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road bike helmets...are they all the same?

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#1 jamisrace



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Posted 28 March 2011 - 07:48 AM

Hi, I am looking to buy a road bike helmet and see wild price differences. Are the Bell helmets Dicks Sporting Goods sell for 30 bucks just as good as a LBS would sell for 250 bucks??  For instance, the Solar.



I was looking at the Bell Lumen for 60 bucks, or the Giro Xen...are these decent helmets or more low end cheap styles??  I am looking for a common sense choice with good quality.




#2 Scotty_Dog


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Posted 28 March 2011 - 08:10 AM

They all pass the same safety standards, so spend as little or as much as you deem necessary.  Higher price usually equals lower weight, easier adjustment, better ventilation, sleek appearance, etc.


The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute is a good resource:  http://www.bhsi.org/index.htm

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#3 jhuskey


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Posted 28 March 2011 - 08:27 AM

Bell makes a highly rated inexpensive helmet. I have not had the experience of live impact testing and have no plans to do so. I agree that weight is always a driving force of price in anything bike related.


Do not worry about old age, it doesn't last that long.

#4 davereo


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Posted 28 March 2011 - 10:17 AM

As stated all helmets sold in the US pass minimum safety standards. I would reccomend that you keep away from helmets that have the shell taped on.  Look for helmets that are molded together.  You can find them at about the 30 dollar price point and above. They look better and IMO are better.  Keep in mind one crash and your helmet needs replacing.  

#5 Volnix


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Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:51 AM

In addition helmets are only "good" for 2 years or something like that, so it would be a good idea that you get a "fresh" one. My bell helmet has a tag inside that says when it was manufactured. They do need replacing after a crash (maybe the skateboard ones do not). But hopefully you wont crash.

As long as it is in mould construction, with a slippery surface, suits you perfectly and of a good value then it should be ok.

I would go for a CSPC certified helmet as I read on the bicycle helmet institute website that its a stricter standard then the EN certified helmets.


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#6 Fahrrad



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Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:43 PM

The features that I would recommend, beyond the obvious weight, and venting factors, are ease of adjustment, and some kind of bug screening on the front vents. This latter point for me is key: I have had too many dazed wasps wandering around my bald spot.

#7 coneofsilence


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Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:14 PM

Doing lots of riding in the day time heat of summer, i love a helmet with great ventilation.

#8 GeorgeGear



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Posted 08 April 2011 - 12:18 PM

Originally Posted by coneofsilence View Post

Doing lots of riding in the day time heat of summer, i love a helmet with great ventilation.

+1 ventilation.


Imho, a couple of ounces should not make a practical difference. But I can definitely feel the difference btw helmets in ventilation. Mo2c.


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