Sunday, November 23, 2014

Helmet refresh, and shaved melons

Freshening up the helmet interior

As much as I really like my new Shoei GT-Air, I still consider my favourite helmet to be my 4 year old Shoei Hornet DS (size L). The GT-Air is great for road use and the Hornet is better for offroad. And while the fit of the GT-Air is excellent, the Hornet fits my head even better. It's not as quiet, or as light, but it just fits my big melon like a glove.

I've worn the Hornet for a million miles and I love it. But I've also sweated in it... a lot. The foam liner material and cheek pads are pretty disgusting. I have removed and washed the all of the interior pieces several times, but even still -- this helmet is full of stink.  The flip-up visor was also scuffed in a few places, so I recently replaced it also.

For  $122 USD, I was able to pretty much refurbish the entire helmet. Looking back, I should have bought the PinLock shield, but I didn't know a PinLock model was available until it was too late.

  • clear face shield/visor (C-49)    $50
  • cheek pads(35mm thick)          $40
  • center pad liner (size L)         $32

The packaging / part numbers for the 
center pad liner, and cheek pads

The old cheek pad on the right is compressed, smelly, 
and filled with disgusting bacteria.

New vs. Old

All nice and new again.

Skull cap head liner

I have been shaving my head bald for about 20 years. Because of this, the bare skin of my scalp touches directly against the inside of the helmet, making a perfect environment for transferring germs and bacteria from my sweaty noggin to the helmet liner --.especially in hot weather. To minimize the filthy effect of sweating inside my helmet, I like to wear some sort of cloth layer between my head the the helmet liner -- usually some kind of bandanna, skull cap, hanker-chief or similar cloth. I've always been on the lookout for something specially-made for bald folks to wear under a helmet. After lots of online reading, I ended up at CrownWear.  

I would definitely not recommend this shop. They make a shit product, and their customer service is even shittier than their shit product.  After perusing their website for a while, I bought the Ultra-Thin Comfort Liner.  In reading the description, it sounded exactly like what I've been searching for. I'm not looking to keep my head warm, rather, I want a thin but absorbent and moisture-wicking layer between my scalp and the helmet. They market this item as a helmet liner -- to be worn under a helmet. For this reason, I say it's a shit product. Not so much a reflection of the quality or craftsmanship, but it doesn't take a fucking genius to know that a liner designed to be worn under a helmet should NOT have thick, bulky sewn seams. Now I'm not a seamstress, but for a helmet liner, I would think that the seams --if it must have seams at all--  should be small, flat and not noticeable.

When it arrived in the mail, I was immediately disappointed: the thing is sewn together from 4 panels of thin fabric -- which is fine. The problem is that the seams where the 4 pieces are sewn together are very quite bulky and pronounced. This is going to be a problem if you wear this under a helmet! 

I didn't even bother to try it on. Instead, I emailed the company immediately. Five days later, no response. I wasn't rude, I thought perhaps they sent me the wrong item. I emailed again, still being reasonably polite. No response. My third email may not have been so polite, but again it proved to be another waste of my time. They're not interested in responding because they have my money. Mind you, it's only $17 so it's not like I'll be declaring bankruptcy over this.  I'll just keep looking. I just hate when a company advertises something that is a big fucking lie.

I did eventually try it under my helmet and the result was exactly as I expected:  4 deep grooves carved into my scalp. Fucking awesome!  As a consolation, I tried wearing it inside-out. The grooves it pressed into my scalp were somewhat reduced -- but still completely unacceptable and uncomfortable.

Decent quality cap but definitely 
NOT for wearing under a helmet.

Fuck you, CrownWear !