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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 09-01-08, 06:47 PM   #1
Leo1903
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A Helmet is a Helmet?

OK before I spend my money, it seems best to get some opinions from tourers who have tried a variety of equipment and so have valuable input on getting the best value.

So the question is...for long distance touring what are some decent models of helmets? Since all makes make the safety standards, other important consideration might be weight, aerodynamics, sun protection, cost, etc.
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Old 09-01-08, 07:30 PM   #2
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I would get something that is pretty light and has big/many vents and good fit since you are going to be wearing it for a long time. I would also go to a bike store and try it on.

I really like my Bell Alchera
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Old 09-01-08, 07:49 PM   #3
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I don't often wear a helmet when touring, but when I do I just grab a Giro helmet that I use for road rides or mtn biking. Mid-range - nothing particularly special. As long as it's comfortable and fits you even low cost helmets seem to have loads of ventilation these days. It's pretty hard to go wrong.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:30 PM   #4
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I'm a little picky, I like the Bell Furio. Not too expensive, easy to put on. But you can use almost any helmet.

I always make sure to get a white helmet btw, it's a little more visible.
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Old 09-01-08, 10:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Leo1903 View Post
OK before I spend my money, it seems best to get some opinions from tourers who have tried a variety of equipment and so have valuable input on getting the best value.

So the question is...for long distance touring what are some decent models of helmets? Since all makes make the safety standards, other important consideration might be weight, aerodynamics, sun protection, cost, etc.
Spend money on shoes, bags, tents, sleeping bag/pads, bike, shorts and handle bars.

Save money on pedals, cookware, jerseys, rain gear and helmets.

Helmets all have to pass the same standards for safety and most run about the same in terms of ventilation. A $200 helmet just offers a few more bells and whistles than a $60 helmet...but not many.
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Old 09-02-08, 05:57 AM   #6
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I think fit is the primary criteria for picking a helmet. It needs to stay put in the right place on your head or it isn't worth bothering with. I am always amazed at the people I see with helmets that are either a poor fit or so poorly adjusted as to be worthless.

I have found that helmets fall apart pretty quickly these days. I don't think spending more helps much with that either. I look at it as a consumable and assume that it needs to be replaced at least every couple years if you ride a lot even if you don't crash.

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Spend money on shoes, bags, tents, sleeping bag/pads, bike, shorts and handle bars.

Save money on pedals, cookware, jerseys, rain gear and helmets.
Hmmm, interesting....
My lists are more like:

Spend money on shoes, sleeping pads, and shorts. These I am pretty firm on and wouldn't cut corners. Cutting corners here would bring me discomfort.

Save money on cookware, jerseys, rain gear, bags, handle bars, and helmets. These are pretty solidly in their category too. I have found all these items at a low price without feeling like I was compromising. I really don't feel like spending more would enhance a trip much for me.

I am kind of in between on tents, pedals, sleeping bag, and bike. Depending on the conditions likely to be encountered some of these could be bumped up or down. More severe weather definitely bumps up the tent and sleeping bag, but typical weather for most Summer touring in the US isn't that demanding and I can do fine with a $75 Slumberjack bag. On the tent front... Last Summer three of us shared a 4 man tent (Tetragon 8) that was $80 and weighed 9 pounds. In that size category the price jump is huge to upgrade much and it is tough to save much weight even if you spend a lot.
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Old 09-02-08, 06:37 AM   #7
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So the question is...for long distance touring what are some decent models of helmets? Since all makes make the safety standards, other important consideration might be weight, aerodynamics, sun protection, cost, etc.
Haven't really toured yet, but I'd say aerodynamics is the least of your concerns. Fit first, then a visor and lots of vents. I like having a visor. I use a Bell Sweep MTB I got on sale at Nashbar for about $60 for normal commuting.
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Old 09-02-08, 06:56 AM   #8
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More expensive usually is because of less material so less weight and more ventilation. Also the harnesses are easier to adjust when they have a ratchet thingie (but velcro works fine too).

Just get one that fits, is comfortable, has a visor, and dosen't have a forehead pad that will rub and irritate your skin when it gets all sweaty.
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Old 09-06-08, 07:31 PM   #9
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So ended up getting the Bell Citi helmet. The lines of the helmet appealed to me since I'm not too partial to the aerodynamic look of most brands. Plus the helmet seemed to fit me well.

http://www.bellbikehelmets.com/produ...asp?prodID=10#

I guess because it is the end of the season, had trouble finding the model in stock except in a bright orange colour which is good for visibility while touring but probably not for me. I ended up finding the last one in stock in a BS way across of the city but it had a charcoal fabric finish, instead of the normal plastic covering. I guess that fabric finish is OK...possibly more difficult to keep clean. There maybe be other downsides but considering that helmets are only supposed to last a couple of years, it's not a long term commitment.

I paid only $50 which was quite a bit less expensive than the list price of any of the other stores I visited so think I got a pretty good deal.

I probably would have paid at least double had I not consulted the "Forum", who mostly advised not to spend too much on this piece of equipment.

Thanks all for your input!
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Old 09-06-08, 07:51 PM   #10
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Nice find at 50$. Good for ya!
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