Commuters flock to the bike lanes, and we risk more bike2bike accidents than bike2car.
It's getting crowded right now.
Initially caused by the topic we are all getting so tired of, the Covid19 pandemic, but now also and more lasting, fuelled by the climate crisis, the energy crisis, and the "too little space in cities" crisis.
This has caused bike lanes to understandably become crowded with riders and their various vehicles.
Naturally, different people and their micromobility vehicles accelerate and travel at various speeds. Analog bicycles and young kids are the slowest, then we have e-scooters and e-bikes accelerating and riding faster, and then we have the ever more popular cargo bikes taking up much more space on the narrow bike lanes.
To ensure people can enjoy their commuting with no traffic jams and risk of bikes crashing each other, there is a need to rethink how bike lanes are designed …namely, wider.
Twenty years ago, there were no electric bikes, no cargo bikes, and the handlebar of an MTB bike was still within reach of your two hands. And lately, we have started to see the real elephants of the bike lanes, the commercial cargo bikes, a two-meter high and one-meter wide box on bicycle wheels, slow-moving and impossible to overtake.
Adding to the uptake in cycling is of course also that more and more car drivers start to find it super silly transporting themselves and one tonne of batteries to the city centre in their "sustainable" electric car and then going around for an hour to find a parking space having to a hefty parking fee.
This is not and never will be the future of urban transportation. It's much more convenient to take their bicycle from their homes in the suburbs to the train or Metro station, bringing their bike with them on the train and again using it for the last mile ride to their workplace or destination. It simply makes sense.
However, one thing we should question right now is Speed pedelecs riding on the bike lanes.
We cannot have people riding at 45 km/h on Speed pedelecs, mixing up among all the slower bicycles and not to forget, the many kids enjoying riding their bright coloured bikes. These Speed pedelec "e-bikes", which are no more than lightweight mopeds, should not be allowed onto the bicycle lanes in cities with higher speed limits than 30km/h; they belong on the street, where they will find enough space as there anyway will be fewer cars in the future.
Yes, it's all different now on the bike lanes.
The bicycle helmet, as we all know it, is decades old. It was invented back in the 70s and has not changed in principle since then.
These EPS helmets are basically a Polystyrene half-sphere core of some 30-35 mm thickness with a thin outer shell of either Polycarbonate or ABS plastic.
They are by nature hard and rigid and thus need various foam paddings and adjustment arrangements inside to make the helmet fit individual head shapes and forms.
Polystyrene used for bicycle helmets is quite hard, and they collapse or break at a particular impact to absorb the impact force. The material needs a thickness of approx. 30-35mm to protect the head from serious injury.
This makes EPS helmets, in general, quite bulky and uncomfortable to wear, when at the same time, they are hard to stove away when not used.
However, EPS helmets are due to the use of Polystyrene, a very cheap way to manufacture a helmet that actually protects the head very efficiently.
Newton-Rider decided back in 2020 to try to put some much needed new design, engineering and invention into the classic bicycle helmet.
The rising popularity of sustainable transportation modes such as micro-mobility and multi-modal transportation, combined with a heightened awareness of look and comfort, ensured the team that a modern bicycle helmet should be much thinner, much more connected to style and fashion.
Then also, a modern helmet should be soft and comfortable to wear, and last but not least, it should be foldable in an easy way.
To bring down the thickness from 30-35mm to the 16mm of the N1 helmet, we needed to invent new proprietary Non-Newtonian materials that were more effective in absorbing impact and thus did not need the same thickness.
The other benefit of this material is that the material is soft and bendable; combined with our flexible liner principle, we were able to provide a much more comfortable fit to the wearer.
Then finally, we designed the helmet in a very stylish way while at the same time allowing for it to fold in a pretty clever way.
We think we have achieved to create a bicycle helmet that genuinely is a helmet like no other.
The N1 is sleek, thin and stylish
The N1 is semi-soft
The N1 is foldable.
We are excited as a team to keep developing the N1 principles in the direction of even more sophisticated design and engineering.