Skateboard versus XC helmets?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Skateboard versus XC helmets?

    I'm asking this because it seems that guys who wear XC helmets when doing DH/FR will gernerally get slapped around in this forum, yet the same people in this forum will generally go easier on those wearing skatboard lids.

    I'm of the opinon that if you do a facial plant, then only a full face could help you. XC and skater stuff are just about the same. The only slight advantage I see skater lids have over XC is that if you crash really hard (as in 30-40 mph), and proviced you don't do a faceplant,... then perhaps the skater lids may hold up better since it's got less ventilating holes, and the skater lids do tend to make out of heavier plastics. But if you're going to be going 30-40 mph, then you would be wearing a full face anyway, right?

    Furthermore, I see a lot of guys (usually they're of the younger crowds) who when wearing the skater lids, they don't even bother to tighten up their straps! I mean some of these kids wear their lids so loosely that they look like one of those bobble-head toy figures! Might as well not wear a helmet.

  2. #2
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    Old Japaneese wisdom: "In order not to lose face, some prefer to lose their heads".

  3. #3
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    It's a fashion poser thing. Loose staps, skate helmets, jeans, no shirt etc. Not that some of them can't rip but their gear has nothing to do with function. Hey, maybe it gets them laid. lol

    What I really don't get is pros not wearing gloves. Gloves are nice.

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    Yea, i never got the no gloves thing either. Gloves are friends.

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    Skate lids have a bit more side protection don't they? I mainly see people using them for dirt jumping. If you're doing downhill or freeride then full face is the way to go.

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    i wear full face on the ugly trails and skate-style lid on the nicer ones. i think (and have thought for the last 15 years) that "xc" or "standard" style bike helmets look f'ing retarded.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by modifier
    It's a fashion poser thing. Loose staps, skate helmets, jeans, no shirt etc. Not that some of them can't rip but their gear has nothing to do with function. Hey, maybe it gets them laid. lol

    What I really don't get is pros not wearing gloves. Gloves are nice.
    skate helmets are not a fashion poser thing. they do have a function with more protection. they also have more coverage. i think the XC helmets can get you "laid" out in the hospital. haha.

    i have cracked two XC helmets on crashes that were not too heavy. they are supposed to crack but they just don't have as much protection as the skateboard helmets.

    i have yet to crack a skateboard helmet.

  8. #8
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    attempts at getting laid by bike with a skateboard lid and no shirt have thus far been an unsucessful endevor for me.

  9. #9
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    how skinny are your jeans?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliikane
    skate helmets are not a fashion poser thing. they do have a function with more protection. they also have more coverage. i think the XC helmets can get you "laid" out in the hospital. haha.

    i have cracked two XC helmets on crashes that were not too heavy. they are supposed to crack but they just don't have as much protection as the skateboard helmets.

    i have yet to crack a skateboard helmet.

    Hmm...didn't know that. I stand corrected on that issue. However...I'm not sure most teenage boys who chose a skate board helmet do so because he thinks it will protect his brain better. Although some of it could be that they already had a skate board helmet. But likely most simply wouldn't be caught dead in a xc helmet. Still I think I'll stick with the lightweight breathable xc for xc and a full face for gravity. I did take my visor off my xc helmet because I was tired of the visor getting in the way. So now it looks more like a skate helmet. Chicks dig it.

  11. #11
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    just wear a full face on everything

  12. #12
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    very skinny.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue109
    how skinny are your jeans?
    truth. You need to rock girls jeans to get the girls. Lip piercing helps too.

    Skateboard type helmets have a tougher outer shell and offer more coverage than xc helmets.

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    very skinny.
    swap out the heels for some nathan rennie hi-tops and sag those skinnies a litle. thats exactly how i roll......

  15. #15
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    A cracked helmet has little to do with protection, for that matter how strong a helmet is has nothing to do with protection. If helmet strength was that important, we would be wearing aluminum or titanium helmets.

    Injuries are related to impacts, and the damage you avoid to your brain is the point. Contracoup injuries, and diffuse axonal injuries caused by shear forces are inversely related to the rigidity of the helmet.

