Winter Cycling with a motorcycle helmet
Has anyone winter cycled with a motorcycle helmet or a snowmobile helmet?
I have a motorcycle helmet similar to this one:
Mine has a manifold above the mouth that directs the moist air away from the face shield.
What do you think? too heavy? poor visability? or maybe its a good idea?
I would guess too heavy and possibly too hot, although the fold-up action may help keep you cool. With that said I have never tried it and having a visor on a really cold day seems like a good thing to have. You should just try it out and report your findings. Seeing as you already have the helmet it should be a no risk experiment.
real motorcycle helmets are too heavy, in my opinion. but you could wear a full face downhill bmx/mountainbike type helmet. Not many come with face shields but that is easy enough to make (all the downhill skaterboarders do this). These helmets are much lighter than motorcycle helmets, but will be a lot warmer than typical road bike helmets.
ok, its a deal. I'll try it this winter and see what I think. This is my first winter cycling, so I'm planning on experimenting and trying different things.
Originally Posted by tuvok
Yes, I was thinking that my head is tilted more forward than I am on a motorcycle. But, when I consider the hunched over riding position of a sportbike. maybe the weight wont be that big of a deal.
Originally Posted by pacificaslim
I like your BMX helmet idea, as long as a person can control their breathing, I think that would be the ultimate choice for weight and comfort.
I've done a few rides wearing a full face motorbike helmet (one with a fixed faceguard, not a flip one), and it has its pros and cons. On the downside, visibility is a bit limited; it isn't as easy to turn around and look behind you but it is do-able. It's also heavy. My TSG Evolution helmet I wear most of the time weighs around 450 grams, but my motorbike helmet weighs three times that at 1.5 kilos. It is a lot of weight to have on your head but you do get used to it.
On the plus side, it's very warm which is good for winter riding, and if it rains, just close the visor and you're away from it (at least your head is). You also know that your head is extremely well protected, and as protection is the single reason I wear a helmet, I like that.
I occasionally do wear my motorbike helmet on my bike, but not that often. I tend to wear my TSG Evolution helmet for the vast majority of the time. Maybe just try wearing your motorbike helmet and see how you get on with it.
I can't imagine wearing a motorcycle helmet on any kind of ride more than a few minutes. You will overheat very quickly in it and the trapped moisture will fog up the visor if it is down. Maybe the old cheap open face type would work in extreme cold and not be too heavy. They were just styrofoam with a fiberglass shell. The really good helmets are designed with higher crash resistance in mind and will be heavier.
I've been using a ski helmet. This year, I bought a new one...Giro Fuse. It has vents that can be opened an closed, plus it's got the ear muffs built in that can accept speakers. It's plenty warm...especially once you start generating heat from cycling.
Last edited by Silverexpress; 10-19-08 at 10:35 PM.
The type of helmet described by Silverexpress works pretty well but I have tried everything and the thing that works the best for me is pretty cheap. It's called a bike free ride helmet. Venting is just about perfect for winter and the back of the head has better coverage. Something like this works well and allows more room for goggles than a reguler bike helmet:
They also have a budget full coverage downhill helmet that would be really warm:
Last edited by Hezz; 10-19-08 at 10:40 PM.
No way... I ride my motorcycle year-round here in Atlanta where it gets pretty darn cold on the 6am ride in to work during Dec - Mar, and I also cycle year round.
While the full-face helmet is great for keeping wind blast out of your face when riding the big bike, there's no way you'd be able to keep the visor closed if you were doing any big physical effort on a bicycle. Just extrapolating from cycling when it's cold, the full-face helmet would fog up and the helmet liner would get wet from your perspiration. Once that happened, now you've got a cold wet helmet sucking the heat out of your head with the visor opened up so you can see. Neither of these even begins to take into account the issues associated with your loss of peripheral vision and directional hearing.
Get yourself a nice balaclava, some clear or tinted googles, and if needed a wool watch cap and get a an inexpensive helmet that's one size larger than what you'd normally wear if all this stuff won't fit under your current helmet. The suggestions for the open face alpine ski helmets are also good ones.
Last edited by TandemGeek; 10-19-08 at 10:42 PM.
I'm bumping this 'cause I got a ride report:
Wore my 1/2 helmet (just covers the ears...not sure if that qualifies as a "beanie" or not) today in below-freezing weather.
It was very warm...not too much, given conditions, but probably 45F would be an upper limit. What was REALLY cool was the spring-loaded, retractable visor--push it once, and it pops down for high speed and/or rain+snow. No more laeving the eye protection at home! (Actually, this feature is cool enough to make me want to wear this skiing--local resort doubles the goggle price when it snows, LOL!)
I'd think the 3/4 helmet I wear on my motorcycle would be way too much, as would anything with a visor covering the nose+mouth: instant fog-over.
Obv. there's a weight penalty, though staying warm on commute >> weight weenieism. As for saftey, I'd just as soon never put that to the test...
I've ridden with both of my motorcycle helmets. Not bad, but they can get heavy. I wear a Shoei, which are pretty light... but not on your wallet.