Opinions, bicycle helmets vs MX helmets- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Opinions, bicycle helmets vs MX helmets


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    First heard of this three years ago on the sled forums and laughed at the notion that some were switching over to DH lids. Looked into it more and have been snowmobiling ONLY with my Troy Lee DH lid for the reasons mentioned in the article (not to mention having only one lid is better on the wallet).

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

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    I bought a cleaned and hallowed-out mountain goat skull and wear it.

  4. #4
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    I currently wear a 661 moto helmet and am planning to get a DH helmet to replace it soon. I used to have a 661 carbon evo that I broke in a crash - the helmet was cracked but I sustained no injury. The carbon evo was much lighter and cooler than the Fenix. The weight doesn't bother me so much but the lack of ventilation makes me sweat a lot more. Protective qualities aside since the article dealt with them in more more detail than I am qualified to, I feel that there is some value in wearing gear that you are cooler and more comfortable in. If you're more uncomfortable, then you're more likely to need the helmet IMO.

  5. #5
    DownhillBAWS
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    a fox hat will do for me... i might need to get a dh helmet

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    Really good and interesting read. Hard to find that sweet spot between preventing the worst crashes while being better during moderate ones. I wonder if they can use some material that stiffens up during harder impact (like the POC VPD stuff) so that it's softer during a mellow impact, but stiffer during a hard impact. I've been wearing a really light and comfy Kali DH lid and will keep doing so. Perhaps for my next helmet I'll look for one that has the DH certification, but otherwise I don't plan to change.

    Good timing on the article though. My buddy was considering switching to his MX helmet for DH riding and now he might stick with his regular DH lid.

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    Downhill lid all the way, lighter and much better ventilated. It was an interesting article that did make a lot of sense. They should have highlighted the importance of getting a perfect fit, the most important factor when crashing.

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  9. #9
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    Did you not read the first post

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    No dude I'm high.

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    interesting read. ty for posting

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    After having broken many dh full face helmets (troy lee d2, giro, etc) I will continue wearing a dot helmet. Breaking helmets is scary, especially if you bounce and hit again.

    Matt

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    So, pulling the info out of that story, it looks like the best hemlets for DH'ers to be using are ones that meet the newest bicycle, DH specific rating of ATSM 1952. The only helmets I have found so far that meet that are:

    Fox Rampage - standard & carbon
    Troy Lee D3

    The non carbon Fox Rampage is a fair price, but limited on graphics and colors. The TLD D3 is WAAAAYYY expensive, and while there are a lot of graphics choices none of them suit my tastes.

    Anyone know of any others that meet the ASTM 1952 standard?

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    Quote Originally Posted by grnbkr View Post
    After having broken many dh full face helmets (troy lee d2, giro, etc) I will continue wearing a dot helmet. Breaking helmets is scary, especially if you bounce and hit again.

    Matt
    Sounds like you've had your fair share of crashes. How bad did you break the DH helmets? Have you had similar hard crashes in the DOT helmets? Wonder how the two compare in your experience during a solid crash. Thanks.

  15. #15
    C S
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    Quote Originally Posted by IntenseMack10 View Post
    So, pulling the info out of that story, it looks like the best hemlets for DH'ers to be using are ones that meet the newest bicycle, DH specific rating of ATSM 1952. The only helmets I have found so far that meet that are:

    Fox Rampage - standard & carbon
    Troy Lee D3

    The non carbon Fox Rampage is a fair price, but limited on graphics and colors. The TLD D3 is WAAAAYYY expensive, and while there are a lot of graphics choices none of them suit my tastes.

    Anyone know of any others that meet the ASTM 1952 standard?
    Rockgardn Pearl: Pearl DH/FR Helmet (only "in house tested" whatever that means)

    Giro remedy carbon: Giro Remedy CF helmet for cyclists

  16. #16
    my fun has a hurting
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    661 evo carbon (2011 and 2012) as well. this is my personal choice as it fits my head perfectly. i have broken one in a crash (split the foam inside all the way from the front to the back. this means the helmet did its job. if the helmet doesn't break outside your head, your head breaks inside the helmet.

