Instructables

A DIY Sun-Protective Brim for a Bicycle Helmet

Picture of A DIY Sun-Protective Brim for a Bicycle Helmet
INTRO - My girlfriend and I are doing a shakedown cycle tour in prep for our impending two-year bike tour from Vietnam to Mexico [via SE Asia, China, Kazakhstan, Europe, Quebec, and the US] starting in Feb next year.

At the moment we're heading south down the east coast of Australia (from Cairns to Sydney ) and damn the sun is relentless...

Anyway, since I really like my funky new bike helmet but it provides no shade for my face or neck, I've adapted an eleven dollar white canvas cricket hat to the task.
 
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Step 1: Necessities etc -

Picture of Necessities etc -
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What you'll need...

cloth hat
sewing machine / #10 hand sewing needle
pencil / chalk
thread
scissors
scalpel
cutting board
beer...

Step 2: The Process -

Picture of The Process -
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The pictures should express most of it really, but here goes -

Find a suitable candidate. White to reflect the sun, canvas to breathe, and CHEAP.

Cut the crown off - to minimise discomfort and maximise ventilation. I cut less off the back to cover the big gap. The front is about 30mm high, and the back is roughly 80mm...

Mark the slots for the chin-strap, and cut out with the scalpel. It's easy to cut more out later, but harder to fix if you remove too much too early... I cut the slots about 4mm wide and 120mm long

Check that it all fits before you finish it...

Bind the edges. With a sewing machine, or by hand, zig-zag or blanket-stitch over the cut edges to keep the fabric from fraying. Reinforce the sliced-through vertical seams by sewing back-and-forth a bit.

Now whack it on ya noggin and get cyclin', safe from the sun.
airdrummer2 years ago
gr8 minds think alike;-) here's my straw hat brim helmet...i also found that it fits better if the brim rim goes between the helmet & its straps...no cutting slots req'd;-)
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kirschnermn2 years ago
This was a terrific idea! My skins cells say "thank you very much".
The hat I decided to 'sacrifice' for this project was made of ripstop nylon so even when cutting into it, the fabric does not fray. I highly suggest this type of fabric for this project as is eliminates having to use a sewing machine or needle and thread. You can use the cost savings to buy more beer. :)
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A snip at the back off the outside edge of the rim. Slide a piece of wire around the outermost edge (light clotheshanger) and now the wind won't cause it to flap around. Served me well for yrs. Love the idea of attaching to the helmet!
Phil B3 years ago
Thank you for this idea. My doctor tells me I must avoid too much sun exposure now. That has greatly reduced (eliminated?) my cycling, which I dearly loved. I have a hat similar to the one you used and can easily buy another. I have been able to cover the rest of my body, but had not come up with a satisfactory solution for my head and neck. I could wear a sunscreen, but those have some nasty chemicals that are gaining a bad reputation, especially retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone.
 was that a tilly hat?
It was just a generic tilly-style cricket hat I picked up while in Far-North Queensland.
linda19674 years ago
I love it! Just made mine, and was in such a hurry to get it finished (so I can ride to work tomorrow) that I haven't bothered to sew the edges, I just used pinking shears (zigzag scissors). Let's see how long it lasts before I have to get the sewing machine out. Thank you so much for this great idea, which will have me enjoying riding in the sun again (I hate the sun in my eyes and wear glasses so sunnies are not practical). Only downside is my husband thinks it looks a bit daggy. But I don't care :-)
TallDaveOS (author)  linda19674 years ago
Thanks for that.
Daggy is just another word dull people use to show how inflexible they are. I'm totally daggy and proud of it. We're 3000 km into a round-the-world cycle trip and loving it. Unfortunately the hat didn't make it into the box for Asia, which was a bit of a bummer.
http://rtwbybike.blogspot.com/
falcon625 years ago
I like it! At first I though you had glued it to your helmet but it's nice to have the option to take it off & move it to a different helmet if you want. How does the hat do with wicking sweat?
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