Johansson, Klas (Svarvartorpsvägen 17, Anderstorp, S-334 31, SE)
|1.||A fixing system for a helmet (1), comprising a pair of front straps (3) which are secured each in a front side portion of the helmet (1), a pair of rear straps (4) which are secured each in a rear side portion or a nape portion of the helmet (1), and a chinstrap (6) that extends between the front (3) and rear (4) straps on each respective side of the helmet (1), characterised in that the front and rear straps (3, 4) are longitudinally adjustable by means of an adjustment device (7) a distance from the end points of the straps.|
|2.||The fixing system as claimed in Claim 1, characterised in that a longitudinal adjustment of each strap is independent of the length of the other straps (3, 4, 6).|
|3.||The fixing system as claimed in Claim 1 or 2, characterised in that the front strap (3) and the rear strap (4) are joined together at a point (5) on each side of the helmet (1) and may be angled in relation to one another at the interconnection point (5).|
|4.||The fixing system as claimed in any of Claims 1 to 3, characterised in that each lengthadjustable strap (3, 4, 6) consists of two strap sections (8, 9) which at least partly overlap one another and are interconnected to one another by means of the adjustment device (7).|
|5.||The fixing system as claimed in Claim 4, characterised in that a free strap (8) may be accommodated along its edges in a guide (18) on the other strap section (9).|
|6.||The fixing system as claimed in any of Claims 1 to 5, characterised in that the adjustment device includes a movable engagement member (12, 25) for cooperation with one of a series of projections (14, 24).|
|7.||The fixing system as claimed in Claims 4 ai engagement device (12) is disposed on the one strap section (9), while the projections are disposed on the other strap section (8).|
|8.||The fixing system as claimed in Claim 7, characterised in that the strap section (8) provided with the projections (14) is insertable in a slot (11) in the adjustment device (7), in which the engagement device (12) is slidably disposed for locking and releasing of the strap section (8) on length adjustment of the strap (3, 4, 6).|
|9.||The fixing system as claimed in any of Claims 1 to 8, characterised in that all included straps (3, 4, 6) are longitudinally adjustable.|
|10.||A helmet (1) including the fixing system as claimed in any of Claims 1 to 9.|
The present invention relates to a fixing system for a helmet, comprising a pair of front straps which are secured each in a front side portion of the helmet, a pair of rear straps which are secured each in a rear side portion or a nape portion of the helmet, and a chinstrap that extends between the front and rear straps on each respective side of the helmet.
The present invention also relates to a helmet.
There are innumerable different helmets available on the market, for example bicycle helmets that are provided with various devices for fixing thereof on the head of a user. A few examples of solutions are disclosed in GB 2,303 168 and US 5,272,773. The first of these shows a construction where a front strap which extends at the temple of the wearer, and a rear strap which extends behind the ear of the wearer meet just beneath the ear and thereafter run above one another under the wearer' chin. Thus, the straps make a Y-configuration. On adjustment of the straps, the front and rear strap will preferably be shortened to the same extent, unless an adjustment where the straps slide in relation to one another is made under the chin.
US 5,272,773 discloses a corresponding configuration where the front and rear straps meet at an adjustment plate where the angle of the straps is predetermined. The chinstrap is moreover an extension of the front strap.
A feature common to these examples of prior art technology is that the adjustment of the fixing devices, i.e. the straps provided for this purpose, is rather inconvenient.
In those cases where the chinstrap is a direct exte strap, an adjustment of one of the straps will automatically entail mat tne cninstrap must also be adjusted. The angle between the front and the rear straps is often predetermined, for example by an adjustment tightener, which entails that an optimum fit cannot always be achieved, for example because of the fact that the straps wrinkle or fold over. Adjustment of the straps in any respect thereof e requires additional adjustment at other positions in the fixing devices.
It may appear as if an adjustment would only need to be carried out when the helmet is first tested and purchased, but in a varying climate, it is often desirable that one and the same skull cap can occasionally be worn under the helmet, and adjustments will therefore be required considerably more often. In addition, adjustments are required at the same rate as the young wearer grows up, which is most manifest if the helmet has been unused for some time.
Another problem inherent in prior art strap arrangements is that the straps are either tight and difficult to adjust, or that they conversely slip far too easily and do not give a sufficiently reliable retention. An additional problem is that the ends of the straps are not always readily storable in any position, but show a tendency to flap loosely when the helmet is adjusted for a smaller wearer.
