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Thread: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Bike light helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    Living at 45º lat is great if you're a flashaholic; it means quality darkness on your bike ride back home What better excuse to use your lights? Anywhoo...

    I'm securing my Pila GL3R to the handlebar, using a twofish lockblock. That works very nicely, but I would feel safer if I had a light on my helmet so I could briefly glance sideways and signal my presence to oncoming traffic (especially near intersections).

    I'm thinking of making some longer straps for one of my lockblocks and attaching my ArcLS that way to my helmet. I need your ideas as to what the best positioning on the helmet would be, since the lockblock doesn't allow much vertical play once secured.

    I was also hoping you could share your bike+helmet setups. Finally, what light -not dedicated helmet light- do you use on your helmet and how do you attach it? Any ideas, pics, etc. are greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by greenLED; 01-11-2008 at 03:50 PM.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    Here's one idea I came up with while playing with some velcro straps:



    I'm using the stock straps from my twofish lock block, but they definitely need to be a bit longer to properly secure the light. Also, I think I'll be using a rubber insert (old bike inner tube) to prevent the light from sliding back and forth and falling. My other concern is whether the light is aligned properly (pointing in the right vertical and horizontal direction for it to be useful). I guess I'll have to try and see how it works tomorrow night.

    Any other ideas, attachments, etc.?
    Last edited by greenLED; 10-24-2006 at 12:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Hondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    First, and more easily described, the answer to the helmet portion of my lights. I use the Dorcy 3xAAA 1W Luxeon headlamp sold at Lowes around here, and apparently nowhere else I shop. I removed the straps (slipping them out of the "C" slots on the light) and added a velcro strap through the side headband slots. Mine came from a model airplane tradeshow, for securing radio equiptment in the fuselage, but I would bet fabric and craft stores would carry the stuff. My double sided one is very versatile, but a two-piece, hook/loop combo one would work fine as long as the length is right. The headlamp just rests against the front of the helmet with the strap going through the vents and securing inside. I planned to drill an access hole in the battery cover and run a wire out from an empty battery holder to a remote holder banded to the back of the helmet, which would better balance the weight on the helmet, but it hasn't bugged me enough to prioritize it. The big gain would come with a connector near the back which would allow me to plug in a 3xAA, or whatever, on a long lead to my pocket.


    Anyway, this is a nice light, with a HUGE "hotspot", which is just what you need on a bike. But it is bright enough to pick up the terrain ahead. I like the ability to use the headlight aiming feature, and it is on or off of the helmet in a jiffy.


    My bikelight is a budget, pre-CPF creation. It started out as a 2-C cateye light on a HL-500 type QR mount. I swapped a leftover 4-D Mag. bulb for the stocker, and wired across one battery bay. Running wires out a slot cut in the cover, I added an RC connector right outside. I then packed two 4-cell packs of surpluss nicad A cells in parallel into an old H2O bottle and ran a lead out the lid to reach from the cage to the light. I then added the head from a cheap ACO 8-LED 3xAAA flashlight, in a foam block attached to the top of the Cateye with another velcro strap. It is powered from the same source, with a Radio Shack switch in line, sealed up and reinforced with hot melt glue. Inside, I stepped down the voltage with an 1157 tail lamp bulb, which was a bit too much, so it has an old servo pot. in paralell which I could adjust right to the 300 mA the light pulled off the 3xAAA. A little inner tube over the back of the light head and a zip tie around the wires, and it is fairly immune to the elements, but the whole thing looks like it was built by Tim Taylor!

    The end effect is a high power beam worthy of being aimed out far enough for fast riding, and a close LED flood so you can keep track of stuff between the main beam and the front wheel. Together they pull about 900 mA which for my 2 x 1400 mAh packs is good for three hours with both lights on.
    Last edited by Hondo; 11-04-2005 at 12:17 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    my Giro is done pretty much same way. looking to purchase a lockblock that orients parallel too.

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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    GreenLED,

    How do you keep your helmet mounted light from sliding out? I was thinking about strapping on my E2L to my bike helmet but haven't figured out how to cinch it tight to a styrofoam shell.

    kelmo

    PS are you an environmental consultant?

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    I have some small pieces of old bike inner tube that I was thinking about using to prevent slipping. Not as elegant as the parallel lockblocks CY's talking about (I'd forgotten about those), but I think it'll work. Groupbuy, anyone?

