Behind The Scenes: How We Built The Lumos Ultra Fly

What is Ultra Fly

To put simply, Ultra Fly is our first non-integrated smart helmet based on the Ultra platform. It comes with an improved fit system that is now vertically adjustable to find an even better fit, as well as better strap anchors that won't need as frequent readjustment.

We built Ultra Fly to address specific feedback we were getting from a few subsets of our customers who wanted a lighter helmet, removable/replaceble batteries and electronics and weren't too concerned about our turn signal functionality.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "A Lumos helmet, without turn signals? Preposterous!"

We know how much our customers love our turn signals, but like I mentioned, we were attempting to address the needs of a more specific customer. If you're into turn signals, go and check out Ultra E-Bike - that one's got turn signals for days!

But we also have customers who've been asking us for other things, like...

Wishful thinking, AI camera guy.

When we were building Firefly, something clicked when going through customer feedback for Ultra. We knew we could solve a bunch of these things in one fell swoop by using a Firefly as our smart lighting feature and making a version of Ultra that was completely free of any electronics. If something went wrong with either the electronics or the helmet itself, you wouldn't have to replace the whole thing, freeing us of this pretty limiting constraint.

We created a quick mockup with a 3D print and found that the idea was so simple, yet effective and so it became a no brainer to offer this as a solution to bunch of requests.

With these factors and requests in mind, we thought to ourselves about how we could fulfill these different needs. We also needed to keep the core of who we are, keeping visibility and proactive safety at the forefront of every product. The end result?

Unfortunately no bueno for you mr AI camera guy. Maybe in a few years!

But that's not quite how we do things at Lumos

As simple as it sounds, putting a "dumb" helmet and a smart light together to give you a smart LED helmet is not the way we love to work, as entertaining as it may be. 

If this helmet was to exist, it would need to address a specific type of customer's needs and so we befriended a subset of our customers that were giving us the feedback requests for lighter helmets and and replaceable electronics. It turns out the easiest way to become buddies with them was to join their early morning weekend rides.

Yes, that's me in a jersey. I will explain myself in another post. 

Through interacting with these new cycling buddies, we discovered that they took recreational cycling a little more seriously than I had ever done at that point. Even though they owned Lumos helmets, these helmets weren't necessarily the first choice for a weekend ride. We discovered that priorities changed when cycling in a group during the early morning hours when there wasn't a lot of traffic around. Seems obvious, but we needed to get out on our bikes at 6am to witness it for ourselves. Yes, 6am.

Through riding with our buddies and making a bunch of new cycling buddies, the need for Ultra Fly became really apparent. When riding on the weekend, these riders would be looking for comfort, airflow and the longer they rode, the more the necessity for a lower weight became. We totally got it. But during the week, when they would commute on their bike, they'd want the bright lights to still be seen on the road. Spoiler alert if you've never tried a Lumos helmet before - once you try it, it's tough to go back to non-LED helmets - it no longer feels as safe anymore, and so we understood this sentiment very well as well.

Ultra Fly is for the customer that wants one great helmet to satisfy their commute and their weekend ride needs. 

With this customer in mind (which, by going through this process of meeting these people in the real world, we ended up becoming ourselves), we then built the perfect helmet for them, and upgraded as many features as we could along the way, such as...

The new FlexiFit system

This new system is lighter and more adjustable to help the wearer find the perfect position for the most comfortable fit. We incorporated a really generous-sized hairport to allow for any ponytails to be pulled through, to not leave those with long hair having to suffer in silence.

More Venting

See this middle section? That's blocked on the regular Ultra, but we opened that right up allowing a tonne of air to gush through on a ride to keep the head breezy. 

Also, when riding without a Firefly, the port also becomes an additional exhaust - perfect for adding that extra little bit of performance to keep the head cool.

The new OptiGrip slot

This one might seem out-of-the-blue when you first hear about it, but knowing what you know now, it should make perfect sense. Everybody knows you can't ride without your sunnies on the weekend. You need a place to put them when you know, you don't want to wear them, but still want to, err, fit in.

The rubber padding provides additional friction to ensure your sunnies stay put. 

Reflective Strips for added safety

We still wanted Ultra Fly to be able to provide some level of active safety even when riding without a Firefly, so we incorporated 4 large reflective strips into the design so that you can still be seen from all around by oncoming traffic.

Moving towards a more sustainable future

As you may already know, we're constantly thinking about how to become more sustainable and we're beginning to hear more and more of our customers also requesting more sustainable features such as replaceable batteries and repairability. With EPS helmets, it's a little bit tough to repair, however this is not a copout. We're very commited to moving our lineup of helmets into a more sustainable future and are exploring a multitude of ways to do that. Ultra Fly is one way to do it, by separating the electronics and the helmet completely, allowing the customer to replace either one due to any reason and not have to replace the whole thing. 

Removable batteries are another approach we're exploring and we will have more to share with our upcoming helmets in the future, so stay tuned for that. 

One more thing

This whole time I forgot to mention that Ultra Fly is our lightest helmet ever! 

250g (8.82oz) and it passes all the EN1708 and CPSC crash tests, something not a lot of other helmets can claim. We think that's pretty impressive and have certainly learned a lot through building this particular helmet. Ultra Fly also comes with MIPS as an option if you'd like even more safety features. If you're interested, you can check it out here.

That's all for this update. I will have more to share about this helmet's bigger sibling soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Until then, stay safe and happy riding!

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