This riding bonnet showed up in a London Cycle Chic post in January 2008 but the link to its maker, CSM Fresh Talent has gone bad. I would have liked to have seen more helmet designs on this line. But looks like my choices, so far, are
Nutcase: $50 and local, but no brim, let alone a visor. Though I have seen brims worn under these helmets . . . maybe that’s an option. (Usually it’s baseball caps underneath – could I use a wider-brimmed canvas-type hat? Wearing a light woolen scarf over my head when we got caught in rain on a long ride recently I discovered how impossible it is to keep the helmet seated at all effectively if the under-layer moves. Would I have the same problem with a brimmed hat underneath?)
Bern is another choice I keep coming across – ski helmets primarily and a lighter line of skateboarding helmets. Some have brims and they come mostly in solid colors. But they look overly warm for my weather and many of the brimmed versions are not much vented. Prices range from $60-$215.
Troxel: equestrian, both English style and Western. The designs are handsome. They all come with at least a visor and are well-ventilated.
Troxel’s helmets come in a variety of materials – cloth-covered, leather, and plastic. Most are in attractive classic colors.
It’s hats like these that convince me that more could be done with biking helmets than we’ve managed so far. The prices range from $30-$160.
Yakkay, Nutcase, Bern and Troxel are all factory-made.
There’s also the custom route. Shelly who writes at Riding Pretty also has a design site: RidingPretty Designs, where I found a summer riding bonnet that I very much like. Because she hand-designs and hand-makes her helmets she has asked that I not post pictures here, but you can see the summer helmet here. And a preview of a black helmet that is also very attractive.
Of course, the idea of handmade covers opens up a new world of possibilities –
What about building a helmet DIY?
Of course, most helmets come with a warning that tampering in any way with the finish or shape of the helmet could compromise its protective functions. So – I proceed at my own risk I suppose.
Vakuoli has also set up a Flickr pool “Revamped, DIY’d, and customized bicycle helmets” – I really love the custom paint (‘orbital-vancouver’) from Haggard Helmets in British Columbia. Very pretty . . . and very possibly WAY beyond my small abilities. And still no brim.
Vakuoli’s flickr pool also includes examples of knitted and sewn helmet covers. Which is another possibility.
I think I could adapt the Inscrutables.com pattern above to include a brim, but I’m not sure how happy I’d be with the results. My resulting headgear could indeed be very noticeable which may be cute enough on some . . .
. . . but I think I may feel more comfortable in something a little more subtle?