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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm signed up for the Golden Gate Lotus clubs May 27th track day... i'm assuming i need to buy a helmet and a helmet sock?... or are the socks only for "rentals"?...

I'm on the San Francisco Peninsula. Any recommendation? Realistically i'm not going to get much use out of it, so something that's decent function, lighter than average, and relatively inexpensive, that gets the job done would be my preference. I know some of these things are often mutually exclusive, but i'll start by asking for it all...

Recommended Brands? Models?... and any locations i might be able to look?

Stupidest question of all... what exactly are the helmets called? Or can i just say i'm looking for a helmet? I'm assuming they're different than a motorcycle helmet? I know they're supposed to be DOT approved...

thanks ahead of time.
 

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I'd assume that by not knowing much about helmet, you don't have any track experience. If that is the case- keep in mind the GGLC track days are not meant for newbies. A Hooked on Driving or T.E.A.M. date would be much better.

For helmets- if you want cheap M2005 which is a motorcycle rated helmet would work ok. SA2005 are the motorsport version, better and more expensive. Bell is a common mid-level type helmets, Pyrotect lower cost, SA helmets. You also could go open or closed face. You don't need a sock.

Close by don't know of many place to look. Was at Sear Point, Monday for a track day. Wine Country Motorsport has a nice shop with lots of helmets (picked up a HJC from them last year). It is the type of thing that you should try them on to compare.
 

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some groups require sa ratings, I would go with that

i picked up a pyrotect a while back, good and cheaper than bell
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good point for people to consider if they don't check fine print on GGLC. I did the one day Lotus Driving Experience class with the purchase of my car. I e-mailed them about my experience and about my approach/goals in going to the track day and they okayed it before i signed up.

How you indicate a point by (for people to pass), or if there are any standard ways to indicate that you'd like a point by, is the only thing i need a refresher on to be comfortable driving on track. I'm not an emotional driver, and i'm already preatty aware of the limits of my skills in relation to the car, so i'm more nervous about other people doing stupid stuff than myself.

yeah, i'd definitely like to try them on. I'll check with GGLC on acceptable helmets but it sounds like i can possibly use a motorcycle helmet... although it seems a shame to blow $200 on something that's not even for the right purpose... There should be a bunch of places that sell motorcycle helmets around here so maybe i can at least get a feel for brands or how much they vary in fit... otherwise i'll try looking up "motorsports helmets".

Thanks for the info guys!
 

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I was browsing this site SafeRacer - Auto Racing Safety Equipment, Auto Racing Gear, Auto Racing Helmets, Auto Racing Suits and they have a few SA2005 helmets under $200! Has anyone heard of G Force? Any feedback on their helmets? They also have the sport Hans for $545. Not sure if that is a good price or not. I figured, I need to start researching this stuff and buy my gear. I use my motorcycle helmet for now, but need to the right gear.


Errr, I meant under $300.
I have two G-Force Helmets that I bought from Saferacer and they have exceptional price-performance. Not the lightest or the fanciest but they are fully SA2005 rated. One is open face, one is closed. The closed face one also rocks a flame paint job LOL :coolnana: You can find 10% discount coupons for Saferacer on the web (google it) and they have free shipping for orders over $100 :up:.

The low HANS price is only for the smallest version :( once you change the size, the price is the standard one you see everywhere.

Hope this helps!
 

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ewalberg- the helmets I questioned are auto helmets. I already have motorcycle helmets since I ride motorcycles, but was also looking for auto helmets like you are to use in the auto. :D But I know what size I am so buying online for me is okay. Although some brands are shaped different so yes, you should go try some on!

Yup, I saw the flame helmet, lol. I was thinking that may go in my chrome orange car ha ha.
 

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Arai.

Everyone's head is shaped differently, but once I tried on an Arai there was no going back.

And yes they're expensive.
 

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Arai.

Everyone's head is shaped differently, but once I tried on an Arai there was no going back.

And yes they're expensive.
Agreed. But you have to have an Arai head. Bell and Arai have similar shapes. Stand-21 is also one of the best but my head is the wrong shape.
 

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That sounds right.. Long ago I tried a Bell on and it was "close".

I think the answer is, try lots and buy the best helmet that fits your head.
 

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Make sure the helmet is not loose. A little snug/tight is okay because the padding will break in and give a little.
 

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Just to round up everything here...

Snell "SA"2005 helmets are automotive helmets

Snell "M"2005 helmets are motorcycle helmets.

IMHO, for track days in street cars, I personally think that either is fine. The simplest part of the difference in the helmets is that SA's are more fire resistant, and are also tested against impacts with round rather than flat objects (i.e., roll cage and not road surface contact).

