Originally Posted by hbear
And in the case of race helmets the standard is quite high as it is. Yes one OEM is welcome to exceed the standard however the actual effectiveness of that helmet compared to one that meets the standard cannot be validated as being "safer".
Safe is safe, as far as FIS standard helmets, POC is no more safer than Briko which is no more safer than UVEX which is no more safer than Shred, Sweet or any other.
We aren't talking about 100% vs 65%....all are great. (More like 99% vs 98% if I were to put figures on it) What matters more how it fits ones head. An ill fitting POC will certainly be less "safe" than a properly fitting Atomic.
If you buy POC (or any other OEM) because you believe it's safer than you have simply validated that the marketing machine works.
I'll have to disagree, just on logical grounds. First, an argumentum ad ignoratium problem; since we cannot know if one helmet is safer than another, that means they are all equally safe. Nope. Premise may/may not be true, but not knowing something doesn't prove the other side of the argument. Measuring "safer" is different than the argument on the table, which about being equally safe. Second, you propose that meeting some minimum threshold means "safe." Minimum doesn't mean safe. Or equal. Actually doubt FIS ever uses the word "safe," lawyers wouldn't like it. Third, you insert some extra definitional terms on the fly. You start by assuming meeting a threshold means "safe." Then your safe becomes equally safe. FIS doesn't say that one, for sure, nor do they imply it.
It would be like saying all blood pressure at or below 120/80 is equally desirable or all cars with mandated airbags or a 5 star rating are equally safe.
All FIS is saying is that a stickered helmets meet some minimum standard for resisting damage in a static weight drop designed decades ago. I think as of 2016 they figured in gate impacts, but unclear about the methodology. Typically standards like this are overkill, meaning that they are designed to cover most of the user population, like RDA's. But the relationship between the test results and real slope impacts is even less well understood than vitamins. Which are a mess, when you figure in interactions and genetic factors and user age. Notice they seriously revamp them periodically; check out the Vitamin D requirements compared to a decade ago. So are the old requirements "healthy?" Are the new ones "healthier?" They're just best guesses. Is a 2016 helmet safer than a 2014? Probably. Maybe. How much better? Who knows?
It's likely very nonlinear, and not well predicted by the test. (Which doesn't really deal with concussions or angular blows, for instance.) The type of foam, materials used in the shell, basic design (MIPS vs. non-MIPS) all figure in to safety over time (some foam degrades after one impact, some doesn't, for instance). But like most sanctioning bodies, FIS does the best it can with pressure from all sides to come up with an arbitrary number.
You're right about fit, I'd guess, although have never seen data on looseness. A loose helmet probably contributes more risk than a barely meets the threshold helmet. OTOH, a 6 year old EPS in-mold helmet that's taken some falls is probably just as bad as a loose 2016 version. The reason I'm hedging on looseness is that all the makers and every seller and every website and every coach advises a snug fit. Which makes sense, and we all buy into it, me included. But seriously, has anyone ever compared loose vs snug empirically? From a physical perspective, seems like a MIPS design absorbs angular momentum by rotation relative to the skull, which a loose helmet does also. What if a loose helmet were worse for absorbing direct penetrative blows but better for dispersing off-axis blows?
"Marketing machine" is more about your personal politics. All good, but not really logically relevant to the argument. I could have the world's most powerful marketing machine and still make a superior helmet. Or the worst ever. Does not follow.
Edited by beyond - 5/5/16 at 8:26pm