Helmet Head

Helmet Head

Dark Helmet lives. Growing up there was a neighborhood kid nicknamed pin head... it wasn't a commentary on his lack of smarts but rather an accurate description of how small his head was. I bet he looks good in a cycling helmet now.

As discussed last week finding a helmet that looks good on larger heads isn't easy. Here's five worthy of consideration and a larger gallery examining the problem from every angle. Captions welcome.

Giro Prolight and Filter Sunglasses Giro Ionos and Filter Sunglasses
Giro Prolight and Filter SunglassesGiro Ionos and Filter Sunglasses Giro Prolight and Filter SunglassesGiro Ionos and Filter Sunglasses Giro Prolight and Filter SunglassesGiro Ionos and Filter Sunglasses
Giro Atmos and Filter Sunglasses Specialized S-Works
Giro Atmos and Filter SunglassesSpecialized S-Works and Giro Filter Sunglasses Giro Atmos and Filter SunglassesSpecialized S-Works and Giro Filter Sunglasses Giro Atmos and Filter SunglassesSpecialized S-Works and Giro Filter Sunglasses
Catlike Whisper Plugging in the glasses
Catlike Whisper and Giro Filter SunglassesGiro Ionos and Giro Filter Sunglasses Catlike Whisper and Giro Filter SunglassesGiro Atmos and Giro Filter Sunglasses Catlike Whisper and Giro Filter SunglassesSpecialized S-Works and Giro Filter Sunglasses                                                                                                                    

29 Responses to Helmet Head

  1. Tim says:

    Bizarrely (and very related to the fact that I’m sat here installing photoshop on a new PC), I actually found myself scrolling through all 57 shots and making notes…

    The first votes from the UK Jury are: 1st – The Giro Prolight. Last – the Whisper (particualrly with the hat!)

    Best regards

    PS you’re mad.

  2. I agree with your ranking. I think I should have turned the Whisper around, those rear ports look like eyes on a spider.

    The cap plus Whisper also reminded me of Montag in the 1966 film of Fahrenheit 451


  3. Glyn says:

    Perfect timing as I am in the market for a new helmet. I have narrowed it down to the Catlike and the Specialized. I can only get one and would appreciate your take on which you like the best of these two.

    On another topic, I am considering my first custom build bike and it’s going to be Titanium. I have looked at the available options and have a shortlist of two, the Eulogy and a Moots Vamoots. I am swaying in favour of the Moots as a)I like most things American and b)It would be a fairly rare bike here in the UK.
    My question is this, did you consider the Moots and why did you go for the Enigma in the end?

    Phew!! sorry for the length of my first post, hope you don’t mind.

    Best Regards


    • Glyn,

      I’d go for the Specialized S-Works over the Catlike. I find it more comfortable and think it looks better on my head. The largest Catlike is still snug on me.

      On the ti bike question, I did look at Moots and a couple of others. Like you one of my factors in deciding on Enigma was that the bike would be rare on my side of the pond. Since making that call, I’ve got to know more about Mark and Jim at Enigma and can’t say enough good things about them. I prefer the Eulogy’s variable tube shapes to more classic looking bikes, particularly the larger downtube and on my bike the extended ti seattube (since changed to a more conventional height). I also loved the carbon rear triangle.

      Designed for Sean Yates as the stiffest ti bike they could produce, the Enigma Eulogy is actually very well mannered and comfortable. I ride mine much more than my Cervelo and it’s sitting within easy reach right now at the office ;-)

      If you’re close enough to them, I’d definitely recommend you make an appointment to visit Mark and Jim before making a decision. In any event you can’t go wrong either way.


  4. slate says:

    I must say that the S-Works is amazing. That crew knows a thing or two about making a lightweight, great fitting helmet that looks “right”. They’ve been doing it for the Rapha Continental for the past two years, making us look good.

    The one you may have missed also featuring is the Lazer Genesis. Those Belgians have figured out how to make the near perfect helmet and cycling cap combination come to life. Look at Boonen and Stijn before Quickstep went with Specialized.

    Anyway, glad to see you wearing helmet(s).


  5. Slate,

    The two helmet, princess leia look just might catch on. Great side protection and a killer sound system… does hurt peripheral vision and requires a lot of sunscreen though.

  6. BR says:

    Wow…you look so different than your mugshot(s). How long did it take you to edit out the full facial tribal tattoo mask? And for those not living in NorCal? Michael does actually smile once in awhile.

    My helmet vote? Anything in white that vents my tropical depression forehead weather zone well.

