Buying a Bicycle Helmet???

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Prometheus, Jan 22, 2003.

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  1. Prometheus

    Prometheus Guest

    Ok, so I want to buy a helmet and recognize there may be some with better fits than others and some
    with somewhat more aerodynamics that others, but besides that what the real differences between a
    $150 helmet and a $30 one? Can you really tell the difference? If so, what are your preferences?
     
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  2. "Prometheus" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > Ok, so I want to buy a helmet and recognize there may be some with better fits than others and
    > some with somewhat more aerodynamics that others, but besides that what the real differences
    > between a $150 helmet and a $30 one? Can you really tell the difference? If so, what are your
    > preferences?

    Going on the assumption this is a genuine question and not troll bait.

    My suggestion is to purchase a helmet that is:

    1. Approved by whatever authority issues such things in your part of the world.
    2. Fits your head snuggly, but without discomfort.
    3. Looks to you not overly ugly.

    Generally speaking, the more you spend on a helmet, the greater the number of vents and the lighter
    weight it will be. If you avoid the absolute bargin models sold at mass market stores, it is hard
    to go wrong.

    Paul
     
  3. Velocat

    Velocat Guest

    Prometheus wrote:
    > Ok, so I want to buy a helmet and recognize there may be some with better fits than others and
    > some with somewhat more aerodynamics that others, but besides that what the real differences
    > between a $150 helmet and a $30 one? Can you really tell the difference? If so, what are your
    > preferences?
    >
    >

    about $120
     
  4. Chluu907

    Chluu907 Guest

    Hi:

    The difference is in the amount of ventilation the helmet provides. If you look at $30 helmet, it
    has very few vents and on a hot day will be extremely hot.

    Now look at a $150.00 helmet such as the Giro Pneumo, Bell Ghisallo, or the Specialized Cobra.
    They're sleek, aerodynamic and provide plenty of ventilation. Now that doesn't mean that everyone
    should purchase an extremely expensive helmet. There are plenty of mid-range helmets that dot he job
    very well. The Giro Eclipse, Bell Phi Pro, Evo are all midrange priced helmets. Do try the different
    brands. You're going to find that each fits a little differently.

    Safe & Happy Cycling Claude
     
  5. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Prometheus" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Ok, so I want to buy a helmet and recognize there may be some with better fits than others and
    > some with somewhat more aerodynamics that others, but besides that what the real differences
    > between a $150 helmet and a $30
    one?

    Fashion! Even the cheap helmets are pretty good these days, in terms of ventilation and all that. In
    terms of safety, they all meet the same specs.

    They probably do make the cheap ones a bit dorky looking, so you'll spend more on a better looking
    model. Ever notice how the base model of any car is usually not available in red, or some other cool
    color, while the deluxe model is? Do you really believe tan paint is cheaper than red?

    FWIW, I use a $40 Giro that I got on sale for less than that, at least 5 years ago. I still own a
    Giro Prolight, which, according to Bike magazine, makes me a dirtbag.

    Frankly, I think helmets are right up there with $100+ molded plastic sunglasses in the
    gullible-consumer-ripoff dept.

    When buying a helmet, just make sure it fits. Don't let anyone talk you into one that's loose, but
    can be adjusted with pads.

    Matt O.
     
  6. Prometheus wrote:
    >
    > Ok, so I want to buy a helmet and recognize there may be some with better fits than others and
    > some with somewhat more aerodynamics that others, but besides that what the real differences
    > between a $150 helmet and a $30 one?

    More expensive helmets are generally lighter by a few ounces. They usually have more ventilation.
    Their style is a better match for the super-heroes in the comic books, if that's important to you.

    And finally: they have less impact protection than cheaper helmets.

    The latter point is probably not important, and it's certainly not advertised. Helmet impact ratings
    are pretty carefully hidden from consumers, partly because they're _all_ so low. But Consumer
    Reports has regularly done comparison articles. In each article, the most expensive helmets had less
    impact protection than the cheaper ones.

    It's difficult to reduce the weight to the minimum and increase the number of vent holes to the
    maximum, while still (just barely) passing the impact certification test. You pay for the design
    time spent trying to get to the "just barely" stage.

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]u.edu
     
  7. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Prometheus" wrote:

    > Ok, so I want to buy a helmet and recognize there may be some with better fits than others and
    > some with somewhat more aerodynamics that others, but besides that what the real differences
    > between a $150 helmet and a $30
    one?
    > Can you really tell the difference? If so, what are your preferences?

    The cheaper helmets will often provide as good if not better protection. You're mostly paying for
    style and snob appeal with the more expensive helmets.

    Fit is by far the most important factor, and that is determined by the shape and size of your head.
    The retention system is also important. The better systems allow better adjustment. Some
    manufacturers make a big deal about having the polystyrene foam molded into the helmet shell as
    opposed to gluing or taping the shell to the foam. I think Bell calls this "fusion mold."

    A good source of information on helmets is the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute at:

    http://www.bhsi.org/

    One thing they always stress is that a helmet should have a smooth round shape so that if you
    fall, the helmet will slide rather than twisting your neck. Most of the boutique helmets have
    sharp protrusions for style. Another point is that a helmet with many large air vents results in
    more air but less helmet. This can concentrate forces over a smaller area of your head in the
    event of a crash.

