Know the rules The Paceline Forum Builder's Spotlight

Go Back   The Paceline Forum > General Discussion

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-29-2023, 02:03 PM
Peter P. Peter P. is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Meriden CT
Posts: 6,777
Since you're not in competition, some features will not be of concern to you.

But as helmet prices increase, you do get more ventilation, adjustability, and to each his own, style.

I value the adjustability, particularly for the occipital lobe. Adjusting the height of the retention, as well as easy, on-the-fly tension adjustment, is worth the extra expense to me.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 02:13 PM
username username is online now
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 343
I'm okay shelling out a lot of money for a helmet—though I know most of what I'm paying for is marketing. Still, as others have said, helmets generally last a long time, so I figure I can amortize their cost over many riding seasons. But as with shoes, I very much prefer to try on a helmet before I buy it. There's tremendous variability in shape across manufacturers, and not as much consistency across model years as I'd expect, and so I want to know if the lid is going to fit the jar.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 02:31 PM
sweitee's Avatar
sweitee sweitee is offline
Join Date: Dec 2022
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 60
Just to add some info about the safety of different helmets, Virginia Tech (in collaboration with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has a rating system that they use to evaluate helmet safety. There doesn't always seem to be a correlation between safety and cost, at least according to their data.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 02:32 PM
Baron Blubba Baron Blubba is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2022
Posts: 148
Every manufacturer I've spoken with has recommended replacing your helmet every three years, and not buying a helmet that's been sitting around on a shelf for more than a 2-3 years. Car seats for infants and toddlers also have a use-life of ~6 years. Is it a sales conspiracy? Are they being overly cautious? Maybe and maybe, but what they heck, I'll spend a couple of hundred bucks every few years for some fresh headgear.

These are the utilitarian improvements that you get for spending more:

- Better straps (finer material).
- Better fit around ears and chin (less extra strap, easier to adjust around the ears or no adjustment required). --Some companies just can't figure this out at any price though, and it aggravates me.
- Better buckle. (Magnetic or easier/smoother closure, not as clumsy or bulky)
- Better retention system (the plastic straps less likely to twist and deform, and they are more adjustable. The dial has more points of engagement, is easier to use, doesn't jam up, etc)
- Better ventilation.
- Lower weight.
- Better pads (we all remember those thick black squishy pads we had in our helmets as kids. Imagine using that on a 5 hour ride in 90 degree heat.)
- Better molding of the EPS shell to the foam core. So the 'plasticky' outer shell doesn't crack, deform, or bend away from the core over time.
- More EPS shell coverage at the back and sides, which enhances the safety in case of a fall.
- MIPS or Kineticore or some other technology designed to minimize concussion. The more expensive helmets sometimes integrate this more elegantly.
- Last and least, reduced drag (aerodynamics).

I sell hundreds upon hundreds of helmets a year. I usually start with the Specialized Align II, which, as much a I'm pissed at Specialized, have to admit is the best sub $60 helmet on the market. Then I say, 'If you'd like something a little lighter, a little sleeker looking, and with better ventilation for longer rides try this.' And show options in the $100-$150 range.
Above that, the improvements *are* there, but, just like with bikes, the returns per dollar spent diminish significantly.

I'm using a POC Ventral Air and a POC Ventral Tempus and like them a lot. POC makes really nice helmets in the $170 and up range.
The Tempus has proved fantastic in temperatures 60 degrees and under and in rainy conditions, and it doesn't overheat at higher temps. Highly recommended for any 3-4 season cyclists.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 02:50 PM
fignon's barber's Avatar
fignon's barber fignon's barber is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Gulf Coast Florida
Posts: 2,629
Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
I agree with this approach. The mid range helmets are as good as anyone needs.......
That depends on where you ride. Almost universally, the cheaper helmets are thicker, with fewer vents, making them substantially hotter. I regularly ride in temps between 90 and 100. The cheaper helmets are noticably inferior to more expensive ones under these conditions. I generally go for the expensive helmet bought on sale for sub $200.
Cyfac Fignon Proxidium
Legend TX6.5
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 02:56 PM
tomato coupe tomato coupe is online now
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,393
Originally Posted by Upcountry View Post
You're paying for the weight, ventilation, and aerodynamics ...
and easy adjustability.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 02:56 PM
reuben's Avatar
reuben reuben is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: The Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 4,174
I have no problem spending a few hundred on something that may enable me to continue to ride my bike that cost a few thousand. It's cheap insurance, less than some components.
It's not an adventure until something goes wrong. - Yvon C.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 03:08 PM
Dave Dave is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 5,397
I've been using Giro helmets for as long as I can remember. Right now I have a Cinder model and an Agilis. Both are well ventilated and easy to get adjusted. Neither is very expensive.

