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Philippe Starck Bike Helmet Looks Like Space-Age Riot Gear

Try as designers might, bike helmets are rarely a thing of beauty. In fact, the most tantalizing helmets are usually ones that don’t look like helmets at all.

A new take on protective headgear from celebrated French designer Philippe Starck is clearly trying to make helmet-hair cool. His aluminum helmet is a futuristic number designed to appeal to the cyclist who wouldn’t be caught dead in bright plastic safety gear.

Starck, somewhat of an environmental crusader (he once designed a personal rooftop wind turbine), designed the helmet to accompany a line of electric bicycles he debuted in Germany last month with the French company Moustache Bikes. (Not the designer’s first foray into the cycling world.)

The S+arckbike helmet, made in collaboration with California-based Giro Sports Design, consists of sustainably harvested cork from Portugal, and its aluminum shell can be recycled at the end of the helmet’s lifespan. Sleek though it’s intended to be, the helmet looks heavy duty–like it’s more suited for anti-riot gear than a quick commute across town. This might give some urban cyclists peace of mind (and protect their face from mud splatters). Alternately, it could steer less adamant road warriors away, depending on one’s preference for approaching a bike rack looking battle-ready.

The price of the helmets has yet to be announced.

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