Friday, August 5, 2016

BSNYC Friday No Quiz Instead Let's Follow Up On That "Smart Helmet!"

It's a Friday in August.  Therefore, in my benevolence, I am going to allow you to go forth into the weekend without first turning your brains inside out with an arduous quiz.  Instead, I'm going to update you on the current state of affairs with my Coros LINX smart helmet:



As you may recall, here's where matters stood after my first ride:

--The audio quality was somewhere between "on hold with the cable company" and "listening to your smartphone on speaker;"
--The helmet seemed to spontaneously un-pair itself from my phone while I was riding (in its defense people, animals, and things generally do their best to un-pair themselves from me, so who can blame it);
--Owing to the above, the emergency notification function did not seem to work, though as you can see from the above video my test was less than scientific;
--I was subsequently unable to pair the helmet with my phone again.

So now you're basically up to date.

As it happened, yesterday afternoon I noticed a hole in my schedule, and though it was small I was determined to squeeze a ride into it.  Therefore, I grabbed my Engin and my safety orange nerd lid and spun my tiny little gear on up to the mountain bike trails:


By the way, so determined was I not to waste any riding time that I didn't even bother to change into stretchy clothes first.  Instead, I fled with only what was on my back at that moment.  The recent brutal heat wave is over and so for the most part I was comfortable, but during the ride the sweat did fall from my brow in just such a way as to make it appear as though I'd urinated in my pants:


Of course I could have saved even more time by riding a bike with gears, but that's the kind of sensible observation that will get you kicked off this blog.  Plus, I lost the remainder of both my common sense and my dignity two children ago.

As for the helmet, I successfully paired it again by "forgetting" the device from my phone and connecting it again from scratch.  I also placed the remote on my stem, which you can't do with those pathetic stubby little stems the kids are putting on their mountain bikes these days, so there:


Anyway, the helmet was definitely paired, which I confirmed by queuing up some music, and I snugged up the helmet straps a bit to see if that helped with the poor sound quality.

It did not.

Next, as I spun my way on up to Westchester I decided to try the calling feature, so I placed one to my emergency contact, and the sound quality was perfectly adequate in this regard.  Sure, you can place a call using your headphones just as easily, but I suppose technically you could get a ticket for doing that in some jurisdictions, plus how often do you get to call someone and explain to them you're speaking to them through the miracle of "bone conduction?"

Sure, if you're Mario Cipollini it's just assumed, but for the rest of us it's kind of a novelty.

Before long I reached the mall that shares the ridge with the mountain bike trail, and realizing I hadn't eaten since the morning I popped into a popular high-end grocery store for a very quick lunch.  Not being one of those people who keeps his helmet on while in the grocery store (seriously, it's almost as bad as walking around with toilet paper stuck to your shoe, don't do it), I left it outside with the bike.  Then after my light repast of kale and craft beer, I returned to the helmet, only to find that of course in my absence it had un-paired itself again.  So I tried to re-pair it over and over again.  As I tried, the helmet kept saying "pairing" out loud in a female voice, which probably sounded odd to any bystanders, though maybe I'm the only person who could hear thanks to the hallucinatory miracle that is bone conduction.

Either way, I once again had to quit the app, "forget" the device, and start again from scratch.

This did the trick, which I confirmed by piping some music through it, but now the music was all glitchy and kept skipping, which I thought we had left behind in the vinyl era.

So I gave up on the music and finally hit the trails proper.  I knew the helmet was paired, and so once again I decided to test the "emergency contact" feature, which honestly I think is completely stupid but still I WANTED TO SEE IT WORK GODDAMN IT!  Furthermore, I was also determined to be more scientific about the whole thing this time.  So instead of simply dropping and chucking the helmet repeatedly I unfastened it and left it sitting on my head as I rode.  Then, as I rolled on down the trail, I knocked it off in order to emulate what would happen if I were to suddenly go flying over the bars.  The helmet did land a little ways from me as you can see in the photo below, but not far enough to un-pair itself from my phone, which I confirmed by playing some music through it once I retrieved it:


I then eagerly texted my emergency contact to see if she'd gotten anything.

