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best helmet for comfort

  1. #1
    Dictionary quoting knob stoinkythepig's Avatar
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    best helmet for comfort

    I've had a few Shoei and HJC helmets. They get uncomfortable after 300 miles or so and the shield mechanisms tend to wear out earlier than I'd like. Looking to spend less than $800 (retail price) on a quality helmet that's all-day comfortable and has a great/robust shield design. I'd love it if the helmet had the option of just cracking the shield open an 1/8" or so (and have it stay that way without a hassle). I have a very large head and wear a XXL. Recommendations are appreciated. I will be buying locally.

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  2. #2
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Captain Obvious answer: go to a knowledgable, authorized retailer (Seacoast) and try on every helmet they've got on their shelves. That's how I decided on the Arai Vector 2.

    If you bring your old one they may even hook you up with their trade-in deal that they had a while back. Not sure if it's still on-going but it's definitely worth asking about. Think it was good for 50 or 100 bucks off. That's my plan if my race lid is out-of-date.

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    Last edited by OreoGaborio; 01-17-15 at 09:38 AM.
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  3. #3
    Dictionary quoting knob stoinkythepig's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    I was not very clear. I will be trying many helmets for fit. The issue I have is that they tend to feel fine for a few hours, but then start to bug me. Hoping to hear from folks that ride many miles a day and have found helmets that remain comfortable long after everything else is aching. I hate that my last helmet was the first thing to really bother me on long rides.

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  4. #4
    Lifer SwiftTone's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    My Arai RX-Q keeps me comfortable for 400 mile days.

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  5. #5
    First name on the shit list.... SVRACER01's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    i have owned arai, hjc, shoei, and afx. i really like shoeis, but my arai was by far the most comfortable helmet ive ever owned.
    the down fall to the arai is the visor replacement. while its pretty easy, its not shoei easy and it feels like youre gonna break something.

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    Last edited by SVRACER01; 01-17-15 at 10:25 AM.
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  6. #6
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Quote Originally Posted by stoinkythepig View Post
    I was not very clear. I will be trying many helmets for fit. The issue I have is that they tend to feel fine for a few hours, but then start to bug me. Hoping to hear from folks that ride many miles a day and have found helmets that remain comfortable long after everything else is aching. I hate that my last helmet was the first thing to really bother me on long rides.

    not everyone has the same head shape

    you need to get your head fitted properly

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    RandyO
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  7. #7
    Bikeless in Blackstone The Snowman's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Fortunately, my melon fits several brands well. I usually go for lighter, carbon fiber shells, due to cervical vertebrae issues. Heavier helmets really hurt my neck after time.

    As mentioned, you should go to a dealer that has several brands and try them all on. You may be surprised at what fits you, possibly better than your present helmet.

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  8. #8
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Quote Originally Posted by The Snowman View Post
    Fortunately, my melon fits several brands well. I usually go for lighter, carbon fiber shells, due to cervical vertebrae issues. Heavier helmets really hurt my neck after time.

    As mentioned, you should go to a dealer that has several brands and try them all on. You may be surprised at what fits you, possibly better than your present helmet.

    he needs to go to a dealer that will swap out different thickness liner & cheekpads as he tries the same helmet

    its more than just grabbing a helmet off the shelf

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    RandyO
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  9. #9
    Old and Slow Sheppo's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    I have a Scorpion. It's my second one, in between I had a Shoei. I will buy a Scorpion again. I can wear them all day. Different models fit different heads. Souhegan Motorsports is a dealers and has a great selection. You can wear mine for a day if you want it's an XL

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  10. #10
    Posting Freak Spooler's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    I've worn my arai vector 2 and arai xd3 for full days and had no complaints. But having said that, Shoei helmets are extremely uncomfortable for me. If you've had Shoeis and been comfortable in them for a few hundred miles the vector head shape is probably not for you. The XD3 is the most comfortable long distance helmet I've ever worn, but same thing. Shape might not work for you. I hear Shark makes a nice lid, kind of hard to find to try on in person.

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  11. #11
    Lifer
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    he needs to go to a dealer that will swap out different thickness liner & cheekpads as he tries the same helmet

    its more than just grabbing a helmet off the shelf
    Actually, it could be exactly that simple. Most manufacturers only make a few different shells. They then fill out their size lineup with different thickness pads. A medium may just be a med/large shell filled with the thicker cheek pads while the large is the same shell with thinner pads. For example I got a screaming deal on a Bell helmet I plan to use for racing. Unfortunately they were sold out in my size (medium). Instead I bought the same shell in large and bought the thicker pads separately. I could have just bought a medium. But this worked out exactly the same. I've seen dealers do this if they have a limited selection of a particular color in stock as well. Same net effect.

    But that wasn't what he was asking.

    Pick the right tool for the job.
    If you've been wearing a brands' more race or track oriented helmets while touring, you probably are doing it wrong. Each brand has a spectrum of offering ranging from quiet, all day comfortable touring lids to uber-lightweight track helmets that flow a ton of air. Using a touring helmet on the track results in a sweaty head. (Ask me how I know.) Using a race lid for 600 mile days results in fatigue and discomfort. Make sure you are picking the right model for your use from each make before you write them off.

    My current street helmet is a Shoei Qwest. It is the best made, most comfortable street helmet I have ever used. It is significantly better than any of the Scorpion or HJC helmets I had before it. Quiet, light(er) weight, excellent build. If you haven't tried the Qwest I recommend you give it a look. I think it would serve you well if it fits well.

