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Helmets..$15.00-$250.00 is the higher end really worth it?

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Helmets..$15.00-$250.00 is the higher end really worth it?

Old 07-07-13, 12:39 PM
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Notgrownup
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Helmets..$15.00-$250.00 is the higher end really worth it?

I bought a Bell helmet for $15.00 and was looking at some that the riders on TDF were wearing then some that i saw at the LBS and some online...Enough to make you head spin...SO the $15 one is light and vents decent and i presume safe ... I know the high end ones will be better no doubt but what is the main advantage or benefit??? I just don't know how much i want to invest in a helmet if the $15.00 one works...
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Old 07-07-13, 01:38 PM
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I always get the feeling that helmet manufacturers purposely make their lower end helmets ugly and their higher end helmets "faster" looking with more vents. Structural integrity of most bike helmets are the same more or less. And when I say that, I don't mean there are bike helmets significantly more impact resistant than the other helmets, I mean some helmets do not meet the CPSC (and other) safety standards.


What you do get from a higher end helmet is lighter weight, "better" fit, more breathability, and probably the option to have custom graphics.
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Old 07-07-13, 01:41 PM
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Don't get up set.

$1.99 from Goodwill

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Old 07-07-13, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Don't get up set.

$1.99 from Goodwill

I hope you are kidding. It is a HUGE mistake to buy a used helmet. You have no idea of the history of the helmet. A helmet can easily sustain an impact, have damage but show no external signs of damage.

Also you may not know the age of the helmet. As everything, the materials in helmets start to break down when exposed to the environment. I ride a lot and replace mine every 3-4 years. While it would probably last a lot longer, my noggin is far more valuable then $30-$40 every few years.
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Old 07-07-13, 02:01 PM
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High end helmets are normally designed for a very specific purpose, in the case of road helmets normally a combination of aerodynamics and very low weight.

For the everyday rider, as long as the helmet has passed all the relevant safety standards (which they all should), fit / how it looks are key selling factors, and these can be found at the most price points.
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Old 07-07-13, 02:15 PM
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A $100 bike works for some peopke too. But if you're not happy with that either then you can probably answer your own question.
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Old 07-07-13, 02:29 PM
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Buy what you can afford and what makes you want to ride your bike.

My Giro Aeon was worth every penny.
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Old 07-07-13, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
I hope you are kidding. It is a HUGE mistake to buy a used helmet. You have no idea of the history of the helmet. A helmet can easily sustain an impact, have damage but show no external signs of damage.
After reading lots of the studies on bicycle helmet effectiveness in the scientific literature I've concluded that the main function of one for me is that it lets me participate in group rides without controversy. The $2 helmet from Goodwill would fulfill that function just as well as any $200 helmet. [My helmets have been bought new, but I keep them long enough so the cost/year is less than a dollar.]
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Old 07-07-13, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
For the everyday rider, as long as the helmet has passed all the relevant safety standards (which they all should), fit / how it looks are key selling factors, and these can be found at the most price points.
In order for it to be sold (in the US at least), it HAS to comply with safety regulations.
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Old 07-07-13, 03:14 PM
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Well the Bell helmet i bought fits nice and is comfortable...I guess until i need buy another one i will use this one...I would not buy a used helmet...under no circumstances..That goes for my Motorcycle helmets also...Thanks for the responses...
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Old 07-07-13, 03:27 PM
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I buy cheap helmets, I've been using the same one for 6 years now...
Expensive helmets is all about making a " fashion statement" and making yourself look like a pro.
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Old 07-07-13, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I buy cheap helmets, I've been using the same one for 6 years now...
Expensive helmets is all about making a " fashion statement" and making yourself look like a pro.
No.
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Old 07-07-13, 03:54 PM
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I wonder why this topic comes up so often.

"Is it worth it?" It obviously wasn't worth it to the OP because otherwise he would have bought a more expensive helmet. Frankly, a $250.00 helmet is beyond my personal gag point so it isn't worth it to me either. On the other hand, it doesn't bother me if someone else wants to buy a $250.00 helmet. Why does the topic keep coming up?
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Old 07-07-13, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I wonder why this topic comes up so often.

"Is it worth it?" It obviously wasn't worth it to the OP because otherwise he would have bought a more expensive helmet. Frankly, a $250.00 helmet is beyond my personal gag point so it isn't worth it to me either. On the other hand, it doesn't bother me if someone else wants to buy a $250.00 helmet. Why does the topic keep coming up?


The simple answer is because many people simply can't understand what motivates other people. People that are happy with their $500.00 bike have every right to be happy with it. But then they wonder why someone would buy a $300.00 or $5000.00 bike. Explaining the reasoning doesn't matter because they still can't understand. That is just the way people are.
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Old 07-07-13, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
After reading lots of the studies on bicycle helmet effectiveness in the scientific literature I've concluded that the main function of one for me is that it lets me participate in group rides without controversy. The $2 helmet from Goodwill would fulfill that function just as well as any $200 helmet....
I've come to the same conclusion myself. Don't have to endure being called (or implied) an idiot or "brain donor", don't have to explain my rationale to anyone, especially because I can't really tell you I've met anyone who can understand that a reasonable person can decide a helmet isn't important.

