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  1. #1
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    Helmet question

    I am curious about what helmets are actually comfortable/practical. I have a few listed below that I am looking at but I am not sure what I will need for All mountain/ light down hill riding. Should I get a full face? Any feed back would be helpful. This is not an area I want to skimp on.

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=7732653

    http://www.bikesomewhere.com/bikesom...1178/17883?g=1

    http://www.seisports.com/?,browse,20,90,41,020502

    http://store.trekbikes.com/jump.jsp?...&bShopOnline=1
    Last edited by TCXJWAGONEER; 02-14-2009 at 10:00 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Wear whichever one you like the best. A cross-country helmet and a BMX style helmet will offer pretty much the same protection.

    A full-face will most likely not be necessary in all situations but it offers the most protection. I have one but it's an alternative helmet and I've only felt inclined to wear it a handful of times over a four year span. Unless you're going to be doing all-out downhill / freeride, you probably won't need it most of the time.

    I'd choose between the BMX style and the cross-country style. Just pick the one that matches your style and budget.
    Last edited by one incredible donkey; 02-15-2009 at 12:39 PM.

  3. #3
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    Well, the problem with "cheaper" helmets is they are not really intended for mountain bike riding but more for cruisers. When I first started riding I was using a Trek helmet that cost around $40.00, 1 year later I was told my helmet would not protect me if I were to take a big hit in the trail. This is due to lack of internal reinforcement. On some higher end helmets they also have Kevlar reinforcement. Also, with my personal experience the cheaper helmets have crappy air flow and are not very comfortable.

    IMO, I would stick with a helmet intended for mountain biking and would look to pay around $100.00

    I recently purchased the 2009 Fox Flux, the best fitting and most comfortable helmet I have owned. It was around $100.00

    https://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k...TB/FoxHelm.jpg

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    Thanks for the info man.
    Over the years I have a taken a few head shots and been in the hospital twice due to head injuries so I really wanted to make sure I got something that is going to protect my soft melon.

    Tommy
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  5. #5
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    Helmets are very personal, everybody's head is a different size and shape. Look for fit and a good quality suspension. There are a lot of good helmets for between $50 and $100 that will protect your melon well. I am not sure if there is an actual protection difference between mountain and road helmets like stated above but I have seen a lot of off road racers using road helmets and I wouldn't be afraid to That being said the Trek helmets work really well for me.

  6. #6
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    There is no protection difference between the $20 walmart helmet and the $200 "mountain bike" helmet unless said $200 mountain bike helmet is a full face. They all pass the same tests and if one were to pass extra testing I have a hard time believing we wouldn't hear about it in the advertising.

    There is a comfort and fit difference, however. And the fit difference can make a protection difference since it won't be sliding around and you're more likely to wear it.

    I too budget $50-$100 for a helmet and typically get last years $130-150 model for ~$65. You don't want to go too many years back since XC type helmets are designed for a 5yr lifespan even if you don't wack your noggin.

    I'd steer away from the skate lids only because I've heard they can be unbearably hot when mountain biking.

    Otherwise Bell, Giro, Trek, Specialized, etc. all make good helmets; find the one that fits your head the best. My favorite is a Giro Hex and it tends to cover a hair bit more of the back of your head than some of the other XC and road helmets.

  7. #7
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    ^^False Information^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Evo.
    Well, the problem with "cheaper" helmets is they are not really intended for mountain bike riding but more for cruisers. When I first started riding I was using a Trek helmet that cost around $40.00, 1 year later I was told my helmet would not protect me if I were to take a big hit in the trail. This is due to lack of internal reinforcement. On some higher end helmets they also have Kevlar reinforcement. Also, with my personal experience the cheaper helmets have crappy air flow and are not very comfortable.

    IMO, I would stick with a helmet intended for mountain biking and would look to pay around $100.00

    I recently purchased the 2009 Fox Flux, the best fitting and most comfortable helmet I have owned. It was around $100.00

    https://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k...TB/FoxHelm.jpg

    This is false information. All helmets in the US have to comply with the same safety rating.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evo.
    Well, the problem with "cheaper" helmets is they are not really intended for mountain bike riding but more for cruisers. When I first started riding I was using a Trek helmet that cost around $40.00, 1 year later I was told my helmet would not protect me if I were to take a big hit in the trail. This is due to lack of internal reinforcement. On some higher end helmets they also have Kevlar reinforcement. Also, with my personal experience the cheaper helmets have crappy air flow and are not very comfortable.
    ]
    Where do you get that information? Cite a study. CPSC sets safety standards which all brands have to meet. All helmets are tested for low speed impacts, even motorcycle helmets are tested around 30-40 mph. Helmets are only good for one impact. You shouldn't even drop them from height of a table.

