Which helmet?

There are different helmets for different types of riding and numerous options within each category.  In this blog we’ll break down the options and specify some key ingredients to help simplify your decision-making process.

The major thing to remember is that a helmet is there to protect your head if you come off your bike. You need to make sure that the helmet you buy is Australian Standards Approved – if it’s not don’t buy it because your helmet may not fulfill its primary purpose of protecting your head, you won’t be covered by insurance if you have an accident and you won’t be allowed to race in it.

In Australia it’s compulsory to wear a helmet when riding a bike and has been since the early 1990s, so not wearing one is only an option if you’re rich enough to keep paying the fines.

With so many options to choose from, which is the best helmet for you?


Key ingredients – safety, style, comfort

Lazer Street Deluxe Helmet

Lazer Street Deluxe Helmet

This is what the cool kids wear… They look good, meet Australian standards and keep you out of trouble with officers of the law. These helmets have minimal ventilation which can make them less comfortable in warmer weather and they’re often heavier than others as well. So, the things to look for when buying an urban helmet, apart from style, are that the helmet has plenty of sizing options so you can get the right fit, that it has adequate ventilation for your climate and that it’s as light as possible so you don’t end up centimetres shorter from wearing it.


Key ingredients – safety, ventilation, weight, style

Lazer Z1 Road Helmet

Lazer Z1 Road Helmet

All road helmets are not created equal.  As with most helmets, the basic rule of thumb is the more you pay the less you get. Sounds counter intuitive but what we mean here is that the helmets with the best ventilation and aerodynamics are more expensive than basic helmets because the technology and materials required to produce them to Australian standards are expensive.

So, if you’re looking for a helmet to wear for those long hours in the saddle, you need the lightest, best ventilated and most protective road helmet you can find.

Retention systems really come into play with a road helmet – how many people have you seen at the coffee shop with telltale red dots on their forehead when they take off their helmet?  A retention system that fits to your whole head, without creating pressure points, and is easy to adjust in the saddle is a ‘must have’ for any road helmet.

And a word on ventilation; it doesn’t just mean the helmet with the most holes.  A well ventilated helmet will draw cool air in at the front, channel it over your head and allow the warm air to exit through specially placed exhaust vents at the back.

Here’s the lowdown on one of our favourites the Lazer Z1

Time Trial

Lazer Wasp

Lazer Wasp

Key ingredients: aerodynamics, performance, comfort

Beyond the safety element, the primary purpose of a TT helmet is to improve your aerodynamics, thus improving your performance.  The key here is to find a helmet that will protect your head during a ride, make you more aerodynamic and, more importantly keep you cool.  Trust us, there are plenty of aero helmets out there that make your head feel like it’s in a sauna!

A ‘nice to have’ additional feature of the best TT helmets is an integrated visor – more aerodynamic than sunglasses and more comfortable to wear.  Make sure that the visor, like the helmet, has adequate ventilation so you don’t fog up coming into the home straight.

Many aero helmets in the world market do not meet Australian standards so if you intend racing in Australia make sure yours does or you may find yourself disqualified.

Watch the Lazer Wasp YouTube to see what TT helmets are all about.


Lazer Rox MTB Helmet

Lazer Rox MTB Helmet

Key ingredients: safety, durability, impact dissipation

MTB helmets are far more likely to sustain impact than any other helmet unless you are an extremely cautious or very lucky mountain biker.  So, one of the primary considerations when choosing a MTB helmet is its ability to dissipate the energy of an impact.

As with road helmets you’re going to be wearing this for hours at a time so ventilation and weight are important considerations when making your choice.  Additional features for MTB helmets include an integrated visor to keep the sun and branches out of your eyes, an insect net to help keep the bugs out and a comfortable fit that suits your sunglasses or goggles.


Lazer Tempo Sport

Lazer Tempo Sport

Key ingredients: safety, fit, durability

Sport helmets are the option for short commutes or occasional riding.  As with all helmet options, safety is of paramount concern so ensuring that you get a proper fit is essential.  If it’s something you wear every day you want it to be nice and comfortable as well as durable.  Generally this style of helmet will have less bells and whistles and a less sophisticated retention system so its worth taking the time to have it expertly fitted so you know it will stay comfortable, fit your head and protect you when necessary.

