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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: Has a helmet ever saved you from pain?
Yes. 52 57.78%
No. 22 24.44%
Please, God, not another poll about helmets. 16 17.78%
Voters: 90. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-31-07, 04:50 PM   #1
Daily Commute
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Has a helmet saved you from pain?

I can't prove that a helmet has ever saved me from a head injury, but over decades of cycling, a helmet has saved me from pain several times. This is not a thread about whether helmets save lives, or whether helmet laws are a good or bad idea. It's a thread about pain and the lack thereof.

About fifteen years ago, I was stupidly and quickly riding a MTB across a parking lot at dusk without a headlight (again, stupid, stupid, stupid). I didn't notice the metal cable going across the driveway. WHAMMM!. The cable hit me in the chest and I went flat on my back. My helmet hit the ground hard, but I felt no pain on my head. By contrast, I had a nasty bruise on my chest for a long, long time.

(This is a public poll, so your log in name will be public.)
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Old 08-31-07, 05:42 PM   #2
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I'd have to say "I don't know."

I have had one bad spill while helmeted-- I rolled through a wonderful mix of gravel, broken glass, and bull-head thorns before finally rolling to a stop and laying prone for several minutes.

I did not injure my head. Did I hit my head while rolling? I don't know. I do know that some time later, I discovered a crack in the hard shell that I could not account for, so it's possible that I hit my head and my helmet did its job.

But bottom line, I just don't know.
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Old 08-31-07, 05:46 PM   #3
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I hit the road at somewhere around 40mph back in 1991 on a descent. The first object of impact was my Giro helmet which split into three pieces. Plenty of road rash and stitches on that one. I've always thought that if I didn't have my helmet on, pain may not have even been an issue.
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Old 08-31-07, 05:53 PM   #4
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Since I don't normally wear one and haven't for over 40 years, and have never crashed when I have been wearing one - no. I have managed to survive with my head intact after all of my crashes and whoopsies with no helmet. Someday when it's my time, whether I am wearing a helmet or not ain't gonna change the result.
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Old 08-31-07, 06:29 PM   #5
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I've broken two helmets in the last 15 years. One on a mountain bike at around 20 mph, and one on a road bike at 40 mph. Both were falls to the left that resulted in the left side of my head smacking the ground/pavement. Thanks to the helmets, no loss of consciousness, and no road rash on my pretty head.
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Old 08-31-07, 06:29 PM   #6
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Since I don't normally wear one and haven't for over 40 years...
Chip, your avatar has you wearing a helmet...

I was just thinking the other day, "Where's Chipcom?"

No, my helmet has not saved me from pain. All the pain of these forums, that is.

Seriously, it's a personal decision. I never wore one as a kid, helmets didn't even become "popular" (that's probably not the right word) until I was much older. I wear one by choice, but I'm not a helmet-Nazi.

(I'm the one who prayed when taking the poll.)
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Old 08-31-07, 06:47 PM   #7
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LittleBigMan, I don't scold cyclists who choose to ride bare-headed (and I don't want the cops to cite them), but protection from pain is one thing missing from many of the discussions of helmets. Maybe I'm the only one who knows for certain that a helmet has saved me from a whole lot of hurt. Maybe not. Let's see.

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Old 08-31-07, 07:38 PM   #8
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Damn near every time I go mountain biking my helmet saves me from pain. I use it to knock branches and such while heading down the single track. Once or twice while going under "low bridges" (log underpass obsticles about 5 or 6 feet high) I've thumped my head hardcore on them by not ducking low enough.
But from road riding... I don't think I've ever hit my head "helmetless or not) on the pavement in a fall. I did once use my helmet to headbutt a van door once.
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Old 08-31-07, 07:45 PM   #9
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Yep..saved me from lots of pain.

I was sprinting away from a pack of dogs and just when I turned back to look ahead a small dog shot in from the right and went right in front of my tire. I went from 30 mph to 0 and flipped the bike. I landed on my back, and my helmeted head hit the asphalt with a loud CRACK. The helmet was toast, but I got up, and was able to ride away.

However, if somebody else does not want to wear a helmet that's okay with me...


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Old 08-31-07, 07:52 PM   #10
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No, my crash last week proved that, but instead of a week for the pain to go away, it might have been much longer if had I not been wearing a helmet. My helmet took a large brunt of the blow, lessening my injury considerably.
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Old 08-31-07, 08:39 PM   #11
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Chip, your avatar has you wearing a helmet...
Nooo...ya think? I've never denied wearing them when I am required to...like in organized rides.
Twas kinda ironic in that particular ride...there we are on our fancy bikes, all clad in our lycra, bright jerseys and helmets, riding past Mennonites on their simple bikes wearing simple clothes and no helmets. On one hill I got a chuckle as some of these plain, good folk who could not ride as part of the event in their own backyard without a helmet, rode past some of the 'serious' cyclists walking their bikes up.
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Old 08-31-07, 08:48 PM   #12
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these plain, good folk who could not ride as part of the event in their own backyard without a helmet
Spandex presumably not allowed--- helmets also not allowed?
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Old 08-31-07, 08:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daily Commute View Post
LittleBigMan, I don't scold cyclists who choose to ride bare-headed (and I don't want the cops to cite them), but protection from pain is one thing missing from many of the discussions of helmets. Maybe I'm the only one who knows for certain that a helmet has saved me from a whole lot of hurt. Maybe not. Let's see.
Hey, I'm not afraid to give my unscientific response: I'm glad I had my helmet on my worst crash. Even with it, my face was a bloody mess.

