Look Pro: Keep a Lid on It

The most stylish bit of gear in Cycling history: the Cycling Cap
The most stylish bit of gear in Cycling history: the Cycling Cap

Cycling has been suffering a crisis every since the use of a helmet became compulsory. This crisis is rooted in the simple fact that cycling peaked aesthetically with the cycling cap perched casually deliberate atop a sweaty cranium. It was only after mandatory helmet dictum spread its tentacles into all UCI-sanctioned races in 2003 that helmet manufacturers began taking helmet design seriously.

To be clear, I am a helmet advocate. I never leave home without mine, and no Cyclist shall ever be allowed to start a Cogal without perching one on their noggin. But I do this in the knowledge that I look less Fantastic that if I were rolling out in a classic cotton Cycling Cap.

Specialized was the first to make inroads into building a stylish helmet with the Sub-Six. The fact that every other helmet was a hollowed-out bowling ball didn’t matter very much because no one wore them outside Belgium, and even there, they were permitted to wear the second-coolest piece of headgear, the Hairnet. Giro made some inroads with their Air Attack series, but progress was generally at a standstill until the hardshell became mandatory after the tragic death of Andrey Kivilev in Paris-Nice in 2003.

The issue of the helmet has also been compounded by the fact that most continental Pros had no clue how to wear a helmet, given that they spent most of their lives not wearing one. When asked to, they often suffered from Toad Head and other anomalies commonly encountered when violating the Three-Point System.

Helmets are a necessary evil which are improving in style, but they are all uglier than the hallowed Cycling Cap. When wearing a helmet, keep the following points in mind.

  1. Keep the front low to the eyes. Forehead exposure must be limited to 1-2 cm at all times. As always, the Three-Point System is your guide.
  2. Keep the chin strap snug, but not too tight; you need to be able to move your mouth sufficiently in order to allow for the inhaling of wasps.
  3. Helmets look even worse without shades; they must be accompanied by cycling-specific eyewear at all times. If they are not in use over the eyes, they must be tucked in the helmet vents.
  4. Helmets are under no circumstances to resemble that of one worn in other sports such as hockey or rock climbing.
  5. If, at any point, you find yourself reaching for the same helmet as the hipster who arrived at the LBS aboard a fixie, reconsider your life because you are off the path.

[dmalbum path=”/velominati.com/content/Photo Galleries/[email protected]/helmets/”/]

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163 Replies to “Look Pro: Keep a Lid on It”

  1. @the Engine

    @El Cannon

    Any advice for adjusting shades so that they stay tucked into helmet vents?

    When I first got my black Propero II life was perfect: the shoes matched the socks, matched the bike, matched the tires, matched the seat, matched the kit, matched the bar tape, matched the helmet, black, black, black….ahhhh… I get shudder just thinking about the beauty of it. Slowly my shades, Half Jackets, began slipping from the vents. At first just when dropping my head in exhaustion, then while peaking under my elbow, and now they come unseated at every bump, twist, and turn. I am forced to at all times wear them over my eyes, because I refuse the disgrace of slipping an ear piece between my neck and jersey.

    Exactly the same thing with my Jawbones and new Giro – exactly the same as the recently mangled one but the Oakleys just won’t go in.

    I prefer to have the arms of my sunglasses grip the back of my ears a bit, so I usually bend them down if they’re straight.  On all of my helmets, that has the effect of raising the glasses up when tucked into the vent.  It also lets the glasses hook into the vents a bit more for security.  Note: I do the upside down tuck to get the lenses out of my field of vision.

  2. @frank

    @Gianni

    Why did I own one of those shiet early Giro helmets when the Specialized ones that looked so much better? Maybe no Spesh dealers nearby but you are right, all the early Brancale, Bell, Giro helmets sucked DB.

    Also, the Three-Point System is hard to deal with when one has a massive, thick-walled, nearly empty skull. Helmets just can’t cover all that real estate. Maybe that is the only thing I have in common with Fignon.