Lazer Junior

Lazer Junior

We’ve put kid’s helmets into the sport category because they also generally have less bells and whistles than most adults helmets – again, if you’re protecting your child’s developing brain you want to make sure that the helmet fits well and that they’re going to be comfortable and happy wearing it.  How the helmet looks can often be a big part of this which is why kid’s helmets tend to be more bright and colourful that the adult versions.

For very small children finding a lightweight helmet that fits is absolutely essential.  It is often difficult to fit helmets to very young children but its worth persevering to ensure that they are well protected.

That’s it on helmets, we hope this has helped you work out what type of helmet you need. If you have any questions just drop us a line.

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Shoes maketh the cyclist: a properly fitted cycling shoe increases your power delivery

Hora RedWhile clothes make the man, shoes make the cyclist. If you’re riding in flimsy, uncomfortable shoes, or experiencing foot discomfort which you can’t relieve then keep reading because it’s time for a change. A properly fitted cycling shoe increases your delivery of power and will keep you comfortable over a long day in the saddle.

Remember that you’re going to be wearing these shoes for multiple hours with your foot locked in position and in varying weather conditions so they’ll need to be comfortable.

Let’s start from the top.

A pliable upper with adequate ventilation is the starting point.  You’ll need to be sure that there are Ratchets for blogno pressure points because time spent wearing the shoe will not make this better, it will only get worse.  A well ventilated upper assists your foot in cooling down on warm days when feet tend to swell in your shoes. An adjustable closure system (a ratchet strap or dial) will also allow you to adjust the fit of your shoe in the saddle, relieving any pressure on your foot.  The ability to increase the tension when you want your foot to stay as still as possible like when you climb a hill or lead into a sprint will improve your performance as well as your comfort.

A firm, well-fitting heel cup will help your foot to stay in the right position in your shoe assisting in that all important pedalling technique.  Some manufacturers have incorporated an adjustable heel cup into their shoes, which is a great asset for those of us with narrow feet.

5032-146_WHT01-ALT-SOLE_view1_1000x1000On to the sole – your shoes serve a specific purpose when you’re on the bike;  the transmission of power from your legs to the drive train. Rigidity is the key to ensuring that your power output receives minimal dissipation through interaction between shoe and pedal.  A good quality cycling shoe will have either a carbon sole or a composite sole.  Carbon soles are generally more rigid, thinner and lighter weight than the composite version, but if you’re not strong enough to flex the composite sole then carbon is a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘need to have’.

Crap heel pad

A replaceable heel pad for the inevitable walks from the street to the espresso counter and the (hopefully) not so inevitable walks due to mechanical failure or inability to climb that hill, will prolong the life of your shoe. If you can’t replace the heel pad you may need to replace your shoes more often – a dollar saved now may well be false economy.

All shoes are not created equal and you get what you pay for – considering that your shoes are your connection with your bike, spending a bit extra on your cycling shoes will definitely pay off in terms of performance.  And a final note –  Fashion over function is definitely not the way to go with cycling shoes, comfort is paramount!


Helmet Hair

With the end of Velo City 2014 in Adelaide and the resulting rash of cycling stories in the media, I thought it was time to examine a cycling myth: The notion that people (particularly women) can’t ride to work (or anywhere else) because their hair will be messed up.  This is frankly just too ridiculous for words.  I’m no hairdresser but I’m certainly not going to let wearing a helmet and the effect (sometimes it’s actually a taming effect) that it may have on my ‘clowning glory’ (to quote Australian icon Kath Day-Knight) stop me from riding my bike where ever and whenever I please.

The article in The Advertiser which claimed that bike helmet laws are sexist and that women won’t ride because of helmet hair is laughable at best (particularly when the interviewee’s hair may have benefited from the taming effects of a helmet).  Ask most women why they won’t ride in the city and you’ll find safety concerns a much higher priority than hair.

