Buying a new Helmet

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
Steve E
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Buying a new Helmet

Postby Steve E » 3 Jan 2016, 8:53am

Hi. I'm new here so go easy please! 
When I Googled cycling forums CTC was amongst the top of the list for UK based forums....

After 10 yrs of riding a 'Halfords special' I decided to upgrade the bike and am now looking for a new bash hat to match. I currently have a Kask which doesn't match the new bike and the 'riding goggles' don't fit well.

On my shortlist are:
Spiuk Keilan
Louis Garneau Quartz II
Bontrager Starvos Road Helmet (would match up with everything else on the bike, I guess... if it fits)
Giant Rev Road

Has anyone experience of these; what is the fit like (a friends Giro feels a little 'loose' at the sides, rounded?); are there any others I should consider (up to maybe £80)?

Many thanks in advance,
Steve

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gaz
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby gaz » 3 Jan 2016, 11:03am

Welcome to the forum.

Your post has been moved to the forum's helmet ghetto. It's happened a little earlier than usual for a post that simply asks for a helmet recommendation but most such posts end up here in the end.

If you are looking for a helmet to match yournew bike it would help to know what bike you now have and in what way you want the helmet to match, e.g. colour, go-faster stripes.

You have said that you want it to be a comfortable fit, without giving any indication of your head circumference. A helmet that is a comfortable fit for one person may not be comfortable for another.

Go to a shop that sells one or more of the brands and models you are interested in and try them on complete with your "riding goggles". The results will be more valuable to you than any amount of on-line opinion.
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TonyR
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby TonyR » 3 Jan 2016, 11:30am

If you're buying for looks just buy whichever is most comfortable and you like the look of as they are all built to the same standards regardless of price. Comfort is a personal thing as different heads are different shapes.

Bicycler
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby Bicycler » 3 Jan 2016, 1:31pm

Hi Steve, welcome to the forum :D

As you have just discovered there is a special forum section ("ghetto") for helmet discussions because they tend to drift onto passionate (and endless) arguments about whether people should or should not wear them. Sometimes this does mean that simple purchasing advice requests like yours get lumped in this section with all the debates. I really do hope that you and other new contributors are being informed when threads are moved to this section (could a moderator confirm this?). It would be very dispiriting to check back on your first post and find that it had vanished and apparently been deleted.

I'll echo gaz and Tony's comments here to just pick the one you find comfortable and like the look of. I strongly urge you to try one on because none of us can say what you will find comfortable. Comfort is very personal. As for safety, the £5 cheapies and the £150 jobbies are required to conform to the same European safety standard. Generally the extra money gets you better ventilation (more holes for the same level of protection), more adjustment and improved styling. There are counterfeit helmets available online, so be sure to buy from a reputable outlet (ie. a real shop - even Halfords or Aldi - just don't go eBaying this purchase from China).

There are a couple of notable exceptions to the above. Specialized distribute the same helmets worldwide, so their helmets all additionally conform to the slightly more rigorous Snell B90A standard common in the USA. This is different to many other manufacturers who produce different helmets in different regions and confusingly state that their helmets meet "one or more" of a long list of standards, by which they usually mean that the EU version just meets the EU standard. Giro produce helmets with what they call MIPS technology which is claimed to lessen the risk of rotational brain injury (a common argument against helmet use). It is debateable whether either of these will provide a noticeable improvement in protection but maybe they will tip the balance where you need to choose between two models.

greyingbeard
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby greyingbeard » 3 Jan 2016, 1:58pm

Buy the helmet that fits you the best, it is the one that has most chance of staying on your head in an accident.

This means that you have to go to some shops and try them on, be shown by a knowledgeable assistant how to adjust the straps etc so they do their job. Therefore overlook the colour, hype and reviews, only buy the one that is best for you. It may not be expensive.

Steve E
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby Steve E » 3 Jan 2016, 4:58pm

Thanks for all the replies.

I know from motorcycling that helmet fit is a personal thing. I seem to have a head that like lids like Kask, Specialised, but doesn't fit Bell or Cratoni, for examples.

I was wondering if, out of my list, any were a similar fit to,say, Kask, and then I could shorten my shop visits. But I guess, at the end of the day it's just a case of suck it and see.

Some interesting replies though, and a few things to think about.

Many thanks,
Steve

Bonefishblues
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby Bonefishblues » 3 Jan 2016, 5:14pm

TonyR wrote:If you're buying for looks just buy whichever is most comfortable and you like the look of as they are all built to the same standards regardless of price. Comfort is a personal thing as different heads are different shapes.

Is that the case? I had understood the Snell test(s) to be more stringent than the European standard?

