Wearing a helmet while running errands is a matter of some debate among riders I know. Some folks don’t want to be bothered if they aren’t on a group ride doing 28 mph. Some people don’t want to muss their hair. Some just don’t believe they will fall, so why bother? Some don’t want to get to the bank and look like Billy Blastoff.
I’ve got a measure of empathy for all of these positions. However.
Falls and crashes do happen. And they happen most often when some variable we can’t control rears its head. The right hook. The oil spill in the intersection. The off-leash dog. Hell, I almost crashed once just trying to avoid my kid who was weaving like he was an F1 driver trying to heat up his tires.
And then there’s the simple fact that when I go out on a bike, no matter which bike, I want to show my kids that it’s a good idea to wear a helmet. Given that their judgment is only marginally better than a sedated dog’s, I don’t want to try to teach them that sometimes it’s okay not to wear a helmet. I just don’t want to have that conversation before every ride.
So if you don’t think you’re likely to crash, but you want to show your kids that it’s smart to wear a helmet, what should that helmet do? Of course it will protect you in the event of a fall, but my best road helmets are also stylish (says the MAMIL), aerodynamic, and well-ventilated. Abus has an interesting response to that question.
The Abus Pedelec+ is a commuter helmet of a different feather. As feathers go, this one is less peacock than turkey buzzard. It’s all business.
The Pedelec+ has a short visor, a blinking lite, bug netting and a rain cover, all features that prove to be very useful.
The visor is too short to really provide much in the way of shade for your eyes, but what it does do is help shield your eyes from the wind, much the way a cycling cap protects your eyes from the rain. I’ve noticed this has been particularly helpful of late with all the floaty-floaty seeds and the pollen count of 60 billion. There’s netting in the front three vents of the helmet so that if you do ram a bee, it does not into your bonnet go, forthwith.
The blinking light in back features six LED lights and features three different modes from sequential, to all blinking to all solid. Simply press the light to switch modes or to turn it off. The battery is replaceable.
Below the blinking light is a funny little flap. Pop it open and out comes a rain cape for the helmet. Stretch it over the helmet and it wraps around the LED light, as well as the forward and top vents. Two small loops hook over posts on the underside of the helmet to keep the cover in place. Reflective dots on the side of the cover increase your visibility to anything with lights.
The chin strap features a novel magnetic clasp. Just get the two ends of the buckle close and they will snap into place. To open the clasp simply slide the lower half forward (toward your chin). Kinda cool.
The Pedelec+ comes in three colors and two sizes. Thanks to the occipital device in back it’s easy to adjust the helmet to your head. At $139.99 it may be one of the best deals in helmets not meant for the racing set.
Final thought: Less embarrassing in a grocery store than a screaming child.
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