03 April 2008

Equestrian helmet as commuting helmet?


I came to cycling as an equestrienne, so I'll disclose immediately that my tastes may be biased.

Bike commuters and equestrians both require a helmet with a classic appearance, good ventilation, and comfort. As long as the horse helmets are ASTM/SEI Certified I don't see any reason why a person couldn't wear one to commute by bike. They're warmer than traditional bike helmets, which could be a problem for someone in Florida but isn't usually a problem in Boston. Horse helmets have more protection to the back of the head. No big deal there.

My position on this is that the best helmet is the helmet that you're willing to actually wear. Period. For any sport.

There are numerous equestrian helmets available from Dover Saddlery and State Line Tack.

Rising helmets have had longer to evolve so they're also available in purple velvet, tan leather, and other fun options.

3 comments:

Sydney Body Art Ride said...

Check this out, looks great.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bdesveaux/416595925/

Julie said...

I prefer the look of an equestrian helmet, and after seeing your post, I searched around a little to see if there was any reason not to use one for cycling. This is the only thing I could find (from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute):

"We do not recommend equestrian helmets for bicycle riding because the [ASTM standard] lab drop test on flat surfaces is done at only 1.8 meters rather than the 2.0 meter bicycle requirement."

This seems strange to me, considering that equestrians potentially fall from greater heights than cyclists. I've opted for a Bern Berkeley with a visored winter liner, but I still like the idea of an equestrian helmet.

Charlotte said...

Julie,
I had looked into it too. It used to be that bike helmets were safer than the low profile horse helmets we wore. My riding instructor encouraged me to consider a bike helmet. Now that they're all ASTM certified (at least the ones I use) I don't think you have to worry. The heat issue - now that may be a concern!