Do you really need an Aus helmet?

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Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby mattwilkinson » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:54 pm

Hey guys,

So I'm looking at buying a Giro Savant to replace my cracked ionos.
I was asking, Do I realy need a helmet with an Australian Standard sticker on it?
Have you ever been declined to race? Have you ever had insurance gone the wrong way?


Why/Why not do you have a Australian helmet?

Whats the point of spending $160 on a helmet in Australia when you can get the exact same one for $80 from CRC
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by BNA » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:13 pm

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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby jacks1071 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:13 pm

mattwilkinson wrote:
Have you ever been declined to race?



Sort of, they made a big deal about mine then let me race anyway as they couldn't find anything in the club house that'd fit.

I was told if I came back next week with the same helmet I wouldn't be racing, and they checked it again the next week...

The whole situation is caused by Australian Standards which in many cases are there for no good reason, especially when there is a good international standard already in place.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby sogood » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:43 pm

If you want to race, then buy local. If you don't race, then be aware of the off chance that insurance company might object in a claim process (theoretical at this point). Otherwise one has to ask whether US or EU standards are lower than Aust standards and their heads are less valuable or more.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby RonK » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:24 pm

I have seen riders turned away at the start line for presenting with a helmet that didn't have the correct label.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby scotto » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:37 pm

Never had one checked . Only club level racing and masters track racing. At one charity ride they checked, and those in the know bought a crappy Kmart helmet for the check then swapped back to their top of the range euro lid. Damn lawyers !!!!
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby arkle » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:03 pm

Virtually every pressed polystyrene foam cycling helmet is going to offer you exactly the same level of protection in the event of a crash. This utter rubbish about UK/Aus/wherever "Standard" stickers is just a pointless waste of time and effort, and an excuse to make money or act like an anally retentive wowser. It's just regulatory crap.

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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby Howzat » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:38 pm

Possibly arkle, but if we rescinded the Australian standards, it's a fair bet there would be a boatload of $5 "helmets" on the way that afternoon. Fly-by-nighters have gotta make a buck somehow...
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby arkle » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:53 pm

I imagine the $5 helmets would be just as safe as the $200 helmets. They're all just pressed polymer foam with some straps attached. Even the $200 ones probably cost $2 each to make. It's marketing.

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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby ozzymac » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:56 pm

Speaking of Helmets....

Do or should helmets have a use buy date?

Just that they spend there life in the sun, wouldn't it eventually make them more brittle so easier to crack etc?


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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby skull » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:57 pm

The club I ride with people walk up and present their helmets when registering. They get checked from what I have seen.

When I walk up I usually leave my stuff in the car and have not taken my helmet with me. They don't ask to see it. Not that they need to as it is an Aus standards approved lid.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby trailgumby » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:29 pm

There's almost always an inquest when there's an accidental death that is not a motor vehicle "accident"

They will check the helmet. If it's not AS compliant you can bet without fear that some "expert" will say "Oh, if had been an AUSTRALIAN standards helmet the outcome would have been different"/

This will be without any kind of analysis or replication of the incident whatsoever, it will just be an expert opinion (they're a court-appointed expert witness, so they must right, mustn't they? :roll: ), and this is the easy way thing to point their finger at. This despite the fact that a centimetre and a bit thickness of styrofoam offers about as much protection as a cardboard egg carton.

So, yes, I would invest in the AS/NZS 2063-2008 compliant helmet. Because if you die (or worse, are left in a dependant state) and people you love need the insurance payout to either look after you or avoid losing the house, you don't want them to have to fight with insurance company thieves just itching for an excuse to cut the payment by half on the pretext of "contributory negligence" caused by this fiction around the very marginal efficacy of helmets.
Last edited by trailgumby on Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby sogood » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:30 pm

arkle wrote:I imagine the $5 helmets would be just as safe as the $200 helmets. They're all just pressed polymer foam with some straps attached. Even the $200 ones probably cost $2 each to make. It's marketing.

Negative!

Helmets are not without engineering input. Different levels of engineering makes a difference. Further, it's more than just protection. Fit and comfort need to be part of the equation.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby arkle » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:35 pm

sogood wrote:
arkle wrote:I imagine the $5 helmets would be just as safe as the $200 helmets. They're all just pressed polymer foam with some straps attached. Even the $200 ones probably cost $2 each to make. It's marketing.

Negative!

Helmets are not without engineering input. Different levels of engineering makes a difference. Further, it's more than just protection. Fit and comfort need to be part of the equation.


Pressed polystyrene foam is pressed polystyrene foam. And I can give you a $200 helmet that won't fit you properly and will hurt your head after 5km.

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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby il padrone » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:39 pm

Comfortable fit and even ventilation and temperature are an individual thing. Secure straps and strength of plastic clasps etc OTOH are not.

A cheap helmet is more than just the polystyrene foam.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby warthog1 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:52 pm

Helmet sale

I've bought clothing from them before but not a helmet. Good price anyway, hope it helps.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby sogood » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:23 pm

arkle wrote:Pressed polystyrene foam is pressed polystyrene foam. And I can give you a $200 helmet that won't fit you properly and will hurt your head after 5km.

Hence the need to find a helmet model that fits. Further, once there are large ventilation holes in the polystyrene foam, engineering technology comes in to ensure structural strength. I am glad I don't wear sealed polystyrene blocks on hot days.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby Summernight » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:46 pm

arkle wrote:I imagine the $5 helmets would be just as safe as the $200 helmets. They're all just pressed polymer foam with some straps attached. Even the $200 ones probably cost $2 each to make. It's marketing.


