Bell Stoker helmet

I have a big head and finding a helmet that fits is a challenge. I’ve been using a Bell XLV XL size that has worked for me, but I was at the annual Seattle Bike Swap last weekend and found a used Bell Stoker model helmet for $20. It fits like a glove, no pressure points at all. It has good coverage in the rear and is rounded rather than having an “aerodynamic” tail sticking out; the side coverage is good as well. It has a wheel-style adjuster and excellent ventilation. I took it for a long ride yesterday and I think it’s a keeper. The only thing I would change is to have a white one for visibility and direct sun. The color on this one is “matte titanium”— that’s dark gray. The headlamp is an addition and discussed below.

Bell Stoker Helmet 1

Bell Stoker Helmet 2 Bell Stoker Helmet 3 Bell Stoker Helmet 4 Bell Stoker Helmet 5

 

I like having a light on my helmet for a safety warning light. Doing this may compromise the effectiveness of a helmet, so do it at your own risk.

In this case I added a Blackburn Voyager Click headlamp from the gear locker. At 15 lumens it is bright enough for identification, but not for navigating dark trails; it would be great for setting up camp in the dark when bikepacking or doing a roadside repair. It has steady and blinking modes and uses a rubber mount designed to wrap around a handlebar.  It uses two CR2032 batteries and battery life is rated at 70 hours steady mode and 140 hours flashing mode.  It is operated by simply pushing on the lens: once for steady, twice for blinking and once more to turn it off. Blackburn offers a matching Mars model red tail light light too.

I nestled into one of the vents and I used a Quirky Bandit BND-1-CW1 rubber band to hold it in place. The rubber mounts weren’t long enough to bridge a pair of vents, and I removed the “s” hook that normally clips the light to a handlebar. The Quirky bands are fabric covered bands like the ones used for hair bands and it has a plastic hook to form a loop– handy stuff.  I used a lark’s-head hitch around one end of the rubber light mount, and clipped the Quirky band to the other end, wrapping it between two ventilation holes. I have used zip-ties to strap hiking style headlamps to a helmet, but this one needs to be easily removed for battery replacement. I added a small chunk of recycled inner tube behind the lamp to rotate it downwards a bit.

Blackburn Voyager headlamp 1 Blackburn Voyager headlamp 2 Blackburn Voyager headlamp 3

 

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