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  12. #12
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Quote Originally Posted by stoinkythepig View Post
    I've had a few Shoei and HJC helmets. They get uncomfortable after 300 miles or so and the shield mechanisms tend to wear out earlier than I'd like. Looking to spend less than $800 (retail price) on a quality helmet that's all-day comfortable and has a great/robust shield design. I'd love it if the helmet had the option of just cracking the shield open an 1/8" or so (and have it stay that way without a hassle). I have a very large head and wear a XXL. Recommendations are appreciated. I will be buying locally.
    When I first started riding, I had the same issue with HJC, not only were they uncomfortable after a couple hundred miles, they fell apart after a couple years use. I switched to Arai, and never looked back.

    I'm with Pete on this one, go to Seacoast, see Patricia and try them on. She'll not only have you try it on, but she'll have you keep it on and walk around for 20 minutes or so wearing it....if you're trying on helmets and not doing this, you and the sales staff are doing it wrong!
    The Arai does exactly what you are looking for with the visor, you can leave it cracked open and it stays there. I've ridden with mine cracked open much more than 1/8th inch, it's nice to get added airflow on warmer days. Keeping it cracked open though, I would limit the speeds to around 70.

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  13. #13
    Back marker... jwm2k3's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    I'll 2nd the Scorpion helmet. Best shield I've ever had. Thick and heavy, great vision thru it and had a stop where it would open 1/4 inch and stay....much better shield mechanism than my current Shoei's....

    Also, Suomy makes a great shield as well...

    The fit, well...that can be customized for any brand almost. I've done some fine tuning of replacement pads on my Suomy, and it's a killer fit now. My Shoei is straight off the shelf, but I only use that helmet 8 laps at a time....

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  14. #14
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    If you could be a little more specific about the way your current helmets hurt you (too tight in the front/back or too tight side to side or whatever) that might help. Certain brands tend to have a certain shape-- AGV tends to be long and narrow while HJC and Shoei tend to be round.

    I know I fit HJCs well, but my Bell has held up far better to wear. The shield change mechanism is quite similar, though the HJC has a better "cracked" detent.

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  15. #15
    Dictionary quoting knob stoinkythepig's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Quote Originally Posted by golden chicken View Post
    If you could be a little more specific about the way your current helmets hurt you...
    It gives me "hot spots" after many hours. Sometimes my ears, sometimes my scalp. No other helmet has done that to me.

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  16. #16
    Satans Donkey Uncle Snake's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Track - Arai
    Street - Arai
    Iron Butt - Arai

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  17. #17
    Rust never sleeps. whynot's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Arai Vector is all day for me and my head. Tried a Shoei, it felt all right for an hour or so, then I was the man in the iron mask, sold it.

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  18. #18
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Go see Patricia and get fitted. I thought my Arai was the best until I tried a different shaped and properly fitted Arai. Now i'm in a whole new world of all day comfort. My ears start hurting from my earplugs far sooner than my head experiences any discomfort.

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    Last edited by TheIglu; 01-19-15 at 01:05 PM.
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  19. #19
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    I ride with a Shark now, but my last helmet was an Arai. My next helmet will be an Arai

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  20. #20
    Senior Member jerseygirl's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    I have been fitting Arai helmets for 10 years now. I can only speak to Arais, but there are 4 different shell shapes with lots of different pads that can be switched out. The only way to really find the helmet that fits will be to go and see someone. Sounds like Patricia knows her stuff so that will definitely be to your benefit. Hot spots will appear quickly. When I fit, I focus on the crown of the head as that will determine shell shape. Front to back and side to side. Does any place touch more than others? You want an even and consistent feel all the way around with it being really snug in the beginning. The cheeks are easier to switch but will also eventually play into the even and consistent feel. If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot them my way.

    About the ear thing, every helmet I had owned does the ear thing to me so I would love to hear what other people say about that.

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  21. #21
    Rust never sleeps. whynot's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    P.S. -- I got the Arai from Patricia.

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  22. #22
    Lifer markbvt's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Obviously it all depends on the shape of your head. I've owned three Shark helmets because they fit my head perfectly and are very much all-day comfortable. Also, my newest one, the Vision-R, has a large face port so offers a larger field of view, and the visor has the features you're looking for (including a very convenient cracked-open position actuated by a small lever on the left side).

    I'm forced to buy helmets online because the local retailers don't carry much of anything besides Shoei, Arai, and HJC, none of which fit me properly. Luckily Revzilla does carry a wider variety, and they have an excellent return policy.

    Speaking of a wider variety, you might also want to try a Nexx helmet. Really nice lid, plus it comes with a custom-fit kit. I almost bought one of those instead of my most recent Shark, but decided to stick with what I knew would work great for me.

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  23. #23
    lost in space zombie's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    I own a roof boxer modular helmet , been wearing them for over 15 yrs and the most comfortable versatile lid I've ever had the pleasure of sticking on my noggin. 700 mile days not a problem.

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  24. #24
    Rider. Just a rider... DucDave's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Seacoast will let you wear one as long as you like while at the shop. In fact, Patricia insists... I'm not sure how else you'll answer your question since everyone's experience is particular to them.

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  25. #25
    Dictionary quoting knob stoinkythepig's Avatar
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    Re: best helmet for comfort

    Thanks for all the input.

    I am quite aware that comfort is a function of helmet shape and head shape and that I'll need to try many on to find a proper initial fit, that's clearly a given. I was looking a bit deeper into the issue and trying to find out what helmets have a reputation for comfort late in the ride and that goes beyond what you can feel while trying one on in a store, even if you wear it for 3 hours (there's a huge difference between walking around a store and roaring through turbulent air at 50 MPH). I realize this is clearly subjective, but that was the point... Based on what I'm reading, Arai will be a must try. I have always shied away from them due to the price, but I am now at a stage in my life where comfort is becoming more important.

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