    Not sure how much heavy an E2L is, but my Pila GL3 felt too heavy for comfort.

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    Hey, Hondo, does that headlamp have a pivoting base?

    I just did a quick price check on those twofish bikelocks: >$7.95/ea. It's an elegant solution, but maybe I can get away with using the inner tube, or maybe I chop down the "legs" of one of the lockblocks and build new straps...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    I have a bike helmet I use for climbing. It didn't have any headlamp clips, so I added my own. I found some clips made by 3M. They should be easy to find for the next few months as one of their primary applications is hanging up Christmas lights. They came with some removable adhesive, but used the permanent mounting squares. I haven't used the helmet much since mounting them (Texas is not a good place for a climber to live), but they have held up for almost a year now. Here are a few pictures.




    Another option are the headlamp clips that Petzl sells. They have 2 types. These are a hard plastic and probably won't fit on a foam helmet, but work hard on helmets with a shell.



    You can also get them that have rubber coated piece of metal you can form to your helmet. They should work with any helmet.

    I am not sure wich one Brightguy sells, but I know they have them.

    What you DON'T want to do is drill holes in your helmet and put screws in it to hold a headlamp on. It's fine if you are caving, but when you get hit by a car or take a nasty fall, you don't want those hard, sharp highpoints jabbing through your skull.

    Sorry about the image quality and sizing.

    Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting

    Yeah, I have a few headlamps.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    put a little electrical tape around the light for traction then zip-tie the whole thing to your helmet.
    This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
    Be prepared for the truth.

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  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    Indeeed, shipping via UPS is

    I found this place that charges $4.50 shipping for a single item under $10; the bikelock is $7.99.

    Groupbuy, somewhere, anyone?

    TD, never would've thought about using electrical tape.
    Last edited by greenLED; 11-04-2005 at 11:03 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    I use a Twofish cyclopblock to attach my HDS U60 to my helmet. This allows me to adjust the angle up and down, and this setup is so light that I don't even notice it is there. I have also found that I can attach my PT Apex (with the headband removed) with three of the long straps from the lockblocks. This setup is brighter and longer running that my U60, but is really too heavy to be comfortable.

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    And... :drumroll: here's the final product on my helmet (holding my Arc LS):



    Here's a closeup of the same setup (can anyone spot the rubber insert?):


    And finally, my GL3 sporting a brand-spanking-new velcro strap (with designer trim ) in one of my lockblocks:


    Just came back from a short ride (it's COLD out there!!). Anyway, having the light on the helmet is really useful. Now I don't feel like I'm in the dark every time I make a turn, and I can shine the light sideways at cars in intersections to make sure they seem me. I'm set. Well, until I get some serious LED blinkers... ...back to the sewing machine, I'm on a roll tonight.
    Last edited by greenLED; 10-24-2006 at 12:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?


  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Hondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    greenLED, sorry I didn't get back here sooner, but it looks like you have a neat setup! Yes, the Dorcy 1W Luxeon headlamp I got from Lowes has a pivoting base, like my RR headlamp only a bit bigger and brighter with much bigger center spot, I only use it for biking as a helmet mounted light. Yes, it is cool having light where you are going to go, not where the bike is pointing, isn't it? This was my first head mounted light experience of any kind, and while it felt weird for the first few minutes, it felt much worse trying to ride without it and being frustrated with the bar mounted light not following my eyes into the darkness!

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    Thanks a bunch, Hondo. Yeah, the more I use a light on my helmet, the more I like it. I just finished building a NG500 sammie that's going into the minimag shown in the first couple of pics. Waiting for an NX-01 for max throw (got an NX-05 in there right now, might try with an IMS17 too see what works best). I'll also have to see how much different it is to have a 2xAA setup on my helmet (comparing to my LSL).

    I forgot; I met with Pi_is_blue over the weekend, and he's used his PT Apex on his helmet. A bit too heavy with the 4AA bats. He's using twofish lockblock and extra straps to secure everything.
    Last edited by greenLED; 11-13-2005 at 10:19 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    Quote Originally Posted by greenLED
    TD, never would've thought about using electrical tape.
    And you should not.

    You should use everyman's low or high tech solution.

