SMITH helmets to have integrated Aleck crash sensors
Aleck and SMITH will bring out a range of helmets with integrated crash sensors for spring 2024
Putting integrated crash sensors into bike helmets is a great idea. The majority of “serious” cyclist now wear helmets on every ride: I can’t remember the last time I saw a rider without one. Helmets are now just part of our uniform and if you ride sportives, fondos or races then you have to wear one.
Aleck make wireless audio systems for outdoor sports and the Tocsen crash sensor. Tocsen can be mounted to any helmet where it can detect a crash. The sensor connects via Bluetooth to your phone and you select what contacts you’d like alerted in case of an accident. Once activated the sensor lets off an audible alarm and begins a countdown, allowing you time to cancel if it’s not an emergency. However if it’s a real crash, then alerts are sent out to your contacts.
SMITH started making ski goggles back in the 1960s and have since gone on to make helmets and eyewear for cyclists, runners and winter-sports. Their helmets use Koroyd, a material made up of cylinders that crumple on impact. Koroyd is super lightweight and being made of hollow cylinders allows for improved ventilation compared to solid EPS foam. In addition to Koroyd many of their helmets include MIPS protection. The MIPS system reduces some of the rotational forces that can occur in a crash. And they’re good looking!
SMITH and Aleck partnership
The partnership between SMITH and Aleck makes a lot of sense. Rather than the sensor being an aftermarket add-on, Tocsen crash sensors will presumably be built into the helmet. Integration like this will give solo riders some added security on their rides. I know my partner is always worried when I head out on my own, whether on or off-road. Knowing that if you do have a serious off, you can be traced is a major bonus. Getting help quickly is vital in a first-aid situation and this sensor could make a massive difference in an accident.
Stephen Catterson, founder and CEO of Aleck said that “the integration of Aleck CS into premium helmets elevates head protection to include impact detection and a valuable connection to help in the event of a serious crash, especially for those riding alone on roads or trails.” The mention of premium helmets indicates that you’ll only see this technology on their higher-priced helmets.
The current Tocsen sensor weighs 10g and measures 12mm thick with a diameter of 32mm. If it is built in to the helmet presumably we’ll see a slight weight reduction? The current sensor has a battery life of 40 hours and a 1.5 month stand-by time. There’s no running cost for using it the sensor which is an added bonus. We’ll keep an eye out for how this partnership works and what the helmets look like and see how they perform.