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Review: Glittery Gold, Ear-flap-equipped helmet (for winter biking)

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Nutcase helmets stand out. From watermelon graphics to faux-wood motifs, these fun helmets are among the most visible on the road.

But under the sometimes-silly aesthetic is a solid hard hat that can keep you safe. I have been riding this winter with the brand’s Crossover model. It is comfortable and warm, plus it has a magnetic buckle that’s easy to fasten even with gloves on.

The Nutcase in ‘Gold Sparkle’ motif

The Crossover is not a winter-specific helmet. There isn’t a lining, meaning the helmet can transition easily into summer. But with only a few air holes on top, it might be too warm and bulky for hot days.

In winter my head stays warm enough for single-digit commutes. This is with a thin wool cap underneath.

The author ready for a chilly commute

If you need extra warmth, the Crossover is compatible with removable ear flaps. These fleece add-ons slide between the helmet’s outer shell and foam interior, their thick foam padding keeps my ears toasty.

Caveat: The ear flaps also muffle ambient noise. This can be dangerous when riding in traffic in a city.

It weighs 17 ounces with ear flaps in, which is more than my summer helmet but not overbearing in any way. There’s a single knob adjustment on back to loosen or tighten it up.

The Crossover helmet has kept my noggin warm on single-digit commutes without the bulk or extra weight of other winter riding helmets I’ve tested. It costs an affordable $60 and comes in lots of funky colors to keep you safe and seen.

—Amy Oberbroeckling is an assistant editor.

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