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Thread: helmets

  1. #1
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    helmets

    so i kind of want a bit of advice from past experience as far as full face helmets go. im not looking to buy a $500 TLD right off the bat. im trying to keep it at about $200 maximum, so what are your guys' top picks? my LBS sells a sixsixone for $90, not sure what model but it seems nice

  2. #2
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    The TLD can be found for around 250 on sale, but the 661 is a great helmet. If it fits. What you need to do is try one on in various sizes. I was about to get the 661 but it had a pressure point on my forehead. That is the only reason I didn't get it. A helmet has to fit well, snugly, and not be uncomfortable. If it doesn't fit, it defeats the purpose, no matter what brand it is. The tld is a very refined and nice helmet, but it isn't technically a 'better' helmet.
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  3. #3
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    As stated above, try a few different brands on. Since it contacts so much of your head, you will notice a bad fit even more than an XC lid. There are a couple different safety ratings, but I would feel comfortable riding DH with any of them. Weight, looks, and brand name are what drive prices up.

    I like Kali stuff. Bell also makes helmets for $80. That was my first DH helmet. You might look at neck braces after you get a helmet. My Leatt saved my bacon last month.
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  4. #4
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    There is an old adage from the motorcycling ranks that goes something like: if you have a $50 head, buy a $50 helmet. You should buy the best fitting, highest quality helmet you can afford and don't let anyone tell you differently unless theyre willing to help you relearn to speak, walk, or change your diapers.

  5. #5
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    Dumbest advice you can get is that if you blow bucks, you get better protected.

    Buy a decent helmet from a reputable company and you'll be fine. Theyre almost all rated the same, and the diff is in the weight. The more expensive ones are lighter and have more features. This 50 buck helmet will take a licking and it's cheap enough for you to buy a new one if you crash.

    Six Six One Comp Shifted Helmet | Backcountry.com

    Create a budget and get everything you need.

    Helmet, pads and if theres enough left over, get some chest armor and a neck brace.

    $ 200 gets you a good begginer set. Build it up from there.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodeoj View Post
    There is an old adage from the motorcycling ranks that goes something like: if you have a $50 head, buy a $50 helmet.
    More like an old advertising line from a helmet manufacturer.

    edit: here is some good info. It is from a dealer site, so not totally unbiased.

    Full Face Mountain Bike Helmets | Free Shipping, Great Prices&Service
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You guys suck im all bummed now

  7. #7
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    A word on helmet ratings. I've done a lot of research on this, and even submitted a few items to state legislators for law revisions. The current helmet ratings are very vague and flexible. Many helmets will say DOT approved, but that is a complete fallacy. The department of transportation does not conduct any tests, nor supply any approval or rejection of helmets. It's a marketing term more than anything. The ansi and snell ratings are not complete bs, and that's good. It is better than nothing, but it is still very easy to fudge tests and results, because they are not specific enough in how tests are set up and performed. All I am trying to say is not to put too much stock in them. Any current, reputable brand helmet will be plenty protective, regardless of which ratings it has.
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  8. #8
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    Let's not forget here that Snell/DOT ratings are MINIMUM impact standards. Two helmets can claim Snell rating while one barely passes and the other far exceeds the standards. It's your brain though, if you wanna spend less on a helmet than you do on a set of tires go for it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyIaco290 View Post
    Let's not forget here that Snell/DOT ratings are MINIMUM impact standards. Two helmets can claim Snell rating while one barely passes and the other far exceeds the standards. It's your brain though, if you wanna spend less on a helmet than you do on a set of tires go for it.
    Sadly there isn't really any evidence that the expensive helmets are offering more or better protection than the cheaper ones. Until I see some evidence to that effect I'll stick with my strategy of replacing cheaper helmets frequently.

    Also, never buy an "MTB" full face, moto/dot/snell only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyIaco290 View Post
    Let's not forget here that Snell/DOT ratings are MINIMUM impact standards. Two helmets can claim Snell rating while one barely passes and the other far exceeds the standards. It's your brain though, if you wanna spend less on a helmet than you do on a set of tires go for it.
    you are correct, the ratings only measures to a minimum. Would be interested to see by what measure you determine how one helmet is better than another, besides dollars.

  11. #11
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    ok, so im geting mixed opinions (as expected), however the DOT and snell ratings do NOT mean much anymore?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macaveli View Post
    ok, so im geting mixed opinions (as expected), however the DOT and snell ratings do NOT mean much anymore?
    DOT is NOT a helmet safety rating. I'll repeat that in red font so that people breezing through this thread will see it:

    DOT is NOT a helmet safety rating.