    No helmet is guaranteed to protect you from a big hit on the trail. Statistics show that they will prevent or reduce head injury around 50 percent of the time. Good enough for me, I have a $50 Giro and wear it all the time.

    You are right about cheaper helmets and comfort and air flow.

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  10. #10
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    Sorry...

    I apologize for “false” information. I was sharing information that I received from a bike shop, not my LBS. I wasn’t tiring to give false information but only help.

    Reading all the replies, I personally would have an issue using a $30 helmet for downhill / freeride MTB.


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    I am not by any means a bicycle helmet expert, but I am an expert on motorcycle helmets. I worked for an importer of helmets at one point, and did custom fittings for another manufacturer.I believe Evo's opinion is 100% correct.
    In order to sell a motorcycle helmet it must pass the minimum standards from the DOT and a manufacturer could elect to go for what most consider the tougher SNELL test*. But imagine that 100% is the greatest helmet score possible, if passing is a 65% is the helmet that passes with a 65% score as good as a helmet that could pass with a 100% score.
    The issue is passing the minimum standards does not make your helmet as safe as one which could pass the standards if the standards were made tougher.
    * Some consider the DOT test to be a more realistic and safer test. I am not one of them.

  12. #12
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    Not correct...

    Quote Originally Posted by RichBeBe
    I am not by any means a bicycle helmet expert, but I am an expert on motorcycle helmets. I worked for an importer of helmets at one point, and did custom fittings for another manufacturer.I believe Evo's opinion is 100% correct.
    In order to sell a motorcycle helmet it must pass the minimum standards from the DOT and a manufacturer could elect to go for what most consider the tougher SNELL test*. But imagine that 100% is the greatest helmet score possible, if passing is a 65% is the helmet that passes with a 65% score as good as a helmet that could pass with a 100% score.
    The issue is passing the minimum standards does not make your helmet as safe as one which could pass the standards if the standards were made tougher.
    * Some consider the DOT test to be a more realistic and safer test. I am not one of them.
    Bike helmets have to meet a pass/fail safety standard.

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    removed post...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichBeBe
    I am not by any means a bicycle helmet expert, but I am an expert on motorcycle helmets. I worked for an importer of helmets at one point, and did custom fittings for another manufacturer.I believe Evo's opinion is 100% correct.
    In order to sell a motorcycle helmet it must pass the minimum standards from the DOT and a manufacturer could elect to go for what most consider the tougher SNELL test*. But imagine that 100% is the greatest helmet score possible, if passing is a 65% is the helmet that passes with a 65% score as good as a helmet that could pass with a 100% score.
    The issue is passing the minimum standards does not make your helmet as safe as one which could pass the standards if the standards were made tougher.
    * Some consider the DOT test to be a more realistic and safer test. I am not one of them.
    I am in no way a helmet expert, but even if there is different percentages in safety standards who is to say that the more expensive helmets rank higher in testing. I have never seen the passing percentage of a certain helmet listed anywhere. Maybe the price just reflects how fancy it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    Bike helmets have to meet a pass/fail safety standard.
    Reread my post. I said there is a minimum to pass fail. But just like on any exam you could pass with flying colors or pass by the skin of your teeth. Which helmet do you want on your head if it hits something?

  16. #16
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    what you get from a more expensive helmet is better fit/ more adjustability and cooler graphics. Other than that the helemt is foam with a thin plastic shell, sometimes a little carbon or kevlar but still a thin plastic shell , as far as protection they are pretty much the same. The fox Flux mentioned earlier is a bit more protection because they combined BMX and MTB style and it covers more of the back of your head.
    I would recomend going to several shops and trying different brands on because the biggest difference will be how they fit, once you find a couple that fit right look for the best version they make and buy last years model, usually about 1/2 off 9 times out of 10 the only difference is the colors

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    Reread my post...

    Quote Originally Posted by RichBeBe
    Reread my post. I said there is a minimum to pass fail. But just like on any exam you could pass with flying colors or pass by the skin of your teeth. Which helmet do you want on your head if it hits something?
    With bike helmets, there is no rating. Just a pass/fail. The helmet either passes or it doesn't pass. There's no such thing as an A+ to C- range. It's pass or fail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichBeBe
    Reread my post. I said there is a minimum to pass fail. But just like on any exam you could pass with flying colors or pass by the skin of your teeth. Which helmet do you want on your head if it hits something?

