While trying to decide which of the many, many helmets on the market I should get, I had some interesting thoughts regarding the whole helmet...thing.
The short version is that I decided on an adequately colored Giro Aeon, but not without a lot of research and quite a bit of back and forth.
|I did not get it because it was orange. That's just a bonus.|
My issue with the whole helmet thing, if you chose to wear one, is where does safety versus price reach a point of diminishing returns? At what point do helmet companies start to focus on aesthetics and weight as added features on top of safety - does this point even exist?
|This weighs almost nothing. It just floats on your head, held down only by the straps.|
(Truthfully I really did like the Octal, but it's not compatible with my eyewear and it is POC's first road helmet, so maybe I'll try one next time when they've had a few years to improve).
I get that this is a hard thing to test, and for a number of reasons. Most companies aren't strapping their helmets to crash test dummies and beating the hell out of them with SUVs, or simulating a crash at 60 mph on a steep descent because your front tire blew. Sure, there are a few videos like this, but there's still a large chunk of data that's missing that I'd like to know. There are things like the CPSC test that you can find if you dig around long enough, but if I walk into my LBS and ask if they can tell me the difference between helmet A and helmet B if my handlebars fail, well...
Would buying the lower end model or the higher end model make that much of a difference safety wise? Does model X offer just as much protection as Y, but Y is just prettier and a bit lighter? Or does it really boil down to you get what you pay for - in which case I feel for the people that don't want to spend more on their helmet than they did on their bike.
The consensus among my fellow cycling friends seemed to be the get-what-you-pay-for conclusion, which is one of the reasons I opted for the Aeon. Mostly the reviews and my positive experiences with previous Giro helmets and products pushed me in that direction, but if a few extra dollars turn out to be the difference between a concussion and a coma (is that even medically possible?) then I'll take it.
And if I'm wrong? It's still a pretty awesome hat.