A lot of people hate wearing a bike helmet. They can be uncomfortable, they can ruin your hair, they can be a pain to carry around all day.
Any potential hassle of a helmet should never deter you from wearing one, however. Cycling is one of the leading sports for head injuries, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. And, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, head injuries are the most commonly fatal cycling injury.
Thankfully, a company in Sweden has found a way to create an “invisible” helmet take the hassle out of a traditional bike helmet without sacrificing safety.
Fashionable Bike Helmet With Advanced Safety Measures
The helmet — known as the Hövding Air Bag For Cyclists — uses the same technology as the air bag in a car to protect its user.
The device (or collar) is worn around the neck and during regular use looks similar to a heavy scarf or the hood of a jacket. In the case of an accident, however, the helmet deploys a protective, inflatable nylon hood around the cyclist’s head within one tenth of a second of impact.
The Hövding Air Bag helmet was designed by Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt, who came up with the idea in 2005 when they were studying Industrial Design at the University of Lund in Sweden.
The two women spent years studying the difference between normal cycling patterns and how the body reacts during an accident. Based on the data, they developed an algorithm that can distinguish normal cycling behavior from an accident. Based on this algorithm, the helmet senses when to deploy a safety air bag.
The inflated hood — made of ultra-strong nylon fabric — covers a much larger surface area than a traditional bike helmet and is designed to provide extra protection through soft and gentle shock absorption.
The bag will remain inflated for several seconds after impact, ensuring that it can withstand multiple head impacts during the same accident.
The collar is made of waterproof functional fabric protected by a removable fabric shell, which comes in a variety of fashionable colors and patterns and can be washed easily.
The helmet is rechargeable through a phone charger or micro USB Connector.
Check out the Hövding Air Bag Helmet in action:
The only to the helmet is its cost. It retails for around $500 USD.
Best Affordable Bike Helmets
If you are interested in a more affordable, traditional helmet check out our Guide to the Best Bike Touring Helmet.
Some of our favorites are:
What do you think? Would you pay $500 for a fashionable, “invisible,” bike helmet?