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Title:
Slip-on, insulating and decorative cover for bicycle safety helmets
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A slip-on, insulating and decorative cover for bicycle safety helmets is provided by which bicycle helmets are provided with an overall covering complete with integral ear flaps. The ear flaps can be folded down to protect the ears and keep them warm in cold weather. The ear flaps have slots in them, thru which the helmet straps are routed. The decorative cover is readily attached and easily removed from the bike helmet to allow for removal during warm weather or for washing.


Inventors:
Moore, Toni (Cleborne, TX, US)
Application Number:
09/732171
Publication Date:
06/28/2001
Filing Date:
12/07/2000
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B3/00; (IPC1-7): A63B71/10
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Offices of John D. Gugliotta, P.E., Esq. (202 Delaware Building, Akron, OH, 44308, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A fabric cover for bicycle helmets comprising: a main body constructed of a material that stretches to fit over and contracts to fit the contour of a bicycle helmet; a generally convex domed outer surface formed by said main body that forms and bounds a concave helmet receiving volume; and a decorative outer surface affixed to an outside surface of said domed outer surface and supporting a central, upper surface flanked by a first side surface opposite a second side surface.

2. The fabric cover for bicycle helmets of claim 1, wherein said side surfaces further comprises a decorative or aesthetic element.

3. The fabric cover for bicycle helmets of claim 1, wherein said main body is comprised of a flame retardant material.

4. The fabric cover for bicycle helmets of claim 1, wherein said upper surface and side surfaces support a reflective coating.

5. The fabric cover for bicycle helmets of claim 1, further comprising main body retention means attached to ends of said main body so as to form a generally enclosed structure.

6. The fabric cover for bicycle helmets of claim 5, wherein said main body retention means comprises an elastic band circumscribing and impinging below a peripheral brim.

7. The fabric cover for bicycle helmets of claim 5, wherein said main body retention means comprises a plurality of hook fastening elements of a hook and loop fastening means affixed to an outer surface of a bicycle helmet, wherein an inner fabric surface functions as the loop fastening element of the hook and loop fastening means.

8. The fabric cover for bicycle helmets of claim 1, further comprising a pair of ear flaps extending laterally downward from said main body.

9. The fabric cover for bicycle helmets of claim 8, wherein said ear flaps further comprise an upper strap orifice and a lower strap orifice in fluid communication therethrough, thereby providing a generally tubular strap passage conduit for communication of a strap within each flap.

10. The fabric cover for bicycle helmets of claim 8, wherein each said flap further forms a decorative outer flap surface opposite an insulative inner surface.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS AND DISCLOSURES

[0001] There present invention is a Continuation in Part of U.S. Ser. No. 09/471,355, filed on Dec. 23, 1999, and herein abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates generally thermal protection for headgear and decorative helmet covers, and, more particularly, to a thermal and decorative cover for a bicycle helmet.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] As any responsible bicycle rider will attest, the use of protective head gear is essential in preventing serious injury or even death should an accident occur. As head injuries are the most serious injuries associated with bicycle riding, use of helmets has been proven to drastically improve ones chances for survival should an accident occur. However, convincing people, especially children, to wear them is often a futile experience. Children often complain that the look of the helmet does not fit in with the image they are trying to present. Additionally, when wore during cold weather, they do not do a good job of keeping one's head warm due to the many air channels present. A stocking cap underneath does not fit and may impact the safety performance of the helmet system.

[0006] A search of the prior art did not disclose any patents that read directly on the claims of the instant invention; however, the following references were considered related.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 5,887,289 issued in the name of Theoret discloses a safety cap with a removable fabric cover for aesthetic value and thermal insulation.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 5,603,728 issued in the name of Pachys describes a scalp cooling/heating apparatus.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 5,557,807 issued in the name of Hujar et al. discloses an article of headwear including cooling or warming means for the head of the wearer.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 5,525,290 issued in the name of Carpenter describes a method of manufacturing a decorated helmet.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 5,395,400 issued in the name of Stafford et al. discloses headgear for receiving exothermic heat packets.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 4,995,117 issued in the name of Mirage describes a bicycle helmet with adjustable ventilation systems and attaching ear cups.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 4,133,055 issued in the name of Zebuhr discloses a protective helmet with a thermal liner.

[0014] And, U.S. Pat. No. D 348,750 issued in the name of Egger describes the ornamental design of a covered cycling helmet.

[0015] Accordingly, there is a need for a means by which a bicycle helmet can be visually modified to aid in encouraging children to wear them along with providing a means to keep one's head warm while wearing a bicycle helmet during cold weather.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0016] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved slip-on, elastic, fabric cover for bicycle helmets and the like that is designed to be both thermally insulative as well as decorative.

[0017] Briefly described according to one embodiment of the present invention, slip-on, insulating and decorative cover for bicycle safety helmets is a device by which bicycle helmets are provided with an overall covering complete with integral ear flaps. The invention is intended to make a fashion statement along with the additional benefit of increased warmth while it is worn during the winter season. The ear flaps can be folded down to protect the ears and keep them warm in cold weather. The ear flaps have slots in them, thru which the helmet straps are routed. This feature helps keep the invention secured to the helmet. The decorative cover is readily attached and easily removed from the bike helmet to allow for removal during warm weather or for washing of the invention.

