News / Start-ups

Behold the foldable bike helmet

By laura collacott, Monday Nov 16, 2015

A new foldable, repeat-impact bike helmet designed by a team in Bristol and aimed at increasing the number of people wearing cycle safety equipment has opened a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo that has attracted 123 backers to date.
Headkayse promises ‘revolutionary helmet technology and design’ which replaces traditional Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) with an improved, flexible material ‘Enkayse‘ – developed in Somerset – a semi-rigid foam. EPS has been the main material for cycle helmets for the past 40 years, a good energy absorber at high speed but only good for one use. At lower speeds or knocks, it won’t compress much, passing energy on to the skull. 

Headkayse’s foldable helmet
“This passes international helmet standards – which was a huge challenge to achieve with a different material,” said developer Andrew Redman from Realise Product Design. “And this is the problem – the standards were written around EPS, with some odd test conditions that preclude many potentially safer materials. We know that many large helmet manufacturers have been trying to crack this problem for many years and have failed. So in the words of Dr Craig Ranson, a leading Sports Head Injury expert at Cardiff University – ‘This helmet is a game changer’.”
The redesign offers a universal fit, adjusting for every head shape and size, from kids to adults, and folding flat for storage, reducing in volume by 50 percent. 
Andrew continued: “Our ultimate dream with this has been to make this product a success, giving us a platform to change the Cycle Helmet standards and thereby open up far greater innovation in cycle helmet safety than is currently possible. Another Bristol helmet company Ayrtek – have proved this is possible, having achieved exactly the same thing recently with the Cricket helmet standard.
“Best of all, I am very proud to say we’ve managed to develop a shape that looks good on pretty much everyone – in stark contrast to many cycle helmets that, whilst perhaps look great on top race athletes, aren’t the most flattering of headgear on the rest of us!”

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