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An accessory for a cycling helmet

Info

Publication number
WO2008020359A2
WO2008020359A2 PCT/IB2007/053089 IB2007053089W WO2008020359A2 WO 2008020359 A2 WO2008020359 A2 WO 2008020359A2 IB 2007053089 W IB2007053089 W IB 2007053089W WO 2008020359 A2 WO2008020359 A2 WO 2008020359A2
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
strap
cyclist
front
attachment
body
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2007/053089
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2008020359A3 (en )
Inventor
Lonnie Dale Tiegs
Original Assignee
Lonnie Dale Tiegs
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A42HEADWEAR
    • A42BHATS; HEAD COVERINGS
    • A42B3/00Helmets; Helmet covers; Other protective head coverings
    • A42B3/04Parts, details or accessories of helmets
    • A42B3/16Ear protection devices
    • A42B3/163Wind or noise deflectors
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, E.G. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F11/00Methods or devices for treatment of the ears, e.g. surgical; Protective devices for the ears, carried on the body or in the hand; Non-electric hearing aids
    • A61F11/06Protective devices for the ears

Abstract

The invention relates to a method of reducing wind noise experienced by a cyclist wearing a cycling helmet. A cycling helmet (12) has a shell (16) and two chin strap assemblies (18, 20) fast therewith. Each chin strap assembly comprises a front strap (22) for location in front of one of the ears (32, 34) of a cyclist, a rear strap (24) for location behind said ear, and a clasp (26) securing the straps together. The method includes twisting each front strap about a longitudinal axis thereof, such that one edge of each front strap, along at least part of the length of the front strap, is lifted away from the associated side of the head of the cyclist, so that the front straps act as air- deflectors for deflecting flow of air away from sides of the cyclist's head. The invention extends to an attachment (36) for attaching to the front strap of a strap assembly of a cycling helmet.

Description

AN ACCESSORY FOR A CYCLING HELMET

THIS INVENTION relates to an accessory for a cycling helmet. It more particularly relates to a method of reducing wind noise levels experienced by a cyclist wearing a cycling helmet. It relates also to an attachment for a cycling helmet, to a set of attachments for a cycling helmet, and to a cycling helmet assembly including such set of attachments.

A cycling helmet includes a shell for receipt on the head of a cyclist, and two chin strap assemblies, sometimes integrally formed with each other, connected to the shell, and by means of which chin strap assemblies the helmet is in use secured to the head of a cyclist. The respective chin strap assemblies depend downwardly from respective sides of the shell, and each chin strap assembly comprises a pair of operatively downwardly converging chin straps, the chin straps, in use, respectively being spaced in the fore- and aft direction of the associated ears of a cyclist. Each chin strap assembly thus includes a front strap for location in the fore direction of an ear of a cyclist, and a rear strap for location in the aft direction of the ear. When a cycling helmet is seen in side view, each pair of said straps thus forms a downwardly pointing V-shape, with the associated ear of a cyclist being receivable between said straps. The two straps of each chin strap assembly meet and are held together by means of a clasp, also forming part of the chin strap assembly, at the bottom or valley of the aforementioned V formed by the straps, with the two chin straps of each assembly extending downwardly from the associated clasp toward a free end of the strap assembly. In use, portions of the strap assemblies below the clasps are received under the chin of a cyclist and are secured together, typically by means of a clip, to secure the helmet to the head of a cyclist. The chin strap assemblies are conventionally oriented such that the straps thereof are in use located in face-to-face relationship with the sides of the head and the chin of a cyclist. In accordance with one aspect of the invention there is provided a method of reducing wind noise experienced by a cyclist wearing a cycling helmet having a shell for receipt on the head of the cyclist and two chin strap assemblies fast with the shell for securing together under the chin of the cyclist, each chin strap assembly depending operatively downwardly from the shell and comprising an elongated front strap for location in the fore direction of one of the ears of the cyclist, an elongated rear strap for location in the aft direction of said ear of the cyclist and a clasp securing the front strap and the rear strap together at a position spaced operatively downwardly from the shell, the method including twisting the front strap of each strap assembly about a longitudinal axis thereof between the shell and the clasp of the strap assembly, such that one edge of each front strap in use, along at least part of the length of the front strap, is lifted away from the associated side of the head of the cyclist, so that said part of each strap projects laterally from the associated side of the head of the cyclist to act as an air- deflector for deflecting flow of air, arising from movement of the cyclist in a direction in which the cyclist is facing, past the head of the cyclist away from the associated side of the cyclist's head, thereby acting to reduce wind noise levels experienced by the cyclist when the cyclist moves in a direction in which the cyclist is facing.

One of the chin strap assemblies is a right strap assembly associated with the right side of the head of a cyclist, the other strap assembly being a left strap assembly associated with the left side of the head of a cyclist. The front strap of the right strap assembly may be twisted in a counterclockwise direction from the shell of the helmet down to the associated clasp, and the front strap of the left strap assembly being twisted in a clockwise direction from the shell down to the associated clasp.

The method may include attaching an attachment to the front strap of each chin strap assembly for locating and maintaining a said part of each front strap which in use projects laterally from the side of the head of a cyclist generally in front of the associated ear of the cyclist, such that said deflection of air is away from the outer ear canal opening of the cyclist.

