Let's face it, even the best cycling helmets can feel like a bit of a nuisance sometimes. They might be light but they definitely take up space in the bag when they are not in use, not to mention they will make your head warmer – urban helmets anyway – and screw your hair too, which is admittedly not great when cycling to work.
What can a hairstyle- and safety-conscious urban cyclist do to protect its skull without compromising on comfort and convenience? They can get the Hövding 3, the third iteration of the "safest cycle helmet in the world", which is now smarter than it's ever been and comes equipped with a range of safety and convenience features, at a price.
Should you buy the Hövding 3 Cycling Airbag
There is a lot to like about the Hövding 3. It's more comfortable than its predecessors and uses a BOA fastening system to make sure it fits perfectly for everyone. The BOA-fit system is often used in cycling helmets but also in the best cycling shoes and even the best trail running shoes too.
Of course, just being a comfortable wouldn't be enough, the Hövding 3 also needs to be safe and fast-reacting to fulfill its purpose. Fear not as the response time of the Hövding 3 cycling airbag is crazy fast: it deploys within 0.1 seconds in event of an accident.
The Hövding 3 doesn't just guess what an accident might be. According to Hövding, the algorithm used to determine what the cyclist is doing reads movements 200 times per second. In all fairness, we didn't try to trigger the airbag deployment sensor on purpose to test this, but that said, we never purposefully fall of a bike to test the integrity of cycling helmets either.
You will most likely have your phone on you when riding in the city but it is in fact highly recommended when wearing the Hövding 3. The accompanying mobile app can track battery life, the distance you travel and even compare this to other ways to move around the city (how much money saved, favourite routes etc.).
As well as that, you can also set up an emergency contact through the app using the In Case of Emergency (ICE) function – when the Hövding 3 is deployed, a message is sent directly to your ICE notifying of an accident and latest location.
There is one thing you will need to do with the Hövding 3 that regular cycling helmets don't require: it needs to be charged in order for it to work. One 2-hour charge will fully charge the battery and it will be enough for up to 15 hours of active cycling. The Hövding 3 has a USB Type-C charging port and it comes with its own charging cable.
Using the Hövding 3 is pretty simple, once you adjusted the fit with the BOA dial (this only needs to be done once), put the cover on it, wrap it around your neck, zip it up and button it up at the front to activate the airbag. You are ready to go!
Talking about covers: the Hövding 3 comes with a standard black cover but there are five additional designs to choose from, for a little extra money, of course. The paisley cover looks like one of those old curtains in your nan's house and will most likely make you stand out from the crowd.
All the great features do come at a price: the Hövding 3 is by no means a cheap piece for safety equipment. However, considering all the convenience and safety features, it is worth the price for people who are happy to pay the premium for being safe and stylish riding the best ebikes in town.