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Safest Helmet (Without regard to Ventilation or Weight)

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Safest Helmet (Without regard to Ventilation or Weight)

Old 03-30-13, 08:08 AM
  #1  
TromboneAl
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Safest Helmet (Without regard to Ventilation or Weight)

Last Sunday my wife's helmet, shown here:



probably saved her life in a crash. Even with the helmet, she had some bleeding on the brain, and spent two days in the hospital.

So, she actually wants to ride again, so she's in the market for a new helmet.

Around here, it rarely gets above 60 degrees, so ventilation is totally unnecessary. We don't want to spend extra just so that there's more ventilation. Also, a little extra weight is OK.

I'm thinking that something like this:



Will be a bit better than a standard road bike helmet.

Got some specific recommendations?
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Old 03-30-13, 08:17 AM
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If she is going to wear one, I would agree that the solid, smooth versions are likely to be superior from a safety perspective. One of the issues that is controversial about the standard bicycle helmet is that it may increase the tendency of the head to rotate when in contact with the ground or other object, and it is rotation that causes some of the worst brain injuries - the brain gets bounced around inside the skull. So a smooth one that is more likely to slide on impact is probably better.

Last edited by CbadRider; 03-30-13 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Deleted comments that belong in the Helmet thread
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Old 03-30-13, 12:41 PM
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To answer what I think is a question in the title topic of this thread:

I think a quality full face motor-cycle helmet would be the safest helmet you could wear without regard to ventilation or weight.
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Old 03-30-13, 01:01 PM
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That POC will be safer; they make the same model with their MIPS protection system, which they claim provides some protection from rotational injury -- known to be a big component in TBI.
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Old 03-30-13, 01:10 PM
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Old 03-30-13, 02:11 PM
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Please do not turn this into a Helmet Thread pro/con debate. Any posts heading in that direction will be deleted.
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Old 03-30-13, 03:54 PM
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Bicycle helmets come in all varieties of ventilation, weight and price. As long as the helmet complies with the 'U.S. CPSC Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets for Persons Age 5 and Older', they are equally safe. This certification is based on a standard test. Of course in the extreme, even the best made helmet cannot overcome the effects of physics.
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Old 03-30-13, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rubic View Post
Bicycle helmets come in all varieties of ventilation, weight and price. As long as the helmet complies with the 'U.S. CPSC Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets for Persons Age 5 and Older', they are equally safe. This certification is based on a standard test. Of course in the extreme, even the best made helmet cannot overcome the effects of physics.
The fact that they all pass the same test does not mean they are "equally safe" any more than the fact that twenty kids pass the same exam means that they are all equally clever. Some will pass it more easily than others, and in any event the helmet testing regimen does not take account of rotational forces.
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Old 03-30-13, 04:33 PM
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all helmets are safe

ALL BICYCLE HELMETS, read ALL, must meet safety testing standards. They vary regarding air flow and comfort and style, but all bicycle helmets are about as safe as another.


dd
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Old 03-30-13, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by musicgalaxyman View Post
ALL BICYCLE HELMETS, read ALL, must meet safety testing standards. They vary regarding air flow and comfort and style, but all bicycle helmets are about as safe as another.


dd
A foolish conclusion. The helmets may vary considerably with regard both to the margin in which they exceed the testing specs, and their performance against parameters that are not covered in the testing. And the tests are extremely limited.
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Old 03-30-13, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
The fact that they all pass the same test does not mean they are "equally safe" any more than the fact that twenty kids pass the same exam means that they are all equally clever. Some will pass it more easily than others, and in any event the helmet testing regimen does not take account of rotational forces.
Incorrect. They are tested as equally safe. What is considered 'safe' is measured and certified. This does not mean that all head strikes will have positive outcomes. Like I said, physics trumps safety tests.
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Old 03-30-13, 05:27 PM
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I like my Bern Berkely helmet. It isn't good in the heat but is fine for up into the 60s. It is comfortable. https://www.amazon.com/Berkeley-Summe...n+helmet+women

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Old 03-30-13, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rubic View Post
Incorrect. They are tested as equally safe. What is considered 'safe' is measured and certified. This does not mean that all head strikes will have positive outcomes. Like I said, physics trumps safety tests.
The test requires a minimum standard to pass... some will barely pass and others will easily pass. A full face motorcycle helmet will pass just as a Giro bike helmet will, but it would be foolish to believe that the Giro bike helmet will protect one just as well as the motorcycle helmet.
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Old 03-30-13, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rubic View Post
Incorrect. They are tested as equally safe. What is considered 'safe' is measured and certified.
Nonsense. What is measured and certified is how they perform against a number of very limited tests. What is "safe" is another matter entirely, and depends wholly on the circumstances of the particular crash.

