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Do more expensive helmets offer more head protection?

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Do more expensive helmets offer more head protection?

Old 07-22-12, 06:45 PM
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Mithrandir
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Do more expensive helmets offer more head protection?

Over the weekend I was involved in an automobile collision. A car hit me from the side and I went flying into asphalt, head first. I am incredibly lucky that I was wearing a helmet; that thing is trashed beyond belief and the paramedics and emergency room doctor said that I would have either had major permanent brain damage or died altogether had I not been wearing a helmet. Hell of a thing to hear.

So eventually when I get back to cycling I'm going to need a new helmet. My first impulse is to buy the same helmet that saved my life; when push came to shove it worked perfectly. It was a relatively cheap helmet at $50, the Giro Rift. I originally bought it because it was one step up from the lowest level Giro helmet, and it had a visor so I could go cycling around sunup and sunset easily.

But now I'm thinking about getting a better helmet, reasoning that higher tier helmets might offer more protection. I'm still looking at visored helmets, but it looks like I have to go with a mountain bike helmet for higher-end helmets. But as I compare them I notice that the higher tier they go, the lighter the helmets are. They don't seem to spend any time comparing the relative safety ratings of each model, which now has me concerned...

Do higher-tier helmets actually sacrifice safety to make them more lightweight but appealing to weight-weenieism?

Anyone have a good recommendation for a road helmet with a visor? Or should I just go with another Giro Rift?

Thanks!
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Old 07-22-12, 07:16 PM
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The correct answer is it makes no difference.

And instead of depending on useless safety equipment, you ought to improve your road riding skills.
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Old 07-22-12, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by skye View Post
The correct answer is it makes no difference.

And instead of depending on useless safety equipment, you ought to improve your road riding skills.
Well, that sure helps.
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Old 07-22-12, 07:30 PM
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They all meet the same ANSI/Snell performance standards.

Intuitively, more foam to absorb energy through crushing and fewer cut-outs where a helmet could split would be more likely to take you beyond that minimum.
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Old 07-22-12, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by skye View Post
The correct answer is it makes no difference.

And instead of depending on useless safety equipment, you ought to improve your road riding skills.
WTF is wrong with you? Trying to spread the misery?

The OP shows that the equipment is surely NOT useless. And there is nothing in the post that in any way leads one to believe that road riding skills were an issue.

Go back to bed and get up on the right side...
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Old 07-22-12, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by skye View Post
The correct answer is it makes no difference.

And instead of depending on useless safety equipment, you ought to improve your road riding skills.

Useless? My helmet saved my life. That's about 180 degrees off from "useless". But I see you've decided to go ahead and insult me without knowing any of the details of the incident. Get a life.
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Old 07-22-12, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by skye View Post
The correct answer is it makes no difference.

And instead of depending on useless safety equipment, you ought to improve your road riding skills.
Actually you know what, this needs to be said. People like you are some of the most insidious I've ever met. Want to know why? You and your never-ending barages of claims that helmets aren't helpful were starting to get me to question whether I needed to wear a helmet at all. I hadn't quite reached the point of removing it, but I was asking myself "what if they are right?".

Well guess what. You aren't. My helmet saved my life and I will never again question their utility. I can't imagine the weight that will be put upon your soul if you manage to convince some other person that helmets are indeed useless, and then they go out and get their heads cracked open due to your irresponsible zealotry. Go away, and stop spewing your crap. It's wrong and I'm living (thanks to the helmet!) proof of it.
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Old 07-22-12, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
They all meet the same ANSI/Snell performance standards.

Intuitively, more foam to absorb energy through crushing and fewer cut-outs where a helmet could split would be more likely to take you beyond that minimum.
Thanks. I assume this means that less airflow means it's probably safer?
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Old 07-22-12, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
Useless? My helmet saved my life. That's about 180 degrees off from "useless". But I see you've decided to go ahead and insult me without knowing any of the details of the incident. Get a life.
Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
Actually you know what, this needs to be said. People like you are some of the most insidious I've ever met. Want to know why? You and your never-ending barages of claims that helmets aren't helpful were starting to get me to question whether I needed to wear a helmet at all. I hadn't quite reached the point of removing it, but I was asking myself "what if they are right?".

Well guess what. You aren't. My helmet saved my life and I will never again question their utility. I can't imagine the weight that will be put upon your soul if you manage to convince some other person that helmets are indeed useless, and then they go out and get their heads cracked open due to your irresponsible zealotry. Go away, and stop spewing your crap. It's wrong and I'm living (thanks to the helmet!) proof of it.
Hallelujah, you've been saved!

Take your sermons, Preacher, to the Helmet thread.
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Old 07-22-12, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Hallelujah, you've been saved!

Take your sermons, Preacher, to the Helmet thread.
I notice you didn't tell skye, the person who derailed this thread with unsubstantiated information in the first place, to take his sermons to that thread.
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Old 07-22-12, 08:06 PM
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Helmets must meet ANSI/Snell approval.
More expensive helmets may be lighter/cooler and still offer protection as your old helmet.
Instead of helmet with a visor attached, have you considered wearing a cycling cap under the helmet?
Been doing that since the 'old hairnet' days back in the 70s.
Glad you're OK and the helmet served its purpose.
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 07-22-12, 08:13 PM
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Almost all there is to know about bike helmets in once place: https://www.bhsi.org/
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Old 07-22-12, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post

Helmets must meet ANSI/Snell approval.
More expensive helmets may be lighter/cooler and still offer protection as your old helmet.
Instead of helmet with a visor attached, have you considered wearing a cycling cap under the helmet?
Been doing that since the 'old hairnet' days back in the 70s.
Glad you're OK and the helmet served its purpose.
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
How are they when dealing with sweat? I perspire quite a bit, I'd hate to overheat. Though I suppose if I am cycling near dusk or dawn that's less of a concern, but on very long rides I suppose I'd need to wear it the entire time. Any particular brands that are good?
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Old 07-22-12, 08:18 PM
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If it were me, I would stick with what has worked well for you. That's what I did a couple years back when I made use of my helmet and I needed to replace it.

