Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Bike Helmets

Just before Christmas I foolishly dropped my bicycle helmet causing a large split to the inner foam. Having compromised the integrity of the helmet, I knew it would no longer provide adequate protection and I was going to have to go shopping for a new one. I did some online research to get inspiration for my new purchase and here are a few innovations that caught my eye:  
1. British startup LID Helmets launched their first design, a foldable bike helmet called The Plico, in 2017. It reduces in size by a third to enable easier storage when not in use, automatically adjusts to the size of your head ensuring a correct fit each and every time and is sold with a rear clip-on light pre-attached. Made from a polycarbonate outer shell with an expandedpolystyrene inner core, the foam liner is recycled from the car manufacturing industry.

The Plico in both extended and folded position.
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2. Park & Diamond have designed a collapsible bike helmet that looks like a baseball cap and folds down to the size of a water-bottle for easy storage. It also has a polycarbonate outer shell but an ethylene-vinyl acetate inner core, which the company claims will absorb and dissipate three times more elastic energy than a traditional bike helmet. The outer skin is interchangeable so that the colour of the helmet can be easily changed.

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3. Swedish company Hövding have to date sold more than 130,000 of their revolutionary airbag helmet. Made of nylon, the helmet sits around the neck like a collar with a gas inflator stored within, powered by a battery. The collar contains sensors that are controlled by an algorithm that can distinguish between normal cycling and an accident. 

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MoDiP has a number of bike helmets in the collection as well as a range of other sports and safety helmets that can be viewed or borrowed for inspiration.

Katherine Pell, Museum Collections Officer.

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