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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    central NY
    Posts
    404

    Helmet shopping!

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    When I bought my last helmet, I knew nothing, had no money, went through a catalog and found one on sale. It was probably the end of the season and the color was not a big seller. The helmet is kind of old, and should be replaced. Hence the latest shopping adventure.

    There is one brand that seems to fit me the best, so I'll stick with that and narrow down the choices. So my question concerns the vents. It would seem as if the more vents, the better. But now I'm not so sure. If there is a row of vents right down the front of the helmet, could the breeze be annoying? Would rain get in easier? Would I even notice? If it's very hot out, or raining, I probably wouldn't be riding, anyway.

    What are your thoughts on vents?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    764
    Personnally, first area I get way too hot is my head. So it needs something that air can go through easily.

    I tried different helmets and I had been told that the Catlikes are the ones I would probably prefer the best for this. Not the nicest looking ones, but they do amazing job and are super light.

    So I waited for my LBS to have their 50% annual sale and purchased one. One of the best moves (sports related) I did. I rode with it and never once did my face flush from overheating. My head remains cool. I also purchased the bug net that you put inside. Luckily, my shop only carried the white so I was not "forced" to get a colour I would not have liked.

    http://www.catlike.es/us/en/helmets/...d/R0150012SVR/

    For me, having tons of holes helped immensely in keeping my head cooler.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    764
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Hey, Helen, any idea if the Cateye is more round or oblong-shaped?


    I would say the catlike is rounder.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    I spent a lot of money for a helmet ... once. It seems to me that bici helmets are like champagne ... you do get what you pay for, but the price goes up exponentially in relation to the comfort. That's just my experience, but I'm back down into the $60-70 range and that's plenty comfortable for me. The difference I notice in hot weather is pretty slight. I overheat fairly easily, and doing the normal things like getting ice when I can, soaking my hair whenever I stop for water, keeping a bottle of plain water that I can squirt down my back and/or into my helmet, unzipping my jersey as far as it will go and dealing with it flapping in the wind - all that makes much more difference in cooling than the helmet, IME. Just my opinion though, I know some people really swear by the honeycombed helmets.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    central NY
    Posts
    404
    My old helmet is a Bell. As I mentioned, no real thought went into that purchase. I was in a local shop a few days ago and tried on Giro, Garneau and Giant. The Garneau fit well, but I didn't like the color. I came home with a Giant. I found the buckles kind of annoying, but figured the straps were new and stiff, and I just wasn't used to it yet. Then I compared it to the Bell and found the older one has thinner straps, and it's one continuous strap that is thread through the helmet. This allows it to be pulled to one side or the other to move the buckles to a more comfortable position. I also found that the Giant seems a little rounder, and I can slip my finger between the helmet and the side of my head (more so than with the Bell).

    I was in another store today that had a Bell and as soon as I put it on, I could feel the difference. It was a basic, no frills model, but with only a few vents on either side, none down the middle. My old one doesn't have the center vents, either. That's why I ask. Would I have even noticed? One has lots of small vents, the other has fewer, but larger vents.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    central NY
    Posts
    404
    It's not necessarily which one is cooler. I'm just wondering about preferences, or maybe some inside info on why things are done different ways, maybe for practicality, fashion, climate. I hope I can get the Giant to work. It's pretty Otherwise, back to the shop.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    Quote Originally Posted by Helene2013 View Post
    I would say the catlike is rounder.
    I would agree with this. I wanted to like them...the ventilation and weight are amazing. But they don't fit my oblong head at all. I currently have a Lazer O2 and like it, but it's old, has random sticker residue all over it from when CX races were briefly doing helmet RFID sticker thingies, and isn't staying well-adjusted, anymore. My hubby has the next model up (drawing a blank). I tried one on and really liked it, but am waiting for our LBS to get more in (I don't want black -- too hot).
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    Quote Originally Posted by IBrakeforPastry View Post
    I can slip my finger between the helmet and the side of my head
    That sounds like a huge NO to me.

    I know it's typical to fudge the fit on bici helmets, a lot more so than with moto helmets, but I have a feeling that's just because people don't take head protection as seriously when the maximum speed is "only" 50-60 mph as when it's 100+.

    A helmet should fit snugly and uniformly everywhere it's in contact with your head. A finger's width would be way too much to me. I'm kind of disappointed the shop personnel let you out of there with that helmet. Remember the basic test for helmet fit is, when the straps are properly adjusted and comfortable, can you rock the helmet in any direction? A couple of millimeters' give is needed for comfort, but any more than that is protection you won't have in a crash. When you try to rock the helmet, the skin of your scalp should move slightly with it.