    Maybe I'm cynical, but since it is a pass/fail system, what incentive is there for the manufacturer to go above and beyond the minimum standard, and cut into their profit. If anyone went way above the minimum standard, it would be reflected in their marketing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    With bike helmets, there is no rating. Just a pass/fail. The helmet either passes or it doesn't pass. There's no such thing as an A+ to C- range. It's pass or fail.
    Once again to say all helmets are equal because they all pass is incorrect.
    I did a bit of research and it appears that the current standard is that failure threshold is 300 g. If a helmet transfer 299 g it passes, if another passes 84 g it passes. They both reached the minimum. But I know which i would want on my head in a crash.
    Even if the data is not released, a manufacturers might release their own information, or you might trust their reputation. Of course you could get screwed because the data is not public.
    But to say that all helmets that pass a minimum test are the same is incorrect.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    Maybe I'm cynical, but since it is a pass/fail system, what incentive is there for the manufacturer to go above and beyond the minimum standard, and cut into their profit. If anyone went way above the minimum standard, it would be reflected in their marketing.
    There isn't, that's the point. They all meet the same safety standard and as far as we know the $10 Walmart helmet may well pass with more margin. As far as I can tell there is no way for the consumer to know (other than it passed). More expensive helmets are more expensive because it costs more in materials and research to make a helmet that's lighter with more vents that still passes. That's what you are buying.

    I'd be all for a grading system though.

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    Rereread my post...

    Quote Originally Posted by RichBeBe
    Once again to say all helmets are equal because they all pass is incorrect.
    I did a bit of research and it appears that the current standard is that failure threshold is 300 g. If a helmet transfer 299 g it passes, if another passes 84 g it passes. They both reached the minimum. But I know which i would want on my head in a crash.
    Even if the data is not released, a manufacturers might release their own information, or you might trust their reputation. Of course you could get screwed because the data is not public.
    But to say that all helmets that pass a minimum test are the same is incorrect.

    Pass or fail. That's all the information we get.

    All helmets aren't the same. All helmets pass the same pass/fail safety test.

  22. #22
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    idk i went to sports authority and found a helmet that i liked the look and (i think i tried it on it was a while ago so i dont remember) fit of, i sthink i spent 70 or 80 dollars on it, just make sure that you get one with plenty of vents otherwise you will never want to wear it on the trail
    I cant spell deal with it! :D

  23. #23
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    FWIT, I paid $30 for my xc helmet and don't have a problem with it.
    If it ain't broke, fix it 'till it is.

  24. #24
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    Copied from the "Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute".....

    "The higher priced helmets have big vents, but no verifiable advantage in impact performance. A helmet with less liner foam must have denser foam, a disadvantage in lesser impacts. You can pay more than $200 if you want to, but Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and other discounters have models that meet the same CPSC impact standard at an everyday price of $10."

    More expensive helmets may be less protective than the low priced models.

    I will still go for the fit, comfort and venting of a few middle to upper end models.

  25. #25
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    Here's a question.

    If you bounce your head off the shed door frame (because you forgot to duck coming out ), is the helmet toast?

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    Guess that depends on your comfort level with risk. Helmets are intended for one impact, like I said earlier, you shouldn't even drop a helmet from table height without having it inspected or replaced.

    I do not replace my helmet after every bump, or every time I crash and tap my head. I'll inspect my helmet after a crash for any visible damage, and listen for anything that sounds like there are loose pieces of foam. If not, I'll keep using it. I've taken some hits hard enough to see stars, but haven't loss consciousness with my current helmets. I realize there is likely internal damage I cannot see which reduces their effectiveness, but it is a risk I am comfortable with. I can't afford to replace a helmet every time I crash.

    My ski helmet is more beat up than my bike helmet from hitting gates. I've taken a few really hard crashes with this helmet, once landing on my head during a race and ended up being dizzy with a headache the rest of the day. Time for a new one.

    Clear as mud?

  27. #27
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    So, I should buy a new one. Thanks.

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    You might want a full face for maximum doorway protection. Anything less would be suicide. And goggles too.

  29. #29
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    Good idea!

    Might have to get some body armor for those extreme down-the-stairway excursions, too!

  30. #30
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    Anyone else think that is a flaw in helmet safety? All bike helmets have the same pass / fail rating?

    What since does it make that a Childs helmet has the same pass / fail as an adult downhill racer?

    IMO seems strange to me… You won’t catch me in a $10 wal-mart helmet doing downhill / freeride…

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evo.
    Anyone else think that is a flaw in helmet safety? All bike helmets have the same pass / fail rating?

    What since does it make that a Childs helmet has the same pass / fail as an adult downhill racer?

