Want it Wednesday - a Winter Commuter Bike Helmet (Bern, Bell & Lazer Options)

3:30 PM

Yup, as much as I try to deny it, I keep wanting more bike stuff.  Budget be damned!  (Want to join Want it Wednesday, check out Jez’s site here!)

I am officially in my last four weeks of summer vacation, and while going back to work is always a bit of a bummer I am looking forward to getting back to my daily bike commute.  There is just something about just riding a bike with no workouts, no intervals, no goals.  This year brings a longer commute and an attempt at full-year riding (always easy to commit to riding a zero degrees when it is 75 and sunny). 

One thing that I know I am going to need for the winter riding is a new helmet.  My current helmet works just fine for about 9 months of the year, but all that wonderful venting is really not helpful when the words “wind chill” make their way back into my vocabulary.  So, I’m on the hunt for a warm commuting helmet.  No decisions yet, but I have a few that I’ve got my eye on…

Candidate #1: Bern Berkeley ($80)
This one is the top candidate.  I like the style, reduced vents, and flexible visor (much of my morning commute will have me heading directly into the sun…but, wait, in the winter it will be dark…so scratch that).  You can also upgrade the helmet with a knit liner for additional warmth.  Though I wish they had a few more color options (matte gray would be my choice, but I hate the blue straps and purple visor), I could definitely get used to the glossy black. 

Candidate #2: Bell Segment ($55)
Again, I’m heading toward a BMX-style helmet with the Segment to keep the vents to a minimum.  The name of this helmet actually comes from the way it is constructed – segments of foam are connected by a skeleton, which is supposed to give you more flexibility overall.  The Bern may have the edge over the Bell in style (I’m not sure I like the ear cut-outs in the Segment), but the Bell is easier on the pocketbook. 

Candidate #3: Lazer Street Spring Flower ($50)
This one may actually be too stylin’ for me, but I like the geometric shapes of the Lazer.  They have lots of other choices (also very dashing) on their website.  The main negative of the Lazer is that it may not be a good winter choice – they have a whole lot of venting along the top and back of the helmet…not quite matched to my purpose. 

Ultimately, I’m going to have to hunt these down in a LBS to try them on and compare.  I’m going to want some extra room for my hat, and may even need to think about how a pair of goggles will interface with the helmet (winter cycling in Minnesota – goggles required).

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