First time HELMET buyer here..suggestions?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 35 of 35
  1. #1

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    60

    First time HELMET buyer here..suggestions?

    Ok, kinda old school and stupid here. Never wore a helmet in my life on bikes, paid for it once young and probably screwed my head up a bit THE VOICES IN MY HEAD TELL ME...oh wait? Ok nevermind um...yea..

    So my question is, you see those cheap helmets at walmart etc - but my local shop said they are death traps. LBS helmets are $75 each.
    I don't want to skimp here.
    Suggestions for Ebaying em? Decent brands to pickup?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Expert Crasher
    Reputation: GreenLightGo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6,349
    Search on Ebay for a good deal. One of the best helmets going out there is the Giro XEN, it normally goes for about $135 - however, I got mine, new in box, for $53. It fits better than any helmet I've owned, has extended protection for the back of your knoggin and is a cool dark copper color.

    My vote goes to the Giro XEN.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  3. #3
    Former Bike Wrench
    Reputation: mtnbiker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    15,976
    As far as a Walmart helmet being a death trap...that's rubbish. ALL bicycle helmets sold in the US and Canada meet exactly the same safety standards. So what does a more expensive helmet get you?...well in essence less helmet. This means more expensive helmets tend to be lighter and offer better ventilation than cheaper helmets. To do this and still meet the safety standards required takes more expensive materials. Also, in my experience, name brand helmets like Giro, Bell, and Specialized simply fit better than department store helmets. I'm not sure what kind of drugs your LBS salesperson was on, but I know all three of the brands mentioned have adult helmets starting at $30. So go biatch slap the punk who told you this and then talk to someone at the bike shop who knows what their talking about. They should be able to help fit you properly whether its a $30 or $150 helmet.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Modena's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    126
    I have a Bell Influx and I'm happy with it. No pressure spots on the dome, but at the same time its snug. Ventilation seems good, but the hottest weather that I've ridden in so far has been in the 80's or so, but that'll probably change in a couple weeks. Retail on it was, $64 @ REI, but they had some sale + plus I had a samll dividend so i walked out the door with it for about $50. I compared it too the Giro Hex and Havoc (Hex was $84 and the Havoc was $64) and i found it had better comfort than the Havoc and the same level of comfort as the Hex.

    Everybody's noggin is different though so go out and try on a bunch and see what you find comfy/ fits the best, and if nothing else, see if you can't find that one on ebay.
    "If I am cut, do I not bleed?" -Kane

  5. #5
    MTBR Demi-God
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    838
    The quality of helmets in Walmart is not analogous to the quality of bike there. Most of the helmets (if not all) at Walmart are certified by CPSC, which means they are of the same quality as the ones at LBS. The helmets at LBS are generally more fancier and have more variety and color schemes.... but other than that, there is not a big difference between wally helmet and lbs helmet.
    "Winners never quit. Quitters never win. But those who never win and never quit are idiots."

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JSumner13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,586
    Check out the Bell Venture....awesome helmet for $38

    http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...m_cat=datafeed

  7. #7
    College Boy
    Reputation: Timeless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    772
    the guy at your LBS is rather stupid. Like the others have been saying the ones at walmart are just as safe as the ones from a bike shop. That being said I still recomend paying more for a helmet and getting one of the wallmart ones.
    Reason for it is the other helmets just fit better and feel a lot better on ones head that the cheap ones. I own a helmet a gladlator by Lous Garneau I bougt 4 years ago from a LBS and I paid 60 for it. Mind you I only really used it the first few months I owned it then it went into a closet until march of this year when I got back into biking but it fits really well and I have to say I am glad I paid the extra money for it just because the fit is so much nicer.

  8. #8
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,228
    My suggestion:

    Try before you buy.

    See that the helmet has some sort of safety certification. Then try it on. Does it fit snugly? Is it shaped so that it is comfortable? Can you adjust it to fit right?

