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Virgo: The Cycling Helmet of the Future, Specifically Designed for e-Mobility

If e-bikes and other two-wheel e-mobility solutions allow for greater speeds with less effort, isn't it time we reconsidered our stance on wearing a helmet when riding? THEBEAM thinks it is, and it's saying we should start with the "perfect" helmet, one that's been designed for the future.
Virgo is a hybrid cycling helmet designed for e-bike speed riding 12 photos
Photo: THEBEAM (Composite)
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That "perfect" cycling helmet is a hybrid of a traditional cycling helmet, which only offers protection to the upper part of the face, and a full-face bike one. It has been designed specifically for e-mobility, so, for the future. Called Virgo, it promises the perfect combination of protection and looks in a lightweight form factor that gives it a wider range of real-life applications.

The issue of the need to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle is widely disputed, even among passionate cyclists. We're not getting into the debate because wearing a helmet is ultimately a matter of choice since helmet-wearing is not mandated by law. Neither is wearing a helmet when riding an electric bicycle, especially if it's a motor-assisted one you ride on cycle paths or the pavement.

Virgo is a hybrid cycling helmet designed for e\-bike speed riding
Photo: THEBEAM
But there can be no denying that a higher speed of travel will translate into a greater risk of injury in the worst-case scenario. It's basic physics: the greater the speed of the vehicle, the greater the force of impact. When you have electric bicycles that can max out at 45 kph (28 mph) on torque throttle alone, you'll be riding faster for longer stretches with less effort. If only from a statistical viewpoint, the odds of an accident are higher, and when it does happen, the consequences are more severe.

THEBEAM says that the number of fatal bicycle accidents in France increased between 2019 and 2022, which led them to the idea of creating a helmet designed for the ever-changing nature of urban mobility. They cite speeding (as in, the ability to ride at a higher speed, not necessarily of not adapting your speed to road or traffic conditions), the high e-bike adoption rate that puts neophytes on two-wheelers whose power they might underestimate, and improper infrastructure for this alarming spike.

Since not one of these factors can be changed overnight, THEBEAM concludes that the best way to go about it is to add an extra level of protection for yourself. A classic case of "take care of yourself, because no one else will."

Virgo is a hybrid cycling helmet designed for e\-bike speed riding
Photo: THEBEAM
That's what the Virgo is for. Described as the "ultimate" cycling helmet, it promises full-face protection with a stylish design but a smaller weight and more versatility than a full-face traditional helmet. The Virgo is made of a single polycarbonate shell with protective lining and MIPS protection system, resulting in multi-impact protection zones. The MIPS standard ensures brain protection in case of oblique impacts by reducing rotational forces through a low-friction built-in layer.

Unlike a typical cycling helmet, which only offers protection for the upper part of the head, Virgo also protects the chin and check area. This makes it highly versatile and practical for traditional pedal-powered bicycles, scooters and even speedbikes. As long as you're riding on two wheels, you can use it.

Also on the safety side, Virgo brings enhanced visibility during rides – for the rider and of the rider. The former is possible thanks to the rotatable switchable front visor, offered in three colors and allowing excellent visibility on sunny days, in windy weather, or dusty conditions. The latter is achieved through an LED rear light with a built-in accelerometer. The detachable light helps drivers see the rider at night or in the rain and also serves as a brake light thanks to the sensor that detects a sudden decrease in speed.

Virgo is a hybrid cycling helmet designed for e\-bike speed riding
Photo: THEBEAM
The Virgo helmet has nine aerations for optimized airflow and adjustable straps for the perfect fit. It's offered in three sizes and weighs only 650g (23 oz) at its heaviest, including the extra MIPS layer of protection but not including the LED light or the visor.

As for how stylish the product is, it's as stylish as you'd expect a bike helmet to be – or want it to be. After all, you wear a cycling helmet for protection first, not because you think you look so hot in it. Virgo comes in four color choices (Carbon Black, Warm Sand, Pure White, and Midnight Blue), but perhaps more importantly, it comes with compliance with the new European regulation NTA-8776 and standard bike regulations EN 1078/CPSC.

Virgo is currently raising funds to go into mass production on crowdfunding, and deliveries are estimated to kick off in August 2023 for all territories. Early backers can get it for $99, with MRSP set for $299 for the variant with integrated MIPS protection system. Neither amount includes shipping and taxes, but both include the promise of protection and comfort well beyond what you'd get with a traditional cycling helmet.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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