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Buying a helmet online

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Buying a helmet online

Old 10-30-14, 03:46 PM
  #1  
YonathanZ
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Buying a helmet online

Hi,

I've bought a Schwinn Thrasher Adult Micro helmet from Amazon and, upon receiving it, have discovered that it's too big for me. After tightening it around my head as much as I could without it feeling too uncomfortable, the helmet still wobbles when I shake my head. I can also fit 2 or 3 fingers between my temple and the helmet. It also looks huge on my head.

Anyway, the problem is that no where does it state the size of the helmet (is the word Micro in the name the answer? I hope not, because then I'd need kids' helmet), so I don't know what to order instead.

The reason I'm not buying local, by the way, is the price, which starts at $60 while on Amazon there are many nice looking helmets for cheaper.

Anyway, I'd appreciate if you could point to some smaller helmets than the one I mentioned, or maybe help me understand what size I need.

Thanks!
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Old 10-30-14, 04:25 PM
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Ya pays yer money, and ya takes yer chances.

Next time, measure the circumference of your head, then see what hat size it corresponds to, and then search for helmets that match.
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Old 10-30-14, 04:32 PM
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In my lil' town, Bike Shops and Sporting Goods stores (another good source for helmets) routinely match internet prices. What I do (with most bike parts, not just skid lids) is to shop the local LBS's, find what I want, then search for the same item @ Amazon, or Performance, or Nashbar, or REI etc.etc. and take the best price back to the LBS - and they normally match it. Ya end up with something that fits and get instant gratification.
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Old 10-30-14, 04:50 PM
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Many cheaper helmets are one-size-fits-most. Size charts for these helmets are usually bogus. If your head is significantly larger or smaller than average, then it is probably a good idea to avoid one-size helmets. Look for helmets that come in 2 or 3 sizes and buy the appropriate size. Still, some helmets just won't fit some head shapes (because your head is too oval or too square or too tall or whatever). This is why buying from a shop where you can try the helmet on first is a lot easier. There are noticeable differences in helmet shapes between brands.
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Old 10-30-14, 04:53 PM
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If I were personally to order a helmet online, it would have to be identical to one I had purchased in person. There's just too many variables going on there to take the chance it won't fit right etc.
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Old 10-30-14, 05:13 PM
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OK, then I think I'll buy one locally despite the price. As for matching online prices, I should mention that I am not from the US but I do buy my stuff from eBay and Amazon, and local stores will never match their prices to such "stores".
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Old 10-30-14, 10:24 PM
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Im sorry, but really?

You are too afraid to go to a local bike shop and try a few on for size? And maybe, just maybe, buy one there to help your neighbors make a living? Instead you prefer to get on bike forums and ask insipid questions in an effort to save 8 bucks while sending your money out of state and paying no state sales tax?

Really? Is that the gist of your dilemma?

I try to be nice here and help people out but this is weak. Man up. Go to a local store size it up and get a lid to protect whats left of your melon.
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Old 10-30-14, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
Im sorry, but really?

You are too afraid to go to a local bike shop and try a few on for size? And maybe, just maybe, buy one there to help your neighbors make a living? Instead you prefer to get on bike forums and ask insipid questions in an effort to save 8 bucks while sending your money out of state and paying no state sales tax?

Really? Is that the gist of your dilemma?

I try to be nice here and help people out but this is weak. Man up. Go to a local store size it up and get a lid to protect whats left of your melon.
Try to keep in mind every dollar counts for some folks.
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Old 10-30-14, 11:14 PM
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measure your head circumference! go to the mfg'rs web page and look up the sizing charts. done and done.
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Old 10-30-14, 11:43 PM
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U or Universal fit is one size fits few. All helmets sold in the US must meet the same safety standards. The more expensive helmets will weigh less, have more ventilation, be quieter, look sexier. You should be able to find helmets in the $30 range at big box store or general sporting goods stores. Stay away from high end bike stores that seem to cater to roadies and carry expensive bikes; these will most likely carry expensive helmets. If there is a Performance bike near you, they have some reasonably priced helmets and have sales on helmets fairly often.
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Old 10-30-14, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
Im sorry, but really?

You are too afraid to go to a local bike shop and try a few on for size? And maybe, just maybe, buy one there to help your neighbors make a living? Instead you prefer to get on bike forums and ask insipid questions in an effort to save 8 bucks while sending your money out of state and paying no state sales tax?

