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Cycling Helmets - Review

Which helmet is best for you?

Need a new cycling helmet? We look at some innovative new products and give our verdict:

The Lazer Genesis Lifebeam

As mentioned elsewhere, heart rate monitoring is an important tool for any athlete.  A good monitor gives you a window into your fitness levels, ability and improvement.  It is also a great way to make sure your training programme is healthy by checking your heart rates are staying within normal levels.

We had a look at a new product, the Genesis Lifebeam, a smart, safety conscious helmet with a built in heart rate monitor.  Our reviewer says:

As a triathlete, I usually use a heart rate belt monitor, simply because you remove your helmet for running, and obviously you don’t run in your cycling helmet.  Having given this helmet a trial, I actually really like it.

I linked the helmet up with my iPhone via iSmoothRun, which I use as my main sports tracker.  The link up is fast and works perfectly, offering a running commentary of changing heart rate zones while I cycle.  I spent some time comparing rates from the Lifebeam to the rates taken from my Wahoo heart rate belt, and the helmet is in actual fact very accurate indeed.

Convenience is also a factor.  I quite often don’t wear my belt for a ride, simply because I have to remember to put it on.  Always wearing a helmet for safety reasons means the Lifebeam is always at the ready and ensures I monitor my heart rate every single time I cycle.

Fit wise, the helmet is great – it has an adjusting wheel to make sure it fits perfectly, and is lightweight and comfortable to wear.  In fact, one of the most comfortable I have tried, and it’s also pretty stylish.

The wires and sensor are very discreet and unobtrusive, and there is a small blue light to show it is working.  Unfortunately there is no low battery indicator meaning I am not yet sure how to tell if it needs recharging!

Its hard to say anything more negative about this helmet – it is a great gadget for any cyclist looking to monitor heart rate and improve performance, and far more convenient than a belt monitor.

We also looked at the Lazer Street Deluxe, which is one of the trend options, available in silver or gold chrome effect, or light / dark woods.  The shape is definitely ‘urban’, and more suited to the younger generation – in fact I would suggest this is a better one to use as a scooter or skateboatd helmet rather then for serious cyclists.  This helmet is much more budget friendly, retailing at around £50, and has lots of padding for a comfortable fit.

The Hovding Airbag

Have you seen this yet? We haven’t got our hands on one to test yet, but would love to see one.  Essentially, this is a community led Swedish product which works as a helmet without a helmet.  It’s a belt worn round the neck which turns into a full airbag in the event of impact, cushioning the head and protecting the neck.  As I say, one hasn’t appeared at the offices yet, but the videos look great and we are looking forward to seeing how well this works.  Pricey at £249 RRP, but they are already available from selected stockists in the UK.

The Carrera Folding Helmet
We also like the Carrera Folding Helmet.  Made from lateral rigid strips which can be expanded or reduced to provide the perfect fit for almost any cyclist, this comes in a range of funky colours and of course can be compressed to its smallest size and tucked in a bag or rucksack, masking it a good choice for those who use their bike to commute to commute.
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