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Expensive road bike helmets, a marketing scam?

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Expensive road bike helmets, a marketing scam?

Old 10-14-14, 02:22 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
They should sell bikes by the pound too. A lighter bike should cost less.
Easy just add holes.
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Old 10-14-14, 07:00 AM
  #27  
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More holes = more cost = more of a scam! Just dont buy into it. Let them sit on the shelf, the mfg will get the message.
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Old 10-14-14, 07:25 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by jgadamski View Post
It seems crazy, the premiums placed on ultra-light gear of any sort for bicyles. A guy I know rode from Seattle to NYC in 1956 at age 14 on a Raleigh 3 speed and no helmet. I have witnessed bikes used for all sorts of utility around the world, bikes you would swear were made of plumbing pipe... we Yanks seem a bit pre-occupied with the tech and forget the other reasons you ride: health, social, pleasure. You COULD do that on a Raleigh 3 speed and NO helmet if we allowed ourselves.
+1

We have CF road bikes for fitness rides, track bikes and mountain bikes. All fun. However, the bikes that by far get the most use and that we enjoy the most are our steel framed city bikes that we ride for most of our shorter distance transportation. Simple to ride and no need for any special shoes, clothes or helmets — just get on and ride.
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Old 10-14-14, 07:37 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by walrus1 View Post
I wouldn't use the word shame. Marketing ploy in some cases? Definitely! However, you can find an aerodynamic and well vented head protector if you know where to look.

I'm shocked this topic is still up and civil in tone.
One could even make their own, if they have the courage to think out of the box
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Old 10-14-14, 10:29 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
Not a debate about whether helmets are safe or not (wow, seems like always need this disclaimer when discussing helmets, or is it just me?)

Anyway.... expensive helmets are expensive because they're lighter, and they also have more air vents, which means they have less material, which means they are lighter, which seems pretty obvious to me.

So are companies making more money off us by encouraging us to buy the virtues of a well vented helmet which is lighter (duh, obviously, more holes!) but charging us more for it?
I pay more for shoes that are light and fit well too. More for clothes that fit the way I want them to and are built better. I pay more for knives that with ergonomic handles, well designed blades, and good balance. I paid more for a high end ****** that fit my hand, was more accurate, and was more reliable. I pay more for a car that suits my particular needs and preferences. Why should a helmet be any different? If you don't care about fit, cooling, aerodynamics, or engineering, there's no reason not to go with the cheapest helmet you can keep on your head. But if those thinsg mean anything to you, there's no reason to pay an appropriate premium for the characteristics you want.
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Old 10-14-14, 11:24 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
+1
We have CF road bikes for fitness rides, track bikes and mountain bikes. All fun. However, the bikes that by far get the most use and that we enjoy the most are our steel framed city bikes that we ride for most of our shorter distance transportation. Simple to ride and no need for any special shoes, clothes or helmets — just get on and ride.
i walk for most of my shorter distance transportation. it allows me to slow down, smell the roses, breathe in the fresh air, and interact with people.
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Old 10-14-14, 11:35 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Helmets are like most anything else. Since there are Fed rules, there is little difference in them.
The fed rules just mean that they all meet a basic lower limit of safety. It doesn't mean that some helmets are not safer than others. It doesn't mean that some helmets are not far superior. Cheap helmets from department stores use sticky backed foam as a "fit" system. Better helmets have a variety of adjustable bands, some are much nicer to work with. Personally I feel safer in a nice Bell or POC helmet with a band that's properly fit to my skull than in a plastic pot with a bunch of packing foam wedged in.

Take a look at hard hats. They have adjustable bands to make sure they stay properly positioned on your head.

Personally I think that the CPSC standards were partially developed to be a compromise between safety and "bicycles are clearly toys so nobody wants to spend much money on them." Also the CPSC standard is pretty badly outdated at this point.

