Essential kit: Cycling, er, masks

Check out some off-beat fixie accessories from Berlin

by Mat Brett   April 26, 2012  

Wow! These are… interesting. They’re “fixed gear helmet masks” from Smirk Masks of Berlin – each one a unique creation.

Smirk Masks is the brainchild of Mirco Erbe, known to the world as Smirk. He started out as a graphic artist and became art director at a big German TV station before jacking it in and starting to make masks. He began the business a year and a half ago, taking early inspiration from hockey masks.

“We do masks for every performer, or whatever else you need it for,” says Smirk. “We also do custom masks. You can use all our masks to ride your fixie if you like, although that was just an idea we had to give the people the chance to look as cool as their bikes.”

The Smirk Masks creations aren’t safety helmets. Smirk has looked into that and the cost would be prohibitively expensive – and the masks aren’t cheap to start with. The “Run Bunn’ Run” rabbit head mask, for instance, costs £633.

The masks are mostly glass-fibre, sometimes with the addition of leather and other materials, and Smirk says they’re aimed at, “Everyone who wants to hide himself. Everyone who needs to be another character. Everyone who wants to attract attention. Everyone who wants to be a hero. Everyone who wants to be a monster.”

As well as fixie riders, that might include bands, DJs and artists, for example. Each mask is one of a kind, created from scratch; Smirk guarantees that he’ll never reproduce any design for anyone else in the future.

”The reaction has been positive,” says Smirk. “Everybody likes the masks/helmets, more or less. It's funny, each individual has their own favourite mask, but not everyone can afford one because it’s all handmade and we try to achieve the best quality. That means our masks are quite expensive… but worth every penny.”

For more information go to the Smirk Masks website or visit the Facebook page.

16 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I do like that orange one, but what would be the reaction if i turned up to a TT in it? Big Grin

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8796 posts]
26th April 2012 - 22:06

like this
Like (1)

Looks good for redirecting Laminar flow Big Grin

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
26th April 2012 - 22:13

like this
Like (2)

Just a thought, but if you wanted to give him some free advertising you could try and get a road.cc team in this

http://road.cc/content/news/57148-bicester-millennium-and-silverstone-gp...

And ask to borrow some mask's Wink

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8796 posts]
26th April 2012 - 22:17

like this
Like (0)

I don't need to look any more of a jerk when I go out...the neighbours are used to it... Wink

posted by yenrod [100 posts]
26th April 2012 - 22:52

like this
Like (1)

Looks like a fabulous way to make "fixie" riding even stupider and more unsafe! This looks like the next fastest way to get a hipster to ask his mother for her credit card number.

pedalpowerDC's picture

posted by pedalpowerDC [217 posts]
26th April 2012 - 23:21

like this
Like (2)

I noticed this one on the facebook

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=230812420338410&set=a.1031902397...

Press right for another couple of shots of it. I could see Pendelton pulling something like that off well at the Olympics, would need some slight adjustments for the UCI, but still

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8796 posts]
26th April 2012 - 23:34

like this
Like (1)

They all look very, very sweaty.

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
27th April 2012 - 9:21

like this
Like (0)

Wearing one piece motorcycle leathers and one of those masks will certainly get you noticed, but it won't be particularly comfortable or practical. I suppose that if you're a fixie rider, the money you save on having gears can be set aside to buy the mask.

It takes all sorts I suppose.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2172 posts]
27th April 2012 - 9:22

like this
Like (2)

Just imagine yourself proudly sporting this on it's maiden voyage and a hairy-arsed truckie shouting

"Wipe that smirk off, gimp" Big Grin

Not for me Sick

posted by veseunr [281 posts]
27th April 2012 - 11:49

like this
Like (1)

Are these "masks" being shown on the right forum site? I admit I have seen similar in a certain area of Hamburg.

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [582 posts]
27th April 2012 - 15:15

like this
Like (2)

In the future, car drivers will not see you scream either...

Currently going slower than I'd like...

posted by stealth [184 posts]
27th April 2012 - 19:12

like this
Like (1)

Only one thing missing..... Dimpled surface!
I must admit though, they do look laterally stiff whilst being vertically compliant.

posted by Glossies [29 posts]
27th April 2012 - 19:26

like this
Like (2)

One for the helmet safety discussionistas. All the disadvantages of helmet without any protection. It's basically a plastic burka. Is it legal in France?

posted by robert_obrien [117 posts]
29th April 2012 - 23:49

like this
Like (2)

This lends more weight to the equation bicycles + 'art' = dumb.

posted by Pierre [79 posts]
30th April 2012 - 10:11

like this
Like (3)

[[[[[[ "Worth every penny", eh? Hmmm, but strangely not worth every pound, perchance.
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [276 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 22:25

like this
Like (1)

I'm sure people trained in things like graphic art and design can make valuable contributions to consumer product design, but why on earth are they paid any attention, let alone given praise, for coming out with dangerous nonsense?

"Oh, could I please have a non-protective helmet with a sharp corner next to each eye and right under my nose? £600? Gladly, sounds like a bargain."

I'm really bored of seeing "concepts" that are "designed" to look "cool" with no regard for practicality, or sometimes even basic physics. A total waste (of time, energy, resources, anything else involved). Stuff from the world of comic books should stay on paper, in my opinion.

posted by CapriciousZephyr [27 posts]
4th May 2012 - 11:14

like this
Like (3)