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Schuberth Race Helmets - How much?

Discussion in 'Tracking & Driver Education' started by Robb, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. Robb

    Robb Moderator
    Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Feb 28, 2004
    12,774
    Mesa, Arizona
    Full Name:
    Robb Williamson
    I can't seem to find a price on race helmets from Schuberth like their F1.

    Does it really cost $10k to $20k?

    Are there other options of lower cost helmets they make for auto racing? Otherwise I will likely go with a Stilo or Arai. I'm not interested in the other options out there. Thanks for info on Schuberth.

    Robb
     
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  3. tiara4300

    tiara4300 Formula Junior

    Feb 27, 2005
    640
    miami ,fl.
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    Adam
    Stilo is the way to go hands down. Nothing beats the built in speakers. Schuberth helmets are really nothing special.
     
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  4. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran
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    Sep 15, 2004
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    Car Racing - Schuberth

    The SF1 is made to fit. Custom, each one. Yes, it costs that much.

    The Stand21 IVOS system is worthwhile looking at, otherwise the Arai or Stilo FIA 8860-2010 spec stuff.
     
  5. matt lane

    matt lane Rookie

    Jul 17, 2007
    25
    Montreal
    Full Name:
    Matthew Lane
    In your racing experience, have the other helemts you've tried been lacking? Just curious.

    Last time I looked, there was no SNELL rating which made things problematic for certain track organizations. Maybe that's changed?

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  6. Entropy

    Entropy Formula 3
    Owner

    Jul 10, 2008
    2,151
    Robb

    I've had a Schuberth SF1 and have used it for the last 3 years. In short, it's a great helmet.

    At the time, I purchased it in Europe and had it custom fitted. My desire/requirement was for an 8860 spec, both to be compliant and because it is the best "standard" out there IMHO.

    Given fit is everything, and with my pronounced noggin, my top choices were the Arai GP5 8860 or the Schuberth, though Sparco, Bell and Stilo (and others) made 8860's.

    Cost, with customization, at the time was around $8,000. I worked with a former FIA safety delegate and current driver safety consultant who did the fitting. While the price was a bit heart-stopping, I am also a member of the "if you have a $5 head, wear a $5 helmet" club.

    Schuberth now sells in the US, check their website. I do not know current pricing. I also don't know how the do the custom fitting; in my case, the inner (soft) liner and cfeekpads were molded to my face, and I was given 2 sets of spares.

    As some (eg. Peter Krause) know, I have a pronounced noggin, so getting it fitted properly was both a safety issue and a comfort issue. It's amazing how light the 8860's are, plus they are that much safer. I have had the helmet back to the factory twice for service, they are real pros - interestingly, each helmet is serialized and they ask for documentation of ownership.

    I've had Arais and Sparcos before; I'm probably going to do a replacement this season and am looking at the new Stilo 8860 "Zero" line, since they are advertising better fitments and smaller shells (the Stilo helmets have those darth vader extensions that get in the way, at least to me). FWIW STilo was just acquired by Simpson.

    Conclusion? Schuberth makes a tremendous product, well built and factory-level support. Arai, Sparco, Bell, Stilo....if they are 8860, I'd assume they are really good as well. Comes down to fit. I am unsure how much time people put into their helmets, I have easily 90 days over 3 years, mostly in hot, sweaty conditions, a quick wash and the helmet looks (and smells) new.

    If anything, I'm a believer in the 8860 spec. I had a 55g frontal impact this summer, split my chassis and roughed me up. 1) HANS essentially saved my life (i.e. Earnhardt) 2) I'm lucky I didn't have any severe internal organ displacement injuries (i.e. Simonsen) and 3) the lower mass on my head probably lightened the load on the HANS, and did well when the second impact against my HALO seat and roll cage happened. "sign me up".

    Last, my 13 year old daughter races karts, but is moving into cars. She raced an ITB Fiat Abarth, just finished the Lucas Oil School of Racing program (I highly endorse). She's currently running a CF karting helmets but we're shifting her over. She has probably the smallest CF HANS device they've ever made. Next things for her are a more advanced 8860 lid and the zylon visor reinforcement plate (i.e. Massa).

