Product Review: The Helmet Lock

Bike Commuters recently got The Helmet Lock into our hands for review. Construction is simple. It’s a figure-eight loop steel cable with a  steel nut in the middle and a crimped end, all plastic-coated.

The Helmet Lock is designed to be passed through helmet vents, then locked to the U-lock or chain of your choice.  It’s supposed to pack easily on your u-lock when not in use. I don’t have a U-Lock to try that with. It does hold my helmet to my heavy chain (which I leave on the bike rack in the patrolled parking garage at work) though.

This device is remarkably simple in its design and function, but I’m left with a few thoughts:

  • If someone really wants to steal my $30 helmet that’s more than a year old, with most of the padding either missing or drenched in sweat, they probably need it more than I do.
  • One could simply pass the lock through the triangular helmet straps. It’s a serious pain in the ass — even impossible on some models — to un-thread the straps from the helmet, and cutting the straps would make the helmet useless.
  • No lock will stop people from vandalizing or damaging your helmet. If that’s a concern, you should just take it with you.

Regardless, the inventor, Blake Mills, gets high marks. The design is clever, and he actually took the idea and implemented it. That’s more than I can say for the cool ideas I’ve had. I’m just not certain that The Helmet Lock solves any of my immediate problems.

11 Comments

  1. ksteinhoff August 19, 2009 7:48 am 

    “The design is clever, and he actually took the idea and implemented it. That’s more than I can say for the cool ideas I’ve had.”

    That brings to mind one of the most important lessons I learned when I was a college kid attending a National Press Photograper’s Association Flying Short Course.

    One of the speakers had illustrated a book on Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. I recognize now that a lot of the pictures were pretty pedestrian, but he had some good stuff, too.

    A guy sitting in front of me turned to his buddy and said, “I could shoot stuff that good.”

    His buddy replied, “The difference between you and him is that he DID it.”

  2. Iron Man August 19, 2009 9:02 am 

    I’m glad I don’t live in an overly high crime area. Stealing a helmet just seems so desperate and a little nasty. I don’t think I’d wear my wife’s helmet, provided my gargantuan head could fit in hers.

  3. RL Policar August 19, 2009 10:51 am 

    One thing Noah didn’t cover was how easy it was to cut the cable on this lock. I took a basic pair of cable cutters to the lock and snap…

  4. Doug Jeseph August 19, 2009 11:10 am 

    Color me unimpressed.

    There are cases where I need to lock my bike and don’t want to drag a helmet with me, but then I just run the lock through one of the the side strap triangles and we’re done.

    Looks like this is just one more thing to lug around.

  5. Ghost Rider August 19, 2009 12:13 pm 

    I’ve never been one to leave my helmet locked to my bike…and carrying a helmet around is easy enough if you just leave it on your head (after all, people look at “the weirdo cyclist” anyhow!).

    How strong is the crimped end? Sometimes that’s a weak spot in some cable locks.

  6. Powerful Pete August 21, 2009 4:32 am 

    Yup. Appears to be a solution for a problem that does not exist. I commute to wok, but always carry my helmet into the office.

    Why bother leaving your helmet attached (not too securely, I might add) to your bike outside?

  7. Amy August 21, 2009 10:11 am 

    If I’m leaving the helmet on the bike I do the strap-lock too. Cutting a strap to steal it does make it useless. Would just be an excuse for a new helmet!

  8. Chester August 21, 2009 7:30 pm 

    Could be useful for some, but no real point for me. I already carry around:
    – A. small U-lock.
    – B. thick cable.
    – C. thin, short cable.

    The U-lock is for locking the frame to whatever pole, the thick cable is for passing through both wheels and the U-lock, and the thin cable is for my seat.

    I can lock up my helmet with either the thin cable through a vent like this lock does or the U-lock or thick cable through the helmet band frame.

    The only aspect of this helmet lock that stands out is that it’s easy to use with one hand.

  9. Museeuw flax bikes and more | MEN blog . net August 28, 2009 5:27 am 

    […] lock your helmet to your bike. Take a look at his website for the HelmetLock. Also, you can see a recent review of the Helmet Lock over at Bike […]

  10. sheng an co ltd October 9, 2009 1:29 am 

    new steel cable lock.lnvites your product reference thanks

  11. Museeuw flax bikes and more | Bicycle Design February 28, 2010 7:51 pm 

    […] lock your helmet to your bike. Take a look at his website for the HelmetLock. Also, you can see a recent review of the Helmet Lock over at Bike […]

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