Specialized wants to take safety seriously with the introduction of crash detection sensors on its 2019 helmets and the rollout of MIPS for the first time.
From 2019 many of the helmets sold by Specialized will feature ANGi (Angular and G-Force indicator), a crash detection technology that can alert emergency contacts in the event of a crash.
ANGi is a helmet-mounted sensor using an accelerometer and gyroscope to measure the forces transmitted through the helmet in a crash. It’s small, fixing to the back of the helmet, and doesn’t add much weight to the helmet.
Once you’ve started the app and your ride, the ANGi will check in every 5 minutes throughout the ride. If the worse happens and you have a crash, and a sufficient force is detected, the sensor will trigger the Ride App to start a countdown and sound an alarm.
If hopefully, it’s a false alarm, you can stop the countdown. If you’re not okay, the app will eventually alert your emergency contacts with your GPS coordinates. By default, the countdown duration is 30 seconds, but you can configure this in the Ride App.
When you finish your ride, turning off the app puts the sensor to sleep. To wake the sensor before a new ride you need to give it a vigorous shake to wake it and reconnect to the app.
The app also allows your ride plans to be shared with friends and family with an optional live tracking link so they can follow you on your ride.
While a smartphone and reception is required for general use, Specialized says it offers an option if you’re heading into the remote countryside where there might not be any reception. You can set your estimated ride time before you set off and if you don’t complete your ride within the allotted time, ANGi will send a notification to your contacts with your last uploaded location whether you have reception or not, claims Specialized.
If at this point you’re thinking this technology sounds familiar and wondering if we haven’t previously tested something very similar? Well, yes, a few years ago we tested the ICEdot sensor and the similarities are no coincidence: Specialized acquired the company in 2017 and the ICEdot founder Chris Zenthoefer now works for Specialized leading the development of ANGi as it is now called.
Specialized is packaging the new ANGi sensor with lots of its helmets for 2019, including the aero Evade II, the Prevail II and the Propero, as well as four mountain bike and one youth helmet. All other 2019 helmets will feature a specifically designed attachment point to which you can attach an aftermarket ANGi sensor.
As well as the sensor-equipped helmet you’ll also need a suitable smartphone to run the Ride App. You get the first year subscription for free, but if you decide you can’t live without ANGi you’ll have to pay a small yearly fee.
As well as the ANGi tech, Specialized is also jumping on the MIPS bandwagon, offering the anti-rotational impact technology to every helmet in its range.
It was only a matter of time really, every other helmet brand appears to now offer a MIPS helmet. Specialized has gone a step further, working with the Swedish company that developed MIPS to produced a brand new MIPS SL for its range-topping helmets, like the Evade and Prevail.
It comprises rows of small rectangular strips that are integrated into the helmet padding to ensure there’s no impact on the fit and comfort of the helmet. According to the blurb in front of me, MIPS SL provides up to 15mm of rotation in every direction and the same brain protection as other versions of MIPS.
It all sounds very interesting, and we’ve got a new Evade aero helmet in and we’re going to try it out over the next week or two, so watch out for first impressions and a first look video as well.
More at www.specialized.com
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.