Subtle yet highly visible
High tech helmets usually look like they're made for futuristic robots. The stylish bike helmet Faro on the other hand went for a bit more subtlety in its design.
It features 15 white LED lights in front and 15 red LED lights at the back. And underneath the visible back light is a grid of 40 RGB LED lights under a fabric liner, which makes them invisible when not activated.
The RGB lights function as additional brake light and turn signal. Or you can use an iOS/Android app to set different flashing patterns.
From the back, most of the helmet is illuminated when all the lights are activated. It's a lot more visible than the usual rear bike light.
If you want to save on battery during the day, there's a custom day-time mode with the lights disabled.
Turn signals and MIPS are optional
Turn signals and brake lights on a bike helmet are practical because they're in a highly visible position. They're a very useful feature on the Faro. However, both of these features are optional. You'd need to fork out an extra $29 (on top of the $189 retail price) for the bluetooth remote to use signals and also get the automatic brake lighting.
According to Unit 1, the company behind the Faro helmet, the reason the bluetooth signal remote is an optional upgrade is because they didn't want people to pay for an unwanted feature and to make it more affordable for those who don't want it. They came to the decision of making turn signals optional from asking over 300 riders from London, Copenhagen, L.A, Hong Kong and Berlin.
Another useful feature that is made available as an upgrade is MIPS. MIPS is short for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. It's an extra layer of protection that is basically a layer of low-friction material between the outer shell and the inner liner.
MIPS provides extra protection for you head by limiting the force transferred from the point of impact on the helmet to your head. It works much like the fluid surrounding the human brain but without actually using any fluid.
Faro with MIPS has an estimated retail price of $219 while the one without it is $189.
While signals are made optional to cut cost for people who don't want it, the same can't be said for fall detection. Perhaps Unit 1 should have asked the same people they surveyed about the signals about which one would be preferable between fall detection and signals.
Whatever the case, fall detection can be life saving without you having to do anything except initially when you set up the emergency contact number.
When the Faro detects a fall, it waits for your response. If you don't respond, it will then send an SOS message to a predetermined emergency contact with your location.
Other features of the Faro include a ventilation system to keep your head cool and a magnetic buckle system that can be quite convenient.
To protect the electronics, the Faro is IPX6 rated waterproof. This means the Faro is waterproof enough for use in the rain but you shouldn't submerge it in water.
Speaking of electronics, the batteries last for up to 10 hours depending on how much of the features are used. And it takes 3 hours to charge the batteries from empty.
The Faro is a good looking helmet that helps a lot with night visibility. If you end up in an accident anyway there's the fall detection system that will contact a predetermined emergency number with your location. The turn signal remote may be a worthy upgrade for an extra $29. We highly recommend the MIPS version for that extra protection.