Bicycle fan creates folding helmet made from recycled ocean plastic

Borehamwood-based Josh Cohen's bicycle product has found celebrity endorsement


A foldable cycling helmet made from recycled ocean plastic which actually fits in your bag when not being used is set to become a retail winner for Jewish bike enthusiast Josh Cohen.

After experiencing a series of frightening incidents on the roads of central London while using Santander bikes, Borehamwood-based Josh, 25, thought the time was right to develop a portable helmet that was convenient to carry around while being affordable and environmentally friendly.

Jamie Redknapp, the former England, Spurs and Liverpool player now commentating for Sky Sports, has been among Cyclo’s biggest supporters, actively posting messages of praise on social media – particularly around the use of recycled ocean plastic.

“Even though I was sticking to the cycle lanes in London, I just didn’t feel safe,” said Mr Cohen, who was working for a marketing agency and using his bike to attend meetings when he first considered developing the helmet.

“After coming between two buses on Waterloo Bridge, I thought to myself: ‘Why aren’t helmets automatically provided for anyone choosing to use a bike?’ I started doing some research and took it from there.”

The former JFS student, who co-founded the product with business partner Dom Cotton, accepted there had been several attempts to market a foldable helmet and that the market is already a crowded one.

“The difference with mine is that has been created after taking on board the opinions of cyclists themselves,” he says, pointing to the research project conducted by the government innovation agency Innovate UK into his project.

“We put the current existing foldables on the table and the fundamental truth was that cyclists said they were not ready to swop their current traditional helmets for what was on offer.

“We were told that they found the current foldables too expensive, cumbersome in that they didn’t fold how they said they would, and too complex to work out how to use them in the first place.”

Mr Cotton added: “Josh’s experience of riding in London highlighted a clear gap in the market. Helmets are really important but can be inconvenient, especially for urban riders. We’ve created something that will help more people to ride more often and protect themselves and our planet in the process.”

Mr Cohen, who studied business management and marketing at Nottingham Trent University, said he developed Cyclo with simplicity in mind. Unlike some foldables, which can be made of up to 100 different pieces, his Cyclo product uses just three.

Setting his product apart from the others was the use of recyclable ocean plastic – the result of a partnership with the Plastic Oceans UK charity,  a leading supplier of ocean plastic. 

“Consumers today what to buy not just brands, but brands that mean and do something,” he says. “With Cyclo we’ve developed something that is affordable, sustainable and safe.”

The Cyclo is worn like a normal helmet when the cyclist is on the road, but once it's time to tuck it away in a bag or backpack, the user presses a button allowing the top "dome" part of the helmet to swivel laterally so it nests upside-down within the helmet's bottom section.

Trials of the Cyclo, which will retail at around £50, have been met with widespread praise.

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