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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 11-16-11, 03:07 AM   #526
LesterOfPuppets
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Do you carry a spare tube and patches? Does that mean you are expecting flats? Following the logic of some here, if I would quit carrying patches tubes tools and pump, I would never get a flat.
I often roll out without patch kit, tubes, pump. Plenty of riding to do on the buslines, just bring bus fare and you have a ride home.

But yeah, I prepare for things based on their likelihood. Fast MTB ride in the woods, I'll grab a helmet.

12.5 mph average ride to work. Helmet a tad overkill. It's like jogging with a helmet.

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Old 11-16-11, 03:35 AM   #527
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I rode last Wednesday at the Local trails with a helmet..i always ride with a helmet. At the last downhill, i was going down and my front tire got caught between a crack of the hardened clay. It sent me flying off my bike, doing a forward roll, scraping my arms and legs. As i rolled, i hit my head and my helmet flew off and rolled down to the bottom of the hill. Needless to say, if it weren't for my helmet, i could have been seriously hurt..or worse.
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Old 11-16-11, 03:55 AM   #528
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Those aren't points. They're posts from a robot troll with no powers of reason and without the ability to consider points and provide counterpoints.
There is one point in there, but the rest is just insults, and condemnation of people who resort to insults.
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Old 11-16-11, 07:00 AM   #529
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I would, at the primary school level. Cyclist education at, say, eight years old, then driver education at 15; all part of well rounded curriculum, like learning how to safely cross a street (pre-school), and how to balance a checkbook and make a budget (high school).
Huh. Never thought of it, but...

We already have a mandatory bike safety class for drivers in our state. Part of diver's ed includes a segment on bike rules and dealing with bikes as a car driver. The way it was covered in my son's class was a review of state laws, including rider's entitlement to be on the road, ways of safely passing, being aware of bikes, etc. When I asked, no the instructor was not a regular rider--the bike safety portion of one class was mandated in drivers ed at the state level.

No MHL in ME, but mandatory bike safety education for motorists.
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Old 11-16-11, 07:39 AM   #530
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lester

Robot???? Troll?? No logic??? Labling me with those three words is simply not true. BTW name calling like that is a sign that you are unable to refute my logical reasons for wearing a helmet.

Troll?? I only come here from time to time to point out the real trolls are the anti helmet posters. When I or anyone post their reasons and logic for wearing a helmet, they pounce on him or her and start with the name calling.

Bottom line----------if you dont want to wear a helmet thats fine with me. The trolls that seem to think it is their bound duty to talk other people out if wearing a helmet are the ones that I dont understand. Why do they do this? Why do they pounce on anyone that posts the fact that their helmet prevented them injury in an accident? What is their reason? Why do they care? Since they continue their rant---they are the TROLLS!!!!!!!

Last edited by rydabent; 11-16-11 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 11-16-11, 07:42 AM   #531
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I rode last Wednesday at the Local trails with a helmet..i always ride with a helmet. At the last downhill, i was going down and my front tire got caught between a crack of the hardened clay. It sent me flying off my bike, doing a forward roll, scraping my arms and legs. As i rolled, i hit my head and my helmet flew off and rolled down to the bottom of the hill. Needless to say, if it weren't for my helmet, i could have been seriously hurt..or worse.
And yet, you insisted.
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Old 11-16-11, 08:01 AM   #532
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The trolls that seem to think it is their bound duty to talk other people out if wearing a helmet are the ones that I dont understand. Why do they do this?
An even better question: who are they? Can't have trolls around, can we? Could you please point them out?


Oh, by the way, were you the one who wrote things like

"How about looking at this subject this way. The way this admin is driving transportation in this country, they will have us driving little tin death traps running on bird farts in 10 years",

"I see the anti helmets trolls are still getting wet peeing into the wind trying to convince people helmets are of no use",

"If anyone is full of **** I would vote for politicians as being number one on the list"

"The politics of OWS or the loons that plug up streets with mob cycling at the end of each month are fools. All that either one accomplishes is ticking off people.
If you dont like things the way they are, vote in the elections, dont plug up the streets and show people how stupid you are." (that one is from a thread about politization of cycling)

"Note: if a teenager doesnt like it, that is the best green lite you need"

"The only thing political about cycling is liberals trying to blame conservatives"

"The anti helmet trolls seem to love "studies". The name of this thread is helmets cramp my style. Anyway let me tell you of a recient study that suggests that men who wont wear helmets or uses other safety devices such as seat belts have small penises. They are trying really hard to prove to eveyone they are hairy chested macho men and make up for their---------"

(Edit: sorry, forgot this gem) "My opinion is just as good as the next persons. If only the egotistical know it alls only post, they will think they are entitled to run the world."

