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Safest & Nicest Looking Road Bike Helmet?

Old 11-14-19, 03:36 PM
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Kenukeanu
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Safest & Nicest Looking Road Bike Helmet?

Happy Thursday!

I am currently looking for a very safe and stylish bike helmet, I've seen helmets from Smith and Thousand and I like those looks. I was wondering if there were other helmets people preferred?

Thanks!
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Old 11-14-19, 03:41 PM
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I don't shop by looks*, I don't shop by price. I try on a whole bunch of helmets, and I buy the best fitting one. After making sure it's black.

If there is indeed such a thing as a stylish bike helmet, I've not seen it. They all look fairly ridiculous.

*not 100% true. I won't buy a Catlike, because they are hideous. Luckily they also don't fit my head well.
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Old 11-14-19, 09:00 PM
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All the kids seem to dig this.
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Old 11-15-19, 09:20 AM
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Been happy with my poc Octal, but I bought for safety, not looks. I always thought some of the Kasks were cool-looking, FWIW.
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Old 11-15-19, 11:31 AM
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All helmets sold in the U.S. have to meet a CPSC (or is that CSPC) standard. It is the most stringent in the world, and there is little upside to trying to exceed it, so afaik no manufacturers do so. So "safest helmet" is a non sequitor. All helmets available for sale in the US are equally safe. The only helmet I've ever owned is now just over 10 years old. It was $35. An overstock Giro from a year or two before. I have a 61cm circumference head and XL Giro's fit that, many don't. That's what shopping around gets you. Details of fit, liner comfort, visor/no visor, colors ... Helmet design falls in two main camps: hockey or skate style with a more or less solid shell and several round vent holes and what I call 'hairnet style' with lots of angular venting. The skate styles seem to be popular with commuters and recreational cyclists and the hairnet style with road racer types. Helmet adoption in the US is pretty good. Despite that serious injury and death incidents are increasing year over year. In the 10 years I have owned my helmet, and more importantly, in the 35 years that preceded them, I never have experienced an accident where a helmet was consequential to the outcome. Chances are GOOD that if you get into real trouble out there that no helmet made will save you. Recently my wife left her 10 year old helmet in the locker at her gym which discarded it. She bought a Giro Register on Amazon in Neon Green/Yellow. I absolutely recommend anyone serious about helmet safety buy this helmet, in this color, and then do everything in their power (and they have a lot) NOT to ever need it.

What are you waiting for?
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Old 11-15-19, 11:44 AM
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I'm a fan of the Smith helmets. I crashed with an Overtake and replaced it. I like that the Koyroid keeps bees out. I also like the look of some of the Bontrager road helmets, though they can tend to look like mushrooms on folks with smaller heads.

Most helmets are going to be safe, so long as they fit properly and are replaced after an impact.

Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post

*not 100% true. I won't buy a Catlike
Aww, I actually kind of like Catlike. I'm also not allowed to choose paint colors or really any kind of decoration for the house, so there's that.
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Old 11-15-19, 11:49 AM
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I'd still be wearing a Smith if they weren't getting progressively more expensive-- when I crashed mine, I went online to look for a replacement, and it was about $80 more than I had paid for the Smith the first time. So I got a Kask.

I would also not allow anyone who likes Catlike to pick out paint or art, either. Most everything Catlike puts out is a trypophobe's nightmare.
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Old 11-15-19, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
All helmets sold in the U.S. have to meet a CPSC (or is that CSPC) standard. It is the most stringent in the world, and there is little upside to trying to exceed it, so afaik no manufacturers do so. So "safest helmet" is a non sequitor. All helmets available for sale in the US are equally safe. The only helmet I've ever owned is now just over 10 years old. It was $35. An overstock Giro from a year or two before. I have a 61cm circumference head and XL Giro's fit that, many don't. That's what shopping around gets you. Details of fit, liner comfort, visor/no visor, colors ... Helmet design falls in two main camps: hockey or skate style with a more or less solid shell and several round vent holes and what I call 'hairnet style' with lots of angular venting. The skate styles seem to be popular with commuters and recreational cyclists and the hairnet style with road racer types. Helmet adoption in the US is pretty good. Despite that serious injury and death incidents are increasing year over year. In the 10 years I have owned my helmet, and more importantly, in the 35 years that preceded them, I never have experienced an accident where a helmet was consequential to the outcome. Chances are GOOD that if you get into real trouble out there that no helmet made will save you. Recently my wife left her 10 year old helmet in the locker at her gym which discarded it. She bought a Giro Register on Amazon in Neon Green/Yellow. I absolutely recommend anyone serious about helmet safety buy this helmet, in this color, and then do everything in their power (and they have a lot) NOT to ever need it.