    Very few people actually fracture their skulls, it is brain injury that is the first thing to avoid. Absorbing the deceleration, and dissipating energy reduces injury. A metal helmet, or any other very rigid helmet, is great for multiple impacts and resilience but not so good for protecting the grey matter. Skate helmets work in skate parks because, you dont want to buy a new helmet every week, and you need a hard enough shell to prevent helmet compromise when impacting on a concrete or steel edge. This is not the environment most bikers bike in. A skater will fall a dozen times an hour, some mountain bikers, maybe once a month...

    Having said that, I am getting the new POC XC lid as soon as it comes out, it is shaped like a skate helmet with coverage for the hind brain, and is ventilated like an XC helmet.
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  16. #16
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    XC helmets breath better, weigh less. Period. I've got both. They both do different jobs and are meant for different things. Gonna ride thirty miles on some single track in eighty degree weather? Breathable and light weight-xc helmet. Gonna hit some sweet dirt jumps and slash some berms? more material and wrap around protection- DJ/Skate helmet.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by modifier
    Hmm...didn't know that. I stand corrected on that issue. However...I'm not sure most teenage boys who chose a skate board helmet do so because he thinks it will protect his brain better. Although some of it could be that they already had a skate board helmet. But likely most simply wouldn't be caught dead in a xc helmet. Still I think I'll stick with the lightweight breathable xc for xc and a full face for gravity. I did take my visor off my xc helmet because I was tired of the visor getting in the way. So now it looks more like a skate helmet. Chicks dig it.

    Is this thread in the road bike category? must not be in the DH/ Freeride category. haha. So many not fond of skateboard helmet.

    Brian lopes who is 39 years old and just won the 2010 crankworx air dh for 5th time and broke the record. One of the fastest guys on 2 wheels. He is one of those teenage, skateboard wearing helmet posers.

    Here is him racing with a skateboard helmet.

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vubwfgkPiz0?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vubwfgkPiz0?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

  18. #18
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    i will stick to full face when downhillin and for other types of riding climb is like a swear werd i have no problem walking my ass up a hill but refuse to climb it so full face only for me
    keep the rubber side down!!

  19. #19
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    ff downhill/freeride, xc for xc, skate for DJ
    count your blessings

  20. #20
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    Skate helmets do not provide the same amount of impact attenuation as a foam "XC style" helmet or a full face. They are made for multiple small impacts, but do not provide the same amount of protection as a standard bike helmet.
    The standard foam with a thin plastic shell is designed to deform and absorb energy in a crash. Full face helmets use this type of design as well.
    Skate helmets have a thin layer of very soft foam under the hard shell. The only energy it can absorb is through deforming the shell and compressing the soft foam.

    A skate helmet is better than nothing by a long shot, wear what you're comfortable with.
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  21. #21
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    Brian Lopes in a XC helmet. OMG! He must have become a road rider. Brilliant.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El4Q8GiQENI

    That POC helmet does look good.

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    my POC receptor flow has all bases covered for all use. I use FF on the track (bmx).

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum
    Skate helmets do not provide the same amount of impact attenuation as a foam "XC style" helmet or a full face. They are made for multiple small impacts, but do not provide the same amount of protection as a standard bike helmet.
    The standard foam with a thin plastic shell is designed to deform and absorb energy in a crash. Full face helmets use this type of design as well.
    Skate helmets have a thin layer of very soft foam under the hard shell. The only energy it can absorb is through deforming the shell and compressing the soft foam.

    A skate helmet is better than nothing by a long shot, wear what you're comfortable with.
    I'm thinking along these lines ^

    XC helmet - Thick soft styrofoam that breaks when you crash but absorbs the impact by decreasing the rate of deceleration.
    Skater helmet - Hard shell with squishy foam inside that does not decrease deceleration much, but offers more protection against a sharp direct blow that could penetrate an XC helmet.

  24. #24
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    He did turn into a roadie. A roadie in a skater helmet:
    Keep the Country country.

  25. #25
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    skateboard helmet is dorky. I am sorry. Looks like those bell helmets from the late 70s.

    Some people wear it to "pretend" to be hardcore. My beginner friend wear it for FR. I keep telling him it wont do any good when you crash face first. And you can never decide how you crash. It just happens.

    As for the no glove thing, I think is a statement that says "I dont crash", so I dont need gloves.

