Bike Helmets? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 11-30-2011, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Bike Helmets?

Im starting my lessons soon, and I was told a bike helmet would be good to use. I am kinda wondering about this, I really want a good quality helmet for when I get more advanced, obviously.
Should I put this as a first priority, or just use my biking helmet?

Thanks. xx
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-01-2011, 12:19 AM
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I would go with a riding helmet, even a cheaper one. I actually did use a bike helmet for years and hated wearing it. When I finally bought my first decent riding helmet (a Troxel that cost me $70) I was so happy with it. I actually LIKE riding in a helmet now. It just feels so much better than a bike helmet!

Another reason is that I've heard that each type of helmet is made for the risks of the particular sport. So a bicycle helmet is made for different impacts than a riding helmet.

But certainly a bicycle helmet is still more protection than non at all. So I would choose a bicycle helmet over no helmet at all. But I would choose a riding helmet over a bicycle helmet.
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post #3 of 18 Old 12-01-2011, 03:42 AM
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There are differences that are noticed when comparing biking helmets vs riding helmets for sure. The two are each developped for the specific sport they are intended. I have both types and would not feel completely protected with a bike helmet when riding as mine has huge holes for ventilation purposes as one example. The shell on my riding helmet is also much tougher as well so I feel safer using this while riding. You don't need to spend a fortune on a riding helmet just make sure it is safety certified and fits you well. A poorly fitted helmet of any type is almost like wearing nothing at all. But, I do agree as trailhorserider already said it is better to have something on your head as opposed to nothing at all if your funds are low.
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post #4 of 18 Old 12-01-2011, 07:02 AM
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Oh, boy, no. Bike helmets are NOT designed for horsey activities. Please, buy or ask your parents to get you a real riding one (Troxel offers cheap helmets still with high protection like this one for example Troxel Sport Riding Helmet < ASTM & SEI Certified < Helmets < Riding Apparel | Dover Saddlery. or (little more expensive) Troxel Spirit Helmet in Patterns < ASTM & SEI Certified Helmets < Riding Apparel|Dover Saddlery. (I love those with patterns even though I'm way passed my childhood )).

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post #5 of 18 Old 12-01-2011, 08:41 AM
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I'll vouch for the $25 Troxel. Riding helmets are designed for riding. Bike helmets...aren't.
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-01-2011, 10:37 AM
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Bike helmets are not a good idea for riding. I knew a kid who fell off riding in a bike helmet, it didn't offer him nearly as much protection as a riding helmet would have. I have 5 helmets, one of which is a Troxel. It wasn't expensive, but it's done a great job protecting my head. I've done my fair share of falling off, and boy am I glad I had a helmet on.

I hope it wasn't the instructor you'll be riding with who told you a bike helmet would be ok... That just makes me nervous. My instructor requires any rider under 18 to wear a certified riding helmet in lessons, and highly recommends them for those over 18.

<3 Dallas, Dakota, and Shaymus <3
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-01-2011, 10:46 AM
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Interesting article, Keep in mind it was wrtten by an Equestrian helmet maker though:
Why Not Use A Bicycle Helmet for Horseback Riding?

Why would a horseback rider choose a helmet made for another sport, rather than one which was specifically designed for riding and certified to pass the toughest riding helmet standard in the world?
The argument has been made that U. S, bicycle helmets are similar to helmets made to American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard F1163 and certified by the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI). On the surface there are many similarities in testing systems and requirements. However, there are some key differences, and an educated consumer needs to consider these carefully.
ASTM/SEI helmets are made in Western and English styles, come in many colors and styles, are cooler than the "item of apparel" black hunt cap, and weigh as little as 10 1/2 ounces. ASTM/SEI helmets cover most of the back of the rider's head, and are required to provide protection for a specific area. Without proper coverage, the helmet does not pass certification testing. "Item of apparel" helmets have liner material only at the top of the head and partly down the side (with as much as two inches of unprotected gap) and comfort foam, which offers no protection, around the sweat band area. In many cases, bicycle helmets currently on the market offer a protection area which only covers the top of the head.
ASTM/SEI riding helmet manufacturers are visited periodically by a quality auditor who makes certain that all certified helmets meet the minimum standards. Only bicycle helmets made to ASTM F1447 have this same requirement, and bicycle helmet manufacturers are not required to have SEI certification by any federation or law,
ASTM/SEI helmets must be covered by liability insurance for as long as the helmet model is in use, even after it has been replaced by a new model. Only SEI certified bicycle helmets must carry similar coverage.
ASTM/SEI helmets are made in several different shapes and a variety of sizes, so that every rider can he properly fitted. Although some models come in a range of Small, Medium and Large, if none of these fits perfectly even with the addition of the sizing pads included with the helmets, the rider still has the option to buy another model helmet for his or her specific head size. Bicycle helmets do not offer this option.
The usual reasons for preferring a bicycle helmet to a riding helmet are:
1. My child already has a bicycle helmet, why should I buy another helmet?
2. Price
3. Price
4. Price

