What is my least favorite thing to wear during a bike ride? Without hesitation, I would say it is a helmet. They’re usually unattractive, uncomfortable, hard to adjust, and make your head sweat (especially on hot and humid summer days). But would I ever go out on a road ride without one? Never.
Although bike helmets have been around for a long time with a boom that occurred in the 1970s for all things cycling, innovation in the cycling-specific lid industry has been slow but steady.
In that time, new materials were developed for use in cycling helmets. These changes have made them lighter, breathable, and safer. But the big problem of fit and comfort still exists. However, a new start-up called KAV has appeared to address this problem.
Cycling Helmet Buying Process
Shopping for a new cycling helmet isn’t an overly fun or pleasant experience. The last time I bought a cycling helmet, I admittedly took shortcuts in my retail experience. I did the measurement of my head and chose the helmet I wanted online.
This was my first time buying a bike helmet online, but at my local bike shop the helmet was expensive, and the shop didn’t have the helmet in the color I wanted. Up until this point, all my helmets were purchased at a local bike shop with some slight assistance from a salesperson.
The problem is that once I got the helmet, it didn’t fit exactly the same way as the one I tried on at my local bike shop. I had to make some minor adjustments to the chin strap and pads, but after that, the helmet was fine. However, obviously, my measurements were slightly off.
Buying a Cycling Helmet from an Online Retailer
It’s sad that in today’s world that many bike shops have ended up going out of business. Unfortunately, this is the case for two stores I frequented. So, it’s not easy to walk in somewhere to find a good quality cycling helmet that fits well.
Fortunately or unfortunately (however you choose to view it), brick-and-mortar bike shops are slowly being replaced by hundreds of online cycling retailers. And it seems more appear every day.
Some of these online cycling retailers are all-purpose one-stop shops where you can buy bikes, apparel, helmets, etc. Others are more specialty driven like KAV that focuses on selling cycling helmets.
3D Cycling Helmet Buying Process with KAV
KAV, however, is attempting to make the process of buying a helmet easier by supplying a free fit kit (you just pay for shipping) to interested buyers. The company then walks those potential buyers through a virtual fitting after a 7-point process.
The company states that 3D printing leads to a better fitting and higher quality helmet. If you’re not familiar with what 3D printing is, it involves “a method of creating a three-dimensional object layer-by-layer using a computer-created design.” And KAV states that instead of using EPS foam, which is used in most cycling helmets, it uses a “proprietary [polycarbonate] composite.” That means it can promise these points:
- The latest in bike helmet tech with a focus on custom fit.
- The use of safer materials that can’t be guaranteed with traditional manufacturing.
- A made-to-order helmet specific to a buyer’s exact measurements.
- That no excess material is wasted in its helmet build process.
- That a buyer’s custom helmet will not have any pressure points or dials.
I haven’t tried KAV’s fit kit nor have I bought a helmet from them, so this is not a full-fledged endorsement based on ownership. They are a new company, but their helmets have been recognized by Time Magazine as one of the best inventions for 2022. If you are seeking a new cycling helmet, KAV is worth your consideration.
But here’s an important point to keep in mind. A qood quality cycling helmet that fits well and provides better than average safety is going to be expensive. You can expect to pay anywhere from $200 – $400. If you are going to spend that kind of money on a product that might one day save your life, why not buy something that is comfortable and fits the way it should right out of the box.