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Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

The Helmet Update

Volume 37, #5, December 13, 2019

All issues index

Ebike rideshare company Wheels solves helmet problem

Summary: The shared ebike company Wheels is equipping their bikes with a helmet that locks to the rear rack. You peel off a layer of the liner to have a fresh interior.

Wheels is a rideshare company that rents you an electric bike. On the rear carrier of the e-bike is a helmet. You unlock the helmet with your phone app and use it for free during the ride, relocking it on the bike when you are finished. The inside of the helmet has layers of biodegradable liner, and you just peel off a layer before you put it on to have a fresh helmet. For an introductory period Wheels gives you a 20 per cent discount on your ride if you use the free helmet. The concept is extremely well thought-out.

We have not seen the Wheels helmet in person, and the web description is minimal, but it is obviously a very well-rounded urban/skate-style model. There are no vents, probably to accommodate the peel-off liner. Since this is an ebike, that should not pose a problem for most riders for short rides in most climates. We are speculating that the peel-off layers may even provide some rotational energy mitigation, and the smooth round exterior is the shape we think is optimal for that. No helmet can fit all heads, of course.

We think this is a break-through moment for shared ebikes.