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How much difference does buying a real helmet make?

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How much difference does buying a real helmet make?

Old 03-05-11, 01:47 AM
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banerjek
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How much difference does buying a real helmet make?

I'm due to buy a new helmet. In typical Fredly fashion, I've been wearing an Alchera for awhile. Most of the year, it's fine, but there are definitely issues with overheating in hot weather or when exertion is sufficiently high -- a couple times, I wound up lying in a ditch passed out from heat exhaustion.

How much benefit would I get from upgrading to something like an Atmos, Volt, or something better (i.e. is it worth it to spend the extra $$)?
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Old 03-05-11, 01:56 AM
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I wore a Giro Rift for awhile and upgraded to a Bell Volt. First ride out was a huge difference, could feel a lot of wind hitting my scalp that i didn't feel on the rift. I think its worth it if you ride in areas with warm to fairly hot weather a lot of the year. It can get to 110 degrees in the summer where i live so any added ventilation for my head is a good investment for me. In the winter its pretty cold so i wear a skull cap.

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Old 03-05-11, 02:00 AM
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I don't have any problems with my $35 Bell helmet. Now I haven't tried out a top dollar helmet, but my current one doesn't slow me down or cause any discomfort or excessive sweat, so it works perfectly for me
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Old 03-05-11, 02:07 AM
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I went from an Alchera to a Decibel and I could tell the difference while climbing. It's still only something like a 10% improvement where 100% would be wearing no helmet, but when you like climbing even when it's 100 degrees out, anything helps.
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Old 03-05-11, 02:42 AM
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All about comfort & safety. As long as the safety is there i.e. it ss well engineered, the lighter helmet is heaven sent blessing on the neck, esp. on long hot rides.
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Old 03-05-11, 04:35 AM
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I've got a neighbor who had been using a cheap, "minimally vented" helmet that had lost its taped-on shell. I gave him my Giro Pneumo after I got my S-Works and quit wearing the Pneumo myself. He later said to me that when he rode with it the first time, he thought it was broken because it let so much more air come through than his old helmet did.

The design makes a lot of difference. The vents need to be connected with air passages all the way to the back of the helmet or else there just isn't going to be much airflow.

I posted a few pics of various helmets in this thread:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...r-head)-COOLER

Also including interior pics of a cheap helmet from a rental shop I've been using this month:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post12309114
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Old 03-05-11, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
In typical Fredly fashion
This.
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Old 03-05-11, 05:09 AM
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I've had $50 helmets that I've liked better than $90 helmets. I don't think I'll ever blow more than $50 again. I've never even tried on a $150+ helmet.

I've only had heat exhaustion problems on steep climbs and at stoplights. I've taken it off for a spell in those situations. Super fredly to roll with the styrofoam hanging from your bars, but whatcha gonna do when you gotta get up a big hill in the heat?

I find a thin doo-rag that wrr suggested can even help in the heat sometimes, moreso in a dry heat, IME.

If you're doing solo rides or even mellow group rides in the heat and don't mind riding pretty tamely I'd consider not wearing a helmet at all for them, rides must be MELLOW, however.
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Old 03-05-11, 05:33 AM
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I went to a $200 Giro Prolight and could telll some difference due to reduced weight.
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Old 03-05-11, 06:04 AM
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I am happy with my Giro Saros. Not too pricey.
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Old 03-05-11, 06:27 AM
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Sorry I can't answer your question directly but want to add that I have been using the beloved Bell Alchera for several years with no problems, no overheating etc. The only thing I add in the extreme heat is a Halo headband and be sure to drink lots of fluids.

I say if you really want to know the difference you will have to find out for yourself, either borrow a buddy's "real" helmet or cough up 150 bucks and get your own.
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Old 03-05-11, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
I'm due to buy a new helmet. In typical Fredly fashion, I've been wearing an Alchera for awhile. Most of the year, it's fine, but there are definitely issues with overheating in hot weather or when exertion is sufficiently high -- a couple times, I wound up lying in a ditch passed out from heat exhaustion.