The method may include securing each attachment, after attachment thereof to the front strap of one of the chin strap assemblies, to the front strap such that movement of the attachment relative to the front strap is resisted. Each attachment may be releasably secured to the associated front strap, to provide for adjustment of the position of the attachment, when its securing to the associated strap is released, relative to said strap. In use, the position of the attachment along the length of the front strap will affect the degree or extent to which air is deflected. In particular, to increase the degree to which air is deflected, the attachment will in use be moved longitudinally along the strap towards the clasp of the assembly, i.e. operatively downwardly. In turn, to decrease the degree of deflection, the attachment will be moved away from the clasp towards the shell of the helmet, i.e. operatively upwardly along the front strap.

The front strap of each chin strap assembly may be twisted to such a degree that in use a said part thereof which is lifted away from the associated side of the head of the cyclist and is located generally in front of the ear of a cyclist forms an angle of no less than about 45° with the side of the head of the cyclist.

The front strap of each chin strap assembly may be twisted to such a degree that in use a said part thereof which is lifted away from the associated side of the head of the cyclist and is located generally in front of the ear of a cyclist forms an angle of no more than about 90° with the side of the head of the cyclist.

The front strap of each chin strap assembly may be twisted through an angle of 180° between the shell of the helmet and the associated clasp.

Thus, if each front strap is twisted through 180° between the shell of the helmet and the associated clasp, and said part thereof which is lifted away from the associated side of the head of the cyclist and is located generally in front of the ear of a cyclist, i.e. a part along which the associated attachment is located, forms an angle of between about 45° - 90° with the side of the head of the cyclist, the remainder of said

180° twist in the front strap will be taken up by parts of the front strap located above and, in particular, below the attachment. Also, in practice, the clasp may sit at an angle relative to the side of the head of a cyclist, i.e. it may not necessarily be in face-to-face abutment with the side of the head of the cyclist, such that a part of said 180° twist may be taken up by the clasp. In accordance with another aspect of the invention there is provided an attachment for a cycling helmet having a shell for receipt on the head of a cyclist and two chin strap assemblies fast with the shell for securing together under the chin of the cyclist, each chin strap assembly depending operatively downwardly from the shell and comprising an elongated front strap for location in the fore direction of one of the ears of the cyclist, an elongated rear strap for location in the aft direction of said ear of the cyclist and a clasp securing the front strap and the rear strap together at a position spaced operatively downwardly from the shell, the attachment including a body for attachment to the front strap of one strap assembly of a cycling helmet, the body defining a receiving space for receiving part of the front strap of the helmet between the shell and the associated clasp, and the body being constructed such that in use at least part of the front strap located generally in front of the ear of a cyclist is held in a condition in which one of the edges of said strap is lifted away from the side of the head of the cyclist, so that said part of the front strap projects laterally from the side of the head of the cyclist to act as an air-deflector, for deflecting flow of air, arising from movement of the cyclist in a direction in which the cyclist is facing, past the head of the cyclist away from the cyclist's outer ear canal opening, thereby acting to reduce wind noise experienced by the cyclist when the cyclist moves in a direction in which the cyclist is facing.

The body of the attachment may be shaped such that in use said one edge of the front strap is lifted from the side of the head of a cyclist, the other edge of the front strap remaining closely spaced from or being in abutment with the side of the head of the cyclist. By virtue of the body of said other edge of the front strap being closely spaced from or in abutment with the side of the head of a cyclist in use, said other edge of the front strap generally forms a seal with the side of the head of the cyclist, along at least that part thereof which is received in the receiving space of the body, to resist air from passing between the front strap and the side of the head of the cyclist.

The receiving space may have a cross-sectional profile that is flattened, being sized such that the front strap of a chin strap assembly is in use substantially snugly received thereby. The body of the attachment may be elongated, having an operatively lower end for location adjacent the clasp of a chin strap assembly, and an operatively upper end spaced in use above the clasp along the front strap, the receiving space extending longitudinally along the length of the body between the ends of the body and opening towards one side of the body. The body may thus generally be in the form of an open- sided sleeve.

The body of the attachment may have an inner edge along which the open side of the body is provided and which inner edge is in use located adjacent the side of the head of a cyclist, and a substantially smoothly profiled outer edge, which outer edge is in use spaced laterally from the side of the head of the cyclist.

The body of the attachment may be twisted about a longitudinal axis thereof through an angle no bigger than about 90°, i.e. the lower end of the body and the upper end of the body, when the body is viewed end-on, may be offset by no more than about 90°.

The body of the attachment may be twisted about its longitudinal axis through an angle no less than about 10°. Thus, the body may be twisted through an angle of between about 10° - 90°.

The degree of twist of the body of the attachment may vary along the length of the body.

As will be appreciated, by virtue of the construction of the body of the attachment, the receiving space defined thereby will also be twisted as hereinbefore described.

In another embodiment, if desired, the body of the attachment may not be twisted.

The attachment may be provided with at least one movement-resisting formation fast with the body for resisting movement of the attachment relative to the front strap. Each movement-resisting formation may be configured for engaging a front strap received by the receiving space of the attachment.

