An engineer recently came up with an invention for those cyclists who simply ditch their helmets because it’s an inconvenience to carry them around after the ride ends. Phillipe Arrouart came up with the idea of inventing folding helmets after his study proved that urban cyclists and commuters don’t like to carry around their helmets after the ride. The solution is Plixi helmet, which can be folded neatly to a third of its size in small bags.
The Plixi helmet costs about £60 ($95) and was made by Mr. Arrouart, a 40 year old engineer from Paris, France. Noticing that more and more people were using Velib bike sharing system in Paris like the Boris bike in London, lead to Arrouart’s study.
He felt the need to bring protection to those people and since they were not using helmets, he pointed that out. “Many people immediately used those bikes to commute when Velib came in,” he explained. “Drivers were not used to them and people started to say ‘it is dangerous, we’ll have many accidents’. I wondered why those people were not protecting themselves with a bike helmet. I asked urban cyclists why they didn’t wear a helmet and the number one answer was the inconvenience of carrying your helmet with you when you’re not on the bike. The other main reason was the look and style you have when wearing a bike helmet. So I got the idea to create a folding bike helmet which is much easier to carry and store while also being chic and trendy.”
He found the company Overade in December 2010 and started making prototypes that involved a design team who were responsible for the look and style of the products. The result turned out to be the helmet that takes hardly two or three seconds to be put away inside a bag. The helmet currently comes in only large/extra-large size that is 23.2 to 24.4 inches (59-62 cm), but there is a smaller version planned.
Customization by the user can also be done. For instance, add-on covers or visors, etc. can be fitted on. They are available in a range of colors. Plixi also fulfills the requirements of European certification for bike helmets, meaning it can also be used by road racers and BMX riders along with commuters and urban cyclists.
Clement Cailleau, 31, Business partner said, “People who have seen it really like the finishing quality of the product. They enjoy manipulating the Plixi and agree it is easy and simple to use. They realize in their everyday life that it truly brings a real value added.”