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.
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."
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.
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.