Is the Park & Diamond Foldable Helmet an Indiegogo Scam?

Last year, Discerning Cyclist wrote an article about the eye-catching Park & Diamond foldable bike helmet.

It was so impressive, in fact, it even received over £1 million in funding during a crowdfunding campaign that closed in November 2018 as well as a further £1.5 million in pre-orders through Indiegogo since.

Why did the Park & Diamond helmet get so much attention?

Well, it was a helmet that promised to fold extremely flat using a unique design and actually looked like a pretty chic baseball cap when in use.

✨ Win a £100 Rapha Voucher 👉 Complete our 1-min Cycling Lifestyle Survey

The trouble is, despite initially committing to start shipping the helmet in “early 2019”, Park & Diamond still haven’t delivered a single helmet – and (at the time of writing in June 2020) are not close to doing so.

Is Park & Diamond a Scam?

On the face of it, it doesn’t look good.

In 2019, many people complained after receiving – what they thought – were Park & Diamond “helmets” after seeing an advert that was supposedly put out by the company on Facebook. Sadly, though, this was a fraudulent imitator, with people who had ordered the “helmet” simply sent a cheap baseball cap by people pretending to be the company.

While this is massively disappointing for anyone who was duped by these ads, there was little Park & Diamond could do about this.

However, the trouble is, fake ads and helmets aside, Park & Diamond aren’t delivering on their own promises yet, let alone any helmets.

Their saving grace at this moment is that they are still providing updates regarding their situation on Indiegogo.

Below is a summary of Park & Diamond’s most important updates:

Park & Diamond Delay Updates:

22nd February 2019:

  • Park & Diamond announce that their first deliveries have been delayed until June 2019, stating: Designing, building and delivering a safe bike helmet with top suppliers from all over the world has been hugely complex – and quite frankly, it has taken more time than we anticipated. This complexity has been further compounded by the current international trade climate, which has disrupted production and sourcing in many industries.”

14th June 2019:

  • Further delays announced as they aim to start shipping in September 2019: The ever-changing global trade conditions have created some short-term supplier challenges with our hat skins and we have now worked through these issues.”

21st September 2019:

  • Another delay is announced (shipping said to start in November 2019), although no specific reason was given.

19th November 2019:

  • Another delay, attributed to the need to perform new tests after changing production vendors. Shipping will start “by the end of December 2019”.

23rd December 2019:

  • First shipping delayed again until “end of January 2020” due to supplier issues.

25th January 2020:

  • We estimate the first 3,000 helmets will ship the week of March 30th” because “our factory in China shuts down for the Chinese New Year from January 25 – February 8. When workers return from their holiday break, we’ll ramp back up to full-speed production the week of February 10th.”

19th February 2020:

  • The coronavirus delays shipping further: “Once our factory returns to full operational capacity and the P&D production team returns to the factory, we project approximately 6-8 weeks to begin shipping the first 3,000 helmets (actual timing and date, TBD).”

20th March 2020:

  • Considering the current uncertainty regarding the impact of the coronavirus on our global business operations, we have recently pushed back delivery dates for new Backers to September 2020.

12th May 2020:

  • “Park & Diamond remains very committed to delivering your helmet, and despite some general reports of Chinese factories being back to “business as usual”, that has not been our firsthand experience… All pre-orders made by August 31, 2020 will be shipped by holiday 2020, and we will have exact order delivery details (i.e. order numbers/shipping dates) within three months after we return to China.”

You can read the full list of Park & Diamond updates on Indiegogo here.

Okay, all of that does not make pretty reading.

Is Park & Diamond a scam? I don’t believe so.

Have they been unlucky? Maybe a bit, but they were already over a year behind schedule before the coronavirus issues.

Has the project been poorly managed? It certainly seems that way.

What is clear, is that given their track record, it seems extremely unlikely that they’ll be delivering anything before 2021.

I really don’t want to attack any new company that is ambitious enough to create a potentially game-changing product, especially one in such a highly-regulated field. I love people who actually go out and try to create cool stuff.

However, I do object to Park & Diamond continuing to run adverts and take even more fully-paid pre-orders for a product they have not yet come close to delivering.

Should You Pre-Order a Park & Diamond Helmet?

While it seems that Park & Diamond are trying to get their manufacturing problems sorted, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to place trust in this company yet by placing a pre-order.

I would certainly recommend waiting until when/if the company actually starts delivering the helmets and hearing feedback from the recipients before placing an order. That’s not to say that Park & Diamond are a scam, it’s just they’ve not yet delivered on any of their promises.

I really do hope this company does eventually live up to its word.

NOTE: This page contains affiliate links, meaning I may receive commissions for purchases made through those links, at no cost to you. This helps to keep the wheels of Discerning Cyclist turning.

Park & Diamond Alternatives – Best Foldable Helmets

If you want to get hold of a foldable bike helmet this year, though, you don’t have to wait for Park & Diamond.

While Park & Diamond’s design looks cool, it’s not the first folding helmet on the market.

Indeed, the likes of Closca, Morpher and Overade all offer their own excellent foldable helmets which you can see below. Or you can read this article on the best foldable bike helmets that you can buy now.

