If You Have a $17 Head


When you have a $17 head, that is your helmet.

I put on a modular bike helmet once I trip. I don’t thoughts the load or the additional airflow noise. I like having the ability to flip the chinbar up for a sip or chew whereas I trip. I like having the ability to open the face up so I can stroll right into a comfort retailer or get some air whereas stopped at a light-weight. I additionally like realizing that accountable producers have actually licensed that my cranium safety has met DOT requirements and, even higher, had their helmets independently examined to present ECE requirements.

I like reviewing and sharing my experiences with fellow riders to allow them to make knowledgeable shopping for choices. I like having the ability to store until I drop. I help the producers that innovate new merchandise for bikes, and I completely won’t purchase a knock-off. I’m very vocal about that on the numerous bike boards I take part on.

So, once I noticed this BLD-branded modular helmet on AliExpress for $17, with the outline DOT- and ECE-approved, I needed to test it out.

The freight costs from China ($21) had been greater than the price of the helmet. I waited patiently, all of the whereas questioning if I’d obtain a helmet that might match my canine or a helmet to put on as a part of a Halloween costume. There is no such thing as a approach a DOT- and ECE R22.05-approved helmet can have a $17 retail value.

Sure, that is the way it was shipped—no field.

Some joke beneath their breaths that the brand-name producers pay mere {dollars} for his or her merchandise, with advertising budgets and earnings lifting the MSRPs to the excessive ranges we’re accustomed to seeing. Nevertheless, the fact is that the prices of R&D, engineers, warehouses, high quality testers, and extra should be lined. However, most significantly, we are able to belief the title manufacturers to check and certify their helmets, or have it accomplished by a good, unbiased lab. Within the case of a finances helmet bought by way of AliExpress, nope!

What I acquired from AliExpress in China was sealed in a plastic bag and surrounded by one layer of bubble wrap. Inside was a ineffective novelty helmet. Here’s what I noticed once I took my first take a look at my brand-new $17 helmet BLD modular helmet:

  • It was unbelievably mild. The one side of the outline that was true is its weight—2.84 kilos.
  • There’s a blemish on the sweet apple pink paint (official colour title: 21).
  • The again, entrance, and prime of my head contact the EPS liner. The one padding is in opposition to the ears.
  • The chin bar wiggles.
  • The chin bar latches are plastic locking into plastic.
  • The chin strap makes use of a ratchet closure that’s all plastic.
  • The faceshield is so skinny that it flexes and gained’t lock down when pushed with a finger; it isn’t marked VESC 8 compliant.
  • There is no such thing as a ECE certification label sewn onto the chin strap, which is how the certification is formally to be labeled.
  • The DOT sticker on the again of the helmet is noncompliant with present DOT labeling necessities.
  • There is no such thing as a Producer’s sticker on the inside EPS with the producer and manufacture date—a part of the required labeling for DOT certification.
  • No BLD-branded helmets seem to have been examined by NHTSA since 2014. As there isn’t a documentation that self-certification, testing is required beneath FMVSS 218, there isn’t a solution to decide if this helmet has ever been examined for bodily efficiency compliance by the producer. Regardless, it clearly fails to fulfill labeling necessities, which is a pink flag.

There is no such thing as a approach I’m going to trip with it to check the wind noise, or anything about it. It’s not a authentic bike helmet, and positively not one which meets DOT and ECE requirements.

Noncompliant labeling doesn’t encourage confidence.

In an trade of emails, the vendor suggested me that the helmets they’re promoting come to them with a DOT and ECE sticker on the again, and so they make no declare as to authenticity. I additionally emailed the Black Lion BLD firm, whose brand is distinguished on the helmet’s exterior and whose imprint seems on the EPS foam. BLD didn’t reply to substantiate whether or not or not the helmet I bought was a real BLD product.

After I noticed the BLD helmet on AliExpress, I used to be intrigued. I had just a few {dollars} to spend to fulfill my curiosity, and I received a whimsical helmet in return.

Extremely versatile faceshield will not lock down.

You is perhaps somebody who will buy a Chinese language-sourced arduous half that’s not mission-critical relating to security. We reviewed a Monster Fairing equipment seven years in the past and got here away impressed.

Nevertheless, don’t waste your cash on security tools with a value that’s too good to be true. Should you do, we’ll all know you’ve got a $17 head.

Affiliate Editor Gary Ilminen contributed to this story

AliExpress BLD Helmet Assessment Photograph Gallery


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