High-tech helmets have arrived. Specialized offers a helmet mounted device called ANGi which measures angular and G-forces, connects to an app on your phone and can initiate a text to your emergency contacts in the event of a crash. The Lumos helmet features 48 integrated LED lights, 10 bright LEDs in front and 38 rear, solid red LEDs. The helmet leverages the red LEDs to provide turn signals operated by a handlebar mounted remote. A feature now being tested senses slowing and applies bright red brake lights. Both Specialized and Lumos helmets are available with MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System), a liner that allows the helmet to move independent of a rider’s head, reducing transfer of the angular forces which may occur in crashes to the brain. The Sena X1 helmet provides, among other features, intercom conversations with up to three other users.
While high-tech helmets are intriguing, they can also be expensive, exceeding $100 and even $200. Fortunately, low-tech helmets which meet Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards (required by law in the U.S), can be had for $30-$40 or even less.
Whether high-tech or low, your helmet will only be effective if you follow these guidelines:
- Wear it! Your helmet is one of the only safety devices available to you and protects your most important asset, your noggin. Your handlebars do not need a helmet to protect them, but your head does.
- Select a helmet that is the proper size for your head.
- Properly adjust the helmet straps so that the helmet stays in place and covers your forehead.
Seeking help from your local bike shop to select an appropriate helmet for you and to adjust the helmet to fit your head will be time well spent.
It can be disappointing to see how many bicyclists, roller skaters, etc. on the Little Miami Scenic Trail opt not to wear helmets. Don’t be counted among their number! By wearing your high- or low-tech helmet, you’ll not only protect your noggin, but will also set a positive example for others.
by Erick Wikum