Helmet Hair

Now that is some helmet hair

Nonetheless, there are a myriad of options for coping with helmet hair for those of us game enough to brave the traffic and the haters and ride our bikes in the city.  So here they are:

  1. Helmet = safety, hair = hassle, therefore shave your head and be done with it.
  2. Shower at work… then style your hair.
  3. No facilities to shower at work? Keep a spray bottle of water and a travel hair dryer in your desk and sort it out in the bathroom.
  4. Product, product, product – I have 12 different styling products in my bathroom cabinet, any of which would tame my hair perfectly after a quick ride
  5. Put it up – apparently helmet hair is more of a concern for women than men so why not stick it in a plait, ponytail or bun before you get on your bike and make that you hairstyle for the day.  A burst of hairspray when you hit the office and you’ll be good to go.

Of all the excuses not to ride your bike, helmet hair has got to be one of the lamest so don’t stress about your tresses, just get on your bike!

But before you head out, why not let us know what you think

Cycling Kit: is it necessary?

Fashion vs Function

Many cycling style rules exist for a purpose – they function to make us safer, faster, more efficient and more comfortable.


Fashion: Yes, sunglasses are a fashion accessory in cycling just as they are in street wear, however, as well as making you look good they do have some serious functionality that you won’t get from a pair of welding glasses or the $20 pair you bought at the servo.0018811_tifosi_duro_fototec_sunglasses


Not just to protect your eyes from bugs and grit, they also provide:

  • Ventilation to ensure that when you stop they won’t fog up and prevent you from going again.
  • Photochromic lenses that change their tint according to the prevailing light conditions meaning that you don’t have to stop and take them off or change the lenses when light conditions change.
  • No distortion of your vision – quality cycling glasses are created by opticians to ensure that your vision is not distorted by the necessary curvature of the lense.
  • Anti slip nose piece to ensure they stay on despite sweat and sunscreen

Fashion: Baggy t-shirt flapping in the wind or sticking to your body with sweat or a well cut jersey that fits your body’s contours like a second skin? You decide.


Just some of the functions of a cycling jersey:


  • Visibility – reflective patches or bands ensure you’re seen by other road users
  • Sun protection – many jerseys now have a UV protection factor to help you stay sun safe
  • Moisture management – wicking moisture away from your body to keep you dry and comfortable
  • Temperature regulation – technical fabrics now allow one garment to keep your cool or warm depending on the conditions
  • Ergonomic cut ensures that the jersey fits the contours of your body like a second skin, if it’s flapping in the breeze it’s not serving its purpose.
  • Pockets mean that you’ve got space to carry the essentials like money for coffee…

Fashion: Every serious rider’s secret for a polished look

Function: They fit better, are more comfortable around your midsection and keep your shorts from drooping, so your chamois stays in place and you never reveal more than you want to. For the blokes, they also keep everything in position so you don’t need to constantly adjust yourself.  For the ladies, women’s specific versions exist for a reason – a different cut and a different chamois protect the girlie bits; don’t be conned into buying men’s shorts or bibs.

LG Bibs


Fashion: short or long? If you’re over 40 then you probably go short, the younger you are, the longer your socks are likely to be…circuit sock

Function: Cycling specific socks do have multiple functions besides keeping up with the fashions for cuff height. Like so many cycling garments, moisture wicking and ventilation are very important features, in addition, compression plus heel and toe protection become more important with every hour you spend in the saddle. Warmth is another functional factor to consider as the winter months draw closer and wool socks are a great way of keeping your feet warm but also well ventilated. Thicker does not equal better in cycling socks.


Fashion: the ultimate finishing touch to your team kitfdnss4

Function: putting fashion aside gloves provide vibration absorption, sun protection, crash protection and with correct pad placement can support and protect the ulnar and median nerves (very important if you’re going to spend multiple hours in the saddle).

Warmers & Coolers

Fashion: coordination is the key – coordinate them with the rest of your kit to achieve a pro look

Function: Leg, arm, head, ear, foot – the options are endless but the most basic function of all warmers and coolers is to moderate your body temperature during a ride. Layering is definitely the key to dressing for comfort when cycling.  Also, coolers, and to a lesser extent warmers, offer the added advantage of UV protection.

