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  1. #1
    Keys are in the ignition Mphetameme's Avatar
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    Recommend a Good Winter Helmet

    It occured to me that a snowboarding/skiing helmet would probably make a good winter cycling helmet. Anyone know of a good place (preferably in Canada) to buy such a thing?

    I bought this helmet from Mountain Equipment Co-op but it doesn't fit right. Either I have a big head or Italians have small ones... but I do like the style.

    I've checked on ebay but I would much rather buy from a retailer than an ebay auction, just in case it doesn't fit.

    Oh and I should mention that I don't like wearing my bike helmet in the winter because my goggles don't fit right and the helmet itself is a bit too snug for headwear.

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    All you need is a normal cycling helmet. Most other types of helmets are too hot for winter cycling. There are different things you wear with the helmet depending on the temps to make it comfortable. Do a search and you will learn what.

  3. #3
    In Transition fruitless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mphetameme
    It occured to me that a snowboarding/skiing helmet would probably make a good winter cycling helmet. Anyone know of a good place (preferably in Canada) to buy such a thing?

    I bought this helmet from Mountain Equipment Co-op but it doesn't fit right. Either I have a big head or Italians have small ones... but I do like the style.

    I've checked on ebay but I would much rather buy from a retailer than an ebay auction, just in case it doesn't fit.

    Oh and I should mention that I don't like wearing my bike helmet in the winter because my goggles don't fit right and the helmet itself is a bit too snug for headwear.
    My winter helmet is a Briko I got on sale at MEC in vancouver and a Louis Garneau cover for it, I used to wear a Bell scuffle with duct tape over the vents but I didn't like the way it fit me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member GreyGoat's Avatar
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    clear packing tape over the vents works good too and is not as tacky(pun intended)...

  5. #5
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    Entry level helmets from reliable brands are usually better for winter than their high end ones. The low end versions have fewer vents and more material. Get one with an adjustable nylon band to fit your head+hat rather than one that uses foam pads to fit.

  6. #6
    Senior Member geraldatwork's Avatar
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    I've gone down to 18 degrees with a regular helmet. When it is that cold I wear a ski mask that fits over my head. I just put the helmet over that. I don't have one but I believe you can buy a helmet cover.

  7. #7
    Keys are in the ignition Mphetameme's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Maybe I will just stick with a regular cycling helmet with a cover. Last year I was out in -45C weather and howling wind and my head never really got cold (thanks to this ) but I've always had a paranoia about falling and breaking my teeth, hence the jaw guard on previously linked helmet. Plus the tightness of the cycling helmet over that belaclava leaves pronounced ridges on my head and gives me a headache.

    I guess the solution is to buy a cheapy XL helmet and possibly a helmet cover.

    Thanks.

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    I tried helmet covers, helmet liners, helmet earmuffs, balclavas, and headbands. None were all that comfortable, most seemed to comprimise the fit of the helmet, and none were really warm enough for Toronto, let along the Canadian praries where this guy is riding. Once I switched to a snowboarding helmet and goggles I wondered why I had wasted all the time and effort with the other stuff. With a neoprene facemask it works fine down to about -20C or so. I know it gets a lot colder in Regina.

    I think it's just a question of finding one that fits. Most higher-end ski helmets do have vents, but they can usually be closed, a good idea.

    Chin-guards are good protection, but tend to help fog goggles by blowing your breath up there. When I wear my full-face helmet in the winter I use a neoprene mask to direct breathing downwards away from the goggles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mphetameme
    Thanks for the replies. Maybe I will just stick with a regular cycling helmet with a cover. Last year I was out in -45C weather and howling wind and my head never really got cold (thanks to this ) but I've always had a paranoia about falling and breaking my teeth, hence the jaw guard on previously linked helmet. Plus the tightness of the cycling helmet over that belaclava leaves pronounced ridges on my head and gives me a headache.



    I guess the solution is to buy a cheapy XL helmet and possibly a helmet cover.

    Thanks.
    Doesn't your helmet adjust for size? I just adjust mine larger when i have the balaclava on. If your helmet does not adjust than you need an adjustable helmet. I don't do anything special to my helmet in the winter other than adjust size to accomodate for balaclava's, and ear bands.

    Out of all my winter rides I have never had a cold head. It really just isn't one of those things that becomes an issue. Hands, and feet are the bigger challenge although they are very easily addressed as well after a bit of expirementing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    Out of all my winter rides I have never had a cold head.

    In Kansas maybe. But this guy is like a thousand miles north of you, isn't he? I dunno, I've been know to freeze my brain every now and then.

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    I got a bell for $28. It has the top vents, And the helmet covers the ears and back of the head. Not to hot, and keeps the ears warm.

  12. #12
    Dummy
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    [QUOTE=ghettocruiser]Once I switched to a snowboarding helmet and goggles I wondered why I had wasted all the time and effort with the other stuff. With a neoprene facemask it works fine down to about -20C or so. I know it gets a lot colder in Regina.QUOTE]

    Do you have sufficient peripheral vision using ski goggles?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test

    Do you have sufficient peripheral vision using ski goggles?
    Sort of. I've taken up the habit of riding with my head tilted a bit left when there is traffic passing me, which isn't ideal, but way better than the vision I've had with any sort of sunglasses in the winter, with my eyes watering and my face generally freezing. It's a trade off that I think is a no-brainer. I see people riding around all winter with nothing over their eyes at all, so I guess it's an individual thing. I would just freeze.

