Melbourne mum Lisa Cotton has created the first commercially available bicycle helmet with a built-in secure bike lock – inspired by her own experiences during Covid lockdowns.
Her Headlokt helmet was launched with its official website last month and received a “promising initial response” when pre-orders for its first version, ONELOCK, became available at the start of August.
The venture gained an early boost last week when the ONELOCK was celebrated at the 2023 Australian Good Design Awards.
“We have worked really hard to keep the helmet lightweight so as not to impact the riding experience.”
The back of the helmet incorporates an integrated and retractable 65cm plastic-coated, stainless-steel cable, that works with a lightweight combination lock that is tough enough to deter thieves but compact and sufficiently flexible to lock various equipment such as bikes, scooters, or skateboards.
Lisa says creating a light but secure locking mechanism – developed in collaboration with leading lock manufacturer Sinox Company – was central to the project.
“We have worked really hard to keep the helmet lightweight so as not to impact the riding experience – much of the time focussed on keeping the lock component light,” she explains.
“We’ve been able to get it down to adding only an extra 97 grams. That’s equivalent to the weight of a kiwi fruit. Strap one to your current helmet and see if you think it holds you back too much!”
The Headlokt was created with the help of award-winning industrial designers, and has been approved by safety authorities for Australia, NZ, the US, and the European Union.
The design was given a tick of support when the annual Good Design Awards presentation ceremony was held in Melbourne last Friday, with the ONELOCK receiving a Good Design Award Winner Accolade.
Its style lends heavily from traditional skate helmets but incorporates 10 vents to channel air through the helmet.
Lisa, a stay-at-home mum before starting Headlokt, says her inspiration came from Melbourne’s strict Covid lockdowns and the relief provided by regular family bike rides and cycling to the shops.
“The first lockdown in Melbourne was extremely hard. We weren’t allowed to travel more than five kilometres from home, and we could leave the house for one hour a day to exercise,” she said.
“Being a mum with four kids under 16 was a challenge to say the least! But we made the most of it by having daily bike rides to the park.
“Rather than driving to do grocery shopping, I began to ride my new bike to the shops. I took off with my basket on the front, ready to pick up dinner.
“As I pulled up, I realised I’d forgotten something important – my bike lock. I noticed the lady in front of me did not have one either.”
When she asked the other cyclist how she secured her bike, Lisa was told the other woman simply tied her helmet straps through the spokes of one of her bike wheels, to “act as a deterrent”.
“I did the same but I had the lingering thought that there has to be a better solution,” Lisa said.
“On the ride home, my mind began ticking over. By the time I opened my front door, I had a fully formed idea in my head of a helmet that doubled as a lock.
“Never again would I forget my lock. And I also wouldn’t have to carry my helmet around the shops.”
The former triathlete said while she was familiar with bikes, she had no background in design – just a “burning passion to make a difference”.
Her venture received a boost when it was backed by Australian businessman Gerry Ryan, the founder and owner of recreational vehicle manufacturer Jayco.
The first Headlokt helmets will be available in the Australian market later this month or early October, and will be released in the US and Europe by the end of the year.
The headlock will retail on the Headlokt website for $149 in Australia but is selling for $129 during the preorder period.