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Old 08-29-2010, 08:14 PM   #1
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I'm adding this as a separate thread from my harness thread because it seems like it is a good idea to have some helmet info on the site.

SA2005 is about to be replaced, so it will be a good time to pick up a discounted helmet.

What does everyone feel are must have features?

Should you really worry about brand if they meet the SA criteria?

What do you use or what would you get if you bought a replacement?

Please specify if you are using yours to race regularly or occasionally.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:48 PM   #2
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I have a discontinued Zamp fs-1 and they are cheap cheap cheap right now online. I'm happy if the helmet meets any standard and the only two features I look for are a tinted visor and HANS anchors if I ever decide to devote more cash to my personal safety. I use mine 10x per year or so. Lightness would be nice but I have a Henry Rollins neck so I may not feel the weight like some people.

Although this is more than I'd like to spend these look reasonably priced and possibly lighter than most.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:17 PM   #3
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I'm in search of an SA rated helmet as well. My motorcycle helmet has gotten me through autox but when I start tracking I will need an SA rated helmet. I learned from picking up the motorcycle helmet that you should buy for fitment first before brand. I had a helmet picked out that I liked and 'thought' fit well but one of the sales guys showed me where there was spacing instead of padding and directed me to a different brand of helmet which fit much better.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djp0623 View Post
What does everyone feel are must have features?

Should you really worry about brand if they meet the SA criteria?

What do you use or what would you get if you bought a replacement?

Please specify if you are using yours to race regularly or occasionally.
IMHO:

Must-have feature: SA sticker, fits my head well, HANS compatibility (which is pretty much everything). Everything else is optional.

Brand isn't important, so long as it's one of the well-known, reputable companies. Fit is much more important, different vendors use different head forms, so you want to find the one that most closely matches your head.

I have a Bell Sport 3, SA2005. I use it for autocrossing regularly and track days a few times a year.

--Ian
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:18 PM   #5
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Wouldn't it be nice if the damn helmet manufacturers would list weights!?! Hustler's BlackOps carbon helmet looks like a great buy but while they claim lightness they don't prove it by giving us real numbers.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:17 PM   #6
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Would you recommend waiting until the SA2010 come out to buy a SA2005?
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:33 PM   #7
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that zero nine doesn't have thee anchors for hans I thought that was one thing that you NEED to have in a helmet according to hustler, or does it have it and I just cant see it
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:38 PM   #8
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that zero nine doesn't have thee anchors for hans I thought that was one thing that you NEED to have in a helmet according to hustler, or does it have it and I just cant see it
I think you have to drill the holes in order to install the anchors in a helmet.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:45 PM   #9
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You have to drill which is no big deal, but I'm not sure about drilling carbon fiber.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:49 PM   #10
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Would you recommend waiting until the SA2010 come out to buy a SA2005?
Not really. You might get the helmet for a substantial discount, but it will only pass tech for half as long. Most groups accept helmets for 10 years, so SA2005 would be good until the 2015 helmets come out, whereas a SA2010 would get you to 2020. That is assuming you can keep it that long without necessitating a new one for reasons other than sticker expiration (crash where you hit the helmet on anything, stinky beyond recovery, etc). I think the current 5-year stickers start showing up on helmets around October-ish. If you can wait that long, I'd just buy a SA2010.

Mine is a Bell M4 Sport that I bought for ~$375 IIRC, SA2005 purchased in 2008. I liked that model because it fit my head well and also has a pretty large viewport for a full-face helmet. No complaints, it's not the lightest out there but the weight isn't bothersome.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:54 PM   #11
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You have to drill which is no big deal, but I'm not sure about drilling carbon fiber.
Just start with a small drill bit and work your way up. Use a good drill bit and don't put much pressure on it and let the drill bit do its thing.
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:52 PM   #12
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I have a simpson bandit after using the budget sa2005 pyrotech helmet we got with our lemons gear. This one actually fits well and doesn't have distinct pressure points. I love it and is super comfy.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:14 PM   #13
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Must have's (IMHO):
1. SA certification
2. Comfortable fit
3. Full-face
4. Relatively light weight
5. HANS posts/compatability
6. Some type of vents/ventilation system
7. Interior compatible with radio/comm gear
8. Removable/washable interior liner
9. Positive quality/cost ratio.

Nice to have:
10. Variety of visors, at affordable prices (I like iridium tinted)
11. Doesn't look dorky

I've had Pyrotect and a couple others. I was happy enough with the fit and features of the Pyrotect, but the quality was a disappointment.

The current crop of HJC's hit all of the the points above. The fit is very comfortable to me. I sprung for the carbon-fiber version, it is relatively light weight. I do a lot of driving, so it is worth it to me. A weekend-warrior will be just as happy with the white/fiberglass version, which is otherwise identical in construction to the cf version, though a couple pounds heavier. There is a big difference between wearing a helmet for a handful of 20-30 minute sessions a day, vs. wearing one all day long (instructing) or belted in a car for hours on end (endurance racing).

