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OH NO!! Not another helmet question....(17 posts)

OH NO!! Not another helmet question....PaulCL
Aug 27, 2001 6:25 AM
..sorry. I am planning to replace my 3 yr old Bell helmet - taking advantage of the 'soon-to-be' off-season sales.

Any opinion on Limar helmets?? I really like the way they look. I am leaning toward a Limar (model 107?), Giro Pneumo, or a Briko. FYI: I am a roadie. My old helmet will become my off-road helmet.

Any ideas where to get any of these models cheaply? Any experiences?
I think that the "F" word applies here.Spoke Wrench
Aug 27, 2001 6:37 AM
"FIT"

It looks to me like different helmet manufacturers use different head forms. Viewed from the top, some look more round while others more oval from front to back. I'd choose a manufacturer that matches your head.
Check Girogrzy mnky
Aug 27, 2001 7:49 AM
They have a new advance on their Roc Loc system that allows for a perfect fit no matter what the shape of your head is. It's on the E2, a MTB helmet, but also avail on the Pneumo and maybe some others. Insane.
Pneumojtolleson
Aug 27, 2001 7:59 AM
Try 'em on in your shop, because these helmets all fit differently. I tried on the Limar, which folks LOVE, but it seemed too shallow for my bulbous goard. I felt the hard shell on the back/top of my head. I chose the Pneumo. Have you ever seen so many vents?

But it ain't cheap. Soooo, for purchasing, I bought via EBay. Gearlink.com sells a lot of new, higher end cycling gear (also got my CF Airstryke aerobars via GearLink on eBay) on eBay and dumps them steadily enough that if you wait, you can get a great deal.

I got my Pneumo for $129, $6.95 shipping, and no sales tax. You just need to know your size and color preference and wait for one to show up. New offerings almost daily. I got yellow! Gear Link also puts a lot of NICE road shoes on eBay.
Check out PneumoLeroy L
Aug 27, 2001 8:15 AM
I just got a Pneumo and it is a super helmet.
Oh, and helmet safety ...PdxMark
Aug 27, 2001 8:49 AM
All are great looking helmets, but I recently heard an interesting way of thinking about helmets ... safety...

The regular helmet standards are minimums that might not always indicate that a helmet is as safe as it can be. As an example, the Giro has a beautiful, minimalist front vent structure, but consider how much energy that minimalist structure can dissipate in a crash (like a car pulling out in front of you so your forehead bangs into the side of the car). Not to single-out Giro, but their lovely, almost lattice-work designs don't leave alot of polystyrene between your noggin and a hard spot...

So, for me, I think fit and helmet "substance" (thickness, overall structure, whatever) are two factors I try to keep in mind...
That occurred to me too...PaulCL
Aug 27, 2001 9:03 AM
hence, the reason I looked at the Briko's. Not the best looking (kinda weird in a good way), but seems more solid all around. I realize fit is the most important thing. I am just looking for any experiences, good or bad, with these helmets: i.e. - defects, protecting your head in a crash, experience with the company, crash-return policy, etc...
Here's a linkPdxMark
Aug 27, 2001 9:05 AM
Here's just a bit of info from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute:

Which also includes the standards... Like dropping the helmet 2 m along a vertical axis(?) testing just the top, rather than forehead(?) Haven't dug through it, but there's alot here, including:

"Beware of marketing gimmicks. You want a smooth plastic outer shell, not the alternating strips of plastic and foam on the outside of Bell's stylish 1997 "Evo Pro" model. Excessive vents mean less foam in contact with your head in a crash, which could concentrate force on one point of your skull."

http://www.bhsi.org/index.htm
Interesting WebsitePaulCL
Aug 27, 2001 9:52 AM
Makes me really think twice about the Pneumo. Maybe the Briko is the way to go...