It is true that you buy a bicycle helmet for $11.00 and up in a discount store. Even discounted or on sale one can seldorn find an ASTM/SEI helmet for less than $40.00. So you can save $29.00 or even more by buying the bike helmet. But what have you given up in return?
1. Coverage area is generally not independently certified. Although the three U.S. bicycle standards show specific areas of the head which must he protected, only those made to ASTM F1447 (bicycle) and SEI Certified are tested in an outside laboratory to meet that standard. Not all manufacturers choose to have their products certified.
The Snell Foundation does its own internal certification and testing of helmets made to their standard. Unfortunately there are bicycle helmets on the market which say they pass Snell, but which do not contain an official Snell sticker showing that they have actually met the basic requirements.
Helmets made to the ANSI bicycle standard are all "self-certified." This means that a consumer takes the manufacturer's word that the product meets the standard. Consumer Reports in 1990 checked bicycle helmets, and found that 15% or more of the self-certified helmets met no current U.S. standard.
Because the organizations seriously concerned about riding safety have required in their rules that their members wear SEI certified helmets, all the helmets made to ASTM F1163 (equestrian) standards and sold in the U.S. are SEI Certified to pass all tests required in the standard.
2. Testing with a sharp anvil surface. All three bicycle standards drop test helmets on flat, hemispherical, or curbstone anvils. The equestrian hazard anvil has a deep and sharp design, meant to approximate the angle of a horseshoe or a jump standard edge. Helmet testing for both disciplines does not allow any hazard anvil to make contact with the testing head form.
Which do you think provides a tougher test, a sharp or a rounded or curbstone flattened anvil?
3. Insurance which covers equestrian activity. All three bicycle helmets specify that they are intended for bicycle use ONLY. This disclaimer means that in the case of a defective bicycle helmet used in horseback riding you will probably not be able to sue the manufacturer with any degree of success, since his insurance will not cover a riding activity
4. A design which will be accepted in riding competitions. Certain competitions require the use of particular types of headgear. You will not find bicycle helmets listed in horse competition rulebooks as recommended for riding competitions.
No helmet made can protect a rider from all possible injuries in every possible accident. Most riders capable of making a sensible decision can see the value in buying "state of the art" head protection made for their particular sport, and using it "EVERY TIME ....EVERY RIDE."
Perhaps the best argument to be made for the use of an ASTM/SEI riding helmet is to ask yourself if you, or someone you care about, has an $11.00 head. The choice is yours.
Drusilla E. Malavase, 2270 County Road 39 RD 2, Bloomfield NY 14469
Jaymin Patel, International Riding Helmets, Ltd., 205 Industrial Loop, Staten Island, NY 10309
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post #8 of 18 Old 12-01-2011, 12:09 PM
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The trainer at my barn only allows children to wear bike helmets when around the horses, but requires them to ride in a riding helmet.

Riding helmets can get pricey, but they don't have to be. I definitely recommend getting a riding helmet and NOT riding in a bike helmet. It's not safe, as riding helmets are designed for falls from horses and are typically made more durable.

This is the one I currently ride in (I like it, but I only got it because the Tack Room didn't have a Tipperary in my size).. It does its job well!
Ovation Deluxe Schooler Helmet -
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-01-2011, 06:42 PM
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Riding helmets are the safer choice. Bike helmets will make do in a pinch, but in a serious accident they just will not protect you as well. I'd rather have a cheap riding helmet than an expensive bike helmet.
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-01-2011, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, Sounds good. I will NOT wear a biking helmet.
One more question though...I am really big on the whole snowboarding things, ((and hope to get one for christmas and have to stop renting! (My mom and dad suggested to put it on my list!) ))
and, I was wondering, what about a snow boarding helmet? I know, you all meantioned how a biking helemt was simply deigned for biking,and I agree, it also applies for snowboarding. But...I was looking at Costco and saw some of great quality...
Would it be ok?
Here is an example for you not to have to look it up.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg red-trace-snowboard-helmet-black.jpg (50.4 KB, 1532 views)
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