New cycle helmets emit stench if they need replacement
Skid-lid bonk-stink crack tech cracked in Germany
Remorseless German boffins have come up with the greatest boon to humanity since self-warming hand cream: they have invented cycle helmets which begin to smell disgusting once they need to be replaced.
Many cyclists like to wear helmets in order to protect the bonce in the event of a mishap. The cheapest and lightest type of bump-hat - thus the most commonly used - uses a foam-like substance which offers excellent impact protection, but only once. If such a cycle helmet is damaged, for instance by being dropped, it will not work nearly as well in a traffic accident; thus it should be replaced.
But in many cases a light, glancing bonk doesn't actually affect the integrity of the helmet. Naturally users are reluctant to shell out on a new one if this is actually unnecessary. But how to know?
Enter the boffins of the Fraunhofer-Institut für Umwelt-, Sicher- heits- und Energietechnik (UMSICHT), in Oberhausen. They have devised a crafty method of sealing up tiny pockets of what they refer to as "odoriferous oil" in the structure of a cycle helmet. Given a light knock, nothing happens: but a bump strong enough to affect the helmet's effectiveness will rupture the cells and release the stinky oils, informing its owner in no uncertain terms that it's time to get a new one.
Minor damage creates only an unpleasant niff, seemingly, but "large cracks really cause a stink" according to a statement issued by UMSICHT.
"Cyclists often replace their helmets unnecessarily after dropping them on the ground, because they cannot tell whether they are damaged or not," explains Doktor-Ingenieur Christof Koplin of UMSICHT. "The capsules eliminate this problem. If cracks form, smelly substances are released."
Koplin believes that the pong-titfer technology could also be used in industrial hard hats, motorbike helmets, pressure hoses and most other applications where an early warning of material deterioration would be useful. ®
Because nobody wants to walk around with a stinky helmet.
@lglethal Re: Cycle paths
...are invariably full of broken glass, grit and inconsiderately parked cars (certainly round where I live anyway). Where off-carriageway cycle tracks exist these are generally even worse in this regard, and there is an increased risk of accidents where the path rejoins the main carriageway or crosses a junction. They are death traps imho, and quite a few studies back this up. Most recent one I read indicated junctions of cycle track/road 3 times more likely to cause accident than if just using the road junction.
A study of the UK's largest purpose-built cycle path network in Milton Keynes over two decades found that the network suppressed rather than encouraged cycling and has proved to be consistently less safe than the town's unrestricted main roads.
So...if I were to fart in a bike shop...
...they'd think they needed to junk all their stock??
I was glad to be wearing one....
....when a lorry pulled out of a side road right in front of me "I left you room to go round guv.." Yes, on the wrong side of the road on a busy blind bend....
I was glad my wife was wearing one when some silly woman was paying more attention to her child in the back seat than the road she was pulling out into. Cue one cyclist on the floor with a helmet split in two.
My brother in law wishes his brother had been wearing one when a car overtook at the wrong point and hit him. Minor scratches, cuts and bruises, apart from the bang to his head which left him severly brain damaged.
Well, for my part...
I had a pretty spectacular fall and the helmet absorbed the impact well enough that I didn't even realise my head had contacted the ground. It also ensured that neither my face nor my glasses connected with the nasty rough bitumen --either would have been messy.