Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Which is the Safest Helmet?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Which is the Safest Helmet?

Old 06-03-15, 05:21 PM
  #1  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 190
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Which is the Safest Helmet?

If money is no object, which helmet do you deem to be the safest for commuting and why?

I just read an article that says "Most helmet designs haven’t changed in decades to account for different types of crashes... and only a newer kind of helmet engineered to deal with multiple types of forces would fully protect your brains from a bash."

(Please post links if possible.)
YouthInAsia is offline  
Old 06-03-15, 06:12 PM
  #2  
Señior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,749

Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)

Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
I have a POC Trabec Race MIPS helmet. It goes for about $250 retail. REI sells them for $230. I got one on a combination of sales at about $150.

MIPS helmets should be the safest ones around now, they incorporate far more modern knowledge about brain injury than the old CPSC standards.

They're right, the CPSC standards have not been updated in decades. Apparently congress (opposite of progress) forbids the CPSC from updating the standard unless they can show that the financial savings of reducing injury is greater than the financial hardship of forcing companies to change how they make helmets and of obsoleting old helmets. Yup, they want CPSC to put a dollar value on your brain damage. Your tax dollars protecting you.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline  
Old 06-03-15, 06:25 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 571
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
They're right, the CPSC standards have not been updated in decades. Apparently congress (opposite of progress) forbids the CPSC from updating the standard unless they can show that the financial savings of reducing injury is greater than the financial hardship of forcing companies to change how they make helmets and of obsoleting old helmets. Yup, they want CPSC to put a dollar value on your brain damage. Your tax dollars protecting you.
Where did you hear that?

Originally Posted by YouthInAsia
If money is no object, which helmet do you deem to be the safest for commuting and why?

I just read an article that says "Most helmet designs haven’t changed in decades to account for different types of crashes... and only a newer kind of helmet engineered to deal with multiple types of forces would fully protect your brains from a bash."

(Please post links if possible.)
There was a test of a few standard EPS foam based helmets. The regular helmets made of black foam.

Everything from a sub 20 dollar model to the pricey models performed almost identically in terms of reducing head acceleration.

Now, there are a few innovative designs out there, such as MIPS helmets, cardboard helmets, and green straw Koroyd helmets along with airbags held around your neck. I don't think any of them have been conclusively shown to be safer.

If you really, really want a safe helmet maybe consider a full-face mountain bike helmet. That way at least you won't get road rash on your face should you be hit or fall. Something like the Bell Super with a removable chinbar. That way you can choose whether you want the mouth guard there or not when you ride.

Last edited by Deontologist; 06-03-15 at 06:32 PM.
Deontologist is offline  
Old 06-03-15, 06:39 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 389
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Safest??

The Arai Corsair V Race Carbon would be about as safe as you will get.



Of course it is a motorcycle helmet and cost almost four thousand bucks
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
arai_corsair_v_helmet.jpg (23.7 KB, 19 views)
Wingsprint is offline  
Old 06-03-15, 10:20 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: San Jose, California
Posts: 141
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
The article doesn't describe the design of the helmet. It is too vague. The article is clearly against wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle.
Texboy is offline  
Old 06-03-15, 11:27 PM
  #6  
Bike Butcher of Portland
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,752

Bikes: It's complicated.

Liked 6,076 Times in 2,368 Posts
I think the right answer is "the one you'll wear".
gugie is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 12:17 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 13,153

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Liked 4,169 Times in 2,685 Posts
I was sold on MIPS when I first read about it because two weeks earlier I had crashed hard and slammed my head. My chinstrap wasn't tight and the helmet slid down my face, knocking off my glasses, the chinstrap nearly taking my ear off. I had cuts around my eye from my glasses. But ... no concussion. None at all. And this on a guy who has slammed his head enough that his brain is loose. I get concussions very easily. (A major head injury 40 years ago - coma and more than a few lesser head contacts since.)

