Is this the most ridiculous cycling accessory ever?

She looks like she’s wearing the Michelin Man’s hand for a hat, or maybe she’s off to a fancy dress party and her mum’s knocked up the world’s worst Star Wars stormtrooper outfit. But no, sadly this is actually a new protection device for cyclists.

Aimed at commuters, it’s a personal airbag that stores in an oversize collar when not in use and deploys when sharp movements are detected. Which is great, until you sneeze. Or a low-hanging branch smacks you in the head.

Hövding’s head protection device is stored in an oversized collar. Picture from Hövding

The brainchild of Swedish design firm Hövding and dubbed ‘The invisible bicycle helmet’, it’s not just a concept, either – it’s on sale now for around £335/US$526. And it does actually seems to work, judging by the crash tests in the video below.

Okay, so it looks bloody stupid and we can’t see Sam Hill swapping his Troy Lee D3 for one any time soon, but the basic idea of a personal airbag for bike riders is actually not a bad one. If you really want to find out more about the Hövding helmet, head over to BikeRadar.

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