Athletics and Recreation

$50 Racing Helmet vs $150 Racing Helmet | Science Garage

$50 Racing Helmet vs $150 Racing Helmet | Science Garage

– A helmet is cool for the same reasons that a car is cool. It’s a beautiful thing that has a job. When F1 drivers unveil their helmet, it’s almost as big as when
they unveil their car. It’s as iconic as a leather jacket. Technically they’re both safety equipment. But they look badass. Darth Vader in a helmet, is the most iconic, scariest villain in cinematic history. But then you take it off, and he looks like your
toe after a long bath. (gags) As cool as they are, helmets exist to keep
our heads from exploding when they hit things. (hip hop music) Pop! This is cars down to the atom. Science! The first helmets were leather, and they were more about
keeping your head warm, and protecting your ears from noise, which I guess is better than nothing. But in 1956 Pete Snell
died in a racing accident. His buddy, George Snively Jr. was like, – “Dang, I miss Pete. I just wish there was something he could have put on his head that was harder than my jacket,
my couch, or my shoes.” – Snively incorporated the
Snell Memorial Foundation in 1958 and published the
first Snell Safety Standards for Protective Headgear. They smack them on machines. They hit ’em on anvils. And they burn them with torches like a Frankenstein monster. (monster screams) So this one claims that
it meets Department of Transportation standards. Technically it’s illegal
to put DOT on helmet unless it meets their standards but, as far as we can find it’s kind of like an honor code. Snell on a helmet, that’s the Snell Foundation, telling you they tested this helmet and it meets their standards. A Snell approved helmet is
tested by the Snell Foundation. I guarantee it. – So Bart, how does a helmet work? – Pretty well James, pretty well. Now you may have heard someone
say a helmet absorbs impact. Physics tells us that energy
can’t be destroyed or created. So in the helmet biz, they say managed. The helmet has to take the
energy of an impact and manage it by spreading it out, so it doesn’t hurt you. The energy of the impact has
to be distributed through a number of layers of different materials, so that it doesn’t get distributed into your skull. The better the materials are, the better the energy management is. The hard stuff manages the impact, the soft stuff cushions your head. Armadillo…arma-pillow. – Ha! – Alright, let’s do some “science stuff”. This is my friend Brian. He’s going through a divorce
and just bought a motorcycle and decided to cheap out and
get a discount helmet online. Brian’s like “Hey, I got this
bike, I need to get a helmet. 40 bucks, I’m legal.” Colin spent 400 bucks and
got a medium grade helmet. Alright, bear with me, I
haven’t done this in a while. This is a shock pad. It’s designed to burst when
it experiences 75 Gs of force. Government scientists say
that is you experience 75 Gs of force, you’re gonna be severely injured. Or dead. Here goes Brian in the 40 dollar helmet. Good luck Brian. (helmet thuds) And now Colin in the
more expensive helmet. Good luck Colin. (helmet thuds) Let’s see how my buddy Brian
did in his 40 dollar helmet. Oh Jesus Brian, (slurp) you feeling OK, huh? How are you…oh Brian. You’ve experience over 75 Gs. I don’t know how to tell you this buddy, no, you’ll be fine, don’t worry. We’ll get you some help. He cracked his melon. Alright now let’s see how Colin did. Hey buddy, you hear about Brian? He didn’t make it. Colin’s fine! And look at this guys, the shock watch didn’t burst. That means this helmet kept
it under 75 Gs on his head. That means Colin’s not severely injured. That’s pretty cool. I mean, this is a melon. Both helmets look the same on the outside, so the answer must be on the inside. – You good? – So let’s find out what’s on the inside! (saw motor whirring) Something smells bad,
like stuff was melting. That’s not good. Let’s crack her open. What in the… It’s just one solid piece. It’s got a weird lining,
it’s got packing tape. And now, the more expensive helmet. (saw motor whirring) Whoo! Look! This is Princess Leia’s
helmet when she was on Endor. (motorcycle noises) Dude, that’s totally how that happened. It’s pretty obvious that
the more expensive helmet is better in this case. This shell is thin and
is just made of plastic. It even melted under the grinder. Where the Snell helmet has
a proprietary thick liner, this inexpensive helmet has a
foam that’s much less dense, and I couldn’t tell you what it’s made of. I can tell you that it also
melted under the grinder. If you’re in a car accident, you don’t want stuff melting to your head. If you look at the most
expensive Snell certified helmet, it’s really easy to see
why it was so effective. First, the diamond blade
made a nice clean cut. Nothing in here melted,
and that’s a good sign. This shell is a thick,
layered fiberglass composite with a fire retardant
resin and enamel coating. And beneath that is this
two tiered, bead all liner. These things together are
what saved Colin’s melon. The visor is a three millimeter
thick piece of Kevlar. That’s the stuff in bullet proof windows. Helmets started as
glorified winter racing hats made out of cows butt skin. But over the years
they’ve evolved into these well thought out, high tech life savers. You can see the difference
between a more expensive, certified helmet and a budget helmet. So wear a good helmet like a good car boy. Thanks for watching Science Garage! I had a great, great time
cutting these helmets open. This was one of your ideas, so thanks. Give me more ideas about stuff
you think I should cut open, or blow up, or I don’t know, drink. Follow Donut on Instagram
at Donut dot Media. If you’re thinking about
getting into racing check out Tony’s video on the best tuner cars under 10 grand. You wanna know more about helmets? Check out this video we did on the evolution of racing helmets. Hit that like button. Hit that subscribe button. Check back every Wednesday
to learn more science. Don’t tell my wife I did this. Bye guys!