    Is this why?

    Most serious crash to date was with one of these Giro’s back in ’94 – fairly sure it saved my life despite its looks. Still have the remains as a reminder.

  3. I just got a Troy Lee A1 in silver flake for the MTB. Ridiculously comfortable. I wish they made a road helmet. I probably can’t get away with removing the visor for CX races.

  4. @Cyclops

    @wiscot

    @Cyclops

    I went for a little spin near my house yesterday. Idaho sucks in that we have to ride in what we call the American Dolomites. Note the La Vie Claire cycling cap (I ride a LOOK) and the Euro switchback in the background.

    How do you build such beautiful bikes with such sausage-like fingers?

    And seriously, that’s Idaho? Wow! Is that road paved or gravel? It’s had to tell. Whatever, that’s some real purty country you got there.

    That’s a thumb lame-brain. Paved and butter smoof.

    @frank

    @Cyclops

    Is that the climb to Grand Targhee?

    Yes. We even got a little Rule #9 toward the top. And what made it more sublime was that I was riding with a Cat 3 from Texas (elevation 190m) who was not yet acclimated to the 2500m elevation so it was nice to be on the dishing out end of the climbing suffering for once.

    Hey, it’s hard to tell. I thought you were just giving us a big meaty middle finger!

  5. @Cyclops

    I went for a little spin near my house yesterday. Idaho sucks in that we have to ride in what we call the American Dolomites. Note the La Vie Claire cycling cap (I ride a LOOK) and the Euro switchback in the background.

    Wow, Sir Elton has dropped some weight since he started riding, but it’s hard to imagine that it’s easy to play the piano with fingers like those.

    @Marcus, I would have thought that your campaign for Mayor of New York would keep you too busy to ride or post!

  6. @il ciclista medio

    @Marcus Was the hip x-ray just an excuse to get your schlong on Velominati?

    Thats either a horse or a magnified fruit fly’s junk.

    Ferfucksake. FYI, @Marcus, I’m rebuilding the upload too and seriously considering hardcoding your banishment into it.

    but then we’d never see what Im sure you will post in response.

  7. @El Cannon

    @the Engine

    I flip them upside down for security, and right side up for brevity.

    That said, if a helmet does not hold them well enough, it is a crime punishable by replacement of said helmet. Which usually means @Jim gets a new free almost perfect helmet.

  8. @Marcus +1 for trolling-by-schlong; well done sir! -2 for needing to gouge my eyes out. +1 for making me laugh my fucking ass off at everybody else’s reactions (especially @Puffy‘s).

    Please don’t do that again. (And yes, I’m still laughing my fucking ass off…)

  9. I’m calling BS here. Would a man’s package even show up on an x-ray?

    I bet 10 quid he had a titanium dildo in his pocket. Probably custom welded by Baum.

  10. @Marcus

    So we’ve officially hit the bottom here haven’t we? Nowhere to go but up from here. Well done sir, well done indeed. I really thought it’d be @minion that would take us there.

  11. It was a long process for sure but I have officially given up my trucker hats for the proverbial Cycling cap.  Though only worn in fowl weather!

  12. @Marcus I hate to think what you were doing to risk it getting caught in the spokes while doing that to your helmet.

    That would be some serious road rash.

  13. @french fries

    It was a long process for sure but I have officially given up my trucker hats for the proverbial Cycling cap. Though only worn in fowl weather!

    If Marcus posting his titanium Baum dildo made you see the light, then Merckx bless him. Then Merckx bless ‘im..

  14. For anyone who thinks that x-ray is real, firstly thanks for believing that my todger might have the a similar density to my femur, not to mention being around half its length whilst it asleep.

    If that was the case, then Thelma  wouldnt be so angry

  15. I’ll add mine to the gallery. Hit a bump in the road (which I have no memory of doing so). Hit the deck really, really hard. Broke my clavicle, cracked a couple of ribs, partially collapsed right lung. Huge bruise on my forehead and the headache from hell for two days. Had surgery to put a plate in the clavicle. That was last September 15, and by the end of November I was back on the bike.