    Sure want to ask them again when their hands are all bloody. Sam B. from Yeti was one of the original people riding w/o gloves. I remember seeing him crashed recently, with bloody palms.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    I'm thinking along these lines ^

    XC helmet - Thick soft styrofoam that breaks when you crash but absorbs the impact by decreasing the rate of deceleration.
    Skater helmet - Hard shell with squishy foam inside that does not decrease deceleration much, but offers more protection against a sharp direct blow that could penetrate an XC helmet.
    You forget about the bike-certified skater-STYLE helmet (i.e. not ACTUAL skater helmet, just styled that way...). The have the impact absorbing styrofoam AND they look cool (well at least coolER than the XC lids...):


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    Yes I did forget about those. I wonder why they aren't all made like that. Hot?
    As far as looking cool goes, those POC helmets are the cat's meow.

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    Once you take one good knock with an xc helmet its toast... peroid, it is useless after that... Skate lids can take multiple blows ie. when your tumbling down a hill, they provide more side, aft and front coverage and often stay in place better than an xc helmet in a crash (providing they are worn correctly). annnd wtf are you doing in the freeride/downhill forum if your not going 30-40 mph

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiz
    Once you take one good knock with an xc helmet its toast... peroid, it is useless after that... Skate lids can take multiple blows ie. when your tumbling down a hill, they provide more side, aft and front coverage and often stay in place better than an xc helmet in a crash (providing they are worn correctly). annnd wtf are you doing in the freeride/downhill forum if your not going 30-40 mph
    At that speed you can either buy a new helmet or die. Skate helmets will not protect you from high speed hits. Damage occurs from your brain slamming your skull. I'll probably go with an impact absorbing helmet, but hey... you do what you want.
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  30. #30
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    I have a hunch that a lot of the bikers in skate helmets - younger ones especially - are wearing them because they got into skating first, and didn't see the point of buying a new / different helmet. Or mom and dad didn't see the point.

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    I just read some stuff on helmet certifications, and its not so simple to say that skate helmets don't absorb impacts as well.
    Apparantly, there is the ASTM standard and the CSPC standard. The difference is that the CSPC standard drops a weight from 2 meter height, once, while ASTM drops a weight from 1 meter, multiple times. ASTM is usually used for skate helmets, where the assumption is that skater have lighter, but more frequent, blows (?). CSPC is the cert used for bike helmets.
    Note also that "skate only" helmets are not required to have any certification. ASTM is voluntary.

    http://www.xsportsprotective.com/hel...ion-guide.html

    There are lots of good skate helmets on the market with dual certification, like Pro-Tec's, so they take the big hits and multiple hits. They use some kind of rebounding foam.

    So to me, it seems that a dual certification helmet is the safest (regardless of style), although they are probably heavier and hotter than a traditional single impact bike helmet.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    I just read some stuff on helmet certifications, and its not so simple to say that skate helmets don't absorb impacts as well.
    Apparantly, there is the ASTM standard and the CSPC standard. The difference is that the CSPC standard drops a weight from 2 meter height, once, while ASTM drops a weight from 1 meter, multiple times. ASTM is usually used for skate helmets, where the assumption is that skater have lighter, but more frequent, blows (?). CSPC is the cert used for bike helmets.
    Note also that "skate only" helmets are not required to have any certification. ASTM is voluntary.

    http://www.xsportsprotective.com/hel...ion-guide.html

    There are lots of good skate helmets on the market with dual certification, like Pro-Tec's, so they take the big hits and multiple hits. They use some kind of rebounding foam.

    So to me, it seems that a dual certification helmet is the safest (regardless of style), although they are probably heavier and hotter than a traditional single impact bike helmet.
    This is a good point, there are several companies that are now making impact reducing helmets with the same style as a skate helmet. But the traditional skate style helmet is a different animal.