Really? Is that the gist of your dilemma?

I try to be nice here and help people out but this is weak. Man up. Go to a local store size it up and get a lid to protect whats left of your melon.
Man, you're totally failing at putting a convincing show of "trying to be nice".

Maybe for some cycling is just a side hobby and money is a consideration. Plus "country-by-country pricing" can vary by up to 30% or more. Over here in Singapore I've paid US$35 for a Maxxis Detonator MTB tyre at my LBS when it is going for US$24 (£15) online in the UK - almost 50% extra.

So screw that stupid mentality from naive people who think it's "only a few bucks less" when people dare to shop online. Not everyone wants "installation costs" built into everything they buy. They do not reduce the price if you choose to install it yourself.
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Old 10-31-14, 02:34 AM
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If money is a real concern, then try the helmets on locally and buy online. Otherwise, just buy locally.

- Andy
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Old 10-31-14, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
Im sorry, but really?

You are too afraid to go to a local bike shop and try a few on for size? And maybe, just maybe, buy one there to help your neighbors make a living? Instead you prefer to get on bike forums and ask insipid questions in an effort to save 8 bucks while sending your money out of state and paying no state sales tax?

Really? Is that the gist of your dilemma?

I try to be nice here and help people out but this is weak. Man up. Go to a local store size it up and get a lid to protect whats left of your melon.
Afraid to go to a local shop? When did I say that? "Help my neighbors make a living" - except what they're trying to do is to sell overpriced crap for 4 times its worth. The cheapest adult helmet I found in a price-comparison website is 52 USD, which is exactly 4 times the price I paid for the Schwinn helmet on Amazon, and what they're selling is not even anywhere on Amazon, so who knows how good or bad it is. "Paying no state sales tax" - well, if I buy over $75, I pay taxes to my country. Is that OK with you? Here, I still support my neighbors make a living. "Man up" - as in, "just swallow it and pay a day's income for a piece of foam and plastic"?
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Old 10-31-14, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
Im sorry, but really?

You are too afraid to go to a local bike shop and try a few on for size? And maybe, just maybe, buy one there to help your neighbors make a living? Instead you prefer to get on bike forums and ask insipid questions in an effort to save 8 bucks while sending your money out of state and paying no state sales tax?

Really? Is that the gist of your dilemma?

I try to be nice here and help people out but this is weak. Man up. Go to a local store size it up and get a lid to protect whats left of your melon.
Dude, you should get off your sanctimonious high horse and think about what you're saying. Why is it my responsibility to support my LBS? It's a free market system. If the LBS charges 2x the price for similar helmets on-line, it'd be financial irresponsible to not buy online. Yes, they are in the business of making money, but I am not about to just give it away either. We're not talking about a mere $8 either.
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Old 10-31-14, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by catonec View Post
measure your head circumference! go to the mfg'rs web page and look up the sizing charts. done and done.
That's a good idea in principle but the problem is head shape isn't reflected by the circumference and some head/helmet combinations simply don't work even if the size is ostensibly correct. I say this as someone with an unorthodox, pterodactyloid noggin.
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Old 10-31-14, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by J.C. Koto View Post
That's a good idea in principle but the problem is head shape isn't reflected by the circumference and some head/helmet combinations simply don't work even if the size is ostensibly correct.
Well, like anything else (shoes come to mind), if you have an unusually shaped/sized anatomy, then you really need to buy that item in person.

Originally Posted by J.C. Koto View Post
I say this as someone with an unorthodox, pterodactyloid noggin.
I'm picturing a large crown with a tapered chin.
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Old 10-31-14, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
If money is a real concern, then try the helmets on locally and buy online. Otherwise, just buy locally.

- Andy
I won't do the "try in a store and buy online" trick, because I find it unfair, especially if I go into a shop knowing that I won't spend a cent there. I'll just go to some stores and see if there are any affordable helmets that fit my head. And I'll buy the helmet there, of course, if the price is reasonable.
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Old 10-31-14, 12:30 PM
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Measure your head, buy an appropriate helmet.