Reader Comments

  1. Heheh the $40 is better.
    If u wear the $400 ones, then u didn't die but remember u can save ur head but u can't save ur nuts 😉

    So in a $40 helmet u crash u die. U don't get ripped and scammed by hospital.
    In a $400 helmet, u still alive but pay a tons of fortune to hospital

  2. So where did you find a fiberglass and kevlar shell helmet for $150 ? Your typical 200-400 helmet Snell and Sharp 5 star tested is still just polycabonite (aka blow form plastic) like the $50 one and has simple monolithic EPS (styrofoam). Most helmets under $500 in a motorcycle shop are that.

    So if you can tell me what $150 brand had a laid fiberglass over kevlar mat with two layers of hybrid EPS, then that would be helpful.

    Oh, I noticed the nicer helmet also had just gaffers tape holding the cloth upholstery to the foam liner. Don't trash talk something on one, that is the same on the other. Like trash talking Coke for being sweet and brown, buy Pepsi instead.

  3. My Stilo helmet is one of my most prized possessions. After using Bell helmets for years, it's amazing how much lighter and more compact the Stilos are.

  4. its better to invest expensive but quality safety gears when driving rather than those cheap ones. We have only one life, ride safe!

  5. How much is your head worth… that's what I tell people when they first buy a helmet when they decide ride motorcycles

  6. Go watch FortNine's explanation of helmets. It's way more informative and detailed and you can see what to look for when you get a helmet. It's more for motorcycles but it all applies here too

  7. Never buy a thermoplastic helmet (the one that melted) look for a thermo-set plastic, fiberglass or carbon fiber

  8. Fill up the cheap helmet vs the expensive helmet with black powder and see what happens when you light it. =j

  9. I appreciate you guys doing this comparison. One thing I found when doing research for helmets is that you are more likely to smack right on your chin or the back of your head. So testing an impact directly on the top of your head probably isn't an ideal test. Also, you have to factor in how the rest of the body works with the fitment of the helmet. Even if your head is in one piece it doesn't mean your neck isn't broken.

  10. Just recently got the Simpson outlaw bandit matte black with two shields, the smoke iridium and the gold mirror and DAMN!!! I get so many compliments on how badass it looks. Plus its Snell certified. Imma get the carbon bandit from Simpson next. Can't wait!