The Stilo helmets make me stiff in a good way, though are pricey. The internal audio & hydration options are very nice, and the fit is amazing. Higher-end helmets without removable liners are dead to me.

SA2005 vs 2010 would not be a determining factor for me, as 5 years is already a lot of time to get out of a helmet if you use it a lot.

Being able to pull the interior and wash it properly is a huge benefit.

Also, if I had not been practically given the bag and blower, I would have never owned a Shock Doctor. Now that I have it, I must say, that it really does work amazingly well. Dries the helmet relatively quickly, and the "ozone" option kills odor. Of course it only works when the helmet is actually wet, so I only bring it to tracks that have garages & power outlets.

The #1 recommendation I have is to try them on for yourself. I would never buy a helmet without trying it on and wearing it for a bit. Sizes and fit from helmet-to-helmet, let alone manufacturer-to-manufacturer, can vary quite a bit. Getting the right fit requires a trip to a local (or not-so-local) shop and actually sampling the goods. While you are there, buy it. Don't try on locally and then try to save $20-50 by buying online. That's a great way to make sure the shop isn't around the next time you need to buy a helmet.

Some helmets, especially the lower-priced ones, look dorky due to the size of the shell. Cheaper helmets use the same size shell for a variety of helmet sizes, and make-up the difference in size by having different internal pads. This can make for a huge bobble-head style helmet (and heavy one too). I believe the HJC's use a couple of different sizes, but are still in the affordable range. More expensive helmets use different shell sizes for each size, or two sizes max. Ask your local shop. They should hopefully carry a variety of brands and be able to speak intelligently about all of them, and helmets in general. If not, do your research online, but still sample and buy local.

My #2 recommendation is to ignore my list and make your own. The internet if full of ***-hats, and with enough of personal experience of your own, if you find that your experiences are very different than mine, you may decide that I am one of 'em. But hey, at least I gave you my honest opinion.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildo View Post
Must have's (IMHO):
1. SA certification
2. Comfortable fit
3. Full-face
4. Relatively light weight
5. HANS posts/compatability
6. Some type of vents/ventilation system
7. Interior compatible with radio/comm gear
8. Removable/washable interior liner
9. Positive quality/cost ratio.

Nice to have:
10. Variety of visors, at affordable prices (I like iridium tinted)
11. Doesn't look dorky

I've had Pyrotect and a couple others. I was happy enough with the fit and features of the Pyrotect, but the quality was a disappointment.

The current crop of HJC's hit all of the the points above. The fit is very comfortable to me. I sprung for the carbon-fiber version, it is relatively light weight. I do a lot of driving, so it is worth it to me. A weekend-warrior will be just as happy with the white/fiberglass version, which is otherwise identical in construction to the cf version, though a couple pounds heavier. There is a big difference between wearing a helmet for a handful of 20-30 minute sessions a day, vs. wearing one all day long (instructing) or belted in a car for hours on end (endurance racing).

The Stilo helmets make me stiff in a good way, though are pricey. The internal audio & hydration options are very nice, and the fit is amazing. Higher-end helmets without removable liners are dead to me.

SA2005 vs 2010 would not be a determining factor for me, as 5 years is already a lot of time to get out of a helmet if you use it a lot.

Being able to pull the interior and wash it properly is a huge benefit.

Also, if I had not been practically given the bag and blower, I would have never owned a Shock Doctor. Now that I have it, I must say, that it really does work amazingly well. Dries the helmet relatively quickly, and the "ozone" option kills odor. Of course it only works when the helmet is actually wet, so I only bring it to tracks that have garages & power outlets.

The #1 recommendation I have is to try them on for yourself. I would never buy a helmet without trying it on and wearing it for a bit. Sizes and fit from helmet-to-helmet, let alone manufacturer-to-manufacturer, can vary quite a bit. Getting the right fit requires a trip to a local (or not-so-local) shop and actually sampling the goods. While you are there, buy it. Don't try on locally and then try to save $20-50 by buying online. That's a great way to make sure the shop isn't around the next time you need to buy a helmet.

Some helmets, especially the lower-priced ones, look dorky due to the size of the shell. Cheaper helmets use the same size shell for a variety of helmet sizes, and make-up the difference in size by having different internal pads. This can make for a huge bobble-head style helmet (and heavy one too). I believe the HJC's use a couple of different sizes, but are still in the affordable range. More expensive helmets use different shell sizes for each size, or two sizes max. Ask your local shop. They should hopefully carry a variety of brands and be able to speak intelligently about all of them, and helmets in general. If not, do your research online, but still sample and buy local.