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    I have been wearing a 661 flight II which is DOT certified and Snell Certified, now I am questioning that. I wanted the most protection I could get, as you only have one head... hmmm

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    Quote Originally Posted by genemk View Post
    Sounds like you've had your fair share of crashes. How bad did you break the DH helmets? Have you had similar hard crashes in the DOT helmets? Wonder how the two compare in your experience during a solid crash. Thanks.
    Swan diving into rock gardens never plays well with helmets. Most of my crashes are over the bar crashes, the worst being when I ripped the face bar off a Giro. With a DOT helmet I don't think this could have happened.

    When a bike helmet gets hit it goes crunch, moto helmets go thud. I prefer the moto helmets because they feel more solid, especially when paired with a Leatt brace.

    Matt

  19. #19
    my fun has a hurting
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    again, that crunch is stopping your head from going thud inside the helmet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arkon11 View Post
    No dude I'm high.
    Wow, I laughed.

    I've been using a Fox MX helmet. I was right in between sizes, the medium nearly popping my brains out of my eyes and the large has a little more room than I'd like. After reading this, and getting what I think was a minor concussion 3 weeks ago after going over the bars with it on, I'm going to look into getting a new helmet this weekend.

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    Got the TLD D3 Carbon and love it. Very light helmet.

  22. #22
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    I stopped wearing DOT and SNELL lids for sportbike riding 5 yrs ago in favor of the ECE 22.05 helmet standard (particularly Shark lids). To be honest this is old news to sportbike riders in regards to DOT and SNELL effectiveness in a crash. I would love to have a DH lid with Shark's crash tech.

  23. #23
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    My comment, copied from pb:

    IMO this article is total bullsh!t and oversimplified to the point it makes no sense. Every single piece of anecdotal (real world) evidence from people who ride both mx and dh, and people who have used both types of helmets point to the mx helmet preventing concussions moreso than a dh helmet. Many high quality mx helmets have multi-density EPS foam liners to address the issue of different impact forces in different crashes. Shoei uses a shell that is flexible but is made of materials that will resist penetration. TLD's own D3 helmet is MUCH closer to an SE2 mx helmet than their own D2 dh helmet. This article assumes that in riding mx you will experience much harder impacts, but this may not be true... you are the same distance off the ground either way. The potential for either soft or hard impacts to the helmet exist in either sport, it depends on the particular crash or the way you fall rather than if you're on a bike with a motor or not.

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    ^^^ Great post.
    Downhill mountain biking and Moto both have similar consequences, similar speeds are reached, and impacts from crashing are nearly identical (especially in woods riding, supercross is a different story (I don't think anybody is doing 100+ foot doubles on this forum))
    Similar speeds, same risks for impacts, and same distance off the ground. I'm standing behind my position that DOT helmets are the safest.

    Protect your dome kids,

    Matt

  25. #25
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    i personally like my 661 full face

  26. #26
    Too Close To The Hill
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    I'd be curious to read copies of the standards to compare them, but I don't want to pay $20-$50 for access per standard.
    Lacerations through intact armor are a mark of talent... or stupid... or both...

  27. #27
    FX4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drth Vadr View Post
    I stopped wearing DOT and SNELL lids for sportbike riding 5 yrs ago in favor of the ECE 22.05 helmet standard (particularly Shark lids). To be honest this is old news to sportbike riders in regards to DOT and SNELL effectiveness in a crash. I would love to have a DH lid with Shark's crash tech.
    It's old news in the motorcycle world period. Snell has long revised their standards and recommended using only helmets that meet the newer standard. My current motorcycle lid meets current ECE, Snell Foundation, and DOT standards. To be clear the DOT and SNELL problems were completely different. Stiffness was not the issue with DOT, marginal helmet quality was and many DOT certified helmets failed in real world crashes.

  28. #28
    FX4
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    BTW, A good motorcycle helmet, MX, full face, 3/4ths, or even a high quality skid lid is better than anything I have seen in the bicycle world by far. I am really surprised at the lack of technology transfer between industries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FX4 View Post
    BTW, A good motorcycle helmet, MX, full face, 3/4ths, or even a high quality skid lid is better than anything I have seen in the bicycle world by far. I am really surprised at the lack of technology transfer between industries.