    Heads come in various shapes and sizes, so do helmets.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    60
    Check out ConsumerResearch for their independent testing of helmets. The Bell Slant came top of the rankings. They go for about $60 but I got last year's model (same as 07) from PricePoint for $40, very happy with it....fits well and looks good in grey. Whatever helmet you buy make sure that it fits ok (fitting advice is also given in the CR article)

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    60

  11. #11

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    64
    I got a good deal on a Giro helmet on Ebay. It's comfy, light, and I'm happy with it. If you have an odd sized dome, it would be a good idea to go to a shop and try them on though.

  12. #12
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,228
    Quote Originally Posted by johnli6
    If you have an odd sized dome, it would be a good idea to go to a shop and try them on though.
    Of course, if you have never had a helmet before you do not know if your head is odd shaped.

  13. #13

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    64
    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Of course, if you have never had a helmet before you do not know if your head is odd shaped.
    If you had a hat, you might know.. The chart that I looked at to judge what size helmet I needed was broken down like hat sized (ex. 7 1/2"= M).

  14. #14

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    425
    Giro, Specialized, Met and Bell are the good names for helmets. However, each manufacturer uses a slightly different "reference" head shape. There are some people who only really like 1 of the 4 brands. You're really going to have to go to a LBS and try one of each of the brands on, I'm afraid.

    See the other helmet thread for arguements about why get a decent helmet.

  15. #15
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,228
    Quote Originally Posted by johnli6
    If you had a hat, you might know.. The chart that I looked at to judge what size helmet I needed was broken down like hat sized (ex. 7 1/2"= M).
    It is not just the size. The shape may also matter (hats are pretty forgiving in that way). I have tried a few helmets that were a good size but were either too wide or too narrow.

  16. #16
    The Martian
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,200
    I'd say find something in between the Walmart helmet and the $75 one the LBS is trying to sell you.

    Walmart helmets are tested to the same crash standards as others have said. In *my* experience however they are significantly less comfortable and well...fall apart. I've had one that I used for about 6months and the outer shell is peeling off. Maybe it's cosmetic, but I'm not comfortable taking that risk. Meanwhile I've had a low end Giro for 1.5yrs now and beat it up significantly more and it's not showing it's age at all! Not to mention the Giro fits much better, is lighter, and vents better...overall much more comfortable. I paid $35 for the Giro on sale (I think it may have been $50 originally?) which is only marginally more than the typical Walmart helmet. Definitely worth it to me. I don't mind it being on my head (I'm the kind of person that would wear one EVERY ride, dread it or not, but if you aren't comfort will be a factor in how much use your helmet gets and how much you enjoy yourself).

    Saftey wise; they are tested equally. Comfort wise there isn't much of a comparison IMO, but I don't think you have to spend $75 to see a marked improvement either. Look for sales (I'm personally not comfortable buying a helmet off ebay; if you do make sure it's "new in box" at least).

    I agree with the others that say go somewhere where you can try on the helmets. Different brands fit differently.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek

    Saftey wise; they are tested equally.

    Apparently not....as ConsumerReports mentions: 2 of the tested helmets failed the Government Standard. In any case why would I want to wear a helmet that meets the Standard if I can wear one that exceeds it....at no extra cost.

  18. #18
    The Martian
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,200
    Quote Originally Posted by scubaski
    Apparently not....as ConsumerReports mentions: 2 of the tested helmets failed the Government Standard. In any case why would I want to wear a helmet that meets the Standard if I can wear one that exceeds it....at no extra cost.
    I must be missing something because I don't see on the website you posted that any helmet failed the Government Standard (but it's 5am here and I've been up all night, so forgive me if I overlooked it). I see where some did not so well based on this company's standard; which they don't bother to qualify with meaningful descriptions (how far are they dropping these things? what speed? onto what surface? are they replicating a government standard test? etc..).

    Meanwhile the government's standard appears to be much more clearly set out, and unless I missed something a helmet can't be sold as a safety device without passing at least this (I didn't read the thing; making an assumption here). I'm assuming they only report pass/fail ratings though since I've never seen anything stating one helmet passed the government tests better than another. You can find one that's Snell tested though and that will be held to a higher (read different and supposedly tougher) standard.

    I'm all for buying the safest helmet I can reasonably afford. Hence why I don't buy Walmart helmets, but I haven't seen any conclusive evidence that confirms my decision. Just my experience and some strange bias really. Some people agree; some disagree, and the science jury seems to still be out (evidence for both sides).

