Full-face helmets certainly aren’t new – I wore one in the bikepark testing an enduro bike this morning – but The Beam Virgo is adapting that same extra protection for the city streets to make ebike riding and commuting safer, too. This wild-looking commuter full-face helmet is still officially just a Kickstarter project, but it’s been developed by a company we’ve already seen turn some other innovative ideas into real products.
And this commuter full-face has already smashed through its funding goal in its first day of crowdfunding… literally in the first hour!
The Beam Virgo MIPS, a safer full-face helmet for commuter ebiking
The Beam is calling the new full-face Virgo helmet project “the safest cycling helmet for e-bikes”, and it’s hard to argue with their logic. With low coverage in the back, an integrated chin-bar up front, built-in visors, hi-viz lighting, and MIPS protection & dial-retention inside… the idea of a full-featured full-face helmet for urban ebike commuting simply makes a lot of sense.
The only real downside to the extra protection lent by a full-face helmet even off-road used to only really be that they were too hot and too heavy. But modern helmets -full-faces especially- are now so much lighter and better ventilated that those aren’t as good excuses any more. And if you are getting ebike pedal assist, you might as well get the extra protection if you are less likely to be fully working up a sweat.
OK, so who are The Beam & Virgo Move again?
The Beam is a young French commuter cycling product start-up with established manufacturing ties in South Korea for a few years. We’ve already covered their simple bar end plug Corky flip-out rearview mirror that they partnered with CloseTheGap to get out to a bigger audience. And there was also their lightweight Corky X, a modern update to the classic randonnerdy yet functional clip-on mirror for your glasses.
Remember the Ventoux road full-face concept a few years back from Studio-Accent? Yeah, that is the designer behind the new Virgo Move project, too. He just now is working together with The Beam to step things up a notch with the Virgo.
Why an ebike full-face helmet?
No beating around the bush, ebikes mean more people riding on two wheels, often many that aren’t necessarily experienced cyclists. More people on bikes is great, but statistically, it means more people getting in bike accidents, too. Plus, while regulated ebikes don’t really make you a lot faster, they are heavier, a bit more difficult to manage, and do make it easier for inexperienced riders to go faster than they would pedal otherwise. And we all know there are plenty of ebikers riding around town in the gray areas with their pedal-assist speed limiters bypassed.
So let’s make them, and ourselves, safer.
So, the new Virgo full-face ebike helmet offers as much protection as you could ask for. The Beam calls it the “ultimate balance of protection and comfort combining lightness, optimal airflow, and complete protection of head and face“. That’s clear, right?
The Virgo full-face helmet features classic in-mold construction with an ABS plastic shell over a light EPS foam core. Then, a more flexible structure of the thin reinforced chin bar is also in-molded between the ABS & EPS, for a smoothly unified design offering added protection to the rider’s face without obstructing airflow or being anywhere near as bulky as an off-road full-face.
Inside, an optional MIPS Evolve Core liner under the helmet’s pads helps absorb non-linear impacts, but also integrates a rear dial-retention system for a secure fit.
The commuter full-face helmet is described as well-ventilated with 5 forward-facing openings connected through internal air channels to 4 rear exhaust ports, plus large openings at your ears to help dissipate heat away from the rider’s head.
And it also comes with three different magnetically attached visors to protect your eyes while riding in all conditions – mirrored, smoke shaded & clear lenses. The Virgo also has a magnetic attachment at the back to snap on or off a removable, USB-C rechargeable taillight with an accelerometer brake light function for added visibility day & night.
The end result is a safer full-face helmet that “offers multi-impact protection zones in the areas most likely to be hit in a fall in case of a frontal crash” with claimed weights from 600-650g for the two sizes XS/S & M/L. The Virgo helmet is designed to meet the higher-speed pedelec (45kph/28mph) requirements of European regulation NTA-8776, and also complies with standard EN 1078 / CPSC bike certification.
The Beam x Virgo full-face – Crowdfunding pricing, options & expected availability
The Virgo ebike full-face helmet is available to back now on Kickstarter, through the end of June. The Beam x Virgo helmet is available either without the extra anti-rotational protection from 99€ with super-early-bird pricing, or in what looks like the best deal, with an integrated MIPS Evolve Core liner from just 129€.
The helmet includes the removable visor & light, and is available in four matte colors – black, white, midnight blue, and warm sand tan – in sizes XS/S or M/L. The Kickstarter campaign anticipates first deliveries as early as August 2023, although The Beam suggests more conservatively that they will have full production stock available in the middle of autumn.