Luckily for all the super keen cyclists on our roads, bike safety gear in 2021 extends beyond just a helmet.
With an ever-expanding network of shared paths and cycle lanes in WA, and after an increased interest in cycling during COVID-19 restrictions in early 2020, cycling for leisure and transport is experiencing high participation rates.
According to the WA’s People’s Voice Survey, three in 10 WA residents rode their bike at least fortnightly during April 2020, with around 40 per cent of these people riding more regularly than before COVID-19.
But safety continues to be a key issue for riders, especially those who ride on the road, with a 2020 RAC survey finding that six in 10 cyclists don't feel safe sharing the road with cars.
To help make the journey safer, riders can now choose from a range of innovative and protective gear that not only provides extra padding and visibility, but can also add a little extra styling to your ride.
Before purchasing or using any of these cycling safety gadgets, make sure they comply with Australian cycling safety standards. Refer to the relevant Product Safety Laws here.
1. Hövding inflatable bike helmet
This Swedish-designed helmet is part-helmet, part-airbag. Fastened around the neck similar to a collar, the helmet records its wearer’s movements 200 times per second to check for any changes in behaviour or irregular movements. If there’s a crash, the cyclist’s abnormal activity triggers the inflation of the airbag-like helmet.
The Hövding helmet is made of ultra-strong nylon material that won’t rip when it hits the ground, and once inflated, the helmet covers a larger area around your head than a traditional cycling helmet.
Given concussion is one of the main causes of brain injury, a helmet that protects your whole head is a priceless piece of equipment.
2. Zackees™ Turn Signal Cycling Gloves
The fear of not being seen while cycling is common amongst riders, but the Zackees™ Turn Signal Cycling Gloves can turn your hands into glowing indicator lights. As the name suggests, the gloves feature turn lights, and allow the cyclist to alert other road users of any changes in direction.
The gloves can be activated by simply pressing your thumb against your index finger when you intend to turn or change directions. This activation switch is made of metal plates inside the gloves, and will stay blinking until you separate your two fingers. To clearly display the gloves, cyclists are advised to signal as usual by sticking an arm out in the direction of your turn.
Along with these impressive safety features, the gloves are machine washable and rechargeable by USB. After a full charge (which typically takes around four hours), you’ll have six weeks’ worth of use before they need to be recharged.
3. Levi’s® smart jacket
Designed for city commuters, the Levi’s® Commuter X Jacquard by Google Trucker Jacket is one of the first washable, ‘smart’ jackets on the market. Designed in partnership with Google, the jacket links to your phone via Bluetooth, and lets you control your music, take phone calls or access GPS by tapping or brushing the cuff of the sleeve.
Each jacket contains a snap tag that links to a phone app, with a battery life of up to 14 days. As mobile phones are one of the most common form of distraction on our roads (for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike), the jacket is a fantastic way to limit distraction and ensure hands-free phone access while cycling.
4. LIVALL ‘Smart Cycle’ Helmet
Featuring LED safety lights, an SOS alert system and turn signal indicators, the high-tech, lightweight LIVALL BH51M Helmet combines safety features with impressive connectivity and Bluetooth.
The sleek helmet has automatic inductive LED safety lighting, a hands-free microphone, and two Bluetooth stereo speakers so you can hear GPS sat nav from your phone while being safely aware of your surroundings.
One of the helmet’s most interesting features is its fall detection technology. If you have an accident, the helmet activates an SOS alert on your phone that is sent to a designated contact along with your GPS location.
5. Cycliq Fly6 rear-facing bike camera
Similar to a car’s dash cam, the purpose of a bike camera is to document the events of an accident or crash. If the unthinkable were to happen, the Cycliq Fly 6 HD Camera gives you the ability to record your ride and store footage in case of an accident.
The camera system works by locking all captured audio and video at the moment of impact – so even if your bike is damaged, you’ll still have recorded footage from this compact camera. The battery allows for up to five hours of continuous recording, and the camera has a special ‘light mode’ to maximise visibility if you’re riding at night. It links up with the Cycliq app, so you’ll be able to monitor, edit or share footage on the go.
A more connected WA
Cycling isn't just a great way to get around and stay fit and healthy, it also helps tackle traffic congestion and harmful vehicle emissions. Find out more about how RAC is working to support cycling as part of a more connected WA.
Last updated: January 2021