Each movement-resisting formation is moveable between an unlocked condition in which it permits receipt of the front strap of a strap assembly by the receiving space and longitudinal sliding movement of the attachment relative to a front strap received in the receiving space, to enable adjustment of the position of the attachment relative to the length of the front strap, and a locked condition in which it locks the attachment to the front strap, to resist longitudinal and lateral movement of the attachment relative to the front strap. As will be described in more detail hereunder, the degree or extent to which air is deflected in use can be selected by adjusting the position of the attachment relative to the length of the front strap.

Each movement-resisting formation may include a flap fast with the body, the flap being moveable between a said unlocked condition in which it projects from the body and a locked condition in which it is locked to the body, and a strap engaging formation fast with the flap, the strap engaging formation being arranged to project into the receiving space when the flap is in its locked condition, for engaging a strap received by the receiving space.

The body of the attachment may be provided with a window associated with each movement-resisting formation, through which window the strap engaging formation projects into the receiving space when the associated flap is in its locked condition, each flap being provided with at least one locking formation for locking the flap, when in its locked condition, to the body.

Each locking formation of each flap may be in the form of a wing projecting from an edge of the flap, each wing being arranged lockingly to engage a part of the body framing the associated window when the flap or tab is in its locked condition.

Each movement-resisting formation may include a release formation fast with the flap for facilitating release of the flap from the body when the flap is in its locked condition. The release formation of each movement resisting-formation may be in the form of a release wing fast with the flap, the release wing being arranged to stand proud of the body of the attachment when the flap is in its locked condition, to permit release of the locking of the flap to the body by lifting or pulling the release wing away form the body.

The body of the attachment may have an operatively front portion for facing generally away from the ear of a cyclist, and an operatively rear portion for facing generally towards the ear of a cyclist, the receiving space being defined between the two portions, each movement-resisting formation being located on or forming part of the rear portion of the attachment.

The attachment may be constructed of synthetic plastics material.

The attachment may be in the form of a moulding of unitary construction.

Advantageously, the body of the attachment will be of relatively sturdy, yet somewhat resiliently flexible, construction.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention there is provided a set of attachments for a cycling helmet, the set of attachments including two attachments as hereinbefore described, one of the attachments being a right-hand attachment for attachment to the front strap of a right chin strap assembly of a cycling helmet, the other attachment being a left-hand attachment for attachment to the front strap of the left chin strap assembly of the helmet.

The body of each attachment of the set may be elongated, having an operatively lower end and an operatively upper end, with the body of each attachment being longitudinally twisted, the twist in the body of the right-hand attachment being in a counterclockwise direction from the operatively upper end of the body towards the lower end of the body, and the twist in the body of the left-hand attachment being in a clockwise direction from the operatively upper end of the body towards the lower end of the body. The receiving space defined by the body of each attachment may be accordingly twisted. In accordance with a further aspect of the invention there is provided a cycling helmet assembly which includes a cycling helmet of the type in question, and a set of attachments as hereinbefore described attached to the front straps of the chin strap assemblies of the helmet.

Naturally, the left-hand attachment of the set will be secured to the front strap of the left chin strap assembly of the helmet, the right-hand attachment of the set being secured to the front strap of the right chin strap assembly of the helmet.

The invention is now described, by way of non-limiting example, with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings.

In the drawings:

Figure 1 shows, schematically, a side elevation of a cycling helmet assembly, the cycling helmet assembly including a cycling helmet and a set of attachments in accordance with the invention attached thereto, the set of attachments comprising two attachments in accordance with the invention;

Figure 2 shows, schematically, a front elevation of a cycling helmet assembly similar to that shown in Figure 1 ; Figure 3 shows, schematically, a three-dimensional view of an attachment in accordance with the invention, taken from a front of the attachment;

Figure 4 shows, schematically, another three-dimensional view of the attachment shown in Figure 3, taken from a rear of the attachment;

Figure 5 shows, schematically and on an enlarged scale, a side elevation of the attachment in accordance with the invention;

Figure 6 shows, schematically and on an enlarged scale, a top plan view of the attachment in accordance with the invention;

Figure 7 shows, schematically, a diagram illustrating, in concept, airflow past one side of the head of a cyclist wearing a conventional cycling helmet; and Figure 8 shows, schematically, a diagram illustrating, also in concept, airflow past one side of the head of a cyclist wearing a helmet to which is attached a set of attachments in accordance with the invention. With reference to Figures 1 and 2 of the drawings, a cycling helmet assembly is generally designated by reference numeral 10. The helmet assembly 10 includes a cycling helmet 12, which is shown in Figures 1 and 2 as being secured to the head 14 (shown in broken lines) of a cyclist. The cycling helmet 12 comprises a shell 16 and two chin strap assemblies 18, 20 connected to the shell 16 for securing the cycling helmet 12, whilst the shell 16 is received on the head 14 of a cyclist, to the cyclist's head 14.