Come to Melbourne and buy a $5 Melbourne bike share helmet- it's Aus standard approved too. Government subsidised for the win!! :P
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby gistane » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:50 pm

I guess most people need to ask themselves a couple of questions

Commuting

- If a car hits me and I am not at fault and I get injured can I afford to pay the medical bills when the insurance claim is rejected due to not riding with an Australian approved helmet
- Do I want to be fined due to breaking Australian Road rules due to not using a compliant helmet?

Racing

- Breaking the Cycling Australian rules that a helmet used must meet the Australian Road Rules standards
- Voiding the liability of the club hosting the race due to them allowing you to race without an approved helmet

At the end of the day yes you can save a few bucks for buying overseas but it could cost you alot more in the end due to being stingy when it comes to your protection and do what is the law in Australia.

For me its a no brainer you buy whats legal here and make sure you are covered.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby sogood » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:58 pm

gistane wrote:If a car hits me and I am not at fault and I get injured can I afford to pay the medical bills when the insurance claim is rejected due to not riding with an Australian approved helmet
- Do I want to be fined due to breaking Australian Road rules due to not using a compliant helmet?

Unless one buys no name brand from O/Ss, this is a hypothetical. Given the number of years this angle has been discussed, the cycling community has yet to come up with one case of such. Further, most people who are hunting O/Ss are seeking high end major brand helmet models that are marketed internationally. It'd be a stretch for an insurance company to try this tactic. As said, no precedent.

Make one's own call.

Irrespective, I fully support the existence of Australian Standards. It's a necessary "protectionist" barrier to ensure our national autonomy and technology input.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:11 am

A road cyclist was killed in the ACT some time between 2009 and 2011 during an organised event. The helmet was not an AS approved unit. The coroner made certain recommendations. Insurers are all over this, and as a condition of their indemnity cover they're making event organisers ensure all starters wear AS compliant helmets, or they're not allowed to participate.

This came up at the 2011 Mont 24.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby arkle » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:27 am

Extract from http://www.helmets.org/testbycost.htm

Summary: We submitted samples of six helmet models to a leading U.S. test lab: three in the $150+ range and three under $20. The impact test results were virtually identical. There were very few differences in performance among the helmets. Our conclusion: when you pay more for a helmet you may get an easier fit, more vents and snazzier graphics. But the basic impact protection of the cheap helmets we tested equaled the expensive ones. Just look for a helmet that fits you well.

We are often asked if cheap helmets protect well. Bike shop sales people like to warn customers "buy a $10 helmet for a $10 head." A well-known, reputable US test lab agreed to test some very cheap and very expensive helmets for us to compare their performance in ASTM/CPSC testing at both regular drops and lower impacts. They also did testing with a bio-fidelic headform. To our surprise, the results were virtually identical for all the helmets.

Helmets Tested

Our cheap helmets came from Target and Wal-Mart. They cost $9.96, $9.99 and $19.96 and were typical of helmets you would find in any big box discount store. Our expensive helmets came from a bike store, an Ebay seller and an Internet retailer. Two were made in China for US brands. One was Italian. The MSRP for them was $149.99, $174.99 and $206.99. We found the first two discounted, but paid full price for the most expensive one. We submitted three of each model for testing.

Testing

The test lab donated their testing, and we agreed not to use their name or the exact helmet models to avoid possible complications that could be time-consuming for them.
The lab performed normal CPSC testing on each model. We limited the anvils to flat and hemispheric, eliminating the curbstone anvil, and they tested at ambient temperatures, eliminating the high temperature, low temperature and wet tests. That still represents a very high percentage of real-world impacts.

The lab crashed the helmets with a two meter drop on the flat anvil and a 1.2 meter drop on the hemispheric anvil (grapefruit sized ball). These are normal CPSC impacts. They also ran lower level impacts at half of the CSPC velocity, using drop heights of only .5 meters on the flat anvil and hemispheric anvil impacts at .3 meters to test lower level performance. We were looking to see if the harder foam in more expensive helmets might fail to crush enough in less-than-catastropic impacts, possibly contributing to concussion risk. In fact, that did not happen.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby il padrone » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:44 am

arkle wrote: There were very few differences in performance among the helmets.

For anybody who has had even a passing interest in cycling over the past 20 years, this is a well known fact.

arkle wrote: Our conclusion: when you pay more for a helmet you may get an easier fit, more vents and snazzier graphics. But the basic impact protection of the cheap helmets we tested equaled the expensive ones. Just look for a helmet that fits you well.

Surprising as it may seem, people who have to wear a helmet actually riding a bike, in all conditions (as opposed to sitting in a test lab) regard these aspects as quite important :roll: The more riding you do the more it may matter.

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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby sogood » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:49 am

trailgumby wrote:A road cyclist was killed in the ACT some time between 2009 and 2011 during an organised event. The helmet was not an AS approved unit. The coroner made certain recommendations. Insurers are all over this, and as a condition of their indemnity cover they're making event organisers ensure all starters wear AS compliant helmets, or they're not allowed to participate.

I think event organisers are entitled to do that with the huge variety of riders out there. Never know what kind of helmet they have.

However, the most common scenario as mentioned earlier is one of high end international models eg. Giro Aeon/Atmos and similar from other major brands. For private use non-competition use, I really can't see any valid reasons for not using one bought overseas (cheaper).
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby Ross » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:42 pm

I heard there was a type of Specialized road helmet that was a slightly different design than o/s version in order to meet AS. May of been the S-Works Prevail?

Had a quick Google search and couldn't find any info confirming this.
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Re: Do you really need an Aus helmet?

Postby damhooligan » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:56 pm

whats the point?
You get an aus sticker.

Is the helmet safer? , no.
Are you 'politically correct' , yes.

And its all about the last one, the rules say you need he sticker.
As some pointed out , it can create issue in accidents.
If you dont mind that risks, buy the cheap one.
If you care about that, but the expensive one.
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