Pete Reynolds

Pete is the co-founder and editor of Discerning Cyclist. He commutes by bike daily from his home to his co-working space. Originally from Wirral, UK, Pete now lives in Spain. When visiting a new city, Pete loves nothing more than to explore it on two wheels. See Pete's Muck Rack profile

14 Responses

  1. Suzanne says:

    Thank you for posting this! I too am in the holding pattern that has become the reality for those of us who stupidly pre-ordered this item. Im so irritated and will definitely be returning them once received. I also sent a complaint to the FTC and P&D directly. They sent a BS response. No bad luck is this bad.

  2. Mark says:

    I’ve been keeping my eye on this campaign. I backed in October 2018, right before the campaign was extended for another month and then left open to entice even more people in. The delays bothered me, but what bothered me even more is that the updates never apologised for the delay, or at least they didn’t until I started commenting about it. They made promises to update every 3 weeks and that target was never met. At the start of this year I’d got fed up, people were already asking for refunds and so I asked too. It took a few repeat emails but I did eventually get my refund. However since that, COVID has happened, more delays, more people have requested refunds and they’ve changed their policy on refunds so nobody will get one until they ship a helmet and you return it. At this point, I have no faith in this project coming through and I feel sorry for anyone who has lost money.

    (As I am no longer a backer all the comments I made on the funding page, plus any replies I received were instantly deleted (or hidden))

  3. Barry says:

    This may sound odd to say, but I just now found out at least I am not alone.
    In June I got a response to an email …Having received nothing since in mid October I wrote again (a cranky one to say the least). This time castigating them for not even staying in touch with people who gave them in excess of $3M. I was in business my whole life. Lots went wrong, but I always stayed in touch with my customers even if it was an update on bad news. I got no response. I just now called a phone number found as their number. I got a “hello”. “Is this P& D” says I, “who’s this?” was the response…after asking a couple of times I was told “no”. That’s it. These guys have no business acumen at all. I’ll be flabbergasted if I ever hear from them, let alone see a helmet.

  4. Francesco says:

    They can’t even get the certifications. They continue saying they “will be certified”, but the evidence is their toy is too thin for that.

    Simulations they show are fake and there’s no such material able to provide low brain accelerations in such a low thickness…. It’s just a matter of physics.

    They can’t sell a helmet in the US with having it certified, so here’s the answer…

    They have been really good at gathering funds and support, even from BMW or Ansys, but the real scam is these latter have been outplayed as well.

  5. Eileen says:

    Still no helmets delivered and it’s the end of December 2020. Take a look at the unhappy comments on their Facebook page. They have replied to none of them and haven’t posted anything since 2019. It’s looking like a scam, to me.

  6. Mark says:

    I received an Update email from Park & Diamond on Monday, 1/11/21. The email indicated that US backers who ordered Medium/Black helmets should check the shipping address and order information they submitted when they ordered the product way back when. The email further indicated that P&D will “lock-in” the first shipments “very soon”, and that when that occurs, backers from other countries and those who ordered other sizes and colors will begin receiving shipping updates. Final line in the email: “WE WILL DELIVER FOR YOU!” I have my fingers crossed, but am not holding my breath…

  7. George says:

    It’s a complete scam. They also haven’t paid their suppliers and are refusing to pay their suppliers.

  8. Julian says:

    Depressing to find so many people in the same situation as me. I initially ordered mine as a sample ahead of promoting it to our clients. On the upside, I’ve got to know P&D and why I should not be considering their product. Happy to say I’ve since found some genuinely innovative alternatives. So not all bad.

  9. Stevie Coyle says:

    The end of February, 2021 and no sign of a helmet, and no email back from multiple inquiries or even “waitlist’ signups . Live and learn. Scammy behavior, if not an outright scam. Shameful.

  10. Melvin Lewis says:

    Lets file a class action fraud suit!! DAVID HALL and partner JORDAN KLIEN are elusive con guys. Lets all get our money back. Everyone that was/ has been ripped off should join……FYI …. Park & Diamond, Inc of Brooklyn, NY is registered as a foreign corporation in the State of Delaware!! We need to find the name and contact info of the registered agent or other person authorized to accept service of process….

  11. Renee Stone says:

    I’m in on a class action. There are several Julien Kleins. One is in the Diamond industry. Hmmm Park and Diamond? I am going to see if my credit card company will refund me. I stupidly bought 2 helmets.

  12. Jazzman59 says:

    No more business is going on. The P&D is a name of the Scams. I am also a stupid guy buying a ghost item.

  13. EngineerMike says:

    5/22/21 received “Update # 37 basically backtracking on previous backtracking’s as to status of shipping helmets. In Jan ’21 they implied shipments were imminent for “U.S.-based Backers who ordered Medium/Black helmets (this represents the largest order group). By the end of this week, we will send another Update with more specific Indiegogo Order ID information for this first helmet shipment.” None of that has definitively happened because today’s “update”: We’ve sold the Park & Diamond helmet in over 100 countries and have designed it to pass a global certification standard (which our helmet has passed in independent lab testing). What that means is, we’ve taken into account all regions/country’s safety standards and need to pass several different qualification standards before we begin shipping. This is not a smooth or easy final process. We will continue to work diligently through this and send another update once the global certification process is complete.” I.e. getting US backers their helmets appears to have taken a back seat to further international qualification, if in fact your believe any part of their dithering. This looks suspiciously like a “pre-packaged bankruptcy” where, like Solyndra’s non-existent solar technology, it suddenly goes “oops,” heads to bankruptcy court and the backers paid themselves big salaries out of the proceeds. I have to wonder if even the initial sad-story sales pitch about the poor girl w/the head injury has any truth to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *