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Old 07-21-12, 11:25 PM   #1
Psychbiker
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Commuter/Urban Helmet Question -- Bern, Protect, Giro? What do you use?

I have a road bike an have a bell road helmet (granted I want a new lid for that too).

I picked up a Raliegh Misceo bike. It's all flat black. I plan on swapping to red cables when I change to BB7 brakes for fun and to add some color.

That being said.....I cannot decide on a damn helmet! Problem is the selection online is so much better and I dont want to drive around to 50 stores. My initial intentions were an urban skate style helmet. I will be riding around town and in 90+ degree weather here and there. REI, Sportchalet, local bike shops carry few brands but not all.

Ive tried on so far these below:

Giro Reverb -- I like it, its light and has a visor. I was thinking matte black and then maybe tape off and add some white and red. It doesnt sit as flat on the head as Bern helmet does. Definitely looks old school.

Protec Bike/Skate Ace Fit good. No visor but I can make one or wear a cycling cap. Worry about the venting.

Bell Faction -- Fit really good. Just worry about the heat in this one.

Bern Brentwood I think thats the model I tried on. Not many stores had a good selection. I may drive to a different REI and see if the have larges in stock. Great fit. Like the additional winter linings available. Not sure on the venting.

Specialized Covert - Fit really good but even less vents and smaller compared to all other models. Cant find any reviews online.


Specialized Street Smart -- Like the looks, cant find it locally to try on. Not sure my size.

Scott Watu -- Fit amazing! Visor comes off, didnt look too bulbous. Shop only had ladies and I cannot find it online. White looks smaller and I may be inclined to use it for both road and city.

What do you use? Any input on the models I listed?

Thanks!
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Old 07-22-12, 12:07 AM   #2
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I don't know if this will help, because these aren't the same models you mentioned, but I own both Specialized and Bern helmets.

I got the Specialized (Align) helmet first, it's extremely light, and has plenty of vents for my short commute. But I kept debating in my head: "would a Bern look *cooler*? Well, sure, I ride my single speed in black jeans and Nike sneakers."

So I bought a Bern (Watts, I think). Does it look "cooler"? Definitely. But JESUS, that thing gets hot. It doesn't matter if it's 90 degrees out or 50 degrees out, when I wear the Bern, my head is dripping with sweat instantly. Not only does it have less vents, but it's also thicker and heavier.

So I don't know if that helps, but all I can say is my Bern is sadly usually sitting in the closet, and my Specialized is on my head 99% of the time.
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Old 07-22-12, 12:12 AM   #3
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I cannot help you much on this but plan to go a similar route for a winter helmet. I fear slipping in ice and snow.
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Old 07-22-12, 08:17 AM   #4
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I find my Bern Brentwood to be reasonably cool. Hotter than wearing nothing, cooler than my wool cycling cap. I am, however, used to working in ridiculously hot temperatures, and there are probably much better vented helmets available. The fit is more comfortable on my gigantic noggin than anything else I've used.

I'm sure this isn't of much help. Good luck.
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Old 07-22-12, 08:18 AM   #5
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The Bern helmet looks close to the cheapo Kryptonics helmet I got in a pack with all the knee/elbow/wristpads included all for $13. The number of vents is indeed smaller than say, a bicycle-styled perched-on-top-of-your-head helmet, but I found it actually has better airflow for me. The air comes in the front vents and flows over my head inside to exit out the back vents, I assume. I get sweaty around my forehead where the pads touch, but usually it is my hair that I notice most- it keeps air from cooling my back! I have to remember to braid it or something.

The winter-lined one sounds extremely attractive, assuming that winter lining has extended flaps to protect your ears. Otherwise, discount that as a perk- I use to try hats under my helmet, but found I like the helmet plain with earmuffs better to keep me from overheating.

