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Bell Helmet Circa 1979

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Bell Helmet Circa 1979

Old 12-17-18, 01:21 PM
  #1  
BarryVee
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Bell Helmet Circa 1979

Maybe time to hang this one up?
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Old 12-17-18, 03:29 PM
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You must like this helmet a lot to be using it for so long. It has a hard shell. From what I have been told, the Styrofoam will get harder over time and that is the part that should yield when hit. If it is hard it may not absorb the impact the way it once was supposed to. It may be time for a new helmet. I like some of the new helmets will break down one of these days and get a new one myself.

It will definitely identify you as a long time rider. It will also identify you with not updating to newer stuff. Besides wearing an old helmet must be better than no helmet.
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Old 12-17-18, 03:37 PM
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I used to wear a white vetta that looked a bit like that. Cool stuff.
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Old 12-17-18, 03:45 PM
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In 1979 this was the helmet for serious cyclists.
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Old 12-17-18, 03:49 PM
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Ya think? They have a shelf life, pretty sure it ain't 30 years, just sayin.
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Old 12-17-18, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BarryVee View Post
Maybe time to hang this one up?
That’s the original Bell Biker. I used that same helmet for over 20 years. I still have the helmet but (obviously) have moved on. Is it worth keeping? Not sure... but I’m holding on to mine for sentimental reasons since I did many long distance, self contained tours with that helmet.
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Old 12-17-18, 05:11 PM
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I still have my old Bell Biker as well. Hasn't been used much in the last 20 years since it's considerably heavier than recent models. But I'd be inclined to trust its protective properties more than my newer Bell model (which is only 25 years old) due to that thicker and heavier outer Lexan shell.
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Old 12-17-18, 05:24 PM
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Nice museum piece. "Heavy" doesn't begin to describe it, compared to today's options. Not to mention the awful adjustment/sizing of those old buckets. Some C&V is best left to be looked at and not used.

I went from a Biker, to a Tourlite, to a Vetta Corsa, to a Vetta Super Corsa (both with thinner but still "hard" shells), BITD. Then came the "microshell" generation. Now it seems to have come full circle. My latest POC Tectal has a shell that seems almost as thick/hard as those Vettas. Only waaaay lighter, more comfortable, better retension system by far, way easier to adjust, and more adjustment range (def a plus around now, with changing temps). I wouldn't be surprised if that Super Corsa is still in the basement somewhere....
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Old 12-17-18, 05:47 PM
  #9  
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Time to make it wall art.
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Old 12-17-18, 05:53 PM
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I still remember back in the early 80's pondering whether to buy one of these, but the general take back then was it was kinda goofy to wear hard helmets when cycling. But being a motorcyclist already back then I felt stupid not to even consider such. Leather hair nets would have been worse, as they were looked at as "race only" gear that pro and armature cyclists just tolerated. Even back then, leather hair nets just look really ancient and obviously inadequate gear for head protection.
So glad when the later "Tourlite" model came out as it actually had some modern style to it and even had an adjustable dark tinted plastic sun visor that I thought even made it look better. So that's the one I bought and used up to the mid 80's, but mostly only on long rides. Still a bit hesitant about wearing anything, especially as my TdF cycling heroes back then were all bare headed when racing.
But now when I look at the Bell Biker helmet, it does not look that bad being that it was actually quite minimalist in design and the air scoops gave it a bit of a modern zing to it which counteracts its mushroom cap looks enough, I think. It looks much better than its contemporaries like the "Skid Lid" and supposedly found out to not really be that effective as head protection.
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Old 12-17-18, 07:54 PM
  #11  
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I had two of those, back when people didn't generally wear helmets. One saved my life. The other did me a smaller but similar favor. It was heavy and hot.
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Old 12-17-18, 07:58 PM
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I miss my Bell V1 Pro.
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Old 12-17-18, 08:46 PM
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My friend Gene, left, wore his on the 2016 Eroica CA. I didn't know if the color was intended, or just faded from white.
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Old 12-17-18, 09:04 PM
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Nothing sez ,Im A "Fred" like a Bell Helmet.

