We've spotted this new cycling gadget at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that could make the Euro look
a thing of the past.
The Helite B'safe is a smart airbag that protects riders in case of a crash and it has been awarded a 2019 Innovation Honoree award at CES. The airbag uses two sensors, one attached to the seatpost and one in the vest to detect when a rider is falling by analysing the rider's position and speed. When it has determined a crash is taking place, the vest inflates with padding that covers the neck and upper body and is claimed to take 90% of the force out of a crash. The sensors can detect a fall in 60 milliseconds with the bag taking another 80 milliseconds to inflate using a gas cartridge. The vest is reusable but you will have to install a new CO2 cartridge each time.
The vest is breathable and designed to be worn over clothing. The battery is claimed to last for 10 years so there shouldn't any worry about it running out just when you need it.
It's worth saying that this product isn't designed for mountain bikers and we've no idea how it would cope with things like drops or jumps at this stage. Matt Wragg and Paul Aston have both previously spoken to Dainese (who pioneered MotoGP airbags) about the concept and they said that the technology would not work for mountain bikers given the sudden and unpredictable movements of the sport. However, Helite also make these vests for horse riders and skiers, so maybe they could crack the code.
So what do you think? Will airbags replace D30 and hard shells as the protection of the future? Or are we silly to place our safety in the hand of machines?
The B'Safe is expected to cost around $700 and will be available next spring in the US and Europe.