Since the prior art technology in general calls for the utilisation of textile straps, in particular woven textile straps, the problems are particularly tangible, since the straps are flexible and often have a slippy surface, in particular when they are new. They also tend to wrinkle or fold and can, as a result, jam in the passage through the existing adjustment devices, in particular if they are worn. Taken as a whole, the use of textile straps is a source of problems and is one major contributory factor in the difficulties in adjusting the fit of the helmet. As a result, it is desirable to realise another solution to this problem.
Another problem is that it is often difficult to adji worn on the head. Either the adjustment devices are so complex that they cannot be operated simply suing only the wearer's feel, or the devices are so difficult to operate that the helmet must be doffed in order for sufficient force to be able to be applied using the hands. This either results in a large number of tests and readjustments or that the wearer becomes satisfied with a less than perfect fit.
Given that parents are often extremely anxious that their children wear a helmet and that, in certain countries, there is even legislation requiring their use, it is reasonable to suppose that a large number of the helmets that are in use will be handled by children and youngsters of different ages. It is not always to be reliably expected that their use of helmets will be supervised by an adult, which may result in helmets which are a very poor fit on the wearer's head will be used, and in the worst case scenario not afford the intended protection in the event of an accident.
There is therefore a need in the art to realise a simply adjustable device for fixedly retaining a helmet so that the helmet may readily be given a good fit and, as a result, afford the consequentially superior protection, and such adjustment being preferably carried out when the helmet is worn on the user's head.
The objects forming the basis of the present invention will be attained if the fixing system intimated by way of introduction is characterised in that at least one of the straps is longitudinally adjustable through an adjustment device a distance from the end points of the strap.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPA
The present invention will now be described din greater detail hereinbelow, with reference to the accompanying Drawings. In the accompanying Drawings:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view obliquely from the front of a helmet with an adjustable strap set according to the present invention;
Fig. 2 is a straight top plan view of the adjustment device;
Fig. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line A-A in Fig. 2;
Figs. 4a-c are a perspective view obliquely from behind of one alternative embodiment of the strap set, and detailed views of the fixing of the strap set in the helmet; and
Fig. 5 is a straight side elevation of one alternative embodiment of the strap set.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Fig. 1 shows a helmet 1 which has a fixing system in the form of a strap set 2 according to the invention for fixing the helmet on a wearer's head. The strap set 2 comprises a front strap 3 and a rear strap 4 on either side of the helmet 1. The term straps is employed for the substantially planar elongate, slightly flexible fixing devices that are used for retaining the helmet on the head of the wearer, They should not be confused with such textile straps as are used in the prior art technology and which they are intended to supersede. The front strap 3 and the rear strap 4 are, on either side of the helmet 1, interconnected to one another in an interconnection point 5 which functions as a pivot, i.e. the interconnection permits
the front strap 3 to assume different angular posit and vice versa. The front strap 3 is, on each side ot the helmet 1, intended to abut in the region of the wearer's temple. The rear strap 4 extends behind the wearer's ear and rearwards towards the nape area of the wearer.
A chinstrap 6 extends between the two sides of the strap set 2, preferably from the areas around the interconnection points 5.
In the preferred embodiment, each one of the straps 3, 4, 6 is adjustable with regard to its length. The adjustment takes place at a position between the end points of the straps 3, 4 and 6, where adjustment devise 7 are provided. This makes it possible that each one of the straps 3, 4 and 6 is adjustable individually, which would have been difficult to realise if the adjustment had taken place in a common fixing device, as is the case in the prior art technology.
As the front strap 3 and the rear strap 4 on each side of the helmet 1 are of different lengths, the angle between them will vary, since their fixing points in the helmet 1 are fixed and thereby also the distance between them, at the same time as the interconnection point 5 permits a movement. This thus implies that the interconnection point 5 is movable not only upwards and downwards when the front strap 3 and the rear strap 4 are shortened, but also forwards and backwards in relation to a user, and this gives additional superior possibilities for an individual adaptation of the helmet.
The straps 3, 4 and 6 are, in the preferred embodiment, manufactured from a relatively rigid material which, however, is flexible to such an extent that the straps can be adapted to the outer form of the wearer's head and comfortably abut against it. The relatively rigid straps are easy to handle and do not wrinkle or fold on adjustment.
The straps 3 and 4 are secured in the helmet 1 in i the requirements on strength and reliability that are placed int. al. by legislation and other regulations. In the preferred embodiment, it is conceivable that, for example, the front strap 3 extends upwards and around the inside of the helmet 1 or inside the helmet wall around the entire crown area of the wearer.
