12 Custom Painted DH Helmets From the Fort William DH World Cup

Jun 4, 2017 at 3:08
by Charles A Robertson  
We take a look at the custom painted helmets of mountain biking's biggest stars as seen at round two of the DH World Cup in Fort William, Scotland.


Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Rider: Sam Hill
Helmet: 100% Aircraft
Painter: Rod Gilchrist



Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Rider: Rachel Atherton
Helmet: Bell Full 9
Painter: Image Design Custom



Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Rider: Scott Beaumont
Helmet: Bell Full 9
Painter: Rich Art Concepts




Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Rider: Brook MacDonald
Helmet: Bell Full 9
Painter: Paint House




Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Rider: Brendan Fairclough
Helmet: Troy Lee D3
Painter: Troy Lee




Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Rider: Aaron Gwin
Helmet: Troy Lee D3
Painter: Troy Lee



Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Rider: Loic Bruni
Helmet: 100% Aircraft
Painter: OCD




Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Rider: Elliot Heap
Helmet: 100% Aircraft
Painter: (unknown)




Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Rider: Mick Hannah
Helmet: Bell Full 9
Painter: Wrapped by Magik Custom Graphics



Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Rider: Tomas Slavik
Helmet: Kabuto
Painter: Slim Grafix



Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Rider: Luca Shaw
Helmet: Troy Lee D3
Painter: Troy Lee



Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Helmet Feature
Helmet Feature

Rider: Danny Hart
Helmet: Bell Full 9
Painter: AP Designs





92 Comments

  • + 85
 These are cool, but I've gotta say that the sameness of all the Red Bull helmets bums me out. I remember being a huge moto fan back in the day, and Mcgrath's custom lids were actually custom. Cadillac taillights, bills under the clear coat, he did one off helmets like no one else. Would love to see someone in mtb pick that torch up...
  • + 3
 Check out link>http://maderadbytony.com/custom.html/link>
  • + 6
 @gmorrow: Yeah...he's winning with this: maderadbytony.com/america-helmet.html
  • + 13
 As far as I tend to agree with you on the crazy designs, I also think it's very interesting to watch all the variations artists come up base on the same simple scheme of redbull checker. Some are really great!
  • + 19
 Yeah, I feel ya, but on the other hand, being a Red Bull athlete is supposed to have a special luster to it and only Red Bull athletes can get the helmets. So, while the actual graphics are kinda boring for us to look at, just having one is supposed to confer a certain status as a rider.
  • - 2
 Just wait.... I'm gonna custom paint the shit outta everything ????????
  • + 10
 Troy Lee always keeps it badass
  • + 7
 @intensemack10: I agree, Red Bull helmets are easy to spot in a crowd because they all do looks pretty similar. I think that is part of the prestige behind it. Many athletes dream of having that standard-looking Red Bull helmet.
  • + 6
 @intensemack10: I also really like how in just about every sport, the Red Bull helmets all use the same basic design templates, I feel like it gives off the impression that it connects the athletes across sports
  • - 2
 @bry-gil: I like them, but if I wanted to pay a painter I could get one myself since they all look the same.

Not exactly when 70% of them are Red Bull is it?
  • - 2
 @bry-gil: rant> Defeats the purpose of a custom painted lid tho. None of the "standard-looking" Red Bull lids even incorporate custom technique, not sure if I saw any evidence of an airbrush, lettering or striping. If they're all "standard-looking", makes more sense to have a designer create a few variations (the half dozen RB lids here are all pretty slight variations) and just wrap them. No need to pay a talented custom painter just to force them into a box and not have any evidence of their creativity or craft in the finished product. Other than the artist getting a check, seems almost like a dishonor to the artform imo. Even when Coca-Cola commissioned old-school sign painters to hand paint giant Coke ads on sides of buildings they allowed the artists to express the true technique and tradition of the sign painting artform. Red Bull's marketing and advertising standards (aka: the need to brainwash consumers into buying unnecessary crap) take priority over showcasing artistry and respecting a long-standing tradition in racing, which I think is BS. I get that Red Bull is a prestigious sponsor or whatever, but idk if I'd be stoked if they signed me, told me I'm getting a custom painted lid, and then it ends up being totally indiscernible from those of my teammates (and doesn't even really look like a custom paint job), let alone those of one-fourth of the action sports professionals across the spectrum. Sidenote: I genuinely hope all those Red Bull cans the athletes hold for interviews and podiums are just filled with water. /rant>
  • + 1
 @bry-gil: edit: Loic's looks truly custom painted, it's solid expression from the artist. But like look at what Troy Lee did with Luca's compared to Gwin's. Promise, rant over.
  • + 4
 @jcrrr13: up close, I’ve seen the red bull lids have some differences, like shade, and ghosty this or that, they definitely don’t have a paint code for the red/blue/yellow/silver… Im a 20 yr vet in the custom paint world, and i have a ton of ideas, but its hard to get MTBers onboard with some of the crazy shit, or maybe its just Utah MTBers?… take my Enduro for instance, i just custom painted it like a week ago, and these dudes look at me like i just kicked a baby…. other states/citys flip the f*ck out over it…. so who knows
  • + 6
 Actually, It can be in contracts with Redbull.
Most sponsors have precise requirements in terms of how their logo must be displayed ( Monster always above dark/black etc...). If you add this to the fact that the amount of money a sponsor pay is directly related to the size/space/location it can be displayed on, painting a crazy lid for a pro is no easy task.
Plus, as someone said, trend and fashion play a big part in painting a lid; even though I wouldn't mind having the helmet equivalent of a michael Ange, very few people would. Many are those who want something that looks 'fast' I think.