So two weeks later I read that slippage apparently minimizes head injury. After what I just experienced, that made perfect sense to me. I now own a POC Trabec with MIPS. From REI. I didn't get the sale price. Just bought the first MIPS helmet I actually got my hands on that fit and was white or yellow. (I see accidents that don't happen because I am seen as even more important than protection when they happen.)

Plus of the POC - it's a really good helmet, very comfortable, very well thought out.

Ben
79pmooney is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 06:27 AM
  #8  
Señior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,749

Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)

Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by Deontologist
Where did you hear that?
Bicycling magazine, June 2013

What keeps them from revising their outdated 1999 standard is an onerous set of cost-benefit requirements that go far beyond that of any other government agency. If they can’t make an overwhelming case to change a rule, it doesn’t get touched. The requirement works like this: If an incremental safety improvement results in higher manufacturing costs, the realized value of the improvement must outweigh those costs. Preventing a theoretical number of concussions—that’s an extremely hard dollar value to prove.
(OK, 16 years, not "decades" - though I guess 1.6 decades still counts as "decades"...)
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 06:33 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mooresville, NC (Charlotte suburb)
Posts: 2,306

Bikes: Cannondale Synapse, Trek 5000 TCT, Giant OCR

Liked 22 Times in 18 Posts
Originally Posted by gugie
I think the right answer is "the one you'll wear".
Right. I was thinking, "the one on your head."
mgw4jc is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 07:02 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Tundra_Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 2,543

Bikes: '81 Panasonic Sport, '02 Giant Boulder SE, '08 Felt S32, '10 Diamondback Insight RS, '10 Windsor Clockwork, '15 Kestrel Evoke 3.0, '19 Salsa Mukluk

Liked 187 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by gugie
I think the right answer is "the one you'll wear".
I was thinking, "the one you never discover whether it works or not."
Tundra_Man is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 07:19 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Shimagnolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zang's Spur, CO
Posts: 9,091
Liked 5,696 Times in 2,957 Posts
Helmets: Bicycle Helmets
Shimagnolo is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 09:36 AM
  #12  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 190
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by gugie
I think the right answer is "the one you'll wear".
Originally Posted by mgw4jc
Right. I was thinking, "the one on your head."
From all I'm able to see and read it seems that everything from a cheapie Schwinn helmet to the $200+ Smith helmets offer the same level of protection. In that case, I gotta ask the next logical, and innocent question: I wonder why people would spend so much money on expensive helmets? I can understand 79pmooney's argument though.
YouthInAsia is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 10:04 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Cyclosaurus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Chicago Western 'burbs
Posts: 1,065

Bikes: 1993 NOS Mt Shasta Tempest, Motobecane Fantom Cross CX, Dahon Speed D7, Dahon Vector P8, Bullitt Superfly

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by YouthInAsia
From all I'm able to see and read it seems that everything from a cheapie Schwinn helmet to the $200+ Smith helmets offer the same level of protection. In that case, I gotta ask the next logical, and innocent question: I wonder why people would spend so much money on expensive helmets? I can understand 79pmooney's argument though.
Weight
Ventilation
Style
Marketing
Cyclosaurus is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 10:16 AM
  #14  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 190
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus
Weight
Ventilation
Style
Marketing
Oh yeah. I can't dispute those things either. Personally, being a vein man, it's a lot like choosing a sports car. I must like the way it looks first. And I must like the image the brand puts forth. If those things are in place, then it comes down to a series of trade-offs between price, ventilation, and weight.
YouthInAsia is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 10:26 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Cyclosaurus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Chicago Western 'burbs
Posts: 1,065

Bikes: 1993 NOS Mt Shasta Tempest, Motobecane Fantom Cross CX, Dahon Speed D7, Dahon Vector P8, Bullitt Superfly

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by YouthInAsia
Personally, being a vein man
Is that like a vampire?
Cyclosaurus is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 10:40 AM
  #16  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 190
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus
Is that like a vampire?
I believe their preference is for clean, arterial blood. But, yes, close enough. Haha!

