am I looking for the proverbial unicorn?

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am I looking for the proverbial unicorn?

Postby TheBellyBionic on Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:01 am

Another Noob Question:

I'm looking for a full face helmet, I've only ever bought bicycle helmets before, and I'm lost. Here's what I'm looking for/having trouble with:
Good ventilation so the shield doesn't fog up
Can be worn with my glasses (I assume this isn't a big issue?)
$100-$200 range, maybe up to $250 for something really, really worth it
Integrated Bluetooth (preferably 2.0), this seems to be where I'm hitting the biggest snag, especially in relation to the last two criteria:
What's the difference between men's and women's helmets? Are the pink ones called women's but they're really all the same? It seems like men's helmets with bluetooth are all over the place if I'm willing to ride around in a helmet that's covered in flames and skulls. I really don't think skulls will go with my hibiscus pink Met. Something that will match is great, but I'm not going to choose a helmet based on color alone. Just as long as the design won't make me look completely ridiculous, I'm fine.
Finally, I have a big head. I need to track down my measuring tape, but my cowboy hat is a men's XL and still leaves a big dent in my forehead.

On a related note, we're thinking of getting me an armored jacket, too. Any good sources for a jacket that comes in a women's size 16? Everything I've looked at so far seems to assume that no woman who weighs over 120 lbs would ever need a protective jacket.
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Re: am I looking for the proverbial unicorn?

Postby GizmoGal on Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:27 am

The best way to get an answer to what you pose as a noob question is to assume it's been asked and answered before you came along. And in fact, answers to various versions of your question are all over the Apparel topic of the forum.That's what the SEARCH feature is for. You first make the effort to find answers that were offered to others. I put in the key words How To Buy a Helmet into SEARCH and found a zillion threads, many of which were directly relevant to your basic inquiry. This one was close and I saw it quickest so I'm giving you the link; also because it addresses the never ending question "which is the "best " helmet:
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=14269&p=121793

For starters, though, here's what you should know about sizing. To the best of my knowledge there is no "womens" helmet. You need to know your size and know how to realize when a helmet is fitting right and then you go and buy what fits, what you can afford, and what you think looks pretty, or cool, or dynamic, etc. . Pink ain't just for ladies. And blue ain't for guys. Maybe true if you are buying a baby blanket, but the word of helmets has to do with with good fit and your commitment to wear it every single time you get on the bike. Find a helmet you can afford and a style you want; full face is a very good start, though modular can solve a lot of issues, and then know your size and price range.
Start expanding your thinking before ordering or buying a helmet. And definitely get fitted properly at a store to know what size you are in various brands and models. It is amazing how an XS in one brand is an M in another. If you decide to order online after that, you will have your size accurate and not spend money on what doesn't fit right. And if you like it in the store and it fits your budget, go ahead and buy it. If you wear glasses, dont' forget to bring them (or sunglasses) with you to make sure they will work under the visor comfortably. You have to take off your glasses to put on a full face or modular helmet and then put the glasses on. But I have several helmets and they all handle my glasses/sunglasses easily.

Read here to learn how to judge what fits and how to measure:
http://www.harley-performance.com/helmet-measuring.html (wow, a measuring tape!)
http://www.ironhorsehelmets.com/sizing.htm
http://www.bellhelmets.com/index.cfm?fu ... page_id=18 (in case you do decide to buy a bell helmet and need to know how to size it)
http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/street ... index.html

You can also download this buying resource list and look in the Helmet area to see some sources and buying links:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5665

Blue tooth is not necessary--if you shouldn't be on the phone when you are driving a car, you DEFINITELY should not be on a scooter with conversation distractions, or fiddling with radio/ipod music selections,etc.. So skip the gadget features unless they are something like a sun visor or neato chin strap. After you love your first helmet long enough, you go buy another one that has whiz-bang.

I have attached a photo of my modular helmet. I bought it for $129; it is DOT approved (a MUST), it came in the solid blue and I bought reflective stickers in the star shape and decorated the helmet to coordinate with similar decor on the bike. So you do not have to have flames and skulls. You can get stickers or paint or stick-on tapes and make a solid helmet as girlie as you want it. Light colors are best for visibility. Use reflective tape/stickers if you want to help yourself be seen at night.

And do read along the Apparel Discussion forum area about how people feel about the helmets they have chosen and why. I am not starting any arguments about full face versus open helmets, but you should know what's out there and about the risks. The helmet is not fashion--it is self defense.

I cannot suggest anything but SEARCH for jacket info. I don't wear an armored jacket. I'm too big and the sizing is for smaller women. Men's jackets are way too big for me.

The best helmet is the one you will wear. Hope I've helped.
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