Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Helmet Shopping: The Results

Spoiler alert! I came home from my trip to Boston last week (and of course a stop by Smartpak), walked in the door, and announced to my fiance that I had found the sexiest piece of riding gear I have ever bought.

(He said, "I don't even know what it is and that is blatantly false." Luckily I found a boy who appreciates breeches...)


Thank you all SO much for your thoughtful, eloquent, and incredibly useful feedback on my helmet search. I read every comment multiple times, made notes, scoured websites, and thought a lot. I was ready to tackle the new helmet fitting process.

First: a moment of silence for my old helmet, which did yeoman's work and came the closest of any helmet I have ever owned to lasting until its expiration date, rather than being put out of commission by a fall.

It was an ugly thing, but it saw me through a lot.

On to the shopping!

I re-confirmed the following: Charles Owens do not fit my head, Troxels are ugly as sin, I still dislike the Tipperary style, and everything else was waaaaaay out of the price range. I did not even try on any Samshields or One Ks or all those other helmets the cool kids are wearing these days.

I narrowed it down to two helmets.

On the right, the IRH XR9. On the left, the IRH Elite Xtreme. Helmet names are getting as dumb as car names, seriously.

I wanted badly to like the XR9. It fit pretty darn well, actually. I just wasn't quiiiiiite sold on it, and since I was there in front of a wall o'helmets, and had an awesome Smartpak salesperson helping me out and talking through options with me, I put on the Elite Xtreme. And little angels sang in a choir.

The trick, as it turned out, was that the Xtreme came in a "long oval" size, which means that my head is even weirder sized than I expected. I put it on and it fit like a glove, and it settled down onto my head and I loved it. And then I looked at the price tag, and I wanted to cry, but I looked at myself in the mirror, and felt the helmet wrap around my head, and sighed. 

The salesperson offered to get the black version of what I was wearing but you know what?  That silver is awesome. It looks like a million bucks. It's not a show helmet - I have a wonderful velvet show helmet - and we don't even show anyway. 

soooooooooo sexy

Spending way more than I planned on my helmet did not stop me from swinging through the clearance section, which was filled with the usual tempting array. I escaped with this jacket (minus the Smartpak logo) for $25, and the Back on Track glove liners for $12.50, because 'tis the season for winter stuff on deep clearance.

I've now ridden in the helmet about a half dozen times and I loooooooove it. It's a little snug until the back harness softens and the lining breaks down a bit, but it turns heads, and I get a happy thrill from putting it on. It doesn't budge while I'm riding, and best of all, I actually look almost good for once.

post-ride the other day

In conclusion: way more $$$ than I anticipated, but WHOOOO for sexy new helmets!


  1. dang! I think it looks great! ...I kinda want one now...

  2. yep that looks like a perfect fit for you!! honestly if there's anything worth spending a couple extra bucks on, it's a well-fitted helmet! love the silver too!

  3. That is definitely one sexy helmet!

  4. It looks great, I love my IRH!

  5. Looks great! Very similar to my IRH EQ


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