I need a helmet...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! I need a helmet...

    As the title says I need a helmet. I am on a strict budget so I need something that is reasonably priced that offers great protection as well. The lighter the better. Thanks all.

  2. #2
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    I bought one of the Bell Adrenaline helmets. I think it was $22.

    http://www.belltruefit.com/adult.html

    If you're doing more serious (dangerous) riding I'd recommend something better

  3. #3
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    IMHO you can be cheap in everything but in your helmet, cīmon, itīs your head youīre talking about. I would not recommend anything under 60 bucks.
    And after one big hit on the head, you should change it.

  4. #4
    The Martian
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    I disagree with Psycho Marco.

    Yes, it's your head, wear a helmet! BUT, the $15 walmart helmets pass the exact same safety standards as the $60 or even $200 "nice" helmets. There is NO evidence that the $60+ helmet will protect your head better and there is some evidence to suggest some may be worse due to their styling (the "aero" points on the back are more slam your head forward and cause neck injury compared to rounded helmets if you land wrong on the points. Of course mountain biking you typically don't fall on the back of your head...). (This is of course assuming we are comparing "apples to apples" and not comparing the walmart XC/general helmet to a hard shell full face downhill helmet).

    Anyway, there is a certain price point that does gain you better fit (more adjustability) and more comfort for your money. Because of this I do tend to buy the $75-$150 helmets. I NEVER pay that for them. Typically I spend $35-45 on last year's model, new of course.

    In the more expensive helmets you pay for the nicer adjustment system (and that is a safety factor to some extent, but I contend not between a $30 and a $150 helmet), more vents, and lighter weight. It costs more to do the research and materials engineering involved in making the lightweight, extremely vented helmet that still manages to protect enough to meet safety standards.

    Go try on some helmets. Different brands fit differently and you want something that fits your head. Otherwise get something that fits in your budget and wear it. If you do some looking around you can probably find a pretty good deal on a nice helmet. I personally like the Giro Hex, which retails for ~$100 but can be had on sale for $30-40. I've also worn cheaper Giro models and aside from venting (not as nice as the Hex) was perfectly happy with it.

    Don't buy a helmet that's more than 5 years old. Check the sticker IN the helmet for manufacture date, not the year model on the box. Manufacturers claim a 5 year or one hit lifespan for helmets no matter what the conditions (including "brand new" sitting on the shelf). I'll buy helmets that have sat around for a year or two, but I replace every 2 years due to wear or crash damage anyway so I'm never outside of that 5 year window.

  5. #5
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    Bells fit my head better than Giros. I must have an odd shaped head. Best to try.

  6. #6
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    I too have a Bell head. Giro is tight on my temples

  7. #7
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    I have a Giro Hex, find it comfortable but not the cheapest though.
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc 2009
    Giant CRS 3.0 2009

  8. #8
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    you need to try them on. as one said, all helmets pass the same test, however, don't go buy the cheapest helmet. try them on, and look at the crash replacement for the helmet.

    personally, i'm a giro guy. i've been riding giro's for 18 years and just prefer the fit of them. i like bell's too, but always end up getting the giro. specialized has some nice helmets, but i just don't like the fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by haisai
    Bells fit my head better than Giros. I must have an odd shaped head. Best to try.
    which is funny because giro is owned by bell.

  9. #9
    local trails rider
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    Get one that fits your head.

    Q: How do you know if it will fit?
    A: Try it on.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    I disagree with Psycho Marco.

    If you do some looking around you can probably find a pretty good deal on a nice helmet. I personally like the Giro Hex, which retails for ~$100 but can be had on sale for $30-40. I've also worn cheaper Giro models and aside from venting (not as nice as the Hex) was perfectly happy with it.
    You donīt agree with me, but you suggest to buy a 100 bucks Giro helmet! of couse, ON SALE.

    The point here is that you too are suggesting an expensive helmet, regardless of the fact that he can get it on sale. Of course I would like to get a Rudy Project helmet on sale for $10 bucks if I could find it.

