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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.
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.”
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.