What are you waiting for?
Good post but consider adding MIPS, Wave or one of the other slip technologies to CSPC. These technologies allow the liner of the helmet to slip vs the shell, meaning that as the side of your helmet grinds on the road, your head is being spun less aggressively, quite possibly lowering the accelerations your brain sees significantly.

I did an informal test of the MIPS concept a couple of weeks before I first heard about it. Did a hard over-the-bars crash with a Bell helmet and the chinstrap not pulled very tight. Helmet spun, knocking off my glasses, cutting my face with them, nearly taking my ear off with the chin strap - but - no concussion whatsoever. (I was fully aware of my head hitting hard and my helmet grinding along the road.) Now I had a very serious TBI 40 years before and have had NFL levels of "loose brain syndrome" since. Small knocks to my head are concussions because my brain isn't anchored.

That was a bad crash. Broken bones, acres of road rash and bruises. But no concussion at all. I did have a monetary lapse of consciousness while the crash was happening but as soon as I stopped sliding, I was clear as a bell. The car that was behind me was right where it should be, not any closer. (That lapse of consciousness was my brain saying "you really don't need to see this" as my bones were being broken and skin erased. Then I flipped over and lost more skin on my other side. Don't remember the flip at all but the evidence was hard to argue.)

When I read about MIPS a few weeks later is was "I'm on board". Took more than a year to find one in my size and white. Now MIPS and several other competing technologies are offered by almost everyone. (My helmets will always be white, yellow or fluorescent green except I detest fluorescent green. Yellow is better daytime, white at night. I ride both.)

Ben
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Old 11-15-19, 02:00 PM
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There's an outfit called Park and Diamond that has a very nice looking new design for helmets. The videos about its shock absorption compared to standard foam look convincing.
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Old 11-15-19, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
All helmets sold in the U.S. have to meet a CPSC (or is that CSPC) standard. It is the most stringent in the world, and there is little upside to trying to exceed it, so afaik no manufacturers do so. So "safest helmet" is a non sequitor. All helmets available for sale in the US are equally safe. The only helmet I've ever owned is now just over 10 years old. It was $35. An overstock Giro from a year or two before. I have a 61cm circumference head and XL Giro's fit that, many don't. That's what shopping around gets you. Details of fit, liner comfort, visor/no visor, colors ... Helmet design falls in two main camps: hockey or skate style with a more or less solid shell and several round vent holes and what I call 'hairnet style' with lots of angular venting. The skate styles seem to be popular with commuters and recreational cyclists and the hairnet style with road racer types. Helmet adoption in the US is pretty good. Despite that serious injury and death incidents are increasing year over year. In the 10 years I have owned my helmet, and more importantly, in the 35 years that preceded them, I never have experienced an accident where a helmet was consequential to the outcome. Chances are GOOD that if you get into real trouble out there that no helmet made will save you. Recently my wife left her 10 year old helmet in the locker at her gym which discarded it. She bought a Giro Register on Amazon in Neon Green/Yellow. I absolutely recommend anyone serious about helmet safety buy this helmet, in this color, and then do everything in their power (and they have a lot) NOT to ever need it.

What are you waiting for?
VA Tech would disagree that they're all about the same:

https://www.helmet.beam.vt.edu/bicyc...t-ratings.html
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Old 11-17-19, 12:19 AM
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I crashed last week wearing a POC Octal with MIPS (to reduce rotational trauma). I made contact at the left front, fracturing the expanded foam/polystyrene and wrinkling the plastic skin. POC now has their own tech called SPIN, but even with my average head that fits most lids, I need to try before I buy. MIPS is probably more forgiving of non-"average" head shapes because of how it isolates the head from the helmet.