That being said, I think Redbull lids generally look cool (brand identity done right) and some appear much more detailled than other ( Rachel with all the trees in shadow, Bruni's, Semenuk, Andreu's galaxy like helmet etc.. ) proof that these helmets are still tailored to the athlete.

@jcrrr13 : I think athlete are more happy to sign with Redbull for their stelar athlete policy rather than the helmet. Wink
  • + 0
 @bry-gil: Apart from Shaun White- he's sponsored by RB but keeps his lid black much to the despair of RB!
  • + 2
 @viciouscycleworx: holy shite dude! Count me.amomg the "flip the f*** out" crowd. This is a brass frame. Wish I could have you restore my 2012 Turner DHR!!!!
This is beautiful man: m.pinkbike.com/photo/14423663
  • + 1
 @polarproton: oh yeah, for sure in the contracts!! That's what I was saying about their marketing/advertising superseding the art. No doubt Red Bull's marketing and design team has insanely strict brand identity guidelines that play a big part in why the helmets look similar. To be honest I'm surprised RB even lets the painters make the subtle alterations to the logo that we see. I still stand by my point that most (Loic and Andreu are notable exceptions) Red Bull lids hardly show any evidence of the painters hand, so they might as well just be whipped up by the design team and wrapped instead of telling a painter "do this and this only and this exactly" so they can pass it off as custom painted. And yeah, don't get me wrong, I'd probably have little hesitation to sign with Red Bull if they offered, regardless of the damn helmet lol. Just felt a need to rant for some reason.
  • + 3
 @viciouscycleworx: aye nice to have a pro's viewpoint! Guess you're right about subtleties that can only be seen up close. I'm a graphic & web designer so I really have no room to bitch about brand identity consistency taking precedence over true creative expression. But I'd still love to see something crazy like what if it was painted like space and the yellow circle looked like the moon and the Bull was head butting the moon or some sh*t. Haha that's a pretty kitschy idea but you get the point.
  • + 1
 @viciouscycleworx: also, holy f*ck dude keep up the stellar work I'd hand my frame over to you no questions asked and would definitely be proud to rock whatever you grace it with. Great work!
  • + 1
 @bizutch: hey buddy, id be glad to do the paint work on your stuff anytime, call me 801-699-9038, I’m pretty backed up but i make time to get everything done somehow
  • + 1
 @jcrrr13: Semenuk currently has a different design from the other redbull ones, and has had a few other different ones in the past
www.troyleedesigns.com/images/cms/gallery/proj-semenuk.jpg
  • + 1
 @viciouscycleworx: Really appreciate the offer. The words "I wish" were the qualifiers though. Cannot afford your work, which is excellent!
  • + 1
 @gmelnyk: Ohhh yeah, now that's what I'm talking about! Okay, maybe I'm coming around to the Red Bull lids Wink
  • + 42
 awesome to see Luca reppin Nicky Haydens 69 on there RIP
  • + 4
 I was scrolling the comments to see who else noticed this.
  • + 3
 Ditto.
  • + 3
 @robmurray12: same. RIP NH69
  • + 2
 Best looking in the bunch as well
  • + 38
 Even though it's not included, Neko Mulally always wins with the Oskar Blues helmet.
  • + 2
 Absolutely!!!
  • + 8
 having a brewery as a sponsor is and always will be the coolest thing ever
  • + 0
 That cut away peak is awful though!
  • + 1
 it's indeed cool... but not painted
  • + 20
 I like the red bull one...
  • + 2
 And the Monster one.
  • + 13
 Hannah by a mile ! All the Red Bull helmets look like Red Bull helmets
  • + 1
 Shaw and Heap round out the top 3 for me.
  • + 2
 They are all different and Red Bull is paying the bills. Sort of genius really because the athlete can wear what they need to support the clothing sponsorships. And painting the helmets transfers between sports. Their ski and Motorsport athletes all rock Red Bull lids as well.
  • + 1
 @WolfStoneD: all of their athletes that require some kind of head gear have red bull helmets.

