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Old 05-01-13, 02:15 PM   #1
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Helmet differences.

Honest question here, and no, I'm not trying to start another 'wear a helmet versus don't wear a helmet' thread. I know that subject has been beaten to death a million times over (maybe this one has as well, and I just didn't word my search query well enough).

Rather, what I'm interested in knowing is what's the difference between a helmet costing $35 versus a helmet costing $200?

I'm looking at an e-mail I got from Performance Bike, and they're advertising a Giro helmet on sale for $139.99 (regular price $199.99).

For all intents and purposes, it looks just like my Louis Garneau helmet I bought off of eBay for $35.00.

Just wondering what the $200 helmet has that the $35 helmet doesn't.

Thanks for any and all comments.

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Old 05-01-13, 02:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by IndianaRecRider View Post
I'm interested in knowing what's the difference between a helmet costing $35 versus a helmet costing $200?
The maker of the $200 helmet has more of your money. They can use this money to sponsor pro teams, which makes their helmets more desireable.
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Old 05-01-13, 02:26 PM   #3
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As long as the $35 helmet meets CPSC or Snell standards, the biggest difference is $165.

All helmets sold in the US must meet CPSC standards.

Typically, the more expensive helmet will be lighter (often by 100 grams), and have better ventilation. Cheaper helmets also tend to come in "one size fits all" designs, and have some tension adjustment to the retention system, so more expensive helmets, which typically come in different sizes, may fit better.
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Old 05-01-13, 02:33 PM   #4
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There is more put into having a helmet pass the same tests
with Much more air flow engineering, and by having less EPS and adding an internal reinforcing skeleton,
than using just more EPS and reducing the size of the holes. through it...
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Old 05-01-13, 03:59 PM   #5
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It buys you weight reduction and/or comfort, like many premium bike components, saddles, and bike clothes. Sometimes it adds aerodynamics.

Most of them don't offer more protection, just like weight weenie parts don't give you more durability.
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Old 05-01-13, 04:08 PM   #6
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Helmet info http://www.bhsi.org/
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Old 05-01-13, 04:08 PM   #7
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Carbon fiber, probably.
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Old 05-01-13, 04:09 PM   #8
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As already mentioned, the primary differences are weight, ventilation, and adjustment for fit.
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Old 05-01-13, 04:10 PM   #9
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With expensive helmets, you get more air.
Cheaper helmets not only have more polystyrene but the vents are larger (and fewer) so you can pass a lock through.
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Old 05-01-13, 05:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndianaRecRider View Post
For all intents and purposes, it looks just like my Louis Garneau helmet I bought off of eBay for $35.00.

Just wondering what the $200 helmet has that the $35 helmet doesn't.
Louis Garneau also sells a helmet for $189. You should call Louis and tell him you don't see a difference in the two helmets then ask if he'll let you have the $189 helmet for $35
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Old 05-01-13, 05:36 PM   #11
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It's like swiss cheese, would you pay more money for cheese that has more holes, or do you want the most solid cheese that gives you the most bang for the buckaroo.. okay that didn't make much sense.
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Old 05-01-13, 06:47 PM   #12
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It's like swiss cheese, would you pay more money for cheese that has more holes, or do you want the most solid cheese that gives you the most bang for the buckaroo.. okay that didn't make much sense.
So in case i decide to throw some swiss cheese on a wall i should go for the one with less holes in it. Makes some sense.
Talking about cheese makes me hungry suddenly.

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Old 05-01-13, 07:07 PM   #13
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The more expensive helmets come with built-in GPS beacons...and a better quality tinfoil liner. Keeps the evil aliens AND the gov't from pirating your Strava results.
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Old 05-01-13, 07:43 PM   #14
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There's a good article on helmets coming up in the June issue of Bicycling. Some interesting developments with technology to reduce the likelihood of the wearing suffering a concussion. As of today, the difference is small. I just replaced my Giro Indicator ($40) with the Giro Savant ($90) I'm very happy with the new helmet (lighter, better fit, better ventilation), but the difference isn't life-changing.
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Old 05-01-13, 07:54 PM   #15
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I had a high end/priced Giro helmet and brought the low end helmet on sale because I wanted a second. I'm away weekends and didn't like carrying one back and forth. The higher priced was lighter, had better ventilation, and the adjustments for fit worked better. In short it was more comfortable and fit better.
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Old 05-01-13, 08:01 PM   #16
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For me, $100 is the sweet spot for helmets. Little lighter, better ventilation, and a better fit than the $35. What the extra $100 buys isn't that big a concern for me. If you know your helmet size, you can often find helmets in the $175 range discounted to around $100 online.

One thing I didn't touch on before is wind noise. Cheaper helmets also tend to be noisier.
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Old 05-01-13, 08:39 PM   #17
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I started with a Lazer Neon ($44) and just upgraded to the Giro Aeon ($250 - only I paid much less).

Why did I buy the more expensive helmet? I liked the colors/design.
Can I tell the difference? Yes, the Giro is much lighter and seem to be all around better quality/construction then the Lazer. The extra holes for ventilation also aide in head scratching.
Did the Lazer do the trick? Yep, really no complaints with the Lazer. I plan on keeping it as a spare/something to wear on bad weather days or to loan to friends.

Honestly, a helmet is a helmet if you ask me. Find one that fits well and looks good. Like I said, I bough the Giro because I liked the color and had money to waste.
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Old 05-01-13, 08:52 PM   #18
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my $30 Bell makes my head look like a mushroom tip. But it's comfortable. If I end up buying a more expensive helmet down the road, it'll mainly be for looks and ventilation. I hear it gets HOT here in TX.
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Old 05-02-13, 08:52 AM   #19
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The more expensive helmets come with built-in GPS beacons...and a better quality tinfoil liner. Keeps the evil aliens AND the gov't from pirating your Strava results.
I KNEW it had something to do with aliens and government intrusion.
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Old 05-02-13, 08:53 AM   #20
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Thanks to everyone who commented. I appreciate all of your input.

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Old 05-02-13, 10:12 AM   #21
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Well you have the money, buy it and "use" it. Go do a century with 10,000 ft of climbing wearing it, do some long hot rides during the summer. Then decide for yourself if there is a difference.

Or you could go just to the LBS and try one on for 30 seconds and decide it's no different than a $24 Wally World helmet and post your opinion on a helmet you've never owned next time the topic comes up.
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Old 05-02-13, 10:26 AM   #22
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^Good idea.
What I'll do instead is keep using my $40 LBS helmet and blowing the doors off all the other riders around me who blow their money on things which don't actually make them faster.
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Old 05-02-13, 01:22 PM   #23
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^Good idea.
What I'll do instead is keep using my $40 LBS helmet and blowing the doors off all the other riders around me who blow their money on things which don't actually make them faster.
So that is your way of saying you have no idea why other riders buy $200 helmets and that you don't have one

Really, riders buy more expensive helmets for speed?

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Old 05-03-13, 06:36 AM   #24
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Really, riders buy more expensive helmets for speed?
Ridiculous to us both, but that's exactly what's behind the latest wave of helmet upgrade-itis.
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Old 05-03-13, 10:20 AM   #25
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As long as the $35 helmet meets CPSC or Snell standards, the biggest difference is $165.

All helmets sold in the US must meet CPSC standards.

Typically, the more expensive helmet will be lighter (often by 100 grams), and have better ventilation. Cheaper helmets also tend to come in "one size fits all" designs, and have some tension adjustment to the retention system, so more expensive helmets, which typically come in different sizes, may fit better.
Yep, covers it fairly well. The price could be determined by inventory churn to get the older stuff sold. If it's a brand name then not to worry........
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