Although, in practice, the chin strap assemblies 18, 20 are sometimes integrally formed with each other, they are, for ease of reference, herein described as being separate assemblies, one of which, namely the assembly 18, is located on an operatively left-hand side of the shell 16, the other, namely the assembly 20, being located on the operatively right-hand side of the shell 16. Thus, the strap assembly 18 is a left chin strap assembly, the assembly 20 being a right chin strap assembly. Each chin strap assembly 18, 20 includes a front strap 22 and a rear strap 24, which front strap 22 and rear strap 24 are held together by means of a clasp 26 spaced operatively downwardly from the shell 16. At free ends thereof, the chin strap assemblies 18, 20 are each provided with one part of a clip 28 by means of which said free ends of the assemblies 18, 20 are secured together under the chin 30 of the cyclist.

In use, as can be seen in Figure 1 , the front strap 22 and the rear strap 24 of each chin strap assembly 18, 20 form a downwardly pointing V which is receivable over one of the ears 32, 34 of the cyclist, such that the ears 32, 34 are respectively located between the front and rear straps 22, 24 of the respective chin strap assemblies 18, 20. Each front strap 22 is located in front of the associated ear 32, 34 of the cyclist, i.e. in the fore direction of the ear, each rear strap 24 being located behind the associated ear 32, 34 of the cyclist, i.e. in the aft direction of the ear. As can be seen in the drawings, the clasp 26 of each chin strap assembly 18, 20 is located at the bottom or in the valley of the V-shape formed by the respective front straps 22 and the rear straps 24. The position of each clasp 26 along the lengths of the straps 22, 24 is adjustable.

Each of the front straps 22 and the rear straps 24 are flattened, such that they have elongated cross-sectional profiles (see in particular Figures 7 and 8). Conventionally, both straps 22, 24 of each chin strap assembly 18, 20 are located in face-to-face relationship with their associated side of the head 14 of the cyclist (see Figure 7, which shows the front strap 22 in such conventional face-to-face relationship with the head 14 of the cyclist).

The cycling helmet assembly 10 also includes a set of attachments in accordance with the invention (see in particular Figures 3 - 6) secured to the front straps 22 of the cycling helmet 12. The set of attachments comprises two attachments 36 in accordance with the invention. As will become more apparent hereunder, each attachment 36 is in use attached or secured to one of the front straps 22, between the shell 16 of the helmet 12 and the associated clasp 26, and serves to maintain a twist or lateral flex in the associated front strap 22 relative to the side of the head 14 of the cyclist, such that the front straps 22, along at least part of their lengths, project laterally away (see in particular Figure 8) from the sides of the head 14 of the cyclist, so that said parts of the front straps 22 act as air-deflectors for deflecting air moving past the head 14 of the cyclist, as the cyclist moves in a forward direction in which the cyclist faces, away from the outer ear canal openings of the cyclist. Said deflection of air, as will be described in more detail hereunder, reduces wind noise levels experienced by a moving cyclist wearing the helmet assembly 10, when the cyclist moves in a direction in which the cyclist is facing. The size and shape of the attachments 36 can be selected in accordance with a required degree of air deflection. The position of each attachment relative to its associated front strap 22 can also, as described hereunder, affect the degree of deflection.

So as not to clutter-up Figures 1 and 2 of the drawings, only selected reference numerals are shown in these figures.

Each attachment 36 is in the form of a moulding, including a body 38, of synthetic plastics construction. The attachments 36 of the set are mirror images of each other, one being a right attachment, the other being a left attachment. For ease of reference, only one of the attachments 36, namely the right attachment, is shown in

Figures 3 - 6 and described further.

The body 38 of the attachment 36 is operatively vertically elongated, such that it has a lower end 40 and an upper end 42. The body 38 is generally in the form of an open-sided sleeve which defines an elongated receiving space 44 within which part of one front strap 22 of the cycling helmet 12 is more or less snugly received. The receiving space 44 extends between the lower and the upper ends 40, 42 of the body 38 and intrudes into the body from an operatively inner edge 46 of the body 38. Opposite its inner edge 46, the body 38 has a smooth outer edge 48. As can be seen, the body 38 is generally channel-shaped, comprising an operatively front portion 49 and an operatively rear portion 51 , which portions 49, 51 respectively extend from the inner edge 46 of the body 38 to its outer edge 48, meeting along the outer edge 48. Further, the body 38 and, accordingly, the receiving space 44, is twisted or flexed about a longitudinal axis of the attachment 36. In particular, in the illustrated example, the body

38 is twisted such that when the attachment 36 is viewed end-on, the lower end 40 of the body 38 is offset relative to the upper end 42 thereof by about 25°. An elongated oval-shaped opening 37 is provided in the front portion 49 of the body 38.

The left attachment 36 of the set is in use attached to the front strap 22 of the left chin strap assembly 18 of the cycling helmet 12, the right attachment 36 of the set being attached to the front strap 22 of the right chin strap assembly 20 of the cycling helmet 12. The twist in the body 38 of the left or left-hand attachment 36 is in a clockwise direction from the upper end 42 of the body 38 to its lower end 44. In turn, the twist in the body 38 of the right or right-hand attachment 36 is in a counterclockwise direction from the upper end 42 of the body 38 to its lower end 44.

In the illustrated example, the degree of twist of the body 38 vary along the length of the body 38, so that the degree of twist or flex is not consistent or uniform along the length of the body 38.