    IMO seems strange to me… You won’t catch me in a $10 wal-mart helmet doing downhill / freeride…
    I am sure hoping my child helmet has as good or better protection as the one I am wearing, I take it you don't have children. I would think the pass/fail testing system is for normal use not for bombing down a mountain with rocks wide open. I guess what I am getting at there is no failsafe testing but using a little common sense to protect your own mellon would be wise. This type of testing is used in a lot of things we use daily including that 70 mph 4 wheel death trap you get in daily. That being said, yes it would be nice to see how each helmet is ranked in the safety testing, but that is usually left to independent testing.
    Last edited by bdundee; 02-16-2009 at 11:46 AM.

  32. #32
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    As others have said, with only a pass/fail system it's impossible to rank helmets by the amount of safety they provide.

    I'm trying to find a link. About a year ago in one of the many helmet threads/arguments on a motorcycle forum somone posted a link to a document that showed which brands/models had passed and failed SNELL testing (maybe it was DOT, but I think it was SNELL). It was very interesting. Some big-name, high dollar models failed, while polycarbonate shelled cheapies passed. And vice versa.

    So just saying "I'm going to buy brand 'X' because it's the safest" really doesn't mean crap. I guess it can by you peace of mind that quality control is decent, and you won't be getting a defective helmet, where the $20 one could be flawed compared to what they actually passed testing with.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evo.
    Anyone else think that is a flaw in helmet safety? All bike helmets have the same pass / fail rating?

    What since does it make that a Childs helmet has the same pass / fail as an adult downhill racer?

    IMO seems strange to me… You won’t catch me in a $10 wal-mart helmet doing downhill / freeride…
    I think you've said this twice now, and I still don't understand your point. You wouldn't catch anybody in a full face helmet riding FR because they'd want a full face, which simply can't be found for $10.

    And what everyone is trying to point out is that there is absolutely no way to know that a helmet 10 times as expensive as that $10 walmart helmet will protect your head any better. They all passed the same test, maybe not by the same margin, but they all passed. Like CougarTrek pointed out a little ways back, the higher price of an expensive helmet is due to the added cost of materials and testing to make a helmet with 20+ vents still meet the safety requirement.

    I could argue that a $10 helmet, which is pretty much solid styrofoam with 5 or 6 tiny vents, would be safer because it is a lot more substantial than my lightweight XC lid. But that would be silly. Because they both passed the same test, and I have no idea by what percentage! Although I agree, it would be nice to know by what margin the helmet passed.

  34. #34
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    A side question for anyone that may know:

    What tests are the full face downhill helmets held to? Are they more stringent or is it the same test?

    I have no idea since I'll never be "hard core" enough to justify the need for a full face!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee
    ...I would think the pass/fail testing system is for normal use not for bombing down a mountain with rocks wide open. If I was on a motorcycle I would be using a motorcycle helmet do you think by being on a bike the impact would automatically be less, so what makes a bike different in this sense? As far as road vs. mtb helmets there aren't a lot of 4000 pound moving object coming at you at 45mph on the trail either so why would a mtb helmet need to be at a higher standard? ....
    Well first you have to think about how the impact occurs. If I'm on the road and get hit head on by a car going 45 mph, I'm going to over the bars and land on the hood and through the windshield. The impact of my head is going to be minimal, even without a helmet. Everything else on my body is going to be banged up badly. Likewise, when mountain biking, if I'm riding along at 20 mph through singletrack, and hit a tree head-on, my head is going to have a much harder impact than if I'm bombing down doubletrack at 30 mph, endo and hit my head on the ground. Read up on acceleration due to gravity to get this, but hitting a tree head-on at 20 mph would be about the same as a 40 foot fall straight down on your head. Neither impact is a helmet going to offer much protection, not to mention the trauma to the rest of your body.

    Road riding, I'm most likely to get grazed by a car at a slow speed, knocking me to the ground, or slip on loose gravel / water, hit a pot hole and endo, ect... I think I'm more likely to hit a tree mountain biking, loose control and fall down a ridge, or hit my head on a rock. I think mtb would need a stronger helmet than road riding. I also think a kid would need a better helmet than an adult. Kids heads are proportionally larger and softer than adults, making them have a higher risk for TBI.

    But since we don't know anything about helmets other than they pass or fail, you take your chances.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    A side question for anyone that may know:

    What tests are the full face downhill helmets held to? Are they more stringent or is it the same test?

    I have no idea since I'll never be "hard core" enough to justify the need for a full face!

    I'm not sure. I think they are held to the same standard by the CPSC, but some test to the ASTM F1952 Downhill Racing Helmet standard. I assume the ones that go above and beyond let us know in their advertising.

