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Old 08-09-07, 02:56 PM   #1
kipibenkipod
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Helmet - what should I buy?

Hi,
I wonder, is there a real crash test difference between Giro Atmos (One of the top models), Bell Sweep and other low price models? (100$ vs. 20$)
I really want to know if the money is worth it.
Some people tell me that I should get what every looks good :-) hehe. Maybe they right?!
Tnx
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Old 08-09-07, 03:05 PM   #2
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I layed my bike down at the end of March going about 25 mph, down a little hill and didn't see the scum from the trees on the path where I was. Anyhow road rash a few broken ribs and a broken Trek helmet. I bought another Trek helmet because of the padding it has. I don't remember all of the helmets I looked at, but the Trek had the most padding. I don't know what model I have but it was $100, marked down to $65. Good luck.
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Old 08-09-07, 03:58 PM   #3
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I'm sure that most mid to high priced helmets perform the same in a crash situation. You are just going to get something with a lower profile and more vents the more you spend. I wear the Sweep R and it helps keep my head cool on hot days like these. I used to wear a helmet with about half of the vents, and boy was it uncomfortable in the summer. Good luck finding something that fits well and suits your needs.
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Old 08-09-07, 04:02 PM   #4
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I doubt there is much protection difference between a $20 inexpensive helmet and a $100 helmet. The price difference tends to buy comfort and air flow. Here's a few sites offering information:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/t...view/index.htm

http://www.helmets.org/cu_2006.htm

http://www.helmets.org
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Old 08-09-07, 08:05 PM   #5
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I would look for a real helmet if I cared. I have been passed by runners while tooling along a 10 mph so I don't wear a helmet and feel perfectly safe. I have a bell helmet with a hard and heavy shell. If I had to buy a real helmet for bike riding I would go for a light climbing helmet rather than the jokes they sell to cyclists these days. Some people like to hit very high speeds on decents and some kind of protection makes sense for that. Also a reason for double front brakes.
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Old 08-09-07, 10:55 PM   #6
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I have never worn a helmet because I think I might crash. I never think I'll crash. And I like to bomb down hills. But I always wear a helmet, because of all the numerous boneheads who might crash into me. Or open their car door in front of me. Or step out in front of me. Or...

I do want one of those "road" helmets, though, if I was in the market. A little lighter, no visor, cool looking...
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Old 08-10-07, 01:45 AM   #7
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I saw on TV a couple of months ago a survey that wearing a helmet was more dangerous due to car drivers feeling that since the rider has a helmet they can drive closer to them. That said I still wear one.
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Old 08-10-07, 07:20 AM   #8
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http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/t...ings/index.htm
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Old 08-10-07, 08:02 AM   #9
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I am surprised that anyone with experience riding a bike would consider riding without a helmet. Surely, you have personal experience or close ancecdotal experience of yourself and/or others whose lives have likely been saved because a helmet was worn. Sure, if you are over 18, it is not illegal to ride without a helmet. You can smoke cigarettes too. Both make just as much sense.

All bicycle helmets sold as such in the US meet the same minimum CPSC safety standards. They do not have to exceed these standards and manufacturers are not likely advertise how much safer their helmets are because they would be foolishly expanding their chance of a liability claim. It is logical, however, that a rounded helmet will slide rather than catch. A multisport helmet will be heavier as it is designed for multiple hits rather than a one-off accident.
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Old 08-10-07, 08:25 AM   #10
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I'd try them on. Some definitely fit differently. I won a cheap Bell model as a door prize and couldn't believe how poor the fit was compared to a moderately priced Bell helmet. Different brands also fit differently, so just go with the one that feels best on your head assuming it's certified (which nearly all major brands are).
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Old 08-10-07, 10:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwgride View Post
I doubt there is much protection difference between a $20 inexpensive helmet and a $100 helmet. The price difference tends to buy comfort and air flow. Here's a few sites offering information:
There used to be a big difference between the cheap helmets and the expensive ones, but the fancy features are trickling down into the cheap helmets:
1- a good adjustable head retention systems
2- excellent ventilation.

My housemate just came home with a $30 unisize giro helmet which is nicer than the $100 helmet from 4-5 years ago that i still had kicking around in my closet.

The biggest thing is fit- it's got to be comfortable, and it's got to stay on your head in a crash. Try the helmet on, and try pulling it up and sideways. If it slides around, or comes off, look for another helmet.
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Old 08-10-07, 02:44 PM   #12
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I love my Giro Atmos, super light, great adjustability, and one of the few helmets that doesn't look dorky.
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Old 08-11-07, 12:17 AM   #13
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"I am surprised that anyone with experience riding a bike would consider riding without a helmet. Surely, you have personal experience or close ancecdotal experience of yourself and/or others whose lives have likely been saved because a helmet was worn. Sure, if you are over 18, it is not illegal to ride without a helmet. You can smoke cigarettes too. Both make just as much sense."

