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High dollar helmets worth it?

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After all, helmets are only supposed to survive one big crash.

 

You crash once with a $600 helmet? $600 gone.

You crash once with a $200 helmet? Only $200 gone.

They will likely provide the same protection, as long as they have MIPS and are high-quality.

Edited by lil_squid
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Snell was made for street bike helmets, generally you will never have that type of impact on dirt. Snell imo is a useless figure for dirt helmets, and there are top level dirt helmets (6D, Airoh, and others) that don’t bother with snell because it adds unneeded weight / bulk.

Systems that prevent rotational injuries are helpful, from my research. That’s why 6D exists, and that’s why the MIPS standard was created, that’s why Shoei developed MEDS, why Leatt has their own copy, why Kali has their own version, etc etc. I would not buy an old style helmet without some sort of rotational management in this day and age, there are too many more advanced options that offer tangible benefits without being too expensive. If you have a dirt bike you can afford a $250 helmet, period.

I would only consider reputable name brand helmets that have some sort of rotational protection, many of which I listed above. Imo 6D is probably the most protective on the market, but the Leatts also looks quite good as far as straight concussion protection is concerned. Obviously there are other factors to consider like fit, airflow, weight, etc. 

The Leatt 7.5 is only $250, and there are other credible options in that price range. Below that mark you absolutely get less protection, probably 25-50% less if you want a ballpark number. Above that level you start to see diminishing returns, of course a $500 6D isn’t going to provide twice the protection for twice the cost but it may provide 5-10% more. Even a 5% difference could be the difference between getting a concussion and not getting on, or it could make no difference it all depends on the crash.

TL;DR roughly $250-$350 is the sweet spot for protection, beyond that you get slightly more protection but mainly features like lighter weight (carbon shell) better padding emergency removal features etc.

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23 minutes ago, lil_squid said:

After all, helmets are only supposed to survive one big crash.

 

You crash once with a $600 helmet? $600 gone.

You crash once with a $200 helmet? Only $200 gone.

Don’t crash and nothing is gone 

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The Snell test technician can choose any impact point on the helmet. "In all cases the technician may impact any site on the helmet surface on or within the test lines as drawn for any of the head forms considered appropriate for that helmet." Source: https://www.smf.org/standards/m/2015/M2015FinalFinal

Plus they test random samples within stocks for distribution. Source: https://www.smf.org/rst

There is no way to "cheat" the certification.

I'm an adventure or enduro rider and spend a lot of time on the highway and agree Snell is better for street. That being said. I don't see how ECE is better than Snell in any way. The acceleration thresholds are 275g for both, and the impact is 17.3 mph for Snell vs 16.8 mph for ECE. Achieving these impact ratings does not prove the same helmet would fail a lesser acceleration threshold at a slower impact. Passing a 275g test does not mean the helmet doesn’t also prevent concussions.

 

Edited by Beamer1001

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1 hour ago, Beamer1001 said:

The Snell test technician can choose any impact point on the helmet. "In all cases the technician may impact any site on the helmet surface on or within the test lines as drawn for any of the head forms considered appropriate for that helmet." Source: https://www.smf.org/standards/m/2015/M2015FinalFinal

Plus they test random samples within stocks for distribution. Source: https://www.smf.org/rst

There is no way to "cheat" the certification.

I'm an adventure or enduro rider and spend a lot of time on the highway and agree Snell is better for street. That being said. I don't see how ECE is better than Snell in any way. The acceleration thresholds are 275g for both, and the impact is 17.3 mph for Snell vs 16.8 mph for ECE. Achieving these impact ratings does not prove the same helmet would fail a lesser acceleration threshold at a slower impact. Passing a 275g test does not mean the helmet doesn’t also prevent concussions.

 

The idea that SNELL is worse than ECE for dirt bike helmets comes from the fact that SNELL requires the helmet to endure 2 hits. In theory, by designing a helmet to only endure 1 hit you can make the foam softer and able to absorb more energy in that first impact. So while both tests allow a maximum of 275g acceleration, it’s more likely that an ECE helmet will test lower than a SNELL helmet.
 

