I’m always looking for new bike helmet technology. I’m conflicted by wanting to be safe and at the same time longing for the comfort and freedom that riding without a helmet offers. That’s why I’m very excited to present these innovations in head protection technology.
First, there is this little number inspired by armadillos. It can be stored and carried flat, and is also very cheap and easy to manufacture. There is not much info on the site about how well it protects your head.
Next there’s the cardboard bike helmet. This option is lightweight, and easy to manufacture as well. It can also be custom made to fit a specific person’s head. This helmet has been tested and been shown to stronger and more durable after crashes than current standard fare for helmets. The ease of manufacturing and the availability of materials could make these helmets super cheap and make them widely accessible to people who want to ride their bike safely.
Finally, there is this high-fashion bicycle air bag that is worn as a stylish Scandinavian collar. This one makes me a bit nervous but I like where their going with it. This option allows you to ride without the heat and cumbersome bulk of the helmet but still provides protection in the event of a fall. I am not sure if the technology is proven to some standard yet, but the video shows several crash tests performed with the ‘helmet.’ This option is also sure to be among the most expensive for bicycle protection and is unlikely to show up on the Tour de France anytime soon.
Now I know there are those purists out there who refuse to wear a helmet. I once shouted out to one colleague who works on healthy cities and rides regularly without a helmet, “where’s your helmet?” To which she replied, “I did a literature review and found that they don’t help you.” Did she actually do the lit review? I don’t know but this prompted me to do a little investigating of my own. This study from the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that helmets were highly effective in preventing head injury. In another paper which reviewed several studies examining the effectiveness and protectiveness of helmets this was the author’s conclusion – “Helmets reduce bicycle-related head and facial injuries for bicyclists of all ages involved in all types of crashes including those involving motor vehicles.” Similarly this review of several peer-reviewed studies also found that “the evidence is clear that bicycle helmets prevent serious injury and even death.“