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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: Helmet wearing habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet 178 10.66%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped 94 5.63%
I've always worn a helmet 648 38.80%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do 408 24.43%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions 342 20.48%
Voters: 1670. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-03-11, 02:37 PM   #451
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
Trek is a small player in the helmet market, no? Bell controls the vast majority of the helmet market.

Trek's policies would be driven by a different objective fueled by a different product line?
I'd reverse it and say that most of Bell/Giro's business is helmets, but I can't claim that for sure since I don't have access to company docs. Bell/Easton and Giro make all kinds of other stuff, too, but I'm assuming their main business is helmets. As opposed to Trek, for whom helmets are not their main thing. So yes, different product line, different objective. Makes sense to me. Still, there are those who would claim that Trek's no better since they do sell helmets...
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Old 11-03-11, 02:44 PM   #452
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Doesn't sponsorship indicate support, usually financial...?Just trying to figure out the nuance here between where you stand and sudo biker's stance on this particular issue. ...

Bell and safekids agree on some of the protective qualities a helmet has, but can disagree on the limitations of a helmet as indicated by the warning labels and waivers that helmets come with

Last edited by closetbiker; 11-03-11 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 11-03-11, 05:18 PM   #453
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"Neglect of Probability" accounts for some of the helmet arguments.

The neglect of probability bias, a type of cognitive bias, is the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty and is one simple way in which people regularly violate the normative rules for decision making.

There are many related ways in which people violate the normative rules of decision making with regard to probability including the hindsight bias, the neglect of prior base rates effect, and the gambler's fallacy. This bias, though, is notably different from the preceding biases because with this bias, the actor completely disregards probability when deciding, instead of incorrectly using probability, as the actor does in the above examples.

Baron, Granato, Spranca, and Teubal (1993) studied the bias. They did so by asking children the following question:

Susan and Jennifer are arguing about whether they should wear seat belts when they ride in a car. Susan says that you should. Jennifer says you shouldn't... Jennifer says that she heard of an accident where a car fell into a lake and a woman was kept from getting out in time because of wearing her seat belt, and another accident where a seat belt kept someone from getting out of the car in time when there was a fire. What do you think about this?

Jonathan Baron (2000) notes that subject X responded in the following manner:

A: Well, in that case I don't think you should wear a seat belt.
Q (interviewer): How do you know when that's gonna happen?
A: Like, just hope it doesn't!
Q: So, should you or shouldn't you wear seat belts?
A: Well, tell-you-the-truth we should wear seat belts.
Q: How come?
A: Just in case of an accident. You won't get hurt as much as you will if you didn't wear a seat belt.
Q: OK, well what about these kinds of things, when people get trapped?
A: I don't think you should, in that case.

It is clear that subject X completely disregards the probability of an accident happening versus the probability of getting hurt by the seat belt in making the decision. A normative model for this decision would advise the use of expected-utility theory to decide which option would likely maximize utility. This would involve weighing the changes in utility in each option by the probability that each option will occur, something that subject X ignores.

Another subject responded to the same question:

A: If you have a long trip, you wear seat belts half way.
Q: Which is more likely?
A: That you'll go flyin' through the windshield.
Q: Doesn't that mean you should wear them all the time?
A: No, it doesn't mean that.
Q: How do you know if you're gonna have one kind of accident or the other?
A: You don't know. You just hope and pray that you don't.

Here again, the subject disregards the probability in making the decision by treating each possible outcome as equal in his reasoning.

etc. etc.
Interesting. I'd be gratefull if you could tell me how this is relevant to the helmet discussion, though.
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Old 11-03-11, 10:12 PM   #454
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Wear a helmet! :)

Learned it the hard way.. now I'm wearing one
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Old 11-03-11, 10:55 PM   #455
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So if I didn't learn the hard way I don't have to wear one? But yeah, there's a thread for this. Some people have even discussed a few of the points on either side. You should read it.
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Old 11-03-11, 11:07 PM   #456
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admiralbibo, let me guess.

Your a hipster type who went into the bike shop, hopped on a fixed gear bike and crashed. And now you think everyone else will crash like you and should wear a helmet.

