Thursday, December 20, 2012

New helmet cover, new helmet

I bought a new helmet cover for my Yakkay while I was in NYC in October, but it took me a couple of weeks to actually get it on.   I like the "bucket hat" Tokyo helmet cover I had before, but it's very colorful, and when added to a colorful jacket it can be a bit much.

I really wanted a "Paris" in Herringbone, because I like the squared off shape, and the B&W goes with everything without being too boring.
 but at Adeline Adeline they thought it had been discontinued (they'd been out of my size for 10 months), so I got the similar "Cambridge" in a neutral check.

When I was removing the old cover and putting on the new one though, the plastic that reinforces the back of head strap snapped on both sides.  I wasn't pulling on it particularly hard- just holding it down while I stretched the elastic over the lip of the helmet, so I was really surprised that it snapped, especially on both sides.
that piece should go straight, not bend-  the plastic inside snapped
That strap appears to screw into the helmet,  so I wrote Yakkay to see if they could send me a replacement of just that part.  They wrote me back promptly, and rather than replace just that part, offered to replace the whole helmet, and I got the new one in just about a week.

The new helmet has a different, and I think better rear stabilizer. (which is probably why they couldn't send me a replacement part).  The old system had a plastic stiffened velcro strap that you could adjust to tighten or release the helmet on the back of your head.

Old system with velcro strap
The new system is adjustable with a little wheel instead of the previous system which relied on a velcro strap (with plastic stiffener that broke) for adjustment.  The new system feels more secure and is much easier to adjust.  The padding at the top was a little different, but otherwise the helmet seems  the same.
New system with ratchet wheel
 So once I got the new helmet, I put the new cover on:

I also incorporated a little loop at the back to hold my light.  Because of the brim on the "Tokyo" style, and the direction of the stripes, on that cover I positioned the loop to hold the light horizontally.  On this helmet, it seemed to work better to put the light vertically, which overall is a better idea, because gravity helps hold the light in place.

I do think that the Tokyo is more convincing as a "hat."  The volume of the brim on all sides helps camouflage the bulk of the helmet. However, I like the color and the style of the Cambridge, and the fact that it's more versatile.  I'm a bit disturbed that the helmet rear strap broke after less than a year in service,  but I was very impressed with Yakkay customer service, and as I said, I think the new system is a better one.

One thing I do like a lot about this one is that they incorporated a subtle reflective stripe on the brim and around the back.  (you can just see it in the last photo above)  I wish more manufacturers would do more like that.   (Nau, are you listening?- hint hint hint!)
A simple piping is easy to add during the manufacturing process, and isn't very noticeable if it follows the seams.  It's also very hard to retrofit- especially on a waterproof garment, or a complicated pattern like the helmet cover.

So far I haven't has as many comments on the new helmet-  I probably got a comment a week on the old one.  Probably because it looks less "hat like"  but I still think it looks unique and definitely not like I took a wrong turn and missed the peloton.


  1. It's good to hear Yakkay is "gold" about taking care of customers!

  2. Not enough vent holes. Wouldn't take off in the south.