Let’s start this one off with talking about who Hedkayse are. They are a UK based cycle helmet company that have designed and manufactured the world’s first reusable, foldable cycling helmet. They have achieved this through years of innovation and development to produce their own trademarked material called Enkayse™. This material replaces the usual (one, sometimes two impact) EPS that other manufacturers use and is made up of a mixture of over 500 secret herbs and spices to create a fully reusable cushion for your head that bounces back after impact, a little bit like memory foam. The guys at Hedkayse shipped to us their new helmet named Hedkayse One for test and review, so make yourself a cuppa, put your feet up and see what they’re all about right here.
Starting at the parcel, it was swiftly delivered safe and sound (not that it would matter if it was thrown about in the delivery van…) and upon opening we were presented with a stylish and hard wearing zipped carry case/storage bag. The bag has a very nice look and feel to it and has been manufactured to fit in the helmet and strap alone with minimal movement inside. There are two vented areas on the front too to keep it breezy inside. There is a handle on the one end for easy transportation and a hard beaded rim around the underside to allow the bottom fabric tray itself to remain in good condition when put down on the ground. The inside of the bag is easy to clean and waterproof. The bag is a nice touch to be greeted with when spending £150 on a helmet, knowing you can keep it in good condition when not in use.
First impressions on the feel and look of the helmet are very good. It feels well made, sturdy, surprisingly light at 450 grams (my 7IDP helmet is 430 grams), it is amazingly comfy and is made from a mixture of Hedkayse’s newly developed Enkayse™ material (as described above) on the inside and TAF on the outside. TAF is a ballistic nylon that is very abrasive resistant so it won’t rip or fray if torn, has low friction capabilities to reduce neck jerk upon impact, allows movement of the Enkayse™ sections inside and is also very waterproof. The tabs between the Enkayse™ sections are made from a dyneema/Kevlar weave and are sonic welded to secure them for the life of the helmet. These also allow the helmet to move which allows rotational forces to be reduced in oblique impacts. On the back of the helmet is a bulky fabric velcro strap to securely pull the helmet together whilst in use on the trails, similar to the ‘clicky’ or ‘twisty’ tabs on a conventional helmet.
Proceeding to look at the Hedkayse One in more detail reveals their all new X-Strap Fit System. This is a newly designed and manufactured strap system that has four main adjustable straps. These are securely held in place by orange Perma-fit clips and an adjustable plastic pad at the back to allow the straps to sit perfectly around your head, whatever shape or size you are (as long as it’s within 49-58.5cm). The X-Strap system is very easy to adjust while the helmet is mounted on your head, using a mirror to get each strap in the correct location before stiffly clicking shut each buckle. The chin strap, simply put is on another level. You know when you’re riding in the winter, with frozen fingers and you can’t even muster the strength to push together the two pins on a conventional chin strap to take off your helmet? What about if you have poor grip or arthritic fingers? Well fear not, the Hedkayse One features a patented easy release, two fingers, one pull tab that instantly releases the buckle and the helmet is free to be removed. The whole helmet does take some time to set up right, but once it’s done it’s done, and I can even begin to explain how simple and easy the chin strap technique is to use, and how grateful a lot of riders are going to be when they discover it!
If you are a commuter by bicycle and need a helmet to fit into your bag then the Hedkayse One is for you. By simply undoing the velcro strap at the back and pulling the rear of the helmet upwards, it can be effectively squashed inwards from either side to a width of just 100mm, or just under 4 inches for those of you that work in imperial.
This is especially handy and would easily fit into a backpack or large handbag for easy transportation. The good thing about the way the folding system has been designed is that all of the previously adjusted straps stay in place and are unaffected; it is only the main velcro strap at the back that needs to be threaded back through the bracket and pulled tight again once the helmet is on your head. To take the helmet off, fold it and secure it with the included Hedkayse branded strap takes less than one minute. Simples!
We rode at various locations throughout the UK to test the Hedkayse One. We rode everything from South Wales singletrack, across to the rock gardens of Shropshire and up to the glorious mountains of the Lake District. Once the helmet is properly adjusted and fitted it stayed in place throughout all applications and riding scenarios. We tackled fast and flowy sections, jumps, drops, rock gardens and most importantly plenty of falls, tumbles and scrapes on low hanging branches. It withstood everything we threw at it, as you’d expect. It is surprisingly breezy for how solid it feels too and I didn’t find my head sweating any more than it does with my usual helmet. This is down to the 4 inline vents across the radius of the helmet. I also didn’t feel like my head got any wetter than it usually does when it rains. The inside of the helmet features an anti-bacterial medical grade liner for easy cleaning and good hygiene. Pretty impressive, huh?
We asked riders who we met on the trails and trips we were on for their opinion on the helmet and apart from the expensive price tag it received a very positive set of responses. For example, they were impressed by the innovation behind the design, the fact that they are actually manufactured in the UK and after trying it on, how comfy it is. Hedkayse say that their Enkayse™ material inside the helmet moulds to the shape of your head over time, so the more riding you do, the comfier it becomes. Win win!
We believe the team at Hedkayse have created a thing of the future here. No, it doesn’t look like a normal helmet with a ‘cool’ peak on the front (that snaps off on its first minor impact anyway) and yes, it is expensive for what it is, or is it? Generically speaking, a rough price on a ‘normal’ helmet of good quality is around £80. Once that helmet has taken a significant impact it technically should go in the bin and you’re already up to the same cost of the Hedkayse One after you’ve bought your second one. Now think about this, the Hedkayse One can be reused again, and again and again and it will keep bouncing back until you have hit your head so many times that you decide mountain biking isn’t for you.
We think that the guys here have revolutionised the helmet industry with their original UK based design, innovation and manufacture of the Hedkayse One with its rugged looks, bounce back Enkayse™ material inside, awesome folding capabilities and their super easy to use X-Strap Fit System. This helmet is a thing of the future and if you want to see for yourself, click the link below and take a look at their website.