The latest innovative gadget helmet to hit the market, but is it a smart one?
When I last saw a go go gadget helmet, the Livall BH60SE, I was really impressed with its functionality and form. So with the bar set pretty high, the MFI Lumex Carbon Pro helmet has a lot to live up to.
Out the box it’s clear MFI has worked hard to on the remit of constructing a helmet that is totally wearable. Naturally it meets the CE standard in terms of safety, but in purely an aesthetic opinion – the ESP molded and carbon shelled helmet is a very reasonable looking lid, not that dissimilar to either the Uvex Boss Race or the Kask Mojito.
It’s the weight of the MFI Lumex Carbon Pro Helmet does give more away, tipping the scales at 310g, between 60 and 90 grams more than the afore mentioned helmets.
It’s not a bad weight increase considering you gain front and rear lights, an accelerometer and speakers!
Controlling the front and rear lights of the MFI Lumex Carbon Pro helmet are done via a remote handlebar mount. There’s indication options for front, left and straight on.
Measuring 4x5cm the unit is a large addition to the bars, which are already reasonably busy with most riders now having some kind of bike computer or light. The obvious up side of the size is that it’s easy to use, especially when in thick winter gloves, but it’s location will need some thought.
The other catch is that the unit only comes with Zip ties, making it a semi-permanent fixture, which isn’t ideal for so many reasons, including ease of charging and multiple bike using.
The brake like function is controlled automatically thanks to a hidden accelerometer, that measures the change in speed, so when the rider brakes all lights become illuminated, highlighting the riders manoeuvre.
Using all the light functions is a breeze, the unit is a bit clunky looking, and ideally could do with being made to look more in keeping with the design of the actual helmet, but it is easy to hit the button on the move.
The only downside it that you also need to remember to switch the direction off and there’s only the faintest red led to tell you that it’s still flashing. It’s helpful to have a low level light when night riding, but it does need to be slightly brighter all the same.
Using the bone conductive speakers and microphone of the MFI Lumex Carbon Pro Helmet are even easier, assuming of course that you have a phone that can be paired with the Bluetooth function. I set up music playing really swiftly and was happy to find that although loud enough to hear, the bone conductivity system over in ear headphones meant I wasn’t totally isolated from my surroundings, even allowing me to hear an annoying ticking noise coming from my bike (gotta love a pressfit BB30, hey!).
Similarly to the handlebar mount, the bluetooth controlled chin strap buttons that control the sound and phone answering are chunky, making them easy to use on the fly, even when using winter gloves, but its just so ugly in terms of design, it honestly makes keeping this functionality on the otherwise good looking and low profile MFI Lumex Carbon Pro Helmet questionable.
At £150 price tag for the MFI Lumex Carbon Pro helmet put’s it more or less in the high end bracket purchase wise, and to be honest your probably looking at 50% of that price being the cost of all the gadgetry. It is a good looking lid, but with no MIPS or other on board safety system, it is a pretty basic one.
That said, what you get in terms of light function, speakers and the automatic brake lights in such a small package isn’t something to be sniffed at, and if you are looking for this level of functionality you are going to have to cough up the cash as there’s nothing quite as well put together on the market.
A good looking helmet with great functionality all squeezed in. It lacks some of the safety features that the similarly smart Livall BH60SE helmet has, and does need a couple of modifications to be really on the most wanted list, but it's pretty close.