Casually Deliberate embodied to the bones.

The Pain of Adolescence

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There are three subjects you should not bring up in new company: Politics, Saddle Bags, and Helmets. In my experience, in fact, politics are a much safer subject with a stranger than that of the cursed EPMS; no subject I’ve ever broached has been met with more vitriol. Except maybe the use of helmets. I’m not going to advocate for helmets today, apart from stating that I wear one religiously. On the contrary, today’s lesson is about how bad helmets look.

They are monumentally awkward contraptions whose design heritage stems, apparently, from prototype simian Astronaut technology. Starting with the flowing locks of a champions paving a road in pure V, every head accessory looks slightly less awesome. From there, the cycling cap is the most stylish option, and barring that, the hairnet (ideally over a cycling cap.) Case closed, end of discussion.

The maturation from this ideal has been painful, complete with puberty and oozy zits. A friend of mine in highschool had such a horrible pubescent experience that he spent an alarming number of days with band-aides on his face. Cycling’s helmet evolution was worse. Observe.

// Accessories and Gear // Look Pro // Rantings from the V-Bunker

  1. Whilst I wholeheartedly agree we should be wearing helmets, ( I dont leave home without my beloved and trusty Bell Volt ) and my kids even whack them on at home riding round the back yard.

    Its law here in OZ to wear helmets now. There was nothing better than the extra freedom that accompanied a ride on my faithful malvern star dragster in my youth than that of being helmetless. I would be gone all days on that thing. No such thing as n+1 back then for me. It was the #1, #9, the fat bike and the Cyclocross bike.

    Sans helmet is the equivalent to me of driving around with the sunroof open in our car and sticking my scone up through it like an exciting dog with its head out the window.

    When the boffins at Apple design an implant that goes in my forehead to act like an airbag and ditch the helmet, I’ll be all over it like a fat kid in a donut shop.

  2. So much wrong. The Rebellion should never have won. It took a Jedi night to fly the Xwing properly and make a success of it. Why would you base your helmets on them? Surely stormtrooper cycling lids would be far better than this!

  3. There are some good looking lids about – until they get on my head! 3 Point rule observed… it’s as you say – barely passable. Still, I never had the luxary of knowing that it’s like to ride without a lid. I was forced to wear a “Stackhat” and my gawd they were/are ugly. I avoided any chance of meeting someone I know when I was wearing that monstrosity. Thank fully, as I got at job in my mid teens I could afford to buy a better looking lid. Imagine my horror when I find that the skater types are now wearing something very close to it today!

  4. @Puffy

    Hah! Still got my Stackhat in the shed somewhere. In the early 80’s, our school made it compulsory to wear a helmet when riding to school. You’d leave home wearing said Stackhat, floks happy, get round the corner and take it off, shoving into bag. In one of the backstreets near school, out it back on and ride in, school happy. Or the alternate was the Guardian.

    When I started out racing, the salad bowl – Brancale Giro, was choice!

  5. What’s the story with MIPS? A low friction layer between helmet and liner? So helmet can move when struck at angle? Any regular helmet is not exactly stuck to the head and I’m guessing will slide along just fine within the limits provided by the straps. I love the idea of better technology and safer helmets. But not sure about the extra $ for this one. I haven’t sprung for it yet.

    I filled up the vents of my matte black Giro Atmos this weekend with mud and rocks. Left some nice dents across the top of the lid. Needless to say, was glad to be wearing the thing.

  6. I have Chronic Kristoff’s Syndrome. Most of you see that pic and scoff or recoil in horror, but I’ll never forget when I saw him blast over the line arms aloft and helmet jauntily askew. To know that it wasn’t just me, that there was an actual condition and a pro was a fellow sufferer; it really means a lot to be able to put a name and a face other than my own to the disease. CKS can be life threatening – it’s hard not to fixate on every reflective surface you pass to try and make sure your illness isn’t shamefully apparent. I’ve tried thicker foam inserts, MIPS, various rear fastening systems, caps underneath, the list goes on. It can lead you to begin to question your physiology. Unfortunately, there is no cure for CKS. I just have to try to keep a level head and take it one ride at a time.

  7. Case Closed ……

  8. Would love to see Kittel in full flight sans helmet. Definitely the best coiffed in the modern peloton.

    Love my Lazer Helium (not the MIPS version, which I wanted to get but got too good a deal on the non-MIPS). Especially love the Rollsys retention system, which makes for a secure and comfortable fit. As helmets go, I think it looks the part.

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