Title:
Crash Helmet
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a crash helmet comprising a shock resistant helmet shell (1) provided with a visor opening (3) recoverable with a visor (12), at least one actuating element (7, 7′) which is mounted on the external surface of the shell (1), a functional element (4, 16) of the helmet adjustable by an actuating element (7, T) and the actuating element (7, T) connected to the functional element (4, 16) by a transmission device (9, 9′). The aim of the invention is to improve the operability of the actuating element (7, T) by placing the actuating element (7, 7′) on the protective helmet (1) side in the area of the lower edge thereof.



Inventors:
Schimpf, Oliver (Braunschweig, DE)
Application Number:
11/576601
Publication Date:
02/07/2008
Filing Date:
09/29/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B3/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
W&C IP (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A crash helmet with an impact-resistant helmet shell (1), with a visor opening (3) which can be covered by a visor (12), and with at least one actuating element (7, 7′) which is arranged on the outer side of the helmet shell (1) and which can be used to adjust a functional element (4, 16) of the helmet that is arranged remotely from the actuating element (7, 7′), wherein the actuating element (7, 7′) is connected to the functional element (4, 16) via a transmission device (9, 9′), characterized in that the actuating element (7, 7′) is arranged on one side of the helmet shell (1) in the region of its lower edge.

2. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the transmission device (9, 9′) is designed to adjust the functional element (4, 16) in a first direction and in a second direction opposite the first.

3. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the actuating element (7, 7′) is formed by a slide (8, 8′, 18) extending substantially parallel to a lower edge of the helmet shell (1).

4. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that the slide (8, 8′) has its lower edge adjoining the lower edge of the helmet shell (1).

5. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that the slide (8, 8′) has its lower edge covering the lower edge of the helmet shell (1).

6. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 4, characterized in that the slide (8, 8′) is designed so that it can be operated from the lower side of the helmet.

7. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 6, characterized in that the slide (8′) is provided with a sliding button which can be actuated from the lower side of the helmet.

8. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the actuating element (7, 7′) is a twist knob.

9. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the transmission device (9, 9′) is designed to provide direct mechanical transmission of the movement of the actuating element (7, 7′).

10. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 9, characterized in that the transmission device (9, 9′) comprises at least one Bowden cable (10, 10′).

11. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the functional element (4, 16) connected to the actuating element (7, 7′) is arranged on the inner side of the helmet shell (1) outside of the chin part (2).

12. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 11, characterized in that the functional element (4, 16) is mounted above a peripheral region of the helmet shell (1) that forms a continuation of the chin part (2).

13. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that the functional element (4, 16) is a sunshield (4) which is guided on the inner side of the helmet shell (1) and can be moved into the region of the visor opening (3).

14. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 13, characterized in that the transmission device (9) leading from the actuating element (7) is connected by two lateral ends (5) of the sunshield (4).

15. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 14, characterized in that the lateral ends (5) of the sunshield (4) are mounted in guides (6) which form a curved section.

16. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 15, characterized in that the curved section has a pivot point which is arranged at a distance from the corresponding lateral end (5) of the sunshield (4).

17. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 1, characterized by a ventilation slide (16), as the functional element, which can be used to close off or uncover at least one ventilation opening (17) in the forehead region and/or upper head region of the helmet shell (1).

18. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the actuating element (7, 7′) is situated on a fixed extension piece (14) of the helmet shell (1) that forms a subregion of the chin part (2), this extension piece, together with a movable, preferably pivotable, chin piece (11) forming the chin part (2).

19. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 18, characterized in that the extension piece (14) extends over less than half, preferably less than ⅓, of the width of the visor opening (3).

20. The crash helmet as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the actuating element (7, 7′) is arranged on one side of the chin part (2) in the region below a lateral end of the visor opening (3).

Description:

The invention relates to a crash helmet, in particular an integral helmet, with an impact-resistant helmet shell, with a visor opening which can be covered by a visor, and with at least one actuating element which is arranged on the outer side of the helmet shell and which can be used to adjust a functional element of the helmet that is arranged remotely from the actuating element, wherein the actuating element is connected to the functional element via a transmission device.

Crash helmets of this type are known as so-called jet helmets and as integral helmets. Integral helmets have a chin part such that the visor opening is completely enclosed by the helmet shell, whereas in a jet helmet the helmet shell as such does not extend into the chin region below the visor opening.

Integral helmets are known in which an actuating element can be used to control the functioning of a functional element situated remotely from the actuating element.

In the case of an integral helmet designed with a swing-up chin part, it is thus known that the chin part can be locked in the normal use position by means of locks arranged in the lateral region of the helmet shell so as to achieve the protection afforded by a one-piece integral helmet. In order to swing up the chin part so that the helmet can be put on or removed, the locks here are released by means of a twist knob which is mounted centrally on the front tip of the chin part, the twisting movement of the twist knob exerting a pull on two cable pulls extending to the two locks, unlocking the locks as a result. A protective helmet of this kind is described in DE 40 40 172 A1.

