Bicycling Magazine has a very thorough article on cycling helmets, what they protect against, and what they don't protect against (concussions).
The main points of the article are that helmets do a good job of protecting against sudden impacts to the skull, but don't help much in protecting the brian from shear forces that cause concussions.
The article mentions two companies, POC and Scott have helmets with MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) technology to help offer more protection for the brain. POC's Trabec Race MIPS helmet) retails for $220 and looks a bit more mtb/urban than the typical roadie helmet, while Scott's Lin MIPS helmet looks a bit more traditional and has an optional visor.
We're curious about a few things here.
1) Would you pay more for such protection?
2) Would you wear a more protective helmet if it was bigger, or heavier?
3) Have any of you suffered concussions during cycling or cyclocross? How did it happen?
Thanks for chiming in!
1) Yes, probably. I'd want to know there were real gains.
2) Depends on how much heavier. I suppose with 100g.
3) Yes, probably. I lost consciousness briefly after a crash during 'cross practice.
Yes, a helmet saved my life. My helmet gave up its life by breaking the windshield of a mini van in an accident. I was knocked out for 4 hours after the crash during a training ride, and suffered post-concussion syndrome for what felt like months more.
Yes I will always wear a helmet riding my bike at any speed. I will pay more for more protection. If the helmet is better if it is slightly bigger and heavier I would consider it. I am in the market for a new helmet this year, and will take the POC and Scott helmets into consideration.
Since a helmet's protection is only good once you crash it, and since historically I have only crashed a helmet 2X in my 20 year cycling career, style and comfort matter as well. The question for me is what is more important: protection or style and wearing comfort. this changes with the helmets being personally evaluated.