Why Buy An Expensive Helmet?



bobbyOCR

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Aug 31, 2005
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kordon said:
Where the heck do you buy this thing? How much?
Erik, now at Crank N'Cycles. He's a great bloke and if you are ever in a pinch looking for a bike part, he is normally pretty generous with his discounts, and great at explaining things over the phone. Taught me most of what I know about putting bikes together (that and stripping down & rebuilding some to back up what he said).

And for reference now, the new Lazer Genesis helmets feel really weird (no nape support strap/ratchet like all other helmets. I imagine they'd be really comfortable on a longer ride.

And Catlike Kompact Pros are excellent too. Mine isn't as comfy as my Met is, but its lighter by 100g and it comes in Phonak colours.
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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Never needed to be saved by a helmet, thank God, because I never wore one until this year. 39 Years of riding and no bumps on the noggin is pure luck. With my track record I couldn't see paying a lot for a helmet so I bought one during Nashbar's big helmet blowout this year. It's only a Bell Venture but for $20.00 USD it seems like a pretty good deal. I'm satisfied with it, it is ANSI approved, and it is cool enough for me in humid 95 degree weather. And it has one of those geared size adjusters, which was a big help since I didn't know what size I wore.
 

CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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I used the Giro Pneumo for a season, then got a deal on a Giro Atmos. The weights are similar (I believe the Pneumo is slightly lighter), but the Atmos is noticably cooler despite it being a darker color (dark blue/red Atmos v. white/silver Pneumo). It channels more air than the Pneumo model.

Both Giro models are less protection than my last generation helmet, a French Time brand that only had 9 small vent slots and weighed about 100 grams more.

The Giro Roc-Loc adjuster is a good feature in my opinion. With it and good strap adjustment the coverage will stay where it's supposed to during impact.
 

bobbyOCR

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CAMPYBOB said:
but the Atmos is noticably cooler despite it being a darker color (dark blue/red Atmos v. white/silver Pneumo). It channels more air than the Pneumo model.
t.
With all the EPS foam in the helmet, that is gonna make bugger all difference.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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bobbyOCR said:
With all the EPS foam in the helmet, that is gonna make bugger all difference.

Exactly. And testing has born this out. The thermal conductivity of EPS is about as low as thermal conductivity can get.

On a similar note, you can't look at a helmets and tell which one offers better protection.
 

finlander

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Mar 26, 2007
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We just ordered a pair of Bell Citi helmets from Nashbar yesterday. Where are they located and are they fast when it comes to shipping things out? thanks.
 

chainstay

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Jul 8, 2007
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finlander said:
We just ordered a pair of Bell Citi helmets from Nashbar yesterday. Where are they located and are they fast when it comes to shipping things out? thanks.
I believe Nashbar ships out of Canfield, Ohio. Yes, they provide fast, reliable shipping, as does their sister company, Performance Bicycle. Both Nashbar and Performance are great about refunding money or making exchanges if you don't get what you want. I have been buying Bell Furio helmuts, weight 295 grams, from Performance at about $40 to $60 a whack. They have done the job for me more than once. I agree with those who suspect that lighter, more expensive helmuts with more vents are not any safer than less expensive, slighlty heavier helmuts with fewer vents. JMO.
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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finlander said:
We just ordered a pair of Bell Citi helmets from Nashbar yesterday. Where are they located and are they fast when it comes to shipping things out? thanks.
Bike Nashbar is one of the best internet retailers that I know of. Their customer service is second to none except for one eBayer that I know of who keeps an eye out for vintage components for me. He ought to though, I nearly put his son through college with my purchases.
 

bobbyOCR

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alienator said:
On a similar note, you can't look at a helmets and tell which one offers better protection.
Yup. I'd trust my head to a Catlike Kompact after seeing how well it absorbs impact, yet still its 238g. They don't just break, they shatter and crush around the impact zone yet still stay in one piece. They have saved a few peoples'lives around here and we have a 'wall' of crushed kompacts at the shop. I think we are removing all but one though, not enough room.
 

finlander

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Mar 26, 2007
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Wife ordered a yellow while drap ole' me ordered a matte pewter. I dont like flashy, but I could perk it up with my airbrush. Thanks for responses about Nashbar.
 