    The point here is not to buy a cheap helmet that who know what quality standars it must have gone thru. So buying a helmet from a reputable brand is a warranty that your head will be safe.

    Regards

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho Marco
    The point here is not to buy a cheap helmet that who know what quality standars it must have gone thru. So buying a helmet from a reputable brand is a warranty that your head will be safe.

    Regards
    At a minimum, all new helmets sold in the US should meet CPSC guidelines. If you buy from a reputable brand, the helmet will meet those standards and likely others, such as SNELL. Generally, the difference in price from a cheaper helmet to a more expensive one, is looks, weight and venting.

    dce88 - I recommend you go to your bike store, or an REI or other outdoor enthusiast place, look at the helmets in your range, and buy the one you like best. a $40 Bell helmet and a $40 Specialized helmet should be pretty similar (if not the same) in terms of safety certifications, and it really will come down to the one you like most.
    :wq

  12. #12
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    I have heard several times that the more money you spend on a helmet does not mean it is safer, only more vents. I am also a Bell fan, and if you crash they will get you a replacement for like 30 bucks. I'm sorry to say that I have had 10 helmets over the years and I only purchased 2 of them. All the rest came from crash replacements.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlepito
    I'm sorry to say that I have had 10 helmets over the years and I only purchased 2 of them. All the rest came from crash replacements.
    Ouch, that's a lot of shots to the head! Most of what is said on here is true. My advice is do not buy the "one size fits all" helmets. They are basically "one size fits no one". I have a Giro Havoc, which is lower model line from Giro, but it comes in various sizes. I had a one-size-fits-all helmet from Bell and felt like it was going to fly off if I crashed. The Giro is nice and snug and the straps fit really well. My riding buddy has a Specialized helmet and it's really nice also. They key is get one that fits!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    I disagree with Psycho Marco.

    Yes, it's your head, wear a helmet! BUT, the $15 walmart helmets pass the exact same safety standards as the $60 or even $200 "nice" helmets. There is NO evidence that the $60+ helmet will protect your head better and there is some evidence to suggest some may be worse due to their styling (the "aero" points on the back are more slam your head forward and cause neck injury compared to rounded helmets if you land wrong on the points. Of course mountain biking you typically don't fall on the back of your head...). (This is of course assuming we are comparing "apples to apples" and not comparing the walmart XC/general helmet to a hard shell full face downhill helmet).
    It was explained to me (I don't know if this is right, correct if wrong...) that the projection at the back of the helmet is important as when you fall on the back of the helmet the projection is meant to collapse (prolonging the period of the impac) protecting the brain stem more effectively than a standard round helmet.

    Tell me if this is total BS. I don't know.
    A medical student who wandered into Iowa

  15. #15
    The Martian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho Marco
    You donīt agree with me, but you suggest to buy a 100 bucks Giro helmet! of couse, ON SALE.

    The point here is that you too are suggesting an expensive helmet, regardless of the fact that he can get it on sale. Of course I would like to get a Rudy Project helmet on sale for $10 bucks if I could find it.

    The point here is not to buy a cheap helmet that who know what quality standars it must have gone thru. So buying a helmet from a reputable brand is a warranty that your head will be safe.

    Regards
    That cheap helmet goes through the SAME quality standards; the SAME testing standards. There's no "who knows" about it. ANY helmet on the market is required to be tested to the same standards. I honestly have never seen a helmet that wasn't a "reputable brand". Even walmart helmets are "Bell"; you think Bell (actually Giro, who owns Bell) would be stupid enough to have different quality controls for their "cheap" helmets vs. their $200 race helmets? That's a lawsuit waiting to happen!