You can go with imports that use the MIPS system which is more modern and probably a lot safer. I bought a POC Trabec Race MIPS, got it on a pretty deep discount sale for I think something like $140.
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Old 10-14-14, 11:37 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
No one's putting a sidearm to your head, or claiming that spending more gets you more protection. So consider it a fashion and preference issue.

If you wany a lighter or trendier helmet, you're free to pay for that. If you only care about protection, there are plenty of less pricey choices out there.

I don't see anything by way of a scam here. Certainly no worse than bringing out newer, pricier bikes every year.
I'm reluctant to buy new helmets. I got an Atmos about six years ago because it fit my oval shaped head better than most helmets that are "rounder."

I was in the shop a few months ago and just happened to pick up an Atmos and noticed the damn thing seemed to weigh half of what mine did and the holes were much larger.

I went ahead and bought one and it is much cooler and I can actually feel a lot more air on my head. I don't care if it's new or trendy, but it's definitely better.
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Old 10-14-14, 11:56 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
i walk for most of my shorter distance transportation. it allows me to slow down, smell the roses, breathe in the fresh air, and interact with people.
Why don't you choose to enjoy those benefits for your longer distance transportation too?
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Old 10-14-14, 12:27 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Why don't you choose to enjoy those benefits for your longer distance transportation too?
touchÚ

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~60%: adrenaline junky.
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Old 10-14-14, 12:33 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
The fed rules just mean that they all meet a basic lower limit of safety. It doesn't mean that some helmets are not safer than others. It doesn't mean that some helmets are not far superior. Cheap helmets from department stores use sticky backed foam as a "fit" system. Better helmets have a variety of adjustable bands, some are much nicer to work with. Personally I feel safer in a nice Bell or POC helmet with a band that's properly fit to my skull than in a plastic pot with a bunch of packing foam wedged in.
I find the bolded funny because "packing foam" is exactly what helmets are made out of. I don't know of any that are made out of EPP. They are all EPS. Actually, I guess they are not made out of "packing foam" because I manufacture a lot of EPP for packaging for electronics. EPP has more impact absorption. Your new Dell packaged in EPP is better protected than your head with the chunk of EPS protecting you while you ride your bike.
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Old 10-14-14, 01:20 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
I pay more for shoes that are light and fit well too. More for clothes that fit the way I want them to and are built better. I pay more for knives that with ergonomic handles, well designed blades, and good balance. I paid more for a high end ****** that fit my hand, was more accurate, and was more reliable. I pay more for a car that suits my particular needs and preferences. Why should a helmet be any different? If you don't care about fit, cooling, aerodynamics, or engineering, there's no reason not to go with the cheapest helmet you can keep on your head. But if those thinsg mean anything to you, there's no reason to pay an appropriate premium for the characteristics you want.
Really? I can't even mention a ***** without being censored? I simply used it as an example of an item that comes in inexpensive basic models that perform the same task as more expensive models, but arguably at different levels.
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Old 10-14-14, 01:28 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
touchÚ

~40%: civil disobedience.
~60%: adrenaline junky.
Honesty is the best policy.
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Old 10-14-14, 02:54 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
I find the bolded funny because "packing foam" is exactly what helmets are made out of. I don't know of any that are made out of EPP. They are all EPS. Actually, I guess they are not made out of "packing foam" because I manufacture a lot of EPP for packaging for electronics. EPP has more impact absorption. Your new Dell packaged in EPP is better protected than your head with the chunk of EPS protecting you while you ride your bike.
There may be others, but the top two POC Receptor models have EPP, while the less expensive versions have EPS. The top most, expensive Receptor model also features the MIPS system. Example of other factors in more expensive helmets...
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Old 10-14-14, 06:34 PM
  #40  
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This pretty much sums up the situation: Cheap or Expensive Bicycle Helmets

However, cheap helmets use poor quality straps and buckles that will break sooner rather than later, cheap helmets use a crappy outer covering that will melt and distort in a hot environment like inside your car. Having said all of that I look for helmets that are being closed out that could normally sell for $150 range but I get them for at least 50% off. A $150 helmet will have better straps and buckles as well as a better helmet cover.
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Old 10-15-14, 03:13 AM
  #41  
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So it's been shown that they aren't a scam and in a market-driven society you can choose your gear based on your requirements and budget.

