Wood bike helmet – this time with a model

Last weekend I posted my lousy quick shots of those “Tree Piece” wooden bike helmets. The next day at Sea Otter I snagged a random passerby and asked her to model a helmets for me, which is much better than the static “helmet on a stand” photos I took the day before.


Dan Coyle in Corvallis, OR hand manufactures these “Tree Piece” bicycle helmets with salvaged wood hardshell and cork lining.

"Tree Piece" hetlms from Coyle Design

Dan says he ran a small sample of helmets through the CPSC suite of tests and they pass. Obtaining actual CPSC approval involves manufacturing and then destroying more helmets than he sells, but he says he does plan to obtain that as soon as he’s able. Like most other bike helmets, these are designed to destruct on impact.

They’re lighter than I would have expected — not much more than similarly shaped hardshell helmets. The feel is a little like the shell part of old Vietnam-era plastic helmet liners, except much lighter and smaller. He found buyers for part of his collection last weekend during the 2012 Sea Otter Classic bike festival in Monterey.

Wood bicycle helmet by Dan Coyle

You can find much more info at Coyle Design and Build. Dan writes about his Sea Otter experience and mentions a couple of people used his helmets for racing last weekend.