I need a new helmet ...

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
nirakaro
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I need a new helmet ...

Postby nirakaro » 15 Aug 2012, 1:18pm

after losing an argument with a car. Prices in my LBS range from £25 to £130, and they all look the same to me. Apart from style,what are the criteria for intelligent buying?

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Si
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby Si » 15 Aug 2012, 2:13pm

in no particular order....

one that will fit you properly - try a number on to see which is most comfy, and sits on top of the head without sliding backwards.
what, if any, safety standard has it passed?
number of air holes - if you ride hard or sweat a lot you'll want more ventilation.
weight - on very long or hard rides heavier ones might be less comfortable, but for pottering around town most should be OK.
peak or no peak - peaks can be handy for keeping either sun or rain out of the eyes, but if you have proper cycling specs then peaks are less important.
adjustability of straps - can you make it bigger to fit a cap or woolly hat under it for the bad weather?
crash replacement - some manufacturers will give you a discount on a replacement should you damage it in a crash.
does the colour match your bike? :wink:

..and once you've got all that sorted, the matter of whether it actually does you any good or not: viewforum.php?f=41 :wink:

TwoPlusTen
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby TwoPlusTen » 15 Aug 2012, 4:17pm

Short version: safety does not increase (or decrease) with price, it's a bit of a lottery.

All helmets have to be certified to EN 1078 (I think!) - but it's not worth the paper it's written on and the US don't allow helmets that meet that standard because they consider it too flimsy.

US CPSC standards are better, as are Aus/NZ ones. The best one though, is the Snell B-90 (for non-full-face helmets). AFAIK Specialized are the only manufacturer in the UK (at least widely-distributed) that sell B-90 helmets.

Once you've got that out the way, then refer to the previous post. But I'd rearrange the standards in this order:

1 what, if any, safety standard has it passed? - see above
2 one that will fit you properly - try a number on to see which is most comfy, and sits on top of the head without sliding backwards. If you can't get it to fit properly, it's no good.
3 adjustability of straps - can you make it bigger to fit a cap or woolly hat under it for the bad weather? (you may lose some ventilation)
4 number of air holes - if you ride hard or sweat a lot you'll want more ventilation.
5 weight - on very long or hard rides heavier ones might be less comfortable, but for pottering around town most should be OK.
peak or no peak - peaks can be handy for keeping either sun or rain out of the eyes, but if you have proper cycling specs then peaks are less important.
crash replacement - some manufacturers will give you a discount on a replacement should you damage it in a crash.
does the colour match your bike?

Good luck and hopefully you weren't too badly damaged in the fight with the car...

nirakaro
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby nirakaro » 15 Aug 2012, 4:33pm

Many thanks, very helpful. Bit bruised, shaken up, a few punctures (me, not the bike), but no serious harm. "Does the colour match my bike?": I've got three bikes (well, two and a half) - does that mean I need to buy three different coloured helmets?

TwoPlusTen
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby TwoPlusTen » 15 Aug 2012, 4:53pm

nirakaro wrote:Many thanks, very helpful. Bit bruised, shaken up, a few punctures (me, not the bike), but no serious harm. "Does the colour match my bike?": I've got three bikes (well, two and a half) - does that mean I need to buy three different coloured helmets?

Sounds painful but thankfully no harm done...

They say black goes with everything :D

sevenhills
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby sevenhills » 15 Aug 2012, 7:21pm

TwoPlusTen wrote:
All helmets have to be certified to EN 1078 (I think!) - but it's not worth the paper it's written on and the US don't allow helmets that meet that standard because they consider it too flimsy.
.


Glad you are ok, and your helmet worked. But is there any proof as to which type of helmet is best?

I prefer the more round ones, the type that started off being used more by skaters. If you bang you head and it twists your head!! What can you tell us about the performance of your helmet?

nirakaro
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby nirakaro » 15 Aug 2012, 7:34pm

It's an interesting question. I wasn't recording much during those few milliseconds, so I'm not sure if the helmet did anything at all; I'm not sure if my injuries would have been any worse without the helmet. The reason I need to replace it - apart from the bloodstains - is that the under-the-chin clip broke, though not catastrophically, which makes me think that the helmet did at least some work. I was puzzling over what could have caused a couple of quite deep gashes in the inch gap between the helmet and my glasses, until I realised it must have been the glasses themselves. Maybe they'd have slid off more easily if the helmet hadn't been there? Sorry if that doesn't add much to the endless pro- or anti-helmet discussion; I'll continue wearing one just because it feels safer!

