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September 16, 2009 12:25 PM   Subscribe

What is the most lightweight and/or the most vented bicycle helmet that you can buy?

I am looking for the most comfortable helmet possible - one that almost feels like you're not even wearing it (impossible, I know). Let's assume I am not concerned about any country-specific safety regulations or certifications. Any recommendations of brands or specific models?
posted by ghost dance beat to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Web sites like Performance list weights, but I'd take them with a grain of salt as manufacturers tend to fudge. They'll list the weight of an XS, for example.
posted by fixedgear at 1:02 PM on September 16, 2009

I find Bern very light weight. But they're also easily the least ventilated helmet I've ever worn and I tell people to avoid them as a result.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 1:13 PM on September 16, 2009

Best answer: I like my Giro helmet (it is has been a few years and they make a crazy number of models so I not much more help there) but helmets in general strike me as something that you should go to specialty store and try things on until you find something you like. There is just too much variances in head shape and desired fit to leave this up to the wisdom of strangers.
posted by mmascolino at 1:28 PM on September 16, 2009

Different manufacturers use different... well, for shoes you'd say 'lasts,' but I don't know what you call 'em when it's a helmet. Anyway, go to a shop, or better yet several shops, and try on a bunch of different brands to see which you like best.
posted by box at 1:29 PM on September 16, 2009

Let's assume I am not concerned about any country-specific safety regulations or certifications

Just so you know, all helmets sold in this country - no matter what price point - have to adhere to the same safety standards, so there's no such thing as a helmet that is so light as to be "unsafe". How much are you willing to spend? If money is no object, go for the pro-level Giro helmets - but absolutely DO NOT buy one until you've tried on a whole bunch of them.

As a guy who just had a wreck so bad his helmet cracked clear through in three places, I will say that a secure, comfortable fit is crucial and there's no way to find that except by trying various brands on. I'd recommend the helmet I was wearing during the crash unequivocally - but it's definitely not the lightest one around.
posted by pdb at 1:56 PM on September 16, 2009

Bell Sweep or Giro Ionos.

I upgraded from a Giro Atmos to a Bell Sweep last year and it made a huge difference in airflow, to the point that my head was noticeably cooler in the Sweep than in the Atmos (or the Monza that I had previously).
posted by The Michael The at 2:27 PM on September 16, 2009

And yeah, different brands fit differently. When our team was deciding on a helmet, we went with Bell as their helmets supposedly fit more people better than Giros. I've always liked Giro and thought the Bell fit good not great, but nobody really hated the Bell.
posted by The Michael The at 2:29 PM on September 16, 2009

IMO Bells fit 'rounder' and Giros fit 'more oblong' heads, from front to back— where you'd wear a fitted hat, not where you'd necessarily wear a ballcap or beanie.

Heard great things about the Giro Xen and Hex, and also some of the Catlike helmets.
posted by a halcyon day at 3:49 PM on September 16, 2009

Best answer: I have always preferred Giro's, but you pay for what you get. Weight Weenies maintains a list of helmet (and other bike stuff) weights as reported by manufacturer versus what users have weighed them in at.
posted by nestor_makhno at 3:58 PM on September 16, 2009

I really wouldn't worry about the weight or the number of holes. Find one that fits. The weight difference between the lightest one you can find (which will cost $200+) and a joe-average helmet is trivial.

If you're not concerned about safety certifications, then don't get a helmet. Or get one and carve away as much styrofoam as you want.
posted by adamrice at 4:53 PM on September 16, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for your comments everyone. You have convinced me to look for some places nearby that sell good quality helmets and see what I like best. nestor_makhno's link has some good info, and this thread is a good starting point for my research. Thanks again!
posted by ghost dance beat at 6:03 PM on September 16, 2009

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