3 Bike Helmets for the Not-Shy
As a cyclist you want to protect your head, sure, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style and personality. Check out these unique lids that combine fashion, flare, innovation, and old-fashioned creativity:
If you’re the mountain biking type, the Swedish-made POC Trabec Race is up your alley (see photo above on orange background). The construction of this unique-looking and award-winning helmet is modeled after the human skeleton, proving both impact resistance and long-term durability. The inner aramid filament reinforced EPS core is tough, while the outer PC shell is constructed with seams situated in areas of minimal exposure. An aerodynamic channel system with 16 vents enhances ventilation on hot days.
The POC Trabec design has gotten both a best-in-show award at the EuroBike cycling industry trade show and a prestigious best-of-the-best Red Dot innovative design award, beating out 4,433 other entries from 50 countries. “This helmet is inspired by the spongy bone character and layer-by-layer construction of a skeleton,” explained POC CEO and founder Stefan Ytterborn. “We feel like we have found the right balance between low weight, maximum ventilation, and impact protection.” It looks cool, too.
Want to show off your personal flare and perhaps a secret passion for Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, and (a young) John Travolta? Then check out these step-by-step disco-ball-helmet-creation instructions from San Francisco-based art director Natalie Walsh. Her rationale for such a creation? “Because it’s awesome. ‘Nuff said.” Walsh uses an open-faced motorcycle-style helmet in her demo (picture above), but you can use just about any helmet that has surface area flat enough to glue on small pieces of glass tile. Just note that, as it says on her instructions page, the helmet is meant to be a costume piece. If you want to create something with more real-world functionality, skip the glass tile and use acrylic mirror tiles, which are lighter and won’t shatter.
Perhaps coolest of them all, though, is the still-in-development LumaHelm (bottom right photo, above). The brainchild (pun intended) of 28-year-old Dutch designer Wouter Walmink, who works in Australia’s Exertion Games Lab, this prototype interactive helmet both protects your head and signals your intentions as you ride, making you more visible to motorists. For example, tilt your head (and the helmet) slightly left and the helmet blinks on the left side just like a car’s turn indicator light. Tilt your head slightly back and the helmet lights up red like a set of brake lights.
The LumaHelm looks like a standard commuter helmet (and passes basic safety standards), but takes functionality a step further, utilizing two AA batteries to power a sensor that measures movement of the cyclist’s head, and lights up accordingly [see video here]. Walmink and his team have no immediate plans to manufacture the LumaHelm, but it’s not hard to imagine an established helmet manufacturer having other ideas.
Would you wear any of these helmets? What’s your favorite headgear as a cyclist?
—Jason Sumner, Bicycling Reporter
Photos courtesy of POC; Natalie Walsh; Exertion Games Lab