Sports and Fitness June 28, 2020
A few years ago I was cut up on a round about and knocked off my bike, luckily I got away with just a few bruises but it could have been so much worse, I had never felt particularly vulnerable on a bike until this happened.
The LIVALL BH51M Neo helmet goes above and beyond when it comes to safety features on a helmet, this is LIVALL’s flagship helmet built around the success of its predecessor but with two more features squeezed in. Let’s dive right in with all the tech packed into the helmet starting with the integrated LED lights, built into the front and back of the helmet it makes you more visible in all directions, the brake warning light is activated when the gravity acceleration sensor detects a significant deceleration, the front and rear lights will be enhanced for 3 seconds to draw attention from surrounding traffic.
The lights also work as indicator signals, allowing you to alert surrounding traffic of your turning intention to enhance your visibility, this is operated by a Bluetooth remote that can be mounted on the handlebars. The lights can be set to come on automatically in dark conditions and have a 270-degree field of view, they can also be switched on and off via the remote. The SOS alert function will activate in the event of a collision and sends the riders Google map location to their pre-selected emergency contacts, if you fall there is a 90 second countdown which can be cancelled if you do not require assistance.
This feature requires the user’s smartphone to have GPS and 4G data enabled, LIVALL state that the helmet cannot guarantee to detect all falls. The SOS alarm can also be manually activated if you are in distress by simply pressing the red button on the remote for 5 seconds. There are two Bluetooth stereo speakers and a windproof hands-free microphone which lets you safely listen to music or podcasts from your smart device without covering your ears, allowing you to remain aware of your surroundings. This can also be used to access voice prompted GPS sat nav directions, take calls hands free when it is safe to do so and access the Walkie-Talkie feature which lets you communicate with your fellow cyclists when riding in a group (even if you are at the back).
If all of that wasn’t enough there is also an Anti-loss Alarm that activates when the helmet is connected to your phone and exceeds 15m, both the helmet and phone will alarm, the Auto-off turns off the helmet after the phone is disconnected for 15minutes to conserve the battery life. The Neo is compatible with Strava, iHealth and Siri through the LIVALL Riding app, it is constructed from a high strength ABS shell with high quality EPS Foam and handmade PU Leather Brim with an IPX4 water resistance rating. All this built in tech means the helmet is rather weighty at 480g and the lack of ventilation means this helmet is better suited for daily commutes rather than long leisurely rides.
The battery life can last for a maximum of 10hours when used with just the default lights but this is reduced with all the tech activated and it takes 3hours to fully recharge. The BH51M Neo has a lot of features to keep you safe on the road, the audio could be distracting, the quality of the speakers is ok but won’t impress audiophiles, however it is a handy addition for keeping in essential contact with people and receiving directions. If you regularly commute on busy roads the BH51M Neo does a great job of improving visibility and increasing your safety on route.
- 270 degree lights
- Brake lights
- Indicator system
- SOS mode
- Comfortable fit
- Built in speakers
- Auto shut off
- Reasonable battery life
- Audio could pose a distraction
- Small speakers lose detail in music
- Lacks ventilation