Wear a Helmet, NOT Period Headwear!
Resist the temptation to wear flat caps, top hats, boaters & bowlers when cycling on public roads. Although wearing Victorian period headwear looks neat riding a Penny-Farthing, it offers zero protection from a serious brain injury. On a 50″ Penny-Farthing my head is 8.5+ feet above the road surface. Hit a pothole or other obstruction and dump and you’re at risk of death or serious disability if your head is not protected. Maybe when you’re more experienced and cycling in controlled conditions at a fair where there’s no risk from random motorists you might consider it, but at least as a beginner always, ALWAYS wear a quality helmet. I’ve cycled thousands of miles on a PF and I always wear a helmet. But then again I’m always cycling on busy roads where I cannot control the actions of aggressive & inattentive motorists.
Choose a helmet with a good safety rating. Your head is about 8.5 feet above the road surface if you wreck, so go for safety first and appearance last. Use the Virginia Tech (“VT”) rankings found HERE which are regarded by many cyclists as authoritative in respect to safety tests. I chose a Specialized “Mode” model helmet which came in 4th in their 2022 ratings- and was on sale at a 50% discount for £50; not bad for a top-ranked helmet. And I attach a Blinxi (see “Equipment” > “Signalling“) to it to which flashes intermittently and incorporates turn signals activated by a button on the handlebars. The link to buy the Specialized Mode is found HERE.
Buy a helmet that has at least a little room to wear a beanie/skullcap in winter. If it’s on it’s last notch and tight already, you probably won’t be able to wear a beanie without it being too tight. Buy a beanie (see “Equipment” > “Winter Cycling“) and wear it when choosing a size.
Add Reflective Tape:
To further enhance visibility, I bought some reflective tape and placed it around the helmet so no matter what angle a motorist approaches me, their headlights should bounce-off some reflective tape on my helmet.
If you ever dump and strike the helmet, consider it’s safety effectiveness compromised and replace it even if it visually appears intact.