Winter fat biking is a very aerobic sport and I don’t just mean the huffing and puffing part. It’s not that unusual to find yourself flying through the air and into a snowbank when your front wheel gets stuck in a rut or you hit a patch of ice and the back wheel slides out from under you.
Specs at a Glance
- Product: Giro Timberwolf Cold Weather Bike Helmet
- Shell Material: Polycarbonate
- Impact Foam: EPS
- Visor: No
- Full face: No
- Recommended use: Mountain bike, Commute
- Giro Sizing Chart
- Weight: 13.8 ounces (size small)
While wearing a bike helmet is always recommended for head protection, it pays to get an insulated winter helmet like the Giro Timberwolf Cold Weather Bike Helmet for winter riding. While there’s less danger from cars when riding on snow-covered backcountry roads, snow mobiles routes, or XC trails, hitting a tree or taking a header is still an ever present danger.
The Giro Timberwold is a wrap-around bike helmet with more rear and side protection than you find on many bike helmets designed for warm weather use. The Timberwolf comes with a removable liner that covers your skull and insulated ear pads, although both are removable. This gives you a number of layering options. For example, you can take all or part of the insulation out if you wear a full balaclava w/face mask or keep them in if you cover your face with a buff, bandana, or half mask for wind protection.
The Timberwolf also comes with a rear clip to hold your goggles in place so they don’t slide off when you’re riding. These are a necessity for winter riding so your eye lashes don’t freeze shut. There’s plenty of space to wear goggles under your brow and the rear clip helps keep them level. For example, I wear oversized OTG (Over the Glasses) goggles without any issues.
There’s also a slider on the top of the helmet (you can see it in the photo above) which opens and closes air vents in the top of the helmet. These are great if you start to overheat. Depending on the temperature outside, I usually start with them closed and open them if I get too hot when riding. When worn with it’s liner and ear insulation, the Timberwolf gets too warm to wear much above 40 degrees, but it’s kept me toasty down into the teens when worn with goggles, a face mask, and neck gaiter. Much colder than that and I don’t ride.
There’s a dial at the rear of the helmet that lets you fine tune the fit around the circumference of your head. I’ve found that the Timberwolf runs a bit small and that it pays to size up if you fall between sizes, especially if you plan to wear your own head insulation like a skull cap or combination balaclava facemask. There’s a standard padded and adjustable chin strap that provides additional flexibility in getting a good three-dimensional fit.
I typically wear the Timberwolf with goggles and a face mask or buff/neck gaiter, and don’t bother taking the helmet’s insulation out because the helmet is so comfortable and warm to wear when it’s nasty out. This being my first winter biking season, I tried to extend the season of my regular warm weather helmet as far as I could but it was awkward trying to zero in on a general purpose insulation, goggle, and face mask combination that worked together and didn’t have to be adjusted constantly. Switching to the Giro Timberwolf Cold Weather Bike Helmet gave me one less thing to worry about and makes it easier to get out, knowing that I’ll be warm enough, whatever the weather throws at me.
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