Helmet Questions

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Heading to Simpson Racing in Charlotte tomorrow to pick out a helmet. What are the pros and cons of full face versus open face. It seems to me the open face would be cooler, and the closed face cooler looking. What are the experiences of the posters here. Thanks

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Gary Yates
1995 Red/Tan
 
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Originally posted by ncdogdoc:
...What are the pros and cons of full face versus open face...

I have and prefer a closed face. You should run at tracks and auto-x with the windows down, and any debris or bugs can fly into the open window and hit you in the face. Beyond the injury this can cause, you could also be distracted enough to crash your car. Then, if you do crash, the protection in a full face is much greater.

Originally posted by Andrie Hartanto:
According to the medical doctors in Dale Earnhardt case. He could have been alive if he is using full faced helmet.

Hmmm, I hadn't heard that. I did hear he could be alive if he used HANS, but that is much different.
 
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I like the added protection of the full face helmet.

But I really got one because I think the open face helmets look dorky.
biggrin.gif
 
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Well, since a full face helmet saved my life last September what else can I say! I think that $500-600 is a cheap investment to protect ones life.

Get the best full face helmet that you can buy.
 
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I've been doing some research lately since I will be purchasing one as well. So far my only real criteria is closed face and SA2000.
I think the Simpson super Bandit in black looks sweet, but am debating a black helmet because of the heat.
I heard somewhere that Simpson was bought a while back and quality has tapered. not sure of the truth to that statement at all.
Looked into Bell, very nice but also expensive. Currently looking at a Bieffe Predator. Good helmet and good price $300, light carbon/kevlar. Sine Bell supports Bieffe through their site I tend to trust the quality.
 
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Your head can really move around in the car in the event of an accident, even while wearing a harness. Full face minumizes the injuries it you hit the steering wheel or any other fixed objects.


[This message has been edited by ChopsJazz (edited 19 July 2001).]
 

Lud

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If you know generally what type of helmet you want, the best thing you can possibly do is go to a shop and try on brands/models that meet your criteria.

Don't just put it on, see how it feels, and pull it off. You need to sit there for several minutes to really see if they are any pressure spots. They all fit differently. It looks stupid sitting there with a helmet on, but you don't want to have a helmet that starts bothering you 10 minutes into each track session.

You also need to get the right size helmet. I know a ton of people who buy helmts too large because they are more comfortable. A helmet that fits you properly is very snug.
 
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I was told that if you are wearing a closed face helmet in a car with an airbag that you need to disable the airbag before the track session. The reason being that if the airbag deployed it will push the helmet into your jaw at 200 mph and you will have a broken jaw. If you were to somehow to move forward enough to hit the steering column with the helmet in a wreck the helmet is more than capable of protecting you without the airbag.

(I do have a closed face helmet)

Thoughts?

-matt
 
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Originally posted by blurr:
I was told that if you are wearing a closed face helmet in a car with an airbag that you need to disable the airbag before the track session. The reason being that if the airbag deployed it will push the helmet into your jaw at 200 mph and you will have a broken jaw...
Thoughts?...

-matt

I have never heard of that, and if a helmet fits you properly it shouldn't make contact with the front of your mandible in the first place.

For example, my full face helmet had a direct impact with the pavement at 60+ mph and I had no head injuries. The impact was square in the middle of the front of the helmet where your chin is located.

A good question, but not really possible.
 
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Originally posted by blurr:
I was told that if you are wearing a closed face helmet in a car with an airbag that you need to disable the airbag before the track session. The reason being that if the airbag deployed it will push the helmet into your jaw at 200 mph and you will have a broken jaw. If you were to somehow to move forward enough to hit the steering column with the helmet in a wreck the helmet is more than capable of protecting you without the airbag.

(I do have a closed face helmet)

Thoughts?

-matt

The helmet shoudl not be pushed to hit the jaw. The purpose of full face helmet is to distribute the force if u get hit on the frontal area (jaw area for instance. If the helmet can be pushed to the extent damaging the jaw, imagine what the airbag can do if the helmet is not there to cushion and distribute the blow.

