Like many smart technology start-ups, Seattle-based Coros funded the Linx with a Kickstarter campaign, raising $319,765 from 2,135 backers.
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The helmet works by syncing wirelessly with your phone (using Bluetooth) and a free iOS or Android app. The app can connect to Strava, or you can use the inbuilt GPS to track your route or provide navigation.
The helmet straps have built-in bone conduction speakers that sit on the forward strap portion, contacting your cheekbones, to allow you to listen to music, podcasts or take calls.
The beauty of bone conduction technology is that it bypasses the eardrums, leaving your ears uncovered enabling you to hear traffic while riding. The sound waves are converted into vibrations, which are delivered through your upper cheekbones and received by your cochlea.
The Linx features an emergency contact system, whereby you create a contact via the app and the inbuilt G-sensor will send a message via your phone in the event of a crash. If your riding mates have Linx lids too, you can use the walkie-talkie feature, allowing for two-way communication.
A bar-mounted remote control has buttons for volume, pause and fast-forward, plus call and walkie-talkie pick-up/hang-up. It’s powered by a CR2025 cell battery, which will run for months before needing a change. I’ve consistently got around 9.5 hours of run time between charges on the lid, and that’s running audio constantly.
Fit is good with a lightly rounded shape with the tri-lock straps and slick buckle adjuster making it easy to secure, with the bone conductors sitting snugly on your cheekbones.
The finish is a combination of glossy hardshell and EPS foam for toughness, but it does look a little on the cheap side. With a matt finish and cleaner graphics the Linx would look an even more premium product. The Linx is also available in black/orange, a glossy orange and white combo and more subtle black and white.
The 419g helmet was styled by a team steeped in aero design, says Coros, and features 15 vents, although the Linx hasn’t been subjected to wind tunnel testing.
When riding, the large, flat, forward-facing ports channel air well, with deep internal channels keeping airflow rapid. The plush padding wicks sweat well to complete an impressive tech-laden lid.
The Coros app
The free Coros app, available for iOS and Android, equips the helmet with a fully functioning GPS tracker, route directions with voice turn-by-turn navigation, and connection status between your phone, helmet and the bar-mounted smart remote. The walkie-talkie function can be controlled via the app, so you can add riding buddies to the private network.
The app is well laid out, simple to navigate and has proven to be consistently stable. You can use the Coros app as a sole connected companion by adding your personal profile details with a ranking for you and fellow Coros users, or you can connect to Strava via the app if you’re one of its myriad of users.