DIY Corsa Head Rests

for the man with too much time on his hands

Why any recumbent seat would be manufactured without a head rest escapes me, but it happens. And the standard headrests you can buy off the shelf are expensive, and often won't fit the bent you happen to own. Below are two DIY (do it yourself) solutions to this problem. The first is my solution which uses PVC pipe, is cheap and fairly easy to make. Previously I had step by step instructions on this page, but subsequently removed them. So below are some pictures of the final product along with a brief description. After a few thousand miles on this seat I replaced it with an M5 carbon seat and M5 headrest.

By far the best solution is the headrest made from aluminum bar stock by Bernie Van Wormer (scroll down for details).

The PVC overview
Back view, the bottom of the mast has been notched to fit the seat cross piece.

Side view of the top. As the miles increased on this I taped the foam as it started to deteriorate. Also I used clevis pins to fasten a pvc connector to the headrest instead of pvc cement. This allows replacing and/or modifying the headrest without replacing the mast.

Cable ties secure the length of the mast.

A much better solution has been developed by Bernie Van Wormer, and the following pictures are all courtesy of Bernie. If you have questions regarding the pictures and text below please Email Bernie directly for clarification. Bernie's photos and description follow:

 I started with a short length of 1/8 x 1 1/2" aluminum bar stock at a cost of about seven bucks. Note that my recumbent is a Bachetta Giro with a Euromesh seat - your design might vary a bit depending on your seat.
Mark the lower end for four anchor holes - these are used with zip ties to secure the seat to the lower seat frame tube.  Drill and countersink these lower anchor holes. A slight countersink is necessary to prevent the sharp corners from cutting through the zip ties you'll use later.


marking bar stock
Then mark the bar stock at the upper seat tube for the beginning of a couple of bends. Make a slight S-curve to bring the bar stock forward - toward where your head will rest.
The exact design of the curve will depend on your seat and your comfort level.  Remember that these bends can be slightly altered after the headrest bar has been finished and anchored and you've had a chance to test-ride.  Use a couple of wood blocks and a small C-clamp to keep the bends sharp.  Don't cut anything to length yet.  Once you get the rough bends in place, use a small c-clamp to hold the seat bar in place.  Put the bike on a trainer and use masking tape to temporarily hold a head pad in place.  The pad can be a piece of packing material, pipe insulation, or whatever you decide to use.  Use this temporary setup to adjust the curves and the location of the head pad for comfort.  Once you get the adjustments made for your comfort, remove the c-clamp and the bar.


Cut to length. If there's any doubt as to length, opt to leave it a little too long.  You can always shorten it later.  Here are photos of the finished bar.
finished 1
The finished bar with headrest.
finished 2
Overall length.
with pad
Cut a short crosspiece for the head pad.  I drilled and pop-riveted mine. Paint is optional.
I used some packing material for a head pad - you can use a scrap piece of wall insulation, pipe insulation, or anything that suits your fancy.  To make it removable and replaceable, use two strips of Velcro to fasten it.

back view
Installed - rear view.
rear bottom
Cable ties secure bottom of bar to seat.
back top
Cable ties secure top to seat.

Voila !

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jlb January, 2015