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What is the deal with prices on helmets?(16 posts)

What is the deal with prices on helmets?Spyky
Aug 13, 2003 12:37 PM
I just bought a '03 Pneumo on sale to replace my aging Specialized that's been doing dual-duty (MTB and road). The Pneumo is clearly a nicer helmet than my old one, which was expensive at the time. The hard shell is fixed right to the foam, the skull locking mechanism is nicer and the vents are wider.

When I purchased the Pneumo I also checked out some cheaper helmets in the $40-$70 range. They may not have the subjective "style" of the Pneumo that says you are willing to shell out over a $100 for a piece of foam, but they sure are damn similar. I even checked out Giro's website to do comparisons between the cheaper models and the more expensive models. I still can't tell the difference. All the specs (including weight) are nearly identical. So why does the Pneumo retail for 3 times what some of these other nearly identical helmets cost?

Ultimately I ended up with the Pneumo because I didn't want to be cheap on my helmet, but I sort of feel silly because I can't even begin to justify the price hike. With most other expensive bike parts I can at least usually chalk it up to manufacturing costs or something.

Can someone explain to me why Giro and others can get away charging 3 times as much for their "premium" helmet, and yet not do anything to make them appear premium.

-Spyky
Well, Spankster, you get what you pay for.....nmMR_GRUMPY
Aug 13, 2003 12:53 PM
Well, Spankster, you get what you pay for.....nmSpyky
Aug 13, 2003 1:19 PM
Well that's my point Mr Grumpy. I *didn't* get what I pay for, I mean come on, there isn't even any titanium or carbon fibre! It's the exact same damn thing as the $50 ones. At least when I buy a $150 seatpost instead of a $50 one it is made out of some "cooler" material.

At least call it advanced composite materials or something Giro, throw me a bone here.

;-)

-Spyky
Easy.Spoke Wrench
Aug 13, 2003 12:58 PM
Once you find it in your heart to admit that you are willing to pay a premium just for style, the rest comes easy.

Do you have any pictures or artwork in your home? Does your car have the base interior? It's OK to buy the helmet that you want.
Its the latest and the greatest.pmf1
Aug 13, 2003 1:07 PM
And in two years it'll be going for half price on close-out because Giro will have a new even cooler, "better" helmet out.

I seriously doubt you're getting any more protection than you'd get with the $40 Giro helmet. But style counts for something.

I always buy the close-out "old" model. Two years ago it was the Giro Boreas. Performance had them for half price in this cool yellow/orange. I was very pleased until I noticed that half the guys on the bike path had also bought one. I still see them all over the place.
Buying a GIRO helmet at full retail price is pure insanity!aerox
Aug 13, 2003 2:18 PM
I just received a brand new (MED) 2002 PINK Giro Eclipse from a eBay seller/retailer. According to the seller's listing, he/she bought ALL of 2002 Giro's old inventory and is able to sell these helmets cheaply. The price was just $25 (US) + $9 (US) shipping. I feel I still over-paid for the Giro helmet. Considering, the eBay seller has (size:Large)'02 PINK Giro Eclipse for $15 (US). Sure the color is on the feminine side (I'm a guy) ...but $34 is ridiculous!
Now see, that's my point.Spoke Wrench
Aug 13, 2003 3:18 PM
They don't come cheap enough to get me to wear a pink helmet.
Yeah, me neitherpmf1
Aug 14, 2003 4:41 AM
Not even if was free.
Are you cheap or unreasonable?Fez
Aug 14, 2003 5:25 AM
You think you overpaid at $25 for a helmet that retails for $100? Either you are cheap or extremely unreasonable.

Even the cheapest helmets from Bell or Giro or Performance House Brand are $30-$40. I rarely see sale helmets for $25.

The pink color is another story. I wouldn't do it, but if you like it, fine.
What is the deal with prices on designer clothes?Kerry Irons
Aug 13, 2003 4:29 PM
How do you think Calvin Klein and co. charge $200 for a turtleneck sweater that, without the label, is hard to tell from the $40 Eddie Bauer version?

