Why are helmets so expensive?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by senator52, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. senator52

    senator52 New Member

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    I was just wondering how come helmets are so expensive and you can find helmets priced as high as $AU450.:eek: I wouldn't expect a large proportion of cyclists to spend that kind of money on a helmet that made need to be replaced every year or two. Can someone help me out here and tell me, is it really worth it?
     
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  2. nerdag

    nerdag New Member

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    Some will argue that cheap helmets for cheap heads - personally I don't buy that one. If it meets or exceeds the applicable standards, then I'd trust that it would do its job in a crash.

    The extra cost likely comes from better designs RE ventilation, comfort, torsional stiffness, durability etc. (not to metion importing costs and paying for the AU Standards Certification process).

    Having said that, I figure if you're going to spend your money on any bike component, the helmet is the place you'd buy the best you can get, without getting into seriously boutique territory. The more comfortable and well ventilated it is, the more likely I am to enjoy wearing it.

    I'd probably spend at most A$200 on a helmet at any one time. I find this price range to be a good compromise between cost, appearance, comfort, and performance. My last two lids were about A$110 each.

    Whether you want to spend more or less, well that's really a matter for your budget, tastes, and needs.

    HTH,

    n
     
  3. geardad

    geardad New Member

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    I'm curious..about how much in US $ is $450AU?

    that sounds like a price that would make my stomach do jumping jacks..
    here in the states I can get a decent helmet for well under $100US, and those over that price are usually the super-cool looking, but not necessarily more effective.

    I look like a geek in a helmet anyway, so it doesn't matter how much I spend...I don't have to look at myself!


    geardad
     
  4. HEWSINATOR

    HEWSINATOR New Member

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    They come up to that price for the same reason you can buy $500 jeans and $500 000 cars. Are there marginal returns, certainly.
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Buy LAST YEAR'S MODEL (often just a cosmetic difference) of ANY of the more expensive helmets, and the cost will be greatly reduced ...

    Buy LAST YEAR'S MODEL of any of the mid-range helmets, and the cost will be greatly reduced.

    Buy the latest & greatest because a sponsored rider you favor wears it, and you will pay top-Dollar ...

    Some people have to be the first on the block to have something, and so they are willing to pay the premium.

    BTW. I think the estimated TWO YEAR life span is if you leave the helmet in the sun out in the Mojave Desert OR hanging on a fence post in Alice Springs where the UV may degrade the outer shell & styrene foam liner + the nylon in the straps & buckles ... a matter of liability issues ... not unlike the "best used by" dates on grocery items.
     
  6. serenaslu

    serenaslu New Member

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    Currently the AU$ is trading at a little over 0.75 US$ (0.750999 or 1.33156). There also is the dreaded VAT to deal with ( of course some US states have sales tax as well :cool: )
     
  7. geardad

    geardad New Member

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    so, $450AU = appx $340 US for a freakin helmet?!

    no way would I do that. that must be the poser model for those who have more dough than they can spend...

    geardad
     
  8. jcjordan

    jcjordan New Member

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    I have always been told that a helmet will last 3-4 years if looked after. the main reason for the useby date is due to the small number of dents and scrapes that a helmet gets which degridate the ability to absorbe damage.

    When you consider the R&D that goes into a top of the line helmet to make them lighter and cooler you can understand why they are so expensive.

    I just spent AU$320 on a new Giro Atmos after my last helment (bought in 2003 for AU$200) died in a car vs me crash.

    Yes it may seem a lot for a helment, but i wanted the high airflow for the 30+ degree days and something that was light and comfortable for racing. I could have bought helments that were just as effective, a bit heaver and less vents for alot less; but i am happy with what i got and had the money to spend.
     