  37. #37
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    DOT ratings don't apply to Mtb helmets the test for DOT used to be a fall onto a flat manvil, Snell test was a fall onto a pointed manvil
    Bicycle helmets are nowhere near as tough as motorcycle helmets (and nowhere near as heavy)
    If you're that worried about it wear a motorcycle helmet, the impact resistance for a bike helmet is provided by the foam, the plastic shell provides abrasion & UV resistance
    the foam will deteriorate over time , so even if you never smack the helmet it should be replaced occasionally
    the test for a bike helmet is similar to any other , its dropped or hit with a manvil, if it absorbs most of the shock it passes if not it fails
    Full face helmets may be dot or Snell as they have a thicker plastic shell and will provide greater protection.
    again cost is mostly irrelevant, the foam & shell are pretty much identical on ALL bike helmets and while there is some R&D involved has anyone seen any great differences in bike helmets in the past 10 years? mostly you see different graphics, there is only so many vents you can put in a helmet.
    buy a good name brand that fits, buy last years model and pay 1/2

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evo.
    Anyone else think that is a flaw in helmet safety? All bike helmets have the same pass / fail rating?

    What since does it make that a Childs helmet has the same pass / fail as an adult downhill racer?

    IMO seems strange to me… You won’t catch me in a $10 wal-mart helmet doing downhill / freeride…
    whats wrong with pass or fail ? to pass it has to meet the standard if the standard is not strong enough thats a problem. The standard doesnt matter if its a chid or an adult, it tests how much of an impact a helmet will withstand
    your car has to meet a standard crash test for the bumper, does it matter that you or your child is in the car? if your cars bumper can withstand 7 mph is it safer than one thats can only withstand 5mph?

    a DH racer will more than likely be wearing a full face helmet, not a standard bike helmet and a DH helmet has a thicker shell, less vents and a chin guard making it much stronger

  39. #39
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    the whole standard if you want it
    http://search.cpsc.gov/query.html?qt...9-1&col=pubweb

    download safety standard for bicycle helmets; final rule 16 cfr part 1203

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    comparison of all helmet standards


  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    Well first you have to think about how the impact occurs. If I'm on the road and get hit head on by a car going 45 mph, I'm going to over the bars and land on the hood and through the windshield. The impact of my head is going to be minimal, even without a helmet. Everything else on my body is going to be banged up badly. Likewise, when mountain biking, if I'm riding along at 20 mph through singletrack, and hit a tree head-on, my head is going to have a much harder impact than if I'm bombing down doubletrack at 30 mph, endo and hit my head on the ground. Read up on acceleration due to gravity to get this, but hitting a tree head-on at 20 mph would be about the same as a 40 foot fall straight down on your head. Neither impact is a helmet going to offer much protection, not to mention the trauma to the rest of your body.

    Road riding, I'm most likely to get grazed by a car at a slow speed, knocking me to the ground, or slip on loose gravel / water, hit a pot hole and endo, ect... I think I'm more likely to hit a tree mountain biking, loose control and fall down a ridge, or hit my head on a rock. I think mtb would need a stronger helmet than road riding. I also think a kid would need a better helmet than an adult. Kids heads are proportionally larger and softer than adults, making them have a higher risk for TBI.

    But since we don't know anything about helmets other than they pass or fail, you take your chances.
    Sorry man I am not buying it at all, next time I get hit by a car I will make sure to aim for the windshield to lesson the chance of a head injury, and if I just get bumped a little by a car I will make sure I tip over in the grass and not on the curb or cement road I am on, and I will definatly avoid any brick buildings and guard rails. Yes my chances are better that I will run into something on the trail but the helmets need to protect you just as good where ever you are riding.

    Oh yeah one more thing when if I ever tip over bombing down double track at 30 mph I will make sure I land on soft fluffy grass....Come on!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    Well first you have to think about how the impact occurs. If I'm on the road and get hit head on by a car going 45 mph, I'm going to over the bars and land on the hood and through the windshield. The impact of my head is going to be minimal, even without a helmet. Everything else on my body is going to be banged up badly. Likewise, when mountain biking, if I'm riding along at 20 mph through singletrack, and hit a tree head-on, my head is going to have a much harder impact than if I'm bombing down doubletrack at 30 mph, endo and hit my head on the ground. Read up on acceleration due to gravity to get this, but hitting a tree head-on at 20 mph would be about the same as a 40 foot fall straight down on your head. Neither impact is a helmet going to offer much protection, not to mention the trauma to the rest of your body.

