Eurobike, the world’s largest cycling trade show, isn’t just an opportunity for big-name brands to display their goods and strike deals. It’s also an opportunity for designers and entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas – often in the airport-like corridors of the show.
The helmet has been updated since Jack saw it in June and now its creators have launched an Indiegogo campaign to finalise the design and bring the commuter helmet to the market.
Inflabi’s founders, Maximillian Klyk and Jonas Engelhardt, had the idea for the Inflabi helmet in 2020.
Speaking to BikeRadar, Klyk says the duo, who met at university and have backgrounds in industrial design, were doing lots of mountain biking at the time.
When mountain biking, Klyk says they would always use helmets, but they wouldn’t when commuting by bike.
Klyk and Engelhardt began to think about why this was, realising everyday commuters often struggle with storing helmets when heading out to the shops or restaurants, for instance.
Klyk says people who cycle for sport choose helmets carefully and invest more money, so they have fewer issues with discomfort than everyday cyclists.
The pair came up with the idea of an inflatable helmet as a solution to these problems. The packable design of the Inflabi means users can store it easily and avoid helmet fit and comfort issues.
Klyk and Engelhardt were awarded a six-month scholarship in October 2021 to develop prototypes and a business model, followed by another scholarship for research and testing at the Technical University of Darmstadt.
The Inflabi helmet is said to offer several benefits beyond convenience.
Inflabi promises the helmet to be up to four times safer than the European (EN1078) testing standards.
The helmet absorbs direct impacts through its inflated air chambers. Klyk says the helmet will also protect users against rotational impacts, which can lead to brain injury, without the complexity of an added safety system such as MIPS.
Because there is no direct connection between the upper and lower layers of the chambers, on impact, force isn’t transferred from one to the other.
Conventional foam helmets can crack on impact and are therefore compromised in terms of safety. But Inflabi says its helmet will be reusable after a crash, as long as it is inflated to 2 bar (roughly 30psi) and still airtight.
A $10,000 goal
Klyk says Inflabi is aiming to raise a minimum of $10,000 through its Indiegogo campaign to bring the helmet to the market next year.
Inflabi is confident it will reach its target and says backers of the campaign will be offered rewards and the first Inflabi helmets.
The helmet is still in the prototype phase, but compared to the version we saw at Eurobike, it now has a fabric exterior shell for a cleaner look, alongside a refined Schrader valve for inflation and deflation.
The helmet, expected to cost €159, does not yet have official safety certification. Klyk says this is because Inflabi is still optimising the air cushions for safety.
He says the helmet has passed internal testing and should pass official certification by April.
View the Inflabi Indiegogo campaign.