I recently bought a new helmet, because I wanted to get away from the discount store helmet I had. I simply didn’t like its looks. I wanted something more contemporary, more “cyclist,” less “family-man-on-a-hybrid-cruising-the-park’s-bike-trails-with-the-kids.” It was pretty dorky.
I got the Giro Indicator helmet. You could call this a discount helmet, too, except that it’s not sold in discount stores. This one is the inexpensive choice in bike stores, next to the $100+ race-style helmets. I paid about $32 plus tax for it, at a local Performance bike shop.
Giro is actually a subsidiary of Bell, so it’s not surprising that they offer what is essentially the same model. The Indicator is the same helmet as the Bell Solar, with one difference: the Giro comes with a snap-on visor.
I don’t like the look of snap-on visors. Especially black ones, on a white helmet, which is what I got. The first thing I did was snap off the visor. Now it looks exactly like Mrs. Noob’s Bell Solar.
Except for one thing: Three small holes appear along the bottom edge of the helmet, where the visor used to be.
Oh, well. I suppose 99 out of 100 bikers who see it won’t even notice.
I got it in white, because I think it’s important that the helmet is visible. It’s a safety thing with me, and I’m willing to pass up the multiple color combinations available on most helmets these days. In fact, plain white seems to be hard to find on a lot of models.
I wanted lots of vents, which this helmet has. It’s definitely cooler than the helmet it replaced, which was kinda stingy with vents.
But as it turns out, I might have traded safety for looks.
The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute researches helmet safety issues and reviews helmets. I was surprised by one of their conclusions. They maintain that the safest bike helmets are ones that are “smooth, hard, round and slick.” The Institute says aero tails on helmets are bad for safety, because they can be jammed to the side during a crash, and leave part of the head unprotected.
My old discount store helmet was smooth, hard, round, and slick. It didn’t have anywhere near the aero tail most helmets today have. But it was pretty dorky.
So, I guess as a class, bicyclists have decided looks are the top priority when getting helmets. I have. Have you?