In another embodiment (not shown), if desired, the body 38 of the attachment 36, and typically also the receiving space 44, can be untwisted.

Although, as will become more apparent hereunder, the front strap 22 is more or less snugly received in the receiving space 44, the attachment 36, in this example, is provided with two movement-resisting formations 39 for resisting movement of the attachment 36 relative to the front strap 22. The movement-resisting formations

39 are spaced from each other along the length of the body 38. In other embodiments (not shown) the attachment 36 can include only a single movement-resisting formation 39.

Each movement-resisting formation 39 is integrally formed with the body 38, forming part of the rear portion 51 of the body 38. Each movement-resisting formation comprises a flap or tab 41 that is moveable about an axis extending alongside the outer edge 48 of the body 38 between an unlocked condition (see the upper formation 39 in Figure 4) and a locked condition (see the lower formation in Figure 4). When in their locked conditions, the flaps or tabs 41 form part of the rear portion 51 of the body 38. A strap engaging formation in the form of a pin or stud 43 is fast with and projects from an operatively inner face 45 of each flap or tab 41. The rear portion 51 of the body 38 is provided with two windows or openings 53 through which the pins or studs 43 project when the flaps or tabs 41 are in their locked conditions, such that the pins or studs 53 engage the strap 22. To lock each tab or flap 41 in its locked condition, each movement-resisting formation 39 is provided with two locking portions in the form of wings 47 fast with and projecting from opposed edges of its flap or tab 41. With the flap or tab 41 in its locked condition, the wings 47 are received through the window or opening 53 to engage the body 38, thereby to resist movement of the flap or tab 41 away from its locked condition. With the tab or flap 41 in its locked condition, the pin or stud 43, by virtue of the woven texture of the strap 22 of a cycling helmet, digs into or embeds itself in the strap 22, to resist movement of the attachment 36, both laterally and longitudinally, relative to the strap 22.

Thus, with each flap or tab 41 in its unlocked condition, sliding movement, bearing in mind the strap 22 is more or less snugly received in the receiving space 44, of the attachment 36 relative to the front strap 22 is permitted, thereby enabling positioning of the attachment 36 in a desired position relative to the front strap 22.

Conversely, with the flap or tab 41 in its locked condition, movement, both longitudinally and laterally, of the attachment 36 relative to the front strap 22 is resisted. To unlock each flap or tab 41 , and to permit movement thereof towards it unlocked condition, each tab or flap 41 , at a free end thereof, is provided with an additional wing 55, which wing

55 stands proud of the rear portion 51 of the body 38, such that it can be lifted or pulled away from the body 38 by means of a nail of a cyclist. In use, each front strap 22 has to be twisted through 180° between the shell 16 of the helmet 12 and the associated clasp 26 when the attachments 36 are used. In particular, the front strap 22 of each of the chin strap assemblies 18, 20 has to be twisted forwardly outwardly from the helmet 12, i.e. the front strap 22 of the left chin strap assembly 18 has to be twisted clockwise through 180° before entering the clasp 26, and the front strap 22 of the right chin strap assembly 20 has to be twisted counterclockwise through 180°. Ideally, the chin strap assemblies 18, 20 of the cycling helmet 12 are oriented such that they are permanently twisted, as hereinbefore described, through 180°. When the helmet assembly 10 is secured to the head 14 of the cyclist, the inner edge 46 of the body 38 of each attachment 36 is located close to one side of the head 14 of the cyclist, the smooth outer edge 48 of the body 38 of each attachment 36 being spaced laterally outwardly from the associated side of the head 14 of the cyclist. Further, each attachment 36 is located along the length of its associated front strap 22 such that it is in use located generally in front of the one of the ears 32, 34 of the cyclist. Air moving past the head 14 of a cyclist wearing the cycling helmet assembly 10 is thus, when the cyclist faces the direction in which they move, deflected over the outer edge 48 of the body 38 of each attachment 36 away from the outer ear canal openings of the cyclist. As will become more apparent hereunder with particular reference to Figures 7 and 8 of the drawings, said deflection, as mentioned above, acts to reduce wind noise levels experienced by a cyclist upon movement of the cyclist in a direction in which the cyclist is facing.

Because of the aforedescribed twists in the front straps 22, the attachments 36 serve to maintain the front straps 22, in a controlled fashion, along part of their lengths located generally in front of the ears 32, 34 of the cyclist in said conditions in which one edge of each strap 22 is lifted from or spaced laterally away from the associated side of the head 14 of the cyclist. To adjust the degree or extent of air- deflection, each attachment 36 is moved lengthwise along its associated front strap 22. In particular, to increase the degree of deflection, each attachment 36 is moved operatively downwardly along its front strap 22, i.e. towards the clasp 26 and, in turn, to reduce the degree of deflection, each attachment 36 is moved upwardly along its front strap 22, i.e. towards the shell 16. Each of the attachments 36 is of somewhat flexible construction. Further, as can be seen in the drawings, the attachments 36 are shaped such that in use lower end portions thereof, which project laterally away from the sides of the head 14 of the cyclist, extends along lower ends of the ears 32, 34 of the cyclist, said projecting parts, when the cyclist is seen from the front, covering the outer ear openings of the cyclist, with upper end portions of the attachments 36, because of the twist, in particular the orientations thereof, in their bodies 38, being located somewhat closer to the sides of the head 14 of the cyclist.

