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Choosing a helmet

Old 03-08-08, 11:48 AM
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Choosing a helmet

I haven't really considered owning a helmet until now, I'm new to this. What have you guys discovered about your tastes in helmet choice, what things have you found over time that are actually more important to you about your helmets (excluding fitment and the safety rating)? I'm looking for a helmet that I can use for not only autocross, but road racing as well. I'm not sure if Snell M2005 is good enough for many organizations hosting road races.

The budget prices for helmets on http://www.newenough.com seem to be pretty good, so I think I will get one from there. I'm debating between these four:


I like all these for about the same reasons, good price, Snell M2005 rated, and otherwise they all have the same features. Here are my thoughts:
Black because I like black, it 'matches' my car, and would hide easier than any of the others.
Metallic candy red because I like the color, it would be nice and bright in case anyone ever needed to pull my limp body from wreckage.
Metallic wine red because it's a more sophisticated and pensive red.
Green is the cheapest by about $15 and would be fairly distinctive.

Currently I'm leaning toward the black or wine red. I am going to try to find a bike shop or something soon so I can try some on, I don't want to buy a helmet without any idea of how well it would fit, even if I had a good size measurement.
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Old 03-08-08, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeedOfLife View Post
I'm not sure if Snell M2005 is good enough for many organizations hosting road races.
No. Don't waste your money. Get a Snell SA2005 helmet which is for auto racing, an M2005 helmet is designed for motorcycles and such.

This is the NASA rule and SCCA is very similar.

"All drivers are required to wear an approved helmet while on track. Helmets must be approved by Snell and carry a sticker of Snell 2000 ( SA2000) or better*. Ratings other than that of “SA” (Special Application), i.e. “M1995, M2000”, are not acceptable. *Alternatively, helmets with an FIA certification of 8860-2004, or an SFI label showing the rating of 31.1A, 31.2A, or 31.1/2005 are acceptable. It is strongly recommended that any helmet sustaining any substantial impact be replaced."
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Old 03-08-08, 02:27 PM
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These are the '08 SOLO rules for SCCA:
Helmets meeting the following standards must be worn while on
course: All helmets meeting the current or two immediately preceding
Snell Foundation standards (SA, K, or M), or SFI standards
31.1A, 31.2A, 41.1A, or 41.2A are acceptable. Helmets meeting
British spec BS6658-85 type A/FR are also acceptable.


I can understand if they require a higher rating for road courses.

I picked up a basic snell '05 rated full face helmet today from a local shop for $90. Since I'll probably be doing mostly just autocross this summer, I guess it will suit my needs for the most part.

I'd like some tips on where to find well priced SA rated helmets though.
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Old 03-08-08, 02:47 PM
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Note that those rules are for Solo-II autocross only and do not cover timetrials or other track events. Every HPDE, PDX or other similar track event that I have been to require SA ratings.

(edit: I'll take that back - I just saw a track day which only required "Snell 95 or better helmets". Still not a good idea though)

I'm not sure what's available locally for you. If you have a track nearby they may have a store with a collection of helmets that you can try on. The next option is mail order from someplace like Summit, Racers Wholesale, etc. If you have to go the latter route, make sure that they have a good return policy in case the helmet doesn't fit.

Good luck,

-bill

Last edited by wrankin; 03-08-08 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 03-08-08, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by wrankin View Post

I'm not sure what's available locally for you. If you have a track nearby they may have a store with a collection of helmets that you can try on. The next option is mail order from someplace like Summit, Racers Wholesale, etc. If you have to go the latter route, make sure that they have a good return policy in case the helmet doesn't fit.

Good luck,

-bill
Going to a race shop to get a helmet is a good idea.

Fit is important, and you will have a hard time getting it right otherwise.
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Old 03-09-08, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SpeedOfLife View Post

I'd like some tips on where to find well priced SA rated helmets though.

If you have patience, ebay. People buy helmets and they don't end up fitting, for some reason or another they can't return them and sell on ebay. If it doesn't fit you, turn around and sell it to someone else. My buddy just picked up this $700 helmet http://www.saferacer.com/hjc-si-12-a...productid=1195 for $250 still in the box and with tags on. Lucky for him, it fit perfect.
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Old 03-09-08, 10:55 AM
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Black helmet FTW.

^He's right look on eBay first. A lot of people buy helmets and then never use them and put them online. You could probably find one there for super-cheap.
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