It is also disclosed in DE 30 25 920 C2 for an integral helmet of the initially mentioned type that a twist knob arranged at the same position can be used to actuate flexible cables which are connected to adjusting devices at both ends of the visor panel and thus control the opening and closing of the visor panel.

DE 85 34 132 U1 also describes an integral helmet in which the visor can be opened using an elastic element and, on closing, can be brought into a number of locking positions via a cable pull. The cable pull is actuated by means of a slide which is likewise mounted centrally on the chin part and which can be displaced in the vertical direction.

The object on which the present invention is based is to improve the operability of functional elements of a crash helmet.

This object is achieved according to the invention in a crash helmet of the initially mentioned type in that the actuating element is arranged on one side of the helmet shell in the region of its lower edge.

The invention is based on the finding that the actuating elements mounted centrally on the chin part and designed as a vertically movable slide or as a twist knob are relatively difficult to operate by a motorcyclist, at least when the hands of the motorcyclist are protected by gloves. Operating problems also arise with slides mounted on the helmet shell outside of the chin part, as are known, for example, for the direct control of a sunshield mounted pivotably on the inner side of the helmet shell. The slide mounted laterally behind the end of the visor panel covering the visor opening cannot intuitively be taken hold of reliably by the motorcyclist, with the result that the sunshield is not swung down or up in those cases where rapid actuation would appear necessary, for example during a sudden deterioration of the visibility conditions after using the sunshield (driving into a fog bank, into a tunnel or the like) or, conversely, when passing from darkened visibility conditions into a situation with strong sunshine.

A similar problem arises when adjusting a ventilation opening by means of slides which are arranged on the upper side of the helmet and which can be felt and operated only with difficulty while traveling.

According to the invention, the actuation of such functional elements now occurs in the region of the lower edge on the side of the crash helmet. This arrangement has the advantage that the actuating element can intuitively be taken hold of rapidly and reliably, something which was not the case in the desired manner with the conventional slides which were mounted laterally behind the visor opening halfway up the crash helmet. In this arrangement, the movement of the actuating element can no longer be transmitted directly to the functional element, and therefore the movement of the actuating element is transmitted to the functional element using a transmission device. The transmission device here serves the purpose of being able to arrange the actuating element at any desired distance from the functional element. Consequently, the transmission device differs from the gears which are usually used to actuate functional elements, these gears regularly establishing a positive connection via gear elements between the actuating element and the functional element and thus requiring the actuating element to be at a certain proximity to the functional element. A preferred transmission device is flexible and formed in particular by a Bowden cable. It is preferable here for the transmission device to be designed to adjust the functional element in a first direction and in a second direction opposite the first, thus serving not only to initiate a function but also a controlled adjustment in both adjustment directions of the functional element. The improved grippability of the actuating element also arises from the edge of the helmet providing a good orientation aid. The lower edge region according to the invention benefiting therefrom extends from the lower edge to a height of about 8 cm. Apart from a slide, a push button or a lever mechanism—with or without a lever ratio—are also suitable.

Comprehensive tests have shown that the arrangement of an actuating element in the lateral region of the chin part can intuitively be taken hold of the best, with the result that reliable and rapid actuation of the functional elements is possible if this is required—as in the example of the sunshield—due to the driving conditions.

The reliable grippability of the actuating element is promoted even further as a result of the actuating element being formed by a slide extending substantially parallel to a lower edge of the helmet shell. This slide can thus be displaced in a substantially horizontal direction, which means that it can be designed sufficiently large and have a sufficient displacement travel since it is not limited spatially to the height of the chin element, as is the case with the known vertically arranged slide.

Preferably, the slide has its lower edge adjoining the lower edge of the helmet shell or covers the lower edge. This also contributes to the rapid grippability of the actuating element, since the lower edge of the helmet can intuitively be easily located by the helmet wearer. It is preferable here for the slide to be designed so that it can also be operated from the lower side of the helmet, for which purpose it may be provided, for example, with a sliding button which can be actuated from the lower side of the helmet. Generally, however, a sliding button mounted on the lower edge on the outer face of the helmet shell can also be operated from the lower side.

The advantages of the arrangement according to the invention of the actuating element in the region of the lower edge of the helmet shell also result when the actuating element is a twist knob.

The transmission device is preferably designed to provide direct mechanical transmission of the movement of the actuating element, for which purpose—as mentioned—a Bowden cable is suitable in particular. However, other transmission devices are also suitable, such as linkages, but also, in particular, cable-bound or cable-free electronic transmissions for transmitting the operating movement of the actuating element to the functional element.