    Do you have any evidence to support this?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by FX4 View Post
    BTW, A good motorcycle helmet, MX, full face, 3/4ths, or even a high quality skid lid is better than anything I have seen in the bicycle world by far. I am really surprised at the lack of technology transfer between industries.
    ????????????????

    Maybe you haven't been to the store lately, but there are far more companies that make both Moto/MX AND full face MTB helmets than there are companies that are not in the motorized helmet world and make FF helmets.
    Lacerations through intact armor are a mark of talent... or stupid... or both...

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    Why not make a car out of solid steel anymore. Steel bumpers, seel fenders... Anymore cars have crumple zones and plastic and aluminum to absorb impact. Manufacturers have met and exceeded impact standards all while raising the bar and saftey standards. Companies in any industry are trying to invent the next greatest thing.
    When I crashed years ago and chipped my 661 on a rock that I didn't hit all that hard, they told me to mail it back so they can study it and they'd send me a new one for $35. Kali, 661, Bell/Giro, Fox, TLD... They all do a great job at protecting us as they were intended for.
    Wear what you want though. I really don't care. As long as we're all having (safe) fun, that's all that matters!
    Hubbard Bike Club

  32. #32
    FX4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steery View Post
    Do you have any evidence to support this?
    Yeah I ride motorcycles as well. It's not even close to the casual observation. Multidensity foam, superior liners, crush zones in the hard foam areas designed to quickly dissipate energy upon impact and on and on. It's why motorcycle helmets are crash once and get rid of and bicycle helmets can be used over and over, crash after crash. Personally I'll take keeping my head in tact over reusing the helmet.

  33. #33
    FX4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SummitAP View Post
    ????????????????

    Maybe you haven't been to the store lately, but there are far more companies that make both Moto/MX AND full face MTB helmets than there are companies that are not in the motorized helmet world and make FF helmets.
    That very well could be, I have to rely on what I see online and at the downhill course because there are zero downhill stores around here. That being said I have not seen anything in the mountain bike world that comes close to the safety engineering of a Shoei or Arai helmet. They may be out there and I have not seen them. I'm also living in the East and I'll bet people ride with better equipment out West.
    Last edited by FX4; 07-12-2012 at 08:13 AM.

  34. #34
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    Have you looked at TLD D3 or the POC Cortex DH?
    Lacerations through intact armor are a mark of talent... or stupid... or both...

  35. #35
    FX4
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    No but I will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FX4 View Post
    Yeah I ride motorcycles as well. It's not even close to the casual observation. Multidensity foam, superior liners, crush zones in the hard foam areas designed to quickly dissipate energy upon impact and on and on. It's why motorcycle helmets are crash once and get rid of and bicycle helmets can be used over and over, crash after crash. Personally I'll take keeping my head in tact over reusing the helmet.
    That's an opinion. Not evidence.

  37. #37
    FX4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steery View Post
    That's an opinion. Not evidence.
    You know you can say that but if you ride motorcycles really there is no comparison from what I have seen to date and what I currently own they are just not in the same league. I looked real close online at the Fox Downhill helmets and from what I can see they are not convincing that they are in the same league as a motorcycle helmet. I suppose that is opinion. From what I can see it's kind of like saying a Kia is equivalent to a BMW, yeah they both have four wheels, a motor, and paint but the similarity kind of ends there. And that is an opinion but it's true too. I have a Rudi road bike helmet that runs 200.00 and POC mountain bike helmet that runs 145.00. I handled a few downhill helmets at the local freeride track and none of them compare to the protection offered in a motorcycle helmet. Most of the guys here in Pa that I have met are riding beat up MX helmets and not downhill bike helmets. That being said I will seek out the two suggested to me. I'm not vested in my current opinion and if I see one that is as good as the top motorcycle helmets I will change my tune but right now it's my observation and I stand by it. Go to a motorcycle shop that sells high end gear and look at how the helmets are constructed. There will be no doubt in your mind that a ton of safety engineering has gone into them. You look at most bicycle helmets including some rated for downhill and seriously wonder just how much protection they offer. Oh and don't get me wrong there are crap motorcycle helmets too but they do have to meet some minimum standards to be called a motorcycle helmet. As far as I know this is not true of any bicycle helmet. I'll bet if standards are instituted, 90% of current models will disappear.
    Last edited by FX4; 07-12-2012 at 06:25 PM.

