May the fourth be with you

R2D2 cycle helmet

What better way to celebrate Star Wars Day than this R2-D2-themed design by Burton? It’s just that cycle helmets aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Who will wear this?

Injury rates in countries where very few cyclists wear helmets are amongst the lowest in the world. There is speculation over why this might be, but even those with polarised views about helmet efficacy agree that the group that stands to benefit most from cycle helmet wearing is very young children.

Parents who struggle to convince their kids to wear a cycle helmet, not to mention the many adults for whom R2-D2 was the coolest character in the Star Wars films, will welcome the new design. However, when you witness a Dutch expat in London ferrying their young child to school on the back of a town bike – a small blanket thrown over the rear luggage rack as an improvised seat and neither wearing protective gear or high-vis gear of any description – as we did this morning, it’s clear that this country’s attitude towards helmets is a curiously British and undoubtedly unhelpful obsession.

dutch cycling

This is how most cycling should look

Cycle insurance animation

Ethical cycle insurance

On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the devil is the detail. Check your small print for so-called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use the term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.

With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide has voted us Britain’s most ethical insurance company.


  1. Baker


    This is 7 years old… And a continued tragedy that they never made it in adult’s sizes 😉

  2. Nigel Cory


    I must have cycled well over 175,000 miles since 1953 as commuter, tourist and racing cyclist, and the only time I ever wore a helmet was when racing rules insisted – a total of 125 miles, or 0.08% of the total – and I’m still here at 73, mainly due to common sense and wearing light-coloured or even bright clothing on the ‘bike. When will pro-helmet dogma, urban myth, be replaced by the realisation that serious casualties have increased in proportion to the increase in their use? In New Zealand there was an increase in helmet-wearing children suffering serious neck injuries when they fell off, strangled by the helmet’s strap. If a lorry is going to run over you, a helmet ain’t going to save you! Read Dr. Meyer Hillman’s 1993 report.

  3. Martin Lake


    In countries where there is mass cycle use there are many less cars. In countries such as The Netherlands, there is much better cycle infrastructure. So we are not comparing like with like.

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