If you read my blog regularly you know that I don’t wear a helmet often when riding around the city or on tour. However, I do consider a helmet a good idea for more risky forms of cycling like mountain biking. Based on past experiences I know the mountain biking in Utah and Arizona can be technically challenging and rocky so a helmet is a logical conclusion when falling off my bike is inevitable.
I’ve got a couple Giro helmets. One two years old and the other at least 5 years old. They are both in decent shape and nice for hot days since they are so well vented. They are not so great when it’s cold out because you need to block all those vents to try and keep the chilly air from giving you brain freeze. They are soft foam helmets which are quite delicate and need to be handled with a lot of care.
I have used an old hard shell snowboarding helmet while Pugsley biking this winter. It’s very tough and unfortunately not vented at all so your get uber hot in a high output sport like cycling. I’ve decided it’s just too warm at temps above -20 deg C. A hard shell helmet with some reasonable vents would be ideal for this time of year.
Bern comes to the rescue with a line of affordable hard shell helmets that can be configured for cycling or with a warm liner for snow sports. I picked up a Bern Brentwood. It comes with a detachable visor that I love and actually works a lot like a baseball cap – something I’ve tried, but never been comfortable under my helmet. It has enough venting for late winter/spring riding. I’ll probably go back to my Giros when summer finally arrives.