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Helmet(9 posts)

HelmetRoadguy
Mar 22, 2001 8:47 AM
Hi Everyone,

Iam in the market for a new road helmet. There seems to be a huge difference in prices and I am looking for a good value. I have a helmet now that is inexpensive but has served me well, would like to get a new one with more vents to keep me cool. I would like to hear your suggestions and why you think that helmet is the way to go. I am
ok with spending up to $150.00 if it is worth it in fit, coolness, and protection.
Thanks,
Bill
re: HelmetHank
Mar 22, 2001 9:10 AM
seems like after the $50 mark the helmets don't get any lighter, they just get more vents. I'm a big Giro fan, but they got bought by Bell a few years ago and no longer submit their helmets to Snell testing (Snell is the toughest--my previous Giro had a Snell sticker). So it's hard to tell just how protective these ultra expensive helmets are (I admit they look cool). I recenty went with the Giro Stelvio ($50) because it just seemed beefier than their more expensive helmets, it's the same weight as the $150 models, and it has plenty of vents for me. For more than you probably want to know about helmets, go here:

http://www.helmets.org/index.htm
and...Hank
Mar 22, 2001 9:13 AM
be sure to go here for a good review of all helmets, including the new Giros:

http://www.helmets.org/helmet01.htm
re: HelmetPsyDoc
Mar 22, 2001 9:33 AM
Hi Bill.

Yes, there are numerous helmets to choose from and the price range can be a little surprising. The most important factor is fit, because if the helmet does not fit properly then there is a good chance it will not function properly in an accident. All helmets made after 1999 have to comply with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. You may want to check out the Bicycle Safety Helmet Institute's website (at http://www.bhsi.org/guide.htm ). The institute makes a valid point that "Excessive vents mean less foam in contact with your head in a crash, which could concentrate force on one point of your skull. (U.S. standards don't test for that, so it's your judgment call)" But, they really do not operationally define "excessive vents."

I currently have a Specialized SubZero and I am pretty happy with it as there is enough ventillation to keep my head cool during the hot summer months in South Georgia. The other helmets I tried were a Bell Phi Pro, Giro Boreas, and a Specialized King Cobra. They all fit pretty well, so I ended up going with the less expensive SubZero and saved $40-$50. Oh, because there is not a decent bike shop within 80-90 miles or so, I had to do the whole thing by mail order.

Good luck.
Fit, Fit, FitMeDotOrg
Mar 22, 2001 9:51 AM
The most important thing is: uh, fit. I tried several helmets before I found the Giro Borreas was the most comfortable. You can find these on closeout for <$100.

But if you find a helmet for less money that's comfortable, you should take it. Once you get over $50, I don't think there are many structural differences between helmets. Comfort and looks become the factors.

Speaking of looks, consider a black or white helmet because they go with everything.
Helmets: How long do they last?Ken
Mar 22, 2001 10:43 AM
Speaking of helmets, I notice that Nashbar advises that you get a new one every three years, that is, providing that you haven't crashed yours or left it out in the sun for long periods of time. In these cases, you would want to change it sooner. But I kept my old Bell helmet for 12 years or more until I tried on a Giro Boreas and found the fit to be much better than the old Bell. But how often do you change your helmet? Do you just get tired of the old one and want a new one, or is Nashbar right in saying that you need to get a new one every three years. I believe their reasoning is that your perspiration breaks down the foam padding and before the helmet becomes less than full protection when new, you should change it out. Or do you think that this is just a sales and marketing ploy?
How long do you use a foam ice chest?Humma Hah
Mar 22, 2001 12:25 PM
Foam fatigues. Use a foam icechest a few times and a few chunks start to fall off, maybe some cracks appear. Helmet foam is somewhat better quality and it does have a paper-thin shell on it, but you can bet it degrades with time. I'd expect more damage from tossing one in a gear bag to head out for an event, or getting dropped on the floor, than from actual riding.

And Snell and ANSI upgrade the standards every few years, plus the makers come out with design improvements.

I'd say 1-3 years is pretty good service. Buy last year's model for $30 and don't think twice about the cost of new every year or two.
Fit and how much you sweat.nigel
Mar 22, 2001 10:38 AM
I tend to fit helmets pretty easily. I've used Specialized's lids (sub-zero 6, for example) in the past, since they made them small enough for my head. I just bought a Giro Boreas on closeout (less than $100), since I needed more ventilation out of a helmet. Since my head sweats A LOT, I needed something with tons of vents (and big ones, properly placed, too). The Boreas is very noticably cooler than my well-ventilated Specialized (which would be enough for most people). Sure, it wasn't cheap, but it looks great, has passed enough of the tests (the pros wear them, and these guys have huge life insurance policies!), and is the best ventilated thing I've ever used. Worth the price, since it'll last a few/several years, most likely. What's even $150 stretched out over five years? $30 a year. Not much for comfort, protection, and style (which does count, I feel).

Happy shopping.
re: Helmetbayman
Mar 22, 2001 3:46 PM
I went with the giro borreas, try one for fit, can't go wrong. I got mine from gearlink.com for $89.00. LaBicicletta has the red white and blue one for $69.00. As soon as this nor-easter blows out of here and the winds drop bellow 40kt, I'll try this new helmet out. Good luck.