Review: Nutcase, head protection for hipsters
- by Chad Pedrotti
- Published: 28 July 2010
Stack hat, noggin bucket, helmet; whatever you call it. We, as two wheel warriors almost unanimously agree that helmets are a vital piece of equipment, for nipping down to the shops to descending Mt Everest on a Sunday.
A big problem is that majority of the helmets on the market today are ‘roadie’ orientated, that means less and less material exposing more and more helmet hair… or baldness. Nutcase offer an alternative, their BMX style helmets will never go out of fashion and each bring a touch of individuality with countless designs from awesome lookin’ flowers to my favourite, a watermelon flavoured design.
Staying fashionable or being a nonconformist doesn’t mean that safety has to be overlooked, the Nutcase helmet covers most of the head and extends down the back of the head protecting the softer areas? areas which are usually left more exposed by most helmets.
In the world of urban BMX riding where all obstacles seem to be irregularly shaped, the chance of an object pertruding through a vent in an accident is more likely the lack of vents is a safety feature. In this case, receding hairline protection comes at the cost of less ventilation.
On the ride to the photoshoot, hipster-clad with approximately 20 odd degrees Celsius on the scale, the lack of ventilation was noticeable. Whether or not this would be an issue depends upon your style of riding.
The chin straps are bolted to the sides of the helmet in between the plastic shell and the protective foam. This leaves a gap between the strap and the side of the head so you have heaps of room for your favourite Ray-Ban aviators or full face Bono sunnies. Cause we all love Bono… and flat tyres.
Getting the right length of chin-hugging-goodness is a bit fiddly because of the way the strap is tensioned. If you want to wear your favourite hat/beanie to protect your liberty spikes, a bit of fiddling with strap length is necessary as there isn’t a simple ‘sliding’ tensioning system (due to the mechanics how the straps are fixed onto the Nutcase helmet).
Aside from ensuring that a helmet is Australian Standards certified, which the Nutcase is, the fit is crucial. Making this helmet fit is simple and it can be tailored to suit your personal preference. When you buy it, included are eight sets of foam pads in varying thicknesses. Changing a foam pad is as simple as pulling off the old pads in the helmet, one front and one back, then lining up the new pads inside. You can use different thicknesses front and back to get an ideal fit. Sure a roadie/mtb styled ‘tension band’ around the back of the head is easier… but it’s just not cool.
All in all, this helmet is great. It’s a definite fashion statement as Nutcase helmets inparticular really stand out from the crowd. If you are a hipster who disagrees with wearing helmets thinking your hair spray and bangs will save you in a crash, just consider that it is YOUR BRAIN that decided wearing your mums jeans is fashionable.
The initial set up of the Nutcase helmet takes a fraction longer than a roadie orientated helmet, though baldness protection, as well as a touch of pure awesome simply outweighs the cons. If you’re not too fussed about function and would rather look like the El Presidante` of the entire hipster community than a weight weenie cafe racer on the way to the first cappuccino – then nutcase, BMX styled helmets are for you… Who CAN’T like a watermelon noggin bucket?