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In Canada, roughly a third of cyclists wear helmets, according to Statistics Canada. For the rest of you: what's holding you back?

A Swedish design firm believes it's vanity: the cyclist's fear that his Brylcreem-sculpted pompadour or her perfectly back-combed ponytail will lose its splendor under a clunky piece of protective headgear.

TreeHugger reports on designers Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin's creation, the Hövding. Instead of trying to make a traditional helmet look more chic, as many others have done before, the Hövding is actually an airbag for your head, tucked neatly into a collar.

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Watch the video to see it in action on a crash test dummy

Some commenters point out it might not work to protect the head for higher-speed collisions or falls from a stationary position. Still, the designers say, it's better than nothing.

In Canada at least, it's the younger cyclists that are least likely to protect their noggins: 12 to 19-year-olds reported only 30.6 per cent use and the 20 to 34 set reported 30.5 per cent use in 2009.

British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have helmet laws, while in other parts of Canada, municipalities have passed bylaws to block helmet legislation, suggesting it causes a decline in cycling overall.

If you don't wear a helmet as it is, would you try the Hövding?

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