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Helmets: the right features for the right prices

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by Cell9765, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. G'day,
    did a quick search before posting this but couldn't see anyone else had asked recently so here it goes.

    tried to buy a helmet the other day, did the rounds of the stores and had good help, now want some independant advice.

    Removable liner: I had heard some people wear bandannas under their helmet so to keep the inside clean and preserve the lining, are removable liners going to fix this? are they a useful feature? I currently commute on the bike so use it almost every day, am hoping to do alot more touring though.

    Flow through ventilation: (ie; vents above the eyebrows and at back of head): sounds like a good idea in our hot climate, is the difference that dramatic as oppose to only front vents? or is it something that just sounds better on paper?

    Composite v other construction: not much of a dilemma here- composite seems to be the best construction. anyone got other ideas?

    SNELL approved- okay it is a prereq. for racing but if thats not me will i buy a safer helmet if its snell approved or is it more of a useful marketing tool?

    Peripheral vision: noticed the Shoei has the best peripheral vision of all the brands i've tried, seems to make sense that it is a BIG advantage, or is it?

    Crumple zones: supposed to be a new innovation that i was told puts 'shark' helmets a cut above the rest- i know i look dumb but really?

    I was looking to spend 300-400 on a helmet as best as ive seen the HJC AC-II seems to be the ticket- i understand HJC don't have the best street cread (seen as cheapies?) but am not fussed because is the most comfy one ive tried that in my range.

    Any thoughts or experiences on what features are useful and what are baubles whould be great!

  2. i have had a helmet with a removable liner, i never used it, but then i don't sweat a lot. ventilation is a joke on the helmets i've had, if someone has one with vents that actually do something i'd be interested to hear that. never compared periperal vision, was primarily looking at their price, construction, and then their weight (the three things i care about, and and that they're pretty colours.) :)

    as for HJC being cheapies who cares, just get the one that fits for the right price :dance:
  3. Recently did a helmet hunt myself, and came to the conclusion that helmets under $400 are very limited in their variety. Add $200 to your budget and you will have a lot more options.
    I know $200 is a big difference, but remember that its a fairly long term investment.
  4. I've found my helmet to be GREAT!! It only cost me $320 too which is a bonus. I have a KBC VR-1 and some of features are:

    * Removable/washable liner
    * Awesome field of View
    * Great venting and airflow
    * Great visor interchange system
    * VERY VERY comfortable fit
    * Good quality graphics
    * Decent range of colours.

    * A little bit noisy
    * Limited Designs (only about 3)

  5. This article makes for an interesting read. It's about the Snell rating.
  6. I just di the whole helmet thing. I went from a HJC FG14 to a shoei x11. The ols HJC was a pretty good helemt, flowed resonable air, was comfy. Though i thought a little noisey. I bought the x11, it flows like you wouldn't believe, its like there is a little fan on above your head, even at 60 around town. BUt then its is almost if not as noisey as the HJC. but i think this is more to do with the padding around the neck area. The HJC fitted wround my neck pretty tightly and also the ear areas where nice and firm, while the shoei has a bit more room aorund the ears and also the area around the neck is a different shape.

    I find removable lining great. i sweat alot, so every few weeks would pull it out and give it a wash and dry, stops it form getting the stinky helmet thing.
  7. A few years ago, I purchased 2 new Lazer helmet, one for myself, another a different size for a lady friend. After useing them a few times, we didnt think the ventilation was all that good, like no difference with the front vents open or closed. On closer inspection, I found a plastic membrane, used while moulding the foam during manufacture, this membrane was totally sealing the openings, air in & air out. After cutting holes in the plastic film, they were great. Both also needed a larger relief for our ears. Not good when you pay a lot of money for a product & they have to be reworked.
  8. I have a KBC Force-S airborne edition, and I will say the following about it:

    * I like the venting a lot. There's a top vent and another vent on the jawpiece as well.
    * I hate the visor system. I've already broken 2 visors :( I look forward to when I get contacts so I don't have to swap visors.
    * I wear a bandanna most all the time when riding. If you're going to do this, test the helmet with and without bandanna. If you don't tie it right, you can pinch parts of your head, leading to headaches. Same applies to glasses.
    * It is very noisy at freeway speeds, but I have earplugs, so it's OK.
    * It's got a haf naked woman on it.
  9. I have a Shoei Daijiro X-Eleven and it has excellent air ventillation. It has better air flow than my Shoei XSP.
  10. And it protects the most important part of your body.
  11. I just removed my removable lining and gave it a good wash for the first time. It feels great!

    Then again, I'm a steeeeenky man. And that helmet gets worn every day, rain or boiling sunshine.
  13. then your decision is made...

    forget about purple vision, crumpet zones, fart ventilation etc. the most important thing is the fit. they ALL meet a level of protection that is fit to stop your noggin from turning into goo, and it can be argued that helmets that meet the 'higher' standards aswell, may not protect you as well as the 'cheap shit'.

    where you go from the basic standards is up to you, a $200 helmet will protect you, but it wont last as long and it wont have nice features/bling. add another $200 and you've got a helmet that will go the distance and have halfway decent features/bling. from there, you just decide whats worth your etra cashish, but the $400 bracket works just fine for me.

    so yeah, unless you want to up the budget, the HJC is the go :wink:
  14. great stuff!

    Thanks for all your input!
  15. I've had my HJC AC-11 for about 21 months now and while I intend to return to my first loved Arai brand when I have the funds, I have few complaints with the HJC. For around $500 you get a patterned lid meeting SNELL/DOT with composite construction, removable liner, easy visor change system and ventilation (for what it's worth...).

    I found the internals compressed a bit more than I expected in the first 6 months or so, but has remained fairly constant since - maybe err on the tighter side (but not too tight) to allow for this. The only real complaint I have is that the ventilation flap at the very front of your chin stopped locking closed not long after I bought it, so now it just hangs open all the time and most of the wind noise is due to turbulence entering that opening. Since I mostly wear ear plugs though it doesn't bother me too much.

    As Coconuts said though - the MOST important thing with a helmet is how well it fits your noggin. If the HJC is the best fit you've found, then you've found your helmet :)
  16. thanks TrenShadow!

  17. i just bought a KBC helmet on the weekend. Its snell/DOt approved, got removable liner, and changable visor and cost me $340, down from $390.
    Cant really feel much from the vents, but it seems really quite!! compared to my old shoei helmet (which had been in storage for over 10 years) i can hardly hear my engine at idle!
    Im still beddin in the foam, cos at the mo my cheeks at really getting squeezed!
    I reckon it looks good, its just a shame it will get all scratched and dented from carrying it around uni:(