“Cycling helmets haven’t undergone any significant innovation in over 30 years,” says Jamie Cook, co-founder of cycling headwear startup Hexr, “so there was a huge opportunity to shake up the industry and design something better.” The 3D-printed Hexr helmet (£350) is not only based around a pioneering construction, but each example is precisely measured to fit its wearer’s head.
The seed of the idea was sown when Cook was an undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering at University College London, tutored by famed materials scientist Mark Miodownik. “I started designing helmets around a honeycomb structure,” recalls Cook. “I built a test rig and they kept outperforming traditional designs in terms of safety.” While conventional cycling helmets, with their expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam inner, harden under impact, Cook’s honeycomb mesh buckles and bends – something he went on to research for a further three years at Oxford University “under leading professors in brain and impact mechanics”.
Safety is also aligned to a good fit – something that is rarely achieved with standard sizes and is remedied by Hexr’s custom scanning process, which captures a 360-degree, 30,000-point digital mesh image of each client’s head. Hexr will send the scanner directly to the customer anywhere in Europe, and arrange its collection once the data has been gathered. The resulting, precisely fitting 3D-printed helmet is then delivered in four to eight weeks, packing elite-level aerodynamics and understated all-black aesthetics.