    Low is duct tape.
    High is gaffer tape. (As strong, leaves no residue, comes in a ton of colors including some that glow in the dark.)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    I know you aren't interested in an actual helmet light, but the company that makes the light I use offers accessories separately, and you can buy a helmet mount from them for $15. (http://www.lumelighting.com/store/index.asp?prid=82). You would have to come up with a way to fasten the light to this mount, but but if you can do it (it shouldn't be that hard though), the mount will give you the ability to angle the light up and down to your liking...

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    I'm a little late to this thread, but I'll share my bike/helmet light experiences anyway. I went with as many lights as I thought I could stand. I've got a lockblock and cyclopblock on my handlebars and a PT EOS Bike on my helmet. The EOS Bike is pretty cool because I've also got a headstrap for it so it does double duty as another headlamp.

    I generally use a Q3 w/R123, Streamlight Jr. Luxeon and EOS Bike. My LSH-P just doesn't have the output or throw to do much good on a bike, so I generally don't use it. Having a light on your helmet is awesome because you supplement your regular light and can illuminate things out of your path and also get people's attention by looking right at them. A 1W+ LED does a great job getting people's attention on the road. I'm looking for a better thrower to replace the SL Jr., but the Q3 does a good job for short to medium range lighting.

    I don't know what other bike riders with LED lights are using, but when I loaned the SL Jr. to a friend, he looked like a train coming down a dark tunnel while another cyclist looked like he had a stock Minimag on his bars (except for the bluish tint instead of yellow). That's somewhat of an exaggeration, but the difference was significant. I don't know how that guy was doing it because I find that a SL Jr. by itself is only adequate for lighting up to maybe 10mph on a dark road.

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    Well... I've been using a sammie-enabled miniMag on my helmet for a few days now. I must say I felt a slight increment in helmet weight compared to using the Arc LS the very first time I put the helmet on, but now I don't. Anyway, the sammie's a NG500 with a nice LuxIII T-bin. I'm using an NX-05 in there right now, but I'll try other optics/reflectors until I find one that I like.

    The beam quality/shape is not a concern at all. What's bugging me is that the shape of my helmet (and how I hold my head when I ride, I suppose), together with how I'm attaching the light to the helmet (please see the pics I posted on post #2), makes the minimag shine the light too close in front of me. I find myself craning my neck backwards unnecessarily to get the beam farther out (or signal to traffic coming at my sides).

    I need to find a way to elevate the minimag's head so the light point farther. I tried a small wedge as Pi_is_blue suggested over the weekend, but what I had wasn't enough to really change the angle of the light. Does any body know of another small helmet mount/accessory, etc. with an adjustable angle?

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    I use a short strip of velcro (less than 6 inches I think) to weave it thru my PT EOS, and then thru the gaps on the the front of my helmet, just above the sun-visor thingy, then velcro tight together. The EOS is pivotable anyway, so angle of light is no problem.

    Another light i use on my helmet is my E2e/KL1 or E2e/McLux PR DB700, depending on how much light I need. I put some bike inner tubing (road bike tubing) over the body of the E2e, and it fits very tightly. This is my EDC light mind you, so I leave the tubing on all the time. So anytime I need to, I just strap on the same velcro strip thru the clip on the light body and thru the helmet and it fits snugly and doesn't slip cos of the tubing on the body of the light. This method usually puts the light on either the left or right side of the helmet, but still gets the job done...
    And God said, "Let there be light..."

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    I have been using a modified ratcheting helmet light mount for 3 years on my helmet. BB500 minimag variations have been used until I settled on a BB500 R2H Fraen LP version I used until this week. Modified the copper plate I formed to fit the minimag barrel to fit my new Fenix L1P! (: Since copper is soft, it reformed with no problem and I am back to pointing it at drivers on side roads and looking at animals at the side of the road.

    Green,
    I PM'ed you back about the night rider mount and how to mod it from supergo.com. It costs $13 but I don't think it ratchets.

    My BB500 R2H Fraen LP minimag will be mounted under the front boom of my recumbent. I'll use a flat metal piece, bend it to fit the barrel and point it at the correct angle. Then I'll drill the two holes at the end of the flat bar to fit the water bottle mount holes in the frame. The minimag served me well but I prefer the waterproofness, lightness and tiny size of the Fenix. Drivers respond almost the same when I point it at their eyes and take notice.
    Peak Pacific AAA UP brass (EDC) E01 (keys), Peaks, Arcs, Fenix, Q5 Aspheric HA-III Mag etc.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    Bent Head,

    If you do not mind, how do you mod the niterider mount? I am curious on doing this.
    thanks!