    I haven't tried on a Giant helmet, but I've got a very "long oval" head, and what fits me is Specialized. Lazer are still too "round oval" for me. I'm told that Uvex helmets fit similarly to Spec', but there's no place near me that carries those, either.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 06-16-2015 at 02:43 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    My DH swears by the Lazer and I hated it! It felt like it never fit right on my head. I stick with an old mtb model Bell, with lots of vents, that I am able to find on line for about 70.00. It is no longer made, but there's plenty of them out there. I've had at least 6 of them, maybe 10, over the past 15 years, as I always have 2 helmets, get new ones every 3 years, and sometimes just because I want a new color!
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    central NY
    Posts
    404
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    That sounds like a huge NO to me.

    I know it's typical to fudge the fit on bici helmets, a lot more so than with moto helmets, but I have a feeling that's just because people don't take head protection as seriously when the maximum speed is "only" 50-60 mph as when it's 100+.

    A helmet should fit snugly and uniformly everywhere it's in contact with your head. A finger's width would be way too much to me. I'm kind of disappointed the shop personnel let you out of there with that helmet. Remember the basic test for helmet fit is, when the straps are properly adjusted and comfortable, can you rock the helmet in any direction? A couple of millimeters' give is needed for comfort, but any more than that is protection you won't have in a crash. When you try to rock the helmet, the skin of your scalp should move slightly with it.

    I haven't tried on a Giant helmet, but I've got a very "long oval" head, and what fits me is Specialized. Lazer are still too "round oval" for me. I'm told that Uvex helmets fit similarly to Spec', but there's no place near me that carries those, either.
    I'm starting to realize my head is oblong. And, apparently, big. The women's helmets are just too snug front to back. I feel too much pressure on my forehead. When I woke up this morning I pretty much decided to go back to the shop and start all over. At least I have some ideas now.

    I think part of the reason we didn't notice the gap on the sides is because my hair is thick and curly, so by the time I shoved it all up and back, it took up the extra space, creating its own cushion.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    central NY
    Posts
    404
    Bontrager! Maybe. When I tried one on this morning I realized how much better a helmet can fit. There was also a Giro that felt good, too. I have one or two more stops to make.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    central NY
    Posts
    404
    This one. It's pretty basic and boring, which is why I hesitated. The Bontrager was more colorful. I imagine you like something "racier"

    http://www.giro.com/us_en/revel.html

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    Quote Originally Posted by IBrakeforPastry View Post
    It's pretty basic and boring, which is why I hesitated.
    A solid colored helmet is a blank canvas for groovy reflective stickers - either stickers you buy, or hand cut designs from colored reflective tape. Have fun decorating!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Quote Originally Posted by IBrakeforPastry View Post
    When I bought my last helmet, I knew nothing, had no money, went through a catalog and found one on sale. It was probably the end of the season and the color was not a big seller. The helmet is kind of old, and should be replaced. Hence the latest shopping adventure.

    There is one brand that seems to fit me the best, so I'll stick with that and narrow down the choices. So my question concerns the vents. It would seem as if the more vents, the better. But now I'm not so sure. If there is a row of vents right down the front of the helmet, could the breeze be annoying? Would rain get in easier? Would I even notice? If it's very hot out, or raining, I probably wouldn't be riding, anyway.

    What are your thoughts on vents?
    Mu thoughts on vents are: more=better. The breeze is not annoying, it is the thing that cools you down.

    You can wear a cap underneath if it's cold or raining.

    As for color, I am far less concerned. I prefer something with lots of white to reflect the heat of the sun. I also like a snap-on visor to help keep the sun out of my eyes, which limits my choices and rules out the top-of-the-line super expensive road helmets.

    I like my Bell Volt. I don't know if they still make them.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    central NY
    Posts
    404
    Yup - I'm leaning towards the plain helmet with the idea of a few stickers here and there. Cats, pinstripes, obnoxious smiley faces...

    I like the visors, also. It wasn't until my shop visit this morning that I learned that visors are mostly used on MTB and recreational helmets. Since I wasn't looking at the high-end models, I never noticed.

    Another thing I've noticed is on my old helmet, the vents are basically holes, and the helmet sits right on my head. The vents on the newer ones line up with each other and there are channels running along inside so there is space between the helmet and head, allowing the air to actually flow through that space. I realize you probably all know that, but I just found it kind of interesting.

 

 

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