    Road riding, I'm most likely to get grazed by a car at a slow speed, knocking me to the ground, or slip on loose gravel / water, hit a pot hole and endo, ect... I think I'm more likely to hit a tree mountain biking, loose control and fall down a ridge, or hit my head on a rock. I think mtb would need a stronger helmet than road riding. I also think a kid would need a better helmet than an adult. Kids heads are proportionally larger and softer than adults, making them have a higher risk for TBI.

    But since we don't know anything about helmets other than they pass or fail, you take your chances.
    You are making some pretty bold assumptions on what's going to occur in different crash senarios. Truth is, you cannot lay out ahead of time exactly what will occur during a crash. You think your head going thru a windshield won't be a massive impact?

    And like bdundee said, what if the car hucks you into a guardrail? Lightpole? Street sign? Curb? Another car?


    A year or two ago a man in Tucson was killed on his bicycle with no helmet on. It was reported that they determined he was riding very fast, at night, no lights, and ran into a street pole.

    You can't guess ahead of time how every crash is going to play out, or predict when you will have one. That's why a helmet is important all the time.

    I learned it a few weeks ago, when a quick trip down some side streets ended with a trip to the er.



    But it was just a quick trip down side streets and back alleys
    But if I go over the bars I can just ditch the bike and run out of it
    It's not like I ever go down

    It took about 0.1 seconds for everything to go terribly wrong that day.

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    And....

    Quote Originally Posted by GlassTrain
    Good idea!

    Might have to get some body armor for those extreme down-the-stairway excursions, too!
    Don't forget to wear your helmet in the car, just in case. It would be best if you could find a round, old school white styrofoam model for the car.

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    Last year one of our areas top riders was cruising pretty fast on the road and he must of had sun in his eyes. He hit a parked car, he did have a helmet on, now the area is missing a great person and a top athlete.

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    Nice goose egg Adam, at least you didn't ruin your helmet
    Last edited by bdundee; 02-16-2009 at 04:44 PM.

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    Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evo.
    Anyone else think that is a flaw in helmet safety? All bike helmets have the same pass / fail rating?

    What since does it make that a Childs helmet has the same pass / fail as an adult downhill racer?

    IMO seems strange to me… You won’t catch me in a $10 wal-mart helmet doing downhill / freeride…
    Would we also not catch you on a Wal-mart bike doing downhill / freeride?

    How about Wal-mart body armor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam728
    I'm trying to find a link. About a year ago in one of the many helmet threads/arguments on a motorcycle forum somone posted a link to a document that showed which brands/models had passed and failed SNELL testing (maybe it was DOT, but I think it was SNELL). It was very interesting. Some big-name, high dollar models failed, while polycarbonate shelled cheapies passed. And vice versa.
    ]
    Here is the article http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ge...iew/index.html it was not that they passed/failed the DOT or SNELL test but they passed or failed a test the magazine derived. It made for some interesting reading and I think that SNELL may incorporate some of the ideas into their tests.
    What is interesting about the SNELL certification process is you can submit prototypes for testing before you submit your final product. I know for a fact that one of the smaller helmet companies failed the pellet test for the shield impact. The essentially shoot a pellet gun into the shield and it can not pierce the shield. The company than redesigned their mounting system so that it would be the line of defense to absorb the impact. They did not change the shield material just transferred the impact force to another part of the helmet. If you are looking to "just" pass it is simple too play the game. But if you are looking to make the safest helmet you explore new technologies and ideas.
    For what it is worth when I worked for brand A I used Brand B's helmets with Brand A's stickers on them. My head and life were not worth my job.

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    bdundee, adam728 -

    Both of you still missed the point. Any head-on injury with anything, be it a car, guardrail, sign, tree at any speed greater than walking speed, you are not just worried about a head injury. If I get hit head-on by a car and suffer major trauma to my chest, back, and neck, who cares if I have a concussion or not. The times when a helmet is going to offer the most protection, is from a fall to the ground. A helmet's protection is limited, and it is not proven that they are effective in any high speed accident. There's a huge difference between ground speed and impact speed during a crash. Take the accident of Daniel Albrecht racing the Hahnenkamm as an example. The guy crashed hard on a jump going about 85 mph, likely feel from 35-40 feet. 3 weeks in an induced coma to heal from a lung contusion, no long lasting brain injuries. His impact speed when hitting the ground would have been about 20 mph considering the height of the jump. Had he hit a fixed object at race speed, there'd be nothing left, same as getting hit head on by a car. I still think he's lucky, but its good to see an athlete make a full recovery after such a tragic accident.