I know this has been beaten to death but...when to replace the helmet. The website mentioned several reasons: old age,crash, bad fit, or you don't like it (and presumably, then, won't wear it). My helmet is only three years (seasons) old - but my brain is one thing I won't risk. If a helmet lasts three seasons, it only costs $30-40 per season - cheap insurance.
Looks can be deceivinggrzy mnky
Aug 27, 2001 10:43 AM
You can't tell squat about a helmet by simply "looking at it." What you don't see and know can be quite surprising. Did you know that there's actually a skeleton burried down inside the Pneumo helmet? A skeleton that is designed to distort and distribute energy? The type of foam used and the bead structure is very critical. The testing standards aren't perfect but they are a standard that people start from. Many designs are actually oriented at exceeding the standards by a good margin. In short there is a hell of a lot of technology, modeling, testing and experience that goes into helmet design due to the obvious product liability. What you guys are throwing around is not much more than kicking the tires of a new car in a show room and calling yourselves experts.

BTW - the guy responsible for all Giro testing and standards is a close personal friend of mine. I say this b/c I happen to see and learn quite a bit about what he does for Giro, not that they're the only game in town.
So...any good info from your Giro tester?kenyee
Aug 27, 2001 10:55 AM
Like what protects the best during crashes, whether MTB helmets are really designed for slow speed crashes vs. high speed crashes, what other things they had to do to meet Euro safety standards, etc.?
The only thing I don't like about Bell is they don't say they met Euro safety standards like Giro and Limar. I always thought Euro standards were more strict. Their car crash standards are...
So...any good info from your Giro tester?grzy mnky
Aug 27, 2001 11:16 AM
I'll see what he has to say. dunno know if the standards are stricter or not, but you have to certify under each standard. So a helmet approved for sale in Urup can't necessarily be sold in the USA until it is approved in the USA.
Helmet standards...TJeanloz
Aug 27, 2001 11:49 AM
There are no helmet safety standards required by the US government. It is legal to sell anything as a bicycle helmet, including old school leather 'hairnets' and cycling caps. The ANSI and SNELL approvals are independant ratings (a bit like UL) and are required by the USCF and others for racing. For what it's worth, Briko, Rudy Project and Limar have not (to my knowledge, which is only as recent as Interbike2000) been ANSI or SNELL approved and are technically not legal for racing in the US. They have been approved by the Euro standards, so nobody really cares. I understand that the USCF will be allowing CE approved helmets soon.

The American tests are actually a little bit more stringent than the CE test; they have the same requirements, except that the American test includes dropping a ten pound ball onto the helmet from 4 feet up, and the helmet must not deform. Thus only a hardshell helmet can pass the test, and something like the Rudy Project Atmosphere will not.
So what is ANSI and Snell approved?kenyee
Aug 27, 2001 3:41 PM
I would have expected Limar and Briko to pass.
Giro, Bell et. al.TJeanloz
Aug 27, 2001 5:19 PM
It's not that the European manufacturers have failed the ANSI/Snell standards, they haven't taken the tests in the first place. Achieving a particular certification is a very expensive procedure for the manufacturer, and I know that in Rudy Project's case, they decided that the cost of certification was too large to justify fully entering the US market.

The list of approved manufacturers includes: Giro/Bell (they're the same company), Specialized, Trek, GT, Troxel, and I'm sure many more that I've forgotten.
testingPaulCL
Aug 27, 2001 11:43 AM
check out the aformentioned helmet website http://www.bhsi.org/index.htm

This group has serious concerns above overly vented helmets and their ability to withstand impact. Not my words or anyone on this board, but from this website.
Ya, helmet design is complex...PdxMark
Aug 27, 2001 12:01 PM
and we don't know all the design details, but if one helmet seems to have 1/2 the polystyrene across my forehead as another, and the other says nothing about having any structure other than the apparent polystyrene, why should I think that 1/2 the polystyrene will absorb as much energy? A hidden mystery skeleton seems like it would be a good thing, but Giro doesn't seem to mention it, so how are we to know? That's why we try discussing it here...

My point is that certification is a minimum and that safety may not be the same for all helmets... if we have no way to discern relative safety, then I guess we just live with it...

Also, other important factors are fit (so that the helmet is where it belongs whn you do hit something), strength of straps (to keep the helmet where it belongs), etc...