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On Monday I took a first pass at the question, should the use of bicycle helmets be legislated? Today, I thought it might be fun to look past the legal question and take a gander at three of the newest/coolest/craziest head gear for cyclists. (They’re all pretty new, they’re all pretty cool, and at least two of them are pretty darn crazy.)

Lumos Helmet

The Lumos helmet includes built in lights in front and back as well as turn signal lights that can be activated with a switch on the handlebars.

The Lumos helmet includes built in lights in front and back as well as turn signal lights that can be activated with a switch on the handlebars.

Probably the most boring of these three helmets is the Lumos (lumoshelmet.co). And by boring, I mean “incredibly cool.” In fact, I like the Lumos so much that I’ve already ordered one through their Kickstarter campaign.

The Lumos, like the Torch, comes with integrated front and back lights. According to the Lumos website, “10 super bright white LEDs in the front and 15 super bright red LEDs in the rear provide over 80 lumens of illumination to ensure that you stand out on the road.” But what takes the Lumos up a notch are the brake lights and turn signals.

The Lumos comes with white lights in front and red in back, as well as turn signals and brake lights.

The Lumos comes with white lights in front and red in back, as well as turn signals and brake lights.

The helmet can tell when you’re slowing down and will turn all of the rear lights a bright red.

There’s also a switch that you can mount to your handlebars that enables you to signal a turn with yellow arrow lights on the back of the helmet, letting those behind you know where you’re headed.

The lights are recharged with a USB cable.

The Lumos is so cool that Bill Nye the Science Guy made a short video to tell the makers just how much he liked their product idea.

The Lumos has a pre-order special price of $119 and is available July 2016. (I got mine for $114 on Kickstarter, so it looks like I didn’t save a whole lot by ordering super early. Oh well.) To find out more, check out their website: lumoshelmet.co.

Morpher Helmet

The Morpher is a bicycle helmet that folds up flat to fit in your work bag.

The Morpher is a bicycle helmet that folds up flat to fit in your work bag.

The idea behind the Morpher (morpherhelmet.com) is that if you can’t carry your helmet around with you easily, then you’ll probably leave it at home. So the Morpher was invented to be strong, but flexible. It’s so flexible, in fact, that it can fold flat to fit right inside your backpack or work bag.

Although the helmet is still just in prototype form, it’s already won several awards including:

  • Platinum Award at the British Invention of the Year awards, for the Best New Safety Product
  • The Innova Special Award for the best new Transport Innovation
  • Gold Award for the best Safety Innovation at Brussels Eureka
"Morpher folds & unfolds quickly and simply so it's perfect for cyclists who want to carry a helmet more easily."

“Morpher folds & unfolds quickly and simply so it’s perfect for cyclists who want to carry a helmet more easily.”

According to the Morpher website, the helmets and all components are completely recyclable. That’s pretty cool.

The Morpher was funded through an Indiegogo campaign. As far as I can tell, that’s the only way you can purchase one. It’s $113 for one (apparently marked down from $151) or $199 for two (marked down from $302). The campaign ended in 2013 and the helmets are made and have shipped out, but apparently on Indiegogo you can keep ordering through the site even after the campaign is done.

Hövding Helmet

The Hovding doesn't look at all like a helmet, but in case of accident, it inflates -- like a protective air bag.

The Hövding doesn’t look at all like a helmet, but in case of accident, it inflates — like a protective air bag.

The Hövding (hovding.com) is clearly the coolest of these three helmets, in large part because it’s nothing at all like a helmet. It’s a lot more like an air bag. If you’re involved in a crash, the Hövding senses the change in movement and inflates, protecting your head and neck. Somehow it knows when you’re moving in a “normal” way and when you’re not. And it only pops when you’re not. It’s like magic.

This helmet is also far and away the most sexy way to protect your head that I’ve ever seen. The air bag itself is black, but there are several shells you can buy to change up the style. Hopefully the color options will continue to expand (as most right now are a variation on black). From what I can tell, new sets of shells come out and the old ones are retired. So you just have to keep watching until one comes out that suits your style. And while you’re wearing this “helmet” people might think you’re just wearing some sort of tight cowl around your neck, so it doesn’t shout “cyclist” to folks that see you. (Although, to be honest, sometimes I carry my helmet into stores and restaurants specifically to should “cyclist”. It’s an easy means of promoting a bicycling culture. But that’s a topic for another blog post.)

The Hovding looks like a large collar around your neck... until it inflates.

The Hövding looks like a large collar around your neck… until it inflates.

You may have seen this helmet online already. The promo video has made the rounds a few time. But what you might not have seen is the “Will it pop?” series of videos that they’ve published recently. Check them all out on the Hövding video page. There’s even one to see if the helmet will pop while the wearer is doing judo.

There are currently no retailers selling the Hövding in the United States. You might be able to order one through their website. They’re €299.