But I'm with you, I don't scold anyone about it. It's a personal thing with me.
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Old 08-31-07, 08:50 PM   #14
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more than once
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Old 08-31-07, 08:52 PM   #15
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Nooo...ya think?
Well, there was your pic, with your doodle hangin' out your mouth.

Quote:
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Twas kinda ironic in that particular ride...there we are on our fancy bikes, all clad in our lycra, bright jerseys and helmets, riding past Mennonites on their simple bikes wearing simple clothes and no helmets. On one hill I got a chuckle as some of these plain, good folk who could not ride as part of the event in their own backyard without a helmet, rode past some of the 'serious' cyclists walking their bikes up.
I guess they've been cycling so long, they think they know better.
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Old 08-31-07, 09:04 PM   #16
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Spandex presumably not allowed--- helmets also not allowed?
Dunno, I ain't a Mennonite. I don't see why not, since I saw some buggies with some kick-ass turn signal lights on them!
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Old 08-31-07, 10:08 PM   #17
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I can prove that the helmet saved me from a bad concussion. The ER took one look a the helmet, and they told me so. They used the dents on the helmet to check my noggen.
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Old 08-31-07, 10:27 PM   #18
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I've never crashed in such a way as to hit my head. When I got hit by a car, part of the helmet shell was crackled (it was an old helmet and the shell was brittle), but the foam underneath was not damaged. Perhaps I escaped a bump on the head on that occasion. It gave me an excuse to update my helmet though. Spent $35 and got a helmet more than twice as good as that particular one. I am a big believer in the new "inmolded" shell design. I had the opportunity to destroy one (as an experiment) and I've got to tell you, the inmolded design is extremely strong. I urge you all, if you still have a taped shell helmet to go to your nearest helmet supplier and spend the $35 for an inmolded shell design. Good stuff.

FWIW, I basically always wear a helmet on my bike. That said, I don't bother people about helmets, and I don't freak about a 5 minute ride around the block without one. Cycling isn't that dangerous.

PS: I got the "opportunity" to destroy one because I fuggled it up. Just don't use any type of solvent (like is found in glues like ShoeGoo) on the foam. It defoamatizes. Trust me.
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Old 08-31-07, 11:15 PM   #19
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No, but only because I never hit my head while cycling and wearing a helmet. As a kid with no helmet, I once wheelied over backwards and smacked my head hard on the pavement. It was VERY painful. There is NO WAY that having a helmet on would not have spared me some pain. Head-pavement vs. Head-styrofoam-pavement seems like a no brainer (ha ha!) I'd say.

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Old 08-31-07, 11:18 PM   #20
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It certainly didn't help my wife whose shoulder is still FUBAR'd from her fall on Monday.
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Old 08-31-07, 11:44 PM   #21
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Twice I've walked away from crashes with my helmet in smithereens and my head NOT in smithereens. It didn't save me from pain, only worse pain.
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Old 09-01-07, 01:29 AM   #22
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Yeah. Feeling invincible I attempted a back flip on a backyard engineered tabletop. Didn't go so well on the landing and broke the face guard, cracked the helmet's forehead. That was the end of my stunt days. Now I always wear a helmet on commutes or Sunday evening outings.
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Old 09-01-07, 07:18 AM   #23
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Heh a big yes here. 2 times for sure. Once on bmx when i did a face plant in to a rock wall when i came up short on a 15 foot jump do to a stick through my back spokes. Before that a 38 to 40 mph crash where i was unable to make a turn on a road bike. I slid on my back and back of my helmeted head in the end i ripped the shell clean off the helmet and scraped a hole in the foam. This was on newly planted grass so it was about 50% grass 50% hard dirt. About 2 months ago i hit the side of a tree with my neck a bit don't know if my head hit or not (didn't feel any impact). So at least twice maybe 3 times.

In the case of the bmx i had no helmet left after and it was a full face dirt bike style helmet with full face visor.
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Old 09-01-07, 11:05 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
Since I don't normally wear one and haven't for over 40 years, and have never crashed when I have been wearing one - no. I have managed to survive with my head intact after all of my crashes and whoopsies with no helmet. Someday when it's my time, whether I am wearing a helmet or not ain't gonna change the result.
Have you ever crashed and hit your head? If so, what was the damage.
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Old 09-01-07, 01:03 PM   #25
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I can't recall any 'head injury' being painful. Not being able to remember might be part of the problem, but from my experience, cut scalp, concussions, even a hairline occipital bone fracture never really 'hurt'. Breaking my hand hurt, breaking my elbow hurt, but landing on my head in a field sprint didn't. (sure it knocked me unconscious, and sure I was nauseous, but my head didn't hurt). Having a cut in my scalp washed out hurt. Having some stitches removed from my scalp hurt. I guess the only 'head' injury that hurt was doing a face plant and hitting my face square onto the concrete. That hurt A LOT!! But it would take a full faced helmet to prevent that.

So, I guess my answer is no. No question a helmet has saved my life, but have I been saved pain because I wore a helmet? I don't think so.

Edit: Gee ... do you think I'm 'accident prone' ??? I've been told that by people only to learn later that they just got out of the hospital from an accident of some sort themselves.
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