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Helmets with built-in light & mirror mounts?

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Helmets with built-in light & mirror mounts?

Old 03-31-11, 12:59 AM
  #1  
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Helmets with built-in light & mirror mounts?

Why not? Many 1,000's of cyclists use helmet-mounted lights and/or mirrors. Yes some lights have a mounting strap for helmets but it's a little bit of hassle to remove or mount esp in the dark and/or cold. Having a quick-release mechanism would be nice. Esp since we now have efficient small LED lights that are sweet for helmet-mount use.

But perhaps more important, a helmet mount for mirrors would be super. Many riders mount the mirror to sunglasses but of course then if one rides at night or in low light the rider has to continue using the glasses, perhaps having to switch lenses (another hassle).

I now use the EVT Safe Zone Helmet Mirror (purchased from excellent Mt Airy/College Park Bicycles) & it's fantastic. Huge area that obviates having to look behind. Heh, track sprint racers should use these since they spend half of their races snapping their necks to check behind! Only problem is that it relies on zip-ties for mounting which isn't too solid. A little nudge can mess up the aim requiring some fiddling to adjust. A little built-in mounting bracket would eliminate that problem.

Try to purchase a car without left/center/right rear-view mirrors & no lights!? But bikers, we're left on our own to improvise.
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Old 03-31-11, 03:18 AM
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When I've looked at helmet manuals I've read things about the company not recommending attaching anything to the helmet. I think this is predominantly out of liability concerns--if they advice the use of something on the helmet and it catches on something (especially while scraping across the ground in a crash, potentially twisting the neck) they could be potentially liable. This is unfortunate because I doubt the genuine safety disadvantages outweigh the potential benefits, as evidence by all the people who have stuff on their helmets.

Some lights designed to mount on helmets basically attach a quick release bracket onto the helmet. It would be nice to integrate into the helmet, though. I'm sure there's a market, it's just a matter of who's willing to work through their liability department.
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Old 03-31-11, 07:25 AM
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Check out the Bell Muni and Arella. They have both mirror and light mounts.

http://www.bellsports.com/cycling/helmets/pavement/muni

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Old 03-31-11, 08:21 AM
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The original Bell Metro and Citi had a mirror available as an option, but that was 5 or more years ago and led lights weren't cheap/powerful enough.

The new Muni with a pair of Fleas looks like it might just be my next helmet.
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Old 03-31-11, 09:05 AM
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Neat! I'm in the market for a new helmet. I may have to check out the Muni.
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Old 03-31-11, 09:15 AM
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I'll be looking for a Muni tomorrow. My only reservation is that the flip mirror looks a bit on the small side.
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Old 04-06-11, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cpach View Post
When I've looked at helmet manuals I've read things about the company not recommending attaching anything to the helmet. I think this is predominantly out of liability concerns--if they advice the use of something on the helmet and it catches on something (especially while scraping across the ground in a crash, potentially twisting the neck) they could be potentially liable. This is unfortunate because I doubt the genuine safety disadvantages outweigh the potential benefits, as evidence by all the people who have stuff on their helmets.

Some lights designed to mount on helmets basically attach a quick release bracket onto the helmet. It would be nice to integrate into the helmet, though. I'm sure there's a market, it's just a matter of who's willing to work through their liability department.
Yes, I guess the helmet manufacturers are extra-concerned about liability. They might fear folks mounting a light that runs too warm...I remember a long time ago I bought a helmet & the owner's manual warned against applying anything with adhesive...naturally one winter day my head got soaked with freezing rain & I passed by another rider who had taped up the cooling slots to keep the rain out. I felt a bit dumb then since it seems very unlikely that a little bit of tape would compromise the helmet strength significantly.

Had not heard about lights with the q/r bracket, thanks for mentioning that.
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Old 04-06-11, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostGreenGuy View Post
Check out the Bell Muni and Arella. They have both mirror and light mounts.

http://www.bellsports.com/cycling/helmets/pavement/muni

(snip)
Interesting, thanks. Certainly a step in the right direction & the USB light-charging is sorta neat (although after WikiLeaks military & related contractors have banned USB thumb drives). AlmostGreenGuy mentions that the mirror is too small--I agree--the dental-size mirrors are silly--the jumbo helmet/sunglass mirrors give a far superior field of view with negligible weight. Also the Bell Muni front light looks like a be-seen deal as opposed to a see deal. DC area has a popular bike path from Alexandria to Mt Vernon, very dark at night with constant sharp turns--the ideal area for a fairly bright helmet-mount light to scan ahead.
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Old 04-07-11, 08:30 AM
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I got my Bell Muni yesterday. I'll post more detail later, after it gets it's first ride this afternoon. But here are a few initial impressions of the Muni, Fleas and mirror setup.
  1. Helmet fits great. Love the neck strap adjustment system. Good looking too.
  2. Flip mirror mounts well, but definitely looks to be on the small side.
  3. Rear Flea is awesome. Very secure mounting, and visibility looks good.
  4. The mounting of the front Flea is questionaable. It doesn't seem particularly secure. Definitely not a light to see by, just to be seen.
  5. I got the solar Flea charger. I'm going to try to adapt it to either my bike or my backpack. It will take some thought.
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Old 04-07-11, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Why not?
Because not all lights fit the same way, and not all helmets are shaped to point every light the best direction.
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Old 04-07-11, 08:08 PM
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So I had a ride with the Bell Muni today. The optional flip mirror is definitely close to useless. Horrible optics. Tiny size. And worst of all, no way to swing the mirror arm from side to side. The mirror sits very close to inline with the helmet, meaning that it works very well for seeing your own face, but doesn't stick out far enough sideways to see what's behind you. The whole mirror experience was like a cruel joke. I picked up a helmet mounting Third Eye mirror tonight, that I'll be gluing on this weekend.

