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helmet recommendation

Old 05-10-16, 11:45 AM
  #1  
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helmet recommendation

What would you guys recommend for a first helmet for me? I mainly ride a rails to trails path and a little on the streets in the area. Speed isn't my thing. I ride an Electra Townie. So something super sleek and aerodynamic isn't really necessary. I wouldn't be riding in traffic at night so lots of reflective areas isn't needed either.
I tried on a Bell Adrenaline at Target the other day and it seemed to fit well. Any thoughts? Trying to stay under $50. Thanks.
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Old 05-10-16, 12:17 PM
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Buy something you can try on first to make sure it fits. If your helmet is larger or smaller than "average", look for a helmet that comes in more than one size since those will probably fit you better. A snug and comfortable fit is more important than any other helmet feature.
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Old 05-10-16, 12:22 PM
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I really like Nutcase helmets. They seem as good or better than most helmets, and their fun designs make drivers smile.

Anecdotally, making drivers smile enhances safety for all cyclists.
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Old 05-10-16, 12:58 PM
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2nd Nutcase. They have fun designs and are well made. I used mine for 5+ years (just recently switched to a Bontrager Quantum). It can get a bit too warm for the summer though (their design is more urban/commuter and doesn't feature much ventilation).
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Old 05-10-16, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by NOLABIKER View Post
What would you guys recommend for a first helmet for me?
If you determine that you really want a helmet for your rides, the cheapest one available that fits would provide you with the same safety features as more expensive helmets. Try Walmart, Target, etc. Bike store helmets are no better.
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Old 05-10-16, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
If you determine that you really want a helmet for your rides, the cheapest one available that fits would provide you with the same safety features as more expensive helmets. Try Walmart, Target, etc. Bike store helmets are no better.
+1. For that kind of riding, I would doubt a helmet would even be warranted. Though, it's a personal decision so if you really do want one, just go to the Big Box Store. They all have to meet the same minimum safety requirements, though if you want to give a LBS your money, you can buy a Bell for $40 or less usually.
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Old 05-10-16, 02:34 PM
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I did a quick search for choosing a bike helmet and it seems a lot of articles all agree that more money doesn't equal better protection. All helmets have to meet the same standards.
Going to look at the Nutcase mentioned above when I get home tonight. Thanks for the replies so far.
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Old 05-10-16, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by NOLABIKER View Post
I did a quick search for choosing a bike helmet and it seems a lot of articles all agree that more money doesn't equal better protection. All helmets have to meet the same standards.
Going to look at the Nutcase mentioned above when I get home tonight. Thanks for the replies so far.
It took probably 60 helmets before I found my current one. The others didnt fit right. This was at Target, Sports Authority, 5 bike shops, REI, and another sports store.
More expensive than basic level gets you a more customized fit. Basic helmets are 1 size fits all. The next step us is 3(or more) sizes and then adjustments to better fit from there. Yes the $50-70 helmets arent safer than the $30 helmets, but they are meant to fit better.
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Old 05-10-16, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by NOLABIKER View Post
I did a quick search for choosing a bike helmet and it seems a lot of articles all agree that more money doesn't equal better protection. All helmets have to meet the same standards.
Going to look at the Nutcase mentioned above when I get home tonight. Thanks for the replies so far.
The Nutcase looks ok for winter. Wouldn't want to ride in the heat in that helmet. Bern makes similar helmets.

It really depends on the size and shape of your head. For an inexpensive helmet, the Bell Solar is hard to beat, if the one size fits most fits you. Measure your head circumference. Most helmet companies list the size range of their helmets.

I just oust bought some Limar helmets on clearance for less than $25 delivered, and they seem really nice for the money. I would have been happy buying them for $50.

Giro is alright, though Bell fits my head better. I have a friend who likes his Specialized helmet. Don't recall the model but he paid about $45 or so for it.

I would say get your first helmet from a bike shop and avoid big box stores, but that is me. Once you know what works for you, you can buy your second or third helmet online or at a big box.
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Old 05-10-16, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by NOLABIKER View Post
What would you guys recommend for a first helmet for me? I mainly ride a rails to trails path and a little on the streets in the area. Speed isn't my thing. I ride an Electra Townie. So something super sleek and aerodynamic isn't really necessary. I wouldn't be riding in traffic at night so lots of reflective areas isn't needed either.
I tried on a Bell Adrenaline at Target the other day and it seemed to fit well. Any thoughts? Trying to stay under $50. Thanks.
There is a decent article that was published in Bicycling magazine that does a decent job of explaining the safety standards, what they mean (not much) and some of the technologies that are out now that provide better protection from concussions and traumatic brain injury. Do note that it doesn't take much to get a head injury.