Fig. 2 shows an adjustment device 7 in detail. For improved clarity, the adjustment device 7 is shown in a section taken along the line A-A in Fig. 3. The adjustment device 7 is disposed somewhere between the end points of one of the straps 3, 4 and 6. Each strap is divided into two strap sections 8 and 9 which overlap one another in an overlap zone 10. The upper strap section 8 which partly overlaps the lower strap section 9 in the overlap zone 10 is inserted through a slot 11 into abutment above the lower strap section 9. On the lower strap section 9, there is provided a movable engagement device 12 and an abutment 13, which facilitates the operation of the lovable engagement device 12.
The movable engagement device 12 cooperates with one of a series of projections 14 on the upper strap section 8. The abutment 13 has a ramp surface 16 against which the movable engagement device 12 abuts. The engagement device 12 and the abutment 13 each have gripping members 16, 17 for operation of the adjustment device 7. When the gripping members 16 and 17 are pressed against one another, the engagement device 12 will slide along the ramp surface 15 and lose contact with that one of the projections 14 which it had hitherto cooperated with. The strap sections 8 and 9 can thereby be displaced in relation to one another, and when the gripping members 16 and 17 are released, the movable engagement device 12 will cooperate with some other projection 14 on the upper strap section 8. Lengthening and shortening of the straps 3, 4 and 6 will be very simple to carry out with the aid of the feel of the wearer when the helmet is in place on the wearer's head.
For a controlled displacement of the strap section in order to keep the end of the upper strap section 8 in place, there is provided a guide 18 on the lower strap section 9. The guide 18 includes two flaps which extend in over the lower strap section 9 a distance therefrom so that a space is formed therebetween, through which the edges of the upper strap section 8 may be moved.
DESCRIPTION OF ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS
Fig. 4a shows in perspective obliquely from behind an alternative embodiment of a helmet which includes the strap set according to the invention. That which distinguishes this variation from the preferred embodiment which is shown in Fig. 1 is, on the one hand, the buckle 19 in the chinstrap 6 and, on the other hand, the method of securing the strap set 2 in the helmet 1.
In the embodiment which is shown in Fig. 4a, the adjustment device 7 on the chinstrap 6 has been replaced by a conventional buckle 19. The buckle 19 may be designed as a safety buckle for children, which implies that it is opened at a predetermined, higher strain which could occur, for example, if the child fastens with the helmet 1 while playing. Those strains at which the buckle 19 opens are approved in different safety regulations that may vary somewhat from one country to another.
The fixing Of the straps 3, 4 in the helmet 1 is shown in detail in Figs. 4b and c which are on a larger scale showing magnifications of details in Fig. 4a but where the fixing has been raised a distance from the helmet 1. At each fixing, a part of the strap 3, 4 is passed around an anchorage device 20 whose form is reminiscent of a buckle. In order that it be possible to mount the strap through the openings 21 in the anchorage device 20. The anchorage device 20 is at some point provided with openings or slots that permit insertion of the strap 3, 4 in the lateral direction. For example, an intermediate piece 22 between the openings 21 may be slotted, in
which event this slot is concealed by the strap 3,
Another way of solving the mounting problem is that a corresponding slot is provided somewhere along the edges of the anchorage device 20. Regardless of how the anchorage device 20 is designed, it should nevertheless be sufficiently strong in order, together with the straps 3 and 4, to ensure that the helmet 1 is kept in position by the strap set 2 in the event of an accident. In such instance, the point of departure is those safety standards and regulations which are in place for each country or region.
The fixings that are shown in Fig. 4a-c may be visible, but are often concealed by an outer shell which is applied after mounting and fixing of the strap set 2.
The construction and appearance of the straps 3, 4 and 6 and the adjustment devices 7 may vary within a broad area, on condition that their function and simple operation are maintained. One concrete example of such a variation is shown in Fig. 5 and entails that one or more of the straps 3, 4, 6 are provided with longitudinal slots 23 whose edges have a series of projections 24. The adjustment device 7 includes in such a case a thumbwheel or knob 25 with engagement members that cooperate with the projections 24, and the displacement of the strap sections 8 and 9 in relation to one another takes place on turning of the thumbwheel 25. The thumbwheel 25 is thus the movable engagement device which is designated by reference numeral 12 in the preferred embodiment.
The thumbwheel 25 may also be given other designs, for example as a wheel with a knurled edge for operation.
In the Figures, the engagement members 12, 25 and the overlapping strap sections 8 and 9 have a given orientation and positioning on the straps 3, 4 and 6. Naturally, a different orientation and positioning may be conceivable, as long as the intended longitudinal adjustment of the straps is maintained, for example the adjustment
devices may be positioned in close conjunction \* possibly inside it.
The present invention may be modified further without departing from the scope of the appended Claims.