?

Mhm. Thought so.

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Old 11-16-11, 08:26 AM   #533
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Originally Posted by zerogravity View Post
I rode last Wednesday at the Local trails with a helmet..i always ride with a helmet. At the last downhill, i was going down and my front tire got caught between a crack of the hardened clay. It sent me flying off my bike, doing a forward roll, scraping my arms and legs. As i rolled, i hit my head and my helmet flew off and rolled down to the bottom of the hill. Needless to say, if it weren't for my helmet, i could have been seriously hurt..or worse.
If your helmet flew off, how did it protect your head?
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Old 11-16-11, 08:30 AM   #534
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Yikes! Don't wear loose helmet straps like this guy:

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Old 11-16-11, 09:56 AM   #535
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TROLLS!!!!!!!
Why do you hate informed choice?
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Old 11-16-11, 10:10 AM   #536
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I rode last Wednesday at the Local trails with a helmet..i always ride with a helmet. At the last downhill, i was going down and my front tire got caught between a crack of the hardened clay. It sent me flying off my bike, doing a forward roll, scraping my arms and legs. As i rolled, i hit my head and my helmet flew off and rolled down to the bottom of the hill. Needless to say, if it weren't for my helmet, i could have been seriously hurt..or worse.
I ran a poll on BF recently asking how many people believed they had had their lives saved by their helmets. More than half the respondents thought they had. We know the sport did not have a 50% fatality rate prior to helmets, so the obvious conclusion is that people are vastly overrating the dangers of cycling and vastly overrating the protective properties of helmets. So while it's possible your helmet really did save you from serious or fatal injuries, it's also quite likely that you're one of those "fifty percenters".
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Old 11-16-11, 10:41 AM   #537
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Why do you hate informed choice?
I think he simply hates a choice that isn't a choice he would make.

He's entitled to his opinion of course, but since he doesn't provide a reasonable argument for his opinion, it's worth less than if he had

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Old 11-16-11, 10:46 AM   #538
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I ran a poll on BF recently asking how many people believed they had had their lives saved by their helmets. More than half the respondents thought they had. We know the sport did not have a 50% fatality rate prior to helmets, so the obvious conclusion is that people are vastly overrating the dangers of cycling and vastly overrating the protective properties of helmets. So while it's possible your helmet really did save you from serious or fatal injuries, it's also quite likely that you're one of those "fifty percenters".
I've heard the "helmet saved my life" boast repeatedly. Funny thing is that the death rate to cyclists has changed little (if at all) since the advent of helmet use and cyclists with helmets on are dying at the same rate as cyclists without helmets. (and in my city, every single death of a cyclist over the last 15 years has occurred to a cyclist wearing a helmet)

Last edited by closetbiker; 11-16-11 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 11-16-11, 11:03 AM   #539
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I've heard the "helmet saved my life" boast repeatedly. Funny thing is that the death rate to cyclists has changed little (if at all) since the advent of helmet use and cyclists with helmets on are dying at the same rate as cyclists without helmets. (and in my city, every single death of a cyclist over the last 15 years has occurred to a cyclist wearing a helmet)
Deaths, sure. But helmets might save more people from concussions though. They're supposed to reduce impact, not eliminate it. Past a certain threshold, they're useless.

Why wear a helmet skydiving? If your chute fails, it's also useless.
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Old 11-16-11, 11:10 AM   #540
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Deaths, sure. But helmets might save more people from concussions though. They're supposed to reduce impact, not eliminate it. Past a certain threshold, they're useless...
A common misconception spread by those who do not understand the mechanisms of concussion and brain injury. Helmets do not prevent concussion. They reduce impact to a point and impacts are not the direct cause of concussion
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Old 11-16-11, 11:18 AM   #541
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Ok, point taken. Forget I mentioned concussions. Let's just say head injuries. And I'm not really trying to spread anything, especially misconceptions.