    And like bdundee said, what if the car hucks you into a guardrail? Lightpole? Street sign? Curb? Another car?
    Again, head injures - least of my concern. Yes, I made some assumptions about what happens in a crash, but you can predict what forces will act on the body based on Newton's Laws.


    You mention a guy a few years ago who hit a sign and was killed. Same thing happened in my city a few years ago, no helmet, but the guy died from blunt trauma to the chest, not a head injury.

    You can't guess ahead of time how every crash is going to play out, or predict when you will have one. That's why a helmet is important all the time.
    Which is why I wear my helmet at all times now too. When I was 16, I jumped a roller on the trail, front wheel landed on a root, I endoed and my head hit a rock. The impact knocked me out briefly, and destroyed the helmet. I'm grateful it was on, as I rarely wore one back then. But again, my impact speed was pretty low and within the limits that helmets are tested for. Remember that drop test on the anvil that was mentioned? This is why they do that. Nice looking sutures you have by way.

    Sorry man I am not buying it at all, next time I get hit by a car I will make sure to aim for the windshield to lesson the chance of a head injury
    should have said head injuries minimal compared to other injuries, my bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    bdundee, adam728 -

    Both of you still missed the point. Any head-on injury with anything, be it a car, guardrail, sign, tree at any speed greater than walking speed, you are not just worried about a head injury. If I get hit head-on by a car and suffer major trauma to my chest, back, and neck, who cares if I have a concussion or not. The times when a helmet is going to offer the most protection, is from a fall to the ground. A helmet's protection is limited, and it is not proven that they are effective in any high speed accident. There's a huge difference between ground speed and impact speed during a crash. Take the accident of Daniel Albrecht racing the Hahnenkamm as an example. The guy crashed hard on a jump going about 85 mph, likely feel from 35-40 feet. 3 weeks in an induced coma to heal from a lung contusion, no long lasting brain injuries. His impact speed when hitting the ground would have been about 20 mph considering the height of the jump. Had he hit a fixed object at race speed, there'd be nothing left, same as getting hit head on by a car. I still think he's lucky, but its good to see an athlete make a full recovery after such a tragic accident.



    Again, head injures - least of my concern. Yes, I made some assumptions about what happens in a crash, but you can predict what forces will act on the body based on Newton's Laws.


    You mention a guy a few years ago who hit a sign and was killed. Same thing happened in my city a few years ago, no helmet, but the guy died from blunt trauma to the chest, not a head injury.



    Which is why I wear my helmet at all times now too. When I was 16, I jumped a roller on the trail, front wheel landed on a root, I endoed and my head hit a rock. The impact knocked me out briefly, and destroyed the helmet. I'm grateful it was on, as I rarely wore one back then. But again, my impact speed was pretty low and within the limits that helmets are tested for. Remember that drop test on the anvil that was mentioned? This is why they do that. Nice looking sutures you have by way.



    should have said head injuries minimal compared to other injuries, my bad.
    Man you are so far off track on this thread. We are talking helmets here not total body devestation. The fact is you can tip over from not being able to get out of your pedals at 0 mph and smack your head on a curb or rock and die, lights out no blown lung or shattered anything just DEAD.

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    Allow me to try and help....

    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee
    Man you are so far off track on this thread. We are talking helmets here not total body devestation. The fact is you can tip over from not being able to get out of your pedals at 0 mph and smack your head on a curb or rock and die, lights out no blown lung or shattered anything just DEAD.
    The point I think Nate is trying to make is that it's a smart idea to wear a helmet AND

    1. It's important to realize that at the speeds some of us go, that a helmet shouldn't inspire (over) confidence because they're not designed to protect us to the same degree that a motorcycle helmet is AND

    2. That should we hit anything at speed, we're just as likely to hit some other unprotected part of our body that will result in trauma or death.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichBeBe
    ]
    Here is the article http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ge...iew/index.html it was not that they passed/failed the DOT or SNELL test but they passed or failed a test the magazine derived. It made for some interesting reading and I think that SNELL may incorporate some of the ideas into their tests.
    While that is a good link, it's not what I was looking for. The one I am thinking of was basically an excel table with dozens of helmet brands and models, and it was simply pass/fail for a number of different tests.




    emtnate :
    How many g's can your head take before concusion, or before you die? How about your body? It's pretty accepted that you can take much more force to the body than your head!

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    well i was trying to answer why i feel a mtb helmet would need more protection than a road helmet. I still think I am more likely to hit my head in a manner a helmet would protect on the trail than on the road. I don't have separate helmets for road use or mtb use, but I would like to see better testing than pass / fail.

