Researched since 2005, Hovding released the first ever cyclist airbag. No, it doesn’t come out from your bike’s handle as some may think. Instead, it rather works as an automatically inflatable vest. Once deployed, Hovding airbag shapes like a helmet, protecting the cyclist’s head and neck from impact.
Compared to a regular cycle helmet, Hovding covers more surface, being able to protect the neck from fractures. A system of sensors detect and record movement patterns, thus knowing when it’s time to deploy. It probably isn’t suitable for hardcore mountain biking, working best in urban conditions.
Once deployed, a durable nylon fabric expands and covers the head and neck of the cyclist. The pressure is kept constant for a few seconds, then slowly reduced. Hovding inflates by a helium-powered device. The inflator is attached on a collar strapped over the cyclist’s neck.
Producers state Hovding can withstand multiple head bumps without tearing. The same data shows that this airbag can apparently absorb three times as much impact force compared to a regular cycling helmet. Obviously, since it only deploys on movement distress, it won’t help against low placed objects or free falling ones. Prices start at around $330. Purchase here.