Funny thing is, this thread was supposed to be about the "safest" helmets, but it doesn't seem there's any kind of conclusive evidence pointing to the safest helmets.

Now this thread will die off...
YouthInAsia is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 10:41 AM
  #17  
Bike Butcher of Portland
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,752

Bikes: It's complicated.

Liked 6,076 Times in 2,368 Posts
Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus
Weight
Ventilation
Style
Marketing
For $200, here's the corrected order:

1. Marketing (it's what the pros wear! New and improved!)
2. Style (better to look good than be good)
3. Ventilation - but you can find well ventilated helmets for much below $200

Why do I constantly see overweight middle aged men riding grillion dollar carbon fiber bikes with fully logoed kit out on the road? It ain't the ventilation, my friend.
gugie is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 10:44 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Cyclosaurus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Chicago Western 'burbs
Posts: 1,065

Bikes: 1993 NOS Mt Shasta Tempest, Motobecane Fantom Cross CX, Dahon Speed D7, Dahon Vector P8, Bullitt Superfly

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by YouthInAsia
I believe their preference is for clean, arterial blood. But, yes, close enough. Haha!

Funny thing is, this thread was supposed to be about the "safest" helmets, but it doesn't seem there's any kind of conclusive evidence pointing to the safest helmets.

Now this thread will die off...
Right, so we can go back to debating if no helmet is the safest helmet
Cyclosaurus is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 11:09 AM
  #19  
Not quite there yet
 
Matariki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Monkey Bottom, NC
Posts: 999

Bikes: A bunch of old steel bikes + an ICE trike

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by gugie
I think the right answer is "the one you'll wear".
or "the one you never needed"
Matariki is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 11:15 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 53
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
..............

Last edited by SurfNTurf; 06-10-15 at 08:28 AM.
SurfNTurf is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 11:20 AM
  #21  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 3

Bikes: Pinarello

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hövding ? Airbag for cyclists
q13855 is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 11:28 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 39,307

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Liked 3,151 Times in 1,741 Posts
IMO the helmet protection band is fairly narrow within the possible outcomes from a fall or crash.

If we used the spectrum below as an example of all possible outcomes we might say that the green band is where the helmet makes a difference. The blues to the left represent those impacts where there would be little or no injury without a helmet, and the yellows and reds to the right impacts where the likely outcome is serious injury or death despite wearing a helmet.



Given that the band of protection is that narrow, small differences within that band are relatively less important. Keep in mind that bicycle helmets are designed with protection levels suitable for simple bicycle crashes, and not for crashes involving motor vehicles. So as a commuter, you face a reasonable likeliness that a crash will involve forces beyond the protection of any helmet.

This isn't to say that all helmets are equal, nor that wearing one is unjustified, but to offer some perspective so you may align your expectations to reality.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
wavelength-nm.jpg (14.6 KB, 244 views)
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

Just because I'm tired of arguing, doesn't mean you're right.

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 11:29 AM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Napa, California
Posts: 470
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 1 Post
When travelling at Ludicrous Speed, there is only one helmet choice for the thoughtful commuter:

AlTheKiller is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 11:45 AM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 39,307

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Liked 3,151 Times in 1,741 Posts
If considering helmet safety and energy absorption capabilities, this may be required viewing. Of course you should consider the source, but it does make the point about the limitations in helmet capabilities.

__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

Just because I'm tired of arguing, doesn't mean you're right.

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 06-04-15, 12:51 PM
  #25  
Señior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,749

Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)

Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by YouthInAsia
From all I'm able to see and read it seems that everything from a cheapie Schwinn helmet to the $200+ Smith helmets offer the same level of protection. In that case, I gotta ask the next logical, and innocent question: I wonder why people would spend so much money on expensive helmets? I can understand 79pmooney's argument though.
True if they only conform to CPSC. If they conform to Snell or MIPS or some other standard, then this is not the case.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.