    I wear goggles for DH riding in the summer, which has helped me get used to it.

  14. #14
    Keys are in the ignition Mphetameme's Avatar
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    I also use goggles in the winter. Below -20C you pretty much have to. One irritation I've found is that 'Clear' seems to be a really unpopular colour for goggle lenses. I'm at the point where if I can stand it all, I'll put the goggles in the bag because the amber colour is too dark for typical winter riding (ie it's really dark out).

    As for vision, I picked up a helmet mirror and absolutely love it. I highly recommend this for anyone, summer or winter.

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    I picked up a Scott night vision lense and the colours are way better.

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    This goggle
    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1132085306656
    is available with a clear lens, I got a pair five or six years ago. They are all beat up and I've been meaning to replace them, but MEC in Toronto rarely has any in stock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
    In Kansas maybe. But this guy is like a thousand miles north of you, isn't he? I dunno, I've been know to freeze my brain every now and then.

    It doesn't matter how many miles we are apart. It only matters what the temperature is. I have never ridden in temps way below 0 F so anything below that I have limited experience in. The coldest I can recall riding in, is -2 F with -20 windchill.

    I know it is colder in Canada. However, it ain't exactly bikini weather around these parts in January.

  18. #18
    Keys are in the ignition Mphetameme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
    This goggle
    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1132085306656
    is available with a clear lens, I got a pair five or six years ago. They are all beat up and I've been meaning to replace them, but MEC in Toronto rarely has any in stock.
    Excellent! I will definitely have to pick up a pair of those. Not sure if you knew this, but MEC has free shipping on web orders right now. I think the limit is $75 but I'm not sure. Easy to blow $75 there anyways.

  19. #19
    Senior Member GreyGoat's Avatar
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    and if you want something that doesn't fog you can opt for the smith turbo cam(constant air movement) goggles.. they have a little two speed fan to keep air moving and you can get a variety of lens colors..

  20. #20
    Dancing on the Pedals Corsaire's Avatar
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    Don't forget that bicycle helmets are made from the same material (foam) it's used to insulate heat and/or cold. You'll do fine (and save money) by just buying a helmet cover liner and wearing windproof ear covers. For colder condition, you can always wear a skull polypro hat.

    Corsaire
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  21. #21
    spinspinspinspin fatbat's Avatar
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    A skate/BMX style helmet is great for the winter- and they should only run you $20-30.

    Bring a hat and a headband with you when you go to the store, and make sure they fit comfortably under the helmet.

  22. #22
    One Tough Cookie. Black Bud's Avatar
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    NOTE: I live in CT..it does get cold here! If you live where it does not get so cold, then this advice may not be for you!:

    If it does gets cold where you live (and I don't mean that "It's only 60 degrees out today! It's freezing!" stuff), your head protection can make a difference in how you feel...and a cold head and/or ears is no fun!

    I happen to concur with Mpehtameme's choice of the full-face helmet. If you run flat/straight bars, they work just fine! And, they keep the weather off without any problem. And, to deal with the "gaps' there are? You may not need to most days, but if it gets cold enough a thin balaclava will fill in any "gaps" without making the helmet too tight. An advantage is that these helmets have few, if any, vents, so you don't end up fooling with "hole stuffers"...or headbands or ear covers, which can be a pain to use. (The helmet itself provides the ear insulation!) Also, a good full-face helmet is designed to work with full goggles, such as ski goggles, since goggles of a very similar style are used in BMX and downhill MTB racing.

    The problem that people seem to be thinking of here--the "roadies" especially-- comes when using "drop" bars...then the full-face won't work! (The chin guard and/or visor blocks part of the view when you are lower than the "hoods"...and can be a problem even on the "hoods" if the bike is built to allow for a "race-like" rider position.) The best solution here would be the BMX-style "half helmet" that fatbat has in mind, without the chin guard. No visual field problems then! You will need to fill in the few holes they have to keep the weather and wind out, as well as use a balaclava/ear band almost all the time, though.
    A bad day on the bike is better than a good day at work!!

    My discussion board, another resource for the "utility" and commuter cyclist: "Two Wheeled Commuter: The Everyday Cyclist"

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    Ya know, I've never tried my DH/coldweather helmet with my road bike (lets face it, in the summer it's not a real popular combination). Maybe I'll try it this weekend to see what you mean. I do have to drop my shoulder to look behind me in a full-face when I am on a bike with lower handlebars. But I found the bigger visor helps me see better when I am riding towards the setting sun, usually around the middle of October.

  24. #24
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Check out the Bell Metro, it accessorizes, a cover for rain and cold, ear flaps for winter and more. Pretty cool.

  25. #25
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas
    Check out the Bell Metro, it accessorizes, a cover for rain and cold, ear flaps for winter and more. Pretty cool.
    +1
    Not sure about the earflaps, though.
    Mike
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