One of the technologies out now that does a lot to mitigate the most common kind of concussion is MIPS. MIPS is a company that developed the technology to help mitigate injury to the brain in the event of an oblique hit to your head (most likely kind). They license that intellectual property to helmet manufacturers. The majority of helmet brands now have some models that incorporate MIPS technology. It has been in some high end helmets but it is now in some very inexpensive helmets. I was in at my LBS this week and they had one that I think was in the range of $50-60. Very inexpensive for a very good helmet.

That all said, having had a lot of family experience with traumatic brain injury, I'd concentrate on getting a good helmet that had MIPS that fits well and worry less about the price. Most helmets cost about the co-pay is to see a neurologist.

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
If you determine that you really want a helmet for your rides, the cheapest one available that fits would provide you with the same safety features as more expensive helmets. Try Walmart, Target, etc. Bike store helmets are no better.
Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
+1. For that kind of riding, I would doubt a helmet would even be warranted. Though, it's a personal decision so if you really do want one, just go to the Big Box Store. They all have to meet the same minimum safety requirements, though if you want to give a LBS your money, you can buy a Bell for $40 or less usually.
These comments are both outdated thinking compared to what's out there.

J.
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Old 05-10-16, 08:06 PM
  #11  
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Thanks for the link to the article. Very interesting read. My research continues.
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Old 05-10-16, 09:37 PM
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If you live in a hot/humid climate I would be against riding with a Nutcase. I got one for free and it was terrible in those conditions.

I tend to get Giro helmets. Not sure why. I currently ride with a Giro Trinity in highlight yellow: Amazon.com : Giro Trinity Helmet Black/White, One Size : Sports & Outdoors

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Old 05-10-16, 09:44 PM
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I have an older model Bern Brentwood and I've been very happy with it. The best feature is that the entire padded lining is stitched rather than just cut from foam, which means it can be tossed in the wash with your clothes, and you can keep the inside of your helmet not smelling like nasty ass head grease.

The main strike against it is it doesn't have great ventilation.
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Old 05-11-16, 05:07 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by NoShiftSherlock View Post
If you live in a hot/humid climate I would be against riding with a Nutcase. I got one for free and it was terrible in those conditions.

I tend to get Giro helmets. Not sure why. I currently ride with a Giro Trinity in highligh yellow: Amazon.com : Giro Trinity Helmet Black/White, One Size : Sports & Outdoors

After looking at the Nutcase line, I was thinking exactly what you were thinking. I sweat enough without a helmet on. I would need something with more ventilation here in southeast Louisiana.

Still researching and hope to have something by this weekend. Thanks for the link to the Giro.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by NOLABIKER View Post
After looking at the Nutcase line, I was thinking exactly what you were thinking. I sweat enough without a helmet on. I would need something with more ventilation here in southeast Louisiana.

Still researching and hope to have something by this weekend. Thanks for the link to the Giro.
Ventilation is key - it's easy to limit the ventilation if it's cold out (hat etc...) but it's miserable and you can't fix the problem if there is insufficient ventilation. In LA - no brainer, go for the max ventilation you can find.

I read somewhere that there are basically three head shapes with respect to helmets - round, oval and "roval" (roundish oval) when viewed from the top. This article also said that a given brand tends to stick with one or the other shape.

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Old 05-11-16, 07:19 AM
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If you want one get one .. Your state make them Mandatory ? But the infrastructure still Sucks?


Get 2. one for cold weather & another with ventilation for summer.. now, Obviously its warmer

A bike/skate Ski helmet will offer a warm liner and ear covers . abundant brands in the summer niche.

some heads are rounder, others more oval; so in person shopping helps, . at first ..

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Old 05-11-16, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Get 2. one for cold weather & another with ventilation for summer

A bike/skate Ski helmet will offer a warm liner and ear covers . abundant brands in the summer niche.
Why? Just wear a thin hat designed for a helmet underneath on cold days. A lot more flexible when you start to heat up. Most helmets easily accommodate such a hat.

For example, I wore such a hat under my POC Octal MIPS helmet all winter here in Minnesota down to subzero temps and was plenty comfortable and many times too warm.

And it's a lot cheaper.

J.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:26 AM
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anecdote noted.

