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Helmet recommendations?

Old 03-04-12, 08:01 PM
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Helmet recommendations?

I am currently protecting my $.10 head in a cheap Bell helmet. It's been adequate but the padding is about shot and I'm thinking about getting a new one.

Can anyone recommend a great helmet?

Can anyone explain to me why I should spend big money on a helmet if a low buck one does essentially the same thing?

Please educate me.
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Old 03-04-12, 08:13 PM
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https://www.bhsi.org/guide.htm

If the helmet carries the standard certification and fits you correctly, then a 20$ helmet will provide as much protection as a $200.
Having it fit correctly is important.

White ones are more visible, but other than that it's personal taste, comfort and style?

Cheers !
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Old 03-04-12, 09:22 PM
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I believe the higher priced helmets are a bit lighter in weight and are better ventilated.
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Old 03-04-12, 09:29 PM
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Replace it a little more often. bk
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Old 03-04-12, 09:48 PM
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In Florida, where I live, the most ventilation possible is needed and for whatever reason, the most ventilated helmets tend to be expensive.
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Old 03-04-12, 10:34 PM
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I use a Bell Array helmet and like it a lot. I have a large head and was able to find a helmet which fits me well. The helmet is easy to adjust, provides adequate ventilation, is seemingly of high quality, and seemed to be a little bit cheaper than some of the other brands at this feature level.
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Old 03-04-12, 10:47 PM
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In truth it doesn't matter because the helmets have to meet the same standards. A $50 helmet will more than likely protect you as well as a $200 helmet. It may not cool you as well and it may weigh more. The adjustments may not work as smoothly but they will work. So pick one you like. I use a Specialized and a Giant. The Giant was about $40.00 and the Specialized was about $110.00, it was a gift.

The Giro Transfer sport might work well or anyone like it. Give Nashbar or Performance a try unless you have a LBS you trust.
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Old 03-04-12, 10:57 PM
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Lazer Genesis - best helmet on planet earth - in my humble opinion.
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Old 03-05-12, 01:39 AM
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It's going to depend on the shape of your noggin, but the Specialized S-Works is the most comfortable helmet I've ever had, followed by the Lazer Genesis.
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Old 03-05-12, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bjaspud
Can anyone explain to me why I should spend big money on a helmet if a low buck one does essentially the same thing?
If a low cost model fits comfortably then it's fine. High cost is mostly fashion.
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Old 03-05-12, 06:27 AM
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High cost is mostly accounted by more refined materials, lighter, more airflow, better components, size fitted rather than "universal", more easily adjusted to fit, etc. And yes, there is a style/posing element in there.

Of course, if a $40.00 dollar helmet fits well, has the appropriate US/European safety standard marks, it's just as safe and effective as any other.

This is quite helpful.
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Old 03-05-12, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Seve
https://www.bhsi.org/guide.htm

If the helmet carries the standard certification and fits you correctly, then a 20$ helmet will provide as much protection as a $200.
Having it fit correctly is important.

White ones are more visible, but other than that it's personal taste, comfort and style?

Cheers !
Pretty much my take on things. They all seem pretty similar to me. And unexciting I might add.
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Old 03-05-12, 06:43 AM
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The last couple of helmets that I've bought have been Bell Citis.

They're cheap, they don't have that "boy racer" look, and they come in yellow. There is also an accessory clip on visor mirror that (naturally) costs extra.

That's me wearing it in my avitar.
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Old 03-05-12, 07:02 AM
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I'm now using a Giro Indicator helmet that I picked up for about $40.00. Because of the visor, it's considered an MTB or off road helmet but I don't think it really knows the difference. I think everyone else on my team have the "road" helmets. I have owned several different helmets, including Specialized, Giant and Bell, and this one seems to have larger ventilation slots than any of the others I have owned in it's price range. The more expensive helmets have more ventilation slots than the less expensive ones and the slots tend to be larger for better cooling. As previously mentioned, the less expensive helmets normally have an adjustable, "one size fits all" headband where the higher end helmets are sold by size. Since I always wear a sweatband or a do-rag under my helmet I kind of like the idea of being able to adjust the headband for the difference in the thickness of the two.
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Old 03-05-12, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bjaspud
I am currently protecting my $.10 head in a cheap Bell helmet. It's been adequate but the padding is about shot and I'm thinking about getting a new one.

Can anyone recommend a great helmet?

Can anyone explain to me why I should spend big money on a helmet if a low buck one does essentially the same thing?

Please educate me.
Hello bjaspud, the best helmet is the one that fits you best while providing good coverage and comfort. I see too many people wearing poor fitting helmets that won't provide proper protection. If you properly adjust most helmets they will protect your head properly but depending on your head shape, some helmets won't work well.