    Art Harris
     
  8. Prom-<< better fits than others and some with somewhat more aerodynamics that others, but besides
    that what the real differences between a $150 helmet and a $30 one? Can you really tell the
    difference?

    Get the least expensive certified helmet that fits the best...

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  9. Ian S

    Ian S Guest

    "Chluu907" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > There are plenty of mid-range helmets that dot he job very well. The Giro Eclipse, Bell Phi Pro,
    > Evo are all midrange priced
    helmets. Do
    > try the different brands. You're going to find that each fits a little differently.
    >
    That has certainly been my experience. Bell Helmets seem to fit me most comfortably and are the ones
    I've owned since the original Bell Biker. I've tried on other brands but they never seem to feel
    quite right. Right now I have a Phi Pro bought on sale at my LBS. I ride in the Arizona desert but
    I'm not convinced a few extra vents will make that much difference.
     
  10. Harris wrote:
    >
    >
    > The cheaper helmets will often provide as good if not better protection. You're mostly paying for
    > style and snob appeal with the more expensive helmets.
    >

    Don't forget air! I actually can feel a difference in cooling between a $30 helmet and a $120
    helmet. The $120 helmet is cooler on my head, and seems to make less noise at speed on the road
    bike. I still wear $40 helmets on the mountain bike, because I rarely get going fast enough for the
    airflow to matter.

    If airflow didn't matter at all, I'd wear my CCM hockey helmet and not worry about my helmet being
    damaged by drops and impacts. <G>

    Barry
     
  11. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

    On 18 Jan 2003 18:13:20 GMT, [email protected] (Jkpoulos7) wrote:

    >>but besides that what the real differences between a $150 helmet and a $30 one? Can you really
    >>tell the difference? If so, what are your preferences?
    >>
    >
    >None. All are worthless in any serious crash. ALL increase head temperature leading to possible
    >heatstroke. ALL constitute about $1.00 worth of styrofoam and cheap plastic. Don't even think of
    >wearing a helmet.

    Consider the source.

    jeverett3<AT>earthlink<DOT>net http://home.earthlink.net/~jeverett3
     
  12. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Ian S wrote:
    > tried on other brands but they never seem to feel quite right. Right now I have a Phi Pro bought
    > on sale at my LBS. I ride in the Arizona desert but I'm not convinced a few extra vents will make
    > that much difference.

    Vents don't matter at all. I plug mine up to keep the bugs out, otherwise they get trapped in your
    hair and you can't get them out without stopping.

    I have the original Bell helmet I got in 1975, and wear a baseball cap under it for the visor, and
    vent plugging. It is very cool because the helmet is WHITE and INSULATED. I wear it pushing the lawn
    mower too, for cooling.

    Heat doesn't get trapped under the helmet because your skin carries it away. But the white helmet
    keeps the sun from heating your skin, so you're way ahead. The amount of cooling from head sweat is
    almost zero in any case, compared to the rest of your body.

    For the same reason people wear wide-brimmed hats in the sun.

    I might add that maxi-pads are far superior to the sponge forehead pads that come with these things.
    Try it and see.
    --
    Ron Hardin [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  13. Ron Hardin wrote:
    >
    > I wear it pushing the lawn mower too, for cooling.

    Got any pictures? <G>

    Barry
     
  14. Jkpoulos7

    Jkpoulos7 Guest

    >but besides that what the real differences between a $150 helmet and a $30 one? Can you really tell
    >the difference? If so, what are your preferences?
    >

    None. All are worthless in any serious crash. ALL increase head temperature leading to possible
    heatstroke. ALL constitute about $1.00 worth of styrofoam and cheap plastic. Don't even think of
    wearing a helmet.
     
  15. Melisa Johns

    Melisa Johns Guest

    Do an internet search for the Best price for a Bell Ghisallo. Take that best price match to
    Performance Bike and ask for a price match. You will be surprised at the price and the fit (which is
    adjustable within your size).
    Psst! It will be far less than $150.

    "Chluu907" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi:
    >
    > The difference is in the amount of ventilation the helmet provides. If
    you
    > look at $30 helmet, it has very few vents and on a hot day will be
    extremely
    > hot.
    >
    > Now look at a $150.00 helmet such as the Giro Pneumo, Bell Ghisallo, or
    the
    > Specialized Cobra. They're sleek, aerodynamic and provide plenty of ventilation. Now that doesn't
    > mean that everyone should purchase an
    extremely
    > expensive helmet. There are plenty of mid-range helmets that dot he job
    very
    > well. The Giro Eclipse, Bell Phi Pro, Evo are all midrange priced
    helmets. Do
    > try the different brands. You're going to find that each fits a little differently.
    >
    > Safe & Happy Cycling Claude
     
  16. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Trevian Bookshop wrote:
    >
    > Do you think someone who wears maxi-pads under his helmet is worried about recalls?

    Laugh if you want but try it. There's been millions of dollars in research creating maxi-pads and
    they really work with sweat. There's been zero research on bike helmet pads and they release all
    your sweat into your eyes at once when you hit a bump on a steamy day.

    Take your choice.

    The store brand is fine. Wings do you no good.
    --
    Ron Hardin [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
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