The front Flea seems to stay on securely enough while riding. I wouldn't hang the helmet front side down from my backpack, and expect the Flea to still be there after riding a pogo stick for an hour. But for riding, I think it will be just fine.
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Old 04-11-11, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
Because not all lights fit the same way, and not all helmets are shaped to point every light the best direction.

True, but I'm thinking that with the wide array of helmets (& prices) there could be a few models that offer this feature & also some corresponding lights & mirrors. But unfortunately 95% of US bike market is strictly recreational with no thought of practicality. I live next to a bike path & see 1,000s of riders yet when I ride to the grocery store the only bike I see locked up is an employee's. OTOH I see a fair amount of commuters with helmet lights, there should be some demand there.

I also like the idea of clothing or safety vests with built-in illumination. I bought a bike vest with built-in led lights, unfortunately the electronics were cheap & it didn't last very long & wasn't very bright either.
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Old 04-11-11, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostGreenGuy View Post
So I had a ride with the Bell Muni today. The optional flip mirror is definitely close to useless. Horrible optics. Tiny size. And worst of all, no way to swing the mirror arm from side to side. The mirror sits very close to inline with the helmet, meaning that it works very well for seeing your own face, but doesn't stick out far enough sideways to see what's behind you. The whole mirror experience was like a cruel joke. I picked up a helmet mounting Third Eye mirror tonight, that I'll be gluing on this weekend.

The front Flea seems to stay on securely enough while riding. I wouldn't hang the helmet front side down from my backpack, and expect the Flea to still be there after riding a pogo stick for an hour. But for riding, I think it will be just fine.
Too bad about the Muni mirror. Aside from the adjustment problem the tiny mirrors just don't cut it. Looked at 3rd Eye's website & those look pretty nice although they don't state the exact size. Prior to my EVT I had another mirror (forget which brand) that was the glue-on-helmet type. It fell off, I think the mirror unsnapped from the stem. The EVT is super, it attaches to the helmet with zip ties (low-tech but works) & the field of view is sweet, it doesn't have to be adjusted to the exact degree to work nicely.
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Old 04-11-11, 09:34 PM
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Flea seems to need a special adapter to connect to USB, That is the kind of thing I lose.
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Old 04-13-11, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostGreenGuy View Post
Horrible optics. Tiny size. And worst of all, no way to swing the mirror arm from side to side. The mirror sits very close to inline with the helmet, meaning that it works very well for seeing your own face, but doesn't stick out far enough sideways to see what's behind you. The whole mirror experience was like a cruel joke. I picked up a helmet mounting Third Eye mirror tonight, that I'll be gluing on this weekend.
.
How sad. Maybe if you pointed the mirror so that you can see just the tip of your earlobe. That's the sweet spot when using the Third Eye on your glasses.
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Old 04-13-11, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
How sad. Maybe if you pointed the mirror so that you can see just the tip of your earlobe. That's the sweet spot when using the Third Eye on your glasses.
Unfortunately, it's not adjustable enough. Trust me. the Bell is just a horrible cheap mirror.

I mounted a glue-on Third Eye a few days ago, and it is much better than the Bell. It still swings out of the way, just like the Bell mirror.

I'm still getting used to non-handlebar mirrors though. I haven't decided whether I like them enough to remove my handlebar mirror. The Third Eye just seems to need constant adjustment, where my Mountain Myrrycle handlebar mirror is pretty much set-it-and-forget-it.

I also have a Take A Look eyeglass mirror to try.

The Muni is a very nice looking helmet though. I normally look like an idiot when wearing a helmet. I at least don't look like as big of a dork in the Muni. Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the Muni. The mirror part is the only downside. It's a useless feature.

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Old 04-18-11, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostGreenGuy View Post
Unfortunately, it's not adjustable enough. Trust me. the Bell is just a horrible cheap mirror.

I mounted a glue-on Third Eye a few days ago, and it is much better than the Bell. It still swings out of the way, just like the Bell mirror.

I'm still getting used to non-handlebar mirrors though. I haven't decided whether I like them enough to remove my handlebar mirror. The Third Eye just seems to need constant adjustment, where my Mountain Myrrycle handlebar mirror is pretty much set-it-and-forget-it.
I was going to try a handlebar mirror except that I would have to give up my magic shock-absorbing handlebar plugs! Seriously, once I went to the LBS just to pick up a couple of cheapo plugs & the enthusiastic sales-person sold me on these, even doing a demonstration by dropping a handlebar onto the floor with & without the shock-damping plug (don't remember the mfgr, a big name though). They seem to work but I dunno.

Anyway the handlebar mirrors are nice & big--only thing I like about helmet mirrors is the ability to move head to scan different areas. BTW the little Muni light at least looks cool, reminds me of a tiny dragster supercharger.
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Old 11-28-12, 11:30 PM
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Seems like a good idea badly executed. Are there similar products out there? I was looking for a commuter helmet and saw this list:

http://road.cc/tags/commuter-helmet
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Old 11-28-12, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
BTW the little Muni light at least looks cool, reminds me of a tiny dragster supercharger.
Those were exactly my thoughts.

If anyone has doubts about the value of a rear blinkie on a helmut, they are fantastic. OT, I know, but I've seen them while driving at dusk, and they are unbelievably visible.
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Old 11-29-12, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostGreenGuy View Post
I'll be looking for a Muni tomorrow. My only reservation is that the flip mirror looks a bit on the small side.
It is on the small size. It's also convex which mitigates the small size but makes following traffic look farther back than they are. I pretty much have to readjust mine every time that I put on my helmet too.
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