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.


May 26, 2010