Designing for a New Generation.

After a number of years with the highly successful T2 Torch helmet, we are now on the path of developing our revised helmet - the TorchONE. Listening to your feedback we know that the TorchONE needs to be a helmet for everyone, for all seasons and all weathers. The commuter landscape is also changing. 

New methods of transport are now being utilised across the globe that enhance an individual’s own sustainability, individuality, and place in the wider community. With rush-hour trains and buses being incompatible with social distancing, and the environment for drivers becoming trickier by the day, getting back to our workplaces requires some fresh thinking.

Transport is changing

E-scooters are one of the more promising modern modes of transport – battery-powered two-wheelers that you stand on, while being propelled by a small electric motor. They’re technically known as  Personal Light Electric Vehicles, or PLEVs, and their prices, ranges, speeds and types vary. However, the big problem is that it is currently illegal to ride them anywhere other than on private land.

Get on your bike” remains a sensible rallying cry for able-bodied people who live within, say, 10 miles of their workplace. Many councils are striving to improve life for cyclists, with dedicated paths and lanes making commutes more appealing. The Government is also making vouchers available to help with the cost of getting old bikes back on the road, while its Cycle To Work scheme is a tax-friendly loan arrangement.

If you like the idea of cycling to work but are put off by either the length or hilliness of your commute, electric bikes (or e-bikes) are an option. Folding bikes, meanwhile, will appeal to those who can use public transport or a car for some of their commute, while electric folding bikes are also available. 

Designing a helmet for the new commuter

There remain some common principals that still apply to a good all-year-round commuter helmet offering such as weight, durability, weatherproofing etc. The big transition for us, however, is making a helmet that one can use in the 'new world' where commuting may not happen everyday but once or twice a week? The helmet should therefore be able to accommodate leisure riders and the more fitness conscious 'long mile' rider. It should allow for 365 day use and provide flexibility in use.  

In early 2020 we started to turn our sketches and design inspirations in to a series of 3D models. As helmet designers with an insistence in trying to push the envelope with new technology, it was important that we made life-size models to test. We utilised Computer Aided Design (CAD) to ensure all measurements are exact and have the ability to 3D print in house to ensure quick alterations and modifications prior to sample manufacture.

With a 3D model sample printed, the fixtures and fittings have been carefully selected to ensure a snug fit for head sizes 50-62 cm. The images below show some images of the initial 3D modelled sample which has been rigorously tested for fit and light fitting.

Torch Apparel Founder, Nathan Wills, “We know that our customers love the clean design, and simplicity of the T2 helmet series, but  want a year-round solution. The TorchONE should embrace the best of our previous designs, whilst allowing the rider to choose whether to ride with lights in place, or not. The initial stages of the TorchONE’s unique design look fantastic in daylight and will represent the largest available lighting solution at night.

We believe that designs should be clean, and operation should be simple. We also chose to steer clear of adding technology which often serves to confuse and distract riders and drivers alike. The TorchONE will represent our view that riders should be seen to be safe, but should follow the rules of the road when it comes to riding safely and signalling their intent.”

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