The functional element is preferably arranged on the inner side of the helmet shell at a distance from the lower margin of the helmet shell, and, in the case of an integral helmet, above a peripheral region of the helmet shell that forms a continuation of the chin part.

A functional element which is particularly suitable for the actuation according to the invention is a sunshield which is guided on the inner side of the helmet shell and can be moved into the region of the visor opening. The sunshield preferably has two lateral ends connected to the transmission device. In this case, the lateral ends of the sunshield are preferably mounted in guides which form a curved section. The curved section here has a pivot point which is arranged at a distance from the corresponding lateral ends of the sunshield. This makes it possible to adapt the movement of the sunshield and the shape thereof to the curvature of the helmet shell, which means that only a minimum amount of space is required to accommodate the sunshield on the inner side of the helmet shell. The pivot point of the curved sections here may be fixed if the curved section is a circular arc section or—to match the curvature of the helmet shell—may also move.

Preferred embodiments of the crash helmet according to the invention are provided by an actuating element, preferably in the form of a slide, arranged laterally on the chin part or laterally in the rear neck region, i.e. behind the ear region.

In a particular embodiment of the crash helmet according to the invention, the actuating element is situated on a fixed extension piece of the helmet shell that forms a subregion of the chin part, this extension piece, together with a movable, preferably pivotable, chin piece, forming the chin part. The pivotable chin piece means that the access opening of the integral helmet can be increased in size for the purpose of putting on and removing the helmet. On the other hand, the fixed extension piece provides the possibility also of actuating mechanical connections from the chin part in the manner according to the invention. Preferably, the fixed extension piece extends over less than half, preferably less than ⅓, of the width of the visor opening, with the result that the movable, preferably pivotable, chin piece engages below considerably more than half the width of the visor opening, preferably more than ⅔ of the width. The movable, preferably pivotable, chin piece is thus constructed asymmetrically and is only fastened on one side of the helmet shell, preferably on a pivot joint.

The invention will be explained in more detail below with reference to exemplary embodiments represented in the drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective, schematic representation of the arrangement of an actuating element for a sunshield on an integral helmet according to the invention;

FIG. 2 shows a schematic partial side view of the helmet according to FIG. 1, with the sunshield opened;

FIG. 3 shows a schematic view according to FIG. 2, with the sunshield lowered;

FIG. 4 shows a schematic, perspective view obliquely from below of a modification of the integral helmet according to the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 shows a schematic, perspective view of an integral helmet having a swing-up chin piece which is supplemented by a fixed extension piece of the helmet shell to form the chin part;

FIG. 6 shows a schematic, perspective representation of the helmet according to FIG. 5, with the chin piece in the swung-up position;

FIG. 7 shows a schematic representation of an integral helmet according to the invention with an adjustable sunshield in the swung-up state and with an adjustable ventilation slide in the closed state;

FIG. 8 shows the helmet according to FIG. 7 with the sunshield in the swung-down state and the ventilation slide in the opened state;

FIG. 9 shows a schematic representation of an integral helmet according to the invention with an adjustable sunshield in the swung-up state and with an adjustable ventilation slide in the closed state and with actuating elements arranged in the rear neck region;

FIG. 10 shows the helmet according to FIG. 9 with the sunshield in the swung-down state and with the ventilation slide in the opened state.

The schematic representation of FIG. 1 shows a shock-resistant helmet shell 1 of an integral helmet, this shell thus comprising a chin part 2 and enclosing on all sides and defining a visor opening 3. A sunshield 4 can be moved into the visor opening 3 and is represented in a completely swung-down position in FIG. 1. In the usual manner, the sunshield 4 covers the visor opening 3 only in the upper part so as to allow a nondarkened view through the visor opening 3 toward the bottom.

A visor panel which completely closes off the visor opening 3 and is guided on the outer side of the helmet shell 1 has not been shown for reasons of clarity.

The sunshield 4 has two lateral ends 5 which are each guided in a guide 6 in the form of a curved section. The movement of the lateral ends 5 in the guides 6 is controlled by an actuating element 7 which is arranged in the form of a slide in the lateral region of the chin part 2 below the lateral ends of the visor opening 3. The actuating device 7 is thus situated on the chin part 2 below the visor opening 3, but at a considerable distance from the front tip of the chin part that constitutes the center of the chin part.

As is precisely represented in FIG. 1, a transmission device 9 is connected to the actuating device 7. The transmission device 9 in the exemplary embodiment represented comprises two Bowden cables 10 which have one of their respective ends connected to the slide 8 and their other end connected to an associated lateral end 5 of the sunshield 4. The movement of the slide 8 in one direction causes the sunshield 4 to be moved from the lowered position represented into a raised position above the visor opening 3, while the movement of the slide 8 in the other direction moves the sunshield 4 from the inoperative position into the swung-down position represented in FIG. 1. A self-locking guide allows the sunshield 4 to remain in any intermediate position.