    The Dept of Transportation does not accept helmets for testing, nor do they specify anything explicitly that a helmet must pass to receive a DOT rating. They suggest in very general terms that any helmet used for motorized transportation should be able to withstand impacts at such-and-such speed, and a few other vague things. DOT is NOT a helmet safety rating, and they do not claim it to be. So manufacturers are basically given free range to design whatever tests they want (or not). It's almost like DOT said, 'we hope you'll make a safe helmet that will protect the user' and left it at that. Literally anyone or any company can place a DOT sticker on a helmet, as there is no set standard that it must uphold. Most helmet manufacturers treat is as a good-faith attempt to protect the user in the circumstances that DOT has laid out. It's a marketing term, not an actual standard. The biggest hypocrisy about the whole thing is that in most states, Highway Patrollers are allowed to stop a motorcyclist and check their helmet. If they don't see a DOT sticker, they can give a rider a ticket for not having a 'DOT-approved' helmet. But there isn't even such thing as official DOT approval, so they are holding riders to an unattainable standard!!

    SNELL and ANSI are very different. They are indeed actual standards that must be met or surpassed. They deal with crush tests, impact tests, etc. Some even do sharp object penetration tests, which I personally believe is VERY important in mountain biking. They do not always state exactly how the tests must be set up and performed, though. They have some good guidelines and a few rigid rules, but they do not send someone to the helmet companies' test labs to approve every test setup. SNELL does require companies to send their helmet to an independent test lab, but that's not a guarantee your head will be safe. This is why everything gets wishy-washy. One lab might set up a test in just such a way that a helmet barely passes the test. If they were to have rotated the helmet a quarter degree in any direction, it might have failed. But since it passed, it gets the rating. They don't cheat the system, but helmet manufacturers will often cut corners when they legally can. I don't believe that all helmet companies are actively looking to just barely squeak by and get the ratings on an inferior product. But... the helmet industry is a business. They don't want to waste money where they don't have to.

    The biggest issue is that real-world performance might be far from any of these tests performed. Currently in the motocross world, a lot of people are saying that many SNELL approved helmets are too hard/stiff/unforgiving and cause new forms of cranial damage. Same with some road helmets. The claim is that if a helmet shell is too strong/stiff, it can interfere with the crushing/energy dissipation of the helmet and the foam inside it. There is evidence of road motorcyclists' helmets actually bouncing when they hit the concrete, because the uber-carbon awesomeness shell is so strong. The foam doesn't crush fully in the impact, since the shell takes in much of the energy, rather than transferring it to the foam. The stored energy is returned through the unbroken shell in the form of a bounce. In a few cases, this has resulted in breaking the rider's neck. The conditions on dirt are not all that far from concrete at times (think A-Line). Some of the ebst-functioning helmets have not been carbon or kevlar, but cheap, boring old ABS plastic. The problem is that ABS is really heavy. Helmet companies try hard to make a product safe for the user, and that is wonderful. But no safety rating sticker on earth can suggest they took into account the infinite number of ways a rider can fall. Riders will always be able to find a new way to land, defeating their helmet's intent.

    It's all a bit of a mess, really. That's why I mentioned earlier not to get too hung up on helmet ratings. I think it's bullcrap to say $50 helmet for a $50 head. I think my head is worth at least $500,000,000,000,000 to me, and there is no helmet currently available for that price. So am I screwed then? Even though I agree with the sentiment that it's not wise to cut corners when safety is concerned, that statement is falling into the marketing hype. If you go with any of the well-known, reputable brands, you will have as good a chance of walking away from a bad crash as you would with a $750 6-D helmet, Troy Lee D3, etc. An $80 661 helmet will protect you just fine. It just won't always have the polish, details, and refinement of the more expensive models. It's up to you if a softer liner and nicer rubber trim is worth the extra cost.
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  13. #13
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    ^yep, that actually made alot of sense to me man. i think its worth $90 for a 661 that i can replace now and again!

  14. #14
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    I have a Giro Remedy that held up and saved my head from my crash last year when i landed on my shoulder and head . I retired it and have a TLD d3 helmet now , i bought it cuz i loved the look of it and it fits great ! ... Im sure all DH helmets will work , if you got the cash to blow , then buy whatever you like otherwise they all work .

  15. #15
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    I got that cheap 661 and I love it. Fits snug and comfy, easy on and off... feel naked without it so I wear it even on milder trails (hey it's cheap health insurance).