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    I'm assuming they only report pass/fail ratings though since I've never seen anything stating one helmet passed the government tests better than another.
    If you have another look at their rating tables you can see that they grade the helmets according to impact resistance. I assume they test the helmets with ever increasing pressure/force until they crack.

  20. #20
    College Boy
    Reputation: Timeless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    772
    a link posted here in aother tread from consumer reports said that some times the cheapo walmart helmets did better impact test than the expesice bike shop helmets reasoning being is the most expensive helmets have a lot mroe vents on them and less matterial to used.

    The big thing is just make sure it has it certifications and a long as it has the standard ones the helmet is good for safety. But be willing to pay more for the comfort factor because it is well worth it.

  21. #21

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    60
    This winter while skiing, I got on the lift with ski patrol and chatted it up with the guy.
    The day prior, a guy physically fit in his 40's was cut off by an annoying out of control snow boarder on an expert slope. The boarder bumped into him, throwing him into a padded lift pole head first. The guy died that night.

    The pole's padding was within standards. As the ski patrol guy said, within tolerance or standards is a nice way of saying the absolute bare minimum you should have.

    BUT, MEETS or EXCEEDS government standards for safety...
    Sells ALOT more than...
    Is the ABSOLUTE minimum, maybe a little more to keep your brains from scrambling in your skull.

    -I think I'll keep away from walmart helmets and get the ones rated with the best safety. Hopefully I'll never use it.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Modena's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    126
    Quote Originally Posted by Sincraft
    This winter while skiing, I got on the lift with ski patrol and chatted it up with the guy.
    The day prior, a guy physically fit in his 40's was cut off by an annoying out of control snow boarder on an expert slope. The boarder bumped into him, throwing him into a padded lift pole head first. The guy died that night.

    The pole's padding was within standards. As the ski patrol guy said, within tolerance or standards is a nice way of saying the absolute bare minimum you should have.

    BUT, MEETS or EXCEEDS government standards for safety...
    Sells ALOT more than...
    Is the ABSOLUTE minimum, maybe a little more to keep your brains from scrambling in your skull.

    -I think I'll keep away from walmart helmets and get the ones rated with the best safety. Hopefully I'll never use it.
    Certainly getting off topic here, but was the Skier wearing a helmet? If he wasn't I would say that's what did him in more than the thickness of the lift pole padding (I get the point your making though). In all the years that I've boarded, I've seen my fair share of people, both skiers and boarders a like get **cked up because they weren't wearing a helmet. Matter of fact, there's a guy in my dads' office that survived solely because he was wearing a full face helmet.
    "If I am cut, do I not bleed?" -Kane

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    76
    I got a cheap Bell helmet from Modells a bit ago. It's stuffy and looks bad b/c the plastic of the top is just glued to the foam.

    I recently bought a Giro Havoc (they're on clearance at several Sports Authorities for $35). I orded mine from REI for $50 shipped. It's got quite good ventilation, fits well, and looks pretty good. The padding is also many times better than the one cheapo Bell. I've also read several times that the Bell Slant is a great helmet.

  24. #24

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    217
    My first helmet was a $16 Kryptonics. It didnít feel very good. I hated wearing it

    I bought a new $99.89 Fox Flux helmet. Feels great! Tottally luving it!
    I even like wearing it.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6
    The Fox Flux helmet....nuff said.

    Its light and gets great airflow. retails for 99.99 and its worth the money

  26. #26
    EEB
    EEB is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    62
    I just got the Fox Flux helmet about two weeks ago. Only used it twice but I really like it so far.

  27. #27

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    134
    "This means more expensive helmets tend to be lighter and offer better ventilation than cheaper helmets"

    This is a very important factor. My local bike shop has helmets from 25 dollars on up. I lost my first helmet, it blew out of my truck, and I had to buy another one. They were both Lazer brand, but the 2nd helmet cost 10 more dollars 35 dollars roughly. I can tell a huge difference by the weight and breathability. It is much more comfortable and I enjoy wearing it. Like some of the people said find something between Wal-Mart and 70 dollars and you should be happy. I would definitely find another bike shop that would be honest with you. Good luck.

