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  1. #1
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    Helmets

    I have been doing some research on helmets and just cant decide which one to go with. My biggest concern is how safe or good helmet construction is in the bike world. It seems the helmet reviews are very general when speaking of safety and collision testing. I have a few motorcycle helmets I have paid top dollar for because I know they have passed rigorous private testing (SNELL) along with excellet craftsmanship to insure their quality. These results are very easy to obtain for motorcycle helmets but I only seem to be finding gov. (DOT) results or word of mouth reviews available for helmets in the biking world. Is there a similar private testing organization (maybe SNELL themselves but I have seen no data from them) that does this type of testing beyond DOT. Looking for both a street lid and offroad if any difference at all. Most of the helmets that I do see do not seem to cover enough of the head, especially the basil and temple areas plus many come with some bootleg strapping and buckles that would not have a chance in a high impat crash. Can anyone help me out here, I would really appreceiate it, thanks from a rooke looking to keep his dome intact.

  2. #2
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    I recently purchased a Bell Variant helmet. It fits very well, and it sits down more around the head rather than propped on top like many helmets I have used. It has more protection down the back, and in the temple area than pure XC helmets. It has a very secure feel.

    An interesting thing happened recently with motorcycle helmets that got a lot of high end helmet makers up in arms. Impact tests showed that many cheaper helmets like HJC actually transmitted less concussion to the brain than many expensive helmets. Why? Because the expensive helmets were actually too stiff and strong, and did not give. They protected better against having a sharp object penetrate them, but did worse in tests involving blunt force impacts, where they transferred more shock.

    Not saying to buy a cheap bike helmet. They fall under different guidelines. Everything is a trade off. If you want more protection it will cost you in weight, and heat. If you want a good general protection helmet for trail riding something like the Variant will work well. If you want to huck like a crazy man than a full face helmet is in order. I got the Bell for $60 off PricePoint.

  3. #3
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    I've heard that the "typical" light XC and road helmets are all tested to the same impact standard. So what really matters there is comfort and looks. You have to replace them after any impact.

    I haven't done any research on any other type of helmet, but I would imagine that the BMX style helmets are more impact resistant and may not need to be replaced after every impact. Finally, you have the full face helmets which are pretty much motorcycle helmets, probably the highest impact resistance and durability. I don't know about you, but if I was doing seriously intense riding or catching a lot of air, I'd have a full face. For general XC, a cheap and well ventilated helmet will do. Just avoid going after a pile of rocks with your head.
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    helmets

    A few years back I did a face plant that loosened most my front teeth.I've been wearing a fullface ever since.I really like my Bell Bellistic.If it's really hot I just soak the padding with water.If I'm doing a long slow climb it's strapped to my Camelbak.And in traffic I feel much safer than wearing a X-C style helmet.Now if I had money I'd get a Specialized Deviant.
    I also have a black Bell Tension with no vents(except 2 little holes under the visor which you can close)for cold weather.
    http://www.bellbikehelmets.com/produ....asp?prodID=7#

  5. #5
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    Most bicycle helmets, as you've noticed, are manufactured to DOT standard or CPSC standard. Some of the downhill helmets are manufactured to SNELL ratings, but not all of them. For the most part, the CPSC standard is more than sufficient for a bicycle helmet--they are designed to be light and comfortable, yet strong enough for the impacts they are designed for. Such impacts, generally, are at a lower speed than speeds due to crashes from a motorcycle. If you are downhilling, and actually close to the kind of speeds you may reach on a motorcycle, you very well may want to pick up a Snell-rated helmet. I don't think you will find a Snell-approved helmet except for a full-face (but I have not looked at every helmet, so I could be wrong)

    I've broken three standard half-lid mtb helmets, but all functioned (absorbed the impact) the way they were designed, so although the helmets cracked, I was left unscathed, without even a headache each time.
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    There's a consumer group thta does some independent testing and it was good advice when I got my helmet. I got a Bell Slant for $30 and it was one of the best in the test. Fully molded shell and not just a taped on shell plus snag points were big issues in the test. I'll see if I can find the link and post it tomorrow.

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    Thanks for the info and suggestions fellas. I am new and certainly not bombing hills in the dirt or over heavy terrain but on the street you can pick up pretty good speed so impact ratings do become a factor for sure. Well at least there are some options for both. Glad there are more than just brain collection bowls available. Will check it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by longshot
    There's a consumer group thta does some independent testing and it was good advice when I got my helmet. I got a Bell Slant for $30 and it was one of the best in the test. Fully molded shell and not just a taped on shell plus snag points were big issues in the test. I'll see if I can find the link and post it tomorrow.

    Cool, thank you. Always been a Bell guy anyways.

  9. #9
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    +10 on the Bell Slant. Mine's seen 2 hard crashes (seen the economy lately? THAT'S WHY.), and not so much a a scrape above the neck. The last one, though, did the helmet in, as well as shattering my collarbone. I WILL be replacing this one with another Slant.
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    I like my Giro Hex. It seems to be similar to the Bell Slant, and you can pick them up pretty cheap. It also gets pretty good reviews.