[0018] The use of the present invention allows one cover up a conventional bicycle helmet to make a fashion statement and also allows one to keep their head warm while using a bicycle helmet in cold weather.

[0019] It is another object of the present invention to provide a device that conforms to the contour of a bicycle helmet and the like.

[0020] It is another object of the present invention to provide a device that is self-securing.

[0021] It is another object of the present invention to provide a device that can be easily slid on and off the bicycle helmet.

[0022] It is another object of the present invention to provide a device that is washable.

[0023] It is another object of the present invention to provide a device that comes in a variety of colors and patterns, to suit wearers' taste and facilitate individuality.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0024] The advantages and features of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following more detailed description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements are identified with like symbols, and in which:

[0025] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the preferred embodiment of slip-on, elastic, fabric cover for hard hats and the like 10, in use with a hard hat or the like;

[0026] FIG. 2 is a side elevational view thereof;

[0027] FIG. 3 is a front elevational view thereof;

[0028] FIG. 4 is rear elevational view thereof;

[0029] FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view thereof;

[0030] FIG. 6 is a top plan view thereof;

[0031] FIG. 7 is an exploded front perspective view thereof; and

[0032] FIG. 8 is a detailed partial elevational view of an ear flap for use therewith.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0033] The best mode for carrying out the invention is presented in terms of its preferred embodiment, herein depicted within the FIGS. 1 through 8.

[0034] 1. Detailed Description of the Figures

[0035] Referring now to the figures, a slip-on, elastic, fabric cover 10 for bicycle helmets 20 and the like is shown, according to the present invention, designed for use with conventional bicycle helmets 20 and the like. Typically, such bicycle helmets 20 include an extended peripheral brim 22 that circumscribes the outer radial surface of the helmet. The present invention comprises a main body 30, constructed of an elastic or fabric material that stretches to fit over and contracts to fit the contour of a bicycle helmet 20 structure. The main body 30 forms a generally convex domed outer surface 31 that forms and bounds a concave helmet receiving volume 32. The outer surface 31 forms a decorative outer surface, and supports a central, upper surface 33 flanked by a first side surface 34 opposite a second side surface 35. It is envisioned that these side surfaces, 34, 35 can be a decorative, or aesthetic element. Capable of being decorative in texture, color, material, or pattern, the main body 30 provides an effective, low cost method by which one can customize his or her bicycle helmet 20. It is envisioned that the main body 30 is comprised of a flame retardant material, and the upper surface 33 and/or side surfaces 34, 35 can support a reflective coating 70. It is envisioned that the main body 30 is washable. It is also envisioned that a reflective coating 70 is located on the main body 30, thus permitting the present invention to be used by construction workers and the like, for safety purposes, as is required by applicable state and federal regulations.

[0036] A main body retention means 55 is attached to the ends of the main body 30, so as to form a generally enclosed structure. For purposes of disclosure, this main body retention means 55 is depicted as an elastic band circumscribing and impinging below the peripheral brim 22. Alternately, as depicted best in conjunction with FIG. 7, an alternate main body retention means 57 is shown as a plurality of hook fastening elements of a hook and loop fastening means. In this embodiment, an inner fabric surface functions as the loop fastening element of the hook and loop fastening means.

[0037] Finally, as best shown in conjunction with FIG. 8, a pair of ear flaps 80 are provided to folded down to protect the ears and keep them warm in cold weather. The ear flaps 80 extend laterally downward from the main body 30 below the peripheral brim into an tubular extension forming slots as an upper strap orifice 82 and a lower strap orifice 84 in fluid communication therethrough, thereby providing a generally tubular strap passage conduit for communication of a strap 86 within each flap 80. This feature helps keep the invention secured to the helmet. It is also envisioned that the decorative outer surface will extend downward to form a decorative outer flap surface 90, and an insulative inner surface 92 would be formed interiorly opposite, thereby providing additional thermal protection for the wearer's ears.

[0038] 2. Operation of the Preferred Embodiment

[0039] To use the present invention, one merely affixes the fabric cover 10 to an otherwise conventional bicycle helmet 20 using one of the main body retention means 55, 57. The connecting straps 86 of the helmet 20 are passed through the strap passage conduit, and the user merely “buckles up” as with a conventional bicycle helmet. The present invention thereafter provides additional thermal insulation, as well as an aesthetically pleasing decorative outer surface.

[0040] As designed, a device embodying the teachings of the present invention is easily applied. The foregoing description is included to illustrate the operation of the preferred embodiment and is not meant to limit the scope of the invention. As one can envision, an individual skilled in the relevant art, in conjunction with the present teachings, would be capable of incorporating many minor modifications that are anticipated within this disclosure. Therefore, the scope of the invention is to be broadly limited only by the following claims.