And you have yet to deal with the fact that real-world impacts may be very different from those tested for, and that different helmets may perform differently in those different and untested circumstances.
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Old 03-30-13, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rubic View Post
Incorrect. They are tested as equally safe. What is considered 'safe' is measured and certified. This does not mean that all head strikes will have positive outcomes. Like I said, physics trumps safety tests.
They are required to meet a certain minimum standard. Some may exceed that standard. For various reasons companies do not promote that their particular helmet exceeds those standards, so getting information can be difficult. Here is some info and links to some more info from Consumer Reports: https://www.bhsi.org/guide.htm

Interestingly, a very rounded helmet, a Bern Brighton, was rated poor for impact by Consumer Reports. Of course, as Chasm says, many factors go into what may protect you in an accident and impact protection isn't everything.
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Old 03-30-13, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by rubic View Post
They are tested as equally safe.
Sorry, unless you have a clear instance of a helmet being rejected because it is too safe, I am rejecting that concept.

As proof, Consumer Reports tested helmets, and some passed more stringent tests, and others failed. IOW, they all passed the standard tests, but were not all equally safe.


All but two models absorbed the force of impact within the limit set by the current Consumer Product Safety Commission standard. The two, both multisport helmets that claim to be usable for other activities such as skateboarding (which was not tested), slightly exceeded that limit in at least two out of three drops. We have judged them Poor for impact absorption in our Ratings (available to subscribers).

Of all the adult helmets we tested, only one [Specialized Echelon] provided the necessary protection in our own more-stringent test, in which we dropped helmets on the anvils at about 2 mph faster. At $60, it is a CR Best Buy. Three other helmets that met the government standard but did not pass our higher velocity test are recommended. All four of those helmets earned high scores for ventilation, fit adjustments, ease of use, and weight.

From: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/b...ying-guide.htm
OK, at this point, anyone who believes that all helmets are equally safe, I thank you for your time and opinion, and you are excused from the rest of the thread. I realize that there is a limited range of safety that's possible, but expect that some helmets are better at staying in place, fitting, and smoothly decelerating the head.

Also, I realize that I didn't specify an upper limit for weight or ventilation, so before anyone posts this picture:



I'll just say that I'm willing to accept a reasonable weight/ventilation penalty for improved safety.

Given that, any suggestions?

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Old 03-30-13, 07:11 PM
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OP...looks like you're on the right track towards selecting a helmet that may offer more protection than the standard bike helmets are tested for. Goldfinch, comment #15, posted a link to a page from a site with a lot of bike helmet related info. A link to a page with a lot of info about test standards and procedures from the same site: https://www.helmets.org/research.htm Note tabs at the top of the page. One of them leads to detailed reviews of helmets for this year, from a wide range of manufacturers.

Realistically, it may be difficult to estimate how much protection beyond the impact absorption it's been tested for, a given bike helmet design can provide. Info at the site the link leads to, says unequivocally that with few exceptions, bike helmets use the same type foam liner. Manufacturers have been experimenting, with for example, liner foam sandwiches using foams with two different shock absorption rates. Then there's the cardboard grid liner design, whose creator claims testing has proven it to offer substantially greater shock absorption than foam liners generally used. There's an article at the site about this design.

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Old 03-30-13, 07:34 PM
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POC Backcountry Receptor MIPS



POC Trabec Race MIPS


You'll pay a lot more than $60, but these helmets are what I'd go with for superiorest safety.
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Old 03-30-13, 08:18 PM
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If safety of the helmet was my only concern, I'd definitely get a helmet with the MIPS system. POC (as posted above) is the only bicycle helmet I know that makes adult helmets with it (Lazer makes kids helmets with it). If I was really, really concerned, I might go with a full face down hill skiing helmet with MIPS, but that is probably a bit overkill and I'd feel weird in a full face helmet (even in winter).

Update: Apparently Scott will be selling some MIPS helmets in the States soon. They seem to be already avilable in Europe: https://www.bicycling.com/mountainbik...t-taal-and-lin

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Old 03-30-13, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
To answer what I think is a question in the title topic of this thread:

I think a quality full face motor-cycle helmet would be the safest helmet you could wear without regard to ventilation or weight.
I was thinking the same thing.
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Old 03-30-13, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wsbob View Post
Realistically, it may be difficult to estimate how much protection beyond the impact absorption it's been tested for, a given bike helmet design can provide. Info at the site the link leads to, says unequivocally that with few exceptions, bike helmets use the same type foam liner. Manufacturers have been experimenting, with for example, liner foam sandwiches using foams with two different shock absorption rates. Then there's the cardboard grid liner design, whose creator claims testing has proven it to offer substantially greater shock absorption than foam liners generally used. There's an article at the site about this design.
The most logical and common sense post yet. It's also easy to forget most cycling accidents don't involve a head suddenly impacting the ground like the way Consumer Reports drops the weight. Rather a crash involves moving cyclist on a bike that hits the ground and other objects with forward momentum. Usually something other than the head hits first. So that foam liner might be the best thing going. It also may not. It's just no one knows for certain.
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Old 03-31-13, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wsbob View Post
OP...looks like you're on the right track towards selecting a helmet that may offer more protection than the standard bike helmets are tested for. Goldfinch, comment #15, posted a link to a page from a site with a lot of bike helmet related info. A link to a page with a lot of info about test standards and procedures from the same site: https://www.helmets.org/research.htm Note tabs at the top of the page. One of them leads to detailed reviews of helmets for this year, from a wide range of manufacturers.

Realistically, it may be difficult to estimate how much protection beyond the impact absorption it's been tested for, a given bike helmet design can provide. Info at the site the link leads to, says unequivocally that with few exceptions, bike helmets use the same type foam liner. Manufacturers have been experimenting, with for example, liner foam sandwiches using foams with two different shock absorption rates. Then there's the cardboard grid liner design, whose creator claims testing has proven it to offer substantially greater shock absorption than foam liners generally used. There's an article at the site about this design.
Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
The most logical and common sense post yet. It's also easy to forget most cycling accidents don't involve a head suddenly impacting the ground like the way Consumer Reports drops the weight. Rather a crash involves moving cyclist on a bike that hits the ground and other objects with forward momentum. Usually something other than the head hits first. So that foam liner might be the best thing going. It also may not. It's just no one knows for certain.

Stan...hey thanks. Re; testing labs type of and speed of impact used for helmet absorption evaluation: I'm guessing that manufacturers design bike helmets with not only the safety requirement needs of average commuter, around town, or recreational riders in mind, who logically would be by far their greatest market share, but also, racers, professional and otherwise, who would typically be traveling at speeds higher than that at which bike helmets are dropped onto lab anvils for the test evaluations. For them, even in the event of their head striking a hard surface in a secondary impact, they may benefit from the top speed at which helmets have been tested for, which according to this page at the BHSI, about testing by the Consumer Products Safety Commision:https://www.helmets.org/testing.htm, ranges from 11-14 mph. Degree of injury avoidance, or survivability, even with protective gear, parts of human anatomy such as neck and head impacting hard surfaces at speeds much faster than that, probably, as someone commented earlier, is a matter of physics. A person's body can take only so much.
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Old 03-31-13, 03:13 AM
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While racing and MTBing, I've seen a few heads hit the ground. Sometimes multiple impacts. One takeaway: the fit is critical.
The helmet needs to stay well positioned on the head to be useful. When shopping for a new one, I try on 10 helmets before I find one that's comfortable yet really latches on.
It would be pointless to zero in on a specific brand/model if it doesn't fit well. You need to go out shopping.
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Old 03-31-13, 06:21 AM
  #24  
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There are a number of good helmets that offer extended coverage of the occipital region (the lower back of the head) which is where the brain stem is located. Specialized has one out (can't think of the name right now) that has Kevlar in the shell for increased abrasion and penetration resistance and to help keep the helmet in one piece in a catastrophic impact against an irregular object. They also go through the Snell Foundation certification process of which I am a fan.

Just as important as the material in the helmet is the design. You want your helmet to absorb impact evenly and to skid whenever possible. The closer you come to a smooth sphere, the less likely it is to hang up and contribute to neck injury or to isolate the impact to a point contributing to helmet failure. They might not look cool and aero, but helmets without protrusions offer some protective advantages with only minimal loss in aerodynamics.

Here's one you might not expect: Enroll yourself and your spouse in a judo class. One of the key components of judo is the ability to fall and/or tumble in ways that distribute impact and protect vital organs, especially the head. I took some taekwondo with hapkido and judo components nearly 30 years ago. Last spring I went over the handlebars and without thinking landed on both hands with my elbows bent, tucked my head and did a decent shoulder roll. I bruised both wrists but otherwise came out without serious injury. If I would have hit head first or with my arms locked, it would have been a bad day. I believe I can contribute the good outcome to latent reflexes and muscle memory from something I learned decades ago.
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Old 03-31-13, 08:26 AM
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As I have posted before the best helmet I ever had was a Bell Tourlite that I bought back in the 80s. It had a Lexan shell that of course was tough as nails. I sure wish I could buy a brand new one just like it.
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