How much benefit would I get from upgrading to something like an Atmos, Volt, or something better (i.e. is it worth it to spend the extra $$)?
What is fredly about the alchera, looks like a decent road helmet.
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Old 03-05-11, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I went from an Alchera to a Decibel and I could tell the difference while climbing. It's still only something like a 10% improvement where 100% would be wearing no helmet, but when you like climbing even when it's 100 degrees out, anything helps.
Exactly.

I had a Bell that I thought worked fine, but when I managed to find a pretty good Uvex helmet cheap online I noted a huge difference in the ventilation. I was looking for a second helmet for summer riding because the sweat-soaked pads in the Bell weren't drying out before the next day's ride. I did keep the Bell for cold-weather riding, though.

There's other little differences, too. The Uvex has much better fit adjustment, and if you've ever literally gotten a bee in your bonnet you'll appreciate the bug screens on the vents. And the pads are different, with a better suspension system that doesn't need thick padding, so the pads don't soak up as much sweat and therefore dry out a lot faster.
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Old 03-05-11, 08:15 AM
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i've got a well vented MET estrus. light, comfortable, adjustable and stylish. noisy as hell, however.
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Old 03-05-11, 08:29 AM
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Don't expect a huge difference. The Alchera is not a bucket. But if you're looking for even a 10% improvement like uk says then go for it.
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Old 03-05-11, 08:33 AM
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I can't tell you. It's hot here most of the year, and I try to buy the most vented lightest color helmet I can get!
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Old 03-05-11, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
This.

Pay no mind to the OLD slow guy!
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Old 03-05-11, 08:35 AM
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If I were repeatedly suffering from heat exhaustion, my first thought wouldn't be "maybe I should buy a new helmet".
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Old 03-05-11, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
If I were repeatedly suffering from heat exhaustion, my first thought wouldn't be "maybe I should buy a new helmet".
As I think about it more, I agree. Passing out by the side of the road shouldn't be due to simply a helmet. I'd check my food, water intake, or maybe ask what my doc says.
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Old 03-05-11, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by v70cat View Post
I went to a $200 Giro Prolight and could telll some difference due to reduced weight.
Yes, from a lighter wallet!

eBay has them for $130ish. I didn't like the strapping on the Prolight so I went with the Ionos. MSRP $295, I picked up on eBay for $150 shipped.
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Old 03-05-11, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I went from an Alchera to a Decibel and I could tell the difference while climbing. It's still only something like a 10% improvement where 100% would be wearing no helmet, but when you like climbing even when it's 100 degrees out, anything helps.
The new Specialized Prevail supposedly offers better cooling than a bare head. Considering how the forward facing vents are scoop shaped I don't doubt it.
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Old 03-05-11, 09:33 AM
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I like Specialized helmets. Right now, I have a Cateye Whisper Plus. Might be a little pricey for some but I'm loving it. You can see how "airy" it is in this pic:

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Old 03-05-11, 09:35 AM
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Alchera and the identical Influx have worked fine for me for years, among other helmets. IMO, the differences are minor once you get above the basic bottom-of-the-line models and are largely cosmetic. You want a new helmet with higher bling factor? Go for it and be happy. As far as passing out from heat exhaustion, no upgrade from your Alchera is going to help that.
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Old 03-05-11, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
As I think about it more, I agree. Passing out by the side of the road shouldn't be due to simply a helmet. I'd check my food, water intake, or maybe ask what my doc says.
This has only happened a few times, all of them self inflicted as they involved riding too hard for over 8 hrs in heat with inadequate food and water intake.

I used to have excellent heat tolerance, so the first time it happened, I didn't realize what was going on and did exactly the wrong thing -- I felt freezing cold even though temps were in the 90's so I added layers, tried to get more direct sunlight, and picked up the pace. Now I'm not so crazy and can tell when I'm overheating, so I'm just looking for ways to stay cooler so I can ride harder and longer.
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Old 03-05-11, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Menel View Post
What is fredly about the alchera
It's got quite a following among 'bent riders for being a good performer in that price range...
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