She had not.

I'm sure some brainiac will tell me I'm missing something, but as far as I'm concerned this feature doesn't work.

Oh, and I also tested the ride tracker again, but only for a very short portion of the ride since it eats batteries like I eat kale at Whole Foods:


I'm totally going to get my average speed up to 4mph next time, you can bet on it.

Lastly, concerning the fit and comfort of the helmet, I mentioned in the last post that it seemed a bit heavy and inclined to move around compared to other helmets I've used.  I still felt this way on yesterday's ride.  In particular, the front of the helmet seems to sit a bit low and enter your field of vision, kind of like a Neanderthal's brow.  You can even see it in one of the photos on the Coros site:


So after two rides I'm inclined to say this helmet is not so much a piece of serious cycling equipment as it is a somewhat buggy novelty accessory, sort of the 21st century equivalent of a fishing rod with a built-in FM radio.  (I have no idea if such a thing ever existed, but it seems like something Fisher-Price would have made at some point.)  After all, chances are you've already got a helmet you're quite comfortable with, and if you're determined to listen to music how hard could it be to augment your beloved foam hat with some kind of audio device?  Probably not very hard.

As for the emergency contact feature, even if it worked I see this mostly as a selling point for neurotics, and if you or your loved ones are that worried about your safety you're probably much better off keeping them apprised of your ride plans, checking in periodically, and riding with a partner whenever possible.

But hey, I'll keep fiddling with it, and if Coros have any insight for me as to why it doesn't seem to work well or how I'm missing the point of this thing I'm all ears.  (Or whatever the bone conduction equivalent of "all ears" is, I suppose that would be "all cheekbones.")

And with that, I'm off.  Thanks for reading, ride safe, and see you Monday.


--Wildcat Rock Machine



64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Frist!

Ted K. said...

158. It presumably would be impractical for all people to have electrodes inserted in their heads so that they could be controlled by the authorities. But the fact that human thoughts and feelings are so open to biological intervention shows that the problem of controlling human behavior is mainly a technical problem; a problem of neurons, hormones and complex molecules; the kind of problem that is accessible to scientific attack. Given the outstanding record of our society in solving technical problems, it is overwhelmingly probable that great advances will be made in the control of human behavior.

bikeshepherd said...

third?

bad boy of the north said...

Wildcat,nice to see that you're using your noggin again.thanks for the helmet test update.

Anonymous said...

Does Ted K. Ever sleep? I think he may have a problem.

Anonymous said...

Ted K sounds like he's talking about the Coros helmet. Way to stay on topic Ted K.

Anonymous said...

Early post, Friday scranus, let the fun begin!

21st Century Cave Art said...

That popular Fred app, Strava, now has a live ride sharing option, so your emergency contact can see that you are at the pub rather than on the trail. Kind of makes the smart helment redundant.

Anonymous said...

WETJUNK
DUMHMNT
BRTLRVW
RDESAFE

Anonymous said...

Helmet, what is a helmet? Surely that would spoil the sound of wind in the hair and swish of tires...

K9

JuanOffhue said...

If you have an iPhone, you don’t even need Strava to share your location. (1) Launch the Messages app. (2) Tap on the conversation in which you'd like to send your location. (3) Tap on Details in the upper right hand corner. (4) Tap on Send My Current Location. The person you share your location with will be able to see where you are and even tap to get directions.

I assume this feature is available on Android devices as well.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Twelfth, Double Cross Scranus with the early post. No Quiz to boot, and I studied this week!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Did you go into Whole Paycheck for your sumptuous repast looking like you peed yourself? You truly did lose your dignity 2 kids ago!

N/A said...

