If you’ve ever been the leader or the follower on a mountain bike ride in a maze of trails, then you know how easy it is to lose contact with your fellow riders. Spotty cell phone service does you no favors either and can waste your time (and battery), especially when you’re up against nightfall without lights.
Sena Technologies, who’s been making Bluetooth communication options for moto and other sports for years, has just solved these problems with its new M1 and M1 EVO mountain bike helmets. Plus, updates to their road and other headset-equipped helmets, too…
Sena M1 and M1 EVO MTB helmets
Sena’s helmets meet all the requisite safety standards, but the standout features are their communication capabilities, which work like this: the M1 connects up to four nearby cyclists via Bluetooth Intercom, while the M1 EVO allows an unlimited number of nearby riders to communicate with each other in a seamlessly connected Mesh network.
Sticks and stones won’t break the network
Sena designed its Mesh communication system to offer reliable intercom connections and smart routing management for an adaptive and autonomous communication network. The thing is, if you’re out in the woods or among the rocks, data transfer might not go so smoothly. Sena says its hardware and communications technology still lets riders reliably communicate with each other despite disruptive conditions.
Both helmets also allow for wireless smartphone connectivity so that riders can listen to music, hear GPS directions, and take calls. An integrated taillight will keep you on the right side of the law after dark. The new helmets will come in three colors. Sena says to look for the M1 and M1 EVO early next year with pricing around $129 and $159, respectively.
Sena X1S commuter helmet with FM radio
Sena has remodeled its X1 helmet with a new ergonomic oval fit in the helmet’s interior to bring us the X1S. The new shape was conceived for a more universal fit, and its spin-to-fit lock enables the rider to fine-tune the fit to his or her head shape.
The X1S also comes with an integrated FM Radio and 4-way intercom system that allows riders to communicate with up to three other Sena Bluetooth-enabled devices. Same as the others, the X1S pairs to your smartphone via Bluetooth, allowing you to listen to music, hear GPS cues, and talk on the phone. Price and availability TBA.
Sena R1 and R1 EVO
These two helmets have been around for a bit but what’s different is the R1 EVO’s Mesh Intercom system, which has nine available channels that allows the rider to switch between chat groups on different frequencies. This feature might come in handy for a coach or a club where different skills instruction could be communicated to athletes or members in specific groups.
Listen to that voice in your head
Like the other helmets, both the R1 and R1 EVO wirelessly pair your smartphone via Bluetooth integration to take phone calls, listen to GPS directions, and hear music. You can also take training cues from your fitness apps. Personal assistants have been able to come along for the ride for a while, now you can bring your coach too.
The R1 EVO, which goes for $159, also has an integrated taillight and is available in matte black and matte white. The R1 sells for $129 and is available in onyx black, electric tangerine, ice blue, matte white, and matte gray. Available now on Amazon.