‘Soft-material’ cycle helmet design looks for hard backing

Published 25 November 2015

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: materials, cycling, safety

Using Enkayse material the helmet is ‘soft-but-safe’

The Headkayse cycle helmet is a folding, flexible and soft but safe, multiple-impact piece of kit, that is looking to shake off the image that hard hats need to be, well, hard.

Designed and developed in the UK, the helmet is built from what the designers are calling a ‘unique Enkayse material’, which is tough and flexible, allowing the helmet to fold, whilst being tough enough to survive multiple impacts.

Realise Design, based in Bristol, has been working with Headkayse’s technical director George Fox for much of the design work, a large part being physical model making and later on in 3D CAD.

The team behind it started with the aim of making a safer helmet and have carried out thousand’s of drop tests, many of them at the UK’s official helmet testing centre at Inspec International.

Currently the product exceeds the requirements of the European Cycle Helmet standard EN1078. It is also claimed that it will provide better protection from smaller impacts and will protect a rider who hits their head more than once in an accident (pretty common if you hit a car, then the floor).

Aside from the safety benefits, the helmets flexibility and design makes it adaptable to the wearer’s head shape, and using a special adjuster is genuinely one-size-fits-all, resizing to fit a small child up to a large adult head.

The helmet can be folded into a compact size due to the soft material used

The original shape was designed using a combination of SolidWorks, handcarving flexible foam and prototype aluminium tools to iteratively test and optimise the shape.

25 Beta test helmets have been riding around London and Bristol for the last six months to thoroughly test the design, all of which have incorporated some webbing clips and components SLS 3D printed in alumide.

With testing out of the way, the team is now launching the product on Indiegogo.

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