  38. #38
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    Did you actually read the Pinkbike article?

    While that choice remains up to you as a rider, it's clear that there are some good reasons to think twice before opting for a motocross helmet over one engineered for bicycles. This is particularly true since ASTM F1952 - a downhill-specific helmet safety certification - now appears on many bicycle helmets, giving gravity riders a discipline-specific standard of their own. Regardless of where the controversy over helmets ends, choosing the right helmet for your type of riding deserves your attention - at least to the extent you value your head.

  39. #39
    FX4
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    Yes I did and I promptly dismissed it because it was written with seriously outdated information. Another motorcycle rider in this thread also cited the same issue.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by FX4 View Post
    I'll bet if standards are instituted, 90% of current models will disappear.
    Right.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by FX4 View Post
    and bicycle helmets can be used over and over, crash after crash. .
    With few exceptions (Protec SPX helmets, and they are engineered to be multi-impact with special foam) that is utterly false, bike helmest are meant to be replaced after any major crash.
    '18 banshee rune

  42. #42
    FX4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwyooaj View Post
    With few exceptions (Protec SPX helmets, and they are engineered to be multi-impact with special foam) that is utterly false, bike helmest are meant to be replaced after any major crash.
    The ones I looked up all said designed for repeated impact. Although you could be correct, I only looked at four or five downhill helmets. My POC (all mountain design) says it is designed for repeated hits although I hope it never happens. I think my brains would be scrambled eggs in that thing with a severe impact.

  43. #43
    FX4
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    So I have a question for the guys defending current bicycle helmet design. Why such defense over current design? They really are not very good in general at protecting your head from trauma, excluding some high end models (That I have not seen first hand yet). Wouldn't it be better if helmet manufactures were held to a higher standard like they are in the motorcycle world?

  44. #44
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    You are mistaken about multiple impact. 99% of the bike helmetes out there are not certified and do not claim multi-impact rating. CPSC, ASTM F1447/1952/2032, and Snell B-90/95 are all single impact standards.

    ASTM F1492 and Snell N-94 are multi-impact, but it is rare to find a bicycle helmet that has that rating. Ususally it is a cross-certified aggro skate/rollerderby helmet (ProTec). POC is the only bicycle exception I know of. But, you have to understand that POC just joined the bike world. They made their name creating a higher level of protection product (vs the industry standard ASTM F2040 or CEN 1077) for ski racers doing obscene speeds down ice courses.

    Outside the ski race world, plenty of freeride skiers look for the ASTM F1952 DH rating on full face ski helmets.

    Now, should the standards be improved for bikes? I think so.

    Are there MX/Moto helmets that are superior to bike helmets for biking? I'd wager some MX helmets are better than some bike helmets for biking.

    Is a MX/Moto standard the way to go for DH? No, I do not think so.

    Why? Because crash profiles for MX/Moto create standards with engineering requirements that produce sub-optimal protection in crash profiles for bikes versus a helmet optimally designed for those bike crash profiles (given similar design constraints of size and weight).

    I really think that POC has attempted to up the ante by addressing the weaknesses of the bike and snow helmet standards without falling for the weaknesses of the DOT/Snell moto standards as they apply to bikes. I think they did this through MIPS, dual density EPP, dual shell layers with EPP sandwiches, and breakaway visor/smooth surface helmets designed not to catch and twist on impact.
    Last edited by SummitAP; 07-13-2012 at 07:45 AM.
    Lacerations through intact armor are a mark of talent... or stupid... or both...

  45. #45
    FX4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SummitAP View Post
    You are mistaken about multiple impact. 99% of the bike helmetes out there are not certified and do not claim multi-impact rating. CPSC, ASTM F1447/1952/2032, and Snell B-90/95 are all single impact standards.

    ASTM F1492 and Snell N-94 are multi-impact, but it is rare to find a bicycle helmet that has that rating. Ususally it is a cross-certified aggro skate/rollerderby helmet (ProTec). POC is the only bicycle exception I know of. But, you have to understand that POC just joined the bike world. They made their name creating a higher level of protection product (vs the industry standard ASTM F2040 or CEN 1077) for ski racers doing obscene speeds down ice courses.

