Friday, October 9, 2015

Gear review: Tipperary helmet & Salamander visor

Tipperary helmet: this does not fit me quite as comfortably as the old Troxel Spirit.  I have a large head and a lot of hair.  I am notoriously finicky about how things fit on me, especially on my head.  The Tipperary is a more snug fit.  The back of the helmet goes all the way down the back of my head.  It's a sufficiently snug fit that putting my hair in a regular ponytail impacts the fit and creates pressure points; the same thing happens with a normal braid.  I haven't tried a Dutch braid yet, or two Dutch braids, but that's next on the list (I'm not optimistic). Successful hairstyles: very low ponytail, very low single braid, two low braids.

Also, I have a lot of hair.  YMMV. 
note how low my ponytail is.  photo by Boots N Bloomers
I can braid if I keep it low, but it has to be loose and not bulk up the hair too much in any one spot.  I really appreciated the twist-adjustable back of the Troxel.

I'm not yet convinced I have the harness fitted 100% correctly.  It hits closer to my neck, rather than my jaw, than what I've been accustomed to.
photo by Boots N Bloomers
That said: it's pink.  It was a year ago that I first contemplated buying a Tipperary, so it meets my criteria of 'not an impulse buy' since I still wanted one a year later.  They're not horribly expensive, lightweight, breathable.  I like how it looks on me and it doesn't seem to give me the bubble-head appearance some helmets do.  Bonus?  The helmet being naturally pink also makes it more visible in the dark than having a Lycra helmet cover.  If you go for regular trail rides at/past twilight with other people, this is a major plus.

photo by Boots N Bloomers
There are two major helmet visor options that I'm aware of.  DaBrim is big and goes all the way around, Salamander is smaller.  At Funder's suggestion - something like a year and a half ago when it came up?! -I decided I would get a Salamander visor whenever I got a new helmet, and promptly tabled the idea of getting a new helmet for a while.  Eventually, though, I ordered a helmet, and then ordered the (pink!) visor in the next order.

I cannot speak to how easy they are to attach to the helmet.  The visor attaches with velcro, and there is a piece of velcro that goes directly onto the helmet.  Normally, I would have done this myself.  Given it showed up two days before I left for Cuneo Creek, I threw the whole thing in my car and handed it to my boyfriend to deal with at midnight before I left.  If he swore at it, it didn't wake me up.

I do feel slightly more enclosed with the bigger visor.  It's good that I did not go with anything even bigger!  Low-hanging branches have caught me off-guard on occasion.  When we took the ponies bareback through the mountain bike trails, I eventually un-velcro'd the visor.  It was limiting my upwards vision too much and making me nervous.  Normal people don't make a habit of going on trails where you have to lie flat on the horse's neck for unknown periods of time, though, so I suspect most people would have few to no occasions where it's necessary to take it off.  Of note: it is very strong velcro and I worried about detaching the velcro from the helmet, so it took both hands and removing the helmet before the visor came off. 

One of my hopes in adding a visor was that it would decrease/eliminate my migraines.  I was still migrained and pretty wiped out at the end of Quicksilver, so no luck there, but not any worse than in previous years.

Overall, I'm happy with both purchases and had no issues during my rides. 


  1. Replies
    1. Well thank you, I'm honored, especially coming from you!! I think you're one of the first people to think I actually have any sort of style :)

  2. I bought the full brim one but forgot to actually put it on my helmet. I like your style better. I also need to actually remember my sunglasses next time.

    1. Also, I have the same helmet and love how it fits. Every head is different.

  3. I really appreciate your professional approach.These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.