Thursday, April 11, 2013

If You Don't Have A Brain, Don't Wear A Helmet!

I just received my new Rudy Project ZUMA helmet!!  As a USAT (USA Triathlon) member I got a really nice discount! I also ordered a Rudy Project Wingspan  aero helmet for racing but it is on back order..booo!

Oh! I didn't know what I was missing!  I've been wearing a Giro Ionos helmet for the past few years, I liked it because it was light and has really good venting.  The venting is so good that the Ionos comes with an insert for colder weather riding.  I thought it was comfortable....  but after putting on the ZUMA I realize just how "uncomfortable" it really is!  I have some permanent indentions at the top of my forehead by my hairline from the pads of the helmet gouging into my head.  And yes, the helmet was the correct size, it just didn't fit me well.  I always thought the marks were from when I put my swim goggles up on my forehead in between sets but now have realized that my old helmet was the culprit! I think that some helmets openings are more round and some more oval.  The Giro seems to have a more round shape. My new ZUMA is more oval, it has 21 vents and comes with interchangeable padding with "bug stop".  Bug stop is a mesh insert, which by it's name, keeps the bugs out of the vents and off of your head! It also adjusts with a dial in the back so it only takes one hand to tighten or loosen the tension of the internal structure.  Very handy when on the bike. I can't wait to go for a ride with it!
Bug Stop!

So, did you know that cycling helmets have a lifespan?  The Snell Foundation recommends replacing your helmet every 5 years. From the information I was able to find it sounds like more so because of "improvements and advances in materials, designs, production methods, and the standards" rather than shelf life, which is what I had believed. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, there is speculation that the lifespan recommendations provided by helmet manufactures are too short and are there as marketing ploys.

This is the inside of Carol's helmet post crash!
I've had a couple bad crashes in my life but I've never hit my head, I always manage to strain my neck muscles though, I'm sure because of holding my head off the ground.  But in any case I still replaced my helmet after the crash and also about every 4 years. If you ever crash on your helmet you should replace it immediately, even if you don't see any damage. The outer plastic layer can hide weakness or cracks that are not visible.  Basically helmets are designed as "One Crash" helmets. A friend of mine, Carol in North Carolina crashed on her bike the other day, a branch fell right in front of her on a descent, and she went down hard! She has a broken collar bone, and some major road rash. Her helmet is cracked all the way through and there are bumps all over her head and blood in her hair! She is lucky to be alive!  Her helmet probably just saved her life.

Carol was at a training camp and with some other riders when she had her crash but what if she had been by herself? My sponsor ICEdot has a product called a Crash Sensor for your helmet. The Crash Sensor is a little thin device that adheres to your helmet and can detect impact, changes in forces and motion.  It pairs with an App on your phone and if there is an impact it will send critical data to the App which sounds an alarm and initiates an emergency countdown on your phone. Unless the countdown clock is manually stopped (if you're not hurt enough to need medical care), the app will then notify your emergency contacts and send GPS coordinates of the incident!! Here is a video from ICEdot that explains and talks about the Crash Sensor! This is a great product and an awesome sponsor!  Thank you ICEdot!!