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Cunobelin
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby Cunobelin » 15 Aug 2012, 7:39pm

There is a Professor in the US with the wonderfully apt name of Hurt who advocates "Rounder, Smoother. Safer"

This is after evidence that "snag points" on some helmets cause the head to rotate and the helmet to be ejected form the head in some accidents.

So you are in good company

wirral_cyclist
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby wirral_cyclist » 15 Aug 2012, 9:04pm

If you want a lid then it has to be the 'Specialised' brand, as at least they have Snell 90 certification in the US.
The Snell spec is a 3 foot drop onto a 90 degree surface (kerb) and this is independantly checked from retail stock, rather than the Euro standard of a similar 3 foot drop but only onto a flat surface, and the latter apparently self-certified by the maker!! Oh for BS kitemarking rather than a CE sticky labels on ANYTHING!!

TonyR
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby TonyR » 15 Aug 2012, 9:55pm

wirral_cyclist wrote:If you want a lid then it has to be the 'Specialised' brand, as at least they have Snell 90 certification in the US.
The Snell spec is a 3 foot drop onto a 90 degree surface (kerb) and this is independantly checked from retail stock, rather than the Euro standard of a similar 3 foot drop but only onto a flat surface, and the latter apparently self-certified by the maker!! Oh for BS kitemarking rather than a CE sticky labels on ANYTHING!!


The different helmet standards are summarised below in a table from the CTC magazine Cycle.

Screen Shot 2012-08-15 at 21.54.13.png

wirral_cyclist
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby wirral_cyclist » 15 Aug 2012, 10:18pm

TonyR wrote:
The different helmet standards are summarised below in a table from the CTC magazine Cycle.

Screen Shot 2012-08-15 at 21.54.13.png


But do note that for the B90 that N/A is probably 'Not Available' rather than Not Applicable as it is clearly shown on the Snell Foundation website that B90 is tested to 58 joules. Max impact figures are way better for Snell lids.

"c. For each impact against the kerbstone anvil, the impact energy shall be 58 J for all testing regardless of headform size or weight. Given an ideal frictionless mechanical test facility, this impact energy represents a 1.2 meter drop of a 5 kg headform and supporting assembly."

Which gives rise to the thought that as I weigh 90kg and am at 1.88m tall - I'm slightly out of spec...

JohnW
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby JohnW » 15 Aug 2012, 11:32pm

TwoPlusTen wrote:...............They say black goes with everything :D


So does white, and it's more visible - more eye catching to those motorists who will avoid hitting you if they can, and if they see you.

TwoPlusTen
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby TwoPlusTen » 16 Aug 2012, 12:19am

sevenhills wrote:
TwoPlusTen wrote:
All helmets have to be certified to EN 1078 (I think!) - but it's not worth the paper it's written on and the US don't allow helmets that meet that standard because they consider it too flimsy.
.


Glad you are ok, and your helmet worked. But is there any proof as to which type of helmet is best?

I prefer the more round ones, the type that started off being used more by skaters. If you bang you head and it twists your head!! What can you tell us about the performance of your helmet?

Umm... I don't wear a helmet, and haven't had a bike accident lately. I think you have quoted the wrong person...

hexhome
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby hexhome » 16 Aug 2012, 12:20am


snibgo
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Re: I need a new helmet ...

Postby snibgo » 16 Aug 2012, 12:21am

wirral_cyclist wrote:
Snell wrote:... this impact energy represents a 1.2 meter drop of a 5 kg headform and supporting assembly.

Which gives rise to the thought that as I weigh 90kg and am at 1.88m tall - I'm slightly out of spec...

Even the Snell standards, though superior to EN1078, model a person as falling roughly horizontally rather then head first. How realistic this is will depend, of course, on the exact nature of a real incident.