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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 03-14-14, 05:05 AM   #7151
yugyug
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veganbike
Since you posted a real world situation where a helmet did its job, notice how you are being piled on and vilified by the anti helmet crowd. It happens every time. The same usual crowd of anti helmet types would rather believe some obscure "research paper" than what happens in the real world.
Seriously?? You think personal anecdotes have more validity than peer-reviewed research papers?

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Why are people so anti-helmet?
Among less important reasons, its because they reduce cycling uptake by creating the impression cycling is dangerous. Which then makes cycling more dangerous.

In other words, whether I wear a helmet or not, my safety cycling in my hometown has been reduced by a mandatory helmet law introduced 20 years ago correlating with a drop off in cycling numbers and increase in car and bus use. As a result, there are less cyclists on the road so car drivers are less aware of them, and politicians and city planners consider it less important to build cycling infrastructure. So, counter-intuitively, helmets (or more precisely mandatory helmet laws) make cycling more dangerous.
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Old 03-14-14, 07:06 AM   #7152
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yug

Really, you think that research papers are more valid than real world accidents. IMO 90% of research papers would better be used if they were rolled up and hung on a bathroom wall. Look at all the research that Ford did before building the Edsel!!!!!
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Old 03-14-14, 07:33 AM   #7153
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Seriously??? If he hadn't worn the helmet he would have been a lot worse off. That thing did its job. The helmet took most of the impact while he took very little. Also there is more reason than that little story, that just happened to be a story I rattled off.

Why are people so anti-helmet? Do you lose hipster credits if you don't hate on helmets. Where do you spend your hipster credits? And one final question, can I get one of those fake moustaches with my credits and wear it ironically?
I'm not anti-helmet, I'm anti-hyperbole where this helmet debate is concerned. You tried foisting some prime BS here with your statement that a helmet saved your buddy from "serious brain injury."

Helmets are not designed or proven to protect against serious brain injury. If this rider in this situation were to have faced serious brain injury as a result, they'd likely have sustained serious brain injury, helmet or no.

Maybe it saved them from moderate concussion, although helmets are not designed to protect against concussion and there's likewise no proof that they do. Also no way to tell in this incident if it would have helped.

Depending on how the rider hit, their helmet might have saved them from more significant laceration, abrasion, or contusion. And honestly, that's enough for me--if that's all a helmet is good for, then to me that's a good enough reason to wear one. Which is why I do.

No need to stretch the truth and say that it saved someone from "serious brain injury" when you have no way of knowing if this is true or not.
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Old 03-14-14, 07:54 AM   #7154
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Seriously?? You think personal anecdotes have more validity than peer-reviewed research papers?



Among less important reasons, its because they reduce cycling uptake by creating the impression cycling is dangerous. Which then makes cycling more dangerous.

In other words, whether I wear a helmet or not, my safety cycling in my hometown has been reduced by a mandatory helmet law introduced 20 years ago correlating with a drop off in cycling numbers and increase in car and bus use. As a result, there are less cyclists on the road so car drivers are less aware of them, and politicians and city planners consider it less important to build cycling infrastructure. So, counter-intuitively, helmets (or more precisely mandatory helmet laws) make cycling more dangerous.
As I stated initially I am anti-MHL. Your personal anