The folding bike helmet is certainly not a new concept, but it is a concept that seems hopeless for a home run design, a helmet that really combines solid protection with exceptionally practical transportable packaging and a style that does not look like to something DIY. together from spare plastic pieces. South Korean mobility company Nature Mobility’s Raba headset appears to be exactly that design, using a series of pre-folds to pack flat and slip naturally into a backpack or purse. It then transforms into a three-dimensional helmet in seconds, shielding with a series of diamonds and hard-shell triangles.
Like other bike helmets, the Raba helmet uses a combination of EPS foam and ABS thermoplastic to provide shock absorbing protection. Unlike those other helmets, it skips the vented dome shape in favor of a series of small diamond and triangle panels held together by tarpaulin fabric.
The ribs of the one-piece, fold-flat Raba structure are held together by a BOA-style wire system from South Korean company Windwire. Twisting the Windwire dial tightens helmet-like parts in just 10 seconds. The Raba helmet molds to the head and adjusts to a custom fit with the same dial, relying on interior pads for added comfort.
The Raba helmet breaks down even faster than it deforms. The rider simply opens the Windwire dial to loosen the cables and fold the entire helmet flat in a second or two. It can then be laid flat in a suitcase or larger shoulder bag, folded in half to fit in a smaller bag, or rolled up into a thicker but shorter wrapper to store in a small bag or basket. bike. Raba designers claim that the helmet shrinks to just over a third of its original volume when folded.
We’re not sure we’d immediately call the Raba helmet “trendy” as Nature Mobility does, but it certainly has a distinctive and useful style that could be easily adapted into a fashion statement. We prefer it to many clumsier foldable helmet designs (like this odd half-orb) we’ve seen in the past.
As mountain bikers at heart, we find it hard to look at a design like this without thinking about the weak tarp seams between the hardboards, something that could create dangerous exposure in a downhill fall. reflected in impact with sharp, jagged rocks or trees. branches. But the Raba is designed for personal mobility and urban transportation, where impacts are more likely to occur with flatter, smoother surfaces. Nature Mobility says it tested 60 different prototypes to identify the best performing materials for the specific combination of head protection and helmet wearability.
Likewise, the small ventilation holes wouldn’t work as well for road cycling or mountain biking in hot weather, but for more casual urban commuting, which is very likely to include some form of electric assist, they should be sufficient.
The Raba helmet won a 2022 Red Dot Award and was also a finalist for an IDEA Award 2022, according to Nature Mobility. It’s unclear if or when it might hit the market, but Nature Mobility says it’s been certified to various helmet safety standards. It seems a very viable and polished product.
Source: Nature Mobility