  16. #16
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    a few years back i was like yourself,,,, wanting a fullface but knew nothing about them,,, i thought like the other guy did, you get what you pay for, which i suppose is true to a certain point,
    i was all set on the carbon tld d2 crow, then i seen pictures of the then soon to be released d3, and wanted that, but it wasnt available intime for my whistler trip, so i decided to get a cheap lid to tie me over for when the d3 was released,
    so i got a 2009 661 carbon evolution from my lbs as they were selling them off cheap for 120 quid, i have had this helmet now for 4 years and it has served me well, its had a few impacts, and maybe should have been replaced long ago, but i finally bit the bullet in june and replaced old faithful with a nice new shiney carbon fox helmet,
    the 661 was nice snug comfortable fit, but the more expensive fox one fits better and just looks so much more solid, like it has more protection,,,
    i know when i got the 661 and took it out of the box, it had a sticker with it saying not good for speeds above 20mph, i found this quite shocking as im sure when riding dh specially in whistler bike park, these kind of speeds could be exceeded with ease.

    like charging rhino said despite what all the advertising says not all helmets are the same, and not all helmets will offer the same amount of protection, this is where research comes in and it becomes a minefield. some people say moto helmets are better as they offer more protection at speed, then you'll get people arguing that impacts in dh are differant than when riding motobikes so wont offer the right kind of protection, and so the argument goes on and on,,,,
    i say it's your head and your money, you buy what you want and what you can afford,

  17. #17
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    I like the remedy, it fits snug enough that I'll wear it. It was a good price for me.

    As for SNELL ratings, if talked to some track racers (moto) and they're opinion, and some other opinions that I've seen as well, is that SNELL is too stiff, it actually causes a coup counter coup damage. You want something to give without breaking.

    For us MTBers I think we can easily get away with a little less for helmets, its not like we are going 55mph motorcycle riders. Get the helmet that fits the best that you will wear properly and that should suffice. If it blows up in the first wreck, then thats fine, it may have done its job. Bottom line is fit takes precedent, if you don't wear it/don't secure it, then it doesn't matter how awesome it is, your still gonna eff you're noodle.

    This coming from a guy that has cracked 3 XC lids and whose full face it still in good condition after bouncing me chin off a tree.
    Just another redneck with a bike

  18. #18
    Ancient Chinese Secret
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    The Remedy and Bell Drop are good cheap helmets. I especially like that the Remedy has a quick-release. It's great for taking off your helmet a lot, like when doing park riding. I had a Remedy carbon that I liked a lot and looked great, but crashed on it so I retired it. Sometimes, you can see those go on sale for < $200 which is a great deal for a carbon helmet. I've seen the Drop go for as low as $30 (end season Pricepoint).

    TLD's look great, but are hella expensive. I don't think you're getting much more protection than cheap helmets, but you can get some killer graphics. For me, they fit kinda snug.

    If you want the best FF helmet out there for biking where money is no object, it's the new POC Cortex MIPS helmet Cortex DH MIPS - POC Sports. MIPS is a new technology that supposedly protects against oblique blows. The price is really steep, and I suspect the MIPS helmets will get cheaper over time as more are released into the marketplace.

    I currently have a Kali Avatar, which is light, made by a local company and doesn't make you look like such a bobble head. I'm not 100% sure on the long term durability (the last one I had was a one-hit wonder), but I'm giving another try since I got it on warranty replacement and it's a nice helmet. If I could get one, I'd like to try the Avatar carbon, but I'll probably wait until more MIPS FF helmets are out there before I buy a new helmet.

    I didn't like the fit of the 661, but I still have one.

    Yes, I've tried and worn a lot of helmets. :-)

  19. #19
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    Oh, and I agree with what another poster said here. I'd rather get a cheap FF helmet and neck brace than an expensive helmet only. My neck brace has saved me a few times and is well-worth the money. If you go sans neck brace, you might save your noggin', but you could end up in a wheelchair.

  20. #20
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    I would agree that going with a helmet made by one of the more reputable brands will do just fine in terms of safety..more expensive does not necessarily mean more protection. In my experience(personally have owned Giro Remedy, Fox V3R, TLD D3), higher price tag means cooler graphics and in alot of cases more comfortable. The Remedy was great value, just not as "refined" as the D3. The Fox V3R uses the same shell, cheek pads and liner as the moto version Fox V3. Was a bit more comfortable than the Remedy, but a bit of a dated design by the time they made a light mtb version. The D3 has hands down been the most comfortable, and gives a secure feeling. If $200 is your limit I would suggest looking for a higher end helmet that is maybe the previous year model that has been discounted. My V3R msrp was $390, bought brand new at 50% off. Good deals can be found with a bit of luck and patience.

    As far as neck braces go, that's a whole different can of worms. The older generation Leatt brace rested right on your spine and I know of atleast one rider that fell in just a way that it actually caused a vertebrae to fracture. The Alpinestar has a break away piece in the back to supposedly prevent this. Some other brands have a different configuration where it rests on your shoulder blades therefore eliminating possible spinal injury. There hasn't been any real data available that shows the benefits of wearing one outweigh the possible risks. To each his own. For what its worth, I own the Alpinestars brace. Very seldom worn because the V3R moto shell wasn't a good match for it when riding downhill(limited head movement when looking up the trail). Now that I am the new owner of a D3, which was designed with a neck brace in mind, I will start using it more.

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