Friday, October 23

Helmet

For those that wear a helmet, questions of sizing, selection, and fit come up. You may think this trivial, but it’s not so simple. Or maybe I’m just confused.

Good Old Days and the Road to Hell
In the past, my helmets were all “large.” I’d cinch them down & adjust the dial. I invariably got them at places like Wallyworld. The roots of evil were sown last winter, when my family decided I needed a fancy new helmet with big vents. Their motives were pure, so I tried on my usual “large,” and then a “medium.” The pavement stones on the road to Hell are made of such small events. That “medium” fit pretty well. I innocently said; “get me a medium if you’re getting one of these.” A second pavement stone was laid down. Sure enough, a “medium” one showed up under the Christmas tree. The road stretched into the distance, with a strange orange flicker at the end.

Moving Upscale
I started wearing the thing regularly in July. It fit well. It did not precipitate a heat stroke, (my other helmets hadn’t caused heat stroke, either). When I got back from the HH100, I noticed an odd tan pattern on my head. I already had enough odd tan patterns; I didn’t want my head to look like it had leopard spots/zebra stripes. Heeding a suggestion from Keri Caffrey, I purchased a “Headsweat Do Rag” and wore the combination to bicycle school. I was a cycling fashion statement! Whareagle noted the medium was borderline with the wrap. In truth, many advise removing helmet sizing pads when wearing a Do Rag or other headgear with a helmet. This was starting to sound like a PIA. Wearing a helmet was one thing. Reconstructing it to fit Texas daily weather patterns seemed ridiculous.

Into the Closet
Winter will be here soon, and I’m SURE that my balaclava won’t work without helmet sizing pad removal. ON THE OTHER HAND, I’ve still got my “Schwinn” “large” helmet. In reality, “aero” vents are less appealing when the temperature is dropping toward freezing. I start thinking “wind chill.” What’s more, I’ve seen credible claims the vents compromise protection should a collision occur. Comparing the $20 helmet to the $200 one, the $20 helmet protects the same (maybe better), allows supplemental headgear without construction activity, cuts down on wind chill, and I can keep the fancy helmet in a dark closet (away from harmful UV damage) until I actually WANT wind tunnels on my head next summer. The only downside to the $20 helmet is I get sneered at by every spandex mafioso I pass. I can live with that. I can always dig out fancier duds, but they’ll still be slow – with cold heads. I guess, what I'm saying is almost all the direct opposite of what you'd read here. I guess that author doesn't get a cold head in the winter and hasn't read about the downside of vents.

“Yes, dear, I LOVE my new helmet. I’m saving it for those special times when only the best is good enough.” If they want to get me a helmet THIS Christmas, I’m asking for a "Bern Helmet" like Dottie has. Earmuffs and polka dots sound good…

POLKA DOT UPDATE - Saturday Morning
Chandra makes an astute observation in his comment. The helmet to which I refer IS, in fact a Starburst by Nutcase helmet, as Dottie explains here. I was unable to find the related "duct tape" version in a cycle helmet, only the "snow classic." Dottie also has a black Bern helmet, seen here, with a tantalizingly brief mention about the cold weather insert here. At the moment, I'm unable to find the reference in which she mentions that one or the other includes earmuffs which sound WONDERFUL for those really cold days. Actually, the earmuffs seem more important than either the brand or helmet decorative scheme at the moment. See, all this helmet stuff really IS complicated. Perhaps Dottie will clarify it all for us over on Let's Go Ride a Bike. Earmuffs and winter inserts and all. She's mentioned bits & pieces several times, but I can't find all the relevant bits when I want them.

5 comments:

Chandra said...

dottie has a nutcase helmet, http://nutcasehelmets.com/HelmetDetail/street12.aspx, not a bern.

i want to get a nutcase too but one without flowers on it - someday!

peace :)

Chandra said...

the bern has the ear padding thingy...i believe...

Chandra said...

steve, i have my mind set on the "Run Walk Bike" helmet from nutcase...http://nutcasehelmets.com/Pages/WalkBike.aspx

i find the nutcase helmets aesthetically pleasing. on the other hand, bern with the winter pads might be a better deal...

one thing i wonder about is..why hasn't any manufacturer come up with a glow in the dark helmet?

by the way, there is a new helmet from Lazer, which has built in front and rear lights...i read a review of this in dirtrag mag.

here is another review about it...
http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/first-look-lazer-urbanize-commuter-helmet-23683

MamaVee said...

I have that bern with ear muff insert. Honestly- it's warm, but I think more built for Skiing than biking. It's too warm for the 20-30 degree weather I rode in last late winter. It's a ladies and it's small otherwise I'd give it to you!!!

MamaVee said...

and I do think Dottie has a bern and nutcase. You aren't going nuts....

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