  28. #28

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    425
    If you really want to know what I'm riding, I'll tell - the '07 Giro Atmos. piccy

    Pricy? Yeah. Oh yeah. For MSRPs:
    Base model is £100 ($200)
    The one with the "Lone Star 7 Limited Edition Helmet" graphics is £150 ($300)
    The one with the "Lone Star 7 Paris Limited Edition" graphics is £200 ($400).

    Given that graphics make me no more comfortable or faster, I've a base model in matt titanium colour which I got for £90 ($180).

    So why on earth? Coming in at 275grams, it's one of the lightest out there, which was the main issue. Some of the mets are lighter, but I just wasn't impressed with the fit for some reason. The 26 vents means I don't get hot as much as I used to. And the shape fits my head, whereas I tend not to fit bell. It's proven by several pro teams, and carbon reinforced for extra safety. Do I need such a helmet? No. But it makes my riding more comfortable in my opinion and makes me feel more confident in my safety. Is it worth it? Depends on how much you value your comfort. Up to you.

    Really, just go try helmets. Giro, Bell, Specialized and Met are the big names. What fits some of us may not fit you.

  29. #29

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    60
    Ardent, isn't that a cycling helmet? There are differences I've noticed. I asked a LBS guy when I went up there to have another bike serviced, he said yes.

    Thanks for the reply guys, interested info.

  30. #30

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    425
    "cycling helmet"? They're all cycling helmets...

    If you mean "road-marketing-designated" helmet, then yeah, it is. There's no difference in safety test standard between "road" and "mtb" helmets though. It does the job fine.

  31. #31

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    60
    I'm trying to find one that matches my bike. Black to Blue fade.
    Giro Xen has em, but at a rather steep price of $90 on ebay. I'd possibly bite on this but the ebay auction has all these terms about all sales are final - may be missing parts etc etc. It's a general statement you can tell, but unless the product is defective I'd be screwed if I was missing padding or a strap or something. Just seems like alot for the risk.

    There was another one, a Havoc in blue > black fade...but the helmet was not very clear in the pick and no mention of new or used. I emailed the ebayer, but he did not respond and noone picked it up.

    So if anyone knows of any blue/black helmets out there for a decent price, please post the link...thanks

  32. #32
    College Boy
    Reputation: Timeless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    772
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqP...jsp?spid=31581
    and
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqP...jsp?spid=25696

    I would personally recomend agaist bothering to try to match it to your bike just because it limits your helmet choices so much and you find out really quickly that it is not going to matter. When you go out to the local trails you will noticed hardly any one has their helmet match anything thing else.
    For example I have a red rockhopper, blue lizard skin gloves, blue/grey cambak, and fair bight yellow helmet, blue/black shoes and light blue socks. If you noticed none of that stuff matches and you will find most of the time the other riders on the trail are just as mis match.

    Remember comfort, and function should always come before looks. and that goes double for mtn biking. Looks fall down to the very bottom of the scale. Matching color with the bike for me happen only if it does not require extra effort, and does not cost me any more and well having both those happen at the same time is very rare.

  33. #33
    ballbuster
    Reputation: pimpbot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    12,717

    well....

    Quote Originally Posted by scubaski
    Apparently not....as ConsumerReports mentions: 2 of the tested helmets failed the Government Standard. In any case why would I want to wear a helmet that meets the Standard if I can wear one that exceeds it....at no extra cost.
    According to consumer reports it failed their testing. Keep in mind these are the same people testing cars and toothpaste.

    I don't put a lot of faith in CR. IMO, they are largely incompetent. I've seen a lot of test results from them that don't jive with reality.

  34. #34
    2006 Yeti AS-X
    Reputation: Lawson Raider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,216
    If I bought a $75 helmet, I would immediately need it's services as my wife would hit me over the head with a fryin' pan

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    39
    Buy one of the above mentioned brands, but make sure it fits and is comfortable. The only way a helmet does any good is if you wear it. If it is not comfortable you are not going to wear it. I like REI because of the return policy. Sometimes it takes a ride or two to determine the comfort.

    Jeff

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.