As can be seen in Figure 1 of the drawings, the front strap 22 of each chin strap assembly 18, 20 is held by its associated clasp 26 such that it is located inwardly or under the rear strap 24, i.e. adjacent the head 14 of the cyclist. Said location of the front straps 22 resists parting of the front straps 22 from the sides of the head 14 of the cyclist. Thus, an inner edge of each front strap 22, as can be seen in Figure 2, in use, abuts the associated side of the head 14 of the cyclist in front of the associated ear 32, 34 of the cyclist, such that it generally forms a seal with said side of the cyclist's head 14 in front of the associated ear 32, 34. By virtue of said abutment, flow of air between the head 14 of the cyclist and each strap 22 is resisted. As shown in Figures 1 and 2, the straps 22 need not be overly tight for said abutment to take place, so that earpieces of glasses (shown in Figures 1 and 2) can still comfortably be received above the attachments 36 between the straps 22 and the sides of the head 14 of a cyclist.

As mentioned, the front strap 22 of each chin strap assembly is in use twisted through 180° between the shell 16 of the helmet 12 and the associated clasp 26. In practice about 45 - 90° of said 180° twist in the strap is taken up by twisting of the clasps 26 relative to the sides of the head 14 of the cyclist and by parts of the front straps 22 above the clasps 26 and below the attachments 36. Thus, where each front strap 22 enters the lower end 40 of its associated attachment 36, it is roughly perpendicular to the associated side of the head 14 of the cyclist. Naturally, because of the twist in the receiving spaces 44, another portion of the twist in each front strap 22 is taken up by that part of the front straps 22 located in the receiving space 44, the remaining portion of the twist in each front strap 22 being taken up by parts of each front strap 22 above the attachments 36. Thus, each attachment 36 serves to maintain the associated front strap 22 along that part thereof which is received by the receiving space 44, in a controlled manner, in a condition in which it projects radially away from the side of the head 14 of the cyclist, thereby to effect the aforementioned air deflection.

Figure 7 of the drawings shows a sectional top plan view of one side of part of the head of a cyclist to whose head a conventional cycling helmet is secured. The cyclist, in this drawing, is moving in the direction of arrow 66, such that air moves past the head of the cyclist in a direction indicated by arrow 68. A front strap 72 of a right chin strap assembly of the helmet secured to the head of the cyclist is, in conventional fashion, arranged to be in face-to-face relationship with the side of the head of the cyclist. Although the Applicant does not wish to be bound by theory, a description is given below with reference to Figures 7 and 8, as to what is believed happens during use of a conventional cycling helmet and during use of a helmet assembly as hereinbefore described. As indicated by notional airflow lines 70, the flow of air past and over the front strap 72 is not substantially disturbed by the front strap 72, so that it is deflected by a ridge 74 located in front of the outer ear canal opening 76 of the cyclist. Such deflection of the flow of air by the ridge 74 causes the air to break away from an outer edge of the ridge 74 such that turbulence is formed behind the ridge 74, which turbulent airflow impacts directly into the outer ear canal opening 76 of the cyclist, thereby causing the cyclist to experience wind noise levels during movement.

Figure 8 of the drawings shows a view corresponding to that shown in Figure 7, but with a cycling helmet assembly 10 in accordance with the invention secured to the head of the cyclist. As can be seen in Figure 8 from the notional air flow lines 70, air flowing past the head of the cyclist in the direction indicated by arrow 68 is deflected over the smooth outer edge 48 of the attachment 36, such that turbulence resulting from such deflection is directed past the outer ear canal opening 76 of the cyclist, thereby reducing wind noise levels experienced by the cyclist during movement.

