Every afternoon, I choose up my two children, ages 4 and seven, on our ebike. The second their toes hit the bottom at our home, their fingers instantly go to the chin straps holding their helmets on their heads. Before I can dive and rescue them—crash! Smash! They’ve whipped their helmets off. The fragile, protecting headgear hits the bottom with a crack.
I do my greatest to cease them, nevertheless it’s exhausting to blame them. Helmets can considerably reduce your risk of injury, however they’re additionally annoying. I’d by no means think about driving a motorbike with out one (effectively, almost never), however nearly every helmet I’ve tried is large and clunky, each to put on and to carry. They have to match exactly. They’re costly, and, most necessary, they’re single-use objects.
Most bike helmets are created from a stiff, expanded polystyrene foam. To defend your noggin, the froth absorbs the drive of the crash affect by shattering. Not solely do you will have to change them after a crash, a 4-year-old smashing his helmet repeatedly into the wall can compromise their security. And should you’re dealing with an extended stroll residence and wish to hire a handy escooter or ebike as an alternative of taking a Lyft? Forget about it. Head, meet pavement.
But what should you had a handy, snug helmet that didn’t make you’re feeling like a dork whereas sporting it? The Newton-Rider N1 helmet has elicited compliments from nearly everybody who has seen me sporting it. It’s compact and classy and about half the thickness of a traditional helmet. It sits on high of your head like a beanie, as an alternative of being dialed tightly round your scalp. We’ve seen different options to this downside earlier than, however at $300, airbag helmets just like the Hövding aren’t notably accessible. They’ve additionally been round for a number of years now and have but to see widespread adoption. The N1, nevertheless, costs $99.
The Newton-Rider N1 folds to match conveniently in your bag and is designed to defend your head in opposition to a number of impacts, not only one. That reduces waste and saves you cash.
The helmet’s safety comes from a collection of panels, linked to one another with stretchy, sturdy cloth. Each panel consists of three layers of safety: a tough polycarbonate shell, a shock-absorbing elastic polyurethane foam, and an inside core made up of what Newton-Rider phrases “supermolecules,” created from a proprietary non-Newtonian thermoplastic elastomer.