    Let me know what else I can help you with. If possible, try on the EXACT helmets that are candidates and wear them around for a few hours. Adjust the fit with professional supervision. Seems overkill and miles from the old "yeah, it fits" days, but you also don't want the lid doing something crazy in an impact due to poor fit

    hope this helps
     
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  8. Ky1e

    Ky1e Formula 3

    Mar 4, 2011
    1,237
    FL
    Ouch, what happened? I'm 48 and I'm not sure my body can take the beating and crashes it used to be able to when I was younger. From my teens thru 30's I had tons of skiing and motocross crashes-- no big deal, but now it hurts just rolling over in bed!
     
  9. Entropy

    Entropy Formula 3
    Owner

    Jul 10, 2008
    2,151
    Not to be flippant, but I was in a race and made a mistake (too much aggression, too much power, too much steering, working to pass someone in last corner). I hit a concrete wall pretty much straight on, maybe 10-20 degree offset.

    I knew I screwed up the moment it happened and had my recovery already underway, but as I've said, when you make mistakes going fast, it just means less time to react, and harder impacts. When you go over the limit, sometimes it's hard to get it back under the limit...

    The data shows me at 120mph before I went around, hard to tell how fast I was going when I hit as sensors maxed out and wheel speed sensors were inaccurate given the slip angle and braking.

    A 55g impact is NOT hard to achieve....it's a combination of speed, and how much your car "compresses", and how it crumples. The car did a good job. Team engineer estimated it at 55g just based on what we could find out, but it's probably right.

    The hit was not dramatic to see (unless you were in the car) - it was a single "thud" (whereas a dramatic, parts flying, car ricocheting off tire walls incident would have been cooler to see, and would have been safer by dissipating the impact force)

    Car was essentially done; tub is cracked, crumpled. Big impacts in the front often cause strange bends in the rear as the structure absorbs the impact. Cage, seat, harness, HANS, helmet, interior nets all did their job. (FWIW, the IMSA-required interior nets are must haves)

    I had a stiff neck, sore back, massive belt/HANS bruises, wrists bruised, shins bruised. My cheeks were bruised from my helmet/HANS literally stopping my face. I held about 1800psi brake pressure through impact.

    A tire wall would have helped, safer barrier would have helped more, but (X speed) times (Y stopping distance) sometimes is more than they can even help. As an example, Turn 6 (exit) and Turn 10 at Homestead are all good places to hit harder than you think is possible.

    I've generally always been a safety hawk, this makes me more so (eg. if I had been in a street car, which could be doing around the same speed at that point, I would have been seriously hurt at a minimum...). I also am even more thoughtful about driving any street car at DE's; for me, I always like to push, but the implications are more severe.
     
  10. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran
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    Sep 15, 2004
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    I do like the 8860 Stand21 IVOS helmets, too. It hurt when opening the wallet, but a lot less if I hit something hard.

    Only thing I can think of for counsel in that situation is to follow Brian Redman's advice. When it becomes clear you are going to hit hard, pull your hands off the wheel and grab the shoulder belts securely, will prevent hand and wrist injury from the wheel and compression injury and pull your feet back and off the pedals. A lot of lower extremity injuries occur when pushing that pedal for dear life... Save your feet and ankles, especially in purpose built cars, by reducing that potential for massive compression.

    The right side cockpit net is now mandatory even in club-level competition, even if the car is equipped with halo head supports. Really good idea.

    An interesting data point will be the delta between your noggin size and Emma's! :D

    Merry Christmas!
     
  11. brian.s

    brian.s F1 Rookie
    Professional Ferrari Technician

    Nov 3, 2003
    3,761
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    Skills and reflexes from the Lola 332 days no doubt. Anyone walking after crashing those were lucky.......
     
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  13. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran
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    Sep 15, 2004
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    Yes. Too many drivers with the "Lola Limp..."
     
  14. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,341
    socal
    IMO the grab the shoulder belt advice is not a good idea. It may be possible to encourage shoulder belt dumping and maybe HANS wing pop outs from under the belts. The issue of HANS dumping was significant with early adopters in improperly designed systems. Those were the days of HANS being "in addition to" instead of part of the central core of the modern safety system. I don't think there is any data to show what I say or Redman believes exists. I think it would be smarter to just let the harness do what it is designed to do and not add one's hands to them.

    IMO the reason for the center net is because too many people call a halo seat a full containment seat. The two are very different.

