Ventilation of horse riding helmets: what is the connection between laboratory and field measurements?
© Jolly et al.; 2015
Published: 14 September 2015
Helmets have received little attention in the literature concerning thermal comfort. Whether it is for motorcycling or cycling, ventilation of helmets has become an issue [2, 3]. Relationships between heat loss and the effects perceived vary among helmets. Fouganza, the equestrian brand of Decathlon, has made ventilation of horse riding helmets a priority, first laboratory and then field measurements were performed in order to evaluate the validity of laboratory measures and also to rank a range of helmets on a scale from 1 to 5.
The determination of thermal and evaporative resistance was assessed on seven helmets, using a head manikin in a climatic chamber under 20°C, 40 % rh and two wind speeds (1,3 and 15,0 km.h-1). Four indicators (Rclow speed, Rchigh speed , Relow speed , Rehigh speed) were thus obtained.
In order to better understand the behaviour of the helmets during field tests, a specific questionnaire was created for 15 horse riders (from Gallop 3 to Gallop 7) to collect the subjective responses of four helmets, on a 9-points-scale (from not ventilated to very ventilated), after an intense exercise of 45 minutes undertaken at the Equestrian Centre of Roubaix.
From the four indicators, Rclow speed was found to be significantly correlated with ventilation of horse riding helmets. The general grading remained the same by selecting the other indicators Rehigh speed , Relow speed and Rchigh speed, but they are not more representative of the real use.
Thus we obtained the coefficients of the equation ventilation = α.Rc low speed + β, allowing us to rank our range of helmets.
Discussion and conclusion
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