Learning to ride a bicycle first helps in not hurting your head.
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Last edited by CB HI; 11-04-11 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 11-04-11, 12:19 AM   #457
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Bell and safekids agree on some of the protective qualities a helmet has, but can disagree on the limitations of a helmet as indicated by the warning labels and waivers that helmets come with
This is pretty close to where I'm at. I think Bell and SafeKids have the same interests they've arrived at independently. Bell supports them because they have complimentary goals, but it's nothing so nefarious as hiring them in the hopes that they'll go further than they themselves are willing to, due to liability; a sort of "hired gun" as hagen put it. It's two entities that are natural allies, and so pool together. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Old 11-04-11, 05:24 AM   #458
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Learning to ride a bicycle first helps in not hurting your head.
Exactly. Head protection of dubious benefit is no substitute for riding skill. Over-promotion of helmets rather than pushing for actually riding safely only leads to the presumption that it is, at the expense of real safety.
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Old 11-04-11, 06:12 AM   #459
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Interesting. I'd be gratefull if you could tell me how this is relevant to the helmet discussion, though.
Can't speak for the poster, but I read it as, "Helmet consumers demonstrate neglect of probability bias in their decision to purchase and use helmets."
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Old 11-04-11, 06:15 AM   #460
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Learned it the hard way.. now I'm wearing one
If you wear a helmet, you will die.
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Old 11-04-11, 06:18 AM   #461
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If you wear a helmet, you will die.
I think that will happen either way.
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Old 11-04-11, 06:32 AM   #462
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Let me guess.

Your a hipster type who went into the bike shop, hopped on a fixed gear bike and crashed. And now you think everyone else will crash like you and should wear a helmet.

Learning to ride a bicycle first helps in not hurting your head.
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Exactly. Head protection of dubious benefit is no substitute for riding skill. Over-promotion of helmets rather than pushing for actually riding safely only leads to the presumption that it is, at the expense of real safety.
So many assumptions...

Tell me, has there ever been any of the pro-helmet contingent arguing against skills and riding safely as the best way not to get injured on a bike? Is biking so dangerous that you have to have these amazing biking-specific skills to not get injured riding? Please stop portraying cycling as dangerous -- it will discourage potential cyclists.

Do we know anything about the "learned the hard way" incident to definitively state that a helmet wouldn't have helped? Nope.
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Old 11-04-11, 06:46 AM   #463
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I think that will happen either way.
Ohmygodz, totally spoil it for me...
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Old 11-04-11, 07:16 AM   #464
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Is biking so dangerous that you have to have these amazing biking-specific skills to not get injured riding?
No, but you do need to ride correctly in traffic, use lights at night etc. There are many aspects that contribute to safe cycling, all of which tend to get ignored by over-emphasis on wearing a helmet.
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Old 11-04-11, 07:20 AM   #465
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I check in about one a week on this thread. I see the anti helmets trolls are still getting wet peeing into the wind trying to convince people helmets are of no use. If you look at the poll, most here wear a helmet all or most of the time. So the anti helmet trolls are indeed peeing into the wind. Have fun getting wet!!!!!
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Old 11-04-11, 07:28 AM   #466
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No one is saying helmets are useless. All the bare-headed riders ('trolls' as you so politely put it- please stop throwing mindless insults) are saying is that they simply aren't required for non-competitive road cycling. Correct riding technique and using lights are far more effective at preventing accidents, and prevention is always better than (possible) mitigation.

There is a difference between what you think we're saying ('Don't wear a helmet') and what's actually being said ('wear a helmet if you want, but you probably won't need it')
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Old 11-04-11, 08:43 AM   #467
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This is pretty close to where I'm at. I think Bell and SafeKids have the same interests they've arrived at independently. Bell supports them because they have complimentary goals, but it's nothing so nefarious as hiring them in the hopes that they'll go further than they themselves are willing to, due to liability; a sort of "hired gun" as hagen put it. It's two entities that are natural allies, and so pool together. Nothing more, nothing less.
It's one thing to support helmet use (as Bell does) and another support helmet legislation (as SafeKids does) just as it's one thing to say helmet use reduces injuries (both do) and another to say helmets prevent death (as SafeKids does).

Common sense tells us the best way to stay intact is to avoid an accident all together, but as I've shown in several links, there are a number of helmet promotion groups that say it's more important to wear a helmet than to avoid an accident in the first place.

One tactic Bell has used and been rewarded for using, is their "Courage for your Head" campaign. Inviting consumers into a classic case of risk compensation, Bell encouraged risky behavior through the faith in the protective abilities of their product



here is another example that displays a ridiculous premise/set of priorities.



this comes from an image of a helmet clipped off of a video made by a helmet advocacy group

Last edited by closetbiker; 11-04-11 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 11-04-11, 10:38 AM   #468
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OK - I voted that I didn't use to wear a helmet but now do (all the time). Why did I not wear a helmet at one time. Well, in 1956 when I got my first J.C. Higgins 20 incher, I can't imagine that you could have found a helmet. When did they start to become commonly available. I remember buying a Skid Lid in the early 80's, but then there were still a lot of ads for the leather hairnet type.

