As always, we try to provide a little extra information to our customers about product. The OGK helmets are no different. But first a little history.
Last year we imported the European version of the OGK FF-3GP, Aeroblade II, and FF-4. The key word is "European". The helmet was very well made, and light..! At about 3lbs, very few helmets could compete. The venting was also above average, but the key feature was the helmets light weight.
In November 2003 we were told OGK was going to manufacture the FF-4 to the SNELL standard. Shortly after this announcement, our European Distributor told us that they would no longer sell us the European version of the helmet. If we wanted to sell OGK, it was the new SNELL FF-4, or nothing.
This wouldn't have been a huge issue, if we felt the US SNELL version of the helmet was equal to the European version. The simple fact is, they are not equal.
The main difference between the US version of the FF-4 and the European version is the helmets weight. They look the same, but the SNELL version is noticeably heavier. This is not entirely the fault of OGK. Many European helmets have been re-manufactured to meet SNELL, and fallen victim to the same issue. However, the weight issue has put our decision to carry OGK on hold.
We are aware other companies have decided to carry the US version of the FF-4. Our issue is with the price, versus product value. In the current version of the SNELL FF-4, we don't feel it's the same value as the European version. If you're sold on the helmets look, venting, and fit, then by all means feel good about purchasing the helmet.
Why mention anything at all??
Simple, we've been fielding questions about the SNELL OGK helmet, and many of the customers were under the belief (or told by other companies) that the US and European helmets were identical. After the helmets arrived however, they were disappointed. This information could have come in handy prior to their purchase. It looks the same, but looks aren't everything...