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BassNotBass 11-13-13 05:02 PM

Novelty or viable helmet alternative?
 
For the last couple of weeks I've been asked by various people what my take is on the "invisible" helmet. Do I see it as a viable alternative to a traditional helmet or do I think it's a novelty? Personally I'm a little leery about it's dependability and effectiveness and quite frankly I have no use for it.

What are your thoughts?

fietsbob 11-13-13 07:12 PM

get a case of them , Airbags in cars are single use. black market traffics in stolen airbags.

Drakonchik 11-13-13 07:18 PM

Personally it occurred to me that design could be good for persons operating earth movers and other construction equipment. You only have to watch a few construction vehicle accident videos to see why.

DoubleDiamonDog 11-13-13 09:33 PM

My thoughts? I think that is very odd that numerous people would ask your opinion on the "invisible helmet".

BassNotBass 11-14-13 06:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DoubleDiamonDog (Post 16245073)
My thoughts? I think that is very odd that numerous people would ask your opinion on the "invisible helmet".

As odd as me asking people here what theirs is?

DoubleDiamonDog 11-14-13 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BassNotBass (Post 16245528)
As odd as me asking people here what theirs is?

Much more so.

As for my thoughts on the helmet - Personally I'm a little leery about it's dependability and effectiveness and quite frankly I have no use for it.

Number400 11-14-13 09:52 AM

It's like the Dainese air leathers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo9Vlt5tGwY

Some MotoGP riders have used them for years. I think it's a great step.

antimonysarah 11-14-13 11:07 AM

I think it looks like a great idea for certain riders. (Specifically, professional women who need to arrive at the office without helmet-head hair. One can rail at society for the double standards of appearance, but it's not going to change anytime soon.) And if it actually works as well as it says, there will be lots of them on the market eventually and the cost will come down. We expect seatbelts to auto-clench and airbags to inflate, and this is no different. I also wonder if it could be made to expand over the shoulders to reduce collarbone breakage, too.

BassNotBass 11-14-13 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Number400 (Post 16246067)
It's like the Dainese air leathers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo9Vlt5tGwY


Some MotoGP riders have used them for years. I think it's a great step.


I can see the value of air bags to protect the neck and add additional support to a helmeted head in a crash that could cause hyper-extension of the neck. I've crashed several times at speed and was lucky enough to walk away... a few friends weren't because of neck injuries that the Dainese air leathers may have been effective in preventing... so yeah, good idea.


However the air-helmet isn't really an additional safety item (although I do find value in it's abilities akin to the above Dainese air leathers), it's intention is to be a replacement for one that already exists and for reasons that I find a little dubious. Personally I couldn't imagine wearing one of those IH collars during the hot summer temperatures I ride in and without a helmet I'd still want to wear a hat of some sort to shield my head and face from direct sunlight. So I don't really see the benefit of going helmetless under that circumstance. When riding in cold weather the "invisible helmet" collar could replace the neck gaitor I would normally wear but then again I'd want to wear a hat to protect my head from exposure to cold and wind anyway so is there really a benefit of not wearing a helmet? Also I would question whether the IH would deploy properly over my choice of headgear? In the video the taller dark haired woman is seen wearing a slouchy knit hat while riding... will the IH deploy over that? Does that hat really offer a sense of freedom and airiness that a helmet doesn't?


For my needs I'll just keep my helmet... it also accommodates my sport camera and an additional headlight.

bhkyte 11-14-13 02:37 PM

I think what I would have prefered it if they mOdelled it on the old road racing soft webbed cycling helemts. Leave my neck alone and minimal head contact.

lenA 11-14-13 02:42 PM

they would make the NFL more interesting

Still Pedaling 11-14-13 03:16 PM

I have mixed feelings. One commented that it would be ideal for women who don't want helmet hair. I don't have to worry about that. In fact I wish that was a problem :). For me living in Arizona, having something like that around my neck would be unbearably hot. But my biggest concern -- reliability. The one time when you need it and it fails to inflate -- game over. I once read a story of someone who either designed or was designing (can't remember) a full body inflatable suit for motorcyclists. But from that, all I envisioned was a rider bouncing along down the highway after a fall.

Fietsbob pointed out here that it is single use -- well so is a regular type bike helmet. Once it drops or receives a blow from a fallen rider its time to replace it.

