A short time in the past we caught up with the founders of the Australian bike helmet producer, Forcite. In our unique interview, we mentioned the event of their enterprise, their good helmet expertise, and the processes concerned in creating such a singular product. Forcite lately launched the most recent iteration of their good bike helmet, the MK1S, and I managed to get my arms on one to present it a take a look at run.
Because the launch of the Forcite MK1S, it’s been receiving loads of constructive suggestions from the primary spherical of shoppers of their group discussion board. Forcite has additionally simply been awarded ‘Greatest at school’ on the 2022 Australian Good Design Awards for product design within the Automotive and Transport sector. So, as you’ll be able to think about, my expectations for this helmet have been excessive.
Forcite MK1S Specs and pricing
The MK1S contains a T400 carbon fiber composite outer shell. T400 carbon fibre was designed particularly for aerospace functions so together with being light-weight it’s extremely sturdy. Contained in the helmet is an EPS foam liner just like these you’ll discover in most helmets. In whole the shell, liners, and built-in expertise equate to round 1500g (giant dimension) which positions it between the likes of Shoei’s RF-1400 and the tremendous gentle AGV K6. Not dangerous for a helmet that packs a lot tech into its design.
Sensible expertise is what makes the MK1S actually particular. Built-in into the helmet is a 1080p 30-60fps HD digital camera, a 40mm Harman Kardon speaker system, a chargeable battery that provides 3-4 hours of steady use whereas recording video (7+ utilizing the app or listening to music), twin omnidirectional microphones and Forcite’s distinctive peripheral LED alert show system. That’s loads of further tools to suit right into a helmet however one way or the other Forcite has managed to do it seamlessly. So seamlessly in reality that the presence of all this gadgetry is just about undetectable to the wearer when it’s not lively.
Different options of the Forcite MK1S good helmet (sure there’s extra!) embrace an built-in tinted UV-blocking solar visor, 8 air flow ports, interchangeable visors with pin lock functionality, the selection of both normal or premium padding (additional $79 AUD) and a two-piece detachable chin wind curtain.
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The Forcite MK1S is out there in both a matte or gloss clearcoat end. This exposes the carbon fibre weave beneath permitting you to scrutinise the standard of its manufacturing. Judging by the weave on my take a look at helmet Forcite’s QC management is top-notch. There have been no noticeable defects within the gloss clearcoat or something that will detract from its premium end.
The MK1S is available in sizes starting from XS to XL and is designed to greatest swimsuit an intermediate oval head form. Pricing for the Forcite MK1S begins at $1,200 AUD. Forcite affords add-ons on the level of buy comparable to reminiscence playing cards and totally different visors. These will, in fact, bump the value up a bit, however Forcite has saved the price of this stuff low and aggressive so it is sensible to seize them all of sudden.
Forcite MK1S what’s within the field and setup
The MK1S is available in all-black packaging with silver foil branding which makes a fantastic first impression. Contained in the field, you’ll discover a shelf containing all of the included equipment and the helmet stashed safely beneath. The equipment you’ll discover embrace a helmet bag, an working information, Bluetooth controller and mounting bracket, a upkeep instrument, a Forcite certificates of authenticity with the manufacturing variety of your helmet, and a USBC charger for the helmet and the distant.
As with every rechargeable system, earlier than you employ the helmet and distant they have to be plugged in and absolutely charged. As soon as it’s finished you’ll be able to mount the Forcite distant to your handlebars utilizing the equipped bracket. The bracket suits onto 7/eighth and 1-inch bars utilizing the equipped rubber mounting rings and the controller is hooked up utilizing a screw-on fastener.
The distant fastener is the draw back to this setup as a result of it must be finished in the back of the unit which will be fiddly, particularly if the area in your handlebars is restricted otherwise you’re sporting gloves. A clip just like among the smartphone bike mounts we’ve featured prior to now could be rather more handy, however that is definitely no deal breaker.
To function the MK1S helmet you will want to obtain the Forcite app (IOS or Android). As soon as put in there’s a setup course of that the app walks you thru. This course of includes registering your helmet and controller so that they’ll auto-connect once they’re switched on.
A easy press of the ability button on the within of the chin bar turns the helmet on. A inexperienced LED lights as much as point out the helmet is lively and also you’ll hear a brief beep via the built-in audio system. One necessary factor to recollect is that in an effort to use all of the helmet’s features you will want the app operating in your telephone. With out it, there are some things that will not operate as anticipated comparable to answering telephone calls. It’s because the app works as a communication bridge between the helmet and the handlebar distant.
