Cycle helmets versus style and comfort

This post is more than 16 years old.

Posted at 19:22 on 25 May 2007

I sometimes wonder why I bother wearing a cycle helmet when I take my bike in to work. As far as I'm aware they're not a legal requirement here in the UK and personally I think that's a Good Thing. I've been observing other cyclists when I go into work and back home again, and it seems that we helmet-wearers are definitely in the minority. They do make you feel safer, but I sometimes wonder if that feeling is more a palliative than anything else. They're uncomfortable, they make your head sweat like crazy, they're bulky and cumbersome, and they make you look a complete wuss. And if what Wikipedia says on the subject is to be believed, there is no conclusive evidence that they make the slightest bit of difference to safety in the first place.

Regardless of whether I wear a cycle helmet or not, one thing you'll never see me wearing when I'm on my bike is lycra -- that horrible figure hugging stuff that reveals the outlines of those parts of you which should really be treated with more modesty. It may be aerodynamic and all the rest of it, but personally I think it makes you look so awful that it's embarrassing, even if you are fit and healthy. It screams that you're one of those fitness freaks who view cycling as an end in itself rather than as a means to an end and don't care if you end up looking a total prat in the process.