Helmet design - fyi

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vwrally
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Helmet design - fyi

Postby vwrally » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:55 pm

Hey all, I wanted to give you a quick heads up on helmets. Earlier this year I bought a fancy new expensive carbon fiber, sexy helmet, without thinking too much about actual safety and design. A couple of weeks ago I thumped my head on a stout low hanging branch at fairly low speed (first gear, mid rpm?), put some flex cracks in the finish of the helmet where the impact was but not through the structure itself as far as I can tell. I didn't think it was that hard of a hit since I wasn't even knocked off the bike, and certainly not unconscious, at the time I was more concerned with my neck as it was wrenched backward, and didn't have any immediate head pain (I also wear a neck brace, i think the helmet contacted the back of the neck brace as it was wrenched backwards, but not 100% certain). I finished the day's ride with no worrisome signs beyond slight neck soreness. A couple of days later I developed post concussion symptoms, after two weeks my doctor has told me I shouldn't ride until the end of July to allow a full 6 week recovery from post concussion syndrome. I've since learned that PCS (post concussion syndrome) can occur regardless of the severity of the initial injury, often a few days after the injury happens, and it sucks. I took all last week off from work with sick time because looking at a computer screen made me dizzy and nauseous.

In looking at the helmet itself, while it is very sexy, with several desirable attributes, it is quite obviously a very basic old school design in terms of actual protection and safety (simply rigid foam interior and hard shell exterior). Looking at other offerings for example Leatt, Troy Lee, and of course 6D, they all have specific technologies designed to minimize brain impact and concussion through various strategies.

If you're in the market for a new helmet, I strongly urge you to consider the helmet manufacturers technology that is actually designed to protect your head and brain from impact, and not just look at sexy features like venting and light weight.

Just thought I'd share, and hope others can make informed decisions about critical safety equipment purchases.

Helmet design - fyi

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Hooligan
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Re: Helmet design - fyi

Postby Hooligan » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:11 pm

For the most part, helmets are not designed to protect from an impact to the very top of the helmet, like we get from trees. Most of those high tech designs you referenced are meant to minimize rotational forces and won't do a thing to prevent top impacts.

One problem I see with a few helmets is the largish GoPro or camera mounts on the very top of the helmet. For this area, that is a very bad idea as we often end up scraping under branches. The top of my helmet bears witness to the number of times I've dragged it under wood.

The best way to avoid an injury like you have suffered is to learn from this experience and duck a little further next time.

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Dave P
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Re: Helmet design - fyi

Postby Dave P » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:15 am

OP, what brand was this very sexy helmet?

Re: Helmet design - fyi

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Re: Helmet design - fyi

Postby Spinalguy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:55 am

It all comes down to certifications on the helmet. Other than weight, if the very expensive helmet and cheap helmet have the same certifications, they protect equally.
i think there was a greatly detailed discussion on this forum regarding all of this.
Having said that i rode/raced with no helmet over 150 bucks for many years. i finally bought a lighter more expensive one and i love it. The weight is a factor i never considered until i got a lighter one. ha.
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Re: Helmet design - fyi

Postby Spinalguy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:08 am

i posted this before, i just found it again.
Also, in searching i came across a good comment by fryguy regarding helmet impact that i will copy and paste...

http://jalopnik.com/5582380/how-the-truth-about-motorcycle-helmets-got-a-journalist-fired
You hurt? You just want to optimize your performance? Step inside...http://spinalguy.com/soft-tissue-injuries/

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Re: Helmet design - fyi

Postby Spinalguy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:10 am

fryguy wrote:
250scott wrote:I wonder how all those guys are able to use the crappy Airoh's when they only have an EC 22-05 rating. Hmm..

the helmet subject is a deep deep subject. Jimmy Lewis and ACT labs in California did a helmet test in Dirt Rider a couple years ago. A very good read. The DOT, SNELL, and ECE tests all have different levels of tests and different tests requirements, the root of being differnent philosophies in helmet protection.

ECE requires the helmet to pass their tests once, ie, the helmet is ruined after one impact. Snell, the helmet must pass two impacts. The number of different impact tests done to the helmets is staggering...and in teh end, the DIrt Rider test, said something like, each helmet is better at different impacts, buying the perfect helmet is impossible, as each crash may be different. Are you goign to smack sand from 20 high, at 5 mph or 50, gravel at same variables, hard pack at same variables, the variances of how to properly protect your head is immense.

