TUCANO URBANO BART HELMET COVER
44g (60g including bag) £13.99
The Bart Helmet Cover from Tucano Urbano is a ‘universal fit’ waterproof cover aimed at urban and performance helmet wearers. I tend to keep helmet covers for the commute or colder months, but this has kept me company on warmer rainy days, too. Overall, it has proved itself to be a handy companion.
Pros: effective and subtle, suitable for most helmets.
Cons: colour choices would be welcome.
Our old friend polyester is lightweight and waterproof, ideal for the commuting or leisure cyclist, whom are Tucano Urbano’s target audience. Seams are taped, so we are really talking properly waterproof – hinting at touring and colder weather duties, too. The material feels a little heavier and more textured than some, not that weight is a serious issue in this context; the result is, in my opinion, a smarter look.
A silicone gripper holds things in place, elasticated to stretch around the contours of different sized helmets, even if every centimetre is not covered on some models. Many other helmet covers tuck under the rim of the helmet. There’s an integral peak, too. A potential advantage of many helmet covers, especially for the bespectacled cyclist. Underneath the peak is a reflective logo.
Packability is a feature of the Nano Zeta Jacket and Nano Panta Overtrousers. The Bart helmet cover follows in their footsteps. A copious, zipped pouch comes as part of the package. In common with the others, there’s a loop allowing storage outside a commuting rucksack.
In my opinion, although the colour is attractive, a choice of colours would be a plus, especially with the stylish urban rider in mind. Equally, it goes well with their Garibaldina Cape. (Note: the above image makes the cover look much darker than it is, Ed.)
The Bart comes in one size. Its “universal fit” epithet begs contradiction, but I’ve not been able to disprove it. Tucano Urbano say it will cover both performance and urban helmets. I’d agree. Mind you, every square centimetre may not be hidden by the Bart, but all the vital bits – vents, for example - are.
The Kali Therapy helmet (58-62cm) – fundamentally a road model – was comfortably sheltered.
Things were a bit more stretched over the MTB style Kali Lunati helmet (58-62cm); although still effective.
Oxford’s Metro V helmet (52-59cm) is a general-purpose model. Needless to say, the Bart covers it.
Rounded urban helmets have gained full coverage, too.
As you’d expect, a universal fit requires varying degrees of flabbiness, depending on the size and shape of your headwear. As an aside, pootling to work on the Brompton, the Bart did a pretty good job in keeping the rain off my flat cap. I’ve even slipped it on as a sort of beret when rushing down to the bike garage for a spot of peace and quiet.
Care instructions; don’t wash or dry clean, no bleach, don’t iron or tumble dry. Just chuck it in your normal wash and away you go. A wipe over with a cloth has sufficed, except after several days of damp and humid commuting. You shouldn’t get grease on it, but – confession time, again – one should, then a drop of Rock ‘n’ Roll Miracle Red, or a good wash, seems to do the trick.
Drying Times 3.5/5
An hour or so after a rain shower – in the temp job washroom – seemed to see things dry. In situ on the helmet, post brief summer downpour, has seen things bone dry within half an hour with the help of wind and sun. After a machine wash, expect three to four hours drip-drying indoors.
Firstly, that elasticated hem with silicone gripper keeps the Bart in its place on all the helmets I’ve tested it with, even when it looked less than a perfect fit.
It is certainly waterproof, too. Not a drop of rain has got through. True, breathability is not as good as my venerable Gore Bikewear helmet cover, but that was bought in the days when I had pretensions to touring at an average of eighteen mph and commuting faster. No, the Bart serves well at around the ten to fifteen mph mark. That’s perfectly adequate for many tourers and commuters.
Having said that, there’s something to be said for higher breathability in helmet covers as so much heat loss is through the head. Equally, I can see the Bart being good for a winter commute as in a summer one.
Not everyone likes peaks (visors). I’m with the likers when it comes to rain caps or helmet covers. It isn’t solely because I wear spectacles, even when I tried contact lenses I found that a visor helped keep the rain out of my eyes. For me, this is plus point for the Bart.
A lot of commuters like the presence offered by the Proviz 360 range: the helmet cover is a little pricier than the Bart, but, literally, gives 360 visibilty. Whether you prefer the subtler blue of the Bart or are most comfortable lit up like a beacon on a bike, is up to you. Maybe the Bart is best for predominantly lit roads.
Gore Wear Cycling offer a high spec helmet cover for just over £40 – and it looks to be mainly a road fit. At the other extreme, some shop brands come in at less than a tenner. Often the latter are waterproof, but less strong in the breathability stakes or plain and simply not breathable at all,. They may still be perfectly functional for your commute.
Tucano Urbano’s Bart Helmet Cover is a good purchase for cyclists who are not bent on a personal best every time they set out. It is stylish, although that is a matter of opinion, and certainly well-made. I’ve used it on urban road and cycle-track commutes, but I’d happily take it on tour.