Tag Archive: helmets

Helmets are for Babies…

In one of my previous articles, I discussed ways to carry kids around on a bike and get them involved in biking as transportation early on. However, with the first phrase out of anyone’s mouth after an adult confesses to riding a bike being, “do you wear a helmet?” you can bet your panniers that helmets for kids – and especially little ones – are a must: if not for safety, for the impression of safety.

There's a child under the helmet, somewhere

The problem: hardly anyone in the U.S. really believes that kids under the age of 2 or so are going to be on a bike!  Hence… the great infant helmet search of 2012.

The first thing you have to figure out when looking for a helmet – for anyone – is head circumference (generally in centimeters, though a few manufacturers will throw you off and do it in inches). For R – our 9-month-old – that magic number is 45 cm. That makes things quite tricky – most “toddler” helmets don’t go that small – and those that do, look ridiculous on her! Additionally, a lot of helmets are designed for on-bike use and stick way out in the back – making it very hard to get an infant or toddler into a trailer or high-backed seat in anything resembling a comfortable position.

Here’s what I’ve tried or found reasonable-looking so far:

Lazer infant helmet – Only goes down to 46 cm, but Totcycle reports it’s a smaller helmet, so it leaves infants with less of an “I have a football helmet on my head” feel.

Nutcase's Little Nutty ("Hula Lounge" print)

Nutcase Little Nutty (XS) – More expensive than pretty much everything else at $55, but looks like it might not dwarf an infant head so much. The first Amazon review says it’s too small for a 2-year-old (which many others aren’t), so that may be a good indicator.

Giro Me2 – Only goes down to 48cm, looks huge on an infant. However, it’s a nice helmet and we’ve used it with our older daughter. Spin dial on back makes size adjustment a breeze.

Bell Sprout – Only goes down to 47cm, but says it’s optimized for trailers and seats – which may be better than many others.

Specialized Small Fry toddler – Fits 44-52cm according to the label, but it doesn’t fit my daughter’s 45cm head very well. Also, it’s approximately the size of her torso. A nice helmet overall though.

A lot of these are available in different styles – I’ve just linked to girly ones because we have girls (and when all you can see is helmet, it’s nice not to have your child’s gender misidentified).

Anyone else have a recommendation? Any experiences with any of the above?

Pryme V2-Lite Review

We received a pair of the Pryme V2 Lite Helmets to review for Here’s a little description about them:

The all new Pryme-8 V2 Lite Helmet weighs a mere 300 grams!

How did they do that?!By using In-Mold technology, Pryme was able to cut their helmet weight in HALF – yet still maintained its CPSC tested strength.

The look of the new V2 Lite is further enhanced by the unique transparent colors that are derived using the in-mold process.

msrp: $59.99

I was excited to try out the new Pryme V2 Lite helmets because I’m actually a big fan of “skater style” helmets. One of my biggest complaints with the brands that I do own is that they are pretty chunky. Even with the straps cinched down comfortably, the helmet can and will shift on my head. I’ve used brands such as Bell, 661, T.H.E and Free Agent.

The first and immediate difference I found with the Pryme V2 Lite was its weight. 300 grams is nothing compared to the weight of the competing helmets that I’ve mentioned. It’s so light that while I was riding with it, I almost forgot that it was on my head!

The inner pads fit just fine. I actually prefer the Pryme (pads) over the pads you’d get with other brands because they are thin yet comfy and you don’t have that wet mess touching your head while you’re riding. What I noticed with these pads is that they actually dry pretty quick. Plus, you can easily hand wash them in the sink and voila, fresh helmet! With some skater helmet brands, the pads are way too thick and act much like a kitchen sponge, which is gross because when you’re sweating, bacteria will get trapped in there and start to smell after a while.

Have you noticed the bright colors that they sent me? Pinkish-Purpley (but they call it trans-purple) and Red! Wow! Not only does it speak visibility, but it looks good. The plastic shell they used is very similar to what you’d see in standard road/mountain biking helmets. It’s thin enough where it doesn’t weigh anything, yet its tough enough that if you were to drop it or drag it on the ground that the shell wouldn’t disintegrate.

My biggest grip with this style helmet would be its breathability. Pryme addresses this issue with 13 large vents. Most brands only offer 12. So am I saying that the extra vent makes a difference? Possibly — because I wasn’t all drippy with a sweaty head during the testing period. Then again, I’m sure the cooler weather had something to do with it. However, the large vents do work because I can feel the air passing through them as I rode.

What kind of person should be wearing this helmet? That all comes down to personal preference, but if you’re a bike commuter, mountain biker or even a BMX rider, this is a great helmet! The biggest selling point for Pryme is that it barely weighs anything, only 300 grams. What I think is that the color options Pryme offers make it even more appealing to both men and women as well as children.
I simply love it and my since the wife said I can’t wear the pinkish-purpley helmet anymore, my daughter loves hers too!
By the way, they even offer a reflective version.

Our review disclaimer.

Design a helmet! Clever Cycles & Nutcase ask YOU to ‘Bring It!’

Clever Cycles and nutcase are offering a chance to design your own helmet, See Below:

In coordination with Portland-based Nutcase Helmets, Clever Cycles invites you to take part in our “Design a Nutcase? helmet design contest.

The winning design will receive a $500 Clever Cycles gift certificate! We’ll also give a $5 gift certificate to everyone who drops off a design at our shop. Limit one certificate per customer.

We like Nutcase helmets because their thick shells and fewer vents make them more durable and protective than sport-oriented helmets, perfectly suited to the lower intensity of everyday urban riding in our cool climate. Instead of the usual faux-aerodynamic alien insectoid styling, Nutcases feature whimsical, ironic, sometimes loud, other times just plain pretty designs. Go nuts; any design can win. Mixed media, limitless themes — no subject is off-limits (as long as it’s family friendly). Just let it happen. Totcycle has the spirit!

  1. Download your entry form and create your design using the blank helmet on page two of the form.
  2. Print and drop off at Clever Cycles at SE 9th and Hawthorne before January 22nd, 2011.                 You can also email your designs to
  3. Come to our Winter Cycle party at Clever Cycles from 3-6pm on January 22 and see if your design wins you a $500 Clever Cycles gift certificate. Remember, every design submission will get a free gift card.

Download your entry form now!

You’d Look Hotter in a Helmet…

As many of you may have realized, the staff is pretty militant about wearing helmets while bicycling — and while many folks may disagree with whether or not helmets make any difference in safety, we believe if there is anything between your two ears that you care about (fond memories, facts, pop culture trivia, etc.), it’s worth protecting.

Sometimes we joke about how silly helmets make us look; other times we might complain about how hot (or cold) they might feel on our heads. No matter what, though, we like ’em and we wear ’em.

All that being said, there’s a new blog out there that aims “To erase the stigma that wearing a helmet is dorky or uncool and to encourage the idea that wearing a helmet is attractive, cool and smart.” This is the “Safety is Sexy Campaign“, and they’ve got a pretty cool thing going on over there. You should check it out!

A great feature they have is that if you send them your mailing address, they will mail you a handful of stickers that say “You’d look hotter in a helmet.” — perfect for plastering around town to get the message out!

hotter in a helmet