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Thread: Helmets

  1. #1
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    Helmets

    What is the real scoop on helmets? All seem equally safety approved, but range in price from the $20.00 (Walmart) to well over a hundred dollars. If all are equally certified for safety, then the difference must be in weight, looks, air ventilation, and fit, I suppose.

    On trail, I don't want to take any chances with my head when I do want to take a chance with going over a tree root or a log that might bring me down.

    If a more expensive helmet is indeed preferred, I will gladly buy it tomorrow!!!

    Thoughts and recommendations?

  2. #2
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    My opinion is you get what you pay for (most of the time), goes for helmets as it does with most other things.

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    +1 ^^^

    I played the go cheapish game, $40 lbs branded helmet. Fit like crap, always moved around, sweat always in my face etc. I thought that was how things were...then I spent $70 on a bell stoker, ya there is a difference!!!! Lol.

    Now don't go just by single opinions etc. Each company uses a different design. I have a head that's very round instead of the avg elongated shape. Bell was the only company that I didn't have to buy the limited option XL sizes. I was able to buy a large in the color I wanted and feel as if its molded for me alone.

    Cheap helmets will protect ur head, the internal foam is similar/same material as expensive helmets. But as u said, u get what u pay for. Safety my be there but ull regret wasting money in a cheap one once y finally buy a nice one.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrsmd View Post
    If all are equally certified for safety, then the difference must be in weight, looks, air ventilation, and fit, I suppose.

    Nailed it. I think fit is paramount though and for me there have been some cases where a cheaper model fit better than a high end one of the same brand.

  5. #5
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    +++1 to all above.
    I went from $30 wallyworld helmet. I mean it works and i thought it was ok. until i purchased a Fox Flux. i was surprised on the fit. and then got a Poc Trabec and omg while I'm riding, i don't even feel the helmet on my head as compared to the $30 helmet.
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  6. #6
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    I laugh when I hear people buying 20-50 dollar helmets.
    Hello people. It's your head! Why would you buy the CHEAPEST thing to protect your brain?

    Like buying a car without airbags, 'cause they cost too much. Yea they do.

    Buy the best fitting, most expensive helmet you can. Cheap out on your jerseys or shorts, or gloves or car pool for a week or whatever...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WA-CO View Post
    I laugh when I hear people buying 20-50 dollar helmets.
    Hello people. It's your head! Why would you buy the CHEAPEST thing to protect your brain?

    Like buying a car without airbags, 'cause they cost too much. Yea they do.

    Buy the best fitting, most expensive helmet you can. Cheap out on your jerseys or shorts, or gloves or car pool for a week or whatever...
    ^^^
    What WA-CO said.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrsmd View Post
    If all are equally certified for safety, then the difference must be in weight, looks, air ventilation, and fit, I suppose.
    Pretty much it.

    There is also comfort which can come from the ventilation and/or more adjustments. However, comfort is subjective to the rider and one may find a $20 helmet more comfortable than a $200 helmet.
    Features like removable pads.
    Quality of materials (but these have nothing to do with safety).
    The area that the helmet covers. A good mountain bike helmet should cover the back of the head. (this doesn't really affect price).
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  9. #9
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    As the others said and you eluded to, you get what you pay for in terms of design and implementation. Cheap helmets normally have a very crappy retention system that doesn't work well at keeping the helmet where it should be on your head, hence fit sucks and the helmet will constantly move about and be useless in a crash. Ventilation normally sucks as they're just big foam blobs and trust me, the difference between a POS helmet and one that's design properly with good ventilation is tremendous. Also you get heavy with all this. From my experience I'd say look for a helmet in the MSRP range of $40> and you should be able to find one with a good retention system, good ventilation and good coverage - you can normally actually find last years models on sale for about that that were usually $80, if they have your size or preferred colour.
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    went OTB front flip headstand the other day wearing my $30 Bell helmet. my head is fine, the helmet is not damaged (visually). I like the fit and it doesn't move around on me. ventilation could be better.

    not to say a more expensive helmet isn't worth it, but with my basic beginner singletrack experiences, it does the job.
    I did bruise my hip though, sucks to wear a belt now.

