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Abus Kranium Helmet and Bordo Lite Lock - Eurobike 2012

Aug 31, 2012 at 6:26
by Matt Wragg  
Abus maybe aren't a name we are so familiar with in mountain biking. In the lock world they're a big deal though, and have been handmaking them in Germany since 1924. At some point in those 90 odd years they diversified into helmets too and it was one of those helmets that brought us to their stall.

Their new Kranium helmet is utterly unique. It started life with an engineer watching a woodpecker. Seeing that bird beat its head repeatedly against a hard wood tree a question formed: how do they deal with constant impacts? Studying their skulls he discovered that they were made of a unique structure that absorbed the impacts. Trying to replicate it he developed the unique lattice of cardboard which forms the heart of the Kranium.

Abus Kranium lattice

Lattice details


The unique cardboard lattice

Abus Kranium with see-through shell

A see-through shell

"A cardboard helmet?" We asked that question too when we first saw it. However, the first thing you have to remember is that this helmet is on sale, which means it has passed the European standards. Talking to Abus they explain that they believe this is one of the safest helmets out there. They say that in lab testing the lattice frame was three times more effective than an eps liner and retained its structure much better for subsequent hits. Abus don't just take a supermarket box and cut it into helmets either, the material is treated for both fire resistance and waterproofing. One very big advantage of cardboard is also the recyclability - cardboard is a sustainable source of material. There is a small eps liner, mainly to stop the cardboard from driving a pattern into your head if you do crash.

Abus Kranium

Abus Kranium details

Abus Kranium inside.

We are left with a lot of questions about this helmet, will it really work being the first one as we want to see this for ourselves. We also need to understand what kind of riding it is suitable for - would it stand up to a big hit downhilling, for instance? However, it looks to be a light, safe and environmentally-friendly helmet and we can't wait to find out more about it.

Abus Bordo Combo Light.

Abus Bordo Combo Light details.

Abus Bordo Combo Light in carrier.

A light, strong lock suitable for mountain bikers?

Along more traditional lines for Abus is this Bordo Combo Light lock. Weighing in at just 650g this is a tough, light and easily portable lock which might be just the thing you are looking for, if you're not keen on leaving your bike unsecured. To test that the mounting for the carrier is suitable for mountain bikers, they got their test riders to spend a day throwing down 360s and backflips to make sure it stayed in place. That's our kind of testing. It is also available in two burlier numbers, depending on how sketchy your local area is.


Author Info:
mattwragg avatar

Member since Oct 29, 2006
754 articles

  • 39 1
 Love these! I really want to see some tests of that lock too. cut tests and such to see what they will stand up to.
  • 22 2
 Same, lock looks sweet and super simple. No more stupid cables wrapped around your bike. That helmets rad, love their inspiration too. I've definitely stared at woodpeckers endlessly wondering how they don't fall off a tree in a bird coma Smile
  • 3 14
flag jaybird951 (Sep 1, 2012 at 5:39) (Below Threshold)
 "Trying to replicate it he developed the unique lattice of cardboard which forms the heart of the Kranium."

Cardboard helmet sold as the Kranium. That makes a lot of sense. Careful, no smoking around these helmets! They are highly flammable!

