Hi guys, I am a student at the University of Pittsburgh and was wondering if you guys could give me some feedback for a project I am working on. My team and I were wondering what the biggest issues you have with helmets are. This is intended to be very vague so please if you can think of even the smallest issue that might stop you from wearing a helmet, post to this.
Small issue: Dealing with cold weather riding. Once the temp goes below (or even close to) freezing, it’s necessary to protect one’s ears from the cold. I find it necessary to make adjustments in strap tightness to accommodate whatever head-warming gear I need to wear. I myself don’t change helmets, though I can understand why others might.
Then again in the spring, as weather warms up, I may or may not wear the warming headgear, so will have to adjust the strap tightness, sometimes daily.
Helmets can mess up one's hair. The hair might need to be combed after taking the helmet off. Also, the straps tend to come loose
I will add two reasons to wear a helmet, that a lot of people don’t think about.
#1, a rear light. I have a very bright blinky attached to the back of my helmet. It’s high off the ground for maximum visibility, and it’s guaranteed not to have the view blocked by stuff on the back of your bike.
#2, a rear-view mirror. I keep a small, glue-on mirror attached to the left side of my helmet. I find this to be far more helpful than handlebar or bar-end mirrors. One’s head is much more maneuverable than handlebars.
I am less sold on the need for skull protection, and more sold on the need for full body protection, from alerting drivers to your presence, and being able to see what they’re doing.
Well, given my past experiences, I'm pretty ok with that whole skull protection thing.
But I do have annoyances with helmets.
The foam inlays deteriorate over time and at some point just won't stick to the helmet, while generally disintegrating. I can accept that. But, for some reason, replacements for my (Specialized) helme[n]t are no longer available from the original vendor. (I did score one set a while ago.) There's stuff available on the interwebs, if you can somehow manage to line up the model numbers and the vendor has more that a couple of stars. Why is this so hard?
And other stuff goes wrong. Like the rigid plastic band meant to anchor the helmet to my skull has split on one side. I have a plan to fix it (soon!) that involves drilling holes and using copper wire. But why didn't the design allow for replacement?
I'll chime in. No problem with wearing a helmet. I'd like there to be better attachments for a rear view mirror and front and rear lights. And I like MIPS.
Tell me more about the mips technology. Looks like a low friction layer between the shell and the part on your skull. Different manufacturers offer mips helmets? (Ie is it a safety / manufacturers standard agreed upon by different helmet makers?). How much more expensive than a non mips helmet?
Nothing stops me from wearing a helmet. Like Jona, I'm a fan of a design accommodation for a rear blinky.
@Eric: MIPS is intended to moderate angular impacts and the corresponding brainslosh that causes concussion, which standard helmets have never addressed. Nearly every manufacturer has MIPS models available now, and shortly pretty much all helmets will come with it.
I haven't used MIPS, but need a new lid for spring and am considering the Giro Aether, which has a slightly different design: putting the MIPS between two layers of foam, rather than between the foam and the head suspension device, which is standard.
I'm a guy with a shaved head. This causes several issues.
1) OMG there is salt in my eyes, streaming out of my helmet pads, nearly any time I'm out for over an hour on a hot day. This is when I'm also wearing a headband to help mitigate the excess sweat. It's worse when I don't have that.
2) I can't get this helmet to fit right because it tilts too much fore and not enough aft because of the limited fore/aft adjustment of the back cage where squeezes your head. If I wear a hat, it helps move the adjuster closer to being above the folds in my skin from where my skull/neck meet when leaning forward in drop bar position. When I ride in the winter, this can cause problems because I have to wear goggles to keep my eyes happy (regular glasses fog too easily when using a face mask, which I have to use because the cold affects my lungs due to exercise-induced asthma). The goggles are forced downward by the front of the helmet, causing sinus pressure, and making it difficult to breathe out of my nose.
3) Also, not enough good options for mounting a rear tail light. I really like bontranger rally helmet's quick release forward light/camera mount, but that doesn't cover the tail light. Also, if I'm not wearing a hat, the helmet can slide around a bit on my head since it doesn't have hair to compress around and hold it in place. When it's 85F with 90% humidity, I want to ride at night, without a hat. See also, point #1.
4) My helmet should come with a ton of reflective decals pre-installed. I don't get why they don't.
off topic -- thanks for the mips info. I was able to find some other info on it too. Looks like the mips people have data that they feel it can help in a crash whereas some independent places feel it's no better than regular helmets. the consensus i've seen on message boards is "well, it may be better, it may not be, but it isn't that much more and I use my brain a lot and I can afford it so it's worth it to me even if there's just a fraction of a percentage that my cognitive function will be better after a crash" or "nah, I'll stick with the regular helmet."