I wouldn't necessarily think that smaller vents means worse airflow. I covered my helmet with fabric and was worried that I would have to cut holes in the cover to let air in better. I cut one set of the rear ones before I decided it was too much of a pain to bother with unless I got hot. The days here have been up to 102F and I'm not about cut any more- the air comes in just fine.

It's up to personal preference for you, those helmets all look good to me and you said they fit fine. Let us know which you choose!
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Old 07-22-12, 09:35 AM   #6
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seemed Bell is rounder and Giro fit more oval shaped skulls better..
[Bell sports corp owns both, now.]

put them on your head and try it, like butts on saddles,
everyone's body is different .

Bike-ski-skate helmets will probably be too hot to wear when its 103F out,

then you need the ones with Lots of ventilation holes and airflow channels.

2 helmets, 1 for each season.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-22-12 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 07-22-12, 02:39 PM   #7
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Bike shop had the Specialized StreetSmart and the Giro Feature, both fit great and were more of an in between style of a Bern and road. I kept going back to the mirror, visor on visor off visor on visor off. Then I tried on a Giro Savant. I remembered my current road helmet has a 2006 date on it and then it hit me....WTF do I care what I look like on my bike. Sure the skate style look cool but might be too hot.

So I got this bad boy and really like it. I've been only wearing my lid on my road bike but think I'll start wearing it on my 6 mile round trips to the gym and little errands too.

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Old 07-22-12, 11:16 PM   #8
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Those helmets are impractical in the heat. Also, they're quite heavy. If you already have a road helmet, why not just get a helmet liner for the winter? It's cheaper & makes your helmet more versatile.

And if aesthetics is the motivation, all bicycle helmets look stupid. Especially skate helmets, which make people look like they just walked of the set of Spaceballs.
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Old 07-23-12, 07:06 AM   #9
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I picked up a Bern Macon over the weekend. I was quite dubious at first, but am actually very pleased with it. It is a bit warmer than my Bell Muni, but not overly so. The front vents get some pretty good air moving through. The Bern is also much more comfortable than the Muni, and far better looking IMHO. I have an smaller than average hat size for a man, and normal cycling helmets tend to look even more stupid on me than other people. The low profile skate style helmet looks a million times better.

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Old 07-23-12, 07:41 AM   #10
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they're quite heavy..Those helmets are impractical in the heat.
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Old 07-23-12, 07:51 AM   #11
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Got a Trek/Bontrager Lithos helmet yesterday. Not good in the heat so far (neither was my old helmet), but it looks pretty neat.
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Old 07-23-12, 08:38 AM   #12
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Bern Macon fits me perfect and i ride comfortably down to 29F. but any wamer than 65-70F, i have to switch to a road helmet.
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Old 07-23-12, 09:26 PM   #13
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I have a Bern Macon as well, with the visor insert for warm weather and the knit insert for the winter. I wear glasses, and I really like the short visor; I wish I had bought the Watts so I had the visor with the winter knit.

It is heavy compared to traditional road bike helmets, but I only have a short 4 mile commute, and I find mine to be super comfy. I've been wearing it in the 90 F Boston summer, and it's warm, but not intolerably so.

It really shines in the winter; the knit is comfortable down to about 5 F for me.
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Old 07-24-12, 06:03 PM   #14
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I have a basic Giro helmet which I find comfortable enough I don't notice I have it on although I've not tested its crash protection yet and hope I won't ever do so.

John
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Old 07-24-12, 07:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychbiker View Post
... and then it hit me....WTF do I care what I look like on my bike. Sure the skate style look cool but might be too hot.

...

Exactly. That is why I got my Specialized Echelon. It certainly isn't the lowest profile helmet (rather bulbous), but all bike helmets look stupid, and who cares? Get the one that is most comfortable, and seems to protect your head in the event of a crash.
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Old 07-24-12, 08:27 PM   #16
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I love my Nutcase. Now with visor.
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Old 07-24-12, 09:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychbiker View Post
I have a road bike an have a bell road helmet (granted I want a new lid for that too).

