Interbike 2009 - Helmets for 2010
Summary: We saw a few interesting new developments at Interbike in September that will be available at local bike shops in 2010.
Some highlights of the new helmets shown at the big Interbike show in September of 2009:
- MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) showed a new implementation of old technology called the Slip Plane here in the US. MIPS is a Swedish company who say they have a patent on the process of putting two layers in a helmet with a slippery surface in between. On impact, the lower layer slides, reducing rotational energy transmission to the brain. The same action could, of course, happen when the helmet slips a bit on your sweaty head upon impact, but it might not. We do not have lab test results of a helmet with the MIPS design, but the helmet below already uses it.
- POC, another Swedish company, has a model incorporating the MIPS technology into a BMX motorcycle-style helmet. It retails for about $500.
- Dahon (a manufacturer of folding bicycles) showed a new folding helmet that is the best of the three folders we have seen to date. Here it is unfolded:
Then the sides slide up into the top.
And the back folds down.
It has not been certified for the US market yet, but if it passes the CPSC standard it will be a nice new addition to what's available. Here is a YouTube clip with Dahon's Matt Davis demonstrating the folding and unfolding.
- Kali has expanded its line of dual-density foam helmets to include some that use a unique interface between the layers that is not simply a flat line, but has teeth of lower density foam extending upward into the high density top layer. That may permit some lateral displacement of energy in a crash.
- SixSixOne will have a new Recon model for 2010 that adds some styling interest to the round and smooth commuter look, with extended coverage in the rear similar to the THE F-14. They think it's a BMX model. For city use you just have to remove the visor--it's intended to pop off in a crash.
Nearly all manufacturers have "commuter" or urban models now with rounder, smoother profiles.
We will be reporting in detail on all of these developments and more when we put up our page on Helmets for 2010.
- Bell has begun to bring their True Fit system to the bike shop line, calling it the One Step. It even made it to the new Giro Prolight in a modified form. Bell's new Sequence model adds another round profile design to their line, and would be worth a look.
- Limar has a new top of the line that is in the compact style and qualifies as a rounder, smoother helmet despite some angularity in the rear. We are pleased to see Italian styling going in the right direction.
- Eleven81 has dressed up their Cross Town, a very round, smooth commuter design, with some new finishes.
- Aegis has a new system of LED lights that not only flashes to the rear, but uses fiber optics to provide a ring of light around the helmet. Aegis is a Hopus brand, another innovative company that always has something new.
This page was last revised on: December 27, 2009.