I tend to ride in regular clothes regardless of the bikeway I've chosen, and if I'm getting super gnar I sweat all over myself. I want to make fun of Wildcat for pissing himself, but I have looked like that many times so therefore can cast no stone.

N/A said...

Also, if I recall correctly, Wildcat's "emergency contact" is Mrs. Wildcat. You'd think after seventeen (17) human children, she wouldn't be interested in connecting with him via bone conduction.

janinedm said...

Sometimes I will wear a helmet in a grocery store. As a super sweaty person who 9 times out of 10 wears regular clothes, it provides an visual explanation of why I'm so sweaty. Like, I'd rather they think I'm a Frederica than speculate wildly onny butt sweat stain. But that's just me. Pick your humiliation.

Hoghopper said...

All of that, just to slip-in the cippolini joke you forgot when you first discussed bone conduction? Excellent!

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...Cipo is said to be a bone conductor to his ladies helmented chorus.

N/A said...

I thought the helmented chorus was just a myth?

leroy said...

Haven't read it yet, but my dog told me to ask why you didn't save time riding with gears.

Not sure why he wants to know, but he insisted I ask.

Ride safe all. Geared or otherwise.

Bryan said...

My iPhone can share my location if I'm out on a long solo ride. OR I could download the Road ID app and after 5 minutes of not moving your phone sounds an alarm and if you don't turn it off it sends an alert to your emergency contact.
I keep my helment dumb.

Seattle lone wolf said...

Maybe the emergency contact feature doesn't work when the helmet is not on your head. You'd better try an actual crash test and go over the handlebars while wearing it. And don't worry, since you'll have a helmet on you can't possibly get hurt.

McFly said...

Hey it's not the size of your stem it's the stiffness of your compression and rebound stroke.

Unless your full ridgid then you just pound that terrain.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Maybe the bone conductors are not just speakers but also sensors that need to sense cranial damage before sending out the distress signal? Or a special button needs to be pressed on that stem mounted control panel prior to the start of the ride? It's all so confusing these days.

Maybe that helment company will read this blog and contact Wildcat with the missing info.

Anonymous said...

WCRM is TedK. He opens two browsers, one on blogger and the other to Bikesnobnyc. As soon as he posts the daily entry, he races to the podium using the other browser as he can podium and no one (up till now) even suspects he is blogspot doping.

Grump said...

Not that I'd ever be caught dead wearing a helmet like that (or going for a ride without being in full kit), What is the projected cost of that helmet???

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Cyclists, not all are dicks apparently!

Not sure what the cellphone pedestrian was all about though!

Anonymous said...

Why not ride around a high school track and just jump off, drop and roll... If it still won't make contact...

Winky said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URZcbVEizOM

wle said...

normally i don;t like the little friday questionnaire, and while i can;t say i ''missed'' it, i did notice it was gone..

wle

BlueBeard said...

I gots BlueTooth ear buds that want to unpair whenever I put my iPhone in my jersey pocket behind me. The buds work fine when the phone is in a handlebar mount or bar-mounted bag. The human body gets in the way of the signal I suppose.

Quite the Pedant said...

All cyclists ride geared, using gears and chain. Maybe we should say "derailleured" to denote multiple gearing options, or for the Sheldon acolytes "derailered." Even though a derailleur can still be a chain tensioner for a single speed setup , it's probably rare. Thanks for listening.

dancesonpedals said...

I had a friend who jumped off the bridge. He missed the water & landed in the bushes. Took a week to find the body.

Frickus Rungus said...

I'm going to wait until they make a helment that warns you when the driver behind you is creating a youtube video where they are threatening to run you into the deeech.
And automatically downvotes the video once it is posted...

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

".... I'd urinated in my pants:"

As a Pathetic Old Cyclist, I know the situation well. The trick is to wear dark clothing for stealth incontinence.

1904 Cadardi said...

Quite the Pedant:

All cyclists? No, not all.

JLRB said...

