Topic: Choosing Safety Equipment - Helmets
Looking for a SA-type helmet for road racing...
I have a Long-Oval head. I wear an
Arai Signet-X, Large, motorcycle helmet; it fits me perfectly - "like a helmet, not a glove". AFAIK, it's the only one they make in the "long-oval" shape. My head measures 59cm-59.5cm.
How I perceive certain helmet shapes:
Zamp RZ-59 - X-Large: a little more round-oval; comfortable contact all around;
this was my first choice of the helmets I ordered
Racequip PRO20 - Large: mid-oval, comfortable, a little tight front-to-back
Simpson Voyager 2 - Large: mid-oval, too small front-to-back, uncomfortably tight all around
Simpson Viper X-Large: _way_ too large for my head side-to-side, light contact front-to-back.
I found it strange my head was in between the two Simpson helmets.
Here's a link to an earlier thread regarding helmets (SA2015 era) that mentions shapes:
https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=31867
Getting ready for a first race, I waited to purchase equipment until I was accepted as an A&D. Waiting was perhaps not the best choice, especially now, as it seems everything is in short supply. Not having places to try on equipment, I did the mail order route.
The one piece of equipment I was most concerned with the fit was the helmet. I followed different vendors' directions, and I wound up ordering four - different vendors and sizes.
After ordering almost 3 sets of the rest from different vendors [I had a suit only], I now have at least enough to play this month; and a lot to return - for full credit, of course.
I had some questions about how things fit; and particularly for me, as I have an unusually shaped head.
When I bought my motorcycle helmet, I tried on about 7 total, most from different manufacturers. Five were before I tried on the Signet-X Large, including another Arai. When I put the Signet-X on, I said, "This is the one". The salesman suggested one more, a Shoei Large; it didn't fit as well, and I was done looking for a helmet. The other Arai would be my second choice helmet.
The Signet-X is what Arai calls a "Long-Oval" helmet. They make some that are "Round", many that are "Intermediate-Oval; but as far as I could find, it's the only one they make in that shape. I looked through their marketing materials to see if there was an SA-type helmet in "Long-Oval" 'for road racing'; but no such luck.
So the starting point for my Lemons SA helmet search is that my head is shaped: "Arai Long Oval, size Large", and I'd like a helmet as close to the one I have as possible.
I have a small protrusion top center of my forehead. When I did a motorcycle training program, that's where I felt pressure whenever I put on a borrowed helmet; some were worse than others.
So for Lemons, I decided since I had a suit already, and I have a weird shaped head, I'd better find an SA-type helmet that fits comfortably if I'm going to do this for more than just one race or two.
I reviewed the comments on this forum about the different manufacturers' helmet shapes. Considering my head size (59cm-59.5cm) and shape, I decided to order several helmets, from several manufacturers, to see what fit the best. Below is what I ordered, and my impressions from trying on each helmet.
RZ-59, X-Large, SA2020, $200 Summit/$180 Speedway
This helmet is ok forward-to-back, but I feel more pressure on the center of my forehead (again, that's just _my_ head) than my Arai 'long-oval' helmet; it's firm though not uncomfortable. It's very easy to put on my glasses after it's on my head. When I shake my head "no" - without the chin strap secured - there's a bit of movement; my ears are not compressed. I think ear buds would be comfortable with this helmet. I think this helmet is more "round" than what I remember about the Arai "Intermediate-Oval" Large; but this is an X-Large. I initially thought this was too round and too loose (again, compared to my 'long-oval' motorcycle helmet); but, when I tightened the chin strap it set up nicely on my head: firm contact front and back, and not too much pressure on my forehead or bump, less on the sides, and relieved for the ears. I think a Large in this helmet would be too small for me. I chose this one over the Racequip PRO20 because of less pressure on my forehead, and my head in general. Also, it has a very nicely finished chin strap - it's easy to buckle.
After receiving the two Simpson helmets, this became my final choice.
PRO20, Large, SA2020, $220
This seems more of an 'intermediate-oval' helmet than the Zamp, and the pressure of the padding initially felt more like my Arai (all around, including my ears). This initially felt more comfortable than the Zamp, but the more I wore it, the more I noticed the pressure on my forehead. I think the initial 'comfort' feeling was more 'familiarity'. When I tightened the chin strap the pressure on my head was more than would be comfortable if it _didn't_ adapt through use, and the pressure on my bump became more uncomfortable. The eye opening is narrower horizontally than the Zamp, so it's not easy to put on glasses, but easier than the Simpson helmets. Also, a very nicely finished chin strap - it's easy to buckle.
After receiving the Simpson helmets, this would be my second choice; but because of the fit of the shell, not the nice chin strap ;-)
Voyager 2, Large, SA2015, White, $250
I think this is an 'intermediate-oval' helmet, but is much tighter on my head than the Racequip. It's so uncomfortable I don't think it would ever break in enough, so this is a definite no. But the padding pressure was relatively well and evenly distributed around my head. I think if my head was smaller this would be a good choice. I like the venting. This helmet did not initially allow my ears to slide into the helmet flat, and no matter how I moved the helmet, they were still folded over. Maybe it's because i just had a shower and shampoo-ed my hair, and it was extra clean. I had to stick my fingers into the helmet to flatten them. Fitting glasses into the face opening is difficult. The padding isn't set up for them, though it is very supportive.
Viper, X-Large, SA2020, Black, $370
This is way too big for my head. It's OK front to back, but the helmet tips over on my head side to side. Because of that, I knew instantly that this was not the helmet for me. Strangely enough, like the Voyager 2 this helmet also initially did not allow my ears to slide into the helmet flat. I had difficulty fitting them even though the helmet was so big (maybe it's a fabric finish compound - who knows). The fit and finish on this helmet is excellent - except for the end of the chin strap. I like the venting set up.