Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

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.
old_windbag
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby old_windbag » 5 May 2017, 1:13am

gaz wrote:and have moved on to Bollé at about £6-£7


I've been using bolle vipers for many years, the hinge on one arm only now starting to show wear after about 10yrs, all for £5 when bought. They are clear( other tints available ) and I could not fathom the original exclamation in the quote for having clear eye protection. I started cycling without eye protection but after several errant bumblebees/flys and the occasional stone chip from passing vehicles hitting me I thought my eyes should be protected.

On the helmet front opinion is divided but what I personally feel is that I have little input to the events leading to a fall, nor the dynamics of it, nor the objects in the path of any fall. So I took to wearing a helmet having started for first few months without. Cost wise I'd tend not to go beyond £30-50 as I feel like so many cycling items its the law of diminishing returns, i.e this helmet is £200 because it's 25g lighter than the £50 helmet. Standard marketing practice.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby Cunobelin » 5 May 2017, 6:42am

"Safer" is an issue

There are a number of different testing standards, and the basic one for the UK (EN1078) is one of the weakest and most inadequate. The Snell rating is tougher to pass, and with higher impacts, and different tests implies that it would take more damage and be more protective


However you can get a Snell tested helmet for £30 so spice is not an indicator.

Dave W
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby Dave W » 5 May 2017, 7:22am

Sad, you still can't have a normal discussion about helmets without the anti-helmet brigade jumping on the post.

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mjr
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby mjr » 5 May 2017, 7:38am

Dave W wrote:Sad, you still can't have a normal discussion about helmets without the anti-helmet brigade jumping on the post.

To answer a question like this, one needs to have actually researched helmets a bit and the overwhelming majority who have researched helmets are against them (as against the roughly 2:1 majority of cyclists who simply don't use them).
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pete75
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby pete75 » 5 May 2017, 7:49am

Dave W wrote:Sad, you still can't have a normal discussion about helmets without the anti-helmet brigade jumping on the post.


So you think only folk who are in favour of something should discuss it? What an enlightened attitude.

What I would say to anyone who really thinks a helmet is important to prevent head injuries on their bike is buy and wear a motorcycle helmet. That really will offer some protection and you can buy one that has been rigorously tested. There's an organisation called Sharp https://sharp.dft.gov.uk/ which buys helmets at retailers and tests them. All meet the current UK standard for helmets but Sharp rate them from 1- 5 stars. A 5 star helmet can cost as little as £50 which makes the price of certain cycle helmets look ridiculous. Some expensive helmets get the lowest 1 or 2 star rating.
The scheme was controversial when it was introduced, I think mainly because it showed the safety of a helmet wasn't directly related to price. Had all the expensive lids got five stars and all the cheapies one star there wouldn't have been the controversy.

Perhaps Sharp , a government agency, should extend their testing to cycle helmets.

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 5 May 2017, 8:16am

Why are Sharp's conclusions re helmet safety not reflected in the accident data?
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foxyrider
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby foxyrider » 5 May 2017, 8:56am

De Sisti wrote:
foxyrider wrote:They should be replaced at @ 3 years old - the material breaks down. .

There have never been any referenced research to prove that claim. It's the helmet manufacturers
scaring cyclists into parting with their money.

I have seen it in action - they might look sound but they go like sawdust inside. Why do specific helmet research when there's already a body of materials research?
Convention? what's that then?
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pete75
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby pete75 » 5 May 2017, 9:01am

Lance Dopestrong wrote:Why are Sharp's conclusions re helmet safety not reflected in the accident data?


What accident data? Provide your stats or a source for them.

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 5 May 2017, 9:07am

That's the point - there isn't any.

They test helmets and conclude that A and B perform better than Y and Z, but there's nothing to prove that any of them work.

Indeed, not one single manufacturer claims their cycle helmets can or will prevent injury. That's as far as I'll go in that one as this forum is not the place. If you wish to discuss that aspect any further please feel free to nip over to the helmet forum.

BTW, its customary to say 'please' when requesting something of someone.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby thirdcrank » 5 May 2017, 9:20am

A question about price leads inexorably to a discussion about effectiveness.

Once again, common sense arguments and empiric evidence both lead to the same conclusion: any thread with "helmet(s)" in the title might as well go straight into the appropriate sub-forum.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 May 2017, 9:56am

Round here I see a few kids riding mtb kids bikes wearing full face helmets on the pavement. I just find it funny. I'm for kids to wear helmets because AFAIK there is evidence kids helmets can have a safety benefit for growing kids, but full face? Really?

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meic
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby meic » 5 May 2017, 10:00am

Just imagine your pretty face grinding off on the tarmac!
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mjr
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby mjr » 5 May 2017, 10:19am

old_windbag wrote:On the helmet front opinion is divided but what I personally feel is that I have little input to the events leading to a fall, nor the dynamics of it, nor the objects in the path of any fall.

If there are any objects other than smooth road or a round-edged kerb in the path of any fall, that's beyond the tested standard of most helmets. Even anything other than those or a smooth round rock is outside the tougher Snell standard. Hitting an irregular-shaped rock? Not tested. Hitting a pothole edge? Not tested. Hitting a tramline tile? Not tested. Hitting a road resurfaced with tar and chippings? Not tested. Let alone any of the more unusual crash hazards that Sustrans accepts being installed on their signposted cycle routes. The standard cycle helmet tests are a bloody disgrace - the tested anvils are unrepresentative of the real world, even before you get into the unrealistic impact type (vertical drop onto top of the head).
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whoof
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby whoof » 5 May 2017, 10:41am

Can this be moved to the helmet section and appears to have descended into a discussion about effectiveness of helmets rather than their cost variation?

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meic
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Re: Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?

Postby meic » 5 May 2017, 10:49am

As a helmet's job is to protect, how can analysis or justification of its cost variation be separated from its effectiveness.

As a "disbeliever" in cycle helmet effectiveness but a firm believer in motorcycle helmet effectiveness, I think the issues being raised are not out of place.
A motorcycle helmet can justify its increased price through increased perceived effectiveness as you progress from polycarbonate to fibreglass to carbon fibre to kevlar, those perceptions can also be disputed.
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