I have never owned and am very suspicious of "one-size-fits-all" helmets which tend to be on the low end of the price spectrum. A helmet should fit you snugly, but not tight, almost all the way around your head. What protects your head in a fall is the "Styrofoam" part of the helmet. The foam reduces the forces that your head experiences by compressing. If there is a noticeable gap between your head and the foam (nominally you should NOT be able to fit a finger between your head and any part of the inside if the helmet) it won't work as well as designed or tested.

What is the difference between an expensive helmet and a "cheap" helmet (assuming, both have the same safety certifications)? As other above have said, weight and ventilation can be big differences. I also find a big difference are the adjustment and retention systems that help keep a helmet from rolling off your head in a fall. Finally, pad quality generally increases with price too.

Originally Posted by oilman_15106
Lazer Genesis - best helmet on planet earth - in my humble opinion.
Hi oilman_15106, the Genesis is my personal favorite too. I think Lazer's Rollsys fitting system is great and I use its on-the-fly adjustment all of the time. However, helmet fit can be very personal and what works well for one person may be terrible for another.
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Old 03-05-12, 09:56 AM
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FIT/ COMFORT.

Besides that you are paying for color, name, "fashion", B.S. .

It used to be Bell was THE helmet to have in any sport, especially motorcycle helmets. Now they sell to WalMart and that has cheapened the name. But from what I see those helmets are as good as any. The more expensive ones may have better closures, adjustments and straps. But the basic protection is pretty much the same. Get something that fits and that you like.

Last edited by bigbadwullf; 03-05-12 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 03-05-12, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Banded Krait
I use a Bell Array helmet and like it a lot. I have a large head and was able to find a helmet which fits me well. The helmet is easy to adjust, provides adequate ventilation, is seemingly of high quality, and seemed to be a little bit cheaper than some of the other brands at this feature level.
I too, have a large head and sizes (like everything else in cycling) vary all over the place. I gave away one helmet because it sat on top of my head like a beanie
Make sure whatever you buy fits!
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Old 03-05-12, 10:55 AM
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1) Don't go to a brick and mortar shop and try on their helmets, and then order the one you liked best on line. Bad juju.

2) The rounder ones with better occipital lobe coverage also provide less twisting leverage in a crash. The ones that have tail fins and are pointy in the back are better for impressing small boys, and offer less drag when riding in wind tunnels.

3) Many of the top o' the heap, lightest, vetilated-est, best fitting, must have helmets of five to seven years ago are still in their manufacturers' line ups as today's mid-range helmets.

4) If the sales person at your LBS tells you helmets must be replaced after X-years, demand to see a manufactured-on date and refuse to pay full price for any that are over two months old, then enjoy the story you get about helmets only aging/deteriorating after the consumer buys them. (Helmet do age. It's complicated.)

5) If you buy an expensive helmet and crash in it, you must go buy another helmet. Do not let the helmet's high replacement cost compromise you into continuing to wear it.

6) Bell introduced the amazing Metropolis helmet system a few years ago. There was a removable visor, attachable rear-view mirror, an effective winter insulation kit, a snap-on rain cover with reflective trim and light attachment points. Compared to the Captain Billy whiz-bang racer helmets, the Metropolis wasn't even very expensive. They were only manufactured briefly, they sat on the shelves unsold and most were closed out cheap over the next several years. Cyclists won't likely see a helmet manufacturer try that foolishness again.
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Old 03-05-12, 12:04 PM
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"Just as safe" - probably not. BHSI site provides lots of great info. In general, buy a helmet that doesn't have any pointy bits that get caught in a fall, light colored helmets are more visible and, here's where you have to spend some money - POC (a Swedish company), appears to have made significant advances in helmet safety for cycling, skiing etc.

I ski at one of the gnarliest areas in the country (Taos Ski Valley), and the majority of people there wear helmets. I've started to see the ski instructors and patrollers wearing POC's. I may buy a POC ski helmet for next season (replacing my 10 yr. old Limar helmet), and I will buy a POC cycling helmet, as soon as I can find one online in an XL size.

Their cycling helmets do not look like the typical "cool" cycling helmet (e.g., my LAS Squalo). They look more like skate boarder helmets. They are round, have more lower back of the head protection, and not as many vents as a lot of cycling helmets. But after two, progressively severe concussions from cycling accidents recently, I really don't care what my helmet looks like. I'm just concerned about state-of-the-art safety features.

https://www.pocsports.com/en/content/...ctive-concepts
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Old 03-05-12, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Terex
"Just as safe" - probably not. BHSI site provides lots of great info. In general, buy a helmet that doesn't have any pointy bits that get caught in a fall, light colored helmets are more visible and, here's where you have to spend some money - POC (a Swedish company), appears to have made significant advances in helmet safety for cycling, skiing etc.

I ski at one of the gnarliest areas in the country (Taos Ski Valley), and the majority of people there wear helmets. I've started to see the ski instructors and patrollers wearing POC's. I may buy a POC ski helmet for next season (replacing my 10 yr. old Limar helmet), and I will buy a POC cycling helmet, as soon as I can find one online in an XL size.

