Dux Helm is a Vancouver-based start-up that hit the scene earlier this year. Its first product is a little something it calls the "world's first bike helmet with retractable lens." While we know better than to accept those types of proclamations without reservation, we can say with confidence that the average bike helmet offers little more in the way of sun protection than a tiny, ineffective brim – if that. It certainly doesn't have a pair of sunglasses.
The Dux helmet uses a simple sliding button to drop a lens over your eyes or pull it up out of the way. The button includes a quick-release action that allows you to remove the lens completely. You can ride without a lens in situations where you know you won't need it and quickly swap out different colored lenses.
Putting on and taking off sunglasses may not seem like a problem worth designing a piece of gear after, but cycling does often involve changing weather and light conditions. The Dux not only allows you to react to those changing conditions by quickly lowering and raising the lens, it stores that lens safely out of the way – something that's very helpful when you have limited storage space, as on a bike. The helmet also aims to eliminate the visual impediment of smudged, sweat-streaked lenses.
Other than its integrated lens, the Dux is a standard bike helmet – in-mold construction, 24 vents providing circulation, size-adjusting ring and Coolmax mesh padding. It also has a glow-in-the-dark back panel for nighttime visibility.
Dux Helm showed its helmet at the recent Interbike show. The helmet will be available next month via Dux Helm's website. The helmet with a single gray lens will retail for US$179. The company will also offer a variety of lenses in different tints for $30 to $35. It's also working out a discounted price for a 3-pack of lenses.
The video below gives you a closer look at the Dux system.