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Phactory Phil

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About Phactory Phil

  • Rank
    Cornering Apprentice
  • Birthday August 29

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Aliso Viejo, CA

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  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
    no
  1. I can't say that it's exactly dangerous, Hotfoot, but correct fit is critical to any piece of safety equipment, helmets included. There's a philosophy I learned a while back that says "know the rules so that you can break them properly". If it is necessary to make adjustments to the fit of a helmet, it can be done if done smartly. If we can't get you a smaller liner (I'm still working on that!), then adding padding to the entire liner would be preferable to adding padding just to the top. Essentially, you'd be making a thicker liner in all dimensions to get it to fit your head properly. I've had to do some custom work in the past and always address the crown area first. Get the helmet to sit correctly on the crown to keep it from settling down too far and it will be more comfortable and in the proper position for visibility, stability, and safety. PP
  2. OK...back online...so sorry for the delay. In fitting any helmet, if it is sitting too low, it can either limit your vertical field of view or "creep" down further as the helmet loosens up. Neither of these things is very desirable, and both are indications that the helmet may be too big. Properly fitted, the weight of the helmet will be carried around the crown of the rider's head, not on top. If the rider's head is going into the helmet deep enough to "bottom out", the ride height will be wrong. The most general reason that a helmet ends up too big is because the rider is trying to accommodate his/her head shape. If there's forehead pressure or hot spots, going up a size may help, but there could be unforeseen consequences. Adding foam to the top of the helmet isn't something that we generally recommend. On occasion, a little bit of foam here or there to help "shim up" loose areas can work to ensure stability, but adding enough foam to alter the position of the helmet on the rider's head should be a sign to try the next size down. Hope this helps. PP
  3. Excellent share. Thanks for posting that Eirik!
  4. I will defer to Ms. Schuberth on this one. She's on an Alaskan adventure right now, but I'm sure she will have some input.
  5. Cobie, we have discussed doing some fitting videos to help show the visual clues that we see when fitting customers. My idea would be to make them more conversational so that all of the subtleties can be incorporated, but eventually the customer has to put one on his head and see for him (or her) self. Rchase,it sounds like you had a good salesperson helping you. That's awesome. I hope that when you have a chance to try ours on, you'll be able to work with someone of equal quality. The proof would be if they are honest enough to tell you "this may not be the one". Keep in mind the fact that the school helmets have been worn and broken in a bit. A new helmet will feel very different, so if you do make a purchase, and it's tight at first, remember your demo ride to know what it will grow into.
  6. That's it. I sent a PM also, just in case. The S2 is my personal favorite and my daily driver, so I hope to help you out.
  7. "It does however seem that the lens does not seal well and there appears to be no difference in the vent on the mouthguard being open or not as well as the top vent. I get a fair amount of road crud in through the shield where I did not with other helmets, including a $100 Bilt helmet." There are a couple of things we can look at. If you can call the office between 8-5 Pacific, I'll be happy to discuss it with you.
  8. I have not seen any tests that represent the degradation of helmets subject to specific environmental conditions, but would imagine that it would be a challenge to execute. Temperature, humidity, environmental pollutants of a variety of types, UV exposure, sweat of differing chemistry...all combined in varying degrees would be one heck of a data set to chew on! Aside from the wear items like the comfort padding, the next weak link in the helmet is the EPS. While still the best balance between weight, volume, and energy management, it is subject to environmental pollutants, and its properties can change subtly over time. Some parts of the country have higher levels of ground-level ozone than others. Ozone is a nasty oxidizer that makes all kinds of rubbers and plastics brittle. Just look at "dry rotted" rubber bands and weather checked tires for evidence, but one of my favorite examples of danger to helmets is gasoline. I have a photo (still sorting out how to post it) which shows exaggerated result of EPS exposure to gasoline. It's pretty dramatic. Just think about every time you go to the pump and smell gas fumes...so does your helmet. So while a new, unsold helmet may pass the tests, there is no way to predict the performance of an in-service helmet that has been exposed to who knows what kind of nastiness. Thus the guideline to replace on schedule. Hope this helps some. PP