Conversely the ECE manufacturer could instead focus on making the helmet smaller and lighter (lighter shell with less EPS required) while still meeting the same acceleration standards. Because it’s only 1 impact they can use less EPS foam. Also the ECE anvil has less puncture force than SNELL anvil due to shape (flat vs hemisphere), so an ECE shell doesn’t have to be as thick, meaning a lighter shell. It’s important to remember that the larger the helmet the more leverage it has on your head when it strikes the ground, which is important when striking the ground would cause rotation of the head. The further out the helmet shell is from the center of rotation (center of your head) the faster it will twist your skull when struck at an oblique angle. Also the heavier the helmet the more likely you are to get whiplash type injuries. So while no guarantee it will perform better than SNELL in any way, the ECE standard does give the manufacturer more leeway to tailor the helmet for lower speed single impact crashes that have less likelihood of penetrating the shell. Whether or not the manufacturer takes advantage of that leeway and optimizes the helmet that way is entirely up to them.

Edited by OKDinosaur
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I only buy Arai helmets. Usually a little uncomfortable at first. After a few rides the liner molds to my head and feels perfect. Arais are still made in Japan which is a huge plus for me. I don't trust helmets made in China. Like someone else said, I wouldn't put it past Chinese manufacturers to cut corners some where in the production run. Yeah, Arais are expensive, but its not like I'm buying one every year. I don't get to ride a lot so my helmets last for years. I have an old Arai VX-Pro that definitely needs to be replaced. Huge difference in feel from a new VX-Pro4 I tried on.  

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The steeper the price, the better the placebo effect.  🤣

Don't confuse high-priced fashion items with safety.

Edited by Tony Wyp
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2 minutes ago, Tony Wyp said:

The steeper the price, the better the placebo effect.  🤣

Don't confuse high-priced fashion items with safety.

I say the same things about items I can’t afford.  It makes me feel better about owning the items in my price range. 
 

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4 hours ago, lil_squid said:

After all, helmets are only supposed to survive one big crash.

 

You crash once with a $600 helmet? $600 gone.

You crash once with a $200 helmet? Only $200 gone.

Smart guy, I have a chinese helmet that came free with a new go kart I got. It's like 30 bucks. I've crashed over 50 times on it sometimes hard and absoluetly no issues. That's what the helmet companies tell you so you buy a helmet several times a year. Similar to how dirt bike companies tell you to do a four stroke top end every 6 races. It makes you buy more parts and they don't need to take any blame if it breaks.

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12 hours ago, Big bob42 said:

Smart guy, I have a chinese helmet that came free with a new go kart I got. It's like 30 bucks. I've crashed over 50 times on it sometimes hard and absoluetly no issues. That's what the helmet companies tell you so you buy a helmet several times a year. Similar to how dirt bike companies tell you to do a four stroke top end every 6 races. It makes you buy more parts and they don't need to take any blame if it breaks.

Does it have a DOT certification? If not, toss it. You'll regret it when you crash hard and hit your head on a tree one day.

 

Get yourself the "cheap fox one" you were talking about. I prefer Bell, the MX-9 is a nice value option. I bought the MX-9 because I'm not riding much this winter, so I don't need to spend $300+ on a more light-weight and comfortable helmet. Get a good pair of goggles to protect your eyes. I have the 100% Armega Falcon-5. I always had issues with others fogging up and being generally unclear, the Armega completely removed those issues.

 

Your helmet is about $30, here is a video against a quality helmet. The last test will scare you into buying a new one, trust me.

 

Edited by lil_squid

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On 1/14/2021 at 7:00 PM, Doom22 said:

I get the cheap O’Neal helmets ...they seem to last ...and i’ve been in a couple high impact I’m almost dead situation’s. Being hit by Utv ...my O’Neal held up 

same for me ( oneal + some crashes 😉 ). Consider what is really an helmet, come on, they are All overpriced, as it's not super high tech rocket science and process.  Making photo shoots for Triumph bikes in the pat, I got some expensive Bell helmets.  Maybe they were better for crashes, who knows.. But all finitions like   vents, foam, inside,etc... went in parts faster than some middle cost helmets I had.   
So we just can find again the sweet spot in between cheap crap and overpriced on,  same as for boots.... I don't think o neil helmets are so cheap BTW ! ( at last in Europe)

For longs rides, weight is factor one.... Even  200 grams less change life, and neck muscles  thank us... But then, yes, carbon is not cheap sold... :(

Edited by Hannibal Babar
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I can understand not wanting to spend over $500 on a helmet, I just don't understand the guys who spent $500 on suspension mods, $1,000 for an exhaust, $800 on engine mods, and a couple hundred on anodizing, but buy the $50 helmet at Pep Boys. Most of these guys couldn't use the motorcycle in stock form to its full potential. Sink thousands of dollars into a motorcycle, but a helmet over $50 is a rip off. 

