Given that my biking is done for the year, it’s time to sum up some impressions of the new gear that I tried this year. I’ve had a Torch T1 Bike Helmet since May, when I posted my initial impressions. Since then, I’ve been quite happy with it. One thing that I’ve noticed is that I get a lot of questions about it. My impression is that people either think it is terribly geeky, or that they want one, and it is only the second kind of person that asks me about it. I steer them to the torch website, but now I see that they are out of stock for the moment, which I hope is a good sign for their company.
Here is me on Canada Day. The helmet has been accessorized with a really good bike mirror, for that full Fred look.
Here I am at Battle Mountain.
Sharp eyed readers will note that the colour of the helmet has changed. What happened was that that the rear light on the original helmet started to cut out intermittently. At the same time, the lens had worked loose. I contacted the company, and they were extremely proactive in getting me a replacement. I had had second thoughts about the black, so I asked for either white or red, and red is what showed up.
Here is the helmet in its present state.
You can see that it is a little worse for wear, and the transluscent layer that seems bonded over the colour bearing layer is scuffed up. Granted, this helmet has seen hard use. One thing that I’ve done is to pack it a couple of times into a suitcase with a bike, which isn’t the best thing for its health.
The other thing that I did was to crash this past week, and you can see some dents just forward of the rear lens, so I guess I did hit my head, in addition to breaking my collarbone.
All in all, I’ve been pretty satisfied with the product. I have just a few niggles:
- for the next production run, I hope that they revise the dimensions of the triangular plastic pieces that bring together the straps before they enter the buckle. The straps get out of adjustment just a little too easily.
- the lights still cut out occasionally when I’m biking in a strong rain, but after the helmet dries out, all is good again.
- I have some reservations about the long term durability of the lights, but again, I haven’t exactly been babying the helmet.
- The runtime for the lights might not be quite what it was, but on the other hand, this might be the effect of cold weather.
Here is a video testing the runtime of the red helmet as delivered. The lights are on high, and they cut out around two hours, just as advertised. I generally run the front on high or low solid, and the rear on rapid flash.
Thanks to Torch Apparel for a unique product, and for their very good customer support. It’s been a long haul since the beginning of their kickstarter project, but I’ve been happy with the result.