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Old 12-22-13, 07:47 AM   #1
waterboy1
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bike helmet question

So...I'm new.
Like....green new.
I'm looking for a helmet for me and my 10 year old.
The helmets at Walmart look like Army gear.
I'd be interested in knowing where I can buy a good helmet that lets your head breathe.
Something lighter weight with more breathing room than those helmets at Walmart.
Thank you for your help.
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Old 12-22-13, 08:48 AM   #2
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At a local bike shop. However, their prices will be higher as they will have much higher quality helmets.
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Old 12-22-13, 10:18 AM   #3
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There is no evidence that more expensive helmets are any safer.

More expensive helmets are likely to be lighter and have better ventilation.

Your LBS will have a higher end selection. Pick whatever is the most comfortable in your price range.
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Old 12-22-13, 12:55 PM   #4
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I guess LBS means local bike store, right?
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Old 12-22-13, 01:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterboy1 View Post
I guess LBS means local bike store, right?
Correct.
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Old 12-22-13, 01:38 PM   #6
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Start with the cheapest, that are comfortable......... comfort trumps all! Even your LBS will have cheap helmets. Expensive helmets will not necessarily be comfortable on your head. You just g0tta try them on.
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Old 12-22-13, 11:12 PM   #7
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You can buy Bell helmets at places like Target and Big 5 Sports for $15-$30. You should be able to find one that is both comfortable and fills well. Any helmet sold in the U.S. is required to meet the applicable safety standard. Good luck!
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Old 12-23-13, 06:57 AM   #8
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You could also shop at an online bike store like www.nashbar.com to broaden your options. No, you can't try them on beforehand, but modern helmets are quite adjustable, so unless you've ever thought that you've got a weird shaped head, it's certainly worth taking a look, anyway. You can always return them.

In particular, look for those with dial-adjust knob on the back for the best fit options. This is one of those higher quality features Brianmcg123 was probably referring to, and other elements, like channels that let air move across your head (and not just off your head, through vents), and locking strap guides. I'm not saying that Walmart doesn't sell helmets like this, and in fact they probably do, rather only you should look for those kinds of features no matter where you shop.
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Old 12-23-13, 06:50 PM   #9
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What's more important is that you buy a helmet that is the right size and then adjust the straps correctly. There should be a tag inside the helmet giving the head size it fits, the name of the manufacturer, the date manufactured, and the statement that it meets US Consumer Products Safety Commission standards for a bike helmet. The Snell foundation used to set helmet standards and to test them but today there is a federal regulation setting minimum standards. The pamphlet that came with my most recent helmet has pictures showing how a helmet should fit. There's also a bold statement in the owners manual, "One crash and it is trash" warning users to replace the helmet if you do have a crash.

I found the adjustable helmets with the adjustment knob in the rear to be a PIA because the knob did not lock in place and it would reset each time I removed the helmet. The other helmets, once adjusted, were ready to go each time I put them on.
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Old 12-27-13, 11:33 PM   #10
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I looked at several helmets and after trying them on settled with a Specialized brand at 40.00. Specialized like Bell qualify for the higher DOT safety standard. The Specialized is very light, vented, and adjustable fit.
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Old 02-04-14, 07:36 PM   #11
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The USCPS does set the minimum standards for bicycle helmets. It used to be a DOT standard. The Snell Foundation is a private organization that sets higher standards but a company must apply for testing and certification. Specialized sells Snell approved helmets but that doesn't mean that there are not other helmets that are manufactured to the same or even higher standards that have not gone through the Snell certification process.

For a good helmet at a decent price, stick with a brand name helmet with a molded in the shell construction. Very cheap helmets have the outer plastic shell applied separately and bonded to the foam base with glue or even tape. Stay away from anything that cheap. Bell, Giro, Specialized, Bontrager, Schwinn and several other manufacturers make good entry level helmets. You don't have to go expensive to get comfort and safety. $25-50 will get you into a good helmet. Just don't go super cheap.
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