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Overade foldable bicycle helmet design saves space as well as your skull


February 1, 2012

The overade bike helmet folds down to a compact size for when it's not protecting your skull

The overade bike helmet folds down to a compact size for when it's not protecting your skull

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While bike helmets have become lighter and more comfortable to wear in the last couple of decades, their shape has remained largely unchanged. Not surprising when you consider the shape of people's heads hasn't really changed that much recently. As a result helmets are as awkward to carry around and take up just as much space in a bag as they ever did. Unfortunately, this leads many to risk their safety by just leaving the things at home rather than deal with the hassle. Not content with this state of affairs, designer Patrick Jouffret and engineer Philippe Arrouart came up with a bike helmet design that folds down to a much more convenient size when not on your noggin.

The "overade" is a unisex helmet that Jouffret and Arrouart claim provides as much protection as a standard bicycle helmet, but folds down to a size that is compact enough to fit into a purse or a backpack. Like the creators of the Hövding airbag collar, Jouffret and Arrouart hope the helmet's much more convenient carrying size once will help increase the number of urban cyclists who currently fail to wear protective gear.

The obvious question that first comes to mind when looking at the overade design is, "will it fold up and squash my skull in an accident?" However, with rider safety the designers prime concern and bicycle helmets required to comply with rigorous standards in most parts of the world, presumably they've taken such concerns into account. If not, we're not likely to see the overade on store shelves anytime soon.

Jouffret, from French design studio Agency 360, and Arrouart first constructed a prototype of the foldable helmet in 2010, and it is due to enter production sometime this year.

Source: Design Boom

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Moving parts! Bad idea! Fold it up when it is steamy from hot cycling head! Bad idea! Not particularly smooth outer surface! Bad idea (leads to neck twisting).

Why is that the Netherlands is the safest place to cycle and basically no one wears helmets? Do most people know bicycle helmets are only designed to protect people in a fall or crash with velocity 15-20km/h or under?

Todd Edelman

Because there are so many bicyclist in the Netherlands, that car drivers are always aware? Because for every bicyclist, there is one car less on the road? Because many car-drivers have driven a bicycle and know the critical situations from both sides of the windshield? Because the Netherlands know how to integrate bicycles into transportation planning?

Here in Germany the insurance companies recommend us to wear helmets. Here we have a high rate of head injuries for bicyclists. Those who wear a helmet get less severe injuries. If helmets were useless and dangerous as you say, why would insurance companies recommend you to wear a helmet? So they can spend more money on avoidable injuries?

(If you get driven over by a truck, a helmet doesn\'t help, of course.)


\'solution\' looking for a problem..

a. who needs to do that?

b. it;s not even all that small folded

c. it has issues as a helmet - edges, or the folding mechanism, can get caught on things on the road, causing neck twisting



Sascha, ha ha, of course the answer to all your questions in the first paragraph is \"yes\".

I live in Berlin. Where do you live? Here injuries to cyclists are increasing and the reaction is not prevention, but silly personal measures like hi-viz vests (which make other cyclists as well as pedestrians less visible in comparison) and helmets (which have a much bigger not effective category than just trucks). The streets are becoming more chaotic with e.g. parents on bike going the wrong way on paths, no lights, no use of bells, no nothing.

The transport minister says he will try to make helmets mandatory unless 50% of people wear them voluntarily -- I see this as him wanting to see that half of the people are showing fear.

Todd Edelman

I talked to the company. They expect to ship in September! In for one!

Todd: No piece of protection equipment protects you from everything. Bullet-proof vests are not bullet-proof, but they are designed to protect you from a standard incident. Helmets do reduce the risk of brain injury from falls and collisions. There is a real chance of causing a brain injury from simply falling off your bike. Why are you bullying people about their choice of wearing a helmet? It\'s their life, their safety, and their choice; leave people alone. The article wasn\'t mandating helmet laws, it was simply saying a better folding helmet is entering the market.

http://articles.cnn.com/2009-03-18/health/brain.injury_1_control-brain-brain-injury-sports-injury?_s=PM:HEALTH http://www.georgiainjurylawyerblog.com/2009/03/minor_falls_can_lead_to_severe.html

William McCluskey

If I\'m going to wear a helmet the only design criteria I want used is safety and comfort.


The main reason for low car/bike collisions in Holland is the law that makes the motorist responsible. The result is far less head injuries and no real need for helmets. Don\'t expect any such laws in our own carcentric cultures however.


simple mechanics: solids are more robust than hinged, multiple parts! if it ain\'t there, it can\'t break.

Walt Stawicki

So when and where will this helmet be available in the U.S.of A.?

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