Research shows that when it comes to riding bicycles, the following statements hold true for a large percentage of men:
- Men like cycling, and mostly fast
- Men don’t like to look silly
- Falling off your bike when going fast can really harm you
Which sort of leads on to the fact that boys over the age of 8 tend not to wear helmets, even though they know it is a really stupid thing to do. And why don’t we do it? Because most cycle helmets are really dorky-looking things. I know for my own part that if I can tick off shoes, trousers, jacket all looking decent, the last thing I want to top off the outfit with is a hideously coloured and constructed plastic helmet.
However, what if there was an alternative that actually didn’t look bad?
I spent some time searching the web for variants that could be acceptable. Very many are of a type similar to this:
I already have one like this. Or to be honest, exactly this one, and to illustrate the problem, this is a photo of me wearing it:
This type of helmet works if you are wearing cycling or work-out clothes. And if it’s warm outside (we’ll revisit this point further on). There is a high probability that it will protect my head adequately should I fall off my bike, but there is also an overwhelming probability that it will still be at home when I set off for work in the morning wearing a tweed jacket. And a helmet still at home will have no effect if my head should happen to impact on the road, sadly.
I did come across the following helmets that might work though:
Nutcase do a wide range of colours and graphic designs on the same basic helmet. A lot of them are truly awful, but some are quite decent looking. I’d tend to go for the less “amusing” designs and settle for something like the “British Green” as shown above. I think that will match up nicely with most outfits.
Danish brand Yakkay are similar to Nutcase in that they have a basic helmet design that is reused. What makes them different though is that you can buy any number of different covers for your helmet, allowing you to have several different looking variants of protective headgear. The are designs that would suit me, like the herringbone cap as shown above. They even do one in denim, allowing you to truly be a denimhead. Can you imagine the sort of fades a helmet could evolve?
The final contender is from Torch, and isn’t actually available just yet. I’ve included for two reasons: It looks like a nicely shaped helmet, and it also includes front and rear lights, adding extra utility value. Anyone that that has had their lights stolen from their bike will realise what a good idea it is to have lights built into the helmet. There is a slight Robocop vibe going on, but I think I’d happily wear it.
And to illustrate what the truly confident man could be wearing this season, this one is from Bobbin Bicycles:
I think I’d be too worried about someone mistaking me for C3-PO to consider wearing this one. It will no doubt make you most memorable though!
So there are commercially available variants, as we can see. What if we could come up with something entirely different?
I have a second helmet, this one:
This is in a style more common for skateboarders and snowboarders. I like this style very much more than the more usual style of cycle helmet (as shown above, with very frowny face) though.
It also has a huge advantage over the vented latticework type of helmet when cycling in cold weather: There is a lot less air being blown onto your skull. The temperature doesn’t need to go very far towards freezing point before the concentrated rush of cold air gives you a really nasty case of brain freeze every morning.
I have a couple of ideas for modifying this helmet to add a dash of style. I’ll get to them in the next post.
Do you have any ideas on the matter?