Bianchi warmers

What to do before you ride (pre-ride checks)

Before you head out on every ride you really need to check that your trusty steed is up-to-scratch and worthy of your trust.  Below is a list of things you should get into the habit of checking before every ride:


  • are they tightly attached to your shoes?
  • are they positioned correctly?
  • are they serviceable (i.e. no broken bits and you can cleat and uncleat without difficulty)?


  • are they clear of obstructions?
  • are they firmly attached to your bike?


  • are your tyres at the correct pressure? If you don’t know what it is, check the tyre sidewall.
  • are they free of debris which could cause punctures?
  • are they serviceable? – i.e. no bare patches in the rubber, not too many nicks, no slices in the sidewall


  • is the quick release closed?
  • do they work properly?
  • is the wheel centred correctly so the brakes aren’t rubbing or on all the time?
  • is there still meat on the brake pads so they will actually do their job of stopping you?


  • are quick releases closed?
  • are skewers tight?
  • are all spokes attached to the rim?

Derailleur hangerHanger

  • is it straight?

If it’s not then you probably shouldn’t be riding until it has been straightened.  Derailleur hangers are designed to bend or brake to take the force of an impact so that you don’t destroy your frame, they can generally be straightened if bent.  Worst case scenario you may need a new hanger but this is still a much cheaper alternative than breaking your derailleur or rear wheel because you didn’t check this.

Finally, check the tightness of handlebars, saddle, brake levers, stem and headset just to be sure that you don’t run into any surprises on your ride.

If you need help with any of these checks or don’t understand them contact us and we’ll help you out.

The Mega Bike Team

Cycle 4 Sam 2014 Day 7

Day 7 – Carrickalinga – Aldinga – Willunga – Meadows – Echunga – Adelaide (120 km)

A wet start at 7.45am after a torrential downpour at 6.00am. No mechanical incidents or punctures for the day but there were some very rude/stupid drivers on the road. I think next time we need to stress on our support vehicles that this is a charity ride raising money for kids to give the cyclist haters something to think about.

Highlights for the day included both Frankie Roberts and Brenton Oates completing the entire day’s ride, descending Mount Lofty (conditions were perfect), climbing Willunga Hill, arriving back in Adelaide to a fabulous reception at the Women’s & Children’s Hospital and presenting a cheque for $100 000 to the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Well done to all of the cyclists and a huge vote of thanks to all of our supporters – the hands on supporters who kept us on the road every day and the financial supporters – our sponsors and everyone who helped us to exceed the $75 000 target and hit the dizzy heights of $100 000.

Some stats for the day:

  • Distance 120km
  • Average heart rate 120 bpm
  • Average cadence 70 rpm
  • Average speed 21.34 km/h
  • 1374m climbed

Cycle 4 Sam 2014 Day 6

Day 6 – Carrickalinga – Victor Harbour – Port Elliot – Myponga – Carrickalinga (161 km)

An absolutely glorious day on the bike – fabulous scenery, magnificent climbs and awesome company.

We started the day at Carrickalinga with a gentle ride along the coast before encountering plenty of Kangaroo Island traffic.   There were a few climbs en route to our first stop in Victor Harbour for morning tea supplied by a lovely  group of ladies at the Lutheran Church.

We then headed down the bike path to Goolwa, returning to Port Elliot for a lunch break before tackling the Crow’s Nest climb.  A major PB from Frankie Roberts today – she climbed every climb and pedalled every kilometre in an extremely impressive effort which took out today’s ‘Persevere’ award.

From Crow’s Nest we continued across to Myponga dam for a few more climbs and more fantastic views.  Some of the kids jumped on at the dam lookout and joined us for the last kilometres into Carrickalinga where our fabulous support crew were waiting with drinks and nibbles.  Overall it was a fantastic day, without par on Cycle 4 Sam 2014.

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow marks our final full day of Cycle 4 Sam.  Nonetheless, we’re all looking forward to presenting a massive cheque to the Women’s & Children’s Hospital and celebrating another successful ride.


  • Average speed 22.97 km/h
  • Average cadence 74 rpm
  • 1869 metres climbed
  • 6.33.46 hours in the saddle


p.s. No mechanical incidents or punctures today (although there were a couple of ungraceful falls).

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