My #2 recommendation is to ignore my list and make your own. The internet if full of ***-hats, and with enough of personal experience of your own, if you find that your experiences are very different than mine, you may decide that I am one of 'em. But hey, at least I gave you my honest opinion.
Good post. There is nothing wrong with asking a local shop to do a little better on their price if you see it for substantially less online. I like supporting the local shops when I get a chance.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:01 PM   #15
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You have to drill which is no big deal, but I'm not sure about drilling carbon fiber.
Why not, you've just about drilled everything else...
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:47 PM   #16
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I'd probably buy this Simpson, great price for an SA helmet:

http://www.saferacer.com/simpson-v-s...productid=2088
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildo View Post
Must have's (IMHO):
1. SA certification
2. Comfortable fit
3. Full-face
4. Relatively light weight
5. HANS posts/compatability
6. Some type of vents/ventilation system
7. Interior compatible with radio/comm gear
8. Removable/washable interior liner
9. Positive quality/cost ratio.

Nice to have:
10. Variety of visors, at affordable prices (I like iridium tinted)
11. Doesn't look dorky

I've had Pyrotect and a couple others. I was happy enough with the fit and features of the Pyrotect, but the quality was a disappointment.

The current crop of HJC's hit all of the the points above. The fit is very comfortable to me. I sprung for the carbon-fiber version, it is relatively light weight. I do a lot of driving, so it is worth it to me. A weekend-warrior will be just as happy with the white/fiberglass version, which is otherwise identical in construction to the cf version, though a couple pounds heavier. There is a big difference between wearing a helmet for a handful of 20-30 minute sessions a day, vs. wearing one all day long (instructing) or belted in a car for hours on end (endurance racing).

The Stilo helmets make me stiff in a good way, though are pricey. The internal audio & hydration options are very nice, and the fit is amazing. Higher-end helmets without removable liners are dead to me.

SA2005 vs 2010 would not be a determining factor for me, as 5 years is already a lot of time to get out of a helmet if you use it a lot.

Being able to pull the interior and wash it properly is a huge benefit.

Also, if I had not been practically given the bag and blower, I would have never owned a Shock Doctor. Now that I have it, I must say, that it really does work amazingly well. Dries the helmet relatively quickly, and the "ozone" option kills odor. Of course it only works when the helmet is actually wet, so I only bring it to tracks that have garages & power outlets.

The #1 recommendation I have is to try them on for yourself. I would never buy a helmet without trying it on and wearing it for a bit. Sizes and fit from helmet-to-helmet, let alone manufacturer-to-manufacturer, can vary quite a bit. Getting the right fit requires a trip to a local (or not-so-local) shop and actually sampling the goods. While you are there, buy it. Don't try on locally and then try to save $20-50 by buying online. That's a great way to make sure the shop isn't around the next time you need to buy a helmet.

Some helmets, especially the lower-priced ones, look dorky due to the size of the shell. Cheaper helmets use the same size shell for a variety of helmet sizes, and make-up the difference in size by having different internal pads. This can make for a huge bobble-head style helmet (and heavy one too). I believe the HJC's use a couple of different sizes, but are still in the affordable range. More expensive helmets use different shell sizes for each size, or two sizes max. Ask your local shop. They should hopefully carry a variety of brands and be able to speak intelligently about all of them, and helmets in general. If not, do your research online, but still sample and buy local.

My #2 recommendation is to ignore my list and make your own. The internet if full of ***-hats, and with enough of personal experience of your own, if you find that your experiences are very different than mine, you may decide that I am one of 'em. But hey, at least I gave you my honest opinion.
That's going to be a ton of money for something you can only use for 5-years at a time at the most.

I tried to buy a helmet locally but prices are absurd...no less than $500 at the local shops for shitty helmets with an SA rating. Its hard to find anything aside from Bell or Arai. Hell, the same shops are the ones trying to charge me $800-1200 to corner balance my car, lol.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cueball1 View Post
Wouldn't it be nice if the damn helmet manufacturers would list weights!?! Hustler's BlackOps carbon helmet looks like a great buy but while they claim lightness they don't prove it by giving us real numbers.
Random observation: when I bought my SA2005 helmet and HANS device, I noticed that it was cheaper to save weight by getting the more expensive HANS than it was by getting the next-level-up helmet.

Unless you're going to be doing multi-hour races, weight isn't a huge concern, IMHO.

--Ian
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:10 PM   #19
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Having a neck collar helps a HUGE amount with the helmet weight. They aren't neck protection as some people think. They are a fire safety item and help support the helmet. My heavy Pyrotech feels just dandy with a collar on.

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Old 09-06-2010, 02:19 AM   #20
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Can anyone post up a few good links to reputable online stores that have good prices on helmets? I am looking to get into some track racing and need a good helmet, but don't want to spend a ton of money. I'd like to stay around 200-250 as far as price goes.
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