Anyhow, I wear a helmet and don't care what anyone says. It may help and it surely is not likely to cause me any additional problems.

I don't intend to visit this thread - seems like a waste of time from my quick scan

-Gary
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Old 11-04-11, 03:22 PM   #469
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...Anyhow, I wear a helmet and don't care what anyone says...
Funny. I don't wear a helmet (anymore) and a lot of people who do wear helmets can't help but tell me what they think about it.
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Old 11-04-11, 03:50 PM   #470
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I wear a helmet, but understand completely its limitations. I am completely against mandatory use -- cycling is not that dangerous. However, I wear one mainly for my sanity. Here in CA, kids under 18 have to wear one, and when I'm out with my 6-year old daughter, I make sure she is wearing hers. I would go insane with the constant "but Daddy, why do I have to wear one when you don't?" questions.

If someone believes a helmet protects them, good for them. If there are others that wouldn't wear one because of dubious saftey claims and the belief that cycling is not that dangerous, good for them too! Honestly, I've been reading A&S for a while now, and you guys throw out a lot of good (and not so good) info, but at the end of the day I get to make the decisions and live with them. But I do love the entertainment!
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Old 11-04-11, 05:08 PM   #471
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I wear a helmet, but understand completely its limitations. I am completely against mandatory use
Me too. I choose to wear one whenever I go up and down the stairs -- especially after I've had a few beers. Added to that, my children might ask me: "Daddy, why do we have to wear a helmet to go on the stairs when you don't?"

I fully support all of your rights not to be compelled to wear one on your stairs.
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Old 11-04-11, 06:18 PM   #472
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Tell me, has there ever been any of the pro-helmet contingent arguing against skills and riding safely as the best way not to get injured on a bike? Is biking so dangerous that you have to have these amazing biking-specific skills to not get injured riding? .
In my experience, in my neighborhood, with the cyclists I've talked to, "safe cycling" begins and ends with wearing a helmet. I don't even hear lip service given to bike-handling skills or intelligent decision-making, and even the worst offense in those areas go unremarked. But show up to a local club ride without a helmet and you'll get a first-hand definition of "ostracized".

Now, do such skills need to be "amazing? No, although it helps. But even an occasional few minutes spent on bumping drills and such, along with a bit of study about how to ride a bicycle in traffic, would IMO be of much greater value than simply telling people to wear a helmet and then letting it go at that.
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Old 11-05-11, 06:06 AM   #473
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So many assumptions... has there ever been any of the pro-helmet contingent arguing against skills and riding safely as the best way not to get injured on a bike? ...
The problem is, they place the helmet above riding (or driving) safely; so far in fact, that there are places and people who hold a policy of, no helmet - no bike.

Ridiculous, no?

Last edited by closetbiker; 11-05-11 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 11-05-11, 06:35 AM   #474
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If you race, helmets are required.
If your laws require it, wear it.
Otherwise, it's up to you.
That's not even debatable, it's fact.

Getting people to ride bikes is the issue. Cycling advocacy, not being Capt Helmet Man.

If you want to fight for legislation, fight for car-free city centers and bike friendly urban design.
I wish American cities looked like Copenhagen, so waste some internet time fighting for that instead.
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Old 11-06-11, 01:33 AM   #475
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So many assumptions...Do we know anything about the "learned the hard way" incident to definitively state that a helmet wouldn't have helped? Nope.
No assumptions, just reasonable deductions.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post13451004
And it appears cycling skills would be no. 1 on the list for this gent.

But it seems your OK with such pointless claims as the 'helmet saved me' with no basis to support the claim. Typical.

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Tell me, has there ever been any of the pro-helmet contingent arguing against skills and riding safely as the best way not to get injured on a bike?
Can you point me to the wealth of post that the pro-helmet contingent believes such?

And how do you get that from my post?

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Please stop portraying cycling as dangerous -- it will discourage potential cyclists.
How do you get from my post that cycling is dangerous. That comes from the 'helmet saved me' crowd.

Although hopping on a fixed gear while clueless does carry some risk of injury.

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to have these amazing biking-specific skills to not get injured riding?
Well, the time I did get hit from behind, it was the amazing biking-specific skills that kept me on two wheels and prevented injury; not a helmet.

Those amazing biking-specific skills were learned on a mountain bike riding technical single track. And from what I can tell, almost everyone you claim is anti-helmet, agrees that helmets provide actual benefit for mountain biking.
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Last edited by CB HI; 11-06-11 at 01:52 AM.
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