Anyone who rides a bicycle should urgently wear a bicycle helmet. Head protection is also recommended when driving e-scooters (list of the best). Because helmets help to avoid serious head injuries in the event of a fall. Safety is the most important property of a helmet. Our large purchase advice offers an excellent overview: With your head to the right bicycle helmet.
But there are now alternatives for those who expect more from a helmet than just head protection. Perhaps the most important feature that every smart bicycle helmet should have is rear and / or front lighting. Finally, thanks to increased visibility, it can help prevent accidents. Some models come with an additional control unit for the handlebars to indicate a turning process by flashing. There are also bicycle helmets that are connected to an app on the smartphone via Bluetooth and thus play music, accept phone calls or inform a stored contact in the event of an accident. The market for such helmets is still quite manageable. We show exciting models with the appropriate extra.
Many bicycle helmets already have red light at the back and white light at the front. The main thing is not to see better thanks to the light, but above all to be seen better. The raised position of the helmet also helps. The helmets usually offer several light modes. In addition to the normal mode, in which the light is permanently on, there is often also the option of having the light flash at intervals. This increases the battery life until the helmet has to be recharged and visibility increases.
In addition to the normal light, many smart helmets also offer the option of announcing a turning process via a light signal. The easiest way to do this is to use the control unit supplied, which the cyclist attaches to the handlebars. It is in contact with the helmet by radio and flashes it when a button is pressed. Indicators are prohibited on the bike itself. However, since the helmet is worn on the body, the blinker is legal there in Germany. In some cases, the blinker can also be triggered via the app. Even with a good smartphone holder (purchase advice), this is rather cumbersome. Control via a smartwatch is better. Some helmets recognize braking and turn on a brake light.
Smart bicycle helmets connect to the cell phone via Bluetooth and can thus play music or podcasts, for example. In contrast to wearing closed headphones, outside noises still penetrate the ear. This helps the driver to continue to be able to react well to his surroundings. Some helmets even come with a control to pause tracks or jump to the next song.
Such Bluetooth helmets often integrate a microphone. For example, the wearer can take phone calls and still have his hands free. It can be useful if a helmet has motion sensors and sends a message to a previously determined emergency contact in the event of a fall.
Functions known from the smart home are increasingly finding their way into smart helmets. Some respond to voice commands, for example, to turn on the light, control music or configure settings. Walkie-talkie features can also be found under the smart headgear. In the following we present a selection of smart helmets.
The Matrix is the Lumos helmet with the most features. The most striking feature is its large rear LED panel with 7 x 11 RGB pixels, which can be individually adjusted. A significantly increased visibility is thus guaranteed in any case. The Matrix and Street also light up brightly when braking. The lights of all helmets can be configured using the app.
Livall has a broad portfolio of smart helmets, with the BH51M Neo offering the most features and the C20 the least. In addition to the BH5T Neo (without M), the C20 is also the only smart helmet from Livall that does not play music and cannot be used to make calls. The C20 already offers an automatic brake signal despite its low price. All Livall helmets are in contact with the app via Bluetooth. There it is possible, among other things, to determine the light interval.
Livall states that the helmets run for five to ten hours. The C20 supposedly lasts for 36 hours on one battery charge. Unfortunately, all helmets have a magnetic adapter for charging. We would have preferred a normal USB-C port. So you could still charge it if you didn’t have the adapter with you or even lost it.
Sena may be known to some as a manufacturer of motorcycle helmets. However, with the R1 and R1 Evo, the manufacturer also offers two bicycle helmets with smart functions. These are similar in many ways. They are in contact with the app via Bluetooth and can be configured via it. They are compatible with some fitness apps, offer an FM radio, play music via Bluetooth and can be used for making calls.
However, only the R1 Neo offers a rear light; none of the models has a front light. Both helmets offer a walkie-talkie function, but only within the respective model group. At R1, up to four people can join together. The R1 Neo goes one step further. Several groups can communicate with one another via nine channels. The R1 Neo also accepts voice commands via “Hello Sena”.
The helmet from the Xiaomi brand Smart4U can be used at Banggood (Kauflink) can be bought for 75 euros. Shipping is from China. In addition to a pleasing design in black or white, it offers above all a good rear lighting system. Sensors recognize the ambient brightness and switch the light on or off accordingly. In addition, the light intensity adapts automatically. Motion sensors register when the driver brakes and light up a brake light. The helmet is charged via a magnetic adapter and unfortunately not directly via USB. However, you shouldn’t need to do this too often. After all, the manufacturer promises a battery life of 36 hours after a charge of two hours. If the Xiaomi Smart4U SH50 does not detect any movement for 20 minutes, it switches itself off.
Helmets are primarily intended to protect the sensitive head in the event of a fall. However, thanks to their light, smart helmets provide additional safety through increased visibility. An additional safety feature is the SOS alarm, which automatically goes to the stored emergency contact in the event of a fall, for example with the Livall helmets. If you place a lot of value on communication, you should take a closer look at the smart head protection from Sena. Their walkie-talkie system makes a sophisticated impression. The Lumos Street (test report) fits particularly well into the urban environment thanks to fancy lighting.