    Like your example of the person hitting a parked car, I think we are a long way off from a good helmet, for all sports. I think helmets should be held to a higher standard, it has been beaten down that there has been no improvement in effectiveness in over 10 years. I see people all the time who have TBI despite wearing a helmet, this number needs to shrink. If there is a safer helmet, or a company that sets their own higher standards, I'd like to know about it. Even a $200 helmet is less than I'd end up paying at the ER for the CAT scan to tell me there's nothing wrong.

    I'll keep the thread back on track now.

    Edit: Ken in KC - you're right. That is exactly the point I was trying to make.

    Adam - Depends on the duration of the blow, part of the brain that is directly affected, and other physiological issues with the victim. ~200 g's according to the author of some of my textbooks. Next time I see Dr. A, who specializes in trauma surgery, or Dr. K a neurosurgeon, I'll ask.

    About the body, like the head, there's still a ton of variables. Even if your lungs are full of air when you take a blow to the chest. "Paper Bag Syndrome" The brain has no room to swell, so I'd rather take a blow to the body than the head. Still a fine line.

    Edit Again: Another study I found says 200-300g's can cause serious injury, 600 g's would be fatal.
    http://www.headsafe.org/id3.html .

    I read somewhere bike helmets have to sustain 300 gs.
    Last edited by emtnate; 02-16-2009 at 08:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam728
    It's pretty accepted that you can take much more force to the body than your head!
    I'm mostly lurking, but that's false. It's the a higher IMPULSE that the body can take verses the head. You can generally take a lot more force to the head if applied slowly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    The point I think Nate is trying to make is that it's a smart idea to wear a helmet AND

    1. It's important to realize that at the speeds some of us go, that a helmet shouldn't inspire (over) confidence because they're not designed to protect us to the same degree that a motorcycle helmet is AND

    2. That should we hit anything at speed, we're just as likely to hit some other unprotected part of our body that will result in trauma or death.
    I'll buy that when you put it that way
    But.......He did say up above somewhere that he believed you need a stronger helmet for mtb then road and that is plain wrong....

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    [QUOTE=emtnate]

    Like your example of the person hitting a parked car, I think we are a long way off from a good helmet, for all sports. I think helmets should be held to a higher standard, it has been beaten down that there has been no improvement in effectiveness in over 10 years. I see people all the time who have TBI despite wearing a helmet, this number needs to shrink. If there is a safer helmet, or a company that sets their own higher standards, I'd like to know about it. Even a $200 helmet is less than I'd end up paying at the ER for the CAT scan to tell me there's nothing wrong.

    Amen Brother!!!

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    we agree on something.

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    Sorry for getting way off track. I'm passionate about helmets and people understanding their limitations. They have some serious downfalls, mainly when people think they offer more protection than they do, or when they get "helmet induced courage" and ride way beyond their skills because they have protection on.

    I have personal experience from helmets preventing injury and from sustaining an injury that left permanent damage while not wearing one in a ski accident. With my line of work, I'm the first to see the after effect of trauma, when I see people suffer injuries from activities I participate in, it hits very close to home.

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    It's a push....

    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee
    I'll buy that when you put it that way
    But.......He did say up above somewhere that he believed you need a stronger helmet for mtb then road and that is plain wrong....
    You can argue either side of that opinion and be correct, in my opinion.

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    Screw you, jerk...

    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    Sorry for getting way off track. I'm passionate about helmets and people understanding their limitations. They have some serious downfalls, mainly when people think they offer more protection than they do, or when they get "helmet induced courage" and ride way beyond their skills because they have protection on.

    I have personal experience from helmets preventing injury and from sustaining an injury that left permanent damage while not wearing one in a ski accident. With my line of work, I'm the first to see the after effect of trauma, when I see people suffer injuries from activities I participate in, it hits very close to home.
    Helmet discussions are generally emotional and filled with equal amounts of fact, hyperbole and emotion.

    As a former 1st Responder and National Mountain Bike Patroller, I've seen my fair share of accidents. I've seen helmets (likely) save peoples' lives and I've seen them prevent serious head wounds. I also realize that the protection they offer is limited. But I still wear one.... always....

    Cheers, beers and driving 90mph on the highway in the right lane,

    Ken

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    I still wear mine, all the time. learned the hard way, but that is what life's for. .

    I've seen them work wonders. Had a patient several weeks ago in a motocross accident. Doc said injuries had a 90% chance of being fatal. The guy woke up and started talking recently. He was wearing helmet, neck brace, chest pads, hard boots. Fell head first from a 50 footer. No major injures not to the head. Helmet saved his life. I can come up with those stories all day long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    You can argue either side of that opinion and be correct, in my opinion.

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