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  1. #1
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    Are all helmets same? Just find one that fits?

    So aside from fancy adjustment features, are there any fundamentals that I should know before selecting a new helmet? Any brands better than others? Or to avoid? Or better value for the dollar?

    Anybody have tips and general user advice?

    I figure to spend $50 to $100.

  2. #2
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    they all are tested to the same standard, which means no helmet (non full-face) is any safer than another. Just find one that fits. and is well ventilated if your head gets hot.

  3. #3
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    Shop for year or two old models, you'll save a ton over current stuff.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBarnaby View Post
    Shop for year or two old models, you'll save a ton over current stuff.
    That's always good advice, but how can I tell when I'm looking at them? My LBS has hundreds of different types stacked a mile high. Online research also doesn't show model year, if they're even stamped on the boxes to confirm.

    Also, anything wrong with shopping at sporting goods outlets? Walmart? Costco? Sam's Club?

  5. #5
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    nothing wrong with them. they're even cheaper, same brain bucket. only difference is styling, ventilation, some cool features and of course, name brand...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    they all are tested to the same standard, which means no helmet (non full-face) is any safer than another. Just find one that fits. and is well ventilated if your head gets hot.
    All are required to meet the same minimum standard, but some do offer more protection than others. For the most part, the things that set one helmet apart from another are fit, weight, ventilation, aero and comfort.

    A $20 Bell helmet from WalMart comes in a couple of sizes or one size "adult adjustable" - and chances are it's not the size that fits snugly on your head. A loose fitting helmet can move or fall off in the event of a crash. More expensive helmets often come in several sizes offering you a better, more snug, fit.

    A $20 Walmart Bell helmet will likely weigh more than a more expensive helmet because it needs more mass to meet minimum safety standards. That extra mass sometimes translates to fewer vents.

    Some helmets are more aerodynamic than others and the R&D costs have to be factored into the price to the consumer. Aero is less important in MTB and more important in Road riding when speeds average above 18 mph.

    Still, other helmets offer better padding, better buckles, better adjustments, etc.

    Some fit small heads better than others, while, others fit big heads better. You'll just have to find one that you like the looks of and try it on.

    I prefer Giro Hex and if I were to buy another, I'd consider the POC Trabec.

    That's a long-winded way of saying, find one within your budget that you feel you look the least goofy wearing.
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  7. #7
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    Thank you for the advice about fit and adjustment.

    Speaking of Giro, my old existing is Giro. It's showing scuff marks, missing some pads, frazzled straps... It's over 17 years old. Not sure if age or exposure to sun reduces safety due to material fatigue (how long can styrofoam hold its strength?)

    I was looking online at the Giro Feature. Looks very different. Gotta go try it for fit. The thing that caused me to wonder about helmets is that there now seems a difference in how the rear comes down closer to your neck. It's not just sitting on top of your head. But maybe only on certain models.

    Or is that just a style?

  8. #8
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    have the giro feature and i love it. it doesn't give you the mushroom-head effect like most helmets and offer more protection to the back of the head. plus it has that click-adjustable inner pad for a better fit. may not have as much ventilation as the more expensive ones but that's not at the top of my list.

  9. #9
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    Good to hear! There's no online information about its construction. Is the outer shell a separate piece or molded into the foam?

  10. #10
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    Industry recommendation is about three years. Yes, sun exposure and heat can break down the materials.

    Some are classifying MTB helmets as XC helmets and Trail helmets and giving the trail helmets the more full coverage in the back. This offers more wrap around protection, but less aero and ventilation.

    POC and Scott have MIPS (multi-directional Impact Protection System) engineering in some of their models. Helps reduce brain injuries during impacts. Read about it more here: MIPS | Take a look in the latest issue of Popular Science
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  11. #11
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    I went with a Specialized Align @ the lbs. Sometimes great deals can be found online, but testing the fit is most important. Specialized also has a crash replacement deal, so thats always a plus.

    I got the Align for $40 + tax, and it doesnt look too dopey. (different color)

  12. #12
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    id spend closer to $100 and get one of the "trail" or "AM" helmets mentioned above with bit more protection in the back. my brother picked up a fox flux for $40 recently. i have the 661 recon and its pretty comfortable.

    if i was in the market for a new helmet and i had just gotten my tax return id be looking hard at the POC helmets.

    you probably won't need it but better safe than sorry. they look a little better than the XC helmets too. a little more confidence = more aggressive riding = more fun.
    Last edited by bigfruits; 02-03-2013 at 11:42 AM.

  13. #13
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    i would also go with the upper end of your budget.

    the 661 recon helmet is way on sale lately and a great deal of a helmet if it fits your head and your riding style

  14. #14
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    I need to pick a new helmet up. Ive been looking at feature and 2013 tactic. I'm really small and skinny every thing i try just looks massive on my head, i look like toad out of mario. I've tried the flux but it looked to big. Anyone know if these are small looking helmets or recommend anything slim looking from past experience. Im taking a gamble and ordering online as i need it soon and cant get to bike shop before time. Cheers for any help.

  15. #15
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    The most important thing is that the helmet fits your head, and won't be flung off when you wipe out. I find that with good helmets that fit me, I don't really need the chin strap to keep it on (though obviously I still keep it as a safeguard). The plastic tie behind my head keeps it on nicely.

    I currently use a pretty cheap Specialized helmet that was maybe $50, but I'm getting pretty close to replacing it with a FOX Flux which is about $100, as that very plastic tie has started to slip from wearing it every day for a year and a half.

  16. #16
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    Giro Hex fits my small head and looks the least mushroom-y
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