After I interned at Trek Bicycles for a summer, our class did a design project with their helmet team. Our task was to create a helmet for urban commuters.
We split into groups to create personas to design for. We decided to focus on creating a helmet for someone who wasn’t necessarily a hardcore cyclist, but commuted often.
Most premium helmets are designed for racing and high-speed cycling, so things like weight, ventilation, and aerodynamics are placed at the forefront of the design. Commuters need ventilation, but not to the same level, and aerodynamics and weight don’t count for much at lower speeds. Most racing helmets are also made of EPS foam and thin plastic shell construction, which lends itself to “speed form” styling. More stylish helmets tend to be made using hardshell construction, so I focused my exploration there.
Commuting in low-light conditions can be extremely dangerous. I developed a concept for the helmet to include front and back lighting. Having lights closer to driver-eye-level increases the likelihood of being seen.