    The ONLY reasons to get an expensive helmet are fit and comfort (air flow, weight). I like my Hex, so yes, I recommend it (if it fits). I've never had a problem finding one for 1/2 off ($40 or so) on sale so it's not anywhere near as ridiculous as the $10 rudy project example you try to give. I ALSO noted that I had NO problems with my $20 standard Giro, which is basically the cheapest you can get (and I actually crashed in that one!).

    I have NO problems putting a $20 helmet on my head, so long as I know it's history. It has the same chance of protecting me as my $100 helmet (that I would have never paid $100 for!!!!).

    The notion that a $200 helmet protects you or has the potential to protect you any more than a $20 helmet has NO basis in fact or science, period.

  16. #16
    The Martian
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    Quote Originally Posted by lampy29
    It was explained to me (I don't know if this is right, correct if wrong...) that the projection at the back of the helmet is important as when you fall on the back of the helmet the projection is meant to collapse (prolonging the period of the impac) protecting the brain stem more effectively than a standard round helmet.

    Tell me if this is total BS. I don't know.
    Never heard of it, I've only heard the opposite (and I didn't hear the opposite from a scientific source).

    I can see it increasing impact time if you hit perfectly on it. That's unlikely though. More likely that you hit just off of it in any direction; in which case it may deflect instead of (or in addition to) collapsing which I could see maybe causing issues in theory.

    In the end I don't think it really matters one way or the other. Personally I try to go for a predominantly rounded profile with generous coverage in the rear. But the more pointed helmets pass the same tests.

  17. #17

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    Thanks all. Your responses have been very helpful.

  18. #18

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    Glad to see you've gotten a lot of help here. Here's my $0.02. Take if for what it's worth.

    As long as a helmet passes the necessary safety tests (as discussed earlier in this thread), it's going to be safe pending a couple conditions are met: A) it's not too old or already been in a crash and B) it fits.

    What you get in a more expensive helmet is more adjustments and better fit options. If the cheaper helmets fit correctly, then great. But if not, I seriously suggest looking for the helmet that fits the best regardless of price.

    It can't protect your head if it doesn't fit...

  19. #19

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    I have the same question, so I hope people don't mind if latch on to this thread instead of starting a new one. My problem: a big head. I was thinking of buying a full face helmet, but I can't find one in any of my local bike stores that fit. Are there any companies that make XXL or XXXL full face helmets? Preferably, I would want a helmet that wouldn't cost me more than a $150.

  20. #20
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    first off, its accurate to say that any helmet that passes the snell and ansi safety standards (and anything sold in a store HAS to) will in theory protect your head just as well as any other helmet passing the same standards, assuming both helmets are worn properly and fit properly. the design of most bicycle helmets is to sort of crumble to severe impacts, thus it breaks instead of your skull. a crack, a dent, AGE, all these can weaken the structure of the helmet, making it less likely to properly protect your head in the event of an impact. I have also been told to never store your helmet in your car (durring the summer) due to the heat causing the polystyrene to become weakened. As for full face helmets, very few people wear full face for much other than downhill, 4X, slalom, super D, etc... nothing where you're going to be on the bike for an extended amount of time, they are hot, and heavier than a good typical bike helmet. giro and bell are yes, owned by the same company now. they are good helmets, i have owned both. as it has been said, try it on, fit is the most important part. make sure the front of the helmet is about an inch over your eyebrows, and the strap is snug under your chin with your mouth wide open. most helmets now have an adjustment system in the back that lets you kind of tighten the helmet onto your head, these fit systems are excellent and have come SO far over the past 5+ years. helmets now have TONS of vents, ratcheting fit systems that cradle around the base of your skull in the back in order to keep the helmet firmly in position on your head to protect your head where its supposed to. all of these features can be found in helmets costing less than 50 dollars. getting more expensive means more vents, less weight and in some cases even nicer fit systems. try them on, buy what fits you nicest.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iridethedirt
    try them on, buy what fits you nicest.
    The problem is that I can't even put them onto my head: they slide down only as far as my ears. Even the largest helmets are at least an inch to small just to try them on

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