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Newton-Rider Bike Helmet Is Soft but Hard, Quite Instagrammable
Many cyclists and scooter riders don’t wear helmets, and even fewer do among those that use ride-sharing two-wheelers.

Newton-Rider Bike Helmet Is Soft but Hard, Quite Instagrammable

The Newton-Rider bike helmet is semi-soft and hardens on impactThe Newton-Rider bike helmet is semi-soft and hardens on impactThe Newton-Rider bike helmet is semi-soft and hardens on impactThe Newton-Rider bike helmet is semi-soft and hardens on impactThe Newton-Rider bike helmet is semi-soft and hardens on impactThe Newton-Rider bike helmet is semi-soft and hardens on impact
Among the most commonly cited reasons for not wearing a helmet are practical ones (“a helmet is chunky and uncomfortable to carry with me at all times”) or aesthetic (“it’ll ruin my hair,” “it doesn’t look good”). Of course, there are also those who won’t wear a helmet because they don’t believe in the odds of getting in an accident of any sorts that might warrant its use. There’s no talking these people into getting a helmet.

But those that shun it on other grounds can be convinced – and this is what the designers behind Newton-Rider aim to do. Newton-Rider, which is currently crowdfunding on IndieGoGo, is a new helmet that promises to bring functionality, extra convenience, ultra-durability and the looks to the traditional bicycle helmet, which hasn’t seen any significant update / improvement in the past decade. 

We’ve had designers try and reinvent the wheel the bike helmet before, to varying degrees of success. The Newton-Rider tries to do so by completely doing away with the form factor and materials we’ve become accustomed to: instead of a polystyrene interior and a hard shell, this helmet uses semi-soft materials.

The notion might seem counterintuitive; after all, the idea of a helmet is for it to be tough enough to take the impact for you. The Newton-Rider uses compounds of Visco-Elastic and Non-Newtonian soft-impact absorbing materials, which means it’s semi-soft when in use but hardens in case of an impact, absorbing the energy so your head won’t have to. After the collision, the material reverts back to semi-soft shape because it’s not damaged by it, so it means the helmet is reusable. This doesn’t happen with polystyrene-lined helmets, since the polystyrene breaks when absorbing the energy of the collision.

According to the designers, the helmet works just as well in the case of a life-threatening, serious collision and in a medium hard crash.

Because of the choice of materials, the Newton-Rider is “unlike any other bike helmet.” It’s not just more efficient and durable, but also more practical. Being semi-soft means it’s foldable, so anyone can simply throw it inside a handbag or backpack, in the eventuality they might want to rent an e-bike or e-scooter later in the day.

At just 16 mm thickness, Newton-Rider weighs some 450g (15.8 oz) and can fold into a single piece of just 75 mm in height. Because of the elastic liner that connects the pads, it can fit any adult head of all shapes and sizes between 57 cm and 60 cm (22.4 inches and 23.6 inches). And you will never again have to worry about sizing or what to do if your helmet is not a proper fit.

The result, the designers say, is a helmet that “finally looks sleek and quite Instagrammable.” The excuse that you won’t wear a helmet because it messes with your hair or makes you look dorky no longer holds water.

In the front of the helmet there’s an NFC chip that allows tracking through a dedicated app outsourced to Shape. The designers imagine the helmet could be used by ride-sharing fleet operators to encourage safety among riders, offering rewards to those who use it.

“We also wanted to make the helmet kind of IoT 'ish,” they explain. “We have embedded in the helmet a highly sophisticated NFC chip, that together with our proprietary software API and if embedded in scooter apps can make operators create incentives for riding with the helmet.”

The Newton-Rider is compliant with EN 1078 (Europe) and CPSC (U.S.) safety standards, but is not yet certified because certification can only be obtained after mass-production. In this particular case, this should happen after funding is secured on IndieGoGo.

Since we’re on the topic, early backers can get the Newton-Rider in Platinum White, Plain Pink or Eerie Black for €69 (approximately $81), with deliveries estimated for early 2021. The designers say the helmet will ship worldwide, while MSRP will be €99 ($116) when the product finally hits the market.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third party.


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