The Inflatable Helmet Defends Attacking Høvding

Sure you’ve seen. A couple of Swedish girls has designed a helmet for bike “invisible” called Høvding, an inflatable device that is placed as a scarf. I’ve seen it called “airbag for cyclists”. As has a number of motion sensors, when it detects that the rider falls off, shooting and forms an instant hood that protects the head and neck of the victim -parece-. Already on sale for about 300 euros.

Apparently, manufacturers do not yet have the European certification EN 1078, which would apply to such devices. We’ve talked here that the certification of helmets European bike is no wonder , for security, but if you want to sell the Høvding as approved helmet they will need to be some regulatory change. As is inflatable, it does not meet the requirements designed to a conventional hull, which require covering some part of the head, then a series of smacks zumbarle the hull and measure how much the brakes (to put it very briefly). Measurements can not be made equal in the Høvding, which does not mean it is not safe: only for the moment can not be approved. And that means that you could be fined if you take it instead of a conventional helmet wherever wear helmets mandatory, at least for now.

To publicize the differences posing with traditional helmets, people Høvding has released this video (in English) in which, incidentally, put green to other manufacturers. “What we do not want you to know”, so titled.

What can we say about all this?

The device looks good as new, although personally I see many drawbacks. First, common to all helmets in urban use (sports use is another thing we talk about cycling for bread):

  • That should not be necessary in a safe urban environment;
  • That protection is very low against abuses and crushing;
  • They are uncomfortable or unsightly;
  • Transferring the responsibility to protect the rider, and it seems at least partially exonerate the drivers, who are the ones who can cause damage to third parties;
  • Which can induce a false security and encourage risky behavior …

Hull inflatable Høvding in particular must assess:

  • Its high cost(10 times that of a conventional helmet).
  • The need to bring the battery charged;without it obviously does not work. As indicated, a charge given to 18 hours of circulation, and about 850 hours standby (~ 36 days), and has indicator light and hearing status.
  • It is only designed for people of 15 years or more, so itdoes not apply to children.
  • Manufacturersdo not indicate the estimated duration would have the system or replace it for free or discounted to “expire” (if it expires).
    • Conventional helmets have changed every 3-10 years of, sources, because plastic deteriorates with time;the Høvding, leading some to inflate pyrotechnics, could require replacement past few years as car airbags.
    • They indicate that the less durable part is the necklace fabric which seems somewhat optimistic (!) Lithium batteries better quality deteriorate significantlyafter two years of use. Of the Høvding may not be much better.
  • The Høvding, like conventional helmets,must be stored away from extreme heat, as in a car in the sun.
  • Only servesto “normal” use of bike . Not suitable for skating, BMX, mountain or use in any other activity. I guess I could serve on the road, since not expressly excluded.
  • You must remember totake it off or disconnect to stop riding, or you could skyrocket if we make sudden movements.
  • It depends onthe analysis of our movements, because it is triggered only when it detects a movement of risk, and adds complexity to the operation, and may in some situations where it would take not fire;
  • Weighs700 grams, compared to conventional helmets 200-400.
  • It is not approved(yet). For legal purposes, it’s like you were not wearing helmet, so you could be
  • Like all helmets, it is single-use.If (unfortunately) necessary, we will have to buy a new one. Manufacturers claim that if you shoot up to two years after purchase, make you discount in next unit (today, 33%).

“The battery is easily loaded Høvding with a computer using the included USB cable, when LEDs and a sound warn that the load is low (after about 18 hours of use). You can also load the Høvding using a normal mobile phone charger with micro USB connector. “Image Høvding website.

I have not managed to find out if this device protects from side hits (rebounds), an aspect that would be an interesting difference compared to conventional helmets. Their notable advantages are:

  • Which it ismore comfortable and especially more aesthetically pleasing than a conventional hull.
  • Given its size, itseems that also protects the neck and part of the jaw of the rider; conventional helmets do not, and even some argue that worsen the prognosis of neck injuries. (Robinson, Elvik et al.).
  • According to manufacturers, the degree of protection is much higher than that provided a conventional helmet (they say it three times, the numbers are complicated to simplify).
  • He wears a black boxthat records the movements of the rider in the final seconds before the crash, which may be useful in clarifying responsibilities.
  • It seemsa well thought out device. For example, I find it praiseworthy good design of the power button, which is activated only when the helmet is properly fastened. It is an example of good design that minimizes user error.

The Høvding ignition system is activated only when properly fastened. Source: Web of Høvding.

According to its manufacturers, also it protects more than conventional helmets in 1078. But is it a good idea to mess with competition like this? According to Mikael Colville-Andersen, what they want is to obtain European certification.

Wacky airbag helmet Hövding so desperate to get CE approval that they have to attack traditional helmets and bike tire lights. Is it worth a tidbit of these? Today, with my budget and use, not for me. If you do road routes, or if you would want to put on something other than urban use (mountains, x-cross or other activities), either: not only it is not approved, but is not designed for that. However, it has its advantages, and if you were thinking buy a helmet for urban use something that this blog does not seem necessary – and you have no money problems, you may be interested.