even their hockey teams have red bull helmets.
  • + 1
 Fighting 'roo for the win!
  • + 12
 Brendog's and Hill's for me.
  • + 4
 The custom painted lid has to be one of the best perks in my opinion for the riders. The Bells that Tomac wore seemed to start the trend in mountain biking from what I can remember. Cullinan, Palmer and the Tomes all with the Troy Lee Design hook up. I love seeing the new lids.
  • + 1
 Absolutely! I'd never heard of Troy Lee until I'd first seen JT wearing the feathers lid. His 91 Worlds lid withe the eagle and Old Glory was a real game changer IMHO ????????
  • + 6
 Lots more Bell helmets than I expected... I don't know why, but I expected to see more TLD.
  • + 2
 Definitely expected more TLDs as well...and was a bit let down by those. They're usually sick as! Really like Bruni's and Hill's
  • + 6
 Would be nice to see a #Drinkwater helmet
  • + 6
 Danny Hart is obviously a massive Nic Cage fan
  • + 1
 "Things with Nicolas Cage's Face on them" is an awesome site
  • + 2
 I miss painting helmets at times... but it seems that most everything has gone to an energy drink sponsor or big branded helmet. Good for my job as an agent, but sad for my history as a painter lol
  • + 3
 The number of peaks that aren't straight for the photo shoot low key triggered my OCD and ruined this entire experience for me.
  • + 5
 That's awesome that Luca Shaw had Nicky Hayden's number on his helmet.
  • + 3
 If one BUYS a "Kini RedBull" helmet (off the shelf helmet with RedBull logos) does this make the person a poser knob?
  • + 2
 Why are the visors all that much up in the air? Sems like a big air brake to me. Mind you, I've never wore such a helmet in my life though Smile
  • + 2
 Sams helmets are generally always pretty sick and that one is sic as, Stil hard to go past a Red Bull helmet, Brook MacDonalds and Loic Bruni's are off the hook!
  • + 4
 Brendan fairclough for me
  • + 1
 Can't help but think the RB helmets all look the same to an extent. Rachel's is simply plain and boring. Beaumont's and Heap's take the biscuit for me
  • + 3
 So happy Sam isn't wearing those horrific leatt helmets anymore
  • + 2
 Where the hell is the Oskar Blues one!?
  • + 2
 Connor Fearon rampage looks great!
  • + 1
 My favorite all time was Kyle strait's Evel Knievel inspired D3, unfortunately can't find any pics of it anywhere.
  • + 1
 That is not Loris' helmet... With LB on it, I'm guessing it's Loic's spare?
  • + 1
 Yeah, there's a photo of him wearing it on his Instagram.
  • + 1
 I want that helmet as my wallpaper so i can just look at it and chuckle to myself several times a day. My favourite lid by far
  • + 1
 This comment was supposed to be under harts conversation....i find nothing funny about loris's helmet...
  • + 1
 Not to be a prick, but my buddy showed me his stock full face motorcycle helmet last night that is more impressive.
  • + 2
 Correction: Sam's lid is painted by ROD Gilchrist.
  • + 3
 Good catch - that's been fixed.
  • + 3
 Mik wins
  • + 1
 Thanks PB! awesome to see all the painters and paintings in one spot. -PaintHouse
  • + 2
 You forgot Neko Mulally's Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale Helmet!
  • + 1
 agreed!! that helmet is sweet!!
  • + 0
 So it's almost RedBull and Monsters. What's so custom here as they almost look the same besides some small details at the back? For me Minnaar won that one too.
  • + 1
 Perth aus represent.... nice work rod
  • + 1
 Hill's helmet rocks because it's Hill's helmet Wink
  • + 1
 We're is jack moir helmet? his was sick and the nicest out of all these
  • + 1
 Am I the only one seeing Pacman on Brook MacDonald's helmet? Smile
  • + 1
 Does Troy Lee paint the lids for the top racers himself?
  • + 1
 Mostly Smile
  • + 2
 Troy Lee is King.
  • + 2
 More of this please.
  • + 1
 Sam Hill's #1. Then daylight. Respect for Luca's #69 tribute.
  • + 1
 Shout out to Alex Paul!! Hart's helmet is on point!
  • + 1
 How do they mount the GoPros on the peaks of the visor?
  • + 1
 Danny Big Grin
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2017. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.071488
Mobile Version of Website