Helmet recommendation for XC??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Helmet recommendation for XC??

    hi guys,

    I am looking at a few helmet options. what are the differences between Giro Pneumo, Xen and Athlon???

  2. #2
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    the pneumo is considered a road biking helmet where as the other two are mountain biking helmets and are tailored more towards mountain biking.

  3. #3
    Former Bike Wrench
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    I prefer the extra back of the head protection of the Xen and Hex (my choice).

  4. #4
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    i have the xen model and love it. a little on the pricey side but its money well spent in my opinion.

  5. #5
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    Check out the fox flux.

  6. #6
    Five is right out
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    There really isn't much difference in most helmets besides cost and styling. They're all rated to the same set of safety standards and they're all made of foam. Number of vents, carbon fibre inserts, etc, don't make any real difference.

    The most important thing with a helmet is that it fits properly
    - some on from different brands (diff brands fit differently) without the retention strap cranked down all the way- find the one that fits best and wobbles least.

    Some helmets are thought to provide more 'back of head' protection than others. The Flux is a typical example. This is an illusion based on styling (I've looked at a friend's Flux, it covers just as much as my bog-standard Bell Slant).

    Road helmets typically come without a visor. Mountain helmets come with a visor. Whether you care is up to personal preference.

    The bottom line is: the simple XC style helmets are all pretty much the same. Get the one that fits your head. If you want to spend more money for fancy styling, that's fine, but don't think there's any major performance difference.

  7. #7
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    so in other words, I should just take the $80 helmet my LBS is clearing out? it is a road bike helmet.

  8. #8
    Trail Ninja
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    Someone suggested the Fox Flux since you're interested in a Xen. I just bought the 2010 Fox Flux ($80 from REI with 20% off coupon) and I'm not totally satisfied with it. There's a little too much room on the sides which lets it wobble/tilt too much side to side and the fit mechanism in the back is a bit wide and the ends of my Oakley's ear stems hit it, so I have to carefully put my sunglasses on after I put on my helm so they fit properly and not get crushed by the helmet or bounce up and down.

    Others complain about flimsy visor, but you can just take it off. It doesn't do anything notably useful considering its size/shape except maybe redirect branches up and over rather than than under and into your face, but then again you can just duck.

    Oddly enough, I think the one size fits all type of Bell helmets fit my head best, but had its own set of major downsides.

    I had a Giro Exodus before the Fox Flux that I wore for 5-6 years that fit worse. I'm happier with the Flux, but still wishing for that helmet that gets it all right. All the other helmets you listed I'd rate lower than the Fox Flux.

  9. #9
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    Xen

    I haven't tried the Athlon or Pneumo, but I have the Xen and love it. Not a single complaint about it - it fits perfectly and after 30 seconds on the bike I can't tell it's there.

  10. #10
    Five is right out
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    Quote Originally Posted by evil monkey
    so in other words, I should just take the $80 helmet my LBS is clearing out? it is a road bike helmet.
    Only if it fits, and if it doesn't bother you not to have a visor.

    FWIW, my XC lids are $40-50 affairs. That was the minimum price for a helmet passed my fairly low 'style' requirements. I would not pay more than $50 for a standard XC lid, but have paid considerably more for helmets with FF protection.

    One of the standard justifications for an expensive XC lid goes along the lines of 'how much is your head worth', which kind of overlooks the obvious fact that they all correspond to the same standards anyway.

    Again, get the one that fits. It doesn't matter if it's on sale, if it's expensive, if its cheap, just make sure it fits.

  11. #11
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by womble
    Only if it fits, and if it doesn't bother you not to have a visor.
    ...
    Again, get the one that fits. It doesn't matter if it's on sale, if it's expensive, if its cheap, just make sure it fits.
    This!


    I have yet to find a cheap helmet that fits my head. Fortunately, the helmets that do fit are not the most expensive either.

  12. #12
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    I used to think Giro was good until I "discovered" the Fox Flux. I trust Fox Flux to protect not only my noggin, but my boys' noggins. I'm pretty picky about noggins. I would wrap everyone in bubble wrap if I could.
    Bionically Modified

  13. #13
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    Xen, hands down, tried on a lot of helmets.

  14. #14
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    While it is true that all helmets, regardless of their price, have the same safety standards, you do get what you pay for in helmets.

    Higher end (i.e.: more expensive) helmets typically have bigger vents, keeping your head cooler than a cheaper helmet (not always, but most of the time). So, while a $100 helmet does not offer any better protection than a $40 helmet, they do offer the same protection with less material so the helmet will be cooler (temperature wise) and lighter. They also typically have better retention and/or fit adjustment "systems". The lower end ones have adjustments, but they are typically a coarser adjustments, so you can't fine tune them to your head as easily. The more expensive typically have a bit nicer straps that tend to lie flatter/smoother than cheaper helmets.

    But, as others have said, none of this amounts to a hill of beans if your helmet doesn't fit. A $100 helmet that doesn't fit right doesn't offer the same protection as $40 one that does. I've wanted to buy a Giro multiple times in the past because of styling and a great sale, but they just don't fit my head. Yet every single time a Bell helmet fits me perfectly, so I get a Bell.

  15. #15
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    As you can clearly see, fit is the most important factor, and something only you can determine. Adding my own .02 I have a giro hex that I recently bought and am very satisfied with it.

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