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Thread: Winter Helmets

  1. #1
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    Winter Helmets

    I've been riding my Salsa Mukluk for a couple of months now and I absolutely love it. It is an extremely fun bike. I got it with the intent to continue riding in the winter here in Manitoba Canada. My initial plan for helmets was to continue using my standard summer helmet with a balaclava and whatever else I needed to endure the cold weather up here. However I noticed helmets designed for snows sports such as skiing and snowboarding and they already have insulation built into the helmet. Would these helmets be good for winter biking as well? The packaging just says to not use the helmet with motorized equipment.

    Thoughts? Suggestions

  2. #2
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    I've worn those before and they do work pretty well. Most have ventilation systems that allow you to close the vents when its extra cold, or open them when its warm. Also, the ear flaps are sometimes removable. I haven't hit anything with my head while biking with one, so can't speak to that. My guess is the protection is similar.

    Mostly I'll wear a bike helmet with a thin hat or headband, just because ski helmets are overkill unless its under 20 degrees. Downhill skiing is different because you aren't doing continuous cardio like with cross country or biking, so a warmer helmet is good.

  3. #3
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    I use clear packing tape to plug up the holes on the helmet, and wear a hat like others do underneath. Works perfect as the tape acts as wind block, and you can experiment with either blocking all vents, or leaving a few open in the rear to vent moisture.

  4. #4
    Huckin' trails
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    I commute every day in Montreal, Canada, and last winter I decided to get my hands on a nice snowmobile helmet, open face with full face visor and mask. No more Mr. Cold Nose and pretty good visibility. A bit fun looking because not on a motor bike, but I don't care, I'm comfy and protected. But if only for riding trails, I would recommend a snowboard helmet with ski googles, or anything similar to this. Since my commute is also during snowstorms, I got annoyed at the ski googles, cold nose and cold humid breath on the mask.

    The helmet I bought was a ZOX snowmobile helmet, and can be purchased for around $100.

    David
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the responses guys. One other question: are there covers that you can get for the standard helmets? One that would block the wind?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    I commute every day in Montreal, Canada, and last winter I decided to get my hands on a nice snowmobile helmet, open face with full face visor and mask. No more Mr. Cold Nose and pretty good visibility. A bit fun looking because not on a motor bike, but I don't care, I'm comfy and protected. But if only for riding trails, I would recommend a snowboard helmet with ski googles, or anything similar to this. Since my commute is also during snowstorms, I got annoyed at the ski googles, cold nose and cold humid breath on the mask.

    The helmet I bought was a ZOX snowmobile helmet, and can be purchased for around $100.

    David
    Yea i've been thinking the same thing. Going to need some kinda of full face helmet, or maybe downhill helmet with goggles or something.

  7. #7
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    Been using my ski helmet for cold weather riding as long as I can remember. Open the vents, pull off the ear flaps, or not depending on temperature.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  8. #8
    i also unicycle
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    cheap-isy snowsport helmet is my choice in the winter. retail was $40-50 and it fits well and has considerations for goggles and removable ear flaps etc. i will wear a balaclava under it when it's really chilly, but overall i really like it. mine is from Pryme, but there are tons of others out there
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  9. #9
    Huckin' trails
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    Here's what I'm using. Since you guys usually won't go ride during a snowstorm, it might be a bit overkill, but as a commuter rider, it's nice to have this protection.

    It's the ZOX Kaba S and you can remove the visor, and it comes with a mask to cover from your upper chest to over your nose.

    Zoxhelmets.com - kABA S Snowmobile Helmet



    Even comes with a electric visor in option.

    David
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  10. #10
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Thin balaclava or helmet liner under the helmet. Tape over the front vents. That works for most of the winter for me. If it gets really cold, I'll add a helmet cover over the outside and ear covers. A lycra helmet cover will add a little bit of warmth, and a waterproof one will add a lot. The venting options with a regular mtb helmet are much better than with a ski or snowboard helmet. Lighter too.

  11. #11
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    Last year I use an old helmet with taped up vents and it worked fine, but didn't work that well with my goggles. This year I switched to a Bern Watts EPS helmet with the knit liner and it's been perfect so far.

    Bern Watts EPS Helmet - FREE SHIPPING at Altrec.com
    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountfargo.com

  12. #12
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    It's not as cold in upstate NY as Manatoba, but I've ridden my mountain bike down to 10F (about -7C) with a skull cap that covers my ears and duct tape over the helmet vents and I've been fine. I rode in the woods where it is relatively sheltered and where you don't go that fast compared to fire road riding where it would be colder. I tried using my ski helmet and it was too hot, but I can't remember how cold it was when I tried it.

  13. #13
    Hi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironbirdexplorer View Post
    Thanks for the responses guys. One other question: are there covers that you can get for the standard helmets? One that would block the wind?
    Yep. REI carries a bunch:


    Cycling Headwear at REI.com

  14. #14
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    3-in-1 balaclava under a standard, vented XC lid has worked fine for me through two Edmonton winters. Lowest temperature so far was -31C, but it was still comfy.

    I think this is the one I have: Outdoor Research Sonic Balaclava

    Got it at MEC. It's handy because the opening is large enough that you can pull it down under your chin for warm days (today was the first time I broke it out again, at -8C). Below about -15C I pull it up over my face and use it like a balaclava. Below about -25C I add an extra neck warmer. This year I also picked up some ski goggles for below -25C, but for the last two winters it was just me and the balaclava. My hands and feet will get cold, but my noggin hasn't been a problem.

  15. #15
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    I purchased a ski helmet with the thoughts of it being perfect, but unless it drops well below 0˚f it was way overkill. I usually now just go with a balaclava and my mtb helmet. I do find that adding a good pair of goggles does add that little extra bit of warmth in the colder temps.

  16. #16
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    I ride daily in Manitoba. I just use an old helmet without blocking the vents. I use a craft windstopper balaclava and a thin craft windstopper scullcap over top of the balaclava under the helmet. -44 degrees celsius is my record and I've had no problems with my head getting cold.

  17. #17
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    What kind of goggles are you guys using? Just generic DH ski goggles? Do they fog up?
    Looking for a way to protect my eyes here in Manitoba... I have a long commute and if I can keep my eyes protected I can go a lot colder than I used to be able to do.

    Thanks for any input...

  18. #18
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    ^ I've done -31C with just me and my contacts. It worked but it was probably dumb, so this year I bought these from MEC:



    But, I haven't used them yet so I don't know how well they work. They're not designed to fit over glasses, if that's a concern. But they're clear which should be good for dark commutes, and at $23 they're pretty cheap. I'm not going to try them until it gets colder, though.

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