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When I was in first grade, a duo of extremely cool, spandex-clad cyclists came to my school to give us a demonstration on helmet safety. In it, they dropped an egg on the pavement and told us that was our brains without helmet protection. Apart from a bout of anti-helmet-establishment fervor in my teens, that horrifically splattered egg stuck with me, so much so that when my roommate suggested we get bike share passes to navigate Brooklyn in the era of pandemic shutdown, I refused to ride without a helmet. No cracked brains for me. The helmet I got was this one: a collapsible, lightweight model from Spanish company Closca called the Loop, brought to the States by Priority Bicycles.
It collapses, which is ingenious.
Collapsible helmets (or foldable helmets, as they’re often called) are few and far between, which makes little sense when they’re so useful to bike riders. We’re all carrying backpacks or totes these days, but fat chance getting a standard helmet to fit into one. The best you can do is dangle it off a strap, where it’ll bump your legs incessantly. Smooshed down, the Loop becomes nearly half its size—45 percent of its size, to be exact. It fits into the smallish backpack I carry around with me when I bike, and the same could be said for most work or commuter bags. Popping it back into shape when it’s time to head home is painless.
The design is lightweight and minimalist.
Besides being few and far between, most collapsible helmets are alarmingly ugly. Sure, no price is too high to pay for safety, of course, but that one comes close. The Loop, as you can see, is futuristic and streamlined in design. It’s not going to make helmets all of the sudden seem super duper cool, but it’s far from the dorkiest of options. Beyond that, it weighs hardly a thing, and supports air flow through the dome when you’re riding—a necessity for anyone who, like me, has ever thought that biking four miles on a 95 degree, 820 percent humidity afternoon in the city was smarter than Ubering.
You’ll feel safe on a bike.
Design and portability aside, a helmet really has a singular job: to protect your skull. This one does. Closca’s Loop passed safety inspections by the CPSC in the U.S., as well as tests in Europe, that certify its strength. It will not collapse in case of an accident. That makes me feel a whole hell of a lot safer as I try to find bike paths in Brooklyn, manic Toyota Camry’s passing so close I can feel the engine heat on my calves. There are people in this world who ride their bicycles in traffic without wearing helmets. I’m glad to say I’m not one of them.
Photography and prop styling by Allie Holloway
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