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The Evolution of Safety for Cyclists

With the rise in popularity of cycling in populated cities such as Melbourne, London and New York it is no surprise that there is also a rise in the number of rider related incidents. While these are as much due to social education on cyclist awareness and patience and caution on behalf of the cyclist, what is actually being done to improve rider safety and reduce the risk of injury? We take a look at a few technologies that are leading the way in the revolution of helmet design and improvement.

The History of the helmet

The bicycle helmet as we now know it evolved during the bike boom of the 1970’s off the back of the development of motorcycle and car race helmets. It was here that expanded polystyrene or EPS was recognised as a great absorber of shock and thus integrated into the helmet along with a hard outer shell. As you may have already concluded, there hasn’t been much development made in helmet design since as helmet construction is remains pretty much the same.

Introduce Koroyd

There are reasons that EPS has been so popular. Firstly it is great at doing what it is designed to do, absorbing impact and secondly it is light and cheap, making it perfect for a helmet. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon. One advancement can be found in Koroyd, a patented co-polymer extruded core that offers up to 30% improved impact protection than EPS with the added benefit of breathability that can’t be found in EPS.

Improvement in low impact collisions

While low impact collisions don’t pose the same level of risk of serious injury they are still capable of rendering the rider unconscious. This is probably the biggest downfall of EPS, it doesn’t work at low impact, it takes considerable force before it’s starts to collapse and absorb the shock. In effect this means the helmet remains hard at low impact causing more injury to the user than necessary. This is where Koroyd is different. Koroyd begins absorbing shock upon impact meaning that as soon as it’s required to start working it is, providing protection even when going slow.

Innovation as required

The development of Koroyd is a great example of how disruption in an established market can open up opportunity in a seemingly closed segment. It is through the development of new technologies that improvements are made to existing products and can offer businesses a unique opportunity of growth and position in the market. As a design consultancy based in Melbourne working with companies around Australia and the world we are constantly exposed to new and emerging technologies. The extent of this exposure across a broad range of technologies and industries puts up in a unique position in the development of new products. If you would like assistance with the development of a new innovation or technology we would love to be able to help. If so please contact Mark Bayly or Lee Baker on +61 3 9413 9000 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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Design Awards 2015 - Product Design Melbourne
A new helmet by Smith Optics using Koroyd
Super Materials - Industrial Design Melbourne
Koroyd showing its ability to absorb impact

 Super Materials - Melbourne Product Design

 The technology inside the helmet