Bicycles have stirred people’s imaginations – and given them two-wheeled transportation for 150 years. With the Vintage Velo helmet we at Nutcase are celebrating the historical romance and recent revival of the bike.
Bike riding has suffered setbacks – in the early 20th century the love of cars eclipsed the 1890’s love affair with bikes. Bikes have also had renewed surges in popularity, especially during a counter-culture movement in the 1970s, and recently.
In the last five years biking has started to get popular again, especially in big cities where driving a car isn’t the fun it once was. Energy wise, riding a bike is roughly fifty times more energy-efficient than driving a car, and boosts your mood, too.
It was all the way back in 1869 that a bike called the velocipede or boneshaker first debuted in cities in Europe and America.
Though the boneshaker’s popularity was very short-lived – wooden wheels and a heavy metal frame made for an uncomfortable ride – it wasn’t long before a new kind of bike caught the world’s fancy.
It came to be called the Ordinary – a bicycle with a large front wheel and a tiny back wheel. The Ordinary (later also nicknamed the “penny-farthing”) was made like that because before the invention of the bike chain, bikes were direct drive – thus the larger wheels helped enable higher speeds.
Finally in the late 1880s the first ‘safety’ chain-driven bicycles with pneumatic rubber tires were introduced, and suddenly biking was for almost everybody.
For the Vintage Velo helmet the Nutcase design team chose a mellow cream back color, and then tossed in accents of bright orange and sea green to help bring out the bicycles pictured.
“We reflected a bit on the bike’s popularity and put it through the slightly-quirky Nutcase lens,” said founder Michael Morrow. “Every design we do has to be fun, and a little funky, and a little offbeat. We try not to take ourselves too seriously.”
You’ll find graphics depicting both the Ordinary and a safety cycle on the Vintage Velo. Of course we threw in mustaches and sunglasses for good measure. It’s a helmet that celebrates bike history AND tends to look great on (almost) everybody–even the tintype riders from yesteryear.
Vintage Velo is available at a retailer near you (please link to the store finder on our site) or at our Nutcase online store – this week we’ve implemented new, flat-rate shipping of just $5.
Enjoy your ride!