  24. #24
    Flashaholic Sprocketman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    When you attach anything to a helmet it is important to remember that when you crash you want that helmet to slide on the hard surface you are hitting, not snag and jerk your neck. Velcro helps, but make sure it will actually pull off when you crash.

    I don't use a helmet mounted headlight, but do use an Innova 24/7 velcroed onto the rear--the pattern of flashing leds is great. It's light and will come off easily.
    My Zebralight SC52w LML2 is the best thing I have ever put in my pocket.

  25. #25
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    I'm now attaching the minimag towards the back of the helmet. Depending on how much I slide the light back/forth, I get the beam to aim where I want it. I still have to play with the setup until I find the sweet spot. At least now I know how to do it, so it's a matter of trying a sligthly different position every night for a couple of days.

    I hadn't thought about the velcro being to tight, Sprocketman. I was more concerned about the light falling off my helmet. Lemme tell ya, that strap is not coming undone!

    I also use an Inova 24/7, but clipped to my pack/bag/back pocket. The strobe is whickedly bright!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    Ok this is what I finally came up with. I bought one of these for $4.99 at locally Gi Joes. Not from that site.
    Figured out the length I need for my particular helmet. Removed the Velcro, cut the strap to the needed length, and then melted the ends of the strap on a red hot stove so the ends don't fray (sp). And sewed the Velcro back on so it never comes off unless cut off. It works really well for $4.99 and it can be customized considering the length of the original strap. The elastic seems to be very sturdy. It also has to separate elastic loops for two sizes of lights.

    Here is the strap








    Last edited by hookoo; 11-21-2005 at 10:12 PM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    I just attached a Fenix L1P to my helmet using a regular non-parallel TwoFish block.

    1) Feed two straps through *one* slot.

    2) Wrap one around a helmet slot/vent/rib.

    3) Place the light perpendicular *on* (versus in) the U of the block... squish it down and cinch the other strap. The flexible rubber U will flatten out and provides a long grippy surface - about half the length of the Fenix. It seems to be very stable.

    Someone brought up safety in a crash (helmet snagging, not sliding, etc.)... I worry about this as well... looks like the rubber block and straps are compliant enough to twist/deform/squish in the event of a crash.

    Sorry, no pic handy.

  28. #28
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    I lost the helmet and the minimag show on the first pic. I'm not riding without a helmet light and it's a completely different feeling. I miss being able to direct light sideways and signal oncoming traffic. The good news is, the helmet I have now is much more "lockblock friendly" than the first one I had. Now all I need is a new helmet light. I'm thinking some type of FluPIC mod so I can use the strobe, etc.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    I've opted for the HD45 on a Lockblock for my morning ride to the train station...works quite well!
    Far too many expensive custom lights than I dare admit to owning..especially to wife.com !

    List of custom and OEM lights edited for bandwidth

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Bike helmet mounts: ideas, pics, etc.?

    greenLED, hookoo, your solutions are actually quite elegant for this and thanks for posting.

    I have tried to accomplish the same thing as I've started to mountain bike at night in preparation for night races, but I wanted to attach my PT Apex to my helmet and I managed to do so using an old Petzl strap and Petzl Bike Helmet clips: http://store.karstsports.com/03902.html.

    The clips are made of a very soft metal encased in rubber and can be bent quite easily to a U-shape that just fits around the bottom edges of a helmet. The two straps on the Petzl then provide upward tension so the whole thing stays in place.

    I have had this rig setup for about 2 weeks and it's great on the trails as well as commuting. Some issues:
    - Power cord from Apex battery compartment is short, so compartment is not quite at the back of the helmet - it's more on the right side
    - I have used 2 bungie cords to secure the top strap more firmly to the helmet
    - The whole rig is a little heavy so those long rides home at night can create a sore neck

    Another potential issue, as pointed out by Sprocketman, is that this rig is attached pretty firmly so a spill in the wrong angle may cause some serious head injuries - will have to think about that one. Pics below...

    The bungie cords are a bit ghetto but they work - will likely substitute velcro straps for a cleaner look.

    Last edited by RGB_LED; 10-24-2006 at 09:58 PM.
    Looking for: jhanko 'biohazard' V10R Ti clip, Luce de Notte (SS / Ti), SF Z2 (body, complete light, bored, unbored). Pls PM me with an offer.

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