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Thread: Helmet Question

  1. #1
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    Helmet Question

    Why do prices on helmets vary so much? do the more expensive ones offer more protection than say cheaper ones? I'm not looking to spend too much on one maybe 20-30 would a department store ie: sports authority helmet be sufficient?

  2. #2
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    Anything that meets the CPSC standard is fine. Any helmet sold as a bike helmet in the US has to meet that standard. If you wanna spend a bit more you can get a helmet that meets Snell or ASTM. These standards are not all that different from the CPSC standard (Snell is a bit tougher to pass) but the fact that they went throught the extra testing, which is expensive, might show that they take safety, and quality control seriously.
    The more expensive helmets are likely to be a bit more comfortable (ie. better ventilation, lighter, better fit and finish) then a cheaper helmet.

  3. #3
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    k thx alot

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    I tried on a Schwinn helmet lastnight at Target, 19.99 + tax. The plastic was peeling off at some of the edges and it wasn't comfortable at all. Plus the visor snapped in to 2 small holes and looked flimsy.

    With that said, gonna spend more at the LBS so I don't just waste $20 on a helmet that won't last a season.

  5. #5
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    Any helmet which meets the CPSC specifications is fine. The major difference between the price points is the comfort- the higher the price, higher the number of well designed vents. The vents are designed such that they increase the airflow inside the helmet and keep the rider cool. In some instances of roadie riding, my friends have told me that wearing a really well designed helmet actually decreases the amount of drag- even though you'd tend to think otherwise.
    "Winners never quit. Quitters never win. But those who never win and never quit are idiots."

  6. #6
    local trails rider
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    Safety comes first. Meeting a standard is some sort of a guarantee of safety.

    Next, you need a helmet that fits you. For that, you need to try it on. It needs to stay on snugly but should not be uncomfortable. It took me a while of shopping to find a helmet that fits my head comfortably. Heads come in a variety of shapes and sizes. So do helmets.

  7. #7

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    Another thing to pay attention to is the retention system. I had a helmet more towards the cheaper end of the scale (say $30) and it did last a decent amount of time, but the way the retention system was made meant that when the pads wore out & started deteriorating that was basically the end of the helmet, no replacement pads were sold separately at all.

    From my view it's probably easy to make a strong foam shell with a few vents in it. Once the vents start becoming bigger and more of them then there must be some different types of foam or technology going into the production of those helmets to make sure they still maintain strength and pass safety standards. Of course with all that comes the extra cost - and of course like anything the better looking the helmet is the more you pay!

  8. #8
    College Boy
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    like others have said as long as they meet standards they are safe to use. Just the more expense helmets are more comfortable to wear and vent better. I have used the cheap helmets early on and I did not like wearing them more than I had to because it just did not feel comfortable. A few years ago I bought a new helmet and I believe I paid 60 for it. The extra cost was well worth it. It was more confortable to wear. I would keep it on longer than I had to. It was no longer last item I put on and the first then that came off when I was done. Plus it just did not bother me having it on.
    Also it vents a lot better and kept my head a lot cooler. That and it just did not look as dorky as those cheap helmets. All in all I think it is worth paying extra for a quility helmet because the fit is better, it is more comfortable and you will just enjoy riding more with it on. Any helmet that mets safety stands is good just the other reason is why it is worth paying more for a good helmet.

  9. #9
    Old Fart
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    Helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by nelo
    Why do prices on helmets vary so much? do the more expensive ones offer more protection than say cheaper ones? I'm not looking to spend too much on one maybe 20-30 would a department store ie: sports authority helmet be sufficient?
    For the most part as long as the helmet has passed the standards it will protect your brain bucket. In order to provide the protection it is designed for it needs to fit. The kid at the local Wally World is probably clueless as to how to help you with this. So the extra $$ at the LBS may be a better choice. If you've got a $20 brain, buy a $20 helmet @ Wally World. Another thing to consider is that many more expensive helmets have a replacement warranty. The cost varies for the replacement varies so check that out first I have cracked 2 Bells, the first one I paid over $100 for, the next 2 warrantly replacements from Bell were about $30 each as I recall. So in the long run a better helmet may be cheaper.

    Bottom line get a helmet that fits so you won't mind wearing it. If you don't want to do that make sure you've signed an organ donor card.
    If you say gullible slowly enough it sounds like "oranges"

  10. #10
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    As has been stated, all helmets are required to meet a minimum safety standard. The $20 helmet at target and the $200 carbon fiber helmet Lance wears meet the same minimum standards.

    You're really paying for:

    Quality of construction: Is the plastic shell molded to the helmet, or taped on at the edges?

    Venting: The more vents, the cooler your noggin, the more you'll pay.

    Weight: More vents generally equals less weight, then there's other material used to lighten things up.

    Retention systems and comfort are pretty brand specific. So far I've been really happy with the offerings of Specialized. They have some great helmets starting at $40 - I even crash tested one. Smashed my head in to the ground at speed and only got a small bruise
    :wq

  11. #11
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    Oh yeah, very important. Helmets are single use items. You crash and hit your head, you replace helmet. No ifs ands or buts. Anyone advising you differently is a mongoloid.

  12. #12
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    Yeah I replaced the smashed helmet with a new Specialized helmet that had more vents
    :wq

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