More safety, more comfort: smart clothing for bikers
9 Feb 2021
Biker gear is more than just lifestyle. The right clothing shields us from all kinds of weather and ensures more safety on the road. These days, helmets or protective gear are even becoming intelligent. Manufacturers are launching an increasing number of equipment parts with (smart) functions which provide us with ongoing information about the ride and the vehicle, make long tours more comfortable and increase our safety even further. Find an overview of a few particularly helpful and innovative items of clothing here.
Intelligent helmets: full information at a glance
At present, this is still a long way off, but several companies are already working on its realisation. BMW even presented a prototype of a smart helmet as early as 2016 at the CES in Las Vegas. What makes it intelligent? An integrated head-up display in the visor shows information such as speed, fuel level or GPS navigation while driving. In addition, the helmet is equipped with an action cam at the front and rear. The Electronics can be operated with a controller on the left handlebar. According to the manufacturer, the battery will last five hours. In terms of equipment, this digitalised head protection, whenever it is ready to be launched, will abruptly propel us into the future.
Motorcycle jackets with airbag
Airbags are part of the basic equipment of every car. Some clever minds figured that what they do in the car could also work on the bike. Nowadays, numerous manufacturers offer motorcycle clothing with "airbags" to make cruising safer. But how does it work exactly? That varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some jackets and vests protect sensitive parts of the body such as the back, kidneys, chest and shoulders with the help of an electronically controlled gas cartridge connected via hoses to sewn-in airbag chambers. In the event of a collision, these chambers are inflated within 25 milliseconds. Easier and cheaper than such electronically controlled high-tech systems are mechanical solutions in which the jacket and bike are connected by a ripcord. If it is released, the airbag inflates.
No more cold hands
Good gloves are indispensable for biking. In cold and wet weather they make the difference between a relaxed tour and ice-cold torture. With the help of heatable gloves, your hands are guaranteed to stay warm on the road. And you don't need to worry about safety either as the gloves are literally armoured. One model, for example, is made of abrasion-resistant nylon, leather, a polyester-Thinsulate insulation layer and a waterproof, breathable membrane - resulting in the best possible protection for your hands.
Jeans with gel seat pad
Sitting on the bike for long periods of time can be quite an ordeal for the derriere. Fortunately, there are motorcycle pants, jeans and specially designed biker underpants with integrated seat pads. A brand new biker jeans, for example, has an integrated gel padding on the backside which is sewn with a durable, abrasion-resistant aramid lining. This way the seat padding is not visible from the outside. Especially if you are a fan of hardtail motorcycles, you will appreciate the increased comfort. But also riders of other bikes benefit from such solutions. With a soft padding like this, we no longer need to worry about comfort on long rides.