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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I'm looking to buy a new helmet. The one I have is great except it didn't fit quite right once the padding broke in. It has a bad pressure point on the top of my head. Anyway, when shopping for new helmets, it's hard to find attractive ones in my price point that are SNELL approved. Is the DOT standard good enough or would you all opt for SNELL? My last one was $120 and SNELL approved. I thought that was a great deal. Now I can't find much under $200 that is SNELL approved and in bewteen bland and gaudy. I'd completely sacrifice looks for safety is SNELL is that much better.

Thanks in advance
 

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DOT the government testing approval for everything used on the roads. From helmets to lights to tires.

Snell is an independent helmet testing company, helmet companies pay to have their helmets tested.

You can find great Snell helmets rated for less then $200. Look at the SCORPION line and BELL. There are also always closeouts on last years.
 

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Hey guys, I'm looking to buy a new helmet. The one I have is great except it didn't fit quite right once the padding broke in. It has a bad pressure point on the top of my head. Anyway, when shopping for new helmets, it's hard to find attractive ones in my price point that are SNELL approved. Is the DOT standard good enough or would you all opt for SNELL? My last one was $120 and SNELL approved. I thought that was a great deal. Now I can't find much under $200 that is SNELL approved and in bewteen bland and gaudy. I'd completely sacrifice looks for safety is SNELL is that much better.

Thanks in advance
I picked up an Exo-400 just for the track. It's Snell, plain, and black. $100 bucks. Also, tons of ads over the past month for the Bell RS-1 for like $180 bucks. Not sure if any of those are left though, likely not.
 

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Youll get a lot of debate from this topic. Like oil thread worthy. Unless youre doing track days I wouldn't worry about the snell rating. From what I've read a snell rating is better for high speed crashes, but the helmet can also be TOO stiff and won't work as well as a "softer" dot only helmet in crashes at lower speeds
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I found a scorpion exo1000 on closeout for $55. Soooo I'm going to jump on that ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
That review made it seem like a bad helmet..

Customer reviews elsewhere rave about it. For $55 it can't be that bad... If it is, I can trade it in for store credit and get something else.
 

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Why do you need Snell? To my knowledge, there is not one single article that proves conclusively that having just a DOT approval rating is more unsafe then having both.
 

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I'm a little worried about fitment but if it doesn't fit, I'll return it and use the in store credit to get some new gloves. Win/win either way.

Thanks for the suggestions and help
 

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Discussion Starter #14
IMO your head is worth more then $55. I'm not saying spend $800 on one. I stay in the 200-500 range. Your gear is the one thing you shouldn't skimp on.
Did you look at the link? It's a $320 helmet on closeout. Having DOT and SNELL approvals are a far better indication of how protective it will be vs how much it costs....
 

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Any thoughts on ECE 22.05 rating? My lid doesn't have a SNELL certification. Funny thing is when I went to buy it, the salesman tried EXTREMELY hard to talk me into a less expensive helmet because it was SNELL certified
 

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Snell standards are stricter than DOT so I wanted to know *if* I needed snell.
That's all fine and dandy. But again, I challenge to provide a conclusive study that proves a Snell certified helmet is safer than one with only DOT approval.

As for the assumption that higher price = safer, I'll just sit back and chuckle at that statement.
 

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As L8 Braker pointed out, higher price typically doesn't mean safer, but rather better materials, better fit, more comfortable, quality vents, etc.

Bear in mind that there is no such thing as "DOT Approved" as DOT does not require helmets be approved before sale. Rather, DOT has published standards in FMVSS 218, and if a helmet meets those standards, then it is considered DOT compliant (not approved). However, the only thing preventing manufacturers from labeing a helmet DOT compliant when it isn't is a very small fine and the threat of litigation by a rider or his/her family. It is up to individual states (not DOT) to determine whether or not they will require DOT-compliant helmets to be worn.

To prevent confusion, note that there are some manufacturers who willingly submit helmets for testing, but DOT by no means requires it. Just because a helmet says DOT approved doesn't mean it is.

On the other hand, a helmet can meet all of DOT's safety standards but not meet the labeling requirements, and would therefore be just as safe as a DOT compliant helmet without actually being DOT compliant.

Snell is an independent organization with its own testing criteria. There are endless debates as to which is safer and in what conditions, but the laws of physics come down to this: Your helmet has the thickness of its energy-absorbing material to decelerate your head (and therefore brain) from whatever speed it is traveling down to 0. Above a certain threshold it is literally impossible for any helmet to decelerate the average head without brain damage over a distance of, say, 2 inches. It doesn't matter what standard it meets.

Edit: The fine I reference above is determined at the state level, I'm not aware of any federal fine. For example in Virginia a helmet sold as DOT Certified (compliant) which isn't would be a class 4 misdemeanor, which is a fine of up to $250. Second Edit: I did finally find the federal fine and it's up to $5,000.
 
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