More people than ever seem to be seeking out ‘micromobility’ solutions, whether that’s a bike share or scooter. But what about the helmet? Most riders don’t seem to carry a helmet with them, so they end up riding without. But what if a helmet was easier to carry, and took up less space in your bag so you always had it at the ready? That’s where the Newton-Rider comes in.
While certainly not the first slim or folding helmet that we’ve seen, the Newton-Rider makes the claim of the “world’s thinnest bicycle helmet,” measuring 16mm thick. Claiming that the average helmet measures somewhere around 30-35mm, the Newton-Rider keeps it thin with the use of visco-elastic and non-newtonian materials.
The use of these materials means that the helmet supposedly passes EN 1078 and CPSC safety standards while also being a multi-impact helmet. We say supposedly, because Netwon-Rider states that “we have made numerous tests on certified equipment to get to the 16mm of thickness. Because of the experience in the team with detailed knowledge in polymers and design we have achieved something not yet seen in bicycle helmet construction. We know it does comply to EN 1078 and CPSC, however authorities only assign the certification officially once mass produced.” That seems to indicate that it’s not actually certified yet, which means if you back their indiegogo campaign, it’s for a helmet that will most likely be certified once it’s produced.
In between the flexible impact panels, there is a flexible elastic liner which allows the helmet to conform to any head shape. Those separation lines also allow the helmet to be folded into a relatively flat form to fit into your bag.
The flexible design seems to be used to create a one-size-fits-some helmet, with the sizing listed at 57-60cm. Compared to something like a Giro Caden MIPS with a size range of 55.5-59cm for a Medium, the Newton-Rider has a slightly smaller range of fit of 3cm.
Non-Newtonian materials are usually fairly dense, which makes sense given that this helmet’s claimed weight is 450-460g. That’s not crazy heavy, but it’s also not light for a helmet that is claiming to be the thinnest.
The other question mark is the seeming lack of ventilation. It’s possible that the liner between the protective pads will be highly breathable, but even so it seems like this helmet will not run as cool as the competitors.
Offered starting today through an indiegogo campaign, the Newton-Rider starts at about $81 and the first helmets have an estimated ship date of February 2021.