Revolution wrote:Does anyone know why helmets vary in price so much?
I'm not a keen student of economics but I strongly suspect that anyone in a business situation selecting a price will aim to choose one that between profit per item and units shifted gives them the best bottom line. Note how Bolle are happy to sell you very similar glasses for workwear safety for about £7, or for fashion for about £70. If you're a keen roadie willing to get whatever Peter Sagan or whoever is given to wear you'll be paying a premium, simply because the manufacturer can get away with charging one. Lidl and Aldi can't get away with premium prices, so they aim to shift a lot at low prices. And so on.
Revolution wrote:I can't imagine that the production costs can be that much more, are the expensive ones safer?
If anyone can point me to any info on this I'd be grateful.
As has been noted, safety standards can be checked by looking at the standard on the item itself. EN1078 is the basic, Snell is rather better, neither are designed to save lives which is why the manufacturers themselves make no such claims: they'd be sued to hell and back. What you tend to get in a more expensive helmet, aside from a target audience of people willing to spend more, is lighter and better ventilated at the same strength. Why not make them safer? Because what organisations demand is it meets "a current standard", and delivering safety above that means heavier and less ventilated at any given cost, and those aren't beneficial for cycling.
Also note that to meet the standard it's built to a helmet should be correctly fitted. Modern ones have reasonably adjustable cradles but you'll get the most effective system with a snug fit, so for both comfort and effectiveness a size/shape close to your particular head is a Good Thing. Try a few on and see how you find the fit.
Me, I don't bother on the roads, I do bother if I'm coaching (the rules require it) or doing technical off-road pushing myself, to ward off low tree branches as much as anything else. I don't do that much so I use an Aldi helmet that was under a tenner. If I was expecting to come off a lot I'd probably get a Specialized as they fit me quite well (comfier than the Aldi), are available at non-silly prices and IIRC conform to the higher Snell standard, but for bashing the odd branch out of the way or ticking a box the Aldi one is fine. I coach at a junior CC and the Aldo ones are the most popular helmets amongst the coaches.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...