    As long as a helmet has impact absorbing foam (typically the ones that meet the ASTM standards) then it is only good for one impact. I do know that Pro-Tec makes a helmet that is CPSC certified for multiple impacts, but I don't know the specifics of the standard. I'm making a fuss because an impact absorbing helmet saved my life where a skate lid would have likely smashed my brains into a puddle. I own and wear a skate-style lid for skate park riding because I'm really crap and go neither fast nor hig.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman2058
    You forget about the bike-certified skater-STYLE helmet (i.e. not ACTUAL skater helmet, just styled that way...). The have the impact absorbing styrofoam AND they look cool (well at least coolER than the XC lids...):

    +1 on that. i have this helmet and it is CPSC certified. it only costs like 20 bucks. i know it will protect just as well as any other CPSC certified helmet.

    i would use an XC helmet for XC but don't want to spend another 100 bucks on another XC helmet after i cracked 2 of them. when my bell faction still works. i could care less if pea galleries hate on my bell faction helmet. haha. those POC helmets are going to be bank! I bet at least 150. i would rather buy an adjustable seatpost.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    Yes I did forget about those. I wonder why they aren't all made like that. Hot?
    As far as looking cool goes, those POC helmets are the cat's meow.
    id up it to the bee's knees.

  35. #35
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    I bought a 661 skate lid and it specifically said on the inside of it that it was NOT for bicycle or moto use. I fail to see the point of wearing a lid while riding if it's not rated for what you're doing. Although it has been mentioned that there ARE a few skate style helmets rated for bike use.
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  36. #36
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    In case anyone missed it:

    SKATEBOARD HELMETS ARE NOT BICYCLE HELMETS.

    At the risk of being redundant, skateboard helmets are not designed to be capable of protecting your brain from impacts involving the amount of energy reasonably expected from a bicycle type crash.

    There are some bicycle helmets that are STYLED to look like skateboard helmets, but they are only good for one hit before becoming dumpster food, just like a regular bicycle helmet. They also weigh a ton and have crappy ventilation.

  37. #37
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    I have that Bell skater style helmet (Faction), and it saved my brain. I hit a tree, with the front of my helmet, going really fast at Downeyville and spidered the plastic, as well as split the interior foam.

    I don't remember much about the crash, but I'm pretty sure I would have been a lot worse off with an XC, highly vented helmet. I most likely would have been hospitalized with any less protection, and the lesson I took is I should be wearing a full face for this kind of riding.

    I went straight out and bought another Bell Faction hard lid for less aggressive riding though, I'm a believer in that hard plastic layer!

    I also think that XC helmets look like ****, but the airflow sure is nice.

  38. #38
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    Wow this is a good discussion going on!

    The pro argument for the traditional skateboard helmet reminds me of a Discovery show about car safety. In the 70s, cars used to be big heavy steel cages and people thought that was safe. As it turns out, the people sitting inside were getting head/brain damage because they were bouncing inside those metal cages! Nowadays, cars made of plastics, foam, and aluminum, which will crumble upon impact, but ultimate will absorb the shock of the impact much better than hard steel cages. In other words, sacrifice the vehicle to save the occupants. The law of physics dictates the force from the impact must be conserved and therefore must go somewhere!

    @ Hardway, your story is a good personal anecdote, but it is far far from any sort of scientific conclusion regarding XC versus skateboard helmets. You have to remember that the brain gets damaged not from hitting the helmet or the tree, but from hitting the skull. What probably saved your brain was the fact that the foam DID CRACK. That is to say, the force of the collision got dispersed by the foam in the form of a crack to the foam. (But I get the feeling that you talk about the foam cracking as a bad thing. No it is not, it is a necessary thing). And now that the foam has cracked, you cannot use your skateboard helmet anymore. In this light, your skateboard helmet and a XC helmet are pretty much the same thing. I don't know how you would argue that the XC would not have saved your brain in the same fashion as your skate helmet.

    One thing that I do like about skate helmets is the fact that most of them are round, where as the XC lids are shaped more angular. In general, round shaped objects do roll better (ragdoll style) and therefore won't twist your neck in the event you tumble 1000 yards down the trail, and round helmets tend to also disperse impact forces more evenly than non-round. This is just the physics of shapes. Round is just better in nature!
    Last edited by chauzie; 10-30-2010 at 09:41 AM.

  39. #39
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    I think a couple of other things should be mentioned.

