The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions,
and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world.
My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell
books about touring
Photo Use Info
Continue My Travels
Places I have been
(How can I
India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present
/ Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010
Sept 2007 to May 2008
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007
SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006
June 2003 to June 2004
AZ, Mexico, and
March 2002 to April 2003
How I started
The 5 years before I left
Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.
Equipment Pages Index
How Much to Bring and Weight
Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
more about Sponsorship)
HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames
Steel Repair Myth.
and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs
Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets
How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground
Pots and Pans
Solar Power for Camp
Bike Touring Shorts
Bicycle touring lights
Pictures of Equipment Failures
all 3 book)
Best Bike Helmets for Bicycle Touring:
Recommendations and tips on buying head protection for your travels
To Helmet or Not to Helmet? Actually, I've no intention of
taking a side in this debate; I'm completely pro-choice when it comes to bicycle
helmets. Popular opinion on the necessity of helmets varies around the globe.
Bike commuters in Copenhagen ride helmet-less looking cool and well-combed,
Portland riders don artsy egg-shaped helmets and Indian bicycle rickshaw wallahs
have never heard of such a thing. Bike helmets are the law in Australia and some
parts of the US. Personally, I choose to wear a helmet while bicycle touring for
more than just the safety benefits. My mountain bike helmet has a visor that
keeps the sun and rain off my face while protecting my noggin from bumps.
I don't like over-spending on bike equipment, but helmets are
not a place to economize. While all cycling helmets sold the US meet minimum
safety standards, the higher end models are generally lighter, cooler and better
fitting. More vents mean better airflow. Pay attention to the sizing as well.
You can customize the fit of your bike helmet by adjusting the length of the
straps. A too-large helmet will slip around, making it ineffective if you take a
tumble. Remember: you want the front of the helmet to stick out further than the
tip of your nose if you face-plant into the pavement. A helmet propped on the
back of your head will only provide protection in the unlikely event you fall
backward or directly on the top of your head.
Most of the wear and tear on helmets happens when they're off
your head. All those clunks on the floor add up. Although the shell remains
intact, the integrity of the polystyrene core is gradually degraded. It's a good
idea to replace your bike helmet every few years. If you do have a crash and hit
your helmet, get a new one even if the old one looks undamaged. There could be
Personally, I like a mountain bike helmet with a visor. The
vents let air circulate, keeping me a little cooler, and the visor provides
shade. The mountain bike style seems more substantial than a racing style (I've
no evidence of that, it's just my impression). Racing helmets are made to be
aerodynamic, not really one of my concerns for touring. My helmet takes some
abuse from bouncing on the floor or being set too close to the fire. I need
something tough rather than fast.
Like all gear, there's a myriad of fun accessories to
complement your helmet. I like a Gore-tex helmet cover for rainy day riding.
Plastic shower caps work in a pinch, but don't breath, making your head just as
wet as the rain would. Cycling caps are fashionable on and off the bike. On
super sunny days, a stylish cap with a neck cover keeps the back of your neck
from burning. Commuters may be interested in a lighting system that attaches to
the helmet for increased visibility during night rides. Another cool bit of
safety equipment is a small rear view mirror that attaches to the helmet. If you
want to record rider's-eye-view footage of your ride, check out some light and
durable helmet cams.
Look for a helmet that gives good shade. If the vents
are too big, the sun can hit your head enough to burn your scalp or turn you
into a checkerboard blond. I like a helmet with versatile fitting and
adjustment mechanisms. It's not hard to find helmets on sale.
I do not actually use a mirror myself but know a ton of
touring cyclists who don't feel safe riding without one. Some
mirrors mount on the helmet or sunglasses while others attach to the bike's
A waterproof helmet cover is a must for wet and/or cool
weather touring. A Goretex covering will keep rain off your head while
allowing your body heat to dissipate. In cold conditions, a Goretex covering
keeps you warm but not sweaty.
I have never used a helmet mounted camera but I can imagine
lots of fun uses. If you're a video blogger, there are endless possibilities
but it could even be used as a tripod alternative
Ever get tired of fiddling around with removable lights
every time you park your bike? Lights that attach to your helmet may be the
solution. A great idea for bike commuters, these lights stay on your helmet
instead of the bike, keeping them out of reach of grabby hands. You could
even use the helmet headlamp around camp, instead of searching for that
A cycling cap worn under the helmet can provide a bit more
shade or warmth. It can also hide sweaty helmet hair and keep you looking like the
hip cyclist you are even off the bike.
Tips & Advice
Tools and Spares
Pots and Pans
Preventing Flat Tires
Bike Touring Shorts
Have Learned On The Road
Injustice of Poverty
Much MORE Gear Here!
Cycle Touring Racks
Tents and ground