To helmet or not to helmet?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    To helmet or not to helmet?

    NEW to helmets, need help!
    So what do i look for in a helmet besides fit, obviously. Any difference of durability? Do you replace them after a crash? Some better than others? How? Thanks, it's more for my mum and gf's piece of mind. but i guess it's not a bad idea.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Ronnie's Avatar
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    Wear a helmet!
    I was quite ambivalent towards wearing a helmet but wore one anyway. I recently had an unplanned dismount down a steep, rocky, wet and out of control descent. As my feet hit the ground I cart wheeled onto my head, destroying an almost brand new Giro Xen on a rock. Besides a few bruises that was the only damage incurred. I am now a believer and will always wear a helmet with the strap tight. That's important. It"s no use if it does'nt stay on your head. You need to try it on for size. It must fit well to be effective. If you ride where the summers are really hot, get a helmet that has good ventilation. I would say you should speak to someone at a reputable bike shop.

    Most bicycle helmets are designed for a single impact, with the foam compressing or cracking to absorb energy. Most of the better manufacturers have a crash policy. They will replace the helmet for half price if returned damaged after a crash. It is a price I would gladly pay. You can always replace a helmet but you've only got one melon. Buy the best helmet you can afford.Personally, I like Giro or Bell. Get your Mum and girl friend to pitch in!

    Ronnie.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtndawg
    NEW to helmets, need help!
    So what do i look for in a helmet besides fit, obviously. Any difference of durability? Do you replace them after a crash? Some better than others? How? Thanks, it's more for my mum and gf's piece of mind. but i guess it's not a bad idea.
    Personally I think you should own a helmet for your own piece of mind, I didn't used to wear one either.

    A couple of basics to look for in a good helmet. Make sure it has a floating craddle that wraps around your head completely with the craddle attached by several plastic tabs molded into the foam of the helmet. Buy a helmet that does not require any foam pads to be removed or installed for sizing, a good helemt should be able to adjust to your head just by using the adjustment at the back. Cheaper helmets will only have an adjustable craddle for the back half of the helmet and will require foam pads for sizing the front half. Some helmets use a piece of tape to attach the outside plastic exterior shell onto the foam, better helmets fuse the plastic shell onto the foam for better durability (I wouldn't worry about this one too much). Stay away from helemts that use glued on velcro tabs to hold the craddle into the helmet (like Loius Garneaux), they will fall apart soon. And now the obvious; more vents and lighter weight adds comfort, a visor is a must for rain/sun/crash protection, and the farther the back part of the helmet goes down on your head the better the protection you will have.

    Two helmet manufacturers worth looking at are Giro and Specialized.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtndawg
    NEW to helmets, need help!
    So what do i look for in a helmet besides fit, obviously. Any difference of durability? Do you replace them after a crash? Some better than others? How? Thanks, it's more for my mum and gf's piece of mind. but i guess it's not a bad idea.
    A few years ago a not so spectacular fall scuffed the shell of my helmet and head just below it. The fall dented and cracked the foam so I got a new helmet. I was already a believer in helmets thanks to getting hit by a car while on a motorcycle many years ago, but this made me get a replacement helmet that came down farther on the back of my head. I noticed some were better for round heads and others better for oval heads, so a good fit should be a higher priority than brand or looks.

  5. #5
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    Facts or opinions?

    If you want facts, go here.

    In Vancouver (Norshore) where I live, it's law, and most riders, if not almost all, won't ride with anyone not in a helmet. On the shore. almost nobody rides without a full face and body/leg armour also.

    Up here we dress for the crash, not for the ride.

    Ask yourself how many brains you have (hint: 1) and will it grow back if you damage it ?(hint: no).

    Get a helmet.

    Jim

  6. #6
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    Comfort of course and then style. My Briko Spark i got several years ago I got 'cause it looked stylin' in the mags--but it's a painful helmet to wear!

    Ty on a bunch before you buy.

  7. #7
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    Wear a lid.

    At the end of last season I had a crash that literally happened without any warning at all.

    Long Story Short...
    If you're ever in Calgary, here are the bike shops I like:
    Single Track Cycle
    The Bike Shop
    Calgary Cycle

  8. #8
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Fit is everything! It must fit you without the excessive use of fit pads or the need to over tighten the "head clamp" devices.

    The Giro Semi is my favorite. Fits me VERY well. Covers more of my head. Not expensive @ $50. I have "tested" its protective abilities and survived.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  9. #9

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    hard-headed

    Yeah, i'm converted now! Although in my 10+ yrs riding i've only hit my head once and it was most resently, so it's off to the shop for a helmet. Thanks folks, Anyone know where the best deal for helmets in Portland would be at?