However, since more street cars lack roll cages and most folks are at best only remembering to wear all cotton...I would be happy with either. However, different track groups have different policies, and the safest thing (if you are buying a new helmet) is to get an SA.

Helmet costs generally go up as the weight of the helmet goes down. That said, unless you suffer from neck issues, in any street car or even showroom stock style racer (i.e., things that pull up to about 1.5G) I think pretty much anyone can run 45 minutes straight with the "heaviest" of helmets without undue strain. I am not an athlete by any measure and have no discomfort racing in my SRF (which gets about 1.6G max). My race helmet is a Bell M3 (their basic SA2005 helmet). Track day sessions are typically shorter than races, ranging from 20-30 minutes/session.

If you have a "L" size head and they allow M helmets, I have an Arai Vector that I'll let you have for very little; it was only worn a few times.

My head works best in Bell and Arai. But it's very much a personal fit thing.

Even for track days I usually wear a single layer balaclava (as you called it, "head sock") because it's a lot easier to clean that than the inside of my helmet. When I am racing, of course, I wear a much heavier Carbon-X one for the addition protection.

Steve
 

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I bought the cheapo G-force on ebay ($175 I think) for my dad to use. A real steal, nice helmet if you can deal with the flames, maybe they will make you feel faster. AND its SA-05

The thing is they have it only in XL.

I think I paid around $400 for my bell from CMP here in carolina
 

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the single most important thing is to make sure the helmet FITS properly and is comfortable. Get a SA2005 rated helmet. See if you can find a shop in your area that has a few models that you can try on. I have a entry level "Bell Sport" full face helmet sa2005, works and fits great. While you don't have to have a head sock I'd recommend getting one, helps getting the helmet on and off easier.... any speed shop should have them for sale, or go karting at a place that sells or gives them away and just use that one. Also if you go to a speed/race shop and try on the helmets there, buy it from them, don't be one of those people that tries it on in a store and then goes and buys it online for a tiny bit cheaper.

Drive Fast and be safe,
Larez2
 

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If you're spending the money anyways...why not get a decent one?

I got the Bell K1-Sport. It's great and not so expensive. Once you get a helmet you'll have it for a long long time. Get a good one & you won't regret that you didn't get a "decent one" to begin with.

Alan
 

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I'm no expert, but I will say that the best helmet is the one that fits the best. Be sure that it has the proper spec (SA2005 is probably what you want), then go find a place that carries helmets & try on different brands/sizes. The one that fits is the one for you.

You're looking for even pressure all around the top portion of your head & tight enough around the rest of your head that when you shake your head with the helmet on, the helmet doesn't rotate. For me, the low-level Bell helmets (sized S,M,L,XL) did not fit the shape of my head well, but the fitted ones (based on hat sizes) did. I spent an extra couple hundred dollars on a good helmet, but it happens to protect a pretty important part of my body, so it seemed worth it. ;)

saferacer seems to have the best prices on helmets... that's where I got mine. For the record, it's the Bell "Vortex" with the forced air hook-up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, i don't usually buy anything on-line that requires body fitting becuase i do prefer things fit properly.

Sounds like a Balaclava (head sock) is in order... lots of good reasons stated to use one.

Part of my reservation to not buy a nice one out of the gate is becuase it may virtually be the only time it gets used... i'm sorta hoping to NOT end up with a track "habit" from this experience... although i'm quite sure i'll enjoy it.

Some things i think you more or less ought to do it up nicer the first time becuase not doing so can wreck the experience, but in other cases i think it can make sense to go a cheaper simpler (or used) route first to see if something nicer is warranted... along those lines, Steve, let me try on some helmets to figure out my relative head size, i may take you up on your offer. (i used to work with a steve levin who designed robotics and manufacturing equipment... it's funny seeing the same name).

When i did my lotus driving experience (with helmet) i felt like the helmet touching the seat back was pushing/tipping my head forward more than i wanted... and it doesn't look like any other fancy seats people have here have any more clearance for a helmet... any reason for this?... it doesn't seem like a little more clearance would allow excessive whiplash or anything...

i just saw above that you can buy helmets based on hat sizes!... sounds like i might have to make a trip to a country clothing store (that sells cowboy hats) to get my actual hat size for kicks...
 

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Pyrotech is a good inexpensive helmet. They are not the lightest or the fanciest. But if they fit your head they're a bargain. Since you live in the Bay Area you can actually go try them on. Pyrotech is located in Emeryville.

good luck,
Jacob
 
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