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    keep in mind - its the basic beginner stage of singletrack that usually results in the most falls, bloodlettings, endo's etc - while you are learning the craft. and as it's been stated - this is your head - which controls everything else - personally - if you nailed your $30 helmet good - i'd go out and get something a bit more upscale - heck - the new Bell Stoker enduro model for $70 msrp will add to the head coverage and help ensure you do as little damage as possible to the control center ! Just saying - and you can prob find a coupon for Arts, Jenson, Pricepoint or go give your LBS the business - it wont hurt to ask them for their best price...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrsmd View Post
    What is the real scoop on helmets? All seem equally safety approved, but range in price from the $20.00 (Walmart) to well over a hundred dollars. If all are equally certified for safety, then the difference must be in weight, looks, air ventilation, and fit, I suppose.

    On trail, I don't want to take any chances with my head when I do want to take a chance with going over a tree root or a log that might bring me down.

    If a more expensive helmet is indeed preferred, I will gladly buy it tomorrow!!!

    Thoughts and recommendations?

    How are they all equally safe?

    Do you understand the testing?

    It's a pass fail test, so you actually have no idea if the $20 is as safe as the $80. All you know they both met some minimum, but that doesn't mean they're the same.

    Can't wait til this antiquated system is gone.
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  13. #13
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    I started with my Urban Giro, it worked fine but as summer came I needed more vents.
    This one was $50..
    My second Giro is cooler, many vents, looks more mountain bikeish and cost $70

    I spent time in the store making shure the fit was good on both. This is what matters to me.
    Also the dialable head strap on my second is nice to reset for my Halo head sweat band.

    I'm real good at falling so not worried about cracking my brain bucket...
    Tuck and roll, Tuck and roll, Judo classes will give u an edge ya know.

    Fit is everything...
    Wally world helmets don't fit me,, not even close.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    As the others said and you eluded to, you get what you pay for in terms of design and implementation. Cheap helmets normally have a very crappy retention system that doesn't work well at keeping the helmet where it should be on your head, hence fit sucks and the helmet will constantly move about and be useless in a crash. Ventilation normally sucks as they're just big foam blobs and trust me, the difference between a POS helmet and one that's design properly with good ventilation is tremendous. Also you get heavy with all this. From my experience I'd say look for a helmet in the MSRP range of $40> and you should be able to find one with a good retention system, good ventilation and good coverage - you can normally actually find last years models on sale for about that that were usually $80, if they have your size or preferred colour.
    I had a cheap Bell ($25) from Wally World when I first started riding. I crashed tested it a few times including once over the bars landing on my head on a granite trail. Since then I bought a nicer Bell that I got for free with some come back bucks and eventually upgraded to a Bell Super.

    The quality difference between each when you put them in your hand. However each one would do the intended job of staying put and protecting my noggin just as well.

    Now if it was some weird no name Chinese knock off that costs under $10 it might be different but I would bet that any name brand Walmart helmet will protect just fine because at the end of the day Bell's name is still on it and they don't want a lawsuit.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    How are they all equally safe?

    Do you understand the testing?

    It's a pass fail test, so you actually have no idea if the $20 is as safe as the $80. All you know they both met some minimum, but that doesn't mean they're the same.

    Can't wait til this antiquated system is gone.
    That being said, the cheaper helmet could be safer.

    The same held true with motorcycle helmets.
    Independent testers have run tests and sometimes the cheaper helmets tested safer.
    Also pretty many non certified helmets would pass DOT, Snell and ec22-05 testing and some even were found to be safer than the certified helmets.

    All certification does is say the manufacturer spent the money to have the helmet certified and it met minimum required safety standards.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    That being said, the cheaper helmet could be safer.

    The same held true with motorcycle helmets.
    Independent testers have run tests and sometimes the cheaper helmets tested safer.
    Also pretty many non certified helmets would pass DOT, Snell and ec22-05 testing and some even were found to be safer than the certified helmets.

    All certification does is say the manufacturer spent the money to have the helmet certified and it met minimum required safety standards.
    I know, that's what pisses me off the most, our antiquated system and our gov that is slow to react to tech.

    I've said in other threads, they could put heads in a helmet just like those used in vehicle testing, mount in a stand and use reproducible impacts to each helmet.
    Then give out real numbers, then you'd know if that $100 was really worth more money to you or not.

    It could force some innovation like IIHS did to the vehicle industry. Not saying TLD helmets are bad, just using it as an example, how many helmets do you think they'd sell at $400 if testing showed they did worse than a $200 helemt
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    And equally as important as the helmet is, is learning HOW to fall. Some people got it, others like to smack head first into everything they can find.

    Iv owned cheap and pricy helmets. I doubt I'd ever pay less than 100 bucks for a helmet again. Some of them do offer a lot, both feature and protection wise.

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