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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 04-30-13, 05:34 PM   #5176
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Others make a different calculation. Neither group is necessarily stupid, though naturally those who agree with me are conspicuously intelligent.
I wear a helmet. But then again, I think helmets are cool and miss my darth vader look because I don't ride motorcycles anymore. So I get my helmet fix in with a bike helmet. I respect all views, even those of people who don't agree with me, although they are less intelligent and no where near as good looking.
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Old 04-30-13, 06:33 PM   #5177
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WOW, I must be as dumb as a sack of rocks and ugly as... a sack of rocks...
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Old 04-30-13, 07:33 PM   #5178
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The studied form of TBI (traumatic brain injury) involving rotational forces is DAI -- Diffuse Axonal Injury. It actually doesn't even depend on rotational injury, just variations on how fast tissue is moving in your head. So blunt impact can also be a cause of DAI, but where rotational forces are involved, DAI can certainly be exacerbated.

This is usually what the bare-head brigade is referring to regarding rotational injury; where this stuff about neck injuries got introduced, IDK.
Right on. While I was in neurological rehab, last year, I got an assignment to research the parts of the brain, their functions and the symptoms of injury (to present to my fellow patients, there). Your assertion that DAI doesn't depend on rotational injury aligns with what I found during that research. And, again, I'll have to go back and look at the story again, but I think in the story he said straight-on blunt force failed to reproduce the forces required to induce DAI. I do remember it saying that straight-on blunt force is a rare occurrence in bicycle accidents. (Sorry, I'm at work and the magazine is at home. I can't wait until they put this story on their website.)
Okay, so here's what the story says:
In a crash there are two types of impacts.
1) Linear acceleration - the impact of the skull meeting an object. Bicycle helmets do an excellent job of attenuating this type of impact.
2) Rotational acceleration - the skull stopping short causes the brain to rotate. The technical term is inertial spin. Test have shown this to be the biggest single factor in a concussion's severity. Certified bicycle helmets are not tested for this type of impact.
And then the story goes on to mention research on woodpeckers and the reason they don't end up beating their brains to a pulp is because a straight-line strike doesn't damage the brain the way a strike following an arc.
Transitioning into testing by the National Institutes of Health found it impossible to concuss primates using strait linear acceleration. Meanwhile, every instance of rotational acceleration resulted in concussion.

So, yea, the author was talking about rotational acceleration's effect on concussion and not DAI's effect on TBI.

And while I'm now going to go back and re-read the story since my recall is lacking a bit, I will reiterate that all of you should pick up the June issue of Bicycling mag for this story alone. (I'm not huge fan of Bicycling, but this story is quite impressive.)
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Old 04-30-13, 07:37 PM   #5179
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DAI doesn't depend on rotational forces. But rotational forces seem to make them far more likely.

Back in the 70's it was discussed in Denmark if boxing should be prohibited. During the discussions I remember informations coming up about how much more dangerous it was to the brain for one to take a hit with a big glove than with a naked fist. Same thing as with the helmet discussion, really.
I remember reading that myself many years ago about the boxing glove vs the bare fist. You misread it. Gloves allowed the boxer to hit harder then he would without due to hand injuries, and because they can hit harder the wider surface of the glove delivers more of a concussive force vs a bare fist that brings structural damage like broken nose's, teeth, ribs, etc and because the impact of the knuckle is spread out over a much smaller area it delivers more pain. Boxers who have boxed with bare fist, MMA style, and boxing glove style all say the pain to the hand is worst with bare knuckles, followed by MMA, and lastly gloved, and they'll tell you that with bare knuckles they don't want hit as hard as they do with gloves on. Also there are no rounds which helps end the fights faster due to fatigue.

Thus the glove protects the puncher more then the punched, thus if your head is inside a helmet the helmet spreads out the damage to a wider area of the head instead of a localized area protecting the head more just as the glove protects the hand more.
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Old 05-01-13, 08:50 AM   #5180
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I won't deny the aspect of hand injuries, but that was not what the discussion was about back then, at least not here. It was specifically about how the same force would be much more harmful if the fist was gloved.
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Old 05-01-13, 09:05 AM   #5181
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I won't deny the aspect of hand injuries, but that was not what the discussion was about back then, at least not here. It was specifically about how the same force would be much more harmful if the fist was gloved.
But you can't think that way, for a helmet logic to work you have to make the hand the head, the hand is either protected by a glove or it's not protected at all thus the injuries are higher, the head is in the helmet...a glove, thus the helmet, like the glove, protects the head better then just a bare head or bare knuckles.
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Old 05-01-13, 10:42 AM   #5182
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And while I'm now going to go back and re-read the story since my recall is lacking a bit, I will reiterate that all of you should pick up the June issue of Bicycling mag for this story alone. (I'm not huge fan of Bicycling, but this story is quite impressive.)
Got the issue, have yet to read the article. It's long.