    Greetings from Mexico

  11. You make these videos so much fun, please do more animations that’s my favorite parts, and video wise please do an episode on intercooler sprayers, cobbs and what stuff they do for say evos or gtrs, big conversions like running 2jz stuff in a evo, or a old muscle car

  12. Exhausts, their insides and outsides!
    2 stroke, 4 stroke, Diesel, cut outs, straight pipes, collectors, filters, catalytic converter, so much good stuff!

  13. Some pricey helmets are worst than more cheap helmets, but the more expensive also have other features, and sometimes better technology for reducing wind noise, etc… But I'm talking about motorcycle helmets.

  14. This test isn’t accurate because the head/Mellon isn’t secure and move freely inside the helmet and that’s a big no no

  15. Here's the real question though. What helmets are both affordable and high quality. If modern day shopping has taught me anything, there has to be something in the middle that will both protect me and my wallet.

  16. Couple of things here.

    A. Helmets used for automotive racing should be an SA2015 and soon to be be SA2020.

    B. Motorcycle helmets are completely different from automotive helmets. One of the biggest differences is that the interior of an automotive racing helmet is made of nomex and is fire retardant. Motorcycle helmets, dot, and karting helmets are not. If you are trapped inside a car that's on fire with a kart helmet, dot, Moto helmets it will basically melt to your face.

    C. Sa2015 & newer Automotive racing helmets are able to be used with Head and neck restraint devices (HANS DEVICE) motorcycle, kart , & dot helmets are not.

    D. Automotive Racing helmets are designed to impact roll bars, other helmets are not.

    I'll stop there, if you want to know more, I sell Safety Equipment for race cars and drivers for a living. Give me a call or e-mail me. Look up Marc @ Northstar Motorsports we are just north of Chicago.

  17. But a 40$ saved me from breaking my jaw and I still have that helmet and still use it to this day. And DOT certified is still enough to keep you very safe

  18. Can you explain the system new cars have? When they are at a stop the engine turns off and when you are ready to go they turn on? If you have done it can you link it?

  19. There is no way I'd pay 400 bucks for a helmet even if its gonna save my life. What's the reason of living if you're broke? 😭😁

  20. I'm about to buy my first bike. I was honestly going to cut corners in buying safety gear.
    For what my life is worth, I'd like to thank you so much for this video.
    I'll be patient and save up to get a safe helmet for the sake of my little ones at home.

  21. Please make a video on Car Suspension types, I cant understand what Mc Pherson Strut does or what multi-link suspension does in terms of performance. Thanks 🙂

  22. When you had an expensive helmet and you were confident about it but your head got separated from your body after a crash.

  23. I had a 50 dollar cheap ass helmet for my dirt bike. It took one crash and I could bend the bottom of the helmet where it sits below or at your jawline. I'm glad that I put actual money into buying a voss helmet for streets and a nenki enduro helmet for off road because damnnn

  24. Hey mate wonder if drinking coolant will bring down your body temperature so we can survive in this hot weather. Can you explain this thanks

  25. Fabulous video, Sir, do you have interests to review a promising product which can avoid the foggy problem doesn't need any pins?

    WeePro anti-fog visor insert, pins are no longer necessary.

    I'm glad to send you samples to experience. I'm pretty sure you will love it. Send me an email to [email protected]

    People could also order from our online store at

  26. Sorry…not wishing any harm on a fellow rider or racer but whoever cheaps out especially in the helmet department or doesnt wear a helmet at all deserves to crash…

  27. It's funny… My name is Collin, and I almost died from a motorcycle accident back in June 2017. While my whole body took some pretty bad damage, I, like the Collin in the video, was wearing an expensive helmet (not quite $400 though). Because of that, I suffered no head or neck issues whatsoever from my accident… an accident that almost killed me! Great vid. Love you guys <3 😀

  28. It's funny when someone cheaps out on their helmet… because it's like, you're buying the thing to save your life in a worst case scenario so…. why buy one that won't be doing sh*t for you? lol DON'T CHEAP OUT ON YOUR HELMETS PEOPLE!

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