  7. BR says:

    …and it’s better to view a helmet as a person rides by in a dropped position. Standing upright? Any helmet looks pretty strange. How about some action shots? Can we have a criterium in front of your house?

  8. Josh says:

    Can you rank them in order of best airflow?

    • I’ll do my best to give you a subjective rating later in the week Josh. Certainly won’t be scientific. Should have taken them to the Moorseville Wind Tunnel ;-)

  9. Gregn SF says:

    Great pictures, I think I am going to get the large S-Works helmet, the rear view of that helmet is unique and very cool.

    I would love to see the way you store your gear and what your Garage looks like. You could split that up into numerous blog posts.

    Garage Set Up
    Gear storage
    Post Ride Routine

    Personally, I have way too much gear, I have a surfing section for boards and wet suits, a biking section, golf and tennis.

    Oh to be a bay area resident, all the sports and not enough time.

    Hope to see you on the road some day.

    Are you doing the Gran Fondo
    Greg SF

    • Greg,

      Good choice, as Slate said earlier those helmets have served the Rapha boys (and girls) well for the last few years.

      The garage idea might make a decent post after a little spring cleaning. Thank god I don’t surf, there’s no way I’d fit boards and wetsuits in the mix.

      I’m registered for Levi’s ride again, but it’s been a rough start to the year with almost all my mileage coming from commuting. I need to start doing some climbing and drop a few pounds or I’ll take a beating on Kings Ridge Road in October. Are you registered?


      • Greg SF says:


        Yes, I am registered with 4 buddies to do the Fondo again. I hope to drop an hour off my time. Last year was a big year for me, I did Mt Ventoux, two days before Lance and Alberto came through and then did the Fondo. Mt Ventoux was the hardest thing I’ve done, it makes Mt. Diablo feel like a little bump.

        The Fondo was also quite hard, especially when they stuck that hard climb in at mile 75.

        I too need more miles.

        What do you think of the new Rapha jerseys?


  10. Jon Moss says:


    A wealth of pics for the person stuck in helmet-choice hell ;-)

    I’ve gone Giro > Catlike > S-Works, and still use them all regularly. Picking one, it would have to be the latter, mostly for comfort.



    PS @Glyn > I’ve also gone the Enigma route (although I am in the UK). I had such a great experience with Jim and Mark, I went back and got a winter bike from them, so now have 2. Great people, top product and ace service.

    • Glyn says:

      I think I will be going for Enigma, one of the main reasons being cost. An Eulogy frame with Enigmas stock fork is 43% cheaper than a Moots Vamoots!
      Also as you say they have a great reputation with the people who have bought from them.
      I will probably go for the Echo with Sram Force and Fulcrum Racing 3 wheels and a Chris King Headset.
      Thanks for the input.

  11. kaiko says:

    i almost burst out laughing in class when i saw that first picture!

    you’ve inspired me (yet again) to try that out on my bike…

  12. Liam says:

    Wait, this is really good, except all the helmets are pushed really far back on your head. Can you reshoot, especially the prolight? I really want to get an idea of the profile view but it’s hard to know when it’s pushed so far back.

  13. Bin says:

    I too have quite a large head and understand the difficulties in choosing headwear for a large dome. In my opinion, no helmet will make us not look a big strange. I know I will catch alot of flack for this but I will usually do training rides alone with no helmet and hair flowing in the wind like Coppi or Merckx, only wearing a helmet for races and group rides.

  14. Liam says:

    Thanks! I’d also like to hear what you think / shots of the Lazer Genesis or Helium. Maybe they’ll send you one?

  15. kurt says:

    I just tried the Prolight at my LBS. Very light, quite comfortable. I like the way the straps fit around the ears compared to the Ionos I own. The difference is illustrated well by the photo comparison you have so generously provided. I noticed the adjustment is gone from the straps on the Prolight. Once you put on the Prolight the strap adjustments on the Ionos appear to be a solution looking for a problem.

    Unfortunately, I need about 1 inch more on the strap.

    It appears I suffer from BGS (Big Head Syndrome) as well.

    No Pin Heads here!

    Ride on… Dark Helmet

  16. Jerry says:

    Bored eh?!

  17. Oscar van den Bosch says:

    Your reviews keep getting better and better, I really do enjoy checking out your blog.

    I suggest checking out the Laser Helium aswell, great helmet.

    Ride safe,
    ozzie from Amsterdam, NL.

  18. I’ve got a contact at the US distributor, hope to have something soon. thanks.

  19. Liam says:

    Updated post coming soon?