I didn't know I needed a smart bike helmet, but now I won't ride without it.
I'm a relatively new cyclist, averaging 100 miles per week, and just starting to figure out how I want to equip my bike for longer rides. In my area, riding more than 40 miles in a day means I'm going to spend some time on open roads. I don't know if you know this, but people in cars aren't always super friendly to those of us on bikes when we're sharing the road. I wanted some equipment that made my time on roads as comfortable as possible, and the folks at Livall make a couple of helmets offering more than I realized I wanted to stay safe on my bike.
This base model, the BH60 Smart Helmet, has quickly become my favorite bike accessory thanks to all of the smarts running through an otherwise ordinary-looking helmet.
Livall BH60 Smart Helmet
Bottom line: This helmet keeps you safe and gives you music.
- Decent integrated speakers
- Fantastic light system
- Comfortable fit
- Microphone is trash
- Battery is mediocre
Livall BH60: What I like
Staying safe on the roads around here means a couple of important things. It means my ears need to not be covered so I can hear cars around me while listening to music or podcasts. Lights are also important, on the front but also the rear of my bike. Reflectors are cool, but simply not as effective as lights. These are ways to address both of these needs with individual accessories, but Livall integrates these features and more right into the helmet.
Just above my ears on the left and right side of the helmet is a set of speakers, which connect to my phone via Bluetooth. These speakers get plenty loud but are spaced far enough away from my ears that I still hear the rest of the world around me just fine. And because these little speakers are pointed straight at my ears, very few folks riding around me hear anything unless I have the volume all the way up. For me, these speakers are perfect for catching up on podcasts while I ride.
The main attraction with this helmet is the lights. A rear strip of red LEDs pulses while I ride, and continues that steady animation for hours. This keeps me highly visible in any environment, and because the lights are on my helmet instead of down under my seat it's easier for larger vehicles to see me at night. There's also a second set of LEDs, but instead of pulsing red, they blink yellow just like turn signals. In fact, thanks to the Livall remote mounted on the handlebars, they basically are turn signals. Tap the left arrow, and everyone behind me gets five left blinks. Same for the right. This is significantly more effective than the standard hand signals, which sadly very few car drivers in my area recognize or appreciate.
This is also a decent, comfortable helmet. There's a ratchet gear on the back of the helmet to tighten to different head sizes, and none of the smarts in the helmet cause any uncomfortable bulges or shape deformities anywhere. The power and volume buttons on the front of the helmet are easy to access if I need them, and the electronics are all shielded well enough that I have ridden in a total downpour and everything has continued working perfectly.
Livall BH60: What I don't like
The best part of this helmet is having all of these important features in one place, so when I prep my bike for a ride there's a lot less I need to check and make sure is charged and set correctly and functional. Unfortunately, that also means there's a single failure point when riding so if anything goes wrong with the helmet I'm out quite a few important features for the rest of the ride.
If I'm going to have to stop to answer my phone, I'm just going to pick up my phone and use that.
The biggest issue I have with this helmet is battery life. Livall claims this helmet can get you 9-10 hours of battery in a single charge, but that goes down fast when you have a phone paired and the Livall Remote controller connected. With things set up the way I'd prefer, that battery life is closer to 3.5-4 hours in a single charge. And because the Micro-USB charging port is in the front of the helmet, it's basically impossible to try and charge it from a battery backup while I'm riding.
Livall's helmets also allow you to make phone calls, but that feature is just plain not enjoyable to use. The single microphone up near the power button is too far from your mouth to effectively pick up normal conversation, but it does a great job picking up basically everything around me. You can't really use it when you're actually moving, which all but defeats the purpose of being able to answer calls from your helmet to begin with. If I'm going to have to stop to answer my phone, I'm just going to pick up my phone and use that.
Livall BH60: Should you buy it? YES
Battery concerns aside, Livall puts some important features in a helmet. I like the way the helmet looks, I know it's keeping me safer, and I can listen to whatever I want from my phone with no concerns about hearing the world around me. That peace of mind is well worth the price you pay over a standard helmet, and I hope we see a lot more integration in future releases from Livall.