The invention as described and illustrated thus provides for a reduction in wind noise levels experienced by a cyclist by means of relatively unobtrusive modifications to a conventional cycling helmet. It is an advantage of the invention that, by twisting the front straps of the chin strap assemblies of a cycling helmet such that, along the greatest part of their lengths, only side edges thereof, as opposed to entire faces of the straps, are in abutment with the sides of the head of a cyclist, the contact area between said front straps and the sides of the head of the cyclist is reduced, thereby resisting heat build-up, and consequential discomfort to the cyclist, between the front straps and the sides of the head of the cyclist. Further, the invention as described and illustrated can be used without compromising safe securing of a cycling helmet to the head of a cyclist.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A method of reducing wind noise experienced by a cyclist wearing a cycling helmet having a shell for receipt on the head of the cyclist and two chin strap assemblies fast with the shell for securing together under the chin of the cyclist, each chin strap assembly depending operatively downwardly from the shell and comprising an elongated front strap for location in the fore direction of one of the ears of the cyclist, an elongated rear strap for location in the aft direction of said ear of the cyclist and a clasp securing the front strap and the rear strap together at a position spaced operatively downwardly from the shell, the method including twisting the front strap of each strap assembly about a longitudinal axis thereof between the shell and the clasp of the strap assembly, such that one edge of each front strap in use, along at least part of the length of the front strap, is lifted away from the associated side of the head of the cyclist, so that said part of each strap projects laterally from the associated side of the head of the cyclist to act as an air-deflector for deflecting flow of air, arising from movement of the cyclist in a direction in which the cyclist is facing, past the head of the cyclist away from the associated side of the cyclist's head, thereby acting to reduce wind noise levels experienced by the cyclist when the cyclist moves in a direction in which the cyclist is facing.
2. A method as claimed in Claim 1 , in which one of the chin strap assemblies is a right strap assembly associated with the right side of the head of a cyclist, the other strap assembly being a left strap assembly associated with the left side of the head of a cyclist, the front strap of the right strap assembly being twisted in a counterclockwise direction from the shell of the helmet down to the associated clasp, and the front strap of the left strap assembly being twisted in a clockwise direction from the shell down to the associated clasp.
3. A method as claimed in Claim 1 or Claim 2, which includes attaching an attachment to the front strap of each chin strap assembly for locating and maintaining a said part of each front strap which in use projects laterally from the side of the head of a cyclist generally in front of the associated ear of the cyclist, such that said deflection of air is away from the outer ear canal opening of the cyclist.
4. A method as claimed in Claim 3, which includes securing each attachment, after attachment thereof to the front strap of one of the chin strap assemblies, to the front strap such that movement of the attachment relative to the front strap is resisted.
5. A method as claimed in Claim 4, in which each attachment is releasably secured to the associated front strap, to provide for adjustment of the position of the attachment, when its securing to the associated strap is released, relative to said strap.
6. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, in which the front strap of each chin strap assembly is twisted to such a degree that in use a said part thereof which is lifted away from the associated side of the head of the cyclist and is located generally in front of the ear of a cyclist forms an angle of no less than about 45° with the side of the head of the cyclist.
7. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, in which the front strap of each chin strap assembly is twisted to such a degree that in use a said part thereof which is lifted away from the associated side of the head of the cyclist and is located generally in front of the ear of a cyclist forms an angle of no more than about 90° with the side of the head of the cyclist.
8. A method as claimed in Claim 6, in which the front strap of each chin strap assembly is twisted through an angle of 180° between the shell of the helmet and the associated clasp.
9. An attachment for a cycling helmet having a shell for receipt on the head of a cyclist and two chin strap assemblies fast with the shell for securing together under the chin of the cyclist, each chin strap assembly depending operatively downwardly from the shell and comprising an elongated front strap for location in the fore direction of one of the ears of the cyclist, an elongated rear strap for location in the aft direction of said ear of the cyclist and a clasp securing the front strap and the rear strap together at a position spaced operatively downwardly from the shell, the attachment including a body for attachment to the front strap of one strap assembly of a cycling helmet, the body defining a receiving space for receiving part of the front strap of the helmet between the shell and the associated clasp, and the body being constructed such that in use at least part of the front strap located generally in front of the ear of a cyclist is held in a condition in which one of the edges of said strap is lifted away from the side of the head of the cyclist, so that said part of the front strap projects laterally from the side of the head of the cyclist to act as an air-deflector, for deflecting flow of air, arising from movement of the cyclist in a direction in which the cyclist is facing, past the head of the cyclist away from the cyclist's outer ear canal opening, thereby acting to reduce wind noise experienced by the cyclist when the cyclist moves in a direction in which the cyclist is facing.
10. An attachment as claimed in Claim 9, in which the body of the attachment is shaped such that in use said one edge of the front strap is lifted from the side of the head of a cyclist, the other edge of the front strap remaining closely spaced from or being in abutment with the side of the head of the cyclist.
11. An attachment as claimed in Claim 10, in which the receiving space has a cross-sectional profile that is flattened, being sized such that the front strap of a chin strap assembly is in use substantially snugly received thereby.
12. An attachment as claimed in Claim 11 , in which the body of the attachment is elongated, having an operatively lower end for location adjacent the clasp of a chin strap assembly, and an operatively upper end spaced in use above the clasp along the front strap, the receiving space extending longitudinally along the length of the body between the ends of the body and opening towards one side of the body.
13. An attachment as claimed in Claim 12, in which the body of the attachment has an inner edge along which the open side of the body is provided and which inner edge is in use located adjacent the side of the head of a cyclist, and a substantially smoothly profiled outer edge, which outer edge is in use spaced laterally from the side of the head of the cyclist.
14. An attachment as claimed in Claim 12 or Claim 13, in which the body of the attachment is twisted about a longitudinal axis thereof through an angle no bigger than about 90°.
15. An attachment as claimed in Claim 14, in which the body of the attachment is twisted about its longitudinal axis through an angle no less than about 10°.
16. An attachment as claimed in Claim 14 or Claim 15, in which the degree of twist of the body of the attachment varies along the length of the body.
17. An attachment as claimed in any one of Claims 9 - 16 inclusive, which is provided with at least one movement-resisting formation fast with the body for resisting movement of the attachment relative to the front strap.
18. An attachment as claimed in Claim 17, in which each movement-resisting formation is configured for engaging a front strap received by the receiving space of the attachment.
19. An attachment as claimed in Claim 18, in which each movement-resisting formation is moveable between an unlocked condition in which it permits receipt of the front strap of a strap assembly by the receiving space and longitudinal sliding movement of the attachment relative to a front strap received in the receiving space, to enable adjustment of the position of the attachment relative to the length of the front strap, and a locked condition in which it locks the attachment to the front strap, to resist longitudinal and lateral movement of the attachment relative to the front strap.
20. An attachment as claimed in Claim 19, in which each movement-resisting formation includes a flap fast with the body, the flap being moveable between a said unlocked condition in which it projects from the body and a locked condition in which it is locked to the body, and a strap engaging formation fast with the flap, the strap engaging formation being arranged to project into the receiving space when the flap is in its locked condition, for engaging a strap received by the receiving space.
21. An attachment as claimed in Claim 20, in which the body of the attachment is provided with a window associated with each movement-resisting formation, through which window the strap engaging formation projects into the receiving space when the associated flap is in its locked condition, each flap being provided with at least one locking formation for locking the flap, when in its locked condition, to the body.
22. An attachment as claimed in Claim 21 , in which each locking formation of each flap is in the form of a wing projecting from an edge of the flap, each wing being arranged lockingly to engage a part of the body framing the associated window when the flap or tab is in its locked condition.
23. An attachment as claimed in Claim 22, in which each movement-resisting formation includes a release formation fast with the flap for facilitating release of the flap from the body when the flap is in its locked condition.
24. An attachment as claimed in Claim 23, in which the release formation of each movement resisting-formation is in the form of a release wing fast with the flap, the release wing being arranged to stand proud of the body of the attachment when the flap is in its locked condition, to permit release of the locking of the flap to the body by lifting or pulling the release wing away from the body.
25. An attachment as claimed in any one of Claims 17 - 24 inclusive, in which the body of the attachment has an operatively front portion for facing generally away from the ear of a cyclist, and an operatively rear portion for facing generally towards the ear of a cyclist, the receiving space being defined between the two portions, each movement-resisting formation being located on or forming part of the rear portion of the attachment.
26. An attachment as claimed in any one of Claims 8 - 25 inclusive, which is constructed of synthetic plastics material.
27. An attachment as claimed in Claim 26, which is in the form of a moulding of unitary construction.
28. A set of attachments for a cycling helmet, the set of attachments including two attachments as claimed in any one of Claims 9 - 27 inclusive, one of the attachments being a right-hand attachment for attachment to the front strap of a right chin strap assembly of a cycling helmet, the other attachment being a left-hand attachment for attachment to the front strap of the left chin strap assembly of the helmet.
29. A set of attachment as claimed in Claim 28, in which the body of each attachment of the set is elongated, having an operatively lower end and an operatively upper end, with the body of each attachment being longitudinally twisted, the twist in the body of the right-hand attachment being in a counterclockwise direction from the operatively upper end of the body toward the lower end of the body, and the twist in the body of the left-hand attachment being in a clockwise direction from the operatively upper end of the body toward the lower end of the body.
PCT/IB2007/053089 2006-08-15 2007-08-06 An accessory for a cycling helmet WO2008020359A3 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