  10. #10
    Village Dirtbag
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    "piece" of mind! LOL- yeah, all the pieces.

    Anyway, you should always ride with a helmet, and all your riding buddies should have them too. You don't want to be responsible for their...err...irresponsibility if the **** hits the fan.

    Fit is EVERYTHING. It must fit level on your head and not move around much, even before it is buckeled. Keep the strap as tight as possible without it digging in. Also, forget about which brand is "cool"- get whichever fits the best. Every brand tends to fit a different shape of head. I've tried on a LOT of helmets, and Bell is the only brand that really fits me well (I have a big head), and Giro tends to fit me the worst. Even then, some Bells fit me better than others. The Influx fits me the best of the current lineup, while the "better" X-ray doesn't have as much side and back coverage and rubs my forehead the wrong way. So, get whichever fits the best disregarding expense. Your head is worth it.

    In Portland (my old hometown) I'd recommend checking out River City Cycles, on MLK slightly down river from OMSI and REI, which recently moved to the Pearl District just off of 405. (Bad move- parking is impossible down there). Both those places should carry a large variety for you to try out.

  11. #11
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    Light Full face

    I have an aging and smelly Giro Switchblade. Any recommendations for a light weight full face helmet. I ride mostly cross country and plenty of uphill so vents are important. I don't see any of the "freeride" helmets that look right for me. I think they will be too heavy and hot. Any help?

  12. #12
    Glad to Be Alive
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanute
    I have an aging and smelly Giro Switchblade. Any recommendations for a light weight full face helmet. I ride mostly cross country and plenty of uphill so vents are important. I don't see any of the "freeride" helmets that look right for me. I think they will be too heavy and hot. Any help?
    I don't know why more people don't wear a full face helmet (if they ride technical sections). One mishap is brutal to the face, jaw and teeth. Anyway A 661 full Bravo is a very nice helmet. A lot of ventilation and the price is usually under 60 bucks on sale. Great comfort too.
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  13. #13
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    Giro Exodus-E2 Fan

    Don't know what type of riding you're doing, but I really love the E2 from Giro for XC. It replaced my Exodus and they both have great ventilation which is the MOST important comfort factor for me. Yeah, the E2 fits very well, very comfy, but the real bonus for me is the ventilation on a hot summer day. Even while hill climbing (I'm an XCer ya know) all I have to do is basically drop my chin, look at the ground for a few seconds and I can feel air flowing over the back of my head which feels awesome on a hot day. When it's cooler outside, like late fall or early spring, I wear a PI skull cap and stay plenty warm.

    Pathfinder

  14. #14
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    My helmut has also prevented crashes on more than one occasion. I ride trails with low overhanging branches and limbs. One ride I popped up on a set of railroad tracks. Just as I went up the little rise I grazed a suspension cable for a telephone pole. I consider the rub marks evidence of potentially worse results without the helmut.

    Does anyone wear a warmer helmut for winter? I got a snowboard helmut for winter riding but have only been able to go out twice in two months. #%$#%#%

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjfp
    Does anyone wear a warmer helmut for winter? I got a snowboard helmut for winter riding but have only been able to go out twice in two months. #%$#%#%
    It shouldn't matter what season it is. I wear a helmet whenever I get on a bike. The rocks and trees don't fly South for the winter you know...
    If you're ever in Calgary, here are the bike shops I like:
    Single Track Cycle
    The Bike Shop
    Calgary Cycle

  16. #16
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    Reread the question before getting all smart-ass, Th'Mule.

  17. #17

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    all the info is appreciated so, i'm looking for coverage, ventailation, visor, and tight fit w/out use of foam pads, right! So as for the few mtbr that insist others wear a helmet i hope you hold to those same values when it comes to seatbelts in those rolling coffins! Thanks again, peace... and i'm out.
    ~dawg

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    Reread the question before getting all smart-ass, Th'Mule.
    Slow down, it was supposed to be light hearted, not a shot at anybody, and I am now aware he was asking about warmer helmets. Chalk it up to being tired and inattentive.

    And in regards to a warmer helmet, I ride in the snow and don't need one, but I do use a muffler to keep the air from getting too cold coming into my lungs.
    If you're ever in Calgary, here are the bike shops I like:
    Single Track Cycle
    The Bike Shop
    Calgary Cycle

  19. #19
    It's about showing up.
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    We refuse to ride

    with anyone without a helmet. Ever. The chance that you will ruin our ride and we end up dealing with it is just too high.

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