This is not the first mag running a story questioning conventional wisdom (largely wrong/ill-informed) regarding helmets. Y'all bare-headers happier, now? There have been a couple of stories of this kind in print media -- the other one I remember was in Bicycle Times. Looks like you're having an impact.
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Old 05-01-13, 02:52 PM   #5183
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But you can't think that way, for a helmet logic to work you have to make the hand the head, the hand is either protected by a glove or it's not protected at all thus the injuries are higher, the head is in the helmet...a glove, thus the helmet, like the glove, protects the head better then just a bare head or bare knuckles.
Your brain is not inside your hand. And you don't get it. A bare-fist hit is very concentrated, and may break a jaw. If the same blow is taken with a glove, the force is transmitted very differently, making the whole head rotate much more. And that's the whole point.

Last edited by hagen2456; 05-02-13 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 05-01-13, 06:32 PM   #5184
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Your brain is not inside your hand. And you don't get it. A bare-fist hit is very concentrated, and may brake a jaw. If the same blow is taken with a glove, the force is transmitted very differently, making the whole head rotate much more. And that's the whole point.
Ok, lets go with what you're saying, your still wrong, the concept is correct but in practice it's wrong. Because with a glove on fighters hit a lot harder then they do without.
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Old 05-01-13, 07:41 PM   #5185
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Got the issue, have yet to read the article. It's long.

This is not the first mag running a story questioning conventional wisdom (largely wrong/ill-informed) regarding helmets. Y'all bare-headers happier, now? There have been a couple of stories of this kind in print media -- the other one I remember was in Bicycle Times. Looks like you're having an impact.
I'm seeing more and more "serious" riders around here sans helmet. And my reaction is mixed. My personal goal has never been to make people stop wearing helmets, so on that level, I just don't care. But I have long hoped that enough bare-headers would crop up that they/we would cease to be an oddity. That's purely selfish: I just want to make my choices and be left alone about it. So I guess I'm slightly happy...
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Old 05-02-13, 12:42 AM   #5186
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People who don't want to be told to or not to wear a helmet probably shouldn't be reading this thread.


It's full of people saying do so or no need to do so.
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Old 05-02-13, 01:19 AM   #5187
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Ok, lets go with what you're saying, your still wrong, the concept is correct but in practice it's wrong. Because with a glove on fighters hit a lot harder then they do without.
Sure, but what on earth has that got to do with the relevance of the glove discussion to the helmet discussion? What's relevant is what a glove/a helmet will do to a head with (hopefully) a brain inside.
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Old 05-02-13, 09:08 AM   #5188
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Sure, but what on earth has that got to do with the relevance of the glove discussion to the helmet discussion? What's relevant is what a glove/a helmet will do to a head with (hopefully) a brain inside.
DING DING DING, we have a winner!!! Exactly my point to the other poster, you cannot equate a boxer punching a head with a glove on to damages suffered when wearing a helmet!!! Thank you.
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Old 05-02-13, 11:49 AM   #5189
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DING DING DING, we have a winner!!! Exactly my point to the other poster, you cannot equate a boxer punching a head with a glove on to damages suffered when wearing a helmet!!! Thank you.
Wow. I give up.

By the way: Are you a former boxer?
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Old 05-02-13, 12:27 PM   #5190
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When I was young we rode around on bikes every day for hours and hours on end riding wheelies and hitting sweet jumps. We rode in the streets, in the fields, in the grass, down the railroad tracks, and every place imaginable. There was never a helmet in sight and it wasn't even a consideration. There were plenty of gnarly crashes and lots of road rash but that was all just part of the payment for the endless joy that we got from riding. There was never a situation where a helmet would have prevented a injury.

I am sure there were kids out there who hit their heads on the ground but there were also kids out there that broke their arms or got hit by a car or busted their elbow / knee cap.

