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#398849
This might be an odd question but there's a reason as to why i'm asking -

What are some opinions regarding the usage of a full-face bicycle helmet instead of using a helmet made specifically for air sports?

I can't seem to find a helmet which fits me, they are all too small. I have a big head or a fat head depending upon your perspective :) I'm really afraid of ordering one and then it doesn't fit right, sending it back and then repeating the process. Meanwhile, I can go into a bike shop and try helmets on in the store.

Is there much of a difference? Bike helmets are light and instructors often use them for H1 and early H2 training. If I blow a launch and end up face-first into the dirt or treeline, will a full-face bicycle helmet hold-up?

Finally...can a radio headset be installed into a full-face bicycle helmet? This is not as important, but thought i'd ask since I'm bringing this entire topic up.

Thoughts?
#398851
Soarcerer,

I would be prejudiced against using any "well-ventilated" bike helmet - holes in helmets are bad luck, according to conventional HG wisdom (and I agree). You do not want a helmet that can snag on the landscape, when you really need it to slide, instead. Some bike helmets also use very hard foam, which can also be a problem, with a strike impact. These two considerations will eliminate many "bike" helmets from HG use.

That said, the downhill bike racer helmets now are extremely promising. These are not your common bike helmets. They are reasonably smooth outside, with few if any vent holes, and may incorporate some advanced foam technologies, such as the newer KALI lids. There are also the 6D and MIPs helmet technologies, which are also very serious considerations. Internal pads and liners are usually machine-washable. The chin guards may or may not be worthwhile, so buyer beware there. Some lids will have clear or tinted face shields available. If you need a face shield and there is no commercial version offered, you can make your own (DIY). Look here for the simple process:
http://www.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?t=30700#

The long-board (street luge) crew may have some decent helmet offerings to consider, as well.

I would caution against using some so-called "HG helmets" these days, which may not offer much better protection than a salad bowl. :shock: They may be sleek, light, and even sexy, but you only get one brain, and it needs real protection in a crash. Do not choose by light weight, or good looks. If those two items are even on the list, they should be dead last, after all other vital specs are satisfied.

As for conventional helmet certifications, I would want every cert standard available for my new choice of helmets. Not all helmets can get more than one certification, but some helmets can have several, and you will not see the difference, normally. More is better with certs, IMHO.

My $.02 worth.
By Soarcerer
#398861
Excellent reply, Red, thanks.

I've been looking at the mountain bike helmets, those are made from a strong fiberglass and have EN certifications. They also have vents rather than holes. Those certs are different than some of the air sports helmets, so obviously those are rated differently. The only issue I see is that some of the mountain bike helmets are slightly heavier - the Insider helmets are 24 ounces while some mountain bike helmets are usually over 30 ounces. Might be slight, but might be enough to make a difference.
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By Takeo77
#398865
I've converted to using a full face DOT rated helmet by Kali protectives. A close friend and fellow airman suffered a hang gliding crash recently that split his Charly helmet down the middle and he says that without a full face his injuries would have been far worse. The Kali helmet is only slightly heavier and offers vastly better protection.
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By lukef
#398867
I had exactly the same issue and also didn't want to pay the high price of a Charley helmet and was very keen to try it on first. Not saying they are not worth it, I don't know enough about them but I looked for options. I ended up using a slightly older version of this TLD helmet.
I only scoot around on dunes and do a tiny bit of inland flying, I am not sure how it would go on the neck for cross country ? I am very happy with it and ended up shopping around and only paying AUD $130.00 - $97.00 USD

http://www.troyleedesigns.com/d2-helmet-pulse
By Soarcerer
#398870
At 42 ounces it's really not too heavy for you? I'm assuming not as you wouldn't be using it, but I still wanted to ask again. Most air sports helmets seem to be in the 24-30-some-odd range. And the vents - does it get cool at altitude with all of those vents, or is that actually another benefit as to why you use it?

But I like the look of the Kali, i'll see if I can find a dealer here in Seattle.
Takeo77 wrote:The Kali helmet is only slightly heavier and offers vastly better protection.
Another question for everyone - does anyone know what all of the certifications are on these helmets? This Kali helmet is rated DOT and also carries an EN 1078 cert. The EN rating seem to be a big deal on the air sports helmets (I think EN 970 or something or other?), just wondering if anyone knows the specifics on these.

Wondering also if I should move this topic to the general forum. I'm thinking this question isn't just for newbs :)
User avatar
By Takeo77
#398872
The weight isn't bad at all (but keep in mind I ran around for years with a ~3.5lb PASGT helmet on for years in the military) I just wore it around for an hour a day to get used to it. It's been pretty good. I fly Ft Funston in California so it's commonly 50F but generally no colder. The vents are good.
User avatar
By remmoore
#398884
Soarcerer wrote:At 42 ounces it's really not too heavy for you? I'm assuming not as you wouldn't be using it, but I still wanted to ask again. Most air sports helmets seem to be in the 24-30-some-odd range. And the vents - does it get cool at altitude with all of those vents, or is that actually another benefit as to why you use it?