This set of circumstances is again illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. If the slide 8 is moved fully rearward, the strands of the two Bowden cables 10 press the sunshield at both ends upward in the guide into the inoperative position according to FIG. 2. If, by contrast, the slide 8 is pushed forward, as is represented in FIG. 3, the sunshield 4 is pulled from the inoperative position according to FIG. 2 into the lowered position according to FIG. 3.

It can be seen from the drawings that the actuating device 7 in the exemplary embodiments represented is arranged on the left-hand side of the chin part 2. The connection of the slide 8 to the left-hand lateral end 5 of the sunshield 4 is thus produced by means of Bowden cable 10 which is guided approximately directly upward on the inner wall of the helmet shell 1, while the connection to the right-hand lateral end is produced by means of a Bowden cable 10 which is guided on the lower edge of the helmet shell 1 and around the rear neck region to the right-hand side of the helmet shell 1 so that, from there, it can make the connection with the right-hand lateral end 5 of the sunshield 4.

Guiding the sunshield 4 in the guides 6 forming a curved section has the advantage that the pivot point for the movement of the sunshield 4 can be adapted to the curvature of the helmet shell 1 above the visor opening 3, which means that it is possible to accommodate the sunshield 4 with a minimum space requirement on the inner side of the helmet shell 1.

In the exemplary embodiment represented in FIGS. 1 to 3, the slide 8 can be taken hold of by way of a sliding button accessible from the radial outer side of the helmet shell 1. Since the slide 8 is situated on the lower edge of the helmet shell, it can also be actuated obliquely from below.

In the exemplary embodiment represented in FIG. 4, the slide 8′ is formed around the lower edge of the helmet shell 1, with the result that its sliding button runs on the lower side and can therefore be taken hold of from below. This location on the integral helmet can be easily and reliably taken hold of by the motorcyclist owing to its orientation in his field of view.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show the arrangement according to the invention of the actuating element 7 on an integral helmet which is provided with a swing-up chin piece 11. The chin piece 11 extends over more than ⅔ of the width of the visor opening 3, which is closed off here with a visor panel 12.

As can be seen from FIG. 6, the chin piece 11 can be swung up around a pivot joint with an approximately horizontal axis that is arranged on the right-hand side of the helmet shell 1. In the swung-down state according to FIG. 5, the chin piece 11 bears via an abutment edge 13 on a fixed extension piece 14, which is formed in one piece here with the helmet shell 1, with the result that the chin piece 11, together with the fixed extension piece 14, forms the chin part 2. The extension piece 14 extending over approximately ¼ to ⅓ of the width of the visor opening 3 carries the actuating element 7, which is configured in the form illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show a pivot joint 15 on the left-hand side of the helmet about which only the visor panel 12 is able to pivot. The corresponding pivot joint (not shown) on the right-hand side of the helmet can be designed jointly for the visor panel 12 and the chin piece 11.

In FIGS. 7 and 8, a further modification of the arrangement according to FIGS. 1 to 3 is represented. Apart from the actuating element 7 for the sunshield 4, there is also provided a further actuating element 71, which is likewise designed as a slide 18 which can be moved parallel to the lower edge of the chin part 2, but which is arranged above the actuating element 7. The actuating element 7′ is connected to a transmission device 9′ which is formed by a Bowden cable 10′ and which can be used to actuate a ventilation slide 16 situated below a ventilation opening 17 arranged in the forehead region or upper head region of the helmet shell 1.

In the representation of FIG. 7, the slides 8, 18 are situated in a rearwardly displaced position, in which the sunshield 4 has been moved into its inoperative position and the ventilation slide 16 closes off the ventilation opening 17.

According to FIG. 8, the forward displacement of the slides 8, 18 causes the sunshield 4 connected to the slide 8 to be moved downward into the visor opening 3 and the ventilation slide 16 connected to the slide 18 to be moved into a position in which it uncovers the ventilation opening 17, with the result that air flow can now enter the inside of the helmet shell 1 through the ventilation opening 17, as is represented by corresponding arrows in FIG. 8.

The exemplary embodiment represented in FIGS. 9 and 10 corresponds to the exemplary embodiment of FIGS. 7 and 8, the only difference being that the actuating elements 7, 7′ are not arranged in the lateral chin region but in the lateral rear neck region, that is to say, as viewed in the direction of travel, somewhat behind that region of the helmet shell 1 which covers the ears of the helmet wearer. Rearward displacement of the slides 8, 18 makes it possible for the sunshield 4 to be moved downward and for the ventilation opening 17 to be uncovered by means of the ventilation slide 16.

Of course, it is possible to contemplate further functional elements which can be actuated with advantage by actuating elements 7, 7′ which, according to the invention, are arranged in the region of the lower edge of the helmet shell 1.