Helmet Recommendations - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Helmet Recommendations

Now that I finally got an Exige, I want to put it in its element...

I am planning to only do a handful (2-3) of autocrosses (SCCA) a year and maybe a track day or two as well, so I'm not going to be a hardcore track junkie and don't need a crazy helmet.

I'm looking for a relatively cheap helmet aka: around $300 or less and here are my questions:

- At that price range what brands would you recommend?
- Open or closed face helmet?
- What ratings should I look for?

Thanks for your help!

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 05:35 PM
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Pegasus racing is in New Berlin and has a lot of stuff in stock and they are very nice and will help you decide and I think you can even test fit them. There are lots of different opinions out there but I personally would get a closed face. You would be looking for an SA2010 rated helmet, which is probably all Pegasus has.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 05:51 PM
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 05:54 PM
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I bought a $ 90 pyrotect, It is open faced..... and I have on occasion gotten dust in my eyes even with sunglasses on.

Just for reference: Pyrotect :: Helmets :: Pyrotect

Full face for about 200 it seems.

I do recommend you trying them on though before purchase. My step father gave me his helmet that he would use when drag racing, and it is the same size as my pyrotect, but it is not comfortable and I feel cholesterophobic.

If you do this at a retail store, you will have a hard time finding low priced helmets, so what you can do is find a brand you like, try it on, and order one of that brand's helmets online.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Since there is a local shop nearby I do plan on trying them out first for fit. I just wanted to see what people prefer, and what the advantages and disadvantages were between open / closed face and the different brands.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 04:35 AM
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Given your stated budget I think you'll be able to find a quality helmet. My submission for your helmet consideration- The Bell Sport. Its SA2010, its made by a quality manufacturer, I've seen a lot of people run them at the track, and most important- its within your budget (even after taxes!). There's probably some place closer to you, but if not, Northstar Motorsports in the Northwest Suburbs has them and can help you out.

Bell Auto Racing Helmets - Northstar Motorsports

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 06:17 AM
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Since there is a local shop nearby I do plan on trying them out first for fit. I just wanted to see what people prefer, and what the advantages and disadvantages were between open / closed face and the different brands.
HJC, a Korean brand, is very popular among SCCA autocrossers. You may be able to find one at a local cycle supply shop for less than $100. They carry an M2010 Snell label (always find the label inside the helmet, ignore outside stickers).

The Pyrotect open-face is a clone of the Bell Magnum series. I have one of these now in M2005. The air vents really work, but are not closable. At cold events, I put masking tape over them. As o f this posting date, this helmet is in my avatar.

Check your local track days whether they accept M helmets. The Pyrotect open-face does indeed come in an SA version, but of course costs a lot more. Most of what you are paying for is fireproof liner.

And you are right to try on the exact helmet you buy, not just a sample. Should be tight enough to move your skin when you shake your head "no", but not give you a headache. Go ahead and wear it around the house for a few days to get used to it.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input everyone!

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 06:58 AM
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Definately examine the Snell date. SA2000, SA2005, SA2010... The SCCA periodically decides all helmets with a SA number less than X can no longer be raced. The higher the date, the longer before you cannot use it anymore. I bought a helmet which was advertised as SA2010, but the label inside only showed it to be SA2005 (mail order, I could not examine the helmet first). I had purchased it to replace a SA2000 helmet, which was no longer eligable to race with.

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 08:17 AM
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Many racetracks/drivers schools do not allow M rated helmets on their track, so be sure you check before you buy.

M = motorcyclt
SA = automobile

The track days I did they would not allow a M rated helmet on the track.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 08:28 AM
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I have G-Force Pro Eliminator. I'm not a huge fan of the shield pivots (the one side tends to loosen up and work it's way out over time) but otherwise it's been good for track days, autocross, and karting.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 08:28 AM
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Definitely get closed face, since you are doing track days as well. The best helmet is the one that fits well. In other words, a $300 helmet that fits you perfectly is better than a $1000 one that fits you poorly.

There are lots of Bell / Pyrotect / HJC helmets that fit your budget. But you need to try them all on and see which fits your head.

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 09:24 AM
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I picked up a nice 200 dollar helmet from someone who did not like it off Craigs List. Not a bad place to at least take a quick peak.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 11:20 AM
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i would buy a SA 2005 (if there are any left) or 2010 full face - the reason being that you might want to do a track day... and you will need it (more strict than autox)

regardless you can get a bread and butter sa 2010 bell for that easy.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
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Definitely get closed face, since you are doing track days as well. The best helmet is the one that fits well. In other words, a $300 helmet that fits you perfectly is better than a $1000 one that fits you poorly.

There are lots of Bell / Pyrotect / HJC helmets that fit your budget. But you need to try them all on and see which fits your head.
and +1 to what he said - you have to try it on, and it should fit "very" tight. as in starts to give you headache its too tight. they loosen up after a bit. i always sit around and wear my helmets while watching TV or something for a couple days prior to using it. i even do wrestling neck rolls while wearing it on the carpet to break it in.

that said - i have found the "inch" measurements on the bells to be pretty spot on. (for me head at least)

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 12:19 PM
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For my head, the Bell measurements are correct too.

The interior shape of helmets varies greatly, so two people having the same "inch" measurement may fit differently. Conventionally, Bell is better for round heads. For heads that are oval (longer than wide), HJC / Arai / Stilo are good. My head is somewhere between a Bell and Arai shape. I was having major pressure points on my Arai that caused a headache but these went away once the helmet broke in, so I kept it. Stilo runs a bit larger than Arai, so none of them fit me.

The helmet should be snug all around and when you try to move the helmet around, the skin on your forehead and cheeks should move with the helmet. With the chinstrap fastened, you should not be able to slip the helmet off your head when rotating it forward.

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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 01:07 AM
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I have had a few now but tried a HJC after a "fancier" brand helmet aged out. Unfortunately had the occasion to use it at Road Atlanta. Fit was a little tight to measured at first, but "wore in" quickly. After a good hit (and wasn't wearing my head/neck restraint as it was a fun run) as a passenger, I am replacing the helmet but could have been worse. My replacement was another or the same.

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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 05:19 PM
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Any recommendations on places to buy one?

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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 05:30 PM
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I have a bell sport for work and love it. They used to have a removable and washable interior but I believe they dropped that option on the SA2010 version.

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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 06:11 PM
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Any recommendations on places to buy one?
Email or call Linda at Apexperformance.net -- tell her you are a Lotus junkie -- discount
Tell her you know me and she will double the price!!!!

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