Regarding Dale Earnhardt case, I read somewhere the medical team said that if he wore full face, the blow to the head by hitting the steering wheel would be distributed thus prevent fatal injusr (probably).
 
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One possible difference in the airbag not breaking your jaw but causing the helmet to do so is that the airbag had very little mass and is actually soft (reletivly) by the time you actually hit it as it has already begun to deflate. The airbag hitting the helmet forces several ounces of material very fast into your face. Much faster than you will ever hit the windshield or steering column.

Just some thoughts...

-matt

[This message has been edited by blurr (edited 20 July 2001).]
 
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Dr. Lane, sounds like you went down on a motorcycle. Here in CT, we don't have helmet laws. Many, many years ago when I first started riding, sometimes I wore one, sometimes not. One time I left the house without it. Couple miles later, "something" yanked on my mind to turn around and go get the helmet, so I did. About an hour later, a car cut me off making a turn across my path with no signal. My brakes locked up on some sand and I went down, sliding almost under another car. I had an orange Bell full face and the slide of over fifty feet left an orange streak along the pavement. The front of the helmet was eaten away by the slide, but I was not injured( on my face or head ).
From then on, ALWAYS full face and NEVER without a helmet, no matter how hot it is..
I currently own an ARAI Signet-GT, which is Snell & DOT approved. Cost almost $500.00, and worth every penny. Question: Why wouldn't this helmet be allowed on a track in a car?
If the helmet is quality and fits properly, there's no way an air bag is going to cause it to injure your face. A helmet fits well if you can shake your head violently from side to side and up and down, and the helmet doesn't budge. It's going to be a little hard to put on and take off, but once on it will conform to your head, but snugly. A good helmet will feel a bit too tight for a little while until the liner starts to form around your particular noggin', that's why it's important to wear one for a while when shopping. Trying one on somewhere and then buying mail order is not necessarily a good idea, because even helmets from the same manufacturer can vary in size even though labeled the same. Domestic helmets tend to run large, while imports tend to run small.
HTH,Keith
 
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Originally posted by NSXLNT:
Dr. Lane, sounds like you went down on a motorcycle. Here in CT, we don't have helmet laws...Question: Why wouldn't this helmet be allowed on a track in a car?...
Keith

I'm glad that you are also one of the smart one's wearing a helmet too. In Florida they passed a no helmet law here last year but I never rode without one, I can't say the same thing for many other riders.

Anyway, your post was right on the money.

-Cheers
 
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Originally posted by NSXLNT:

I currently own an ARAI Signet-GT, which is Snell & DOT approved. Cost almost $500.00, and worth every penny. Question: Why wouldn't this helmet be allowed on a track in a car?

I am assuming that you are talking about a motorcycle helmet(M Rating Helmet) not being allowed on the track in a car. The reason for not letting people use Motorcycle helmets is that the motorcycle helmets are designed for and tested with the types of impacts that a motorcyclist might be in and therefore less suitable for car use. Also any good car helmets(SA Rating) usually have Nomex fire resistant material, where as Motorcycle helmets do not, because there is no need for Nomex.



[This message has been edited by 19inchNSX (edited 21 July 2001).]
 
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Originally posted by NSXLNT:
Question: Why wouldn't this helmet be allowed on a track in a car?

Actually, this will depend on the group sponsoring the track day. I have been with groups that have no problem with M helments, and with groups that will only allow SA.

The answers already given about different types of impacts and nomex are correct reasons why, but again - usually the choice of the sponsoring group.
 
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I am surprised that the most important feature of a full faced helmet has not been brought up. The bottom shelf prevents a broken neck; during impact, the shelf stops at the top of the shoulder preventing a snapped neck. If you are looking for protection, you should pursue full protection offered by a full face.
 
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the motorcycle helmets are designed for and tested with the types of impacts that a motorcyclist might be in and therefore less suitable for car use.

If you're interested in reading more about the standards under which helmets are rated, go to the website of the Snell Memorial Foundation.
 
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I would understand the requirement for Nomex liners, which I would imagine could be solved with a nomex balaclava. As far as collision impact, I would have thought an M helmet would be superior, considering they are designed to protect racers travelling in excess of 100 mph with nothing between them and the road.
 
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