Angel Bicycle Helmet equips cyclists with a halo of light to help them be seen in traffic

Gimmick, or an improvement to bike riders' safety? Let us know wour thoughts...

by Simon_MacMichael   May 1, 2011  

Angel Bicycle Helmet.jpg

As you can imagine, we see some weird and wonderful products here at road.cc in our constant quest to keep you up to date with the latest offerings from the bicylcle industry. In our time, we’ve seen some strange helmets, and we’ve also seen some bizarre cycle lights. Never before, however, have we seen anything that manages to combine the two in the way the Angel Bicycle Helmet, now on sale for £49.99 at gadgets retailer Firebox.com, does (although the Haloglow Ice helmet comes close).

Firebox claim that six in ten road accidents involving cycling take place after 4pm and that poor visibility of riders ranks higher than rush-hour traffic as a factor behind that. They go on to say that while lights fitted to your bike can be obscured by vehicles in heavy traffic, there’s no such problem with the circle of LEDs fitted to the Angel Bicycle Helmet. The lights can be set to always-on, or flashing.

MInd you, extra visibility in nose to tail traffic aside from a legal standpoint you wouldn't want to be using the Angel as your only light source – the legality of sporting a ring of white light around your noggin as your only light source is debatable. To have a chance of passing muster on that score the rear part of the Angel's light would need to be red – rear lights should be red, the reasoning partly being that a white rear light can confuse other road users. So this is an extra light source rather than a replacement for sticking some lights on your bike.

The helmet is rechargeable from your PC using a retractable USB cord, although you’d probably want to remove it first, and is available in one size covering 54-61cm.

The market for the device, of course, isn’t going to be experienced roadies, but urban cyclists, possibly those new to cycle commuting, who want to make themselves as visible as they can to other road users. What it can’t do though is replace learning to ride assertively and claim your place in traffic to begin with.

So, gimmick, or much needed safety feature? Over to you to make your comments below.
 

13 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

gimmick. Spend £50 on some more lights (or just buy some knog type helmet light for an existing helmet)

posted by thomase [16 posts]
1st May 2011 - 20:25

10 Likes

Training which aims to match whatever infrastructure and conditions are available is certainly only less important than infrastructure and conditions being as good as possible in the first place, and of course this correctly-viewed-as-illegal (in most places) nonsense is certainly a distraction for both drivers (on the spot) AND the metaphorical road to real measures for safety.

There is no sign that the War of Max Lux is ending soon -- the light at the end of the tunnel is so bright that you can't tell where the tunnel ends.

Metaphors aside, that this contraption is actually on the market shows how very important subjective safety is to people, even if real safety is obscured by fog. Proper skills are only a partial solution, and - dammit! - you VC folks simply don't realize how scared people are when riding in traffic! As I have said before: People who want physical separation have compromised too much to motorization and vehicular cycing supports underestimate how much fear people have.

What we can all agree is that no one should buy this, it should be considered for a ban due to design issues mentioned in this article and - hopefully also - if people already have legal illumination on their bike they should buy what's required for their lovers, friends... and strangers!

Please also see http://greenideafactory.blogspot.com/2010/09/dont-believe-hyper-illumina...

posted by Slow Factory [7 posts]
1st May 2011 - 20:45

10 Likes

Great idea. As an assertive rider myself - with over 30 years commuting experience - I say you still need to be as visible as possible. Not that it will guarantee the idiots will see you - most of em too busy reading/composing text messages, chatting on mobile phones or simply not looking for a cyclist.

You'll never know whether it will save your life or not because nobody will ever stop and say 'do you know, if you hadn't had that helmet with flashing lights I wouldn't have seen you....'.

Ticktock

posted by Michael5 [121 posts]
2nd May 2011 - 11:21

9 Likes

What a total waste of money! Why is it that cyclist are seen to be gullible fools ready to be relieved of their money? Maybe be because so many are, sad really...

posted by Kim [147 posts]
2nd May 2011 - 13:06

11 Likes

I don't know about that, but I do know I don't want any Evangelical Christians either throwing themselves into the road to embrace me, or conversely, throwing rocks and calling me a blasphemer!

...  Soyez Realiste-Demandez L'impossible ...

posted by Gregoire500 [138 posts]
2nd May 2011 - 13:11

10 Likes

Never mind religious extremists- teenage hoodies would throw rocks at you for looking like a massive nerd. The thing would also be power- hungry, and car drivers already think cyclists are holier- than- thou, without the halo.

posted by wild man [287 posts]
2nd May 2011 - 20:35

11 Likes

Completely pointless and futile. More bloody rubbish that won't work. If it doesn't deflect motor vehicle it's a waste of time.

What cyclists need is proximity triggered adhesive mines. Any driver of a vehicle passing too close gets his own personal inferno. It would turn the tables on drivers, one mistake and they're dead.

Instantly, all drivers would become extremely aware of cyclists.

It would be the end of SMIDSY and dangerous close passes.

Any drivers incapable of learning - those with the hardcore careless & incompetent driving gene would very rapidly be expunged from the gene-pool.

posted by Recumbenteer [153 posts]
3rd May 2011 - 7:01

8 Likes

Are front flashing lights illegal? I thought http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/2559/regulation/6/made changed the rules.

(Edit: Looks like the illegal-flashers claim has been edited out since I made this comment...)

posted by a.jumper [727 posts]
3rd May 2011 - 13:06

8 Likes

Recumbenteer wrote:
What cyclists need is proximity triggered adhesive mines. Any driver of a vehicle passing too close gets his own personal inferno. It would turn the tables on drivers, one mistake and they're dead.

It's often been said that the best safety feature you could add to car would be a foot-long metal spike protruding from the centre of the steering wheel. Try having a 'momentary lapse' then and see what happens Big Grin

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7506 posts]
3rd May 2011 - 13:35

10 Likes

That looks like the sort thing you'd expect to see strapped to the head of a Guantanamo inmate, for sleep deprivation torture and humiliation.

posted by handlebarcam [533 posts]
3rd May 2011 - 17:38

12 Likes

Gregoire500 - spoilsport!

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [292 posts]
3rd May 2011 - 20:53

8 Likes

dave_atkinson wrote:
Recumbenteer wrote:
What cyclists need is proximity triggered adhesive mines. Any driver of a vehicle passing too close gets his own personal inferno. It would turn the tables on drivers, one mistake and they're dead.

It's often been said that the best safety feature you could add to car would be a foot-long metal spike protruding from the centre of the steering wheel. Try having a 'momentary lapse' then and see what happens Big Grin

I think it was Clarkson who mentioned something about steel spikes and steering wheels. About the only sensible thing that Clarkson ever said.

posted by Recumbenteer [153 posts]
4th May 2011 - 6:21

12 Likes

Gimmick. I'm choosing not to take part in the Lighting and Hi-Viz Arms Race.

Conscientious Objector in the War on Vulnerable Road Users

t1mmyb's picture

posted by t1mmyb [87 posts]
30th May 2012 - 10:45

11 Likes