the lights fit onto pretty much any helmet, and so do the helmet covers. But if you want a really inexpensive helmet cover, you could just go with a shower cap ... lots of people go that route.

You might check REI and see what they've got. They are probably the closest thing the US has to an MEC.

I've had several Bell helmets ... I have found they work well for me. Other people like the Giro style ... they seem to work well for them. Others like other brands. That's why I'd recommend going to a shop and trying on helmets.

My Bells have usually run about $30 ... so you can get a decent helmet for a reasonable price.
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Old 09-29-09, 05:17 AM   #9
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A cycling cap, you say? I'll check it out.

It does sound like it doesn't fit, but for the record the previous one (that also did that) stuck around during the fight with the Ford Focus. I can't recall if it was Giro or Bell (and i never saw it after i woke up in the ambulance), but i have had both before.

My LBS didn't have any helmets out for testing that i can remember seeing. I'll check again or go to some others. I'm an REI member but to be honest they don't have as many practical and inexpensive options as MEC: a few notches too yuppie for my taste.

Anyway, it seems like, with the exception of the wind issue, there are ways of dealing with all these issues with the budget specials. If i hadn't read about the slipstreamz being out of stock and/or business, i'd pick up one of those and call it good. Anyone using those or know more about them?
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Old 09-29-09, 12:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
5. You can buy helmet covers separately, but I have to remove my visor to use mine.
This cover works with a visor. http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Water...et-Covers.html

I like having the visor as much in the rain as in the sun because it helps the raindrops from hitting my eyes.
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Old 09-29-09, 06:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
One feature I would like to see is screening in all the vent holes so the flies can't get in and buzz around and bite. Not sure anyone implements that feature though.
I wear a cool max skull cap under my helmet and it prevents the bites. A pair of panty hose stretched over the helmet would work, but it will look dorky.
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Old 09-30-09, 09:57 AM   #12
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I've cycled in temps down to -40C in Winnipeg and have never had a helmet problem. My computer has gone black in the cold, and I've had trouble with shifting, but at -40 ... I don't blame the bicycle for not wanting to work properly.
<shivering>FWIW, -40C is the same as -40F</shivering>

Apropos of not that much, when I was 6, I was bundled off for the summer to family friends... in Winnipeg. I learned to ride a bicycle there!
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Old 09-30-09, 10:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flandry View Post
Sorry, no camera, but what i mean is that unless i'm constantly pushing it forward it rests on the back of my neck and is decidedly not sitting forward enough. Of course, that makes the visor issue more pronounced. It also makes the straps hit my ears.

It sounds like it's not adjusted properly. The front strap needs to be tighter. For wind noise suppression, especially in the colder months, something like Dog Earz are the way to go.
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Old 09-30-09, 10:54 AM   #14
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[*]I have a few bikes and would like to put lights on my helmet to minimize shuffling. Is there anything to look for to facilitate this? A dedicated mount bracket or something?[/LIST]
It's easier to get a light that attaches to the helmet. The Dinotte lights come with straps you can thread through the helmet vents. (It's worth pointing out that this would preclude using a helmet cover, though.)

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Old 09-30-09, 11:51 AM   #15
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Not to mention that I'd also LOVE to get a Contour HD (helmet mounted video camera).

Then again, there IS a limit on what you can do to an inverted Styrofoam cup!
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Old 09-30-09, 03:43 PM   #16
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It's easier to get a light that attaches to the helmet. The Dinotte lights come with straps you can thread through the helmet vents. (It's worth pointing out that this would preclude using a helmet cover, though.)

That is a good point. You can buy a headband for the Dinotte 400L and in theory (and according to the Dinotte sales guy) you can put it on your helmet, over a helmet cover.
http://store.dinottelighting.com/sha...unt2=998298287



The other option is to keep the waterproof below the helmet - it's hotter, but a lot of bike rain jacket have a hood that goes under the helmet.
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Old 09-30-09, 04:02 PM   #17
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IMO one advantage of the more expensive helmets is better fit. The cheaper helmets typically seem to come in "one size fits nobody well" sizing while the higher end helmets come in 3 or 4 sizes and have internal adjustment as well. I want minimum clearance inside a helmet so that my head moves the least possible before contacting the shell in an accident.

I agree that if the helmet is tilting back on the head then the front straps are not adjusted correctly. All helmets I have owned have had provisions for adjustment of the straps to get the correct angle on the head.

Wind noise varies from helmet model to model and seems to be related to the vent design.
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Old 09-30-09, 11:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
One feature I would like to see is screening in all the vent holes so the flies can't get in and buzz around and bite. Not sure anyone implements that feature though.
Seems like most of Uvex's helmets have those. They're a little harder to find at most shops, though.

I see the screens more often in youth-sized helmets, too.
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