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Road helmet's vs. off-road helmets...(8 posts)

Road helmet's vs. off-road helmets...ashleyrenfroe
Aug 8, 2001 3:09 PM
is there really any difference besides the visor? I have removed the visor from my mountain helmet and I think it looks great for road riding. Anybody got an idea about this, or is it just another way to drop a hundred bucks?
re: Road helmet's vs. off-road helmets...MVN
Aug 8, 2001 3:47 PM
My opinion is it's all hype to make you spend more money. The Bell Vengeance is the EXACT helmet as the Nemesis 2 Pro - just without the visor. Look at the pictures and you won't be able to tell a difference. I have a Nemesis and just take the visor off when I road ride.
re: Road helmet's vs. off-road helmets...ashleyrenfroe
Aug 8, 2001 3:58 PM
Thanks for the answer. That's what I thought. I think a nice pair of low profile cycling shoes, and decent helmet without it's visor, and a nice pair of legs is all that is required to make the transition from Mountain to road.
re: Road helmet's vs. off-road helmets...Hank
Aug 8, 2001 5:48 PM
used to have a "mtb" helmet and recently got a "road" helmet. Well, I was riding my mtb with my new "road" helmet and a branch got stuck in one of the vents and almost pulled the helmet off my head and me off the bike. This is the first time this has happened to me in years of off road riding, so I wasn't sure if it was a coincidence or not. The vents on my old "mtb" helmet do appear to be a bit less snagable. As far as riding with "mtb" helmets on the road, I don't see a problem. In fact, I applaud anyone who doesn't feel the need to maintain an overly pure euro pro roadie style. Bust out the black socks!
From what I've heard and read, there IS a difference.boy nigel
Aug 8, 2001 7:04 PM
Seeing as most people who do both road and offroad riding will stick with their initial helmet (and not get special ones for each activity, unless maybe they're competing seriously in both), I can't really see the need to buy both if you're not racing.

I've read, however, that companies design offroad helmets to exhaust heat and cool one's head at the slower speeds generally ridden on trails. Looking at top-end helmets from the same company (Giro, for example), they're both great lids, but road helmets can afford to have much larger vents than offroad models--if for no other reason than for the likeliness of branches engaging themselves. The "tunnels" and "ducts" of road helmets are designed to help bring a swifter rush of air over and around one's head as roadies face/create much more wind than generally do their dirt-riding counterparts. For heat to leave one's head more quickly on slower, offroad rides, vents and channels need to be shaped differently for effectiveness, especially when higher levels are reached.

Some may feel it's a style thing--and that can be as valid as anything "real"--but I believe that with all of the testing done on today's lids, the vents, channels, and shapes of these helmets are created specifically for optimum cooling in their "appropriate" environments.

Nigel
Another thing or two.boy nigel
Aug 8, 2001 7:15 PM
1) I just went onto the giro.com site and checked out the E2 (offroad) and the Pneumo (road); their ventilation systems (size, number, shape, location, and angles of vents) are COMPLETELY different. This says to me that they're designed seriously and with solid reasoning besides fashion.

2) The offroad helmets seem thicker, a bit bigger on the head, and absolutely cover MORE of the head/neck than do road helmets. Offroad helmets tend to take MUCH more abuse than road helmets do. By this I mean that people crash, tip over, and get slammed around riding trails (much more of a contact sport) than roadies do. Sure, a crash at 45 mph on the road requires solid head protection, but going sideways or BACKWARDS down a steep, muddy, rutted, rocky, and tree-root-filled trail can be FAR more hazardous to one's head (and therefore helmet), I'd wager.

Different types of use/abuse, different speeds, different types of (and directions of) airflow, and different areas of contact mean different designs for different applications.

Sorry to go on, but I'm certain that it's not mere fashion that companies are shooting for here. Competition between companies is rough, and one company would openly call another out if they simply charged extra for a fashion statement vs. real-deal technology.

My two cents' worth.

Peace, and happy trails/roads.
Nige
re: Road helmet's vs. off-road helmets...Merost
Aug 8, 2001 10:21 PM
I think at first with the advent of road/mountain specific helmets there wasn't a whole lot of difference. In the last couple years I have noticed that mt specific helmets are getting a lot more beefy. They cover more area on your head. The true road helmets are still trying to stay minimalistic to keep your head cooler.

Merost in AZ
re: Road helmet's vs. off-road helmets...MVN
Aug 9, 2001 3:17 PM
Now that I think about it, you're right and I agree with you. But it still doesn't explain how Bell can get away with taking the visor off of a Nemesis 2 Pro and selling it as a road helmet. Actually, I don't think it needs explanation. Bell is just greedy and lazy on that count, lol.