J5311

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Jul 22, 2007
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bobbyOCR said:
Yup. I'd trust my head to a Catlike Kompact after seeing how well it absorbs impact, yet still its 238g. They don't just break, they shatter and crush around the impact zone yet still stay in one piece. They have saved a few peoples'lives around here and we have a 'wall' of crushed kompacts at the shop. I think we are removing all but one though, not enough room.
Although i just got into the sport of road cycling i have riden all my other bikes w/o a helmet. Riding these road bikes is a completly different position, a feeling of being over the front wheel & IMO that alittle scary w/o a helmet. the next day i went and got one. not only the position of myself on the bike, but there is another reason why i am now wearing one. The man on this site is a very close family friend that i knew since i was born and would do anything for anyone. the site say is all. http://www.daviddhammarfoundation.org/index.php

this is the model i got
268737.jpg

The Trek 3 vapor sport. I got the white one cuz it reflects sunlight therefore not getting really hot... it only cost me $40 USD an keeps me suprisingly cool. I didn't even know i was sweeting untill i took it off...
 

JohnO

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Jul 5, 2003
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While all helmets meet the same standards, I'd like to think the pricier ones exceed them. Comparing my current Giro Atmos to a cheap Bell I had before, it does seem to be built better. Maybe it's psychological, but I feel safer. A darn sight more comfortable, too.

Cheap head, cheap helmet.
 

bobbyOCR

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J5311 said:
The Trek 3 vapor sport. I got the white one cuz it reflects sunlight therefore not getting really hot... it only cost me $40 USD an keeps me suprisingly cool. I didn't even know i was sweeting untill i took it off...
good for you. Have fun cycling.

But once again. EPS is an amazing insulator. The color of your helmet is going to make 0% difference, otherwise you'd see pro teams and helmet manufacturers opting for white materials exaggerrating their cooling properties.
 

J5311

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Jul 22, 2007
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bobbyOCR said:
good for you. Have fun cycling.

But once again. EPS is an amazing insulator. The color of your helmet is going to make 0% difference, otherwise you'd see pro teams and helmet manufacturers opting for white materials exaggerrating their cooling properties.
well lets put it this wat... i work at a racetrack on sturdays... my hard is dark dark brown. & we have radios/ear muff we have to wear. all i do is stand in the sun all day. i have tried no hat-- hot, black hat-- even hotter, light grey almost white-- cool, and the top of the radio which is black is always scolding hot... there is my personal experiance
 

MMSR

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Dec 30, 2004
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badkarma said:
I'm inclined to believe that less expensive helmets are safer for you, whereas with expensive helmets, all companies are trying to do is engineer the lightest helmet that will still meet ANSI standards. And with cheaper helmets, they're beefier, so I'd be willing to bet their factor of safety is higher than a more expensive helmet. Just my 0.02
I'm tempted to agree with that in all truth. The last three helmets I've owned have all been hard shell helmets, and I won't wear microshells now for the simple reason that I wear a helmet purely for protection and safety, not because it looks good and has loads of vents. The last three helmets have been a KB Jumper, Bell Faction and I now wear a TSG Evolution costing a total of around £75. I can't really understand paying ridiculous amounts for a helmet that's more air vents than actual helmet when I can get a hard shell for not a lot of money which I believe will probably be stronger and protect me more than the average cheap or expensive microshell.

There arn't a lot of big vents on my TSG Evolution and of course it gets a bit warm under there, but at least I know there's a lot of very strong helmet between me and the road/tree/squirrel or whatever my head may hit!
 

basso97

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Sep 21, 2004
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Once you suffer heat strock on a bike you will soon learn why the more expensive helments are better. They have more and better designed vents that help keep your head cool on hot days.
 

MMSR

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Dec 30, 2004
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basso97 said:
Once you suffer heat strock on a bike you will soon learn why the more expensive helments are better. They have more and better designed vents that help keep your head cool on hot days.
I live in England, there isn't much chance of that!
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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MMSR said:
I live in England, there isn't much chance of that!
I live in Ohio, right next to Indiana and have a $20.00 Bell Venture. I have ridden the last two weeks in temperatures near 100 degrees F and have no heat related complaints about my helmet.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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kdelong said:
I live in Ohio, right next to Indiana and have a $20.00 Bell Venture. I have ridden the last two weeks in temperatures near 100 degrees F and have no heat related complaints about my helmet.

Here in the desert, my Atmos is noticeably cooler than the Pneumo I had. Combined with the SweatVac I wear, it makes a big difference.

FWIW#1: the number of vents ain't as important to cooling as to how air flow through the helmet is managed. Lots o' vents coupled with poor channeling of air through a helmet will add up to poor ventilation.

FWIW#2: as stated earlier, you can't look at a helmet and tell whether it's safer than another, just by judging appearences.