Bottom line for me, I'll go on using the helmet I have. I don't find it uncomfortable at all, and it channels air over the head very effectively. It wasn't cheep, you get what you pay for.

BassNotBass 11-14-13 07:19 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by bhkyte (Post 16246968)
I think what I would have prefered it if they mOdelled it on the old road racing soft webbed cycling helemts. Leave my neck alone and minimal head contact.

I wore those old fashioned "leather hairnets" back in the day. They didn't offer too much protection but were better than nothing. I was thankful when Bell introduced the V1Pro, their first hardshell helmet which was made to resemble the leather hairnet. It was a better looking option than the only other hardshell at that time... the Skid-Lid, which looked to me like something you'd wear after major skull surgery.
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=350780 http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=350781

jmm 11-14-13 09:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Still Pedaling (Post 16247075)
...so is a regular type bike helmet. Once it drops or receives a blow from a fallen rider its time to replace it...

Really? I'm slowing down a bit in my old age, but when I was younger that means I should have bought at least five helmets a year. I didn't.
John

Still Pedaling 11-14-13 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmm (Post 16248002)
Really? I'm slowing down a bit in my old age, but when I was younger that means I should have bought at least five helmets a year. I didn't.
John

When dropped, the helmet has lost its full integrity. I read a review a number of years ago regarding this. Sorry I can't remember what review that was.

BassNotBass 11-14-13 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Still Pedaling (Post 16248020)
When dropped, the helmet has lost its full integrity. I read a review a number of years ago regarding this. Sorry I can't remember what review that was.

Still Pedaling, you are correct. That's pretty standard practice for any helmet that employs a styrene type foam liner to absorb impact. Sure you can keep using a helmet that has survived a crash, just as long as the shell is still intact, but the portion of the liner that absorbed impact would already be compressed to an extent thereby reducing it's effectiveness in subsequent impacts in the same region.

kamtsa 11-15-13 01:10 AM

Great idea. The NFL should adopt it. ;-)

Do they run on batteries, for the sensors, etc?

AdrianFly 11-15-13 06:59 AM

If the invisible helmet really works then I see no reason they can't design "The Invisible Condom" as well.

Giggity

BassNotBass 11-15-13 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AdrianFly (Post 16248591)
If the invisible helmet really works then I see no reason they can't design "The Invisible Condom" as well.

Giggity

Again I'd have to stick with the tried and true offering. I wouldn't want to risk IC deployment issues during, uh, deployment when you'll need it most.

jmm 11-15-13 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Still Pedaling (Post 16248020)
When dropped, the helmet has lost its full integrity...

So why does CPSC CFR Part 1203 specify that all helmets being tested for approval be subjected to multiple drop tests, against different anvil shapes, and have to pass ALL of them? I've often suspected that a lot of "reviews" that purport to offer expert technical advice are not written by engineers, but people barely qualified to comment on how well something fit or whether they thought the color clashed with their favorite Tour de Whatever Lycra jersey.

Having been involved in probably more than 50 significant bicycle helmet "bump" incidents in the last 50+ years, I'd say my personal experience is probably fairly typical in that only two of those even marginally compressed the EPS liner, and only one of those cracked the shell (and yes I replaced both of those helmets immediately if not sooner). Those were also the only incidents that involved classic, overt concussion symptoms, though a few others might have come close. For me, helmets have probably prevented countless cuts and abrasions and things like lost ears, so I appreciate what they've done, while not interfering too much in the process of sitting up there waiting for the big one. Anecdotally, I suspect helmet impact incidents simply don't affect structural integrity 99% of the time, but if you're worried about YOUR head, whether to replace is your call (I've probably saved enough over the years by not replacing helmets every time I bumped or dropped them to have bought two Bromptons.). Don't get me wrong, I do replace helmets, about one every couple of years. Last years was a Giro that got a crack in the EPS part that sticks down below the shell in the back (but the cheapskate in me did consider gluing it [with a non-PS reactive glue of course) for a while).

CPSC testing involves dropping an inverted helmet 2m with a 5kg headform shape inside, which is a heck of a lot different than accidentally dropping an empty helmet one or two feet onto the pavement, which some people think warrants replacement. The switch from early fiberglass shells to modern engineering plastics have made most newer helmets much more resistant to loosing shell integrity in a minor impact incident.

