Wearing a regular bicycle helmet on an electric bike is sort of like wearing an antique leather helmet in the NFL; the game has changed.
Helmet design is catching up, at least in Europe. Prompted by the increased speeds that electric bikes can hit, the safety-minded Dutch introduced the NTA-8776 helmet standard, which increases protective requirements from the 15-mph crashes anticipated with regular bicycles to a 28-mph crash standard. It also requires more protection for both the temples and the back of the head.
French bicycle accessories company THEBEAM has introduced their NTA-8775-compliant design, the Virgo helmet, which they're calling "the safest cycling helmet for e-bikes."
The beefy-looking Virgo not only covers the temples and the back of the head, but also features an integrated mandible to protect the jaw and chin. A detachable flip-up visor keeps bugs out of your eyes, and a magnetic LED taillight can be attached to the rear.
"Its design skillfully blends lightweight construction, optimal ventilation, and full facial protection in the event of a head-on collision," the company writes. The design also features MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System), the additional layer inside the helmet that helps disperse rotational forces during an impact.
And despite the extra mass, the company says they've kept the weight down to a reasonable 600g (1.3 lbs).
The Virgo has been successfully Kickstarted, netting $103,672 in pledges at press time, with 36 days left to pledge. Available in three sizes, buy-in starts at $98 and they expect to ship by August.
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