Bell Sequence Helmet 2013 Appraisal

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    Helmets: IRH .vs. Charles Owen? Which helmet do you find is the best and why?

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      The IRH’s are definitely the better-looking, however, it also depends on the style of riding you’re into.
      The Charles Owen jockey skulls are pretty standard in the eventing world for cross-country. They provide excellent safety, and are pretty much like a bucket on your head. All that said, they definitely look like one also! They don’t usually don’t have a ton of ventilation, but are generally very comfortable and give you a lot of security.
      The IRHs are a more sleek, lower-profile helmet, and are more standard in the jumper world. They also provide good protection, as both helmets have to pass the ASTM/SEI safety standards. They may not make you feel as well-protected because of the lower-profile, but they still are definitely safe. Because of their design, they also have better ventilation.
      Whichever one is “Best” just depends on personal opinion and riding style, and also what someone is looking for in a helmet. They also fit a lot different and the Charles Owen might fit a certain head shape better than the IRH, or vice versa. Just make sure you try both on before you make a decision :]

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    Why A Different Helmet For Everything? Would a skating helmet be okay for riding your mountain bike? I know, socially it may look dorky, but wouldn’t it withstand a fall?? Why don’t biking helmets cover more of the lower part of the head like a skating helmet does? What about open-face motorcycle helmets, your whole lower face will be torn off.

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      Some helmets are designed to take more of a light repeated beating than others. Some helmet designs reflect a greater need for rearward and peripheral vision for that given sport they were designed to be used in.

      A Kayaking helmet might well be expected for instance to need to endure to be practical light tapping on stones such as might happen during a roll in a river more often than a road going bike helmet would be expected to need to endure.

      In fact, there should with best practices be no tapping on a bike helmet.

      Most bike helmets are thus designed with a single impact (or series thereof that one might need to endure in a single crash) in mind. One reason for this is that the relative energies involved in a typical bike crash can be detrimental to survivability, your head plus a heavy bike helmet might mean your bike helmet breaks your neck by adding substantial energy to the crash.

      Another reason for shorty, light weight helmets is bike equipment must be pushed by peddling and thus a heavier helmet is harder work; this means that in terms of styling, which is often set by racing people, the lighter more streamlined design wins out. And a bike helmet that is physically painful to wear because of it’s weight, or capacity to overheat the head on a hot day, is less likely to be on any given head in any given crash.

      But I suspect the principle reason for “shorty” helmet designs being used in helmets for road bikes versus other types of endeavors is that bicyclists must always be aware of the constantly changing threat levels coming from the rear, thus requiring many turns of the head, but yet even still more sideways glances that would otherwise be blocked by a design offering greater on impact protection. A kayaking helmet doesn’t need as much rearward or peripheral vision as a road bike.

      A Kayaking helmet used for off road use makes a tad more sense than many typical bike helmets. The speeds attained and expected load range is thus comparable. The need exists for a light tapping survivability as off roaders can be expected in many environs to lightly glance off trees with some regularity in normal use, and this might not be all that good for the long term usefulness of a bike helmet principally designed for road use and zero tapping (which could loosen the shell and cause catastrophic failure and thus lead to disabling injury or even death).

      The original modern helmets were built for fighter plane flying airmen for survivability in a crash at moderately high speeds. These were hand made to fit each pilot. Most people couldn’t afford such work. Thus the modern bike helmet is adjustable in it’s fit.

      Don’t neglect proper fit; and be sure to wear the very smallest helmet that will still fit your head. More foam padding is usually a bad thing. Too much foam allows the helmet to rotate in a crash. You don’t want that. Rotation doesn’t absorb energy, but rather at worst causes the helmet to need to absorb the energy of any given crash faster. The stiff foam (not the padding) in a helmet is designed for an expected load range over an expected period of time. Don’t compromise this by pouring solvents on it, or exposing it to prolonged periods in the sun. Keep the helmet clean, you’ll use a clean helmet more. But don’t use anything more harsh than mild soap with allot of water, and thoroughly rinse. Salt has been shown to affect some plastics, and foams, so wash the sweat off regularly.

      Painting a helmet is usually OK, but don’t hide accident marks under a fresh paint job. If you’ve damage, likely you could have compromised the glue that holds the shell on the hard foam on some designs. This could lead to the shell popping off in an accident, and thus utter failure of the hard foam to absorb the energy of the fall and thus injury and even perhaps death.

      Don’t ride to fast and expect the helmet to save you either. Even motorcycle helmets are of little use past a 35 mile per hour into a brick wall stop; and even then they won’t likely save a fellow from severe injury of death.

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    Why Did Kamikaze Pilots Wear Helmets? I have seen the pics and i know they did wear helmets……. why?

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      Helmets have mics and earphones for radio in them. they are mounted into helmet because the fighter plane is so loud the pilot couldn’t possibly hear the radio any other way

      “Also, in most of the old planes they didn’t have pressured cabins, so the helmets helped stabilize the pressure.”

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    • Mel
    • February 17, 2014

    Crashed Bicycle Helmets? Have you had a crash, what type was it? what helmet were you wearing and how did it stand up to the impact?

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      I have had a helmet save my life twice, both times while racing them.
      The first helmet was a cheap 1/2 helmet and was DOT approved. I have no idea who made it (this was in 1966) But another cycle hit my head when I went down in a corner and split the helmet clean in 1/2.
      The second time was in 1967 on an old 3/8 mile stock car track and the from forks failed on my machine and the bottom 1/2 of the forks left the bike along with my front tire. I went up over the poles that hold the lights for the night races at 120 MPH. The back of my head hit the nuts that hold the forks on at some point and drove two perfect holes through the helmet exactly the shape of the bolt heads. This helmet was a BELL 500. At the time it was the best helmet made.
      As the previous answer stated helmets are only good for one hit. They are made to absorb the shock and once they do another hit in the same spot will cause big problems.
      Although I don’t do it I have heard somewhere that a helmet should be replaced every 5 years or so.
      I realize you asked about bike helmets but what I hoped to convey to you is the importance of a helmet.
      As far as ALL helmets go the old adage “you get what you pay for” is certainly true.
      The first thing you need to do is figure out what you think your head is worth and then buy your helmet.
      If you have a $10 head buy a $10 helmet. If you figure you head is worth more than that, get a better helmet.

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    • AR
    • February 19, 2014

    How Do Helmets Work? Can someone explain how helmets work using the laws of physics

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      Helmets are useful as safety gear to prevent injuries in an uncontrolled environment. If you can’t prevent a crash or impact, but you know it will occur, a helmet can prevent or minimize injury to the head and brain.

      Helmets designed to handle major crash energy generally contain a layer of crushable foam. When you crash and hit a hard surface, the foam part of a helmet crushes, controlling the crash energy and extending your head’s stopping time by about six thousandths of a second (6 ms) to reduce the peak impact to the brain. Rotational forces and internal strains are likely to be reduced by the crushing.

      Thicker foam is better, giving your head more room and milliseconds to stop. If the foam is 15mm thick it obviously has to stop you in half the distance of a 30mm thick foam. Basic laws of physics result in more force to the brain if the stopping distance is shorter, whatever the “miracle” foam may be. Less dense foam can be better as well, since it can crush in a lesser impact, but it has to be thicker in order to avoid crushing down and “bottoming out” in a harder impact. The ideal “rate sensitive” foam would tune itself for the impact, stiffening up for a hard one and yielding more in a more moderate hit.

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