Presumably we all wear helmets in the car too since fatal accidents are 10 times more likely there? I have been riding about 45 years, and got one set of stiches around the age of ten, no helmets then available. Bought one of the earlier helmets, rarely wear it, never been hurt. I think just owning it conferms most of the benefits. Pretty agressive comuter in large city for years so I have been lucky. never really had the kind of job where showing up with helmet head was acceptable so I had to make the best of it.

"All bicycle helmets sold as such in the US meet the same minimum CPSC safety standards. They do not have to exceed these standards and manufacturers are not likely advertise how much safer their helmets are because they would be foolishly expanding their chance of a liability claim. It is logical, however, that a rounded helmet will slide rather than catch."

My main beef is that the standards are ridiculously lax. They are designed for selling helmets not seriously protecting the noggin. Probably true of all helmets at some level, but bike helmets stand out in their saran wrapped styrofoamyness. The fact that there rarely ever seems to be a significant fall off in injuries when bike helmets are imposed is suspicious though there could be many reasons. These days if one has kids one collects a wide range of helmets for all maner of activities. Can't think of any other sport with as lightly constructed a pot as cycling. Things that make you go Hmmm.

"A multisport helmet will be heavier as it is designed for multiple hits rather than a one-off accident."

I don't really know whether my thinking on more armoured helmets is correct. I agree that something like football involves multi hits, but other sports like climbing are single hit oriented and yet have reasonable strength helmets. In the kind of accident that actually kills, you may well get multi hits like bounced off car onto ground, roll along for a while. I would just feel better if more helmet advocates actually wore real helmets. It all feels a little like filter tip cigarettes: A half measure from the marketing department.

Last edited by NoReg; 08-11-07 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 08-11-07, 05:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
I am surprised that anyone with experience riding a bike would consider riding without a helmet. Surely, you have personal experience or close ancecdotal experience of yourself and/or others whose lives have likely been saved because a helmet was worn. Sure, if you are over 18, it is not illegal to ride without a helmet. You can smoke cigarettes too. Both make just as much sense.
ROFL
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Old 08-11-07, 02:05 PM   #15
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I think people have already posted the important bits -get one that is undamaged, fits you well, is nicely adjustable and is suitable for you (e.g. well vented in my case). I won't bother adding get one that is certified as they have to be to be sold anyway -at least in the States. Usually you have to go to a store to try one to make sure it fits properly (much like a pair of jeans or shoes syndrome I'd say). However, I will admit to the fact I've bought my helmets online -only had one helmet I just didn't like, and I bought based on comments made in online reviews.

My current favourite: a Bell Alchera -just the right shape for my head with some really effective vents. I got mine for $34 (I use one with a mirror attached for the road) and another one I got for off roading at $22 (returns from Nashbar, clearly unworn). Very comfortable with good adjustment and excellent ventilation, definitely my best helmet I've ever had.

I'm not 100% a more expensive helmet would protect you better though; I tend to believe more expensive means more vents, lighter weight and probably a closer margin to passing the safety tests. I do wonder if some $20 less vented, heavier helmet is safer than a $150 lightweight helmet looking like Swiss cheese, just no proof of that. Another thing, sometimes I think people think more vents = better ventilation, something I've found not necessarily though admittedly usually true.

My only gripe about helmets is that I wish some of the manufacturers would stop doing the trendy colour combo things and sometimes just think about safety -it's fairly hard to get a neon bright orange/yellow/green helmet. I believe you can spray paint helmets, just never got around to it and I wonder about the durability of the finish.

And just to echo one post, I completely agree that some cheap helmets sold now for around $30 are like some of the $100 helmets 5 years or so ago!
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Old 08-14-07, 02:52 AM   #16
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The Bell Metro or Citi are great helmets for a few reasons:

Amanda has used hers for nearly a year now and loves it. At first I was not happy with the idea of paying more than $20 for a helmet but I can see the difference in the beefier construction (important when it gets knocked around while carrying the bike up narrow guesthouse stairs) and it comes with a host of extras!

http://www.vwvagabonds.com/Bike/BikeHelmets.html

Here is a photo with her Southeast Asia sun protection...


Here are some optional extras:

Blinking Light Attachment...


Winter Kit with Ear Muffs and Rain Cover...


Visor attahcable flip mirror...
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