But I like the look of the Kali, i'll see if I can find a dealer here in Seattle.
Takeo77 wrote:The Kali helmet is only slightly heavier and offers vastly better protection.
Another question for everyone - does anyone know what all of the certifications are on these helmets? This Kali helmet is rated DOT and also carries an EN 1078 cert. The EN rating seem to be a big deal on the air sports helmets (I think EN 970 or something or other?), just wondering if anyone knows the specifics on these.
Takeo is actually flying with Kali's newest model - the Shiva II. It has even better foam protection than the Shiva, because Kali is very focused on constantly improving helmet safety. There was a recent discussion about the Shiva here:

http://www.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?t=35017

I'm really pleased to see so many pilots moving away from typical HG helmets, the vast majority of my flying buddies now fly with Kali helmets after seeing and holding my Shiva. Just this weekend, yet another friend told me he was shopping for a Shiva.

Regarding DOT vs. EN966 certifications: It's long been recognized that the significant increase in direct impact protection offered by a DOT helmet came with increased rotational forces due to their large size and weight when compared to EN966 HG helmets. Until recently, it was a trade-off. With the Shiva, Kali was able to use advanced EPS foam designs to greatly reduce both size and weight while still retaining the DOT certification. The Shiva is the total package of both impact and rotational force protection well beyond the paltry requirements of EN966.

Takeo, you might want to consider installing a face shield on your Shiva. I included information on purchasing and installing one in the posting I attached above. Over Memorial Day weekend, I was at 12.5K over the Sierras, and my face shield did a great job in keeping my face and head warm!

RM
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By once&future
#398885
I'm not sure it's a big deal, but I would think the vents in most bike helmets would be pretty draggy. For folks that worry about a performance difference between visor up and visor down this might be significant.
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By Takeo77
#398887
Takeo, you might want to consider installing a face shield on your Shiva. I included information on purchasing and installing one in the posting I attached above. Over Memorial Day weekend, I was at 12.5K over the Sierras, and my face shield did a great job in keeping my face and head warm!
Thanks for the information! I have wanted to install a visor since the snow goggles are a little clumsy.

I have witnessed the aftermath of at least three hang gliding crashes where helmets played some part in the outcome. One was an aerotow crash, that resulted in a subdural hematoma, and the pilot switching to a DOT helmet, one fatality, and one where the real level of injury is yet to be determined.
By Soarcerer
#398895
I'm sold. The only problem i'm having is finding a shop that sells the Shiva around Seattle. Seems that not all of the retailers listed on the Kali site actually sell them anymore. One retailer said they could order it for me but have other similar helmets with the same ratings in stock. I'll take a look tonight, but at least I can get properly measured in the shop if I decide to order one.
User avatar
By remmoore
#398980
Takeo77 wrote:
Takeo, you might want to consider installing a face shield on your Shiva. I included information on purchasing and installing one in the posting I attached above. Over Memorial Day weekend, I was at 12.5K over the Sierras, and my face shield did a great job in keeping my face and head warm!
Thanks for the information! I have wanted to install a visor since the snow goggles are a little clumsy.
There are some details regarding the face shield installation on pages 1 & 4 of the previous discussion I linked earlier. Let me know if you need more help.

RM
User avatar
By Takeo77
#398985
remmoore wrote:
There are some details regarding the face shield installation on pages 1 & 4 of the previous discussion I linked earlier. Let me know if you need more help.

RM
Thanks! Wilco.
By Soarcerer
#398987
Alright so, i've decided to order a helmet directly from Kali. My head measures 58-59 cm which puts me at a large, however when I tried on large helmets (from other brands) in the bike shop the other night they were pretty tight.

How does the fit on the Shiva compare - is it wise to go up to an XL (61-62 cm according to their site)?

This is why I hate ordering stuff online :)
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By Eteamjack
#398989
I only had a couple of flights on my 661 MTB helmet. Fiberglass and kevlar components. Just slightly heavier than my previous open face unit. Well ventilated. Good fit and seemed to have plenty of foam core. Nice finish.
I enjoyed it for those two flights. When I crashed there was no head involvement so I cannot testify for it's integrity. I know that if my head had hit the rock I came in contact with it probably would not have mattered. Pretty inexpensive.
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By remmoore
#398993
Soarcerer wrote:Alright so, i've decided to order a helmet directly from Kali. My head measures 58-59 cm which puts me at a large, however when I tried on large helmets (from other brands) in the bike shop the other night they were pretty tight.

How does the fit on the Shiva compare - is it wise to go up to an XL (61-62 cm according to their site)?

This is why I hate ordering stuff online :)
There are a couple of things I can tell you about Kali helmet sizing. I've had three of them, and they all were consistent in these points.

First, they seem to be true to the advertised circumferences. If you're buying one advertised at 61-62 cm, that's what the helmet will be. Second, Kali helmets have a more rounded head-shape. Not perfectly round, of course, but on the more rounded end of the spectrum. If you know from experience what shape your head is, order accordingly. I, for example, have a more elongated head, and need to order a slightly larger helmet size.

RM

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