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ZA200606764 2006-08-15
ZA2006/06764 2006-08-15
ZA200608465 2006-10-11
ZA2006/08465 2006-10-11

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090300827A1 (en) * 2005-12-30 2009-12-10 Ken Mizuno Device reducing wind noise
EP2425729A1 (en) * 2010-09-03 2012-03-07 Lazer Sport NV Helmet with magnetic fixing means for eyewear
CN105147452A (en) * 2015-10-22 2015-12-16 唐哲敏 Half earmuffs

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5477564A (en) * 1994-08-30 1995-12-26 Tichy; James B. Wind noise reducing, eddy current ventilated earfoil
US6029769A (en) * 1997-07-18 2000-02-29 Tichy; James B. Permeable aerodam to reduce wind noise
US6325173B1 (en) * 1999-10-18 2001-12-04 William B. Miller Ear wind shield
US20040040072A1 (en) * 2000-10-03 2004-03-04 Ken Mizuno Windshield reducing whistling sounds of wind

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5477564A (en) * 1994-08-30 1995-12-26 Tichy; James B. Wind noise reducing, eddy current ventilated earfoil
US6029769A (en) * 1997-07-18 2000-02-29 Tichy; James B. Permeable aerodam to reduce wind noise
US6325173B1 (en) * 1999-10-18 2001-12-04 William B. Miller Ear wind shield
US20040040072A1 (en) * 2000-10-03 2004-03-04 Ken Mizuno Windshield reducing whistling sounds of wind

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090300827A1 (en) * 2005-12-30 2009-12-10 Ken Mizuno Device reducing wind noise
EP2425729A1 (en) * 2010-09-03 2012-03-07 Lazer Sport NV Helmet with magnetic fixing means for eyewear
WO2012028743A1 (en) * 2010-09-03 2012-03-08 Lazer Sport Nv Helmet with magnetic fixing means for eyewear
US9155347B2 (en) 2010-09-03 2015-10-13 Lazer Sport Nv Helmet with magnetic fixing means for eyewear
CN105147452A (en) * 2015-10-22 2015-12-16 唐哲敏 Half earmuffs

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