Bicycle Helmets

I bought my first helmet in 1976, to fulfill a requirement for entering club time trials.

So far none of my helmets has ever been involved in a crash. My most serious crash occurred a few years before I ever thought of wearing a helmet. It resulted in very serious injuries to one of my legs, which still affect me today, but only minor superficial head injuries.

I always wear a helmet when riding my sport bike, and almost always when riding my touring bike, but for most of my around town utilitarian transportation bicycling I still usually prefer not to wear anything that's bicycling-specific, including a helmet.

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My Helmets

Bell Biker

Used as my main helmet for 11 years, then as a spare.

The first hard shell helmet made specifically for bicycling. Lexan plastic hard shell, two-piece EPS foam liner, plastic D-rings. Some came with metal D-rings. I personalized it by changing the arrangement of reflective stripes. When I replaced the straps I changed them from red to blue.

Bell Biker

Bell Tourlite

Used as my main helmet for 17 years.

Also personalized by rearranging the reflective stripes, mainly on the back.

ABS plastic hard shell, two-piece EPS foam liner, quick release plastic buckle, adjustable visor.

Appears to provide better protective coverage than the Metro below, farther down on the sides and back of the head and less interruption of coverage by vents. I've never felt that lack of ventilation was a problem. The adjustable visor is a very nice feature for riding towards a low sun, or oncoming headlights at night, and doesn't seem to be available on any of today's helmets.

Bell Tourlite

Bell Metro

My new helmet. The only modern road style helmet I've found without a "duck tail". For why helmets should be round in back read this. The "duck bill" shaped visor is much less useful than the one on my Tourlite, though it can be adjusted slightly, with some difficulty. Riding in rain or for extended periods in direct sun may be relatively problematic with this helmet due to the larger vents and less overhang.

The fit system and comfort of the Metro are big improvements over both my old helmets, and the weight is about 1/3 less than the Tourlite. Like most modern helmets the shell and foam liner are formed in one piece and the buckle is a quick release design.

Bell Metro
As of March 2005 I have personalized my Metro by replacing its duck bill visor with the one from the Tourlite.

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Updated March 29, 2005

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