I just wear a Hat.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-11-16 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Get 2. one for cold weather & another with ventilation for summer.. now, Obviously its warmer

A bike/skate Ski helmet will offer a warm liner and ear covers . abundant brands in the summer niche.

some heads are rounder, others more oval; so in person shopping helps, . at first ..
There's no cold weather in SE Louisiana! Cooler, yes. But actual cold? Nah.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Why? Just wear a thin hat designed for a helmet underneath on cold days. A lot more flexible when you start to heat up. Most helmets easily accommodate such a hat.

For example, I wore such a hat under my POC Octal MIPS helmet all winter here in Minnesota down to subzero temps and was plenty comfortable and many times too warm.

And it's a lot cheaper.

J.
You ride long enough and you just start to acquire stuff. (at least I do) I now have several bins full of extra cycling gear, including extra helmets, gloves, shoes, pedals, jerseys, hats, headbands, leg warmers, etc...I rotate between two different helmets, and have another 3 older helmets that are still more than serviceable, including one helmet that I use exclusively for winter riding because of its limited ventilation and larger size, allowing me to wear it comfortably with a hat underneath.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
There is a decent article that was published in Bicycling magazine that does a decent job of explaining the safety standards, what they mean (not much) and some of the technologies that are out now that provide better protection from concussions and traumatic brain injury. Do note that it doesn't take much to get a head injury.

One of the technologies out now that does a lot to mitigate the most common kind of concussion is MIPS. MIPS is a company that developed the technology to help mitigate injury to the brain in the event of an oblique hit to your head (most likely kind). They license that intellectual property to helmet manufacturers. The majority of helmet brands now have some models that incorporate MIPS technology. It has been in some high end helmets but it is now in some very inexpensive helmets. I was in at my LBS this week and they had one that I think was in the range of $50-60. Very inexpensive for a very good helmet.

That all said, having had a lot of family experience with traumatic brain injury, I'd concentrate on getting a good helmet that had MIPS that fits well and worry less about the price. Most helmets cost about the co-pay is to see a neurologist.





These comments are both outdated thinking compared to what's out there.

J.
For the style of riding the OP is doing, there really isn't much call for spending a small fortune on a MIPS helmet. If he was out in traffic hammering away, sure - if that's what floats your boat. I'm not debating the probable benefits of MIPS over a standard helmet...but he is riding an upright bike, mainly on rails-to-trails paths, at slow speeds. It's kind of like wearing a 5 point harness for a drive to the grocery store. Sure, it's safer, but also not really necessary.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:38 AM
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I have a Nutcase. It's a skate helmet that can take repeated abuse, with a thick shell and hard foam, and so it's hot and heavy compared to an in-mold bike helmet. I see that in comparison tests it doesn't absorb as much shock, either, because it's stiffer. The gen 3 is a liiiitle lighter than mine but still not like a bike helmet. On the other hand you can drop it without worrying and the magnetic clasp is terrific. When the time comes to replace it I'll probably go for a MIPS mountain bike helmet, because I do some MTB and don't need to own several helmets; and I'll try to save the clasp and move it over to the new one.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
For the style of riding the OP is doing, there really isn't much call for spending a small fortune on a MIPS helmet. If he was out in traffic hammering away, sure - if that's what floats your boat. I'm not debating the probable benefits of MIPS over a standard helmet...but he is riding an upright bike, mainly on rails-to-trails paths, at slow speeds. It's kind of like wearing a 5 point harness for a drive to the grocery store. Sure, it's safer, but also not really necessary.
Baloney. Serious TBI mechanisms of injury don't respect "style of riding." There is well more than enough energy in a fall from a bike at slow speed (or even stopped) to cause a very serious TBI.

Besides that, you can get a better helmet in the OP's price range that has MIPS and meets the CPSC standards. Price is no longer the deciding factor. There is no or little functional difference in appearance or usage of a MIPS helmet vs a non-MIPS helmet. Your analogy to safety harnesses is not correct and is misleading in this case.

J.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
There's no cold weather in SE Louisiana! Cooler, yes. But actual cold? Nah.
^this.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Baloney. Serious TBI mechanisms of injury don't respect "style of riding." There is well more than enough energy in a fall from a bike at slow speed (or even stopped) to cause a very serious TBI.

Besides that, you can get a better helmet in the OP's price range that has MIPS and meets the CPSC standards. Price is no longer the deciding factor. There is no or little functional difference in appearance or usage of a MIPS helmet vs a non-MIPS helmet. Your analogy to safety harnesses is not correct and is misleading in this case.

J.
Are you saying you can get a MIPS helmet for $50 or less? if so..okay, that's a game changer. All of them I have seen have been well over $100.
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