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-   -   Why the "swoop" ?? (http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/708800-why-swoop.html)

Nightshade 01-22-11 08:46 PM

Why the "swoop" ??
 
Can someone please explain why most ,not all, cycling helmets have the "swoop" at the back of the helmet instead of being more rounded like the majority of helmets in all other cases. :twitchy:

yes, I know that there are a few bicycle helmets that are more "normal" looking but the "swoop" helmet is still the most common cycling helmet. :(

So what purpose does the "swoop" serve????? :innocent:

xtrajack 01-22-11 09:34 PM

If I had to venture a guess, I would guess aerodynamics. I don't like the way they look, which is why I wear a vintage Tourlite.

dougmc 01-22-11 10:04 PM

There could be a small aerodynamic benefit. And perhaps they think it looks cool.

Also, if you fell backwards and hit the back of your head it might provide a bit more protection than it would without the "swoop". (Though if that was the case, perhaps the front should have a swoop too?)

desertdork 01-22-11 11:01 PM

No, I can't explain. I imagine ventilation is one reason, though.

The swoop does add an interesting effect when worn backwards.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2634/...167dfa27_o.jpg

xizangstan 01-22-11 11:51 PM

For people with pointed heads.

Machka 01-23-11 01:29 AM

I'm not sure what you mean by "swoop" but round, bowl-like helmets just look ... odd. Helmets with a bit of taper and shape to them look so much better.

That, and tapered helmets are supposed to be a little bit more aerodynamic and may offer a little bit more ventilation.

This, for example, is a nice-looking helmet :) ... and I'm going to have to see if it, or something like it, is available here in Australia.

http://www.nashbar.com/images/nashba...0-GR-ANGLE.jpg

kjmillig 01-23-11 04:42 AM

It all started with aerodynamic helmets made for racing. Wanna-be racer road riders wanted them too, helmet companies saw the market and produced what would sell. That idea still pervades the market.
Check out the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. http://www.helmets.org/index.htm

CommuterRun 01-23-11 04:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nightshade (Post 12116967)
So what purpose does the "swoop" serve????? :innocent:

It makes ya' look faster even when you're stopped.

StephenH 01-23-11 06:51 AM

You can get BMX-style helmets without the swoop (although the one I have is heavier and poorly ventilated).

Retro Grouch 01-23-11 06:57 AM

I think that you worry too much about all of that design stuff. I think that, over time, the market resolves all such issues and I'm not even a Republican.

If people don't like "swoopy" helmets theyll stop buying them and manufacturers will produce helmets that don't "swoop so much".

If people stop buying bikes that have straight, flat handlebars the same thing will happen.

Totaled108 01-24-11 12:51 AM

1 Attachment(s)
More and more folks in Portland are wearing BMX style helmets with cool designs. The only thing I see are heads that will over heat on a hot day, or if you wanted to pull a bit harder.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=187242

Machka 01-24-11 04:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Totaled108 (Post 12122250)
More and more folks in Portland are wearing BMX style helmets with cool designs. The only thing I see are heads that will over heat on a hot day, or if you wanted to pull a bit harder.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=187242

I think you'd have to be 5 or 85 to pull that off!! :D

Nightshade 01-24-11 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 12117960)
I'm not sure what you mean by "swoop" but round, bowl-like helmets just look ... odd. Helmets with a bit of taper and shape to them look so much better.

That, and tapered helmets are supposed to be a little bit more aerodynamic and may offer a little bit more ventilation.

This, for example, is a nice-looking helmet :) ... and I'm going to have to see if it, or something like it, is available here in Australia.

http://www.nashbar.com/images/nashba...0-GR-ANGLE.jpg

Yes, THIS is exactly what I meant. What's up with this anyway??

Shimagnolo 01-24-11 12:07 PM

The triumph of marketing over function.

Nightshade 01-24-11 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shimagnolo (Post 12124041)
The triumph of marketing over function.

Absolutely! :roflmao2::roflmao2::roflmao2::roflmao2:

JanMM 01-24-11 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nightshade (Post 12124032)
Yes, THIS is exactly what I meant. What's up with this anyway??

I would be at least a couple mph's faster if I wore that instead of my Bell Metro.:lol:

Exceptional ventilation, too.

rogerstg 01-24-11 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shimagnolo (Post 12124041)
The triumph of marketing over function.

Just the opposite. It increases ventilation by creating low pressure areas at the back of the helmet.

Machka 01-24-11 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nightshade (Post 12124032)
Yes, THIS is exactly what I meant. What's up with this anyway??

It's a work of art ... it's beautiful. It's also got great ventilation which is very important in this heat. And if it weren't so expensive, it would be on my head as I cycle down the street as fast as I could get it here. I'm even considering it at the price it is.

Commodus 01-24-11 03:22 PM

I've wondered this too. It seems less safe to have pointy bits on a helmet. It also looks ridiculous, to me.

That said, I ended buying a MET helmet with the silly spikes because it fit so well.

Shimagnolo 01-24-11 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rogerstg (Post 12124626)
Just the opposite. It increases ventilation by creating low pressure areas at the back of the helmet.

Every object moving through a fluid, (air is a fluid), has a low pressure area behind it.


"The fashion among helmet designers since 1998 has favored squared-off edges of the foam remaining around the vents, and the addition of sharp lines in the exterior plastic just for style. The elongated "aero" shape dates from that era as well. This is not an optimal design for crashing. We believe that the ideal surface for striking a road resembles a bowling ball: hard, smooth and round. Round shells reduce to a minimum any tendency for a helmet to "stick" to the surface when you hit, with the possibility of increasing impact intensity, contributing to rotational brain injury or jerking the rider's neck. They also eliminate the aero tail that can snag, or in a backward impact can shove the helmet aside as you hit, exposing your bare head. This is such a problem with some models that lab technicians have to use copious amounts of duct tape to keep some helmets on the headform in their test drops, even after they have pulled the straps extra-tight."

Ref: http://www.helmets.org/ventsqua.htm

Retro Grouch 01-24-11 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shimagnolo (Post 12124041)
The triumph of marketing over function.

How is that different from "Selling what people want to buy rather than trying to sell them what they need"?

Nightshade 01-24-11 10:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Retro Grouch (Post 12118234)
I think that you worry too much about all of that design stuff. I think that, over time, the market resolves all such issues and I'm not even a Republican.

If people don't like "swoopy" helmets theyll stop buying them and manufacturers will produce helmets that don't "swoop so much".

If people stop buying bikes that have straight, flat handlebars the same thing will happen.

Maybe but a GREAT DEAL of consumer education will have to take place before that happens.

Machka 01-25-11 03:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nightshade (Post 12127356)
Maybe but a GREAT DEAL of consumer education will have to take place before that happens.

Meanwhile, fortunately, they've got a whole set of great-looking, functional helmets on the market.

Nightshade 01-25-11 11:52 AM

Here is what I found that tells why the "swoop" and other helmet shapes..............
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/papers/c2023.pdf

http://www.bhsi.org/history.htm

And a new helmet design that does't look like a dorky bicycle helment.......

http://www.yakkay.com/

Retro Grouch 01-25-11 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nightshade (Post 12129597)
And a new helmet design that does't look like a dorky bicycle helment.......

http://www.yakkay.com/

Have you bought one?


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