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    i chose the Giro Xen. It had a hefty price tag at $130 dollars. Honestly feels like i have nothing on my head, almost too comfortable. I bought it because a few other riders i know have crash tested them and gave me their feedback. I know a lot of people would never pay that much, but im more familiar with motorcycle helmets and prices really do reflect how they perform. I like to use the saying.."if you have a 30 dollar head, buy a 30 dollar helmet, if you have a 500 dollar head, then buy a $500 dollar helmet." Then again, this may not be true with mtn bike helmets. You are more likely to recover from a few broken bones then a broken skull and brain damage. Just my 2cents...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevirey
    I really like my Bell Bellistic.
    i have one too its a good strong well priced lid.

    bell pretty much has got the good shape, quality, and price ratios down.

    giro are strong as well... a bit more pricey, but everyone i know who rides them raves.
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  13. #13
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    The website I was talking about is for the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute:

    http://www.bhsi.org

    They give a lot of good info about safety standards and put helmets through a pretty good test. I got my Bell Slant in part because it is a consistent winner and I could find it for $30. Not saying you should get one, but the site was helpful to me.

  14. #14
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    Try helmets on before you buy. Each manufacturer's helmets seems to fit a certain shaped head best. An ill fitting helmet is a miserable thing.

    All of the helmets I have tried do cover the temple area and come down to just above the eyebrows. What I do see a lot is people wearing them incorrectly with the helmet rocked back on the head exposing the entire forehead.

  15. #15
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    i wear a skate style "dirt lid" helmet they offer a little better protection (well still certified the same but you don't have to replace it every 3 years or ever crash) in the summer it does get a tad too warm but it protects the entire head and i think covers the back of my head ie brain stem area better than most mountain bike helmets

  16. #16
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    I’d have to respectfully disagree with the dirt lid... however cooler looking they deliver more blunt impact to the head ... because by nature they are made for crashing in packed dirt. If you hit a rock or a tree you will feel it. The mtb softer foam are one hit wonders because they are made to suck all that impact up.

    The pointy long part of the mtb helmets are made to protect the spine and stem by collapsing in. have three of them to show for that.

    I buddy of mine wore dirt lids for a little bit, then he clipped a tree and ate it… pretty sure he had a mild concussion, the helmet has a tree skid mark on it but no damage. He rides a Hex now.


    food for thought
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codad 4

    The pointy long part of the mtb helmets are made to protect the spine and stem by collapsing in. have three of them to show for that.

    food for thought

    Now that is interesting. I always wondered why most bike helmets were designed that way. That alone decreases much of my skepticism regarding the actual safety value of these style helmets. I thought it was an aerodynamic thing more than anything else. Admitted, I am no engineer. Please excuse my ignorance

  18. #18
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    Do they make a full faced XC helmet for intense riding / racing? Living in the NE so it being hot is not a bad thing in our long, cold winters...
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by lampy29
    Do they make a full faced XC helmet for intense riding / racing? Living in the NE so it being hot is not a bad thing in our long, cold winters...

    Sorta... (This is all from memory new stuff might be out there as of now)

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqP...=39452&eid=321


    This and the bellistic are more designed with MTB'ers in mind then motocross styles like fox, 661, rockgradn ect... IMO. They all are for MTB but they don’t all try to include mass venting like the new (way sexy and WAY pricey) specialized and the bell’s do. I would like to note... most full faces are multi hit (aka dirt, try to miss rocks, and no road) construction. Not made for crushing. The only difference is a dirt lid doesn’t have the extra padding like the FF does on the inside so when you have to hit a rock it doesn’t suck so bad.

    to answer the question... not really, sorta, kinda, maybe, prolly not so much.


    I've crushed three XC helemts with out any injuries or major face damage.
    I've yet to (knock on wood) have a real good crash with the full face on.

    to be honest here's my armor level

    1 (always) helmet
    2 gloves
    3 shinnies
    4 fullface helmet
    5 elbows
    6 (never have used but would put last) an flack jaket or pressure suit

    we ride old shenendoah mts jagged rock hell... and i 3 of 5 times will wear my xc helmet and shinnies and feel fine crashing.

    out of breath here haha.
    Last edited by Codad 4; 11-20-2008 at 05:32 PM.
    '09 Cannondale Moto Carbon 2

    'is that a Thomson in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?'

  20. #20
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    actaully the point is safer then full rear head coverage of the DL style because... all the impact from the ground that makes it to you head is deverted to your much harder very stronger back of the skull... there is nothing to impact on the stem or spine if its on your head right. just some whiplash, but then again you did just wrech.


    Quote Originally Posted by philb3131
    Admitted, I am no engineer. Please excuse my ignorance

    its all good man... i am haha, but untill you see one after a good crash you wouldnt think so.

    im sure its areodynamic as well... but for most of the mtb world that kinda takes a back seat to weight... and it is more weight. a heck of a lot of design goes into helmets if its on the market and sold by a retailer in the us it has to have at very least DOT's ok so whatever you get its fine... or you can get a sweet class action suit
    '09 Cannondale Moto Carbon 2

    'is that a Thomson in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?'

  21. #21
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    ps did not know... 2008 expt. from that site listed above

    'Bellistic: Another BMX/downhill racing model still in the lineup for this year. Vents are a little larger than the Drop, and it's lighter. But the Bellistic does not meet the ASTM F 1952 downhill mountain bike standard, so its impact protection is not as good. There is one bright red and white color combination. The retail price is still $80. '

    this leads me to believe Bell made this helmet for the not so much DH more other stuff aka climbing cause its only got the MTB certs... so there ya go!
    '09 Cannondale Moto Carbon 2

    'is that a Thomson in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?'

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