If you’ve seen my summer helmet, you surely won’t forget it. I shared it with the world here. I had used it all year long for many years, but each winter I wondered whether a winter helmet would be nice. Having wondered long enough, I made the buy. Punch-line first, I am very glad I did.
I went with the Giro Revolver, a helmet designed for snowboarding and alpine skiing. I liked its simplicity and reasonable price, but I was not excited to get a grey helmet for use in the middle of winter. Kind of blends in, which isn’t a good thing on the road. I couldn’t find a bright colored winter helmet, but I didn’t look hard enough. After it arrived, without too much effort I found this one. The color I like is called Butter. Also, it now occurs to me I could have tried a Nutcase helmet. I have always enjoyed their graphics. Oh well. I will enjoy this one for years and maybe try something else next time.
When I tried it on right out of the box, I looked like I was ready to deploy to Iraq (assuming soldiers wear hoodies). Not a bad thing, as looking tough when battling traffic on the road can’t hurt. The helmet wasn’t in my hands for more than a few minutes, though, before I launched into the great dorking process. Regular readers of my nonsense will know this includes zip tying a light to the top, pasting a mirror on the side and sticking a couple of reflective strips on the back. These mods make my suffer helmet look sillier. The winter helmet, though, looks even more nefarious. This argument is stronger after I wipe the smile from my face.
First test came during a quick ride to the golf course to pick up a gift card to the lounge. They have karaoke on Fridays, don’t you know. Hope the recipient can use some company when using the card (not a hint; they don’t read this). Lacey loves herself some lounge singing. Again, loved the helmet. Only wanted it to help me stay warm, and this it did. The limited number of vents and insulation covering my ears and the back of my neck together got the job done.
I looked around the net to see what other people thought of using boarding helmets for road biking. I can group the opinions in two camps. With only a very few exceptions, those who don’t have a winter helmet are satisfied using their summer helmet with a balaclava and a helmet cover, and they see no reason to get a winter helmet. On the other hand, again with a very few exceptions, those who’ve purchased winter helmets love them. Human nature at work, here, I suspect. Few people who are unwilling to buy a winter helmet will admit that their frugality is causing them to suffer.
Similarly, few people are going to buy something and then report to the world that they made a mistake. In this second camp, one gentleman broke ranks and reported that the winter helmet catches wind and with few vents it acts like a sail. I experienced something like this while pedaling into the wind, but the effect was modest. Nothing like a sail (my head wasn’t pulled back or anything). Just a cold breeze from moment to moment, depending on how the wind was blowing. I don’t think this will be a problem. Same thing happens with my summer helmet, only worse there. Another guy said the insulation over his ears made it harder to hear. I didn’t notice this at all. If I lost my mind and slipped speakers in the ear pads, though…