I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a "real" helmet light, so I went out and bought a comparatively cheap flashlight. The problems I then faced were; how to mount it? How can I get the light beam where I want it? How can i make it easy to mount and remove? This is my solution.
Step 1: Materials and Tools:
1. Old reflector and mount
2. LED flashlight
3. Zip tie
4. piece of foam rubber (optional)
1. A #2 phillips screwdriver
3. A file or sandpaper
Step 2: Seek and Destroy...(sort Of)
Find your donor reflector and separate the lens plate from the mounting bracket. to do this, slip a screwdriver between the backplate of the reflector and the bracket arm, pry the arm up, then simply slide the reflector off the arm.
Now smash out the lens. a couple whacks with a pliers should open a hole in the center. use the pliers to pry off remaining pieces. This is to be your 'new' mounting plate.
Step 3: Making the Mount Removable
Notice the nub on the plate? We'll need to knock that down some with a file or sand paper, Otherwise our mount wont be a very quick release. I used a metal file. It cut very quickly so use a little care here. If you take it down too much, it wont catch at all. Check the fit by sliding the arm in and out. You should hear a satisfying 'click'. If it wont slide smoothly, cut down the surfaces with some sandpaper.
Step 4: Positioning Plate
Find a suitable spot on your helmet to mount the plate. We'll be using zip ties and, thankfully, bike helmets have plenty of holes to work with. ( Even my old skate style helmet had useable openings ). If you are using a helmet you'd rather not scratch with the hard plastic plate, simply sandwich a piece of foam rubber, duct tape or even a chunk of tube between them. Now, mark on the plate where you think the holes should go. Keep in mind what direction you want the light to mount from. (front to back, back to front or side to side) I went with a side mount.
Step 5: Drill!
Drill out the holes... Mind your fingers kids! and use safety glasses.
Now thread your zip ties in. I only needed one, you may want to use more, depending on you particular mounting situation.
Step 6: Mounting
Zip tie the plate to the helmet. You'll want to get it good and tight. If its not, your light will be wobbly and lame.
Mount the flashlight to the arm and slide onto the plate. You're almost ready to go!
Note the screw on the mounting arm. Loosen and adjust the pitch to put the beam where you need it. Then snug it down. You may need to adjust on the fly so don't crank it down too tight!
Being out on the trails with darkness setting in can be exciting. Being out there in the dark, fumbling with your light rig is not!
Keep the light in your hydration pack or jersey pocket. When it starts getting sketchy, just click it in and go. No wires, no O-rings, nothing to drop on the ground and lose. Nice and simple.
Thanks for checking out my indestructible! comments are appreciated!