So, I fell off my horse. I fell mostly onto my hip and back, but in the rolling followup I smacked the back of my head against the ground, too.
It was a relatively minor fall – helmet didn’t crack, no real headache, anything like that.
The helmet was already nearing the end of its useful life, however – the sticker inside said it was manufactured in November 2011 – and I am a firm subscriber to the rule of replacing your helmet whenever it gets hit.
In the past, I’ve mailed the helmet back to the company, used a backup (usually my show helmet), and then paid the nominal fee to replace it through the company. I’ve done this at least three or four times with IRH, and been very happy with that process. (Did you know you can and should do that? It’s an important part of product research so that we can make helmets better and safer.)
After a marathon day spent trying on every single helmet at Dover Saddlery about 8 years ago, I’ve been loyal to one particular helmet: the IRH Air-Lite Dura Soft Touch.
It is not the most attractive helmet on the market, but it has many other virtues. It is light, vented, tough, and it fits my head perfectly. I’ve been really, really happy with it. As I said, this is at least my fifth one in a row.
But. You knew there was a but coming, right?
I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to ride in something a bit nicer, and a bit more stylish. The Air-Lite gives me the most incredible bubble head, and I’m kind of sick of it.
So this is where you come in, internet: what helmets should I try on when I head down to Smartpak next week?
Things to keep in mind:
– $200 max budget (who the fuck are these people who pay $1,000 for a goddamn helmet?!)
– oval-shaped head
– I hate the Tipperaries; I’m looking for traditional styling, black.
A quick internet browse leads me to believe I should be looking at Charles Owens and IRHs. I’ll try on a wide range at Smartpak, see what they have in clearance, and if I don’t love what they have there I can hit up a large Dover Saddlery nearby as well.
Would love any and all suggestions!