Finalist 2023

Headlokt OneLock Helmet

Cobalt Design / Headlokt

The first helmet that’s also a lock - a bicycle/skate helmet that integrates a lock to secure bikes and gear.

The Headlokt OneLock is a fully featured helmet for cycling, skating and other sports with an integrated retractable cable lock. With teenagers’ sense of cool (and their forgetfulness) firmly in mind, Headlokt’s skate-style functionality and aesthetics combines two forms of safety – keeping riders’ heads safe while on the move, and their gear safe while making a stop.

Design Brief:

Each year 30,000+ bicycles are stolen in Australia. E-bikes/e-scooters increasing popularity and value will further foster this trend. Through personal observation, Melbourne mum and Headlokt’s founder addressed what statistics bear out; many thefts are opportunistic – like when bikes are left unlocked for shorter periods even in lower-risk settings (e,g. outside the local shops). However carrying a separate lock is bulky, and of course relies on cyclists remembering to pack their lock and keys in the first place. Our challenge was to neatly integrate a deterrent-level lock into a helmet without adding excess weight, or compromising head protection - or style.

This project was developed by:

Cobalt Design / Headlokt

Design Process

OneLock was conceived by an wary mum who recognised a way of preventing her kids’ bikes (and her own) being stolen because they forgot their lock. OneLock gives peace-of-mind to bicycle, scooter, snowboard owners (or their mums!) needing to safeguard their equipment during impromptu stops.

By keeping a clear purpose, OneLock was designed for all users - children, older cyclists and those of varying abilities; ensuring it is affordable, easy to use, and fit for purpose:

  • Combination lock means no keys are required.
  • Simple mechanical operation – no batteries to change or charge - no apps to download. Simply take-off, pull-out and lock.
  • High tensile stainless-steel cable is suitably robust to deter opportunistic thieves. But is narrow, flexible and long enough to thread through/around a variety of different equipment and applications e.g. scooter wheels, skateboard axles, snowboard bindings, etc.
  • Retractable cable and mechanism hard wearing to deal with everyday bumps and drops, while also compact and lightweight when worn on the head.
  • Significant development was required to reduce/position the weight and bulk of the mechanical components to achieve a safe, comfortable and cohesive helmet design within a weight comparable to regular skate-style helmets.

Design Excellence

As teenagers are a prime target group, understanding how adolescents' view of social conformity played a part in the development process. Accordingly, OneLock deliberately looks like traditional skate helmets - except with a subtle, flowing surface incorporating the lock component. Concealing the lock’s extra volume without compromising shock-absorption depth required clever engineering and form development. Headlokt branding elements are integrated into the helmet’s aesthetic details e.g. buttons/vents shapes

OneLock offers accessible, keyless, medium-level security; intended to deter (rather than stop) thieves in lower-risk environments e.g. at school, in front of the shops, well-trafficked areas etc.
OneLock's fit-for-purpose weight and venting is consistent with skate-style helmets - it’s inherently thicker, more durable and more robust than equivalent road/mountain bike helmets.

Reflective 3M decals on the rear of the helmet (forming the Headlokt brand logo) provides greater visibility i.e. safety at night, without the need for electronics or batteries.

The OneLock helmet is designed for users of all applicable ages, strengths and abilities: the simple, mechanical operation of the lock means that it is easy to operate, easy to learn and affordable.

Head protection was a prerequisite from the outset, with careful consideration of requirements from various helmet standards. Lock mechanicals are positioned below the mandated protection zone, yet completely insulated by EPS foam - hence the helmet still provides excellent protection to the lower-rear head area (occipital lobe) in the event of backward falls.
OneLock has now been tested and certified to international bicycle helmet standards:

  • CPSC16CFR120 (USA)
  • ASNZS2063:2008 and ASNZS2063:2020 (AU/NZ)
  • EN 1078 (Europe)

An injection moulded ABS plastic helmet shell provides robustness, while the EPS foam liner and fit-tested padding provide essential safety and comfort. Lock components and mechanical details have undergone extensive environmental, repetition and durability testing to ensure a long working life.

Design Innovation

In Australia, and other parts of the world, wearing a bike helmet is second nature.

Remembering to carry a lock isn’t. We have all been there: on a ride, or during skiing, skating or boarding, and needing a comfort stop or to pop into a shop. We have our helmet but not a lock. With OneLock people in this situation will now have an option.

Cyclists, snowboarders or skaters out without a lock can only hope their bike or board will still be there if they take a quick break along their ride. Headlokt solves this first-world dilemma, being the world’s-first helmet with an integrated, retractable Stainless Steel cable lock; that has been certified to stringent bicycle helmet standards from around the world.

Complying with multiple stringent international helmet safety standards requires innovative engineering. For example, working with the lock supplier to co-develop a custom (lightweight and compact) mechanism, as well as multiple prototyping-rounds and testing to fine-tune usability details of the helmet and lock.

To further increase peace-of-mind for parents and users, a tracker holder on the lower-side allows users to safely stow Bluetooth tracking devices (like Apple AirTags) – so that parents can keep an eye on their child’s riding whereabouts, or possibly track a stolen bike.

Design Impact

Cycling is a fun, healthy exercise for people of all ages. It’s also an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way to commute. Studies show when bikes are stolen, people are likely to ride less or even quit cycling altogether. Reducing opportunistic theft gives bike-owners greater peace of mind - to keep more people cycling, (or boarding, scooting) more often.

Client (Commercial) Impact:
As a start-up, HeadLokt’s founder has launched her first model into a prime sector of the sports-helmet market. Born from realworld need, and asking ‘why’, the OneLock model establishes the brand’s product design language, as well as the company’s supply chain and retail channels.

HeadLokt is set to capitalise on its enviable position of being unique and on-point within a large, mature, and mandated* category. And as Headlokt’s introductory model, its success will initiate more helmet / sports types to broaden the market and range options.

Impact on End Users:
While OneLock may well save lives, it won’t stop a serious thief. But that’s not what this product is about. Its intent is purely executed; providing uncompromised head protection, WHILE deftly solving a common problem in a convenient, practical and appealing way: OneLock is the first helmet that’s also a lock.

And in countries where helmets are not mandatory, this design provides another reason to have and wear a helmet, increasing rider safety by default.

Environmental Impact:
OneLock combines two products into one i.e. less resources, packaging, freight, etc are required. Its mechanical lock requires no power, batteries or precious metals.

Strict helmet safety standards limit more sustainable material possibilities for the helmet itself (without extensive materials development), however packaging features recycled cardboard, and printing uses UV/EB-cured inks (no VOC gases).

(*Helmets are compulsory in many countries - including Australia - and highly recommended in many more.)

Circular Design and Sustainability Features

(See final paragraph in above Design Impact section)

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