IMO, helmets that use foam pads to adjust fit are garbage. Get one with a proper adjustment system.
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Old 10-31-14, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by YonathanZ View Post
OK, then I think I'll buy one locally despite the price. As for matching online prices, I should mention that I am not from the US but I do buy my stuff from eBay and Amazon, and local stores will never match their prices to such "stores".
The local shop is offering a service - having multiple helmets to try on and find the right size - yeah, helmets are one of those things that fit is just going to be something you have to experiment with. After you buy the first one at the shop price, then you can buy future ones of the same model on-line for cheaper. Same goes for shoes.

Otherwise you risk losing your potential savings by having to mail back the helmet for an exchange... and you're not sure that one will fit either.
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Old 10-31-14, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Well, like anything else (shoes come to mind), if you have an unusually shaped/sized anatomy, then you really need to buy that item in person.
I've only bought cycling shoes online in the last 10-15 years, and only because it's so rare to find a store that has my size. I've spent a fair bit on shipping and return shipping finding a brand and model that fits me.

The same could apply to helmets, except that the extra dollars I could give FedEx and UPS go to the LBS instead, where I buy the helmet that fits me.
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Old 10-31-14, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
Im sorry, but really?

You are too afraid to go to a local bike shop and try a few on for size? And maybe, just maybe, buy one there to help your neighbors make a living? Instead you prefer to get on bike forums and ask insipid questions in an effort to save 8 bucks while sending your money out of state and paying no state sales tax?

Really? Is that the gist of your dilemma?

I try to be nice here and help people out but this is weak. Man up. Go to a local store size it up and get a lid to protect whats left of your melon.
Da mn straight I would rather buy online and avoid paying sales tax...or Amazon is just down the road and they still have an agreement with the state where they do not collect it. I don't have a local shop to be loyal to anymore, the franchise that bought it went bankrupt - so unless I want to drive to the next county over and pay their even higher sales tax (and prices as it is in a nicer "hip" neighborhood) plus the gas to get there, nah I think I'll just buy online until someone else opens a shop in my town.

Also, the OP doesn't even live in the US
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Old 10-31-14, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by YonathanZ View Post
I won't do the "try in a store and buy online" trick, because I find it unfair, especially if I go into a shop knowing that I won't spend a cent there. I'll just go to some stores and see if there are any affordable helmets that fit my head. And I'll buy the helmet there, of course, if the price is reasonable.
Exactly right. It is unfair to go in to a an LBS and use it as a showroom for your internet purchases. Either know what you want, order it and if it doesn't fit then own the shipping return charges and/or restocking charges. Or pay for the fact that the inventory is right there for you to buy when you want it and there is someone to answer your questions and fit your helmet.

Last time I checked, not too many on line stores are also fitting the helmet for you either. Looking at many riders (most), their helmet fit is so poor that they need that sort of help.

J.
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Old 10-31-14, 02:31 PM
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LBS only stocks Low end helmets Here .. Mgr got a good price on a hundred ..
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Old 10-31-14, 02:32 PM
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+1
Originally Posted by catonec View Post
measure your head circumference! go to the mfg'rs web page and look up the sizing charts. done and done.
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Old 10-31-14, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Exactly right. It is unfair to go in to a an LBS and use it as a showroom for your internet purchases. Either know what you want, order it and if it doesn't fit then own the shipping return charges and/or restocking charges. Or pay for the fact that the inventory is right there for you to buy when you want it and there is someone to answer your questions and fit your helmet.

Last time I checked, not too many on line stores are also fitting the helmet for you either. Looking at many riders (most), their helmet fit is so poor that they need that sort of help.

J.
IMO, a lot of bike shops have a snobby attitude that be a big turn off. I had one bike shop tell me that Salsa was begging them to stock their models, but they said they didn't have to because people were lining up to buy their Specialized bikes. I guess that's the business side. I know I've spent thousands of dollars buying bike stuff before I found a great LBS that sells used bikes. They finally got a QBP account and I've tried to order as much from them as possible. It works both ways, LBS have to earn the customer's business as well.

But keep giving the LBS a chance. If you walk into one and they don't give you a good vibe, just walk out and keep looking for others. There's nothing like being able to bring your bike into a bike shop and borrow their tools and stands to work on your bike. Then end up helping them fix customer's bikes during a rush, and shoot the breeze while drinking a couple of beers after the shop closes, and you wonder where your Friday night went....
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