But I do like Vintage stuff!
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Old 12-17-18, 09:39 PM
  #15  
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Five years shelf life, give or take, per this site.

https://helmets.org/replace.htm
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Old 12-17-18, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
Five years shelf life, give or take, per this site.

https://helmets.org/replace.htm
That site does say "Most manufacturers now recommend that helmets be replaced after five years, but some of that may be just marketing." but note the marketing caveat.

The site also says "In 2015 MEA Forensic reported on their extensive testing of used (but not crashed) bicycle helmets shows that the foam liners retain their performance over many years. Some of the helmets were as old as 26 years. They crash tested 675 helmets in their lab. Their analysis showed that there was no significant impact performance change with age. Their data including all 675 helmets tested produced only a 0.7g per year increase in impact readings at the higher drop height. After crash testing the helmets on a standard test rig, MEA took core samples from an uncrashed area of 63 helmets and tested them. This generated data based solely on the foam performance. Again, the findings indicate that helmet liner foam does not deteriorate with age."
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Old 12-18-18, 11:20 AM
  #17  
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My riding buddy used his original Bell like yours right up into the mid 90's.
I've never had one of those, but have three old helmets around for dress-uip.
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Old 12-18-18, 12:09 PM
  #18  
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Never had a Skid-Lid. Those straps look like something pre-Columbian... Think I had one of those cloth-covered jobs somewhere in the interim. Another technology best left to history...

(It just occurred to me; that Skid-Lid would probably fit just right over a Mountie hat, albeit offset by 45 degrees.....)
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Old 12-18-18, 12:12 PM
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I had that helmet until 1993. I locked it to my bike in Cambridge (UK) and someone stole it off my bike. Since I got it about 1979 and probably never once cleaned it, I cannot imagine the thief got its money's worth.
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Old 12-18-18, 12:37 PM
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Always wondered who would wear a used helmet.
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Old 12-18-18, 01:10 PM
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Who'd ride a USED bike?
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Old 12-18-18, 01:51 PM
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That helmet saved my life at a time when there was perhaps one or two other helmets that could have. (I heard reports that Bailen was a good helmet. I never saw one.)

That said, I had real brain damage from being slammed back. I would have fared a lot better in a modern helmet that wold have been destroyed by the impact. (My Biker was nearly untouched; just a patch of road rash and the foam was compacted perhaps halfway immediately under the road rash.

The one good thing about those helmets that I wish was still around - the simple two D-rings for the chin strap. So easy to adjust for both different head gear and to accommodate the reality that what is comfortably snug changes as (at least) I do as I ride. Put it on, snug it up and a few miles later, give it another tug. The helmets I've ridden the past couple of decades have adjusts I have to stop and take the helmet off the do. They slip. I end up taking a sewing awl and making the best adjustment permanent, but it is a compromise between no hat and my winter hat so I don't need tools to go between the two. Micky Mouse. I love the rapidly adjustable head bands of the modern helmets but that simple D-ring strap was simply better than what's out there now if you ride in varying weather.

Outside that one gripe, modern helmets are radically better than that old Biker - for protection and comfort. So I would never ride my old one (if I still had it) but I will be eternally grateful for it.

Ben
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Old 12-18-18, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
Always wondered who would wear a used helmet.
In Portland there are outfits that collect used helmets to give to those who otherwise could not afford them and would otherwise not be wearing one.

Ben
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Old 12-18-18, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Never had a Skid-Lid. Those straps look like something pre-Columbian... Think I had one of those cloth-covered jobs somewhere in the interim. Another technology best left to history...

(It just occurred to me; that Skid-Lid would probably fit just right over a Mountie hat, albeit offset by 45 degrees.....)
My riding partner rode a Skid-Lid. Had I been wearing one when I was riding to her house to meet up with her boyfriend for one if his epic rides, I wouldn't be posting now. They reminded me of our school issue hockey helmets, 1970. Those things were really bad. I played it safe. I played goalie and wore a decent helmet (and with a wire cage like the pro goalies finally came to decades later).

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Old 12-18-18, 04:26 PM
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^^^^^ Why did the "Wayne's World" theme just start playing in my head?....
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