New rider with a helmet question- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    New rider with a helmet question

    I just bought my first bike today, a Trek 3500. I know it is nothing special, but as a poor college student, I cant afford anything nicer! I primarily bought it to go to classes, but there are some trails around here that I would like to ride. Anyway, I was wondering about helmets. Do I really need to spend any more than $20-$40 on one? Any particular brands/models to buy or stay away from? I appreciate any help you guys can give me! Thanks!

  2. #2
    ride hard take risks
    Reputation: dogonfr's Avatar
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    You need a helmet, simple. You dont need to spend a arm & leg on one. You should be able to go the the LBS & find one on sale for $25-35 easy.

    3 pages of ideas
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/sub/229-Helmets.aspx

  3. #3

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    As far as I'm concerned for your type of riding a helmet is a helmet is a helmet. My LBS sells some nice Giro helmets for $30. When you get into the more expensive helmets you are talking about more vents, lighter materials, and more complex anatomy all around. All helmets have to pass the same safety requirements, regardless of price. Good luck with your search,

    brderj

  4. #4
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    Reputation: 006_007's Avatar
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    As the other said, $30-$40 is definately a possibility. Key factor is that it fits properly. Look for last years closeouts which quite often are the "old" colors, and try several different brands. Giros fit my head well. Bells pinch on the front/rear. Everyones noggin is shaped different.

    TJ

  5. #5
    Never worng!
    Reputation: Verewolf's Avatar
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    I'm too lazy to look it up

    So you'll just have to take my word on this -
    Some research safety outfit that tests helmets said that if it carries the CPSC rating
    they found the $15 helmets were just as good, if not better than some helmets costing $175.

    They also said the expensive helmets with those pointy turbo looking ports on the back
    could contribute to additional injury in a tumbling fall.

    Performance, Nashbar and others are having a clearance sale on helmets in the $20 range.
    Best prices are on ebay. Got a Giro Semi MX for $14.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by trigger06
    I just bought my first bike today, a Trek 3500. I know it is nothing special, but as a poor college student, I cant afford anything nicer! I primarily bought it to go to classes, but there are some trails around here that I would like to ride. Anyway, I was wondering about helmets. Do I really need to spend any more than $20-$40 on one? Any particular brands/models to buy or stay away from? I appreciate any help you guys can give me! Thanks!
    Actually, there was a study several years ago which showed that the expensive helmets were inferior in terms of protection when compared to the "average" helmet. Why? Helmet manufacturers keep on putting vents in the top.....at some point they cross over and the helmet simply cannot withstand the impact that a less ventilated one could.

    My advice? Go to nashbar.......they have Giro's and Bells for $30 or so(make sure any one you buy is ANSI approved).......and they will probably protect you better than a $200 helmet too!
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Never worng!
    Reputation: Verewolf's Avatar
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    Found It

    Quote Originally Posted by brianthebiker
    Actually, there was a study several years ago which showed that the expensive helmets were inferior in terms of protection when compared to the "average" helmet. Why? Helmet manufacturers keep on putting vents in the top.....at some point they cross over and the helmet simply cannot withstand the impact that a less ventilated one could.
    And that too!
    The pointy turbo ports in the rear on the fashionable helmets like Giro's top-end helmets
    tend to snag in a rolling fall. And the vents as per brianthebiker are susceptible to serious penetration injuries.

    Skateboard style helmets with the dual certification (CPSC & ASTM) were rated the best.
    Pro Tec helmets have a very good rating.

    Here's the link to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute with a lot of good info on helmets.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verewolf
    And that too!
    The pointy turbo ports in the rear on the fashionable helmets like Giro's top-end helmets
    tend to snag in a rolling fall. And the vents as per brianthebiker are susceptible to serious penetration injuries.

    Skateboard style helmets with the dual certification (CPSC & ASTM) were rated the best.
    Pro Tec helmets have a very good rating.

    Here's the link to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute with a lot of good info on helmets.

    I didn't know that Protec made helmets for cycling. I have one for my kayaking, but have never seen one on a cyclist.
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Never worng!
    Reputation: Verewolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianthebiker
    I didn't know that Protec made helmets for cycling. I have one for my kayaking, but have never seen one on a cyclist.
    Yup! More for the BMX and stunt riding crowd.

    I bought one of the Pro Tec Ace helmets in yellow for $29.
    They come with stickers you can put on if you want to.
    Lot of really cool looking colors too.

    Here's the link to the Bike Helmets.
    The B2 helmets and the full-face Ace Spade are pretty nice.

    Although the helmets are highly rated safety wise they are hot to wear in the summer.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verewolf
    Yup! More for the BMX and stunt riding crowd.

    I bought one of the Pro Tec Ace helmets in yellow for $29.
    They come with stickers you can put on if you want to.
    Lot of really cool looking colors too.

    Here's the link to the Bike Helmets.
    The B2 helmets and the full-face Ace Spade are pretty nice.

    Although the helmets are highly rated safety wise they are hot to wear in the summer.
    Somehow I could not see that helmet doubling as a road helmet;-)
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    Never worng!
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianthebiker
    Somehow I could not see that helmet doubling as a road helmet;-)
    I agree there.
    I'd never wear it for road biking. I use it strictly for DH mtbing.

    I have 4 different helmets for 4 different types of riding.
    Use the Pro Tek for fast DHing over rocks and roots.
    With the SXP liner it can take a crash better than my other helmets.

    Use a Giro Semi MX the most for mtbing.
    And a Bell Ghisallo (my road bike helmet) for mtbing in the summer when it's really hot.

  12. #12

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    I've had good luck with Louis Garneau helmets, but as others have said getting one that fits is most important. Try to get a helmet that has one of those adjustable straps at the back of the head. They seem to fit way better and don't move around as much.

  13. #13
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
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    You need a helmet that you can wear.
    Try before you buy. Heads are different, maybe mine is more different than most: I could not find a cheap helmet that would not HURT. Ouch. I went to a real bike shop and with some assistance found one helmet that I could wear ( a Bell). It was not cheap but it was not nearly the most expensive either.

    ... OT?. The guy at the shop had a story about a father who bought a full face helmet for his kid for jumping or down hill or something. And of course he thought it was expensive. Next week he came back with a mangled helmet and happily bought a second one...

  14. #14
    moaaar shimz
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    I really like the Giros and the Catlike.

  15. #15

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    The people at my LBS say that the cheap helmets are at least as protective as the more expensive ones. I think the only real differences are weight and how aerodynamic they are. Actually, after a bad crash you will probally have to throw the helmet away. Good luck and have fun with your bike.

  16. #16

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    Actually if you crash on your helmet get rid of it, they are made for one time crash only.

    A helmet has to do two things; fit right and be on your head. A low-end, name brand and certified helmet from your LBS is your best route for your first helmet. Each manufacturer makes different head shape helmets, once you find the one that fits your pumpkin best then you can order its replacements from the net if you wish. Also if you don't crash you should still replace your helmet every few years, salt and sun takes its toll on them.

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