The Forcite smartphone app and distant
While you launch the Forcite app it defaults to a map display. From there you’ll be able to enter your vacation spot, soar in your bike, and the helmet’s good options will information your approach. The Forcite app permits you to simply add waypoints to your journey, in case there’s a selected approach you need to go, and you’ll share the route with different riders. The wonderful thing about this navigation system is that it’ll additionally notify you of probably harmful hazards in addition to the usual directional directions. The app collects knowledge about particles on the street, roadworks, velocity digital camera places, and so on, and can notify you utilizing totally different audio and visible alerts contained in the helmet.
On the backside of the app are 2 icons representing your helmet and the distant. These have inexperienced rings round them when every little thing is related and double as battery life indicators. Between these 2 icons, you’ll discover a report button so you can begin the helmet’s digital camera recording together with your telephone in order for you.
To enter the choices/setting display you faucet an icon that includes 3 horizontal strains beside the map search bar. When that’s clicked you’ll be able to alter the audio and visible alerts coming via the helmet. On this menu, you can too edit your profile, use the media cable to entry video content material out of your helmet and alter different issues such because the show, navigation settings, the helmet and controller settings, and entry the assistance menu.
The Forcite MK1S distant is designed to will let you management the helmet with out having to the touch your telephone. It mounts on to the handlebars so you’ll be able to place it near your left hand for fast button presses. The controller is triangular and has a button in every nook and the centre. These are used to carry out primary features referring to navigation, telephone calls, digital camera recording, and controlling your music. There are a number of instructions you’ll must keep in mind that contain both fast presses or holding the buttons. It should take you some time to familiarise your self with their location and the totally different push mixtures, but it surely’s all fairly simple. On the facet of the controller, you’ll additionally discover easy-to-access quantity buttons.
Using in and working the Forcite MK1S
While you pull the Forcite in your head every little thing feels fairly acquainted. It suits comfortable and the liner is mushy towards the pores and skin. As you’d count on it’s a fairly tight match at first as a result of the liners are designed to loosen up over time to kind an ideal match. All of the vents are opened utilizing slide switches and the interior tinted visor is operated by way of a sliding change on the left of the helmet behind the primary visor hinge. The D-ring strap fastener is similar as any you’ve used earlier than and the visor opens utilizing a thumb tab.
The match: The MK1S is a snug helmet. My take a look at helmet has the optionally available premium padding improve (+$79AUD) which options contour-forming foam, a snug-fitting neck roll to assist forestall wind noise and ingress, a big chin curtain, and plush supplies. I’ve seen a little bit of stress on my brow within the MK1S. It hasn’t left me with any awkward dents on my head and I’m anticipating it to minimize over time because the padding breaks in. The big chin curtain and neck roll are a welcome addition, notably on cooler days and nights.
Wind noise and turbulence: This helmet is not at all the quietest I’ve examined; particularly when speeds exceed 80km/h. The noise might be on par with my outdated Bell Star Carbon, however nowhere close to as quiet as my AGV K6. Ear plugs are in fact advisable, however there’s another excuse for that I’ll cowl under.
Air flow: The air flow offered by the 8 vents within the MK1S is excellent. The breeze coming via the chin ports was notably noticeable. The one damaging concerning the air flow system is how the ports within the chin bar operate. Quite than exterior switches like the opposite vents, they’re operated utilizing sliders contained in the chin bar. Which means that in case you neglect to shut them earlier than you set off you’ll have to drag over to do it. First-world drawback.
Visor and aerodynamics: The sector of view out of the MK1S visor isn’t the widest in the marketplace but it surely’s not limiting. The mechanism that operates the visor feels a bit of clunky but it surely performs because it ought to. The visor has a number of open positions so you’ll be able to journey with it partially open if desired.
The inner visor is nice in case you don’t like using 24/7 with a tinted visor. It operates simply utilizing an exterior slider and I’d describe it as a darkish tint with a slight yellow tinge. When you’re using into direct daylight it’s a godsend. The one difficulty I’ve with the interior visor is that it hits the tip of my nostril when it drops down. That is most likely solely a problem for folks like me with massive pointy noses.
As for aerodynamics, most of my using takes place on high-speed roads and I haven’t seen any ungainly wind buffeting or turbulence up to now.
