The Spyder Dart is one good looking helmet. When I posted its photo on Facebook, it immediately got dozens of likes. Bikers asked what model it was, asked if it was already available, and asked where they could buy it. If they could order it on the website, many of them would have probably done so. I have always been a fan of Spyder helmets, but they seem to have outdone themselves with this one.
The Dart is the latest in Spyder’s line of all-mountain lids that are becoming very popular these days. As more and more riders eschew familiar trails and easy rides for more challenging rough and tumble adventures, helmets are also evolving to deal with the increased risks entailed by these adventures.
But first a word about helmets. Some mountain bikers seem to think it’s optional to wear one. Wrong!
Let me tell you a short and snappy cautionary tale about my friend Getulio Hubrisima, perhaps the most stupendous badass biker that’s ever pedaled into the secret history of Philippine mountain biking. Getulio had skills the likes of which had never been seen before. Cam Zink is a toddler on a Stryder compared to this guy. And Danny MacAskill is just some jologs wannabe trying to figure out which foot goes into which pedal. 150 foot gap jumps? Getulio eats that for breakfast. 720 degree front flips? Hubrisima doesn’t even break a sweat. Chuck Norris himself was jealous at one point dahil talagang TNL ito.
But Getulio Hubrisima had one weakness: he didn’t like wearing helmets. He said it messed up his hair. He said it just didn’t look good on him. He said helmets were for dorks. Tsk, tsk.
One day, while casually biking down Maginhawa street, he was distracted by the scent of freshly fried kwek kwek. He took his eyes off the road in search of the source of that captivating smell. Just then, a truck carrying bowling balls, baseball bats, hollow blocks, lead pipes and assorted blunt objects sped up behind him and hit his rear wheel. What happened next wasn’t pretty.
Surgeons furiously worked on him to try to restore his good looks, but the damage was just too extensive. Getulio never recovered his astigness either as the crash permanently erased his memory of all the tricks he used to be able to do. And he was never heard from again.
Bottomline is: Don’t get too cocky, be prepared! Wear a helmet when you ride.
Now, there are XC helmets, which look like a typical road bike helmet that’s been fitted with a visor. XC helmets are great for riding most trails, but I wouldn’t recommend you use them when bombing down Antenna Hill.
For gravity-oriented trails like the Antenna downhill track, you need to wear the extra protection provided by, of course, downhill helmets. These things have chin guards to guard against faceplants, and they look like they’d be right at home in motocross events. However, DH helmets suck when you’re trying to climb even a small hill.
The Spyder Dart sits somewhere in the middle between an XC and DH. Unlike XC helmets, the Dart offers more coverage for the back of the head. It’s also comfortable enough to climb with while still providing enough protection for hard crashes–as long as they’re not of the faceplant kind.
The Dart has a visor that can be lowered or raised depending on the riding conditions. Its straps are also easy to adjust for a secure fit. And its got washable liners inside. The vents are also very good at keeping your head cool during those grueling climbs. The Dart can also accommodate goggles for those who need the extra protection for en-ju-row events.
But the best thing about the Dart is this: it just looks so damn cool. I’ve owned 3 different Spyder helmets so far, but the Dart has become my favorite.