Stopping Bike Helmet Strap Creepage

My bike helmet sports a mirror, microphone boom, and earbud, so I generally hang it from the top of the seat on my Tour Easy. There’s a convenient peg seemingly made for capturing the triangle of strap that normally goes over my ear and, up to the point where I set up this helmet, everything was good.

Helmet hanging on Tour Easy seat
Helmet hanging on Tour Easy seat

After about a week, I noticed that the buckle was grossly off-center under my chin: the straps had shifted to one side.

Come to find out that the front strap on this helmet passes through an opening across the central member, below the plastic covering. Judging from the teardown of an older helmet, Bell used double-stick tape to hold the strap in place. Applying a constant force in one direction (I’m a creature of habit, the helmet always hangs from its right-side triangle) gently pulls the strap through the passage.

Front strap passing through helmet
Front strap passing through helmet

So I cut two slabs of closed-cell foam and jammed them into the opening atop the strap, one from each side, with a screwdriver. That forced the strap against the adhesive and mechanically wedged it in place.

Problem solved!

10 thoughts on “Stopping Bike Helmet Strap Creepage

  1. I’ve the same problem, plus the adhesives let go when immersed repeatedly in saltwater so the pads start coming loose and creeping around. So irritating. I wish I could find an adhesive that sticks to nylon webbing, styrofoam, and closed-cell soft foam and stands up to saltwater.
    My brother has an LED light on his helmet and because of the way it mounts through the holes, it only works off to one side, which means his has the leans while he’s wearing it. We’re thinking about seeing if we can do a distributed battery pack, with one on each side. (Note that having your only LED light on your helmet is a terrible idea because you lose depth perception with your light source at your eyes: his main one is on the handlebars, with this just being so he can see where he looks and can essentially on/off flash at oncoming traffic.)

    1. Any adhesive capable of bonding to that stuff would also bond skin from across the room; you’d wind up firmly affixed to the floor shortly after opening the shipping package, even with the adhesive bottle still in its shrink wrap.

      A long time ago, back when cyanoacrylate adhesives were shiny-new, I was doing the summer intern thing at a medical center, killing calves in the name of science (but that’s another story). The medical types were using CA adhesives in place of stitches and, having read the warnings about it also being a potent skin adhesive, I put a minute drop on my thumb and mashed it with my index finger.

      Fortunately, I did that with my left thumb & forefinger, leaving me free to rummage through a drawer for a scalpel with my right hand. I sliced my digits apart and managed to stay between the two dermis layers for pretty nearly the entire operation.

      Verily, there is no reason for human males to survive puberty…

      on/off flash at oncoming traffic

      Sometimes you gotta get ’em right between the eyes to get their attention…

      1. I’d’ve thunk that any decent RTV would hold up, with some mechanical texture to grab on to.

        Someday I want to find somebody with a laser scanner and a 3d printer and make a custom helmet liner for myself. Unlike smellsofbikes some of us have *hair* and boy is that a nightmare…

        Sometimes you gotta get ‘em right between the eyes to get their attention…

        That’s what the megawatt-class laser is for. Sure, it’s a little heavy…

        1. with some mechanical texture to grab on to

          Except the stuff is too slippery: it ought to lock onto webbing, but I’ve seen the ridges slither right through.

          Too many miracle plastics, the way I see it. Time to go back to stone & wood… maybe phenolic, in a pinch.

      2. I was working as a silversmith for a while, and one of my coworkers, a charming but particularly dingy lady, was using cyanoacrylate to glue feathers onto kachina dolls. You would THINK that the people making kachinas, who live in the middle of ARIZONA, wouldn’t use hot-glue guns to attach everything together. You’d be wrong. So they’d ship them via UPS through the Arizona desert and they’d arrive like a surrealist abattoir: a huge box of arms and legs and bodies and heads, and we’d reassemble them. ANYWAY. So my coworker, in a moment of casual inattention, grabbed the glue bottle with her hand, holding the stuff together with her other hand, and pulled the top off with her mouth. She glued everything together, and then she said “mmphfff.” Because she’d just glued her lips together. I and my other coworker began giggling, because how can you not? and my poor coworker put her head down on her hand and groaned. And then realized she’d also glued her hand to her forehead.
        Cyanoacrylate glues are *awesome*.

        >Sometimes you gotta get ‘em right between the eyes to get their attention…

        Oh, I have reels of multi-watt LED’s. Don’t think that strobe lights haven’t tempted me.

        1. they’d arrive like a surrealist abattoir

          A fun surprise inside every box…

          Don’t think that strobe lights haven’t tempted me.

          The DOT actually has specs for flashing rate & intensity & stuff like that, but it’s all too spendy for my low budget taste. Apparently the limit is something like 50% at 4 Hz; photo-optic stimulation is howcome you don’t see really dazzling displays on the butt ends of cars.

          With that said, I think low-duty-cycle LED tail lights are particularly attention-getting, because my eye saccades turn them into rows of little dotties (my ladies can’t see them, so maybe it’s just me). It looks like 10% at 70 Hz, more or less, and I must do something like that pretty soon for the aft-facing blinky lights on our bikes.

          1. >because my eye saccades turn them into rows of little dotties

            When we started designing LED lights, we assumed that if we were dimming them at anything over 120Hz we’d be fine. Then, various regulatory agencies started asking us to prove that, and we started reading and doing research. Turns out that, as you’ve found, rapid eye traverse, especially if either or both the source and observer are moving, pushes the lower threshold of perception *way* up, easily into the kHz range, and it’s possible to measure eye fatigue from (we presume) reaction to blinking at rates well higher than people can perceive blinking. So it’s certainly not just you, and there’s a possibility that it’s a big problem for LED lighting design.

            1. a possibility that it’s a big problem for LED lighting design

              Curing a recall of all LED tail lights in three, two, one …

              My ladies cannot see the dotties, so it obviously doesn’t affect everybody. I think it’s rather attention-getting, although I admit the dotties become distracting on a highway with lots of traffic.

              I plan to do something like that when I (eventually) get around to building a decent bike tail / running light. Above the usual flicker fusion frequency, certainly, but I want dotties!

          1. I have now… [*gag*]

            It’s amazing what you can teach kids by example. Our young lady thinks nothing of donning goggles, leather gloves, and earplugs as appropriate. She thinks all this is perfectly normal; the sight of her doing some artsy-craftsy project in full-frontal PPE regalia warms my heart.

            Of course, that simply means she’ll find a really interesting way of doing herself in…

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