For those who are looking to ride their bicycles safely without risking having a bad hair day, there is finally hope, as an airbag-like helmet allows cyclists to ride while keeping their dos intact.
Swedish engineers have developed the helmet, which rests around the neck, deploys an airbag right before impact, protecting head and neck injuries, as well as hairstyles.
The Hövding collar is fitted with sensors that can detect unusual body movements seconds before an accident and trigger the device before any damage can be done.
Made from an ultra-strong nylon fabric, it takes about 0.1 seconds to inflate and can withstand several impacts, according to inventors Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin.
It took the pair six years of research to bring their dream to fruition and they hope it could be this year’s ultimate cycling fashion accessory. It costs £370 but the price is likely to fall if it is mass produced.
“We wanted to make a head protection for bicyclists based on the demands that was presented through our surveys,” said Mr. Alstin.
“Among other things the protection should keep the sense of freedom that goes with bicycling and not ruin your hair.
“In our opinion the range of bicycle helmets available is extremely narrow, they all look the same and the lack of variety results in very few people wearing them.
“Hövding is the solution to the problem, it’s subtle and blends in with what else you are wearing.”
Hövding may very well be a solution for those who consider themselves too cool for helmets.
“The actual collar is the visible part of the invention,” added Ms. Hupt.
“It’s covered by a removable shell that you can change to match your outfit, and we’ll be launching new designs all the time.
“It is a practical accessory that’s easy to carry around, it’s got a great looking yet subtle design, and will save your life.”
Jordan Shepherd| Elite.