Short answer is that the high end helmet offers a few more features ("better" color scheme, more refined attachment system, better/bigger vents, better quality fittings) and carries most of the cost of R&D. Wait for things to go on sale like you did and you get whatever benefits for a lower cost. Is it worth it, even on sale? Only you can decide.
You are paying for R&D, Advertising, and Pro Sponsorship...russw19
Aug 13, 2003 5:51 PM
When you buy the top of the line of any product, you are paying a premium to get the latest and greatest of product development. Last year's helmets are cheaper because the technology is older.. the research that went into placing the vents where they are is old.. you are now paying for new research, product development, placing it on current top pros heads (like Lance Armstrong for one...) and the advertising that touts it as the next great invention in helmet technology. Also, you are paying extra to have the new best helmet. And if you think that doesn't matter to people, then how the heck else can you justify paying $150 or more for a chunck of plastic and polystyrene? Fashion is a huge factor in buying and selling, always has been and always will be... don't trivialize it's impact on the pricing of helmets. It's supply and demand, and if people continue to pay $150 for a helmet, the helmet companies will continue to charge it (as well as raise the price when a newer one comes out) until the consumer says enough is enough and stops buying those helmets (which hasn't happened yet.)

There's your bone... run with it.... ;-)

Russ
Major rip offNessism
Aug 13, 2003 9:44 PM
In my opinion, paying more than $75 for a helmet these days is pure extravagent spending.

I receintly bought a Bell Ghisallo from Supergo for $70. Super nice helmet in my opinion. Lots of venting and a nice retention system. The Bell Alchera is the same helmet sans the hard plastic shell on the lower rear black section. These can be had for as low as $39 bucks for Team Performance members - I know since I bought one of these also!

Performance also sells last years Giro Eclipse for $50.

Hard to beat those prices in terms of value.

Ed
Lazer helmetdawgcatchr
Aug 13, 2003 11:58 PM
Last year's Lazer helmet (I think it is was the Millenium) that is worn by over 1/2 of the pro peloton is now their second in line-it now costs MSRP $99 instead of $159. Now that they made up their money in R+D, they can decrease the price to be in line with production costs only, I am guessing. At any rate, this is a damn good looking helmet, and you just don't see them on every rider-kind of like riding a Fondriest vs. a Trek.
Lawsuits??filtersweep
Aug 14, 2003 5:26 AM
I know for other types of helmets (motorcycle, football, hockey), there is a HUGE imbedded cost for lawsuit settlement- does anyone know if this ocurrs in bike helmets?

I find it interesting how relatively FEW helmets undergo testing. Selev and Met aren't even available in the US due to test approval issues, and these are just two that I'm aware of.

I own a Limar and a Selev- both Italian I believe, and both lighter than anything made by Bell/Giro.

It seems there is a price barrier between helmets that have finished backs and those that don't. Most lower end lids had raw "foam" above the neck.
How do you resolve the fit issue?boyd2
Aug 14, 2003 8:38 AM
I have stayed away from buying helmets online because I want to know if they fit before I buy. I have a really big head, and some helmets look silly or just plain dont fit. I don't want to be a jerk and try one on at LBS and buy online. Nice helmets are expensive at LBS and most shops do not have a great selection.
The best way to save money is purchasing over the internet..DINOSAUR
Aug 14, 2003 5:53 PM
I love my LBS, great guys, good service, they remember my name, they will usually make little repairs on my bike on the spot. The problem is I pay top dollar for purchasing anything in their store, unless it is a big item like a new bike. About the only thing I purchase at my LBS are tires and cleats as with the cost of shipping over the internet the price comes out about the same. Often they have killer sales at my LBS but you have to get to the shop fast or everything will be gone.

Helmets- I found a '00 Giro Elipse helmet on sale over the internet for $39.00. The only difference between the '00 and the '03 models are the colors, otherwise it is the same exact helmet. The price for the '03 Elipse is $99.00. Yes- helmets do make a difference, the higher price models are usually lighter, have more vents and are more comfortable.

If you click on the 'Hot Deals' on this website, or just troll around you can find outstanding sales on just about anything. This is where the internet has it over purchasing at a LBS.

Everything in cycling is overpriced, often you pay for a name. I put all my money into my bike, I just have a couple of team jerseys the rest of the stuff is whatever I found on sale and everything works just as well as a brand name.

Giro knows how to market, make a Postal Team Lance Armstrong edition anything and it will cost big bucks.