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vintage bike "helmets"?

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vintage bike "helmets"?

Old 01-22-12, 08:45 PM
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vintage bike "helmets"?

whats with them? what purpose do they serve, because to me it looks like they offer little to no protection.
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Old 01-22-12, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by blueduckxx
whats with them? what purpose do they serve, because to me it looks like they offer little to no protection.
Well if you travel over to the safety and advocacy forum and spend a couple days reading closetbikers threads you will find many who think the current crop of helmets are no more effective than the one above.
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Old 01-22-12, 08:51 PM
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Until recently helmets were not required in European racing and were seldom used. Even well known US racers such as LeMond and Armstrong (until the rule changed) did not wear them.

The leather hairnets were available and sometimes used but probably didn't offer much protection. Wasn't anything else available.
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Old 01-22-12, 08:52 PM
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Do NOT turn this into an A&S thread. For the love of God.

Historical racing gear is a fine topic.
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Old 01-22-12, 08:53 PM
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Old 01-22-12, 09:02 PM
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I agree that these leather "hairnet" helmets offer minimal protection, but that's what they used back in the day.
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Old 01-22-12, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas
I agree that these leather "hairnet" helmets offer minimal protection, but that's what they used back in the day.

Yup, I seem to remember real football players wearing something just like it.
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Old 01-22-12, 09:19 PM
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I remember when hockey players never wore helmets. And goalie's didn't wear face masks. I loved watching Bobby Clarke skating around the ice and smiling his toothless smile after a goal. Made me shudder even back then.
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Old 01-22-12, 09:26 PM
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The first helmet I ever had was the Bell V-1 Pro. I was about 25 at the time.

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Old 01-22-12, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter
Do NOT turn this into an A&S thread. For the love of God.

Historical racing gear is a fine topic.
No I was pretty careful to mention where to go for more info or discussion.
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Old 01-22-12, 09:33 PM
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Yup, back in the 70s we wore the leather hairnets. They offered more protection than just a cycling cap.
Similar to the first lap seatbelts in the car; best protecton at that time.
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Old 01-22-12, 09:44 PM
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You would think that better technology exists today than wearing a styrofoam cooler on your head.
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Old 01-22-12, 10:45 PM
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Got a Kucharik leather hairnet helmet in the mid seventies- more padded than the usual leather ones with a pad in front and back- you've surely seen them on ebay- big bucks now-

Ended up saving my life when I hit a Chevy Impala head on on the Lakefront course in Milwaukee in July '78- The category 1 field had about 150 to 200 riders- I was about 20 or 25 back into the race when we descended the snake hill and turned parallel to the lake- the fastest part of the course where you put it on the big meat and hammered strung out on the flat beside the shores of Gitchee Gumee- (oops, wrong lake!) My friend announcing via radio on motorcycle- some otherwise pump weilding Italian skank from Evanston- said the field was usually doing about 55 at the bottom of the hill through the turn-

SECOND bozo in the pack hits his pedal on the pavement and EVERYONE in front of me starts going down- I got wide at the bottom and came on the median dividing us from the traffic and with no where else to go jumped it cleanly-

to see a big ole green Impala bearing down on me. Long story short- and as I literally saw my life pass before my eyes with a very sudden belief I was a gonner.- She didn't brake at all and I couldn't get around the outside further so I hit head on and flew though the air, my hand snapped two fingers as I slid across her hood and I landed on the front of a another car parked at the side of those two lanes. Smacked my head INCREDIBLY hard and my first thought was amazement at how well the helmet had done it's job. Bounced off that onto pavement. Look up to see most fallen riders I've ever seen personally.


Anyway, broke two fingers of my left hand and had deep thigh bruises and it knocked me out of the Nat Road race I'd qualified for on the same course the next weekend. My Colnago had a new right angle bend in the frame, and I decided I must have gotten my leg out from between it and the car at the last second.

That Thursday, American 25 mile record holder Alan Kingsbury was run over by a cement truck that had wandred onto the course DURING the National time trial event, ending his career at the peak of his form- and he was FLYING awesome that year, riding away from everybody.

here it is:

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Old 01-22-12, 10:52 PM
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i never wear a helmet.

come at me bro.
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Old 01-23-12, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by pgjackson
You would think that better technology exists today than wearing a styrofoam cooler on your head.
It does exist. It's called a motorcycle helmet but who wants to wear that ?
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Old 09-24-14, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rjones28
The first helmet I ever had was the Bell V-1 Pro. I was about 25 at the time.

Bought my V1 PRO "mail-order" from Bike Nashbar in OH in the early 80's. I can still remember them advertising it as a bridge between newer construction materials (styrofoam and plastic) and the classic leather headgear styling that it mimicked. I can't call it my first helmet though because it's the only helmet I've ever owned. I've had to redo the interior foam padding a few times, but this pic. is from July '14 and I last used it today. Funny, I was just musing about whether I looked too dated under it and ought to buy a new one, but my Specialized Expedition, also from Nashbar/OH, shipped via Greyhound, is of the same vintage and that too is still going strong.
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Old 09-24-14, 10:53 PM
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I would think the old leather helmets would at least prevent serious road rash on the noggin.

My first helmet was one of those old Bell hard-shell helmets that looked like you had a giant white tortoise shell on your head.



Had it less than a year when I got run down from behind by a car coming off a highway ramp. I got thrown over the handlebars and landed on the adjacent sidewalk smashing the helmet, instead of my head.

Haven't had any significant crack-ups in the intervening 30+ years until a few weeks ago, when I went down making a wide turn going downhill at around 25-30MPH and my rear wheel caught some grit in the road, causing me to slam down sideways. My Specialized King Cobra helmet broke apart when my head hit the road. But, again, my noggin was unmolested (although the rest of me was bruised and covered with road rash from knee to shoulder).
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Old 09-25-14, 03:57 AM
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Here is a NIB Vetta Corsa a friend gave me the other day from a storage bin he bought, circa 1983.

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