The Bontrager Specter fit my head well. I'm going with that. The chin straps loosen too easily, so I stitched the adjusting side in place after I found my fit (same issue with the POC). Hidden under the sweat pad at the back end is an adjustment for the BOA fixation system. If it's too hot, I may keep that for cool season rides and go back to POC for warm season rides.

Good luck!
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Old 11-17-19, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
VA Tech would disagree that they're all about the same:

https://www.helmet.beam.vt.edu/bicyc...t-ratings.html
Yeah, you kind of just made my point. Like anyone could really discern an actual safety difference between the worst helmet on that list and the best. You really should just give up this tireless quest to discredit my posts. The harder you try the less it succeeds.
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Old 11-17-19, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Good post but consider adding MIPS, Wave or one of the other slip technologies to CSPC.
The Giro Register is a MIPS technology helmet.

What are you waiting for?
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Old 11-17-19, 12:49 PM
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I'm no helmet guru, but correct me if I have this wrong. Is it not the case that none of these technologies in a bike helmet (MIPS, Spin, the WaveCel stuff) has clearly shown any kind of scientific improvement in clinical outcomes for cyclists in accidents? Maybe I have missed it, but I am pretty sure that is correct. So, what we're really doing is telling everyone they must adopt this great new technology, but we actually don't really know if it helps. We think it should, but we' don't know that yet. I am totally for prevention of head injuries, but this now, what's going on with these different technologies, it sounds to me like a lot of marketing and not much science. We think it should help, and that's great, but we have yet to actually document that fact. I wouldn't personally object to a helmet with one of these approaches, but I also would not go out of my way to get one with. Maybe I'm old and grumpy, but I've seen a lot of products marketed hard early that later were shown to be of little or no benefit, or, worse, were doing harm. So I'll stick with my simple, basic poc Octal until it dies or we get some actual , meaningful data. Then, I'd be happy to buy some new helmets.
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Old 11-17-19, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
All the kids seem to dig this.
the search is over! Just ordered it, thanks
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Old 11-17-19, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
I'm no helmet guru, but correct me if I have this wrong. Is it not the case that none of these technologies in a bike helmet (MIPS, Spin, the WaveCel stuff) has clearly shown any kind of scientific improvement in clinical outcomes for cyclists in accidents? Maybe I have missed it, but I am pretty sure that is correct. So, what we're really doing is telling everyone they must adopt this great new technology, but we actually don't really know if it helps. We think it should, but we' don't know that yet. I am totally for prevention of head injuries, but this now, what's going on with these different technologies, it sounds to me like a lot of marketing and not much science. We think it should help, and that's great, but we have yet to actually document that fact. I wouldn't personally object to a helmet with one of these approaches, but I also would not go out of my way to get one with. Maybe I'm old and grumpy, but I've seen a lot of products marketed hard early that later were shown to be of little or no benefit, or, worse, were doing harm. So I'll stick with my simple, basic poc Octal until it dies or we get some actual , meaningful data. Then, I'd be happy to buy some new helmets.
Yeah, that was what I was trying to figure out. I saw a bunch of helmets online boasting about MIPS and other new safety innovations. But wasn’t sure if they actually made a huge difference.
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Old 11-17-19, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Yeah, you kind of just made my point. Like anyone could really discern an actual safety difference between the worst helmet on that list and the best. You really should just give up this tireless quest to discredit my posts. The harder you try the less it succeeds.
Don't know why you'd want to make this personal, but are you under some delusion that people are actually "crediting" your posts?

