Safety First

This is what I remember about my seventh birthday: 1) My friends and I went to see Batman Returns; 2) my twin sister insisted that I wait 12 minutes to blow out the candles on my half of the cake since she was born 12 minutes before me and 3) I gladly received a Sega Genesis. I didn’t spend as much time outside that summer; my bike collected dust in the garage while I navigated Sonic the Hedgehog toward elusive golden hoops on the TV screen.

So why do the most popular bike helmets look like they were designed for Sonic the Hedgehog? Does an exaggerated aerodynamic form really improve your time biking to the office? Do golden coins appear only to folks who wear this style of helmets?

Wearing a helmet is not optional, both from a safety standpoint and in states where laws require cyclists to wear them; this is a good thing. So I wanted to share with you folks a helmet that costs as much, or less, than most bike helmets and will not make you look like a 16-bit video game character. (First of, as an aside, it’s hard to beat the Bell Faction helmet in terms of simplicity, but I don’t like how low the front of the helmet is because some folks wear glasses. Secondly, I know there are fancier bike helmets like those from the Danish company Yakkay, but I don’t share their impulse to disguise my helmet as a hat.)

Which bring us to Nutcase Helmets. Nutcase helmets are (mostly) simple and colorful. It’s hard to go wrong with one from the Super Solids group, but I would steer folks toward the brighter helmets with higher visibility. If you know of a better-looking bike helmet, please share. Bike safety is no joke, and the more hip helmets there are, the more heads will be protected from unexpected encounters with concrete, cars, branches, rocks, license plates, golden coins and angry siblings.


13 Comments Safety First

  1. Jep May 26, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    In the Netherlands wearing a helmet is not an option, it would be like wearing a helmet as a pedestrian. We are lucky in the Netherlands, we have our own lanes, routes and parking spaces :) But if I would ever had to wear a helmet, it would be nutcase (great name btw)

  2. Bill May 26, 2010 at 7:45 AM

    Those Nutcase helmets remind me a lot of old skateboarding helmets, of which I have fond memories. Great find.

  3. Bailey May 26, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    I live in a college town where bike polo has experienced a bit of a boom among the hipster set, and Bern’s “Watts”-style helmet ( is pretty popular among for its visor/vents/equestrian-esque look.

    ( for anyone interested in CoMO bike polo/bike polo in general)

  4. Alphonse May 26, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    Where I grew up, your bike was basically your car. The more tricked out it was, the better. This applied to helmets too. The kid with the most holes in his got bragging rights.

    BMX style is really the way to go. There’s no such thing as a good looking bike helmet, so you might as well get one with the best protection.

  5. Guille May 26, 2010 at 8:43 AM

    Good shout Alex.

  6. MZA May 26, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    i have a few pro-tec style helmets (unfortunately lost my old school pro-tec robins egg blue with tiny black speckles one), but always thought i’d look like a tool riding a bike wearing a skate-style helmet.

    so honestly, am i wrong? should i just go for it?

    i developed a distaste for wearing them except at privately owned skateparks that require them.

  7. ikea May 26, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    some bike helmets look pretty crazy, but i prefer a non-skate style helmet for riding around casually because it’s lighter and has better ventilation.

  8. Chris May 27, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    Gee, I wonder if James works for Pro-Tec? :)

  9. Shaun May 27, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    If your commute is very long, its pretty nice to have a more vented helmet. When I see someone wearing one of these style helmets I usually assume they are newer to biking, like they are using their old skateboard helmet they had in their closet. That said, I do feel like i look like a bit of a nerd with my regular road helmet on. Been trying to find one that is vented, but also sleeker looking. It’s a real balancing act…

  10. Brian Park May 29, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    The government doesn’t get to have a say in helmets unless it puts some more effort and money into bicycle infrastructure.

    Also, Nutcases are great for people they fit, but without a harness system that’s less common than I’d like (and I sell a lot of Nutcases).

  11. Pingback: Fashionable Bike Safety Before & After | IS•LY | I Still Love you

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