The locks take about 20 seconds to cut through. Sweet! I want a pair!
  • 2 0
 I have their meaner lock. I have used it for over 2 years now. Quick, and convenient- but mine is heavy. Really heavy. I use the two straps and the bottle cage mounts to secure and it comes loose twice per semester or so because of it's heft. However, it is the single best investment I have made on my bike. Commuter bike; I would never leave my mtb unattended for any reason.
  • 5 1
 jaybird951. it says in the next paragraph "treated for both fire resistance and waterproofing"
  • 1 0
 Be aware where you lock it, strong lock - weak pole, common mistake. Five seconds job with hydraulic pliers. I'll never ever leave my bike without an eye on it no matter how good my lock is.
  • 2 0
 I've got a kryptonite new yorker, with a long, thick kryptonite cable that goes around my wheels, underneath my fork crown and around the lock.. and i take my seat and seat post with me. Even with all that though, i know that any lock is more of a deterrent than a form of protection. The best thing you can do if you're going to lock it up, is lock it next to a bike that's got a shittier lock than you.
  • 30 1
 "the material is treated for ... fire resistance"... where do they think I'll be riding!?
  • 27 1
 Based on a lot of the POD comments lately...Mordor?
  • 8 2
 Mordor! Yes, we will be lunging into battle for Middle Earth with the Gollum and the woodpecker nation while riding our 650Bs!
  • 1 1
 Gandolph: "Even during the war between Sauron and the rest of the world a debate raged on, deep in the midst of the human army." NO WAY BRO! NO NO, A 650B CANNOT COMPARE TO THE EASE AT WHICH YOU CAN THROW A SPEAR ON A 29r! Wink
  • 1 0
 I agree, spears flying off highspeed 29er like my intense hard eddie will penetrate the heart of many vile creatures!
  • 14 0
 Dont care if they did backflips to see if the bike lock will stay in place . Should spend the day locked up to see if your bike stays in place really
  • 2 0
 Can't argue with that.
  • 1 0
 ABUS have a great reputation for quality bicycle locks

I have used their Steelo-Flex 100/1000 for years, it fits neatly around your hips (its a plastic coated link lock) and is rated GOLD for security

pricepoint for pricepoint, they kill Kryptonite and Oxford locks on security Wink
  • 7 0
 Does the helmet come in a kit where you punch out all the ribs, like scale model aircraft? Ah, just jokes. I think cardboard as a crushable material makes lots of sense.

A see-through helmet? I want one for commuting to shove some little LEDs in there and make me look like a smart phone, hopefully attracting the driver's attention from their own so they'll stop SMSing for a minute.
  • 4 0
 See, this is why I love my southern neighbours. Precision, effectiveness and forward thinking engineering. The helmet design seems like a really good idea. You want a helmet absorb the energy if you take a nasty spill, not resist it. Even if this means buying a new helmet every time it takes a serious knocking.
  • 6 1
 love the look of this stuff, Abus seem to put some unique effort into their products, I'd love one of those new helmets! :-)
  • 6 0
 the helmet looks promising , the lock not so much...
  • 6 0
 That a wasp nest?
  • 5 1
 I will buy one of those locks and make a video on how easy it is to break it...
  • 3 0
 Yeah, those combo locks...a Junkie'd have it off in 3.1 seconds...
  • 7 2
 Certainly none of you tools ever had a lock like Abus, hmm??
  • 1 0
 Watch gone in 60 seconds.
It shows that bike locks will not stand up to a set of bolt cutters.
I just bought a $60 garage sale bike to ride around campus (no would want to steal it).
I am either holding or sitting on my mtb. I keep it in my dorm otherwise.
  • 3 0
 Love companies like this that re-invent products
  • 1 0
 I have used an abus bordo for a couple of years, best lock ever... fits nicely inbetween the pants and belt for rides to the bar
  • 1 0
 "the first thing you have to remember is that this helmet is on sale" - 'On sale' and 'for sale' - a subtle but important difference.
  • 1 1
 dunno about you guys but when i buy a helmet i usually dont worry about weather its recycleble... looks pretty awesome though and I'll bet their seriously light
  • 1 1
 This sort of selfishness is why our kids helmets will have oxygen masks, and a radiation force field, and there'll be nowhere to ride mountain bikes.
  • 2 0
 Both lookin' sweet, the kranium is definitely my next lid.
  • 1 0
 love the lock but all the pivot point must be weak spots for breakage or getting loose over time
  • 1 0
 Nice looking helmet that does not resemble hamburgers. Even has vent in back to let out brain farts.
  • 4 2
 lots of vents Wink
  • 2 0
 Cool looking lock.
  • 1 0
 that lock is a great idea
  • 1 0
 and new all-m from urge is mint
  • 1 0
 amazing products! future is now
  • 1 1
 Kinda just makes me want to take "A bus" instead.... couldn't resist... cool lock though!
  • 1 0
 Lock looks good, what really matters though is how strong it is.
  • 1 0
 Helmet looks awesome. I'll be trying to get one.
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