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impacts are not the direct cause of concussion
Elaborate please?
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Old 11-16-11, 11:33 AM   #542
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Ok, point taken. Forget I mentioned concussions. Let's just say head injuries. And I'm not really trying to spread anything, especially misconceptions.



Elaborate please?
Rotational moment is the primary cause of diffuse axonal injury. There's lots about this stuff on cyclehelmets.org and the wikipedia helmets page.

Last edited by RazrSkutr; 11-16-11 at 11:34 AM. Reason: bad grammar
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Old 11-16-11, 11:41 AM   #543
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Yikes! Don't wear loose helmet straps like this guy:

Jeesh, wtf happened in this pic?
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Old 11-16-11, 11:43 AM   #544
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Elaborate please?
Rotational injury is what causes concussions. Couple that with the fact there is evidence that suggests helmets (especially the most popular, well-vented variety) may actually increase this type of injury, and choosing to wear a helmet becomes a much more hazy prospect.
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Old 11-16-11, 11:51 AM   #545
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Jeesh, wtf happened in this pic?
Squeezed his red-berry power gel pack too hard and it exploded. Didn't have any napkins to clean up with.



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Rotational moment is the primary cause of diffuse axonal injury. There's lots about this stuff on cyclehelmets.org and the wikipedia helmets page.
Quote:
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Rotational injury is what causes concussions. Couple that with the fact there is evidence that suggests helmets (especially the most popular, well-vented variety) may actually increase this type of injury, and choosing to wear a helmet becomes a much more hazy prospect.
Isn't DAI only one kind of head injury though (albeit one of the worst)? I get the impression not all concussions lead to DAI. And okay - so say rotation causes the DAI, I still don't get how the rotation is not caused by an impact. Without an impact surely you are not going to have the concussion.

Last edited by idc; 11-16-11 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 11-16-11, 12:42 PM   #546
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I realize that this is a very touchy subject, and that I'm probably nuts for jumping in. I haven't read all 22 pages of this thread, and I apologize if I'm going over ground that was covered already.

I learned to ride in the 1950s, and naturally didn't wear a helmet. A friend of mine was killed when we were both 18 years old - he was riding pretty slowly, in city traffic, and the taxi in front of him stopped short, and he went over the handlebars and hit his head. (I know, I know, ... it isn't the point that he shouldn't have been following that closely, or he should have been paying more attention, ...) This was 1969, so of course, no helmet. He was dead by the next morning. There's no way to know for sure, but it seems like that situation is exactly what helmets were made for.

I got back into cycling in the mid-90's, and by that time helmets were pretty commonplace. I'd always worn one for motorcycling (it was mandatory in NY), so wearing one for cycling seemed like a pretty natural thing to do. I've had one bad accident, and while, if I had landed differently, I might fall into the "a helmet saved my life" category, to be honest, my injuries were all to my arms and legs - my helmet wasn't even scratched. Of course, that doesn't mean I couldn't have landed differently.

Now I'm back to cycling again for the third time, after a 10 year hiatus. Right now, most of my riding is just to go to the store and to do errands around town - a fairly urban suburb of NY, and maybe an occasional longer ride just for the fun of it. I've used the helmet without thinking about it, the same way I buckle my seat belt when I get into the car.

But I have to admit that, for the riding I do, the helmet is a pain in the ass. It's pretty dorky for a 59 year old man to walk into a store with one on, so I take it off and put on some kind of cap, then have to carry it around while I'm grocery shopping or whatever. But it never occurred to me that it might not even be serving any worthwhile purpose.

I'm not interested in compelling or prohibiting helmet use. I understand that a helmet is probably useless if I were barreling down a hill at 50 mph (something I haven't done in 15 years, but might want to do again). Where does a person go to find out if it serves any purpose at all to wear it for mostly low-speed riding in suburban traffic? Every source seems to be pushing one side or the other of this "controversy" from a political, libertarian vs. paternalist point of view. I don't care about that stuff. I just want to figure out if I'm suffering an (admittedly minor) inconvenience for no good reason.