Their cycling helmets do not look like the typical "cool" cycling helmet (e.g., my LAS Squalo). They look more like skate boarder helmets. They are round, have more lower back of the head protection, and not as many vents as a lot of cycling helmets. But after two, progressively severe concussions from cycling accidents recently, I really don't care what my helmet looks like. I'm just concerned about state-of-the-art safety features.

https://www.pocsports.com/en/content/...ctive-concepts
Interesting. They may have found my gag point on price. It would be nice to see some comparative testing with a CPSC helmet.
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Old 03-05-12, 01:51 PM
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My LBS hates me when I helmet shop. I start off with respectable price and Name and go up on price till I find one that fits right. It can take a lot of stock and a fair amount of time before I find the right one.

Safety spec and they all have to pass the same test so I can't say one is better on Safety or how well it protects than another. But fit is all important along with ventilation. You need ventilation- even on the coldest winter day you will sweat. Final on the list for me is colour but I refuse to wear some of the patterns or colours that some come in. Makes I have liked are Giro- MET and Rudy Project. Bell helmets don't seem to fit the shape of my head and I will not wear a Trek-Specialised- or other Bike name helmet on my Boreas.

But main thing is that wearing any helmet properrly adjusted will work---Even if it is a $10 WallyMart one.
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Old 03-05-12, 02:15 PM
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I agree with the "don't abuse the local bike shop" idea. Not good practice. Now if my contact lens patients would be so nice
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Old 03-05-12, 03:13 PM
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If anyone here ever gets the chance to watch The Science Channel's "How its made" show, there is an episode that shows how they make bicycle helmets (from children's to adult road helmets) and what goes into them. It is very interesting to watch, but after seeing it, you have to really wonder why you pay so darn much for the helmet.
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Old 03-05-12, 05:25 PM
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I wear the most expensive Bell helmets because they fit, they're cool (temperature & style), and I only buy them when they're being blown out. I don't think there was much difference between the 2010 Bell Volt & the 2011, but some of the mail order places were getting rid of the 2010's so I bought a couple (one for about $90, the other for about $79 as I recall, and they are $170 helmets). So now, barring crashes, I'm set up for helmets for the next several years. I'm still using a 2005 Bell Sweep for the winter.

Bells fit my rounder head much better than Giro's, which are long and narrow (Bell owns Giro, BTW). The brand you buy is governed more by fit than by anything else. If the helmet is REALLY comfortable, buy it!

Before "in-mold" helmet construction became the norm, there used to be a difference between the cheap helmets & the expensive ones. "In-mold" construction just means that the thin plastic outer layer is bonded directly to the styrofoam, so the whole thing is tends to stay together pretty well. Previously, the cheaper helmets had a gap between the styrofoam and the thin plastic - they were not directly attached to each other. As a result, the thin plastic would degenerate and start to chip off, and pretty soon the whole helmet would look ratty, with holes and cracks in the shell. Having said that, the thin plastic on my Sweep is starting to peel off in a couple of places, but it's not cracking or looking ratty at all. But this is a helmet that initially had cost about $170 (more in Canada). So if you're checking out a cheap helmet, just press the outer shell everywhere, and if the plastic has some "give" (like there's a dead air space directly underneath it), don't buy it. All of thin plastic covering should be directly bonded to the styrofoam. After that, check how easy it is to adjust the fit. The expensive Bells have a wheel at the back. In 2005, this wheel had some space between "clicks." In 2010, the ratcheting is much, much finer!

Also, you will find that the topline Bell helmets have a kind of informal sunglass holder that fits Oakley M frames really well. I just take off the Oakleys, invert them, and push the ends into the front vents. A nice way to hold onto your shades for night riding. In the rain, you push them in right-side-up, and you get a bit of the lens acting like a visor to help keep rain out of your eyes, while still allowing you to see forward with your head down. (I do NOT like the visors; they are ugly - they make you look like some wannabe motocross racer - and they obscure too much of my forward vision as I tend to have my head pretty much down in riding position.)

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Old 03-06-12, 07:37 AM
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It is a shame that bicycle helmets don't have independent testing organizations like Snell Foundation. Even the DOT helmet requirements and the European Unions' requirements (for motorcycle and automobile racing) are much more thorough than the CPSC standards Bicycle helmets are subject to. The testing is more thorough and is ongoing for new helmets and in research into new materials and designs. The stickers for Snell, DOT or EU in a helmet mean something to motorcyclist and automobile racers. They have definite time limits for helmet life spans and these are researched not just a shop employee trying to sell more helmets. (UV and airborne pollutants do cause breakdown of the shells and the padding degrades, as well, from sweat and heat/cold cycles. We could do better for our helmet standards.

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