You only notice your Scranus when its gone

babble on said...

++ Janine. :)

Yep, I hear you, my girl. Though often as not, being the sort of person who prefers skirts and tall heels, just carrying ye old foam lid does the trick of informing the observer. I can't count the number elevator conversations sparked by said helmet in hand. (My teeny tiny brain does indeed have an underdeveloped maths muscle, but even so, it's a large number.) Usually the dialogue begins in one of two ways:

"Are you riding a bicycle, a moped or a motorbike?" (When in heels and on the Electra it's Giro's MIPS equipped Shadow, in flat black, so perhaps it begs the question.)

But more often than not it's: "You rode your bike in THOSE shoes??!"

To which the obvious response is "Well, it's easier than walking in them."

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

1904 Cadardi, to get pedantly pedantic, even a Penny Farthing had a gear ratio based on the length of the crank and the wheel diameter, the wheel diameter is why bike gears are measured in gear inches. The beginning of this video shows the bikes that were truly gearless, just like the balance bikes sold for the kiddies to learn to ride today.

Anonymous said...

Better or worse than a crepe-paper helmet? http://technical.ly/brooklyn/2016/08/04/isis-shiffer-ecohelmet-paper-bike-helmet/

dancesonpedals said...

I was sad that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no scranus.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can’t hear well because of massive sideburns, like the ones gentlemen used Back In The Day.
You should shave your face before using this sombrero.
R.

Name said...

It is implied that geared is short for multi-geared. Still better than derailered or similars.

bieks said...

Today's take away: Get gears or wet your pants.

Fuck it, I'm getting a flip phone.

bad boy of the north said...

Dances,really sorry about your friend,must've really sucked big time.

bad boy of the north said...

Pathetic,i haven't reached that point yet.note.i said yet.

Arizona redneck said...

Ted,it's called teevee. Or nowadays the interwebs. Oh so soothing and convincing brainwashing...

dop said...

After his business failed, he disappeared. The whole landing in the bushes business made it drag on another week for his wife.

JLRB said...

next time take the Coros with you into holyfoods - find a cocnut or cantaloupe that is similar in size to your head - strap the helmet on to make sure it fits - nobody in my he store will think you're a freak - take it out into the parking lot and drop it onto the pavement

Billy Madison said...

Only the cool kids wear wet crotch pants.

Ked T. said...

Whew, close one. If your feelings about the SMRT helmet had come out gud, what would you have told Brooks?! Now you're free to shill their new helmet. The only question is, how long do you have to wait to keep it all in good form.

Bromptonaut said...

Quite the pedant @ 2:55, all Bromptons, even single speed and hub geared, have a chain tensioner derailleur thingy to take up the slack in the chain when the rear triangle is folded under the bottom bracket. Just FYI, y'know.

JLRB said...

Now this is a smart helment

Air Force Generation III Helment for F-35

Spokey said...

dag nabbit JLRB

the freakin link doesn't work

Dooth said...

The Coros helmet owners manual is titled Smart Helmets for Dummies. Wildcat didn't read it.

JLRB said...

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-f-35-worth-every-penny-heritage-foundation-2016-8?yptr=yahoo?r=UK&IR=T

JLRB said...

Scroll down through the article until you see the helment photo

McFly said...

Unprecedented Situational Awareness.........USA!USA!USA!USA!

Spokey said...

JLRB

that's better.

but;

not sure what the point is.

that is other than if i wear the helment, i can look between my legs and see wonder woman? i guess that's better than snobbie's helment.

Spokey said...

speeching of healments

anyone here try that Bell Draft MIPS model? Not a bad price for MIPS. My current one is several times the oft quoted 3 years for helment so i'm thinking of a new one.

bad boy of the north said...

Spokey...lol@141p

Sklep rowerowy said...

nice review, hahaha the part about the pants just cracked me up ;) thanks for sharin

JLRB said...

Spokey - you were expecting a point?

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