Stylish Bike Helmets
Urban bike helmets have come a long way and gone are the days of spandex and streamline helmets. Biking is no longer just a competitive sport, but a way of life for many. Bike commuting is gaining popularity and commuting by car is simply out of fashion in many major city centres. It's not uncommon to see cyclists in heels and maxi dresses, en route to a party. Stylish bike helmets are gaining popularity, and rightly so.
The emergence of custom helmet companies that cater to cyclists looking for helmets to suit their individual style proves that the market is heating up with stylish helmets. New York's Belle Helmets is owned and operated by illustrator Danielle Baskin, who handpaints and designs custom helmets and ships them all over the world. Baskin's designs include helmets featuring fruit (avocado, apple, kiwi and orange, just name a few; solar system; map themes; textile themes and themes based on customer's ideas).
Yakkay bike helmets are made by a Danish company and cater to style conscious cyclists. These high end, urban bike helmets are a simple and colourful skate style helmet. The tweed, military, equestrian, and fedora covers make these bike helmets truly unique and one of a kind, crushing the sporty stereotype.
In this article, I will discuss and brief history of the bike helmet (feel free to skip ahead if you want to see some examples of stylish bike helmets right away) and I will highlight and review several stylish bike helmet models.
A Brief History of Urban Bike Helmets
Since cycling's earliest days, there were head injuries. In the 1880's head injuries were considered to be a significant a problem and people began using pith helmets. Pith is a crushable material, and was likely the best material available at the time. Although it would probably break up on impact, there were few cars on the roads, so riders needed protection only against a single impact.
Around the turn of the century racing cyclists began using "helmets" made of strips of leather-covered padding, initially with a ring of leather around the head and a wool ring above that. Then the style evolved and the ring of leather around the head was supplemented by strips of leather arranged longitudinally on the head.
In the early 1970s many cyclists used hockey helmets and some used "bump caps", which turned out to be more cosmetic than protective against injury. In the mid 70s helmets on the market mostly had some kind of shell with a squishy foam liner. The Bell Biker helmet came to market in the mid 70s had a hard Lexan shell, and it had a full EPS (Expanded PolyStyrene), the first of its kind.
Mid-1980s bike helmets were characterized by EPS foam liners, with ABS or polycarbonate hard shells. Virtually all of them had a simple strap design shaped like a Y on each side. For buckles, most had d-rings or plastic buckles made by Fastex.
In 1986 a designer named Jim Gentes designed an adult bike helmet with some vents and no shell, and formed Giro Sport Design to market the concept. The lighter weight was an instant hit, and Giro began selling to racers and others who could afford the high price.
Since foam is a superior insulator and heat is a problem for cyclists, vents have been a feature of almost every bicycle helmet since the earliest hairnets. There have been attempts to design for air flow in a space between helmet and head, as construction hard hats are made, notably the Bailen Bike Bucket from the 1970s.
Stylish (Invisible) Bike Helmets
Fashionable Bike Helmets: 3 Top Brands for 2015
Yakkay bike helmets are flying off the shelves with their modern take on a plain skate-style helmet. This Dutch company is proud of their unique bike helmet covers that make your helmet look like a really nice hat. The way Yakkay works is you choose your helmet size:
- Small (51-54 cm)
- Medium (51-56 cm)
- Large (55-59 cm)
- Extra Large (58-61 cm)
Next, you choose your helmet cover. There are dozens of styles to choose from: tweed, military, equestrian, and fedora covers. The helmet and cover sets range from $116-$145. Speaking of Dutch bike helmet designers, check out the "invisible helmet" video, featuring trendy Danish cowels that self inflate on impact to create a protective bubble around your head.
Nutcase is another bike helmet brand that is consistently coming up with fresh and fashionable bike helmets. Nutcase has a new Metroride that retains the round, smooth shape of the classic skate helmet but adds two very large front vents. It will retail for $80. The Metroride will be on the market for purchase in March 2015. Michael Morrow, the CEO of Nutcase, started the company in 2005. Morrow is from Oregon and before he started the Nutcase brand, cyclists had very few bike helmet designs to choose from, most of which were plain and boring solid colours. Nutcase is now a leading designer of helmets for bike fanatics, skate and snowboarders and people who want to stand out in the water. Headquartered in Portland, Nutcase manages design innovation and booming international sales efforts across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Bern Unlimited is another innovative helmet company that designs helmets for multi sports: skate sports, snow sports and bike sports. Their helmets have a nice modern shape, inspired by skate style and they feature detachable hat visers.
Yakkay Bike Helmets
Urban Bike Helmets
Wearing a helmet is a law in most places and it seems like a no-brainer to protect your brain, one of the most important and useful parts of your body. No one ever said that helmet safety has o be boring. Urban bike helmets are sleek and round, not pointy and full of vents. Also, the colours, textures and designs are amazing. Who knew that your helmet could be a modern piece of art? But let's not get ahead of ourselves. If you're road biking, there are several things to look for in a road helmet that will keep you cool and comfortable and well as being a stylish helmet.
Road Cycling Helmets
• Designed to be as lightweight as possible for smooth riding and racing
• Typical construction consists of a plastic shell, foam padding, and a chin strap
• Often include larger vents to cut down on weight and circulate more air
• Typically have thinner chin straps for cooling purposes
Yakkay Bike Helmet
CEO of Yakkay Michael Eide wanted to bring together functionality and style. 'YAKKAY wanted to make a new type of bicycle helmet, which elegantly unites security and style. We believe that design and the possibility of adjusting the helmet to one's personal style, mood and type by just changing the cover is an essential reason for a still growing number of people who actually want to use a bicycle helmet. YAKKAY wanted to make a helmet - people actually want to wear.'
People like the versatility of Yakkay bike helmet covers. The covers only fit over Yakkay helmets, which come in 3 sizes: small, medium and large; however, you can buy multiple Yakkay helmet covers and switch up the look of your bike helmet as much as you want. Yakkay encourages sizing-up your helmet as they run small. The helmet is adjustable comes with pack of 6 pads to create a perfectly snug fit. The helmet is vented at the top, to keep your head cool while biking.
Bern Helmet: A Fashionable Bike Helmet That's Unisex
The Bern Watts bike helmet is a great option if you're looking for a fashionable bike helmet that fits well (very low-profile) and is comfortable to wear (it's lightweight and it's snug in all the right places). Also, a separate winter liner can be purchased to convert to either cold weather bike riding, or for skiing/snowboarding. The sizing generally runs a little small (so buy a size up) and the Bern Watts helmet comes in a small, medium, large and extra large. The helmet is skate inspired and rounded, with ventilation at the top of the helmet.
Nutcase Gen 3 Helmet
These stylish helmets have been tested thoroughly for your safety and comfort. All Gen 3 helmets feature improved ventilation, lighter weight, better reflectivity and are now offered in three sizes (S, M, L) . All Gen 3's come with a detachable visor. Plus all the fun styles allow you to express your individuality; you won't be able to wait to wear it out! Small: 52 - 56 cm; Medium: 56 - 60 cm;Large: 60 - 64 cm. Ventilation holes are on top and the front of the Nutcase Gen 3 helmets.
Time for a Poll
Bikegurl (author) from Canada on October 14, 2015:
Claudia, I've been debating between the Yakkay and the Nutcase helmet too. Nutcase has some pretty awesome designs;)
Claudia on September 28, 2015:
I have to say, I have a Yakkay helmet, and I don't find the fit very good. I'm in the process of finding another helmet and am thinking the Nutcase ones are a good option.