There is risk involved with everything that we do and I believe that individuals should have the right to manage their own personal risk. People should have the ability to decide how much of a risk they want to take. Requiring people to wear a helmet because "some people" feel that it's too dangerous to ride a bike without it is one step closer to deciding that people shouldn't be able to skydive, ski, motocross, or shoot guns because it just seems too dangerous to them.
Danger is relative and your willingness to expose yourself to it is a basic human right.

Having said all that My child, My wife, and I all have helmets. I don't wear mine for after work rides but I do strap that thing on when I decide to throw myself off the side of a mountain.
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Old 05-02-13, 03:19 PM   #5191
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Wow. I give up.

By the way: Are you a former boxer?
You can't give up! You can't scream "no mas, no mas"!

What makes you think I'm a former boxer?
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Old 05-02-13, 10:39 PM   #5192
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What makes you think I'm a former boxer?
I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this one.
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Old 05-02-13, 11:03 PM   #5193
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Yep. Still goin'.

Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbth!
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Old 05-03-13, 06:58 AM   #5194
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The anti helmet crowd sure bring up a lot on useless points that have nothing to do with cycling. About the only thing they havent brought us is rock climbing. Oh------------no I guess they wouldnt because almost rock climbers use a helmet too!!!!!
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Old 05-03-13, 08:02 AM   #5195
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Here's my helmet after my crash a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 05-03-13, 08:50 AM   #5196
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Here's my helmet after my crash a couple of weeks ago.
And this demonstrates:

1) That a helmet can be scratched up in an accident.
2) A helmet may prevent the scalp from being scratched up in an accident ( not as strongly as 1).
3) a hemet may prevent brain injury in a accident ( less likely that 2)
4) Your helmet prevented serious injury or death in this particular accident. (no demonstration or proof what so ever)
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Old 05-03-13, 12:42 PM   #5197
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DING DING DING, we have a winner!!! Exactly my point to the other poster, you cannot equate a boxer punching a head with a glove on to damages suffered when wearing a helmet!!! Thank you.
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What makes you think I'm a former boxer?
Man, you can almost hear the sonic booms as these pass right over ya.
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Old 05-03-13, 03:22 PM   #5198
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And this demonstrates:

1) That a helmet can be scratched up in an accident.
2) A helmet may prevent the scalp from being scratched up in an accident ( not as strongly as 1).
3) a hemet may prevent brain injury in a accident ( less likely that 2)
4) Your helmet prevented serious injury or death in this particular accident. (no demonstration or proof what so ever)
5) Don't wear a helmet, I promise I'll critic this when it happens
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Old 05-03-13, 06:37 PM   #5199
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The anti helmet crowd sure bring up a lot on useless points that have nothing to do with cycling. About the only thing they havent brought us is rock climbing. Oh------------no I guess they wouldnt because almost rock climbers use a helmet too!!!!!
Actually, I have used climbing as an example repeatedly here. I'm not surprised that it made no impression on you.
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Old 05-04-13, 11:09 AM   #5200
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When I was young we rode around on bikes every day for hours and hours on end riding wheelies and hitting sweet jumps. We rode in the streets, in the fields, in the grass, down the railroad tracks, and every place imaginable. There was never a helmet in sight and it wasn't even a consideration. There were plenty of gnarly crashes and lots of road rash but that was all just part of the payment for the endless joy that we got from riding. There was never a situation where a helmet would have prevented a injury.

I am sure there were kids out there who hit their heads on the ground but there were also kids out there that broke their arms or got hit by a car or busted their elbow / knee cap.

There is risk involved with everything that we do and I believe that individuals should have the right to manage their own personal risk. People should have the ability to decide how much of a risk they want to take. Requiring people to wear a helmet because "some people" feel that it's too dangerous to ride a bike without it is one step closer to deciding that people shouldn't be able to skydive, ski, motocross, or shoot guns because it just seems too dangerous to them.
Danger is relative and your willingness to expose yourself to it is a basic human right.

Having said all that My child, My wife, and I all have helmets. I don't wear mine for after work rides but I do strap that thing on when I decide to throw myself off the side of a mountain.
That's basically my view. There's always a risk associated with doing anything, and it's a case of weighing up the level of protection vs perceived risk. My view is that, though a helmet will do 'something' in a crash (you can never be sure exactly what in each set of circumstances) the level of risk for me, riding down a paved road in good conditions doesn't warrant wearing a bicycle helmet. Like you said though, throw some mountain biking (as well as snow-covered roads or road racing etc) into the equation and the risk level increases such that a helmet is more likely to be of use. It's about choosing the right equipment for the situation.
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