    I won’t even ride around the block without wearing a helmet.

  16. Well, well, well… I bet you are all just as happy as I am that I’ve been mostly on the beach for the last four days. First time I’ve been online and it will only be brief so I’ll leave you to mentally insert my well-known position.

    Perfect timing really.

  17. @Marcus

    You should have posted it on the COCKS thread instead.

    in other news, my sheep have begun behaving strangely.

  18. @ChrisO

    Well, well, well… I bet you are all just as happy as I am that I’ve been mostly on the beach for the last four days. First time I’ve been online and it will only be brief so I’ll leave you to mentally insert my well-known position.

    Perfect timing really.

    Any more helmet talk and Marcus whips it out again.

  19. @Marcus

    For anyone who thinks that x-ray is real, firstly thanks for believing that my todger might have the a similar density to my femur, not to mention being around half its length whilst it asleep.

    If that was the case, then Thelma wouldnt be so angry

    How long were you holding onto your todger before you found an appropriate moment to insert it?

  20. @scaler911

    @Marcus

    So we’ve officially hit the bottom here haven’t we? Nowhere to go but up from here. Well done sir, well done indeed. I really thought it’d be @minion that would take us there.

    Oh come on now, this is way more entertaining than the shifter indicator debate. I’m sure Marcus’s schlong has a wee red arrow to let him know what gear he’s in. Mind you, not sure I’d want a Sora or Tiagra grade schlong. You’d be wanting Ultegra at the very least.

  21. @Marcus

    Very nicely done sir…loved the execution…casually deliberate to be sure.  While I was not ROTFLMAO I was definitely unable to control the laughter that was bubbling up from below.  I needed a good laugh today.  Thanks!

  22. @unversio

    (Elwood voice) “That’s Adamantium in there… strong stuff!”

    No matter how funny your comment about it, can we please refrain from reposting that photo?

  23. @Skip

    Seconded. One time is more than enough. Another example of when The Keepers step in and do some editing of posts. You’re welcome.

  24. Commuting one day on my MTB, shorts with baggy legs.

    Stood up to accelerate from a set of lights, leg of shorts gets caught on the left bar as my left gun heads down.

    Bad outcome. Broken clavicle, broken helmet. Head intact.

    $10 head = $10 helmet.

  25. If I had a mtb., I would also. I don’t need my shorts snagging on precariously positioned plants protruding preposterously…

    Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that!

  26. It was a Boreas. I’ve since worn out an Atmos. Think my current one is an Ionos. Pretty sure they are Greek Islands.

    When the helmet laws were introduced in NZ (New Zealand) the number of people cycling (not cyclists, just bike riders) dropped significantly. It’s a public health issue as it discourages those who look for excuses to not ride.

    I’d rather it was a personal choice issue. I’d always wear it out cycling, but maybe not while riding in the park with my kids.

    I know this is a very debatable opinion, but I don’t like being told what to do.

  27. Text speak, trucker hats, and enhanced x-rays, this has really hit the bottom.

  28. @Buck Rogers

    @Marcus

    No helmet discussion is ever complete without a photo of Ludo

    FUCK’IN Ludo Dierckxsens!!! Talk about your throw back cyclists! Guy is just awesome! Watching him hammering out those P-R’s with Hincapie and Museeuw back in the late ’90″²s/early 2000″²s just blows me away! Just hardcore! But, for the helmet, we are missing the back piece on that helmet that he always wore. Not sure what it’s purpose was?

    Further evidence of my amazing computer savviness here:  It only took me 48 hours to figure out how to post the photo of dear ol’Ludo’s helmet with the useless whateverthefuckitis back visor!

  29. Jaysus, Ludo looks like he should be carrying a club and killing mammoths with a spear, or by hand.

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