Over many years I've broken seven in eleven wrecks. They all worked.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 03:11 PM
JMT3 JMT3 is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Urbana, Illinois
Posts: 17
After having had a serious brain injury from getting hit by a car I upgrade my helmets all the time and I buy the best. and latest safety technology. When hit in 2017 while I had a serious brain injury I'm still here to type about it and I have the expensive helmet I had on to thank, and the good lord for my survival. My head is worth a lot more than several hundred dollars, at least to me!

PS I have been hit 3 times by cars including graduating High School in a hospital bed in 1975 from getting hit by car commuting into work. Plus numerous helmets broken in MTB accidents.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 03:11 PM
sg8357 sg8357 is offline
Forward the Foundation
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Highland Heights, Kehn-Tuck-ee
Posts: 2,600
I shop off this list, the top ten helmets cost from $50 to $300.
Retail price list, so your real price will vary.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 03:46 PM
verticaldoug verticaldoug is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,995
I like that GIANT REV COMP MIPS for $ 65 and being number 3 on the list.
The Lazer Tonic MIPS at number 5 for $80 look like outstanding value.

I hope they fit my head.

Last edited by verticaldoug; 01-29-2023 at 03:48 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 03:56 PM
jimbolina's Avatar
jimbolina jimbolina is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Gurley, AL
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by El Chaba View Post
From a materials/manufacturing standpoint, there is no substantial difference between a bicycle helmet and a styrofoam cooler that Walmart sells for about 5 USD. There is some money spent on getting the design to pass safety tests and liability insurance. I see almost no reason for the most expensive helmet in a company’s range to cost any more than the cheapest helmet at retail. They spend a fair amount in marketing to differentiate the models and justify the cost difference. They could just as easily manufacture their best helmet and sell it at essentially the same cost as their cheapest model, but the differentiation model calls for them to withhold features from the cheaper models to justify the difference.
I’m with El Chaba…

On a broader perspective, it seems virtually everything (vehicles, bicycles, homes, decent clothing, etc) in our increasingly vast consumer world is getting out of hand in cost. It often appears as a dynamic that occurs simply because it can. Period.

In many cases it borders on obscenity, if not outright theft. But, obviously there are enough individuals to pony-up the dough.

Yes, of course, inflation and technology come into play, as well as innovation, but c’mon, it frequently seems well beyond that.

It is both frustrating and maddening that that arc continues unabated…
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 04:17 PM
bikinchris bikinchris is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Little Rock, AR
Posts: 3,919
ALL helmets that meet CPSC standards will protect you in a crash. However, the comparison to a Styrofoam cooler ends with the very lowest priced helmets. The more expensive helmets will fit better, adjust to your head easier, be better ventilated and lighter, but they will also stay together better in a crash with multiple hits. e.g. hitting a tree, then a rocky bike path, whereas a lesser helmet would be more likely to fall apart after the first hit.
There is a limit. The most expensive helmets are mostly prettier and or have team graphics on them. Don't pay for graphics. Pay for safety and comfort.
The Virginia Tech list is a very good one.
I love my Lazer Z1 MIPS as much as my old G1 MIPS. The accessories that are available for them include covers that snap on to close the vents in the cold, lights and even sensors for heart rate based in the helmet.
Little Rock, AR
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 08:59 PM
Matthew Matthew is online now
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Muskegon, Michigan
Posts: 4,026
Interested in a new helmet. Like the fit of Bell but wouldn't mind trying something else. What brands fit similar to Bell? Thanks for any input.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2023, 09:18 PM
peanutgallery peanutgallery is online now
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,623
For an mtb person, the Giro Radix is the best $100 you'll ever spend

When it comes to the brain, $$$ well spent every 3 years or so. Clock ticks from production, so that trumps a sale price for me

I would never wear a helmet purchased on closeout
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:40 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.