    Lectures I have been too say 35mph delta is 20g's and a 45mph delta is 50g's.
     
  15. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran
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    Sep 15, 2004
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    I have observed, on multiple occasions, hand (mainly thumb), wrist and forearm injuries due to drivers "tensed up" and/or "driving the car" into the impact.

    If you don't want to load the harnesses (which I don't think is an issue, but I have no data to support that) by putting your hands on or near them, just get them OFF the wheel. Nothing like "balling up" to protect oneself... That's all.
     
  16. Entropy

    Entropy Formula 3
    Owner

    Jul 10, 2008
    2,151
    a few thoughts (from experience)

    Agreed; modern seats and harness designs have evolved to make the HANS an integral part of the system. I do think the 50mm shoulder harnesses work much better than 75mm, which most people still use. I also see way too many "harness bars" and "sub strap anchors" that are incorrectly installed.

    Agreed - keeping hands (and thumbs) off the wheel on impact, and relaxing your feet can reduce injury (Eg. when the front wheels hit, the steering wheel will spin and break your thumb or wrist). Having said that, there are times when you want to try and save it....

    I once had a high speed spin in the rain (too much curb!) at Mugello....went spinning for a long while, hitting the wall was inevitable...but I gave up too soon (i.e. hands off wheel). I probably could have saved it if I had turned back. However, if you know you're gonna hit, get hands off. It's probably a matter of experience, as "suddenly sideways panic" is something I've seen in new driver and at DE days, and otherwise recoverable situations become tire wall impacts.

    Last - a 45mph dead stop is likely 50g+. The physics are actually a bit complex in real life. In my case, I was going more than 70mph, but I hit slightly oblique, the car had a series of deformations (bumper, et al, then chassis), the belts stretched, HANS tethers stretched...hence the educated estimate of 55g.
     
  17. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran
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    Sep 15, 2004
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    I'm just glad you are still here, too! ;) Merry Christmas!
     
  18. singletrack

    singletrack F1 Veteran

    Mar 16, 2011
    5,717
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Glad you are ok man. Thanks for the heads up on the zylon; I may have one of those installed for my new RS7. Sounds silly, but I'm somewhat scared of falling gopros becoming missiles. Not everyone uses a safety harness/wire unfortunately.
     
  19. J. Salmon

    J. Salmon F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Aug 27, 2005
    4,309
    VA
    Yet another thing that can be practiced on a simulator.

    I have an IVOS and really really like it. Very competitive price for an 8860 compliant helmet.
     
  20. Ky1e

    Ky1e Formula 3

    Mar 4, 2011
    1,237
    FL
    Glad you are ok and thank you for providing your experience so we can all learn.

    I have those NASCAR style window nets in my car but did not use them because at DE days you need to be able to point-by-pass. What is their primary purpose? Debris flying into the car during a crash?
     
  21. Entropy

    Entropy Formula 3
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    Jul 10, 2008
    2,151
    There are 2 commonly used "nets" that are required in most series in North America.

    One is the "door net" - think NASCAR. The idea is to keep stuff out, and keep you in, yet be able to be opened quickly in an incident so you can get out. (increasingly, some series are allowing FIA approved plastic windows, which are prevalent in European racing, but allowed now in IMSA GTD, PWC, et al).

    The triangular interior nets are really there to keep the driver from flailing around the cockpit and are restraints, particularly for the upper body/head. You'd be amazed how much you can thrashed (or, be thrashed) around in an impact.

    As more people are using HALO seats, the nets are installed to wrap around the upper part. A number of series required the internal/center net a few years ago, now more are also requiring the outboard one as well (so yes, we actually have 2 nets in the car on the door side). Personally, I'd opt for the windows and just the outboard triangle net.

    There is a video out there, I'll have to try and find it, but a guy driving a Mustang in a DE event I believe at Sonoma spins and hits the wall laterally....not going too fast...and his upper body comes out the open drivers window and his helmet hits the K barrier. Not good.

    As fodder for a whole different thread....The challenge with DE's is many/most require windows down, and as they are street cars, have no provision for nets, and little practical rationale for safety equipment (seats, cage, harness).