Which brings us to the the subject brought up by the OP. I wonder how much protection the Hovding (invisible?) helmet would provide while sliding across gravely pavement into a curb (been there, done that)? The containment of gas in a bag seems like such a tenuous thing to me, no mater how advanced the shell material, and I don't see how it could ever get CPSC "approval", as it would appear to offer optimum protection against only one of the required test anvil shapes. That said, the possibility of adding a rapid deployment air bag type skirt to the bottom of a regular helmet to mitigate hyperextension type neck injuries might be an interesting concept though.

Disclaimer: None of the above constitutes an endorsement, it's your head...

(Pragmatic) John

BassNotBass 11-15-13 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmm (Post 16249425)
... Having been involved in probably more than 50 significant bicycle helmet "bump" incidents in the last 50+ years, I'd say my personal experience is probably fairly typical in that only two of those even marginally compressed the EPS liner, and only one of those cracked the shell (and yes I replaced both of those helmets immediately if not sooner)...

IIRC the only significant bicycle helmet incident I had was about 6 years ago when I slammed my head onto the pavement (slipped on 'black' ice) which resulted in the liner fracturing into two separate pieces but still contained by an intact shell. I was shocked because I know that I went down hard, major bruising on my shoulder and about an 8"X10" green/purple/black bruise on my hip, yet it didn't feel like a hit my head very hard. I guess it did it's job very well.

jmm 11-15-13 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BassNotBass (Post 16249957)
...slipped on 'black' ice...

Yep, treacherous stuff, that's how I cracked the shell many years ago (early fiberglass helmet). I still ride in the winter, with studded ~2 x 26s on a regular MTB but non-studded 4 x 26s on a fat bike, and just when I'm starting to be amazed at how well those big tires can do on ice at 4 PSI, down I go. I have never been able to figure out how ice can cause you to fall at speeds seeming to approach the speed sound, when you were only traveling at ~5 MPH.

Another thing about the Hovding helmet, I wonder how those places that require the wearing of bike helmets (ski slope off-season downhill courses or BMX parks for instance) will view it in terms of meeting their requirements, or not?

John

DoubleDiamonDog 11-15-13 04:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmm (Post 16249425)

Having been involved in probably more than 50 significant bicycle helmet "bump" incidents in the last 50+ years

(Pragmatic) John

John - I don't know if you have just been unlucky or are a heck of a risk taker, but you certainly qualify as an expert on the matter of bumping one's head, and I defer to your insights.

My experience is limited to one incident in which a car turned in front of me as I was riding downhill. Everything happened is slow-motion and as my bike struck the front fender and I was launched over I was thinking "Protect your head - protect your head". I apparently took my own advice as I still use that helmet on special occasions (it is one if Bass's V1Pros) since it survived the incident, although at the cost of a titanium plate and screws in my wrist. There was some head impact - enough that I lost consciousness but no indication of compression of the interior. I suppose a wiser person would toss that helmet in the dumpster. In my case, assuming the Invisible Helmet deployed properly, it probably would have worked just fine.

BassNotBass 11-15-13 05:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmm (Post 16250132)
... I have never been able to figure out how ice can cause you to fall at speeds seeming to approach the speed sound, when you were only traveling at ~5 MPH...

LOL! Isn't that the truth? I think ice has a pulling force much like a black hole.

fwd-bwd 11-20-13 01:21 AM

I hesitated to share my experience with Hovding because it wasn't exactly my finest hour. But on second thought, some of you might find it helpful so here's the succinct version of my crash report:

My TSR was going downhill on a bike lane. I'm not the foolhardy type who goes full throttle on a busy urban street, but still the downward momentum gave me a decent speed. A pickup truck door suddenly swung open right in front of me, leaving me no time to avert a collision. So I slammed into it head-on and flipped onto middle of the street. Luckily I wasn't ran over. After struggling to get up, I realized that my Hovding had been deployed. It stayed inflated to protect my head and neck unlike the car airbags, which deflate quickly.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Y...0/hovding1.png
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-t...0/hovding2.png
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-_...0/hovding3.png

The truss structure on my TSR frame was slightly deformed due to the impact but amazingly I only got a small bruise on my hip. Comparing it to my other major crash experience with a conventional helmet, I suffered much less injury despite a higher speed (plus the collision with a metal door).

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-J...800/frame1.png
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-n...800/frame2.png

Please don't hold me accountable for this, but it appears that Hovding just might provide better safety due to its larger coverage and neck retention. YMMV.


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