The Swedish Hovding has a lofty goal: un-dorkify bicycle helmets without compromising their ability to keep bicycle riders un-dead. With claims of being one of the market's safest helmets, Hovding trades in the foam-filled plastic hat style of head safeguard for an admittedly much better looking, and interest-piquing, protective collar.
This 'round-the-neck helmet houses an airbag calibrated to deploy, inflate around the head as a hood, and provide maximal shock absorption upon impact. Its development is backed by extensive testing for reliability and effectiveness, some of which has been documented in the above video. The ultra-strong nylon fabric comprising Hovding airbags has also been tested for sturdiness, and proven not to rip if scraped along the ground or bike components during an accident. Once inflated, the airbag looks like an oversized motorcycle helmet, surrounding the rider's entire head, but leaving his/her field of vision open. Upon inflation, its pressure stays constant for several seconds--enabling it to withstand multiple shakes, rattles, and rolls--before a slow deflation process begins.
Research and statistical analysis have also gone into establishing algorithms that help Hovdings distinguish normal cycling jaunts, bumps in the road, even running up and down stairs on foot, from bike accidents.
Available in several waterpoof outer shell colors and patterns, Hovding also maintains a low, camouflaged profile or, in some cases, enhances the stylistic pursuits of cycling fashionistas. Riders can buy multiple (washable) shells to cover the airbag and complement their pursuits not to look like another Lycra-ed out doofus on deux wheels.