  9. To the OP: We sincerely wish we could be at every point of sale to help ensure the product is both presented and fitted properly, but of course that isn't possible. We rely on our dealer network and their staff experience to help us help you. If we're there in person, Stroker has hit on some key points. I used to get the old tape measure out, and still do if people want to know the measurement, but this is a guideline only. I can take a 57 cm tape and turn it into a variety of different shapes, so the measured size is only really going to point us in a general direction. The first thing I look for is ride height. There should be a clear margin of visible forehead area above the eyebrows, especially in a track helmet. You want the weight of the helmet supported by your crown. If it's too big, you'll end up carrying the weight on the top of your head, and this can get very uncomfortable over time. If your head sits too deeply in the helmet, you'll reduce your vertical field of view, which is very important when you're in a race tuck riding position. Next I look for proper compression of the cheeks, and for any obvious gaps in the fit. Best case is even pressure all over, with good compression that does not allow any of the pads to separate from your face when pushed hard to one side or the other. I look for gaps along the sides of the head as well, which will be an indication of how well the rider's individual head shape matches the interior shape of the helmet. Now it gets tricky. Like when you try on shoes, the guy slips it on your foot and laces it up then looks at you and says "how does it feel?". The visual clues we see from the outside don't give us any insight into how it feels to you when you have it on. We try on enough shoes in our lives that we can tell pretty quickly if one is going to work for us or not, but we don't often get new helmets, and when we do, they feel very different from "old reliable" that we've been using for years. What you want is all-over even pressure. If you lay your hand on the table, you get flat even pressure. This is what we want in a helmet. It will loosen up over time, and you can move on to evaluating other features such as venting, visibility, and weight. Now...if you lift your had off the table some so that you only have your middle 3 fingers on it, the pressure becomes more localized. If you feel this in a helmet, it will still loosen up over time, but it may take longer. Try to imagine that increased, more localized pressure over a period of time in a dynamic situation. Will it be distraction? In cases like this, we suggest more frequent, shorter periods of use to break it in. More like a good pair of hiking boots than a pair of tennis shoes. Now raise your hand off the table some more so that only one finger is on it. The pressure is very specific, and results in the dreaded "hot spot". While these will also yield over time, they will ALWAYS be present to some degree. If you feel any kind of pressure this localized, run away and find another helmet. Our helmets tend to fit intermediate to round heads better. Longer heads will feel forehead pressure in varying degrees, and only the owner of the head will be able to get a sense of how much pressure is too much. As for as break-in period, our helmets make every effort to be as compact as possible while still providing optimal impact energy management. A part of this equation is the density of the EPS foam we use. While the comfort padding will break in relatively quickly, the higher (comparative) density of the EPS means it's going to hold its shape longer. Again, like a good solid pair of hiking boots, if the head to helmet fit results in localized (but not specific) pressure, shorter, more frequent use is advised. Last, when fitting any helmet, if you're on the bubble between two sizes, go with the smaller one if you can. They never get tighter as you use them. Sorry for the novel, but hope it helps. Please let us know if you have more questions. PP
  10. The woman's version is currently just available in the flip front helmets (C3/C3W and C3 PRO/C3 PRO Women). Key differences are (over) simplified into "Foam, Face Fit, and Fabric". The foam in the cheek pads is a memory type as opposed to the standard open-cell type The face fit accommodates a woman's (generally) higher cheek bones and narrower facial profile The fabric is softer and is intended to be easier to clean in terms of makeup removal We have fit many men into these, and women in the men's helmet, because it really is about fit first. Some guys have narrower faces, and some women have wider. In terms of suitability for track use, the flip front helmets tend to like a more upright riding position. On a dedicated sport bike, you may notice a reduced vertical field of view when "tucked in". Aside from that, some tracks and/or sanctioning bodies may have restrictions on either the flip front type of helmet in general, or on the quick-release chin strap. Our best dedicated track helmet is the SR1. It is the lightest and best ventilated and was designed with the racer in mind. It does not come in a woman's fit, but so far I haven't seen much of a need for one. The helmet fits close and snug, just like it should. It's definitely worth checking out. Hope this helps.
  11. PittsDriver: There is currently limited interchangeability. There are 3 shell sizes that make up the 6 final sizes. Interior parts are interchangeable within each shell size. Shell size 1 makes sizes XS and SM. Shell size 2 makes sizes MD and LG. Shell size 3 makes sizes XL and 2XL. So we can't make a SM looser by fitting the MD pads for example. They won't fit properly, and may actually be thicker because of the shell size change. We are working on alternate thicknesses, but I can't say for sure if/when they'll be available. Let me know what size you have or if you have any questions, and I'll be happy to help. Also, don't forget that even with just intermittent track use, helmets never get tighter...they always break in and loosen up. Hope this helps, and sorry for the delayed reply.
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