    I am a complete believer in good point-by discipline in DE events, OTOH I don't favor the idea of having very little keeping me in the car (i.e. 3-pt belts and side airbags) if I'm actually going fast...
     
  22. Entropy

    Entropy Formula 3
    Owner

    Jul 10, 2008
    2,151
    a fun video of Conrad at RA, but shows the triangle nets (interior and exterior, to drivers left). what you can't see in the video is the additional "square" window net. you'll note they are also required on the passenger side, should you be having a passenger.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80ASVGzQbAk
     
  23. Ky1e

    Ky1e Formula 3

    Mar 4, 2011
    1,237
    FL
    Ok I see the interior triangle net. I have just the NASCAR nets for the driver and passenger doors, but no interior net. Do you think the triangle net does much for cars that have a halo seat, 6 point harness, and hans? As it's pretty hard to move or even turn my head.

    One of my concerns is head clearance. My helmet just barely clears the interior roof. There is maybe 1 inch of space (I have a top mount helmet cooler). If the roof gets distorted or compromised in a crash I feel like I would be stuck in an upright position and there is not much room for the roof to move down before it starts crushing my head/neck/spine. The seat is already bolted to the floor as low as possible.
     
  24. Entropy

    Entropy Formula 3
    Owner

    Jul 10, 2008
    2,151
    A well-fitting HALO seat really does contain you pretty well, and takes a while to get used to. I've used one for 3 years and now I only notice it if I am in a car without it. As for the nets, my personal view is yes...they are may not be the primary restraint, but are definitely there as a containment. You'd have to see some GoPro footage of people having good offs to believe how much you move even when strapped in tight.

    my comments, not an expert opinion

    1) is there foam in the bottom of your seat? I took the padding out of the bottom of my seat to gain an extra 1/2 inch.

    2) is the seat mounted on side plates (I'd assume so). Is it really as low as it can go? You might want to try reclining the seat just a bit to get more clearance. If you're tall, you might benefit from some real fitting (seat angle, distance, pedals, wheel distance/angle). We have my seat reclined just a touch, and the team put a heel riser and heel rest in. Wheel can be adjusted with hubs.

    3) some cars the top vents just don't work well due to clearance. Might be worth looking at a side vented option.
     
  25. fire_n_ice

    fire_n_ice Formula 3

    Jun 9, 2006
    1,083
    Yes, the Schuberth SF1 is approx USD 10K. And as the other contributor pointed out, you can get it in the states, the office is near Los Angeles. You will have to go there for the fitting. It is identical to the helmet used by Massa, Rosberg, et al, with the sole difference that they have the shell custom moulded to their head, while you will either fit the small shell or the larger shell and have the fit customized with the padding. Lead time for my helmet was about 3 months I think, coming from Germany of course.

    Is it worth it? If you ever drive an open cockpit racecar, then I would say unequivocally yes. I had bird strike at 108 MPH directly to the head last year. Fairly large bird, too. The only consequence, besides bird guts all over my helmet and cockpit, was that the Xylon strip was knocked off of the visor. The Xylon strip is actually an additional USD $400.

    When I decided to get an open cockpit car, I did extensive research on helmets and finally decided on Schuberth. Of course, this is the same helmet that saved Massa's life when the spring hit him a few years back. Some of the features on the current version are a direct result from data collected in that incident, including the Xylon strip that is now mandated across all F1 helmets, not just Schuberth. Schumacher also played a role over the years in pushing Schuberth to keep making the helmet lighter.

    IMO it is the single most important piece of equipment I own, including the car. In that respect, the price is nearly irrelevant. That said, you do get a very nice helmet bag and 3 visors (clear, med, dark).
     
  26. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran
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    Sep 15, 2004
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    Schuberth SF2 on Winding Road’s site for around $4800 in the latest spec. 150 grams less than the SF1!

    I miss Entropy... :(
     
  27. Element

    Element Karting
    Sponsor

    Oct 29, 2016
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    #24 Element, Dec 18, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
    HMS Motorsport has recently become the North American importer for Schuberth race helmets. This information is NOT ON THEIR WEBSITE YET but was relayed to me by the Schuberth rep at PRI this year. At present only the FIA 8860 spec helmets are available but next year a lower price Snell2015 spec will be available.
     
  28. fluque

    fluque Formula 3

    Jul 30, 2004
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    Fernando

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