How To Buy A Helmet In The Time Of Corona
We’re proud of the proven 5-star helmet shopping experience we’ve developed over the years, but we realize not everyone can or will make it to Union Street for a professional fitting.
In a bid to extend our helmet shopping program to an online audience (whether said audience is across town or across the country), we’re working on an evolving new set of protocols to guarantee both sublime satisfaction with your new helmet, and peace of mind with the process to get there.
Here’s a transparent point-by-point breakdown of our new helmet program—from a new online consultation form, to how we’re sending out free tailor’s tapes to ensure an accurate measurement, to how we’re handing returns. Plus, we’ve got an inside line how to properly clean your helmet to protect you from you-know-what.
// The Tale of the Tape
In-store, our first step with anyone shopping for helmets is to always—always!— take a fresh measurement on the spot. No matter what size someone thinks they are, or insists they are, we measure, every time. It’s not uncommon to have to break the news to someone that their current helmet is one or even two sizes too big.
Problem: It’s hard to get an accurate reading on your own, and touching people’s heads just got icky.
Solution: We now have individually sealed tailor’s tapes—the undisputed right tool for the job. And we’ll send you one for free.*
// Free Shipping — Both Ways
Historically most of of our helmet sales have been in-store. New Helmet Day is a worthy reason to ride to the shop. It’s instant gratification backed up with experienced customer service, and coffee. People will travel a considerable distances to get fit in person, have the selection on-hand, and walk out with the right helmet.
Problem: New York City is On Pause. Right now, there is no “in-person.”
Solution: We’re offering free shipping both ways. We’ll even send you custom pads as needed based on a consultation with an experienced staffer.
// Please fill this out. The Doctor will see you shortly
When someone comes in for a helmet we don’t just pull the boxes down and toss them on the counter by the cash register. We don’t just measure you, either.
As we’re getting a reading with the tailor’s tape we’re also surreptitiously scoping out the shape of your head, asking a battery of questions designed to suss out a personal helmet history, riding style, budget, and general “New Helmet Day” hopes and dreams.
We can be efficient as you please, but these fit sessions can often run on for an hour of rolling conversation fueled by espressos and interspersed with time sitting on the couch flipping through a magazine seeing how a helmet feels after a few minutes.
Problem: It’s hard to have these individualized conversations through static product pages on a website.
Solution: We’ve launched an online Helmet Consultation Form to jumpstart the process. Fill out this quick questionnaire and we’ll follow up with specific model and sizing recommendations.
*Raincheck on the espresso
// Take a Deep Breath, and Don’t Cough…
People are rightfully squeamish about even going to the grocery store these days, even with gloves and a mask. And now you’re supposed to shove your head into an unknown helmet?
Problem: Trying on helmets can conceivably constitute a public health hazard.
Solution: We're taking insane safety precautions including having sourced a stockpile of thin Nylon balaclavas that we require to be worn *over an appropriate mask before trying any helmet on.
Just as we wouldn’t allow anyone to try on boots without socks, we now require fresh (and free) socks for your head, too. Super-thin complimentary balaclavas will be included with all future helmet sales, and required for future in-store try-ons.
*A recent study suggest pantyhose worn over simple cloth and non-N95 masks up to 50% more effective. We’re skipping the bank-robber getup and sending you home with a functional piece of kit for free. It'll keep your future helmet from getting funky on long trips, wicks sweat away in the summer and keeps you warm in the winter.
// We're getting into the alcohol business
Our showroom remains socially isolated and closed to the public for the near future. And when we do reopen, we’ll keep our mandatory hand-washing station in effect, and masks are going to be required in-store for the immediate future..
Problem: These measures are still not 100% guaranteed.
Solution: Nothing is guaranteed. But take this free shot of alcohol, delivered in a handy spray bottle.
In addition to a standalone Tailor’s Tape, we've also put together a Complete Helmet Fit Kit, which includes the tape, the super-thin Nylon Balaclava, and a 30ml alcohol spritz for deep cleaning—see the video below for proper application, and see the following link for guidance we’ve gotten from Arai Helmets: Arai Cleaning Recommendation.pdf
The general gist: remove your pads, spray the 80% isopropyl solution on generously, and then let the everything dry overnight in a well ventilated area. The process smells like a hospital and you'll get a snout full if you don't wait long enough, but given proper drying time the solution evaporates completely without leaving any undue trace.
Besides, who couldn’t use a little extra disinfecting firepower these days? This refillable 30ml spritz is good for zapping germs off any surface. Just please keep it out of your eyes, away from open flames, and for god's sake don’t drink it. This kit ships free with any helmet purchase, or for a nominal fee on its own—which can be recouped with a subsequent helmet purchase.
Bonus precautions for your peace of mind: Any helmet that’s been tried on will be taken out of the rotation, cleaned according to the latest industry protocols, and given a 3-day quarantine before it goes back into circulation. Any handling of new helmets in-store will be done by staff following proper health and safety protocols.
This all sounds nuts, and it is, but here we are. We've got some of the best helmets in the world and love sharing our knowledge and enthusiasm in getting our customers properly outfitted. Start the process today - we're here to help.
If you have any questions about helmets, concerns about the process, or need to speak with a Union Garage team member, please reach out by phone at (718) 594-7093, by email at email@example.com, or use the Chat feature hovering over on the right-hand side of this page. >>>>