Cratoni’s comfortable, lightweight cycling helmets include the state-of-the-art SmartRide, with speakers, a microphone and a camera that connect to your phone via Bluetooth

When Cratoni’s founder Günter Krauter started making bicycle helmets in Germany in 1985, most cyclists still didn’t wear them. He would probably never have predicted that cycling would boom, wearing helmets would become the norm in many countries and his small company would grow into “a big helmet brand in the international market,” as Marketing Manager Jana Krauter calls it, with 50 employees at its factory in Rudersberg, near Stuttgart, and offices in 70 countries.

Cratoni has supplied world and Olympic champions and produces helmets for track, road, BMX, mountain biking and commuting that meet not just the European Union bike standard but the latest, more rigorous standards for e-bikes travelling at higher speeds. It also supplies high-end sunglasses for riders.

Cratoni’s newest product is the hi-tech SmartRide helmet. With an integrated speaker and windproof noise-cancelling microphone, it connects to your phone via Bluetooth, giving you a multitude of options. “You can listen to directions from an online GPS map, or you can listen your music, or you can take phone calls, you can take pictures – everything you can do with your phone,” says Jana. “You don’t even have to take your phone into your hand, you can do it all while riding the bike.”

The rider does all this using a small remote control, or their phone, both of which are fixed to the handlebars. “You can easily use them with your thumb,” says Jana. “The controller can be placed on the left on the handlebars, and the phone on the right.

Making phone calls is as easy as chatting to friends or family while they are riding with you. “You can talk on the phone with your helmet on,” says Jana. “You don’t have to take it off and get your phone. And the helmets are also fitted with a walkie-talkie function, so you can talk to a person riding close to you.” The SmartRide also adds some hi-tech safety features, such as a ”smart-lighting” system, illuminated stop-and-turn signals at the back to warn other road users, and a crash sensor that sends an emergency signal with the rider’s GPS coordinates in the event of an accident.

“It has a lot of special new features that other products on the market don’t have,” says Jana. “It’s a very innovative product, just like every Cratoni helmet.”