Buying or Building the Lovelier Helmet .3

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

Yakkay: discussed earlier, $145 plus shipping from the UK, but sometime this spring they should be available here in the US which may cut international shipping expenses.

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.

The simplest option is probably paint and glue.  I rather like this idea passed along by Vakuoli from the juin 2009 Marie Claire Idées magazine:

“Painted in color and decorated with pretty silk flowers, this could be mistaken for a hat!”

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’m not so enamored of the knitted helmet covers I’ve seen, but Sox at Pedal and Coast has posted a link for sewing your own helmet cover:

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?

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6 thoughts on “Buying or Building the Lovelier Helmet .3

  1. Thanks, Lady Velo. I’m really hoping this rising interest in chic cycling will result in much more fun helmet choices soon.

    JJ – I like that Derby, too. It looks like Troxel is carried by a shop in North Plains – not far from Portland, just beyond Hillsboro:

    Circle JR Western Supply
    19635 NW Collins Road, North Plains, OR 97133
    Phone: 503-647-2828

  2. I was skeptical of these helmet hats until I saw pictures of Vee wearing hers. She looks so good! Now I want one, but probably could not pull the look off as well.

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