The whole point of testing them is because we hopefully will never encounter irl the consequences of the differences we can't discern. All other things being equal, I'll go with a combination of good score, good price and good fit, figuring it probably does affect my probabilities of serious head injuries in a small but statistically significant degree. I'd rather the testing be done on a device other than my head, thank you.
I realize that the probability of hitting my head on any given ride are pretty low, but I've worked with and known people with tbi, and it's not something I'd like to experience.
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Old 11-17-19, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
I'm no helmet guru, but correct me if I have this wrong. Is it not the case that none of these technologies in a bike helmet (MIPS, Spin, the WaveCel stuff) has clearly shown any kind of scientific improvement in clinical outcomes for cyclists in accidents? Maybe I have missed it, but I am pretty sure that is correct. So, what we're really doing is telling everyone they must adopt this great new technology, but we actually don't really know if it helps. We think it should, but we' don't know that yet. I am totally for prevention of head injuries, but this now, what's going on with these different technologies, it sounds to me like a lot of marketing and not much science. We think it should help, and that's great, but we have yet to actually document that fact. I wouldn't personally object to a helmet with one of these approaches, but I also would not go out of my way to get one with. Maybe I'm old and grumpy, but I've seen a lot of products marketed hard early that later were shown to be of little or no benefit, or, worse, were doing harm. So I'll stick with my simple, basic poc Octal until it dies or we get some actual , meaningful data. Then, I'd be happy to buy some new helmets.
I'm not going to tell you that's irrational because it's better to have a helmet on your head than none, and there's definitely some trade-offs in fit, comfort and price between the different types.

I wouldn't take the lack of clinical data as very significant, however, as I doubt there's enough of a database of incidents in which the make and model is known, and I'd expect that the potential for spurious correlation caused by different types of riders buying different kinds of helmets. The smaller the database, the harder it is to control for inherent differences in safety between different styles of riding.
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Old 11-18-19, 04:49 AM
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The safest helmet is the one that is most comfortable.

The best looking ones aren't on the floor.

There could be a connection between these two values.
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Old 11-19-19, 02:45 PM
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Purely personal opinion, but the Laser Z1 helmet is by far the most comfortable and best looking helmet I own. I have Specialized & Giro helmets as well but since getting the Lazer, I'm sticking with it and buying another.

The "best" helmet in the world is useless unless it's a comfortable fit and you like it and wear it. Try them on! And look for features like the MIPS and some of the new "cell" technologies on offer. And if that means spending several hundred dollars, compare that with a TBI. Ultimately you should buy the helmet that your head is worth. Which means most of our Senators & Congress members should ride bikes with "Dixie Cups" taped to their heads.
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Old 11-21-19, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by tgenec86 View Post
Purely personal opinion, but the Laser Z1 helmet is by far the most comfortable and best looking helmet I own. I have Specialized & Giro helmets as well but since getting the Lazer, I'm sticking with it and buying another.

The "best" helmet in the world is useless unless it's a comfortable fit and you like it and wear it. Try them on! And look for features like the MIPS and some of the new "cell" technologies on offer. And if that means spending several hundred dollars, compare that with a TBI. Ultimately you should buy the helmet that your head is worth. Which means most of our Senators & Congress members should ride bikes with "Dixie Cups" taped to their heads.
And the president should just wear his combover.
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Old 11-27-19, 08:32 PM
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Diggin this lid

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Old 11-28-19, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
VA Tech would disagree that they're all about the same:

https://www.helmet.beam.vt.edu/bicyc...t-ratings.html
Thanks for this. I'll refer to it when I shop for my next helmet.
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Old 12-04-19, 10:29 AM
  #24  
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Best helmet? Probably one that meets FIA 8860-2018, like a Bell HP77:
https://d3lp4xedbqa8a5.cloudfront.ne...ell-helmet.jpg

Hours of reading about bicycle helmets: https://helmets.org/index.htm

To further winnow helmets, I'd look for one that had a smooth, rounded shape sans 'tail fin' snag points, and one that offered extended rear occipital lobe coverage, and in bright white.

Okay, so you paid big bucks for a helmet that 'bests the tests'. Make sure you wear it in a way that will do you the most good (many folks wear their straps far too loose, and/or the helmet tilted too far back).

https://helmets.org/fit.htm
https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.do...g-a-helmet.pdf
https://momentummag.com/bike-helmet-fit/
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Old 12-04-19, 11:24 AM
  #25  
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'Nicest looking' is tricky. Can't test for that or put a number on it. A couple of fashion helmet companies seem to have gone out of business. Abus no longer offers the natty Cyclonaut; Gyro no longer offers their Section model with a leather cover. A cork+leather+tweed helmet on the show circuit never made production.




Bandbox has a base helmet with hat-like covers.
The Lazer Street+ DLX is offered in a 'wood look' finish.
Troxel offers some very spiffy helmets...for equestrians.
Yakkay offers helmets with fashion covers.

Last edited by tcs; 12-04-19 at 11:35 AM.
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