Why we like the Airoh is its weight, some argue that the lighter weight equals less protection. A debate is always good, but, again, you can never predict how you are going to crash. ANyway, teh light weight, reduces neck strain, and in the event of a crash, we suffer less whiplash effect due to the reduces mass carried by our spinal cord.

The ECE lacks a puncture test, compared to the DOT and Snell, adn remember, your snell helmets have to survive 2 punctures, ie a lever poking you in the brain. THe thicker shell requires more material making the helmet heavier.

Someone commented on the quality of an Airoh helmet that was destroyed in one crash by Super Jill, that it was a poor helmet for 'loosing its quality'. In reality, the helmet is doing its job. Would we rather her brain absorb that energy just so she could wear it again? My thoughts.

In the end, the Dirt Rider test is very revealing, that the best helmet is dictated by your crash. Buying a helmet is a choice, unfortunately, we don't have a choice about how we crash :confused: so we simply have to accept our own choice of choosing our fav, and choosing to get on the bike and accept whatever results may come. Fact remains, any helmet is better than no helmet, and enjoying motorcycling is the best choice of all!!!
You hurt? You just want to optimize your performance? Step inside...http://spinalguy.com/soft-tissue-injuries/

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malcolmzilla
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Re: Helmet design - fyi

Postby malcolmzilla » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:56 am

I am in the market for a new brain bucket, after a few years of running Suomy Mr Jumps, and a recent biff that left me with a Grade 1 concussion, no PCS after 72 hours, but 2 weeks no riding.

I don't blame the helmet; it and the Atlas brace did their job, as it was not a fast get off, but an unexpected launch and a hard "lawn dart" style hit right above the forehead, focusing all the force in a small portion of the helmet shell.

I would like to find something with a MIPS system that doesn't gain too much weight over the Suomy.
Advertised weights are all over the place tho.

At last try the Airoh didn't fit my melon, so thinking Leatt composite/carbon or TLD SE4 composite/carbon (older SE3s fit nice).
I have just purchased a Bell MX-9 with MIPS for dualsport duty. Preliminary fitment seems ok as well so the Moto-9 MIPS might be an option.

Feedback on new helmets welcomed. Thanks.
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BurntTimber
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Re: Helmet design - fyi

Postby BurntTimber » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:54 pm

I just purchased the MSR Mav-3 with MIPS, was a great price online (I bought from a Fortnine, couldn't find MSR locally). I'll rate it based on the things I care about... ask if you want other details
Weight: feels heavier than my TLD Air, but not to the point of discomfort.
Material quality: honestly, not blown away by it, but for the price point wasn't upset. The liners are a bit silly to take in and out, and the material is 'OK' as far as on the skin goes.
Fitment: I'm a long oval, and this one was as close as I had felt for fit without spending $600+
Price: cheap like the budgie

I wanted a light coloured helmet that fit my pterodactyl head and didn't cost me one of my semi-useless testies. This has fit the bill so far.

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malcolmzilla
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Re: Helmet design - fyi

Postby malcolmzilla » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:12 am

I went with 2018 Leatt GPX v5.5 composite, local rep had a new one he dropped off for a fitment test, all the old 2017 "L" inventory was showing out of stock. This has LEATT's version of MIPS. I liked it, and was told 2018 stock will be a while arriving yet, so I bought it.
Weight advertised as 1095g +/-50g. No scale, but in hand it is close to the Suomy Mr Jump advertised at ~997g, very light, and doubtful I will notice the difference in use.
Overall external dimensions seem compact as well.
Preliminary fitment, wearing around the house, it's true to size, and seems a bit between the Airoh and the Suomy for head shape.
It also has decent ear relief pockets, which for me, was a niggling issue lacking in the Suomy.

2018 v55 composite.jpg
15 Yamaha YZ250FX, 270cc, cams
11 Berg 570, dualsport and supermoto
Just another Dirt Donkey...

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Re: Helmet design - fyi

Postby dirtyboy » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:45 am

Leatt looks good!

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Re: Helmet design - fyi

Postby AJRJ » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:47 pm

I've been Very happy with my Klim F4 Helmet, the ECE version. No MIPs, but a well though out helmet with easy liner removal and an indestructible visor. I forget the exact weight, but the ECE version is quite a bit lighter than the DOT. From what I understand the tests are similar, but DOT requires multiple impacts to the exact same point on the helmet, which most agree would be unlikely in the real world.

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