    First how well the helmet fits is key. I can't be sliding around on your head or it might not even be in the right place in a hard crash or too tight so you get a head ache. I have a snowboard helmet for winter riding because it is warmer and has a removable liner. I also have a light bracket mounted to it all the time for night rides so I don't have to go through the set up each time, which really only happen in the winter anyhow because of shorter days, so the 2 things go togeather. It has rigid foam construction like a XC helmet but wraps around the back like a skate helmet. It really isn't that comfortable because it doesn't have the adjustable "strap" that goes around the back of your skull like on a XC helmet that holds it in place and it's heavier. Full face are snug (should be) so they don't move. I also find that each helmet maker has a slightly different shape and we all have slightly different head shapes; Giro always seems to fit my head well. Old school guys remember when a Giro was just a Styrofoam shell with a Lycra cover

    The other thing that people keep saying is that they have to trash their helmets after one fall. I'm not going to be personally liable for this so listen at your own risk, but I think that is the manufacturers lawyers talking. Like if you get a scratch in your carbon frame it's toast. BS. If you have a serious crash where the helmet is visibly cracked or distorted in some way, yeah it probably needs to be replaced. But if you just hit your head on the ground and nothing appears to have happen to the helmet I'd say keep riding until it does. They even say the same thing with offroad motorcycle helmets. If you fa dow buy another one. Fk that. If you ride at 10 10ths you are going to fall down and you can't replace your helmet each time you do. And if you're not riding at 10 10ths go watch some football lol
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by chauzie

    Um Hadway, your story is a good personal anecdote, but it is far far from any sort of scientific conclusion.

    Where did I say it was a "scientific conclusion"?

    I don't think it's much of a stretch to look at the busted, shock absorbent foam UNDER the busted plastic shell and determine that it would have been worse with no plastic shell.

    How well do you think all that absorbent material in your car would work without the steel cage surrounding it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hardway
    Where did I say it was a "scientific conclusion"?

    I don't think it's much of a stretch to look at the busted, shock absorbent foam UNDER the busted plastic shell and determine that it would have been worse with no plastic shell.

    How well do you think all that absorbent material in your car would work without the steel cage surrounding it?
    You're is correct. You did not mention "scientific conclusion". I just took the liberty of translating your "I'm pretty sure" sentiment to mean that you would have at least did some test to come to that "I'm pretty sure" estimate. Maybe I shouldn't think like so, but see I work in a scientific field and when I or my colleagues say to each other "i'm pretty sure", we always assume that there is at least some significant empirical finding and discovery in such sentiment.

    And yes.. it is a little stretch to assume that a "spidered" plastic shell and "cracked" foam of a skate helmet would translate to a totally demolished XC helment incapable of protecting your brain in the same situation. Why do I say that?

    First of all, without significant statical empirical data, we can't say one way or another.

    Secondly, just because the plastic of your particular helmet "spidered", it does not mean that an XC lid would behave in the same manner. Perhaps the plastic on your skate helmet was a hard but cheap plastic that caused it to spidered? Perhaps the skate lid maker designed it to purposely crack in such fashion? However, an XC lid outter shell is usually more pliable, therefore it might not crack (or spidered) in such fashion, but rather would deform upon impact (which is a good thing). Think of diamond. It's a hard material, but if you hit it right, it will shatter. Hardness does not always mean purposefulness.

    And the absorbent material in your car alone would not protect you enough if there was no steel cage surrounding it. My argument (and backed by many scientific studies by both the various car manufactures and Highway safety data) was that the safest cars are not necessarily made of steel, but made of the right integration between lighter metal and foam. Ever seen an F1 race car explode only to have the driver walks away like nothing? Nowadays the only thing in an F1 car that has steel is maybe perhaps some part of the engine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by modifier

    The other thing that people keep saying is that they have to trash their helmets after one fall. I'm not going to be personally liable for this so listen at your own risk, but I think that is the manufacturers lawyers talking.
    yep I agree. I would only replace the helment it's cracked. Scratch or a slight ding is probably acceptable. I put a slight ding (diameter of a dime, and shallow) on my Fox Flux, and I ain't about to throw away a $70 helmet just because of that. So what I did was went to the hardware store and got me some of those hard bonding epoxy resin stuff (stuff you use to bond plastic and metal parts) and kinda fill it in the ding spot. I'll accept it.

  43. #43
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    The Bell Faction is a "multisport" helmet with dual certification, CSPC and ASTM. It is better than a skate only helmet, and I agree that it is the foam squishing and breaking that was the main protection for your brain, but the hard shell might have also been an advantage over a typical microshell xc helmet.

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