According to the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents, ROSPA, in 2014 75% of cycling accidents occur in urban areas.
This data may not be relevant to the greater cycling community, but it’s not ignorable.
Not all cycling happens in cities. In fairness, many cities have stepped up their cycling game in the last couple of years. This time of year, more than ever, people are on bikes. It should come as no surprise that the months of May through September are the hottest for cycling accidents.
For you, Summer may be half over, but your melon still has miles to travel before you hang that bike for the winter. (For the cyclist unbarred by seasonal changes, just use this as an excuse to buy yourself a new toy. Unlike most toys, these could save your life.)
These five wearables do so much more than protect your most precious cargo. [Your head, duh.] They also keep your whole body safe.
Cost: $134 (Preorder for October delivery)
With more than sixty built-in LED, Lumos makes you stand out at night. It communicates brake functions and turns. It even has front facing, white LEDs.
The technology for the brake connects to an accelerometer, to light the brake indicator. The turn signals activate wirelessly via your handlebars.
The helmet is water resistant but also rugged. It’s designed to protect your head too.
Babaali makes smart helmets for many environments. For cyclists, they actually offer six features: rear view assistance, heart rate monitoring, turn signal indicators, turn signal plus brake function, GPS tracking technology, and music integration.
There is no option to have all six in one helmet, perhaps because of weight or space. All six in one helmet would be a category killer.
Babaali is a Chinese company but they ship worldwide.
Cost: Pledges start at $99 as of this writing ($299 estimated retail)
Not quite available yet, the Classon is available for preorder on Kickstarter.
If you are one of the lucky few to jump in before the rest, you will enjoy automated communication with approaching vehicles. You don’t even have to do anything. It detects cars approaching in your blind spot, then signals your intentions.
Also, it has a motion activated brake indicator and turning signals.
Cost: $99 for the sensor, $20 for the wristband, $10 for stickers
Mountable to most helmets, ICEdot syncs a secure online profile with a wristband, stickers and crash sensor.
In the event of an emergency, ICEdot sends health and geolocation information via text. It’s sent to your designated emergency contacts.
This allows EMS or anyone who finds the wearer to immediately learn any pertinent information about the victim. It also allows them to find him if nobody is around to help.
Available in matte white or matte black, the 280 gram Genisis Lifebeam offers users integrated heart rate monitoring.
The Lifebeam is a helmet for performance-driven cyclists who want to track and improve their heart rate.
It’s adjustable, comes with winter padding in case you don’t feel like hanging it up after the snow falls, and can be outfitted with a taillight.
The biggest challenge with this list is, which should you buy? Most of these aren’t much more than you would spend on a helmet with wearing.
When it comes to helmets, you always have to ask yourself, what is my head worth? For most of these, you then must ask… what is my life worth? That said, you may only wear one at a time.