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

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.
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

13 comments

Avatar
thomase [16 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

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

Avatar
Slow Factory [7 posts] 5 years ago
0 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...

Avatar
Michael5 [121 posts] 5 years ago
0 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....'.

Avatar
Kim [223 posts] 5 years ago
0 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...

Avatar
Gregoire500 [104 posts] 5 years ago
0 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!

Avatar
wild man [297 posts] 5 years ago
0 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.

Avatar
Recumbenteer [163 posts] 5 years ago
0 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.

Avatar
a.jumper [846 posts] 5 years ago
0 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...)

Avatar
dave atkinson [6209 posts] 5 years ago
0 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  4

Avatar
handlebarcam [564 posts] 5 years ago
0 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.

Avatar
hairyairey [297 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Gregoire500 - spoilsport!

Avatar
Recumbenteer [163 posts] 5 years ago
0 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  4

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

Avatar
t1mmyb [87 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

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