Helmets are a great thing, obviously. Remember that internal torso injuries are just as serious and deadly and endeavor to stay out of harm's way as best you can. Nothing is guaranteed in life, other than you know what.

Any thread with helmets in it somewhere is some kind of helmet thread, by definition. This may not be the wrong kind but it seems to be repeating itself anyway.
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Old 10-15-14, 10:39 AM
  #42  
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It's back to what a consumer thinks is better for them, and in most cases it's all about marketing and sales. On the weekend, I overheard a sales guy at one of my LBS answer a customer who just bought a new bike for her daughter about a bike helmets for the daughter. He said something to the effect of - "well, the cheaper one is like your basic helmet and will protect her head. But the more expensive one has better materials and will be MUCH SAFER for her in the long run!!!!".

After they left that section of the store, I checked out the two helmets - the cheapest one was around $19 and the one the lady wound up buying for her daughter cost just over $120. So at least the store punched in an extra $100 on that sale.
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Old 10-15-14, 11:34 AM
  #43  
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To pick on someone in a positive way, Giro has for their whole existence spent a ****ing fortune on research and development regarding strength, fit, and air circulation. An ultralight racer helmet has some practical application outside of elite competitive sport, too. My wife has a nerve and muscle condition affecting her neck and a featherweight helmet is a major enhancement to her ability to enjoy cycling. She alternates between a Giro Ionos and a Specialized S-Works, and is eagerly awaiting the new Giro Psyche (?). Her ANSI-Snell approved microshell helmets weigh less than any leather hairnet I used forty years ago. Light weight and good ventilation are expensive and diffucult to engineer while maintaining impact standards. If you think they're a marketing scam you are seriously ignorant.
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Old 10-15-14, 12:32 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
Helmets are a great thing, obviously.

Any thread with helmets in it somewhere is some kind of helmet thread, by definition. This may not be the wrong kind but it seems to be repeating itself anyway.
To some, helmets are not a great thing and it is not obvious, which is why BF has a helmet thread for comments like this.

This is not the same kind of information which is debated in Helmet Thread, does not deserve to get shunted to the Helmet Thread ghetto or locked, outside of posts like yours.

Originally Posted by badrad View Post
It's back to what a consumer thinks is better for them, and in most cases it's all about marketing and sales. On the weekend, I overheard a sales guy at one of my LBS answer a customer who just bought a new bike for her daughter about a bike helmets for the daughter. He said something to the effect of - "well, the cheaper one is like your basic helmet and will protect her head. But the more expensive one has better materials and will be MUCH SAFER for her in the long run!!!!".

After they left that section of the store, I checked out the two helmets - the cheapest one was around $19 and the one the lady wound up buying for her daughter cost just over $120. So at least the store punched in an extra $100 on that sale.
Example of an excellent salesman but poor excuse for a human being.
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Old 10-15-14, 12:53 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
I find the bolded funny because "packing foam" is exactly what helmets are made out of.
I meant open-cell foam, which is what I think of as packing foam. Not styrofoam (which is used for packing as well, but has essentially no shock absorbent properties).

It seems to me that the main body of the helmet, made of styrofoam, is mainly there to prevent skull fracture. There's some conformity where the foam will crush if presented with sharp points, but no real compression to speak of. There's some crushability based on the ability to crush the foam down into the vents and voids. The plastic shell helps it to slide instead of catching on surfaces to keep from twisting your head off when you hit something.

There's really very little in the way of shock absorbing.

I've gone to the expense of buying a MIPS helmet which adds a shear layer inside to further reduce rotational acceleration on impact.

