Livall EVO21 smart cycle helmet has top tough tech (review)
If you like riding your cycle and care about protecting your head as well as being highly visible day or night, the Livall EVO21 and the rest of its cycle helmet range is worth investigating.
I am an occasional rider, so I jumped at the chance to review Livall – the world’s first smart and safe cycling helmet. So, when the Smart Helmet EVO21 (Evolution 21) arrived, I could instantly see why it is the iF Gold Design Award 2021 winner – it is quite beautiful and practical.
And as you will see at the end we asked a ‘pro’ rider to evaluate it.
The Livall range
There are currently seven styles in the range, and I selected the EVO21 city commuter helmet. It’s the basic helmet without speakers, PPT Walk Talkie etc. I thought the ‘Bling’ range was a little flashy for where I live on the NSW Central Coast. It was also one of the lightest at 350g and available in M: 54-58cm (21.2 – 22.8 inch) and L: 58-62cm (22.8 – 24.4 inch) – I needed L.
We will explore the features in more detail, but they include
- Patented fall detection and SOS to an emergency contact (all with the smartphone app)
- Almost 360° automatic brake, turn and warning lights for terrific night (and day) visibility
- 45° wide beam front light
- Ultralight and great ventilation
- Suitable for cycling, skateboarding, roller skating, hoverboard, E-bike, etc.
- 10-hour use rechargeable battery with auto-on/off
- IPX5 water-resistant
- High strength 1mm Polycarbonate shall. EPS foam (Polystyrene) interior and a memory foam layer for comfort.
Livall EVO21 Smart Cycle Helmet
|Distributed by||Panmi Australia|
|From||JB Hi-Fi in White, Black, Mint and Ultraviolet|
|Country of Origin||Designed in Spain and made in China|
|Livall||LIVALL (Est in 2014) released the world’s first smart sports cycling helmet in February 2015. This full-feature helmet had genuinely smart features which make the rider safer, including smart safety lighting, turn-signals, Bluetooth hands-free phone calls, Walkie-Talkie, music playback through your smartphone connection and SOS Alert function|
|More||CyberShack Helmet news and reviews|
First impression – lovely mint colour, and it fits!
While any helmet should fit, this is comfortable to wear and fits my head, even wearing a baseball cap. The mint colour is cool without being over the top – better than white or black. It comes with a BR80 Bling Remote Controller that fits the handlebar using an easily removable rubber ‘band’ clip.
Plugin the USB-A to the magnetic two-pin charger cable, charge it, and it is ready to go.
Automatic everything – almost
Pick it up to turn it on. Put it down to turn it off (or use the power button). Slow down, and the brake light comes on. Lights go on in the dark. It is a genuine buy and forget (except to charge it occasionally).
Battery – 10 hours is a long time
It is a 3.7V/.6A/2.2W battery and a full charge takes about three hours. Word of advice – get a low-cost USB-A 5V/1A charger and leave it in the garage or where you park your bike.
Battery life is claimed as 10-hours continuous use in default mode but varies according to your day and night use percentages.
We are not aware of the battery charge cycles, but I expect it should last at least 5-years of regular use. The Bling Controller uses a standard CR2032 500mA button cell to last around 500 hours.
The helmet flashes battery status on power on (there is a manual power on/off button if needed).
Livall Riding App for Android and iOS
You don’t need the app as, at first glance, it is more a thinly disguised sales tool that ends up at the Livall online shop. But once you Bluetooth 5.0 pair the phone with the helmet, all that stops. You can set up Fall detection and SOS. It does not have built-in speakers or a camera, so those app segments don’t work.
For example, the BH51 range has a One-click answer, PTT Walkie talkie and voice navigation. It is also heavier.
You can change light settings (slow, flash, close, flow), access the online manual (PDF here). You then pair with the Bling Controller, and you open more functionality. The optional Cadence sensor also connects to the app.
- Left, right, up and down buttons
On the Livall EVO21, it is solely for manual direction indication.
CyberShack take – I like the LIvall EVO21
It beats the hell out of a $20 Aldi helmet – it reminds me of Tron. Helmet fit is most important, and while it suits my head, you should try it on before buying a $200 helmet. I loved the venting – superb airflow.
The lighting is adequate – not as much in the day, but it is better than the cheap flashing LEDs you can buy. The front light at night is very effective – it is not torchlight strength, but it is enough to cast a nice glow and let cars know you are there.
I like the 270° chasing pattern for left and right turns – unmissable.
We tested the SOS fall detection function, which worked in simulations. There is a small gyro/accelerometer chip for autobraking and falls – yes, it works via the paired smartphone. You have 90 seconds to stop it.
Would I buy the LIvall EVO21? Probably if I was a more regular cyclist. Pro cyclists (a.k.a. Lycra Lizards) probably will go for a lighter helmet.
A keen road cyclist’s comments on the Livall EVO21- Greg Conlon
This helmet is for safety and comfort.
- Safety – flashing lights around the helmet make the cyclist stand out on the road day or night
- Comfort – lightweight, good fit and lots of ventilation
Interesting safety features include:
- Adaptive lighting using a built-in ambient light sensor – increases or decreases the number of LED lights in use
- Automatic Brake warning light activates on smooth deceleration
- Left/Right turn indicators. A remote controller attaches to the handlebars. The controller strap did not fit, so I used a rubber band. The buttons are quite small and turning them on to indicate turning when coming to a busy intersection was a bit tricky
The helmet also has SMART features, some of which are automatic and others that use Bluetooth Technology via the LIVALL Riding App to connect with your smartphone or Bluetooth device.
Useful SMART features
- Automatic standby and wake up saving power and extending battery life
- SOS Alert (when BT paired to a smartphone). It sends an SOS message to a pre-arranged emergency contact when it detects a fall.
Livall Riding App Android or iOS
- Track your ride via GPS and provides data including distance, duration, average speed, and ride history.
- Livall ‘community’ features that you may find helpful. It is okay for commute or occasional riders but does not provide the amenity of Strava or Garmin Apps.
I am a regular road bike rather than a commuter rider. I have never used a SMART helmet before. While I liked a lot of the additional safety features, I found that the SMART functions were a bit gimmicky and not things that I find necessary in a helmet.
It looks pretty smart, and the quality is reasonable for a $200 helmet. Its light options and its battery range and recharging times were good. It has all the Australian Standard safety approvals, so I assume good protection for the rider’s head in an accident.
This helmet will appeal more to a commuter or city rider who is anxious about their road safety or in traffic. For them – I think the helmet is well-priced for the quality, functions, and inclusions it provides.