  9. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    -----------------------------------------------------
    It's interesting that the Giro Eclipse I have(it's fit me better than the Atmos does) has less venting(so more material still in place) than the Atmos but weighs less - figure that one out? :confused:
    Costs about twice as much too :(
     
  10. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    They are so expensive because of the simple rule of supply and demand. They are unique liken to marine parts as in comparison to auto parts. Not that car part are cheap but you have a much larger consumer group and more manufacturers.
    The price is dictated by the unique market.
     
  11. cmoore992002

    cmoore992002 New Member

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    What drives the market and creates value? People do. I have the Giro Eclipse as well and it works fine for me. The last time I checked it was about half the cost of the Atmos. The same thing happens in every other market. One brand or style gets the attention and the price goes up. My .02.

    Charlie M.
    Dallas, Tx
     
  12. Wurm

    Wurm New Member

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    The rule of thumb is 5 years life span, barring cracks or other cumulative damage of course. That's when the styrofoam starts to break down and the helmet becomes less effective for deflecting impacts.
     
  13. wooliferkins

    wooliferkins New Member

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    I get the feeling from various forums that cycling is the most exspensive thing in Australia. Is your government funding the wrecked banana harvest from cyclists or do you all fund those annoyingly good track boys and girls you produce?



     
  14. jcjordan

    jcjordan New Member

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    Its more based on scales of economy. Because Australia has a much smaller population then say Europe or the US we dont have the buying power.

    Take for example tires. Here a GP4000 from conti will cost you around AU$100 a tire. If I order the tires from ProBikeKit or Parkers-International I can get a pair for the same price (including shipping). The reason why is that the distributer here may order 3-4 thousand tires a year from conti but in the UK a single store probable orders that number, now times that by 100 stores and conti needs to make a lot less per tire to make a similar profit; in addition the increased competition keeps the prices down as well.
     
  15. Max Phillips

    Max Phillips New Member

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    I would have no problem what so ever paying $200 or $300 for a helmet if it actually fit me well. I would love to have something like an Atmos, but the only helmet, and I truely mean the ONLY helmet on the cycling market that will fit me is some $30 deal from Bell...and it's tight. It's bulky, not much venting, hurt my head, and definetly not "cool" (pun intended). Before you all jump the "quit trolling" bandwagon, I'm being earnest. I would love for Giro or Bell to make a helmet that would actually fit my noggin. Having a 63+ cm circumferance is a pain in the butt. Ball caps are unfindable also.

    Not to hijack a thread, but if anyone has any suggestions, let me know. I seriously would have no problem dropping a huge amount of money on lid if it was as cool as the Atmos or comparable...assuming it fit well.
     
  16. jcjordan

    jcjordan New Member

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    I am fairly sure that the Atmos comes in a size to fit a 63. If not have a look at the Met range. quite a few of the ladys in the club like them because they come quite big and allows for the hair bunch up the back.

    Just a note I am not calling you a girl, just that I know these helmets come in a large range of sizes and if you saw one or two of the ladies in the club you see that you see you need the size
     
  17. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

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    I found this:

    Bell Kinghead Triton: fits up to 65 cm heads. (formerly the Sequoia)
    Cratoni Radon: fits up to 65 cm heads.
    Giro Atlas II: fits up to 64 cm.
    Louis Garneau Rev: fits up to 63 cm, but emailers tell us that Garneau's larger sizes fit them better than others.
    Met Testagrossa: fits up to 64 cm.
    Vigor Duo: fits up to 66 cm.


    Ha! Testagrossa means "fat head" - a play on words from the Ferrari Testarossa (red head).
    Good luck
     
  18. Max Phillips

    Max Phillips New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. The Bell Triton is what I currently have (and severely dislike). The only way it fits me is stretched all the way out and without any of the padding on the inside. I've never found an Atmos to fit me, even the largest sizes with the adjustable band fully extended. I also know that no one here was calling me a girl, I understand (understood) what you mean(t).

    Lemme know if anyone has any suggestions (call up Giro and plead with them to build a new expensive mold to produce one helmet...for a good cause though?)
     
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