I can see the Biologic Pango folding helmet's appeal for short haul commuters needing to stash their kit in a very confined space. Substituting the industry standard thin polycarbonate layer with ABS (a thermoplastic) greatly reduces the likelihood of scratches and other accidental damage that comes from banging about in all manner of luggage but contributes to its portly 509g – about the same weight as my first hard-shell lid 25 years ago.
This feels quite heavy after 30 minutes or so – especially if you're used to wearing a latest generation commu-touring design some 200g lighter. My main gripe, though, concerns styling - which is obviously a personal thing. If I'm paying the best part of 90 quid, I don't want to arrive at the station looking like an extra from Tron. Of course, you might like it.
What we have here is a skate-style hard outer shell with a well-ventilated centre ridge bonded to an expanded polystyrene liner. We're used to in-mould construction and expect CE1078 accreditation but pulsium technology sounds like something out of science fiction. In fact, it simply refers to the helmet's folding construction. Credit where it's due, this is pretty intuitive. You simply release two rear catches and gently roll the sides inward. My first attempt took 40secs but I've honed it to 15-20secs if we're counting its journey into the messenger bag or briefcase pannier. It'll fit nearly everyone although there's no rear thumb wheel for adjustment so a quick pad swap might be called for in some cases.
The shallow profile gives the sensation of the helmet sitting atop your head rather than embracing it, although, this is largely forgotten after 15mins or so. Ventilation is surprisingly good, scooping a steady stream of cooling air over your scalp. Upping your riding speed improves airlow on the one hand but leaves your temples feeling warm, especially when air temperature climbs to about 15°C.
The mesh-type top section keeps showers and more sustained rainfall at bay to the same degree as more open designs, which is likely to be welcome on those quick sprints to and from the station.
Quirky design needing some revision to justify its relatively high price.
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Make and model: Biologic Pango Helmet
Size tested: Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
BioLogic say, "The BioLogic Pango folding helmet folds to half the size of a typical helmet, or roughly the size of a Kleenex tissue box. With patented folding technology, a folded Pango slides easily into any bag; no more dangling off the handlebars. Adjustable side side panels can accommodate head sizes 55-61cm in circumference. Available in black or white".
Short haul/mixed mode commuting would seem the most appropriate use. I found its weight becomes intrusive after 30mins or so.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Patented folding design
Folds to nearly half the volume of regular cycling helmets
Fits head sizes 55-61 cm
EN safety certified
Folded Size: 23 x 18.5 x 13cm
Felt like I could've survived being fired from a circus cannon.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The BioLogic Pango is an interesting design with some potential for short haul commuters but I found that it felt heavy after 30mins.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Unique, rugged design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Felt warm, heavy and expensive compared with modern urban models.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not in its present guise.
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)