    Outside the ski race world, plenty of freeride skiers look for the ASTM F1952 DH rating on full face ski helmets.

    Now, should the standards be improved for bikes? I think so.

    Are there MX/Moto helmets that are superior to bike helmets? Some.

    Is a MX/Moto standard the way to go? No, I do not think so.

    Why? Because crash profiles for MX/Moto create standards with engineering requirements that produce sub-optimal protection in crash profiles for bikes versus a helmet optimally designed for those circumstances (given similar design constraints of size and weight).

    I really think that POC has attempted to up the ante by addressing the weaknesses of the bike and snow helmet standards without falling for the weaknesses of the DOT/Snell moto standards as they apply to bikes. I think they did this through MIPS, dual density EPP, dual shell layers with EPP sandwiches, and breakaway visor/smooth surface helmets designed not to catch and twist on impact.
    First let me say you are clearly well read up on the topic in general. I am only well read on the motorcycle side of things. Further a fair amount of my opinion is based upon my purchases which I will say I am less than impressed with the safety engineering. It may very well be that I bought the wrong helmets and my research as well as the advice I received was not good or fully informed. So with the above I will step back and do more research. It's all about safety for me and comfort second. I have zero ego in this discussion. I have just been disappointed in the helmets I have looked at and purchased.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by FX4 View Post
    I am less than impressed with the safety engineering. I was dissapointed with my choices.
    On what basis? Did you do any scientific testing? Did you crash and it didnt protect your head? With modern materials one cant necessarily determine these things by just looking at it or feeling it.
    '18 banshee rune

  47. #47
    FX4
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    It's not hard to see. The impact goes almost directly to hard foam. Very thin liner for comfort to hard foam. You don't see that in a well designed motorcycle helmet. It goes more like > soft liner> multidensity foam> hard foam liner with crush zones. All are designed to slow your head down at impact with as minimal trauma to your brain as possible. There is no visible engineering in either my Rudi or POC that will soften the blow to my brain as far as I can tell. It will keep me from scraping up my head bouncing off a tree or rock but brain trauma I seriously doubt. Like said in my prior post, I need to do more research before I continue with my current opinion. I may very well have purchased the wrong stuff or I don't understand the construction of the helmets I have purchased and looked at.

  48. #48
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    Soft cloth liners actually do not offer increased safety. In fact, too much and it decreases safety, like wearing a thick wool skull cap under a helmet. That is more of a skier issue.

    The following explanation is greatly simplified and only addressed one method in which helmets are protective, but I think illustrates why "looking" at the helmet doesn't tell all plus explains the different tools for different jobs perspective.

    The "hard" foam is its own "crush zone." The EPS or EPP is meant to crush and allow the head to decelerate over a longer distance which gives your brain lower forces (experienced over a longer time) instead of higher forces (over a shorter time). Your head does the same amount of work either way, but you decrease peak accelerations (peak forces) thus decreases brain deformation, axonal stretch, vascular tears, and all the other damage involved with closed head injuries.

    Now, I'm not a helmet engineer, but I can easily speculate that if you are building a helmet with 1.5" of foam, and you need to limit deceleration to X for an impact at 20mph, then you need foam of at least a certain "strength." If it is too "weak," then the head will compress all the foam before stopping and come to a sudden stop, experiencing high forces. If it is too "strong," the head will experience forces above the desirable limit (X).

    If, instead, I decide to use limit the helmet performance to a difference crash profile, say 10MPH, I can now use "weaker" foam AND achieve much lower peak forces on the head than the 20MPH rated helmet would achieve at 10MPH. (Remember, I've held the liner thickness constant).

    A way limit low speed crash forces without completely losing high speed protection is dual density foam, but that is still a compromise. Nearly all design features are a trade-off.

    Do keep in mind I am speaking in theory, and simplified theory at that.
    Last edited by SummitAP; 07-13-2012 at 09:08 AM.
    Lacerations through intact armor are a mark of talent... or stupid... or both...

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