Expanding on our series of beta tester stories, we would like to introduce you guys to Julien Brossier from Paris, France!
Our earlier stories on Victor, Robert, and Patricia have been mostly from a commuter perspective. Julien comes from a competitive triathlon background however, and he has been testing the Lumos Helmet while training and riding with his team, in addition to riding in the city.
LH: Hi Julien, really great that you had time to talk with us. We were really keen to speak with you as you have had a very different angle to the beta test compared to many of our other testers. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Julien: Yes, good speaking with you guys! So, I’m Julien from Paris. I have been competing in triathlon for around 4 years now and I practice a lot of cycling each week. I ride around 300 km each week when training. Overall I was really happy to be part of the beta test and I have been using the helmet now in many different environments while training.
LH: You definitely ride quite a lot! How was it taking the helmet out the first time?
Julien: The first time taking the helmet out was very interesting. For a beta version of a product i think it worked really well. I was a bit disappointed for the brake system which had flaws in the beta helmet but that was still expected for a beta product. It is especially good for when riding in a team, but then also the accuracy of the brake light needs to be good. Overall I was really happy with the helmet and also being part of the beta test. I think I have been able to contribute a lot also back to the Lumos Team.
LH: You surely have given us good insight to a more competitive use of the helmet. What is a typical training ride for you and where have you used the helmet?
Julien: I have been using the helmet riding the streets of Paris, taking the helmet out on mountain roads and also while mountain biking in the forest. Some of my rides have been in rain and snow while others have been daytime rides. As my usual training rides might take several hours, the battery is sometimes a little limiting. My training rides vary a lot but I might ride for 5 or 6 hours at a time. I also ride in the city and there the helmet works great. Especially when riding among cars and busses the brake and turning lights are really good.
LH: Awesome! Let’s talk a little about the helmet next. What can you tell us about your experience with it?
Julien: Sure. I think the helmet is very good in general. There are some things that need a little update as mentioned since it is a beta helmet which I have been using, but other than that I think the final helmet will be great. For me the beta helmet look is not that sporty, but it has a very good look for the city. Also the updated design will be much more sporty so more suitable for both city and road.
My biggest concern was the brake, since it had flaws in the beta units. This is especially tricky when riding in a team, as the brake system can be a little confusing for team members if not 100% accurate. However, I like it very much when riding alone and in the city. As the brake light gives me more visibility towards people behind me.
Overall the helmet gives me more visibility and makes me feel more safe. I don’t need to think of the cars and pay attention to others on the road when I know they can see me well. I can focus on my performance and training when on the road and when in the city I can focus on where I am going. I think that people pay more attention to me as a rider when I am using the helmet.
The current (beta/prototype) remote didn’t work too well on my drop down handlebars but I have also seen the new design which is very good and well improved. I think the new final design will work very well. The battery on the helmet has lasted around 4-5 hours which I feel is OK.
LH: Really interesting observations. The feedback from the beta test went straight into fixing the flaws in the helmet so we are sure everyone is very happy for all the hard testing work you all have done. The helmet is so much better because of all your comments. What is the best part of the helmet for you?
Julien: The product in general is what works for me. It is more like an ”ecosystem” and not only a single function. The entire combination of well thought functions that are easy to setup and use every time you ride. This is best part of the product. Also as a sportsman I am conscious about weight of products and I think the Lumos weight is OK even when riding longer distances. It is heavier than a racing helmet surely, but still it is easy to wear for longer rides and it stays comfortable.
LH: Weight is definitely a factor we keep a close eye on. Naturally everything is a tradeoff when it comes to weight. We would love to put so many things into the helmet, but it would also increase weight dramatically so we want to keep the product streamlined overall. What about your teammates, what are they saying about the helmet?
Julien: Yeah. They are commenting a lot. Some of my cycling team mates have been asking about the helmet and they think it is very nice and innovative. Also I have brought it with me to my design school where I study. Many of my classmates found the concept very interesting and cool. Especially after seeing the new shape and design everyone has been very pleased, so I am sure it will look very good also in real life and not only as a design.
LH: Would you recommended the helmet to others?
Julien: Sure. I think that if you need to put lights on your bike and remember to bring them with you, you can make things easier by having lights directly on your helmet. Safety is so Important and there are so many accidents that can be prevented with good visibility. Having a good ecosystem where your safety and visibility are combined is very good. I think the helmet would really work for many cyclists especially in the city. I suppose there are places where you also need lights on your bike, but the helmet surely adds to the overall visibility.
LH: We agree that many needless accidents could be prevented with good visibility. Any final thoughts before we wrap up?
Julien: What Lumos organised was very good. It is great that the elements we beta testers commented on are improved in real world conditions by including actual first user experience to the product. I think this is really important. This has been a great opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences. I trust the product and I feel that it will be very good when launched. I am looking forward to getting it soon.
LH: Julien thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and making time to talk to us. Your feedback has been very important similar to all our beta testers. Without all of you and all our backers, we couldn’t have done this. Thank you again and good luck with your next race!
Eu-wen, Jeff, and the Lumos Helmet team
The Lumos Helmet beta test ran in January this year with about 60 people primarily in the United States, but we also had beta testers in the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Finland, and Singapore. The beta testing period officially ended at the end of January, but many beta testers have continued using their beta units on their commute.