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Bell Sweep Helmet

Every so often there is a perfect storm. Sweep was the work of my industrial designer friend Hilgard Muller. From the mechanical standpoint the usual challenges were present for a mechanical like me. But despite the great job Hilgard did I was soon to find a nightmare that I had created myself. The first design for the retention system allowed for post-molding insertion of the strapping system. But we found that if you shook the front webbing in a certain way, it would just fall out. This is not good when helmets are about to be shipped to France for the Tour. My friend Dave Stroud and I retrofitted each helmet with hot glue so the flaw could not happen. While riders crashed in the Tour that year, no athletes' helmet popped off due to faulty strapping. I was sorry they crashed, of course, but happy we fixed the issue in time. We abandoned the method for attaching the webbing post-molding and went back to what we did on the Atmos.

Gregg Jacobsen
Sr. Mechanical Design Engineer Santa Cruz, CA