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Thread: High dollar helmets worth it?

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    Davey1965's Avatar
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    High dollar helmets worth it?

    I have always bought helmets on the cheaper side...they seem ok...but I guess I am to the point in life that I could afford a higher quality helmet....are the 200-400 dollar helmets that much better than a 150 or less ones???...thinking about a modular helmet...what do you think....thanks
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    Gettin old sux gmast1100's Avatar
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    Re: High dollar helmets worth it?

    I just bought a HJC SYMAX III (Modular). I am a HJC kinda guy, have had many of them including the one that saved my head when I was hit from behind, and I really like this one. I found a High Viz one and really stands out. Think I paid around $275 for it.
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    Still above the sod ibike2havefun's Avatar
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    Re: High dollar helmets worth it?

    They are worth it, if you are willing to pay it. (Kinda the definition of "worth", isn't it?)

    They aren't necessarily safer (in a US DOT crash test, the highest score for safety went to a modestly-priced lid) but they offer more features such as anti-fog pin-lock, blue-tooth-ready, quietness, easy-off-easy-on, comfort, etc.

    The price/value equation for one person will be different from another person.

    For me the list looks like this:

    MUST-HAVES
    * ratchet-type strap release,
    * modular design,
    * high-vis color as the primary color
    * fit must be "acceptable"

    DISCRIMINATORS
    * integrated tinted secondary visor,
    * noticeably quieter than the helmet I have now
    * Lightweight
    * better fit = higher preference

    DON'T-REALLY-CARES
    * Bluetooth-ready
    * Pin-lock anti-fog

    So that defines what's "worth it" to me, and automatically narrows the field considerably because not many helmets that I've looked at have the ratchet-style closure. I will not shell out $600 for a helmet that is not modular, or that does not have a ratchet strap. Done. End of story.

    On the other hand, if I found one that had those features as well as most or all of the discriminators, it might win out over a lower-priced model that didn't have them, or didn't have them in a way I liked.

    Your criteria and must-have list will be different, so will steer you in different directions.
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    Chunk's Avatar
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    Re: High dollar helmets worth it?

    I have a 5 year old Bilt modular lid. By far the most comfortable helmet, and all around best fitting helmet I've ever owned. It's DOT certified and cost about $100.00 5 years ago. It has a flip down interior tinted visor that i couldn't live without now. I've had expensive helmets in the past that i couldn't wait to get off, this Bilt is so comfy , sometimes i get back home and forget to take it off untill i bump the chin bar on something. It's really all about the fit, more than price IMO. Chunk

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    Site Supporter Dale_I's Avatar
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    Re: High dollar helmets worth it?

    Timely discussion. I just found that my inner liner separated from the outer shell by having three of the rivets and their receivers fall out along with the screw that stripped as I tried to put it on. Not that it wasn't too old anyway. I bought them (hiding head in shame) 12 years ago. HJC Symax (not the III or the II, it's an original Symax) and I bought it right when they came out.

    So... Schuberth has a new one, but ugly, but integrated com system for $700+, but setbacks keep pushing the delivery date. Once com system is included is it more in the $900 range.

    Really like the Shoie Neotec modular with the hi viz yellow striping, again in the $700 range.

    The side attached com systems similar to Sena 10/20 have been defined as illegal attachments, so integrated com system is a must, which really narrows the field. The two helmets listed above are "top of the food chain" helmets with prices that match.

    Head shape is important. Oval or round makes a huge difference in comfort and feel. I chose my last helmet because it just "fit". Shell materials and the type and densities of inner linings make a safety difference. Air flow and ventilation become important on longer rides. Anti-fogging shields if your weather includes that concern. Washable liners... because I sweat and don't like the "funk".

    What I'm gleaning is the the more expensive helmets are better across the board in comfort, quietness, and ventilation, made with superior materials. That doesn't necessarily make them "safer", but more comfortable, which inevitably leads me to safety on longer rides. Anything helping fatigue helps me.

    So... is it how much money I can save? Or am I missing an obvious choice?
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    broc11's Avatar
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    Re: High dollar helmets worth it?

    I'm in the same situation,normaly stick with a full face but thinking of doing some touring next year in hotter climates so the flip up would be handy,
    just saw a great price on shoei neotec, question is can I trust the flip up to be as safe, it's got the micro ratchet strap too, The D ring closure is supposed to be better, always tight every time.

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    240Robert ST Gui's Avatar
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    Re: High dollar helmets worth it?

    Get a $10 helmet if you have a $10 head.
    Get a $300 helmet if you have a $300 head.



    We all have are bias and prejudices and some opinion might actual be based on citable fact. Who knows. I like a modular helmet from a reputed reputable manufacturer— a Shoei Neotec. I like the look and the features. I have no idea of it's actually better than a $200 helmet especially if that's a full face helmet.

    I wear a modular for convenience. There's probably some sacrifice of structural integrity. I make that sacrifice every time I get on a bike too.

    DOT and Snell (not for modular helmets) may have ratings to help you decide what kind and how much protection you can buy.

    And while your at it you might want to ask about what kind of oil and tires to buy.
    Don't tell me what I know. Tell me what I don't know.

    Ride safe, ride often.

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    Be Thou My Vision dduelin's Avatar
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    Re: High dollar helmets worth it?

    The type of riding we do can have a large influence on "necessary" comfort and features. Frequency of riding, distance ridden, weather, etc. all factors.

    I've bought less expensive helmets and more expensive helmets. The way I log miles, and I'm not even consistently in the plus 25,000 miles a year column, I can put over 100,000 miles on a helmet before replacing it at 5 years. I found that a $600-$700 helmet is more comfortable over this time than the less expensive ones. My wallet only feels it once, my head for 100,000 miles.


    Dave

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    Site Supporter Dale_I's Avatar
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    Re: High dollar helmets worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by broc11 View Post
    I'm in the same situation,normaly stick with a full face but thinking of doing some touring next year in hotter climates so the flip up would be handy,
    just saw a great price on shoei neotec, question is can I trust the flip up to be as safe, it's got the micro ratchet strap too, The D ring closure is supposed to be better, always tight every time.
    Interesting. In the U.S. the Neotec comes with a double d-ring.

    The flip up is safe as long as it is flipped down. There are only two models specifically made to be modular and in use with the chin bar up. In both of these models the chin bar rotates all the way to the rear of the helmet and it turns into an open face. Different models interlock in their specific manner, but the Neotec uses a stainless steel locking mechanism, which I'm impressed with.

    Again, will the stainless mechanism save me more than a thermoplastic one? Not sure. Is it as safe as a full face? Probably not. Is it safe enough? More than definitely.

    The ECE or Snell ratings are largely for track configurations and modulars are not worn at the track.

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  13. #10
    Howard BoSTon's Avatar
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    Re: High dollar helmets worth it?

    I went from a HJC Symax2 ($150 I think) to a Shoei Neotec ($500). The Shoei is much better built, superior air flow, much more comfortable and significantly quieter. Plus it has interior tinted shield and Pinlock. It's 5 years old now and I'm back to shopping around again. There are tons of options out there. PROPER FIT IS EVERYTHING!
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