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TrevA
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby TrevA » 3 Jan 2016, 5:28pm

You need to try on in a shop. I can't use Giro helmets but get on fine with Bell and Specialized. If you are near an Evans or a Halfords Bike Hut, they have a fair selection. Once you've identified the make you like, then you can buy over the internet if you wish, though Evans will price match any internet deal IME.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby [XAP]Bob » 3 Jan 2016, 6:40pm

Bonefishblues wrote:
TonyR wrote:If you're buying for looks just buy whichever is most comfortable and you like the look of as they are all built to the same standards regardless of price. Comfort is a personal thing as different heads are different shapes.

Is that the case? I had understood the Snell test(s) to be more stringent than the European standard?

They are, but it can be a challenge to work out which standards a hat is tested to - the labels often say "one of" and then list them all....

With mobile data you can at least check the snell website etc, but beware the same name being used for different helmets in different geographical areas (no idea if/how much that happens)

Personally I have a Specialised, which is Snell rated (looking at the standards you can start to tell which are being complied with by virtue of head coverage - of course you might also be surprised by how limited the standards are)

It fits and is higher rated than many of the others, I only wear it on two wheels, not three, and only for family reasons.
I'm more likely to die of a head injury walking to the shops than riding there, but which one do people think I ought to wear a helmet for? :(
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Steve E
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby Steve E » 3 Jan 2016, 8:40pm

Trev A... thanks. I'll visit my local Evans; I think they stock Louis Garneau and Bontrager. Their price match is only against certain other outlets or sites though. When I got the Domane, I wanted the SpeedTrap, a Garmin cadence sensor, and a Node 1.1, some of which was cheaper at another googled outlet, but Evans wouldn't match this.

As for tested standards, well that's given me something to think about. I plan to do a couple of rides for charity this year - I swear one site says that helmets must be worn and compliant with some standard or other (not sure). Definitely more to think about. Thanks all.

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gaz
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby gaz » 3 Jan 2016, 10:29pm

Steve E wrote:... I swear one site says that helmets must be worn and compliant with some standard or other (not sure). ...

Possibly a ride organised by UK Cycling Events: http://www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk/terms/

6
It is mandatory that all riders wear a safety approved cycling helmet complying with latest ANSI Z90/4 or SNELL standards. Any rider not wearing a helmet will not be covered by the event insurance and will be disqualified from the event and could be liable for damages if involved in an accident on that basis. The rider must accept this as a condition of entry. UK Cycling Events reserve the right to refuse entry to the event to anyone with inappropriate equipment or clothing. The participant confirms that the cycle/bike they are riding for the event and all of their equipment is of a suitable standard and state of trail/road worthiness. In particular, the ability to complete longest distance, and over rough terrain dependant on the event.

You will struggle to find a helmet sold in the UK labelled as complying to either required standard. ANSI Z90/4 has been defunct since 1995. Helmets sold in the EU must be marked as meeting EN1078. A few may meet SNELL standards as well but are unlikely to be marked accordingly as this is not required for EU sales, only EN1078.

Conspiracy theorists may suggest this is the ultimate liability waiver clause, even if you are wearing a helmet it won't be the right one :wink: . Personally I feel it would probably fall foul of Unfair Terms of Contract legislation :lol: .

Edit: At some point between making my post and this edit EN1078 has been added to UK Cycling events approved list.
Last edited by gaz on 27 Nov 2016, 7:39pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bicycler
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby Bicycler » 4 Jan 2016, 7:25am

I wouldn't worry about complying with charity event rules. If it's in the UK 90-odd percent of people will have EU spec helmets and, as I said, any helmet sold in the UK is required to meet that standard. In any case, it's only a box ticking exercise. Wearing a helmet? - tick. That's the level of scrutiny.

I'd wager that whoever drew up the rule gaz quotes has plagiarised that section from an old and probably American source without realising that it makes no sense in the UK.

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Graham
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby Graham » 4 Jan 2016, 8:55am

Please be aware that this topic was originally posted in "Bikes & Bits".

A "pointer" ( to this sub-forum ) remains in Bikes & Bits so nobody need be lost.

A bit premature to move it ?? Maybe, but I'm an experienced plastic hat topic clairvoyant.

Bicycler
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby Bicycler » 4 Jan 2016, 10:00am

Ah, okay. Cheers Graham.

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mjr
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Re: Buying a new Helmet

Postby mjr » 4 Jan 2016, 11:01am

gaz wrote:Conspiracy theorists may suggest this is the ultimate liability waiver clause, even if you are wearing a helmet it won't be the right one :wink: . Personally I feel it would probably fall foul of Unfair Terms of Contract legislation :lol: .

The whole practice of requiring people to wear helmets to ride on public roads where they aren't required is unfair in so many ways. Let's pick one: how about it prevents participation by riders of recumbent cycles with headrests that they use due to a disability?

But you can just ignore the start/finish pen and ride 99.9% of the same route anyway if you want. Usually a bad idea because there will be some awful cyclists on it who think wearing a helmet makes them so safe that they can take more risks, riding 3-abreast or more in a close peloton without stopping distances with people they barely know who probably haven't got the skills to do that... with predictable results and riders being carted off to hospital... :(
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