Edited by racermx66
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2 minutes ago, racermx66 said:

I can understand not wanting to spend over $500 on a helmet, I just don't understand the guys who spent $500 on suspension mods, $1,000 for an exhaust, $800 on engine mods, and a couple hundred on anodizing, but buy the $50 helmet at Pep Boys. Most of these guys couldn't use the motorcycle in stock form to its full potential. Sink thousands of dollars into a motorcycle, but a helmet over $50 is a rip off. 

Gainz bro, gainz

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Spending that $500 over a $200 helmet will often times give you better materials, save a fraction of a pound, and most likely get you a Snell certification. For an average rider, that's not worth it. If you are racing competitively, get the $500 one, it will make all the difference.

 

As long as you're spending over $160, your brain will be ok at the end of the day. Maybe the more expensive one will make your more comfortable in the process, but the results will likely be the same.

Edited by lil_squid
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2 hours ago, lil_squid said:

Does it have a DOT certification? If not, toss it. You'll regret it when you crash hard and hit your head on a tree one day.

 

Get yourself the "cheap fox one" you were talking about. I prefer Bell, the MX-9 is a nice value option. I bought the MX-9 because I'm not riding much this winter, so I don't need to spend $300+ on a more light-weight and comfortable helmet. Get a good pair of goggles to protect your eyes. I have the 100% Armega Falcon-5. I always had issues with others fogging up and being generally unclear, the Armega completely removed those issues.

 

Your helmet is about $30, here is a video against a quality helmet. The last test will scare you into buying a new one, trust me.

 

Don't feel like watching it. All I know is I've crashed HARD and its fine

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2 hours ago, racermx66 said:

I can understand not wanting to spend over $500 on a helmet, I just don't understand the guys who spent $500 on suspension mods, $1,000 for an exhaust, $800 on engine mods, and a couple hundred on anodizing, but buy the $50 helmet at Pep Boys. Most of these guys couldn't use the motorcycle in stock form to its full potential. Sink thousands of dollars into a motorcycle, but a helmet over $50 is a rip off. 

You're going to pay over 200 for this Chinese Scorpion AT950. It's lightweight and super comfortable.  Has pockets for speakers.  Very nice venting that can be turned off and on while riding. Drop down internal sun visor.  Super nice peripheral vision. Works great with goggles. It is without a doubt comparable to any 500 dollar helmet. Just saying. 

20210116_160754.jpg

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my quick thoughts...
I have always said  “must have snell rating “ helmet. But I can tell you if you have an oval head you will immediately eliminate 90% of all helmets on the shelf because they won’t fit. Then if snell is a must take out your wallet 9 times out of 10 higher end bell, shoei, Arai, TroyLee and only Arai has oval ! Unless you get lucky with HJC but the venting will suck on most snell rated helmets Arai included. 
now having experienced overheating multiple times I can say next season I want to get my hands on an Ls2 subverted evo. It is not snell rated but has the most venting of any helmet I have seen and their track record and design appear to be decent. I would rather be cooler and as safe enough. Heatstroke is dangerous. I already wear a ton of high end protective gear head to toe so my head has to get air !! 

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On 1/11/2021 at 2:45 PM, sirthumpalot said:

I understand your comment, but what I'm hoping for is real data or real features, as opposed to opinions.  For example MIPS features (protect from rotational forces) that are in some Leatt and 6D helmets (other brands too?)  There's hours of reading out there, hopefully collectively we've all done the reading already and can share the cliffs notes version here.   :D   

As far as I know , no one yet has come up with a test that will answer , conclusively , which does what better . The guy that crashed wearing a 6D with mips type isolation might say he'd have scrambled brains without the ( whatever brand ) but he doesnt actually know that . Same as the guy that spent 79 bucks on a 
" Racing " helmet from PepBoys who says it's just as good as my Bell . Opinions are all we have . 

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5 hours ago, Crustybutt said:

As far as I know , no one yet has come up with a test that will answer , conclusively , which does what better . The guy that crashed wearing a 6D with mips type isolation might say he'd have scrambled brains without the ( whatever brand ) but he doesnt actually know that . Same as the guy that spent 79 bucks on a 
" Racing " helmet from PepBoys who says it's just as good as my Bell . Opinions are all we have . 

This is why I don't bother with safety features for the most part. ECE cert? Known brand? Good to go. All I look at is weight and ventilation. 

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