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Thread: Helmet help?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Helmet help?

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    I've been wearing a BELL Athena helmet bought from Walmart, but the thing is just too darn big. It's weighty enough to give me massive headaches, it slips from side to side even if I tighten the straps to choking point, and the front always slides down to block my eyesight completely. It's an age 14+ helmet, but to be honest it's just too big!

    I haven't checked with the not-so-LBS yet as it's a 1h+ drive away, but when I went to find a new helmet at Walmart, I was really dismayed to find that the only helmets that fit were youths and patterned appropriately. I just don't feel like I want to go zooming down streets wearing ScoobyDoo on my head.

    I have a short forehead, round face, and a flattish skull. Can anyone recommend anything in the way of helmets so that I know approximately where to start my search?

  2. #2
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    Honestly, I'd make the trek to you not-so-local shop. You really need to try on a variety of helmets to find what fits your head best. It'll be worth the trip.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

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  3. #3
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    I agree. I don't know what my head is shaped like, I just know Giro fits, and most others don't. Once you find the right brand, chances are you will fit most models that brand makes. It doesn't have to be the lightest helmet on the market, but an uncomfortable helmet is just torture to wear. Hope you find something!
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  4. #4
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    I really have to be careful also to get a helmet that doesn't put pressure on my forehead. What motorcyclists call a "Shoei head" (except the Arai people, who call it a "long oval" ).

    I'm good in my Specialized Propero. Giro doesn't fit me at all. I used to have a Trek helmet that fit me pretty well too, but they don't make the shells in as many sizes as they used to.

    But +1 on trying on several different brands and styles - and also letting the LBS help you with the straps, which are much trickier to adjust than they used to be IME. Maybe you can combine the trip with another errand.

    My personal opinion (which may not be popular) is that you're safer with no helmet than with one that fits so poorly. If it slips around your head it won't protect you in a fall, and it could possibly lead to a neck injury.

    If you really have a small head, you may still wind up in a youth helmet. But the LBS should have some without Scooby-Doo.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    My personal opinion (which may not be popular) is that you're safer with no helmet than with one that fits so poorly. If it slips around your head it won't protect you in a fall, and it could possibly lead to a neck injury.
    This is my opinion as well. After a certain speed the helmets won't help a bit, and most have visors which can catch on things as well. Florida law requires helmets, though, and while no local police care if I ride without around town or my woodland neighborhood, I have been stopped without one on the major hwy. Hence the search for a proper helmet. Otherwise I'm all in agreeance lol



    I'll take everyone's advice and go to the LBS when I next can. Thanks

  6. #6
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    Sorry but helmets do help whatever the speed. I think the issue is the statement "helmets save lives". This is probably not true. Yes in certain instances a helmet will not save your life. However a helmet will reduce your chance of a head injury.

    As a person who has had two high speed crashes in which my helmet took the impact and a friend of a person who has a serious head injury which has really impacted his entire life (he still has head aches, cannot be in crowded rooms, depression etc), please wear a helmet. And one that fits properly.

    Most visors unclip off the helmet so you don't have to have them if you don't want them.

  7. #7
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    I have a really small head (I wear kid's glasses and hats), but I have always worn an adult small Bell helmet. Make sure you get one with the ratchet dial in the back. They cost more, but it allows you to dial in the fit, to fit different conditions, without adjusting the straps. This pretty much eliminates the sliding around thing. So, if your head swells in the heat, or you wear a head cover/hat in the cooler weather, you can easily change the fit.
    The model i like has been discontinued, but we bought a couple on sale, so I have 2 and switch between them. It's a mountain bike helmet, but I cut the visor off. I like the ventilation in this model.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swan View Post
    This is my opinion as well. After a certain speed the helmets won't help a bit, and most have visors which can catch on things as well. Florida law requires helmets, though, and while no local police care if I ride without around town or my woodland neighborhood, I have been stopped without one on the major hwy. Hence the search for a proper helmet. Otherwise I'm all in agreeance lol



    I'll take everyone's advice and go to the LBS when I next can. Thanks
    I have seen pro racers hit the pavement head-first in high speed crashes. They may have had a concussion afterwards, but without a helmet they would be dead. A good helmet that fits properly will protect your head in more situations than you think.

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  9. #9
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    Whoa, whoa, whoa. I did NOT say that helmets are no use.

    I was referring specifically to the situation you describe, where your helmet not only doesn't stay on your head, but it interferes with your vision.

    While I strongly reject the concept that lives can be saved, most fates are much, much worse than death. A helmet has saved me from one, myself. Before you ride without a well-fitting helmet, think about who you would like to wipe your butt and feed you pablum for the rest of your life, and ask them whether that's going to be okay with them.

    It's true that once you get over 50 mph or so, internal and/or spinal cord injuries are likely to be much more severe and disabling than anything a helmet could prevent. When MOST of your time riding is spent above 50 mph, then maybe you should graduate to a motorsports helmet.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    ...
    Something that hasn't been addresses is low-speed crashes. Just as important to protect your head at 5mph as at 40 mph.

    And believe me, I've experienced the 5 mph crash that made me grateful I was wearing a helmet.

    If you're on the bike, wear the helmet. No excuses.
    Yep, I had a VERY slow speed crash during my first (failed) clipless experiment that left me with a minor concussion when I hit my head against a rock. It only cost me a helmet, but if I hadn't had one on...

    Bottom line, get a helmet that fits & WEAR it. Always. Period.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    I did understand, but to suggest there are times where a person is better off without one under any circumstances is irresponsible.
    Well, I didn't even begin to say that a person is better off without one under any circumstances. Only in the particular circumstance.

    As far as irresponsibility ... I suggested that she not ride without a well fitting helmet. That's irresponsible? To suggest that ANY random helmet with straps around the neck, which interferes with her vision and could cause a crash, is better than none ... is akin to suggesting that if someone needs vision correction to drive, wearing anyone else's prescription glasses would be better than going uncorrected.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
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    I think we all agree on that. I cannot tell you how many riders I see wearing helmets incorrectly, falling over to the side, off the back of their head. Generally, I've found that these are either new riders or people who have been riding for 20+ years. The first group usually appreciates some instruction on how to fit a helmet correctly and the second group, well, not so much.
    This is one of the things we do in our bike workshop every spring. Either me or DH loosens our helmet and slides it back on our heads to show the "incorrect" position. I'd say at least 50% of the participants exclaim, audibly, "I didn't know that."
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  13. #13
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    Which brings me back to the original question: make sure that your helmet doesn't only fit when it's on perfectly. I tried on a Limar Superlight the other day, which I'm sure is a fine helmet, but won't work for my head. It perched fine on top of my head when I adjusted it closely, then I loosened it just a smidgen and gave it a light knock in front, as if I'd fallen off and landed on my face, and the entire helmet slid all the way back exposing the front of my head. My Giro doesn't do this, it'll slide a little back, but not very far.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Wheels View Post
    you might just be able to shop from your kitchen vs. going to your not-so-lbs. ;-)
    It figures a spammer would encourage someone to buy an ill-fitting helmet without even bothering to try it on.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

 

 

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