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I need a new helmet. Why so expensive?

Old 08-25-20, 10:24 AM
  #1  
bblair
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I need a new helmet. Why so expensive?

It's been a few years, so time for a new helmet. It is my understanding, perhaps wrong, that they all meet the same safety standars. Most use the MIPs type of retention/adjustments. Look to be of the same materials.

So why should I buy the $350 one and not the $75 one? Just because it's new or my favorite TDF rider endorses it? Or is it actually safer and more comfortable?

Yea, I know that this has probably been rehashed a million times. But like everyone else, I don't pay attention until it effects me.
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Old 08-25-20, 10:28 AM
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Safety and price don't go hand in hand all the time. POC helmets are very expensive but fail basic safety tests.

I really like my Kali. The guys there are very experienced and the prices are more than fair for a great helmet that are top picks on CR. Mine was a $100. I have the Therapy.

Some cool technology. I also like the Bontrager helmets with the honey comb crash mesh liner.
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Old 08-25-20, 10:30 AM
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It is usually weight and ventilation that drives the price.

Just don’t buy a $350 helmet on eBay for $75.

John
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Old 08-25-20, 10:32 AM
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A measured, in-depth response by a quality presenter:

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Old 08-25-20, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
... POC helmets are very expensive but fail basic safety tests.

...
What safety tests have the POS helmets flunked?
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Old 08-25-20, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
What safety tests have the POS helmets flunked?
I read a report by an insurance company safety consortium in Europe a few months ago. I was quite surprised myself because of POC's reputation. The POC Spin which is a very popular helmet was one of the worst tested. No POC was recommened.
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Old 08-25-20, 12:29 PM
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Big difference IMHO, is ventilation.. to make superior ventilation airflow,

and still have adequate crash worthiness, is more expensive to develop & produce..
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Old 08-25-20, 12:34 PM
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Could aerodynamic engineering and testing costs be a factor in a higher priced helm?
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Old 08-25-20, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
I read a report by an insurance company safety consortium in Europe a few months ago. I was quite surprised myself because of POC's reputation. The POC Spin which is a very popular helmet was one of the worst tested. No POC was recommened.
Ha Ha!! Report by an insurance company.... fail basic safety tests...... Do you really not see the difference?
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Old 08-25-20, 12:42 PM
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how much is your brain worth? They could charge $1,000 and people would pay it. (*Suddenly has an idea*)
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Old 08-25-20, 12:44 PM
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Kali makes good helmets. I paid $90 for a Kali Lunati Sync and am pretty satisfied, except that they bait-n-switched on me the color of the strap. The integrity and capability of the fit are really good.
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Old 08-25-20, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by sarhog View Post
Ha Ha!! Report by an insurance company.... fail basic safety tests...... Do you really not see the difference?
Actually it was a Swedish group that did the test. What I see is a multi-brand test with standardized protocol and some did better than others.

You might see something else.
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Old 08-25-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
Kali makes good helmets. I paid $90 for a Kali Lunati Sync and am pretty satisfied, except that they bait-n-switched on me the color of the strap. The integrity and capability of the fit are really good.
I agree nice helmets and well priced. great safety ratings. I would buy another.
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Old 08-25-20, 12:59 PM
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Why the typical alarmist BF style yell at clouds intro of "$350 helmet for TdF riders" ?

You can get a mips Giro road helmet for $55 all day long. You can get a mips helmet around $60 that's a decent lid from most any big name brand all the time.

The $350 helmets you often see have mips, a wireless crash sensor to communicate to your GPS or an app on your phone, and also are likely a super aero racing shape. If you don't need all that.......why get it?

Why all the hand waving? If racing is your hobby and you have cash........buy what you want. If it isn't, still buy what you want.
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Old 08-25-20, 01:00 PM
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Basically, no bike helmet is going to do much for you at any speed over 15-20 mph. And below that ... even the $30 Bell from Walmart passes the same minimum safety standards.

I know MIPS and Wavecell and all that promise all sorts of improved protection, but how much actual protection do they offer in the real world? No one knows, because there is no way to quantify.

Further, even if under certain carefully controlled laboratory conditions they offer some percentage of greater survivability (and possibly none in real use) how much are you willing to pay for that? Considering that you have no idea if, let alone when or how, you might crash, you have to weigh for yourself if the odds that you will duplicate that laboratory crash and gain a three-percent less chance of concussion or whatever.

if you can get a very good helmet for $75 and another helmet for $375 which might or might not offer anything beyond better confidence if you choose to trust the advertising .... and considering that in a lot of crashes the helmet can't save you no matter what ...

One poster here laid out what i consider to be Helmet Wisdom: He said he wore a helmet not to save his life but to save his ride.

This poster realized that at speeds above 15 mph (which most of us ride, I'd wager) a helmet is just a solo cup inside a dixie cup--no magic, and too much force overwhelms the slow compression of the foam---and that broken necks kill as well as skull fractures at those speeds.

This poster's idea was that a helmet could minimize surface injury---prevent gashes and scrapes and such---and that in most cases, after a hard hit, he would either be dead or have a concussion. If he was not dead, he could ride home or to a phone or something---Unless he was bleeding profusely from a head wound. So he figured that in most crashes, the helmet served to turn a potential laceration into blunt-force trauma---which trauma he would suffer either way---but at least he wouldn't be unable to ride (hopefully.)