My problem with the open cell foam pads taped in as a sizing measure is that they allow the helmet to drift all over the place. The helmet should fit snugly on the skull and stay put so that it can work as designed.
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Old 10-16-14, 05:49 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I meant open-cell foam, which is what I think of as packing foam. Not styrofoam (which is used for packing as well, but has essentially no shock absorbent properties).

It seems to me that the main body of the helmet, made of styrofoam, is mainly there to prevent skull fracture. There's some conformity where the foam will crush if presented with sharp points, but no real compression to speak of. There's some crushability based on the ability to crush the foam down into the vents and voids. The plastic shell helps it to slide instead of catching on surfaces to keep from twisting your head off when you hit something.

There's really very little in the way of shock absorbing.

I've gone to the expense of buying a MIPS helmet which adds a shear layer inside to further reduce rotational acceleration on impact.

My problem with the open cell foam pads taped in as a sizing measure is that they allow the helmet to drift all over the place. The helmet should fit snugly on the skull and stay put so that it can work as designed.
For the record, it is expanded polystyrene (EPS) and not "styrofoam." Styrofoam is a brand name. I have been working in manufacturing foams for 19 years and currently work in research and development with EPP and EPE in comparison to other open and closed cell foams such as EPS or polyurethane. There is shock absorption properties in "styrofoam" as that is the material's main function. The "crushability" of foam beads is the shock absorption property. EPS has less compression strength, ie, it is more easily "crushed" compared to an EPP foam. What that tells you is that the impact absorption property will diminish with an increased strength of impact. Falling off your bike at 15 mph and hitting your head on the pavement, the EPS will compress and absorb the impact rather than the impact going to your skull. Someone swinging a baseball bat at your head might create more of an impact than the EPS can absorb, ie the impact may fully compress the foam, and the impact may affect your skull more than an impact to the ground.
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Old 10-16-14, 06:49 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
For the record, it is expanded polystyrene (EPS) and not "styrofoam." Styrofoam is a brand name. I have been working in manufacturing foams for 19 years and currently work in research and development with EPP and EPE in comparison to other open and closed cell foams such as EPS or polyurethane. There is shock absorption properties in "styrofoam" as that is the material's main function. The "crushability" of foam beads is the shock absorption property. EPS has less compression strength, ie, it is more easily "crushed" compared to an EPP foam. What that tells you is that the impact absorption property will diminish with an increased strength of impact. Falling off your bike at 15 mph and hitting your head on the pavement, the EPS will compress and absorb the impact rather than the impact going to your skull. Someone swinging a baseball bat at your head might create more of an impact than the EPS can absorb, ie the impact may fully compress the foam, and the impact may affect your skull more than an impact to the ground.
The question remains, does the expensive road bike helmet use a more head protective grade of material (whatever it is) than the relatively inexpensive helmets sold at department stores and discount stores, or is it the same stuff, perhaps shaped in a more stylish design?
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Old 10-16-14, 08:53 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
The question remains, does the expensive road bike helmet use a more head protective grade of material (whatever it is) than the relatively inexpensive helmets sold at department stores and discount stores, or is it the same stuff, perhaps shaped in a more stylish design?
I posted regarding POC's Receptor model, where the cheaper versions have EPS, but the top two exepensive models in the line, Receptor+ and Backcountry Receptor MIPS, feature EPP with the top model also having the MIPS system. But you specifically state road bike helmet, and in POC's case, their very not inexpensive Octal road bike helmet has EPS.
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Old 10-16-14, 09:28 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
There is shock absorption properties in "styrofoam" as that is the material's main function.
OK, I'll take your word for it, but I have my POC helmet right here, and I can squeeze the main body foam as hard as I can and I can't feel or see any deformation at all. I'd bet that in a rough collision I'd still get more benefit from crush than from compression.
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Old 10-16-14, 09:53 AM
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I want a bicycle helmet similar to this equestrian helmet.
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