UPDATE: I submitted this project to Bike Hacks and the overwhelming response was to address the protruding bolt coming out of the helmet. Here’s what it originally looked like:
In my defense it was a placeholder while I still put it through the miles on my daily commute, testing how well it withstood typical riding conditions (vibration, wind, all the other stuff). A month has gone by and it’s worked so well that I sort of forgot about it. Whoops.
Anyways, it would be naive of me to ignore the wisdom or others, so I cut off the excess bolt threads and filed it down. In the future I still would like to replace it with another type of fastener, something with a little better finish quality than a nut and bolt. A rivet or screw post are the two that come to mind as of now. Below is the original project description with updated pictures.
I solved a safety issue by mounting my bicycle lights on top of my helmet. My pair of Planet Bike Spock bicycle lights do an okay job of providing flashing safety light, but they’re definitely on the lower side of the brightness spectrum (and the white light is absolutely not a headlight, only a safety light).
- Lights mounted on bike generally are below line of sight of pedestrians, drivers, other bicyclists.
- Straps on light are very loose. Red light mounted on my seat post rubs against my leg and pushes it off center. White light can only be mounted on left or right side of handlebar. If I have it mounted on the left and I am coming to an intersection with a car coming from the right, the driver may not see me.
- Mounting and removing lights is time consuming.
- Mounting on top of my helmet greatly increases visibility.
- Lights are bolted secure to helmet and will not shift due to vibration. Without obstructions like the seatpost and my body, the lights can be seen from at any angle, not only directly behind or in front of me.
- Lights stay with helmet. No need to worry about theft, or losing/forgetting to bring lights.
- If there is hesitation that a driver has not seen me coming from the opposing direction I can simply turn my head and look at the driver, which directly beams my flashing white light at them for a moment, confirming my presence on the road.
- If you have an extremely BRIGHT flashing headlight I would probably advise against this, as you may be a hazard to other pedestrians and vehicles.
- I forgot what the black piece of plastic is called that I used to mount the lights. It’s semi-rigid but has some flex, and comes in a small roll. It has holes punched in it. I’ve seen it in the hardware store but forgot the name. I found mine discarded on the street.
Demonstrating flexibility of plastic. This is important as it clamps itself to the helmet, negating the need for any other fastener like cable ties, velcro, or tape.
The lights are threaded underneath.
This is what the underneath side looks like. The hole from the helmet is rather large, so I had to stuff a larger washer in between the black foam and the blue plastic to lower the diameter (this wasn’t easy), then used another washer to accomodate the small-headed bolt.
For comfort and safety considerations, I cut a piece of high density foam to plug the hole.