Of course, if people Really cared, we'd all wear full-face moto-style downhill helmets, because if you face plant, your skull could be intact but your face, nose and jaw could be destroyed .... and you could pass out and bleed out by the side of the road, with absolutely no cranial trauma whatsoever.

If we really wanted to save our heads, we would wear motorcycle or automobile crash helmets and accept the discomfort.

Point there is: helmets are a compromise from the word Go. You are deciding not to opt for full protection as soon as you decide to wear a cycling helmet. So it is up to you, where you balance safety and comfort and price.

Are you getting "More" protection from a $400 helmet? No one knows for sure, because no one knows how you will use that helmet if you ever need it---no one knows how you will crash. You might go over the bars, get the stem in the stomach, and bleed out internally from a lacerated liver or ruptured spleen while your helmet looks showroom new.

And ... I think it was Wavecell, where in the literature, for those who read the fine print, it said that the helmet only offered guaranteed protection at impacts of I think, 13.9 mph.

Okay.

So long as the helmet meets the minimal safety requirements (the ones we have been perfectly happy with until about three years ago, when somebody's marketing department told us we were wrong) I'd say choose by ventilation and color.

Last edited by Maelochs; 08-25-20 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 08-25-20, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
What safety tests have the POS helmets flunked?
POS...? doesn't that stand for "Piece of S...?" not sure i want that helmet.
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Old 08-25-20, 02:27 PM
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Thanks for that video, it confirms what I thought. $200 for a slot to store my sunglasses seems a bit much.

I guess I could follow my wife's lead and buy the one that goes with my outfit.
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Old 08-25-20, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
Actually it was a Swedish group that did the test. What I see is a multi-brand test with standardized protocol and some did better than others.

You might see something else.
I see your mention of POC helmets failing basic safety tests, and your later post mentioning that you read a report that an insurance company in Europe wrote. Then your reply that mentions a Swedish test. Can you provide a reference for any of that? I’d be interested in reading about the test failure...
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Old 08-25-20, 02:41 PM
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If you get a TDF helmet, make sure it is the BRIGHT YELLOW HELMET!!! Any other TDF helmet is worthless!!!

The big thing with new helmets is MIPS and WaveCel.

I haven't transitioned to MIPS yet, but there is some evidence it will help protect the noggin.

Most of my riding has some element of commuting, including off-hours riding.

For my next helmet, I've decided to go with a Second Generation Lumos MIPS helmet. A bit of a risk to order pre-production. But, I believe a quality light is as important of a safety feature as the helmet itself.



I don't care about turn signals, but want good lights.
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Old 08-25-20, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by sarhog View Post
I see your mention of POC helmets failing basic safety tests, and your later post mentioning that you read a report that an insurance company in Europe wrote. Then your reply that mentions a Swedish test. Can you provide a reference for any of that? I’d be interested in reading about the test failure...
Just Google it will find it. Folksam did the test.
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Old 08-25-20, 02:54 PM
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I've found that nothing takes the place of good research. Read lots of reviews and narrow your search down to two or three. Then find the best deal you can. I have found that avoiding the cheapest options as well as the most expensive and buying something that falls in the middle works best.
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Old 08-25-20, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Why the typical alarmist BF style yell at clouds intro of "$350 helmet for TdF riders" ?

You can get a mips Giro road helmet for $55 all day long. You can get a mips helmet around $60 that's a decent lid from most any big name brand all the time.

The $350 helmets you often see have mips, a wireless crash sensor to communicate to your GPS or an app on your phone, and also are likely a super aero racing shape. If you don't need all that.......why get it?

Why all the hand waving? If racing is your hobby and you have cash........buy what you want. If it isn't, still buy what you want.
Have not crashed yet with this one for $60:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
it replaced a $200 Lazer MIPS and the fit feels the same.
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Old 08-25-20, 03:52 PM
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Because if your not wearing an expensive helmet other cyclists won't wave at you
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Old 08-25-20, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Have not crashed yet with this one for $60:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
it replaced a $200 Lazer MIPS and the fit feels the same.
Crashed on the 9th of last month, while going 18 mph, after the rider in front of me slowed down and hit my front wheel. I had a $79.00 KASK Rapido that cracked in 4 places above the temple. Helmet remained intact. It fared up better than my left clavicle, which ended up with a fracture.
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Old 08-25-20, 05:09 PM
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It doesn't take much to ring your bell. I've clocked my noggin a fair amount.

A few months ago I fell off my bike- as I was falling, I made a conscious decision to hold my handlebars up to not scratch my brake levers, I also pretty much instinctively attempted to tuck in my chin and lead with my back. When my helmet made contact with the pavement, it made this sharp "crack" sound. It was a really scary sound. When I got up, I made sure I was OK- no blood, checked the helmet to see if it split, checked out my head, tried to evaluate if I was thinking OK. Checked out my bike- Brake levers made it unscathed... saddle got scuffed.

Short story long, my helmet was at least 10 years old, and it made me go out and buy a new one. I got a nice Bern. I got a color that I thought was cool... it wasn't until after I got it that I realized it doesn't go with any of my bikes or anything...

New Hat by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr

New Hat by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr
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