I picked up a Raliegh Misceo bike. It's all flat black. I plan on swapping to red cables when I change to BB7 brakes for fun and to add some color.

That being said.....I cannot decide on a damn helmet! Problem is the selection online is so much better and I dont want to drive around to 50 stores. My initial intentions were an urban skate style helmet. I will be riding around town and in 90+ degree weather here and there. REI, Sportchalet, local bike shops carry few brands but not all.

Ive tried on so far these below:

Giro Reverb -- I like it, its light and has a visor. I was thinking matte black and then maybe tape off and add some white and red. It doesnt sit as flat on the head as Bern helmet does. Definitely looks old school.

Protec Bike/Skate Ace Fit good. No visor but I can make one or wear a cycling cap. Worry about the venting.

Bell Faction -- Fit really good. Just worry about the heat in this one.

Bern Brentwood I think thats the model I tried on. Not many stores had a good selection. I may drive to a different REI and see if the have larges in stock. Great fit. Like the additional winter linings available. Not sure on the venting.

Specialized Covert - Fit really good but even less vents and smaller compared to all other models. Cant find any reviews online.


Specialized Street Smart -- Like the looks, cant find it locally to try on. Not sure my size.

Scott Watu -- Fit amazing! Visor comes off, didnt look too bulbous. Shop only had ladies and I cannot find it online. White looks smaller and I may be inclined to use it for both road and city.

What do you use? Any input on the models I listed?

Thanks!
I use this:

http://us.uvex-sports.com/cycling/pr...?pNavi=11&pSub[]=212&pModel=supersonic+lx

The same company also makes this:

http://us.uvex-sports.com/cycling/pr...olor=black+mat
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Old 07-25-12, 04:46 PM   #18
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I'm in the market too. I like the idea of the Bell Muni, but wondered what else was out there like that? My main criteria are 1. comfort year-round and expandability for wearing with a balaclava, and 2. integrated rear flasher or the ability to easily to add helmet-mounted front and rear lights. What else is out there?
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Old 07-25-12, 06:03 PM   #19
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I have a Macon as well, it serves double duty as my downhill/freeride skateboarding helmet. its comfortable and cool enough, much more so than the S-one it replaced or for that matter the Protec Ace I skate park with
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Old 07-25-12, 07:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Peasy View Post
I love my Nutcase. Now with visor.
I agree. I just got mine a couple weeks ago (Glo-Brain) and I love, love, love it. It fits super well. The extra warmth, over my Giro Xen, does not really bother me.

I haven't tried the visor yet. I might give it a go.
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Old 07-25-12, 08:37 PM   #21
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<<<Bell, Bern Brentwood, and a skater helmet.

I started with the Bell but switched to the skater helmet because I didn't want to look like a bike nerd, and because I found out that it didn't make much difference in terms of ventilation/sweating. I am a profuse sweater-type, so that may not be the same for others.

I switched to the Bern after the skater helmet was wearing out. I was testing out a number of other helmets and none of them fit as good as the Bern.

After that point, I no longer buy helmets according to type, only how well they fit.
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Old 07-29-12, 12:46 AM   #22
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Bell Muni with flip down commuter rear view mirror and front ao helmutnd rear Blackburn front and rear lights all mounted into helmet. Never forget your lights!

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Old 07-29-12, 12:37 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieFree View Post
I'm in the market too. I like the idea of the Bell Muni, but wondered what else was out there like that? My main criteria are 1. comfort year-round and expandability for wearing with a balaclava, and 2. integrated rear flasher or the ability to easily to add helmet-mounted front and rear lights. What else is out there?
I have the Bell Citi, which I believe was the predecessor to the Muni. The integrated (but sold separately) mirror is small, but nice. I have a blinky mounted on the back. I like it. I don't find it to be as cool or comfortable as the Echelon, but it's not that much worse, really. It's a pretty nice helmet. I would think the Muni would be too.
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