Battery life: Based mostly on Forcite’s numbers you may get some actually good use out of a single MK1S cost. Charging the helmet is finished rapidly by way of a USB-C put up beneath the chin bar. With the digital camera on they estimate 2-3 hours of operation which is greater than sufficient to seize one of the best components of a day’s journey.
One factor to notice is that as a result of helmet’s standby operate the battery will drain. It’ll take a few weeks or so, but it surely’s one thing price remembering so that you don’t get caught out with a flat battery simply as you’re about to set off.
Recording video: You have got 3 methods of recording video with the MK1S helmet. You can begin recording both utilizing the app, the distant in your handlebars or you’ll be able to set it as much as begin recording as quickly because the helmet is turned on. The latter is a good choice for individuals who just like the peace of thoughts a dashcam offers.
The lens of the digital camera is situated within the heart of the chin bar. It’s positioned in order that in a normal using place it captures view of what’s straight forward in addition to the highest of your handlebars. As for high quality, it competes effectively with different equally spec’d cameras and does a fairly respectable job coping with low gentle circumstances. One factor it may benefit from is improved picture stabilisation, however the bumps it captures will be smoothed out with respectable enhancing software program. As for the sound recording, the two inside mics captured what I used to be saying good and clear and there was sufficient engine noise within the background to let you realize I used to be on a bike.
Audio and visible expertise: The sound that the helmet delivers to you thru the Harman Kardon speaker system is nice, however earplugs are important. It’s because the treble appears to be turned up excessive. I might assume that is deliberate that can assist you hear what’s being performed over the wind noise. Audiophiles may not like what this does to Phil Collins’ ‘Within the Air Tonight’, however let’s face it, you’re by no means going to get essentially the most out of your music when it’s coming via audio system stashed inside a bike helmet.
Cellphone calls additionally work effectively when you’re on the transfer. At suburban speeds, it’s unlikely anybody will even know you’re using a bike. I referred to as my spouse once I was doing 110km/h on the freeway and he or she was very stunned by the readability saying it merely gave the impression of I used to be on a hands-free name.
Because of the standard audio system, navigation instructions are additionally very simple to listen to. You possibly can select between 3 totally different voices for the prompts they usually ship directions clearly and concisely. The most effective a part of the navigation system nevertheless is the distinctive peripheral lighting bar.
Sitting on the high fringe of the chin bar beneath the breath guard is a white strip that’s about 5 mm thick and 15cm lengthy. Inside it’s an LED gentle array that shows navigation alerts utilizing totally different lighting patterns and hues (The video under exhibits how this appears in motion). I’ve ridden within the helmet in full daylight and at night time and the lights are very simple to see. At night time they’re in fact rather more intrusive however by no means a lot that they’re overly distracting. It’s a fantastically easy mechanism and the pondering behind it’s nothing in need of genius.
Remaining ideas on the Forcite MK1S helmet
When contemplating a helmet buy a price ticket of $1299 AUD will be onerous to swallow. Nevertheless it’s necessary to consider precisely what you’re getting with the Forcite MK1S.
The MK1S helmet itself isn’t fairly as much as par with the likes of a equally priced Shoei. I feel it’s fairly comparable in high quality and luxury although to the Bell Star DLX MIPS I lately examined which retails for $890 AUD. To see the actual worth right here you’ve acquired to consider all that tech. Sena’s newest 50C Harman Kardon, 1080p digital camera outfitted intercom system retails for $899 AUD. Slap that on the Bell Star and also you’ve spent near $1800. Then there’s the truth that the Sena is a bolt-on answer versus the seamlessly built-in tech of the MK1S. Personally, a $500 saving and one thing I don’t must spend an hour putting in is much more interesting to me.
The Forcite MK1S is a large soar ahead in helmet expertise. I’d regard it as important because the introduction of parking sensors to vehicles. There can be loads of riders who don’t need the distractions this expertise introduces to their journey, however there are numerous others who’re positive to learn from it. Seamlessly integrating all this performance right into a helmet that’s light-weight and each ECE and DOT licensed is spectacular to say the least. I had excessive hopes for this helmet and Forcite delivered. I sincerely hope we’ll be seeing extra improvements from this good Australian helmet producer sooner or later.
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Seamless inbuilt expertise
Peripheral LED alerts are ingenious
Good worth for cash contemplating all of the tech
Nice buyer help and rider group
Excellent all-in-one vlogging helmet
Battery drain can catch you out
Wind noise excessive for the value level
Visor mechanism feels a bit of clunky
Preliminary setup will be fiddly