bike helmets: safety or style?

Cycle Helmets and dressesLet’s face it; no-one wants to wear a helmet when they ride. We’d much rather sport a summery straw number or a jauntily angled fedora; or better yet, let our waxen, flaxen hair flow behind us like streamers from our childhood handlebars.

safety first

I’m more than happy to give someone a piece of my mind but, if possible, I don’t want to leave pieces of it on the road. The problem is, no matter which of my helmets I wear, I feel like a dork; like the kid with the over-protective parent (I’m pretty sure if my mom had her way I’d be wearing knee and elbow pads too and only riding in the park).

style at last

Recognizing that sometimes statistics aren’t enough to convince cyclists to don a lid, the latest helmets have done for protective gear what Twilight did for pale people. Here are some of our favourite new stars.


nutcase & sawako furuno

Yes, Nutcase and Sawako Furuno are still very much helmets but so much cooler than the rest. We love the nutcase slogan: “I love my brain” and the watermelon design is a great reminder of what would happen if our own melons were to hit the pavement. We also love the designs from Sawako Furuno and the attitude that if you’re going to wear a helmet, at least have fun with it.




These helmets put the “yay” in Yakkay (somehow). The cool looking hats are just a disguise; they can be slipped off and changed to match your outfit. One of our favourites is this horse helmet design we saw on Garance Doré. The compact helmet has been designed to meet rigorous European safety standard. Safety and style: first equal.



lacoste cork

One of our lululemon alumni, Kyle Ferguson, designed the lacoste cork helmet concept as part of a project at Emily Carr. Though not yet in production, the cork helmet takes a great step away from the traditional plastic-not-so-fantastic helmets and feels more like a piece of clothing, less like a haz-mat outfit. If you want to see this helmet become a reality, contact Kyle.


There’s a theory that drivers drive more carefully around cyclists with helmets; they presume that someone confident enough to ride without one knows what they’re doing. How does a helmet that doesn’t look like a helmet fit into that theory?

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Thanks for introducing stylish styles. Also encourage you to watch this TedxCopenhagen talk re: the ‘safety’ of bicycle helmets. Quite a enlightening and a different perspective :)

Comment by Helen — May 30, 2011 @ 9:38 am

I love the yakkay! I really want one now. (I wear a helmet already but this one is much cuter.)

Comment by Katie — May 30, 2011 @ 9:41 am

Unfortunately, I think cyclist safety is mostly dependent on how many cyclists your city has and how cyclist-friendly the infrastructure and drivers are. When cyclists are in the minority, drivers are more likely to see cyclists as nuisances who don’t belong, and aren’t looking out for cyclists anyway.

That said… I WANT A YAKKAY!!!! And they even ship to the US, omg! Thanks for the links!

Comment by elaine! — May 30, 2011 @ 10:04 am

I’ve been raving about Yakkay for years! I’m so excited they’re finally approved for sale in the U.S. this summer! I want a cute one I can use for trollin’ about town. I have my racing helmet for long rides, too.

Comment by erin m. {{well in l.a.}} — May 30, 2011 @ 10:20 am

I was in a major cycling accident on May 4th. My helmet saved my life! Excited to go buy a new one!

Comment by Melissa S — May 31, 2011 @ 11:40 am

Will the dress/tank shown in the picture be available in stores? It is awesome! As well, Great article about helmets, a definite must!

Comment by Katie — May 31, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

Hi Katie,
The dress shown above is our Illuminate Dress, and is available in stores! It’s part of our cycling capsule, and has reflective detailing so you’re visible at night. Give us a call and we can check the inventory of stores in your are: 1.877.263.9300 option #2
~ Laura, GEC Online Community

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — May 31, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

Wow, those look nice! But I have my old BELL helmet from my teenage days that is well-ventilated and presumably still safe (and bright yellow, whoaaa). I guess I’m not that concerned about matching, although the looks of my helmet was super important to me when I was younger haha.

I’m not sure a driver would even register what’s on a cyclist’s head when they’re driving by. I personally don’t notice. I’m more concerned about whether there is enough room for me to drive over to the left a bit or change lanes entirely.

Comment by MC — June 2, 2011 @ 11:44 am

To Helen: People’s reasoning means nothing when it doesn’t hold in real life. I listened to the gentlemen’s speech and is convincing, unfortunately the conclusion doesn’t sync with reality.
I am with Melissa S. I have a cracked helmet from a collision I had on a bicycle.

Comment by Protto Pop — December 20, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

Well it was appreciable topic. According to me, people have different thinking on helmet, some people think it is safety tool and other thinks it’s only fashionable thing. People should realize that helmet is important for their safety when riding on bike. I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing it.

Comment by Biker Helmets — February 28, 2012 @ 12:29 am

While these may preserve urban hipster cred for some, they are all quite warm to wear for longer excursions. It’s better to have more ventilation for the longer rides.

Comment by jody — February 29, 2012 @ 11:57 am

Great to see style combined with safety. We need to start out right away with our children teaching them the importance o9f safety helmets.

Comment by safety helmets for kids — May 24, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

If you are looking for a Yakkay helmet in Canada, I purchased mine at Scooteretti in Ottawa. They have a website you can order from.

Just make sure you order the right size for your head. I really like mine a lot and ended up buying another cover to change out the look of the helmet when I want to.

Here is the link to their site:

Comment by Markus — October 28, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

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