That said, I buy based on comfort, weight and looks and will pay extra for a helmet that feels and looks better on my head than another.
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Old 07-07-13, 05:51 PM
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Honestly i wasn't trying to elude that i thought buying a $250.00 helmet was a waste or foolish...I was wondering more of the option, features, benefits, added safety...I didn't buy a $15.00 helmet because i am cheap or poor. At the time i said, this should do...looks safer than not wearing one and fit good...I think i will buy a Cannondale Quick for around $40.00...I also had just bought a $500 bike and $130 shoes n pedals so i was a bit tapped out... Hey i started out with a $600 Motorcycle about 15 years ago and now am on a $20000 one so i guess after a while i will upgrade the Bike, Shoes, helmet, pedals, lighting, tires, etc.....It's an addiction.
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Old 07-07-13, 07:04 PM
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I never gave much thought to helmets until yesterday.

I was in a group ride and one of the riders, who was a few head of me, lost it and crashed. We were at the start of the ride and going down a small hill, our speed was 20s. He hit his brake and lost control. He went ass over end and went flying on to the pavement....head first. He slammed his head. He hit so hard, I could hear it strike the pavement. The rider behind him went down too. We think, he forgot to tighten his front wheel after, taking it off the vehicle bike rack.
After seeing the impacts, I am glad both of their helmets were not the cheapest one they could find. Both were name brands. Both the helmets were destroyed and I am sure it save them both from a very catastrophic day. The first rider's injuries were bad, his ear was half torn off, he had a couple of broken ribs and multiple lacerations/contusions. The second rider only suffered a mild concussion and lots of road rash. I consider myself lucky, I was able to stop inches from the wreck. The guy ahead of me swerved out into the lane. Good thing no cars were coming.

I know all helmets meet a minimum standard, after seeing a crash first hand, I'll pass on just getting one that just passed and met the a minimum standard. I am going to look for one that far exceeds the standards.

It was a big eye opener.
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Old 07-07-13, 07:14 PM
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Given that they have more material in them, I'd predict that the cheaper helmets might be safer than the more expensive ones. Hotter: sure, heavier: definitely, worse fitting: that's a personal head shape thing, but safer (with the caveat that they both meat the minimum CSPC requimrements): maybe.
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Old 07-07-13, 07:32 PM
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I don't remember how much my first helmet cost me but it was a Louis Garneau and it was so hot that I nearly passed out during a race and rarely wore it other than the occasional group ride.

I'm riding with a Giro now and its way more comfortable. The heat is barely an issue even during long rides in the mid-day FL summer sun.

IME they are not all created equal.
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Old 07-07-13, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Given that they have more material in them, I'd predict that the cheaper helmets might be safer than the more expensive ones. Hotter: sure, heavier: definitely, worse fitting: that's a personal head shape thing, but safer (with the caveat that they both meat the minimum CSPC requimrements): maybe.
Not all materials perform the same. Many higher end helmets use materials that provide more protection with less bulk which allows for better ventilation and a slimmer look.

I tell the customers at the shop I work at to pick a helmet that they are comfortable wearing every time they get on the bike. That can mean anything from ventilation, bulk, shape, fit, to style which IMO is worth considering in a big way. I see (and know) too many people who don't wear a helmet because they don't want to look like nerds.
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Old 07-07-13, 08:11 PM
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This has been covered in thread after thread, as you can see.

Even the official helmet testers have weighed in.

That said, I just dropped $70 for a new helmet (Chainlove). Prior to that I had been riding a long time with an inexpensive one I got at Costco for less than $25.

What did I get for $70? More vents, better coverage, a helmet liner that offers more adjustability, and some convenience. It arguably looks better. I'm satisfied, but I would not have paid more for something lighter or with greater cachet (in terms of brand).

My inexpensive helmet will be used for off-road, and my new one for road riding only.
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Old 07-07-13, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Notgrownup View Post
I bought a Bell helmet for $15.00 and was looking at some that the riders on TDF were wearing then some that i saw at the LBS and some online...Enough to make you head spin...SO the $15 one is light and vents decent and i presume safe ... I know the high end ones will be better no doubt but what is the main advantage or benefit??? I just don't know how much i want to invest in a helmet if the $15.00 one works...
About a year ago, I crashed at about 25mph on a wet surface. I came off quick and went sliding head first into the curb. I hit the curb so hard with my head, it sounded like a gun shot. The cheap Walmart helmet saved the day. IMO, the premium higher cost helmets are better, but having something on your head is better than having nothing. Just my opinion. I still have a couple cheap helmets and a $100 Giro too. I still wear the cheap one from time to time. IMO, the main thing is to have a helmet on when riding..
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Old 07-07-13, 08:41 PM
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As I recall, recent article touted here said that there was actually a recent innovation in helmet technology. It had something to do with a rotating liner.

That being said, I wear a Bern Brentwood. I went with the Bern (a more expensive brand) because it is comfortable, it works well with a recumbent (no silly tail), and I happen to like the very subdued styling.
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Old 07-07-13, 09:14 PM
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Most bike helmets are marginal regardless of price. I had a mid priced Specialized, when I hit the pavement, I broke my femur and got a concussion. The helmet split in half. I now have a cheap Bell multi-sport helmet. It is heavier and much more substantial with the thick ABS shield over foam than the thin plastic/ABS aero-cycling helmets.

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Old 07-07-13, 09:23 PM
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Fit in a helmet is the only thing of importance. I can find inexpensive models that fit great, so stick to them. Moderately priced models have a couple of features making a good fit more easily attained .
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