I would also just ignore the other comments about helmets and their effectiveness. Clearly your helmet served its purpose in this case, but some folks will never see that fact. I find the forum's "ignore" feature to be very handy. If I don't care for a particular poster and their posting style/attitude, I just add them to my ignore list and never read a post of theirs again. I don't give them the time of day, nor will I waste my time arguing with people who seem to argue simply for the sake of argument.

With that being said, I'm glad that you are here to post this thread, mithrandir. I hope that you have a speedy recovery and are back on your bike soon.

Last edited by TomCat_Ford; 07-22-12 at 08:40 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-22-12, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
I notice you didn't tell skye, the person who derailed this thread with unsubstantiated information in the first place, to take his sermons to that thread.
Skye told you the unpleasant truth and apparently that is more than you can bear since your epiphany.

All helmets on the market are made to meet the same standard. Almost without exception they are manufactured to only meet the minimum CPSC standard and spending more money may buy you more comfort, ventilation or style points, but not any additional head protection
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Old 07-22-12, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Skye told you the unpleasant truth and apparently that is more than you can bear since your epiphany.
What unpleasant truth? My helmet saved my life, whereas he indicated that it was useless. Saving my life is the exact opposite of useless; it is in fact useful. Can't you read?
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Old 07-22-12, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TomCat_Ford View Post
If it were me, I would stick with what has worked well for you. That's what I did a of couple years back when I made use of my helmet and I needed to replace it.
That was indeed my initial thought. I mean what better product testimonial than having it work flawlessly when my life was on the line? I've got legal issues to work out about reimbursement, as well as not knowing how long it's going to take to get riding again, so I'll mull this around for a bit. Thanks!

I would also just ignore the other comments about helmets and their effectiveness. Clearly your helmet served its purpose in this case, but some folks will never see that fact. I find the forum's "ignore" feature to be very handy. If I don't care for a particular poster and their posting style/attitude, I just add them to my ignore list and never read a post of theirs again. I don't give them the time of day, nor will I waste my time arguing with people who seem to argue simply for the sake of argument.
Yeah no kidding. I honestly did not expect the first response to "a helmet saved my life, which one should I get to replace it?" would be "no it didn't, you're wrong and you suck at riding". Some people must live in an alternate reality.

With that being said, I'm glad that you are here to post this thread, mithrandir. I hope that you have a speedy recovery and are back on your bike soon.
Thanks, this ordeal has been trying on me to say the least.
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Old 07-22-12, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by skye View Post
The correct answer is it makes no difference.

And instead of depending on useless safety equipment, you ought to improve your road riding skills.
Probably the most tasteless post I've seen here.
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Old 07-22-12, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
Over the weekend I was involved in an automobile collision ... incredibly lucky that I was wearing a helmet; that thing is trashed beyond belief and the paramedics and emergency room doctor said that I would have either had major permanent brain damage or died altogether had I not been wearing a helmet. Hell of a thing to hear.
Glad to hear you came out of it ok. Nice to know you the helmet did it's job - that is one piece of equipment I would be happy to replace. No matter what anyone else says, at the very least you have a lot less of a headache and didn't get scalped. It's a good thing. I won't go without it. I hate headaches.
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Old 07-22-12, 08:59 PM
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Wow!, lots of [insert bad word here] in this thread. Definitely ignore them and use the "ignore" feature.

Glad you're OK.

Back to your question, I don't see any problem with getting the same helmet. If it felt comfortable, I'd go with the same helmet.

I use one of those weight weenie helmets (Bell Sweep R) and I have crashed with a similar weight weenie helmet in the past (my fault, went down hard, helmet trashed but head OK). I could concievably see the vents making the helmets slightly less impact absorbing, but I assume that since they passed the ANSI/SNELL standards there is no difference or the difference is negligible.

I've been looking at a Cannondale Teramo (I've a funny shaped head apparently, and other than Bell Helmets only the Cannondale fits me well). I used to have a Giro Helmet but it just never fit me right.

I can heartily recommend the Bell Sweep R or similar (though they are kind of pricey, I bought mine when for some reason Costco had them on sale for $40). It comes with a snap on visor. I don't know whether Bell still makes them.

The one thing I'm positive of is that higher priced helmets do not offer more protection than lower priced helmets. You're paying for weight, ventilation, possibly more fit options and looks.
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Old 07-22-12, 09:03 PM
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This thread has descended into the bowl the same way most helmet related threads do and I'm closing. Feel free to ask another mod to clean it up and re-open if you can find one willing to do so.

OP: You do have your answer. All helmets must meet the established criteria whether they costs 20 or 200 dollars. The extra money buys you lighter weight, better fit (possibly), better ventilation, better clips and buckles, better aesthetics (if you think so) and related issues but not more safety. The lighter weight and better ventilation is nice.
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