Would you wear a recyclable $5 helmet?

EcoHelmet coming to a bike share program near you

Helmets News
Bike share programs are an excellent way to explore a new city, but there’s no good solution (yet) for accompanying helmets.

Bike share programs are an excellent way to explore a new city, but there’s no good solution (yet) for accompanying helmets.

One of the best ways to explore a new city when traveling is by bike. As bike share programs become more popular across the world, this is becoming increasingly more convenient. The one downside to these programs is that you don’t get a helmet with your rental.

Designer Isis Shiffer has been thinking about this problem for years but decided to explore solutions while studying at RCA (Royal College of Arts) Imperial College in London. This University also happens to be one of the world’s premiere helmet research institutions.

The new folding design is a uniform shape when compacted, so it could easily be dispensed via a vending machine.

The new folding design is a uniform shape when compacted, so it could easily be dispensed via a vending machine.

With their help, she tested dozens of cardboard honeycomb structures until she settled upon a design with radial cells. This allows it to absorb blows from any direction. The end result is a one size fits all solution, that can be stored compactly.

Because the helmet is designed for a limited number of uses, it will deteriorate and weaken over time (especially if transported poorly). To counteract that risk, Shiffer is working on implementing a wear mark that indicates when the helmet should be discarded. Another possibility is a clip that ceases to work after a certain period of time has lapsed.

This clever design recently won the International James Dyson Award for design. As part of the prize, she was awarded $45,000 to help bring the idea to production. Some of her challenges going forward will be ensuring the helmets can pass a litany of safety tests, which can vary wildly between countries.

For more info, visit the James Dyson Foundation.

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  • augsburg says:

    Yes, I would. I’ve hit the deck a few times over the years, each time caused by a car driver doing something they shouldn’t. Once you see what your helmet looks like after it smacks the pavement you know better. I’ve seen too much stuff happen out on the road to go helmet-less. I know lots of people think they can ride with no helmet, but they don’t seem to realize how much can happen that is outside the rider’s control.

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