I have to admit, it would feel weird to not wear a helmet after all these years. Sort of like not buckling my seat belt...
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Old 11-16-11, 12:54 PM   #547
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I realize that this is a very touchy subject, and that I'm probably nuts for jumping in. I haven't read all 22 pages of this thread, and I apologize if I'm going over ground that was covered already.
I've jumped in and out of this thread without reading all of it as well. I don't know that anyone expects you to read 22 pages.

My understanding is that helmets can protect you from certain impacts. However, most of these impacts would not be particularly damaging if you didn't have a helmet, and most life-threatening impacts in road cycling would probably not be alleviated from wearing a standard bike helmet. Also, because helmets make your head larger it is possible that they worsen the rotational injury effects of an impact.

My personal stance is that it is my head and I would rather have no damage, so even if my helmet is only protecting me from superficial damage it is better than nothing. I can't imagine what road rash on my ear would feel like. I've thrice been grateful to have my helmet. Once for superficial damage (helmet cracked), once for possibly more (went over handlebars and the foam was compressed), and once for protection from... angry birds (beak indentations in foam). I also prefer to wear my head shell because most serious road cyclists wear them, and it gives the appearance of safety and conscientiousness as a road user to other traffic (even if doesn't really make me more safe).

The efficacy of seat belts in cars has a lot more science behind it from what I can tell.

No doubt there's experts here who can give you better advice than I.

Last edited by idc; 11-16-11 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 11-16-11, 12:55 PM   #548
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... Isn't DAI only one kind of head injury though (albeit one of the worst)? I get the impression not all concussions lead to DAI. And okay - so say rotation causes the DAI, I still don't get how the rotation is not caused by an impact. Without an impact surely you are not going to have the concussion.
all the information on this is in the paper I linked but to boil things down in a very simple way, it's the movement of the brain within the skull that causes DAI (concussion is the mildest, and most common form of DAI).

Any kind of jarring motion (such as whiplash, or what happens in "Shaken Baby Syndrome" can cause this movement.

Helmets are designed to adress only linear impacts and not the oblique impacts that cause so much trouble, thus the quote from the linked paper...

Quote:
The testing and design of standard helmets continue to reflect the discredited theory that linear acceleration is the dominant cause of brain injury and to neglect rotation.
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Old 11-16-11, 01:01 PM   #549
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I've jumped in and out of this thread without reading all of it as well. I don't know that anyone expects you to read 22 pages.

My understanding is that helmets can protect you from certain impacts. However, most of these impacts would not be particularly damaging if you didn't have a helmet, and most life-threatening impacts in road cycling would probably not be alleviated from wearing a standard bike helmet. Also, because helmets make your head larger it is possible that they worsen the rotational injury effects of an impact.

My personal stance is that it is my head and I would rather have no damage, even if it's superficial. I can't imagine what road rash on my ear would feel like. I've thrice been grateful to have my helmet. Once for superficial damage (helmet cracked), once for possibly more (went over handlebars and the foam was compressed), and once for protection from... angry birds (beak indentations in foam). I also prefer to wear my head shell because most serious road cyclists wear them, and it gives the appearance of safety and conscientiousness as a road user to other traffic (even if doesn't really make me more safe).

The efficacy of seat belts in cars has a lot more science behind it from what I can tell.

No doubt there's experts here who can give you better advice than I.
Well, this has been more or less my approach as well, though I'm certainly less well informed. Mostly my attitude has been, "This can't hurt and might help, and isn't very much trouble to do..." I'm surprised to learn that, in some cases, it can do more harm than good. But your comments about road rash on the head are well taken.
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Old 11-16-11, 01:06 PM   #550
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all the information on this is in the paper I linked but to boil things down in a very simple way, it's the movement of the brain within the skull that causes DAI (concussion is the mildest, and most common form of DAI).

Any kind of jarring motion (such as whiplash, or what happens in "Shaken Baby Syndrome" can cause this movement.

Helmets are designed to adress only linear impacts and not the oblique impacts that cause so much trouble, thus the quote from the linked paper...
So the question is: Do helmets do more harm than good, more good than harm, an equal amount of good and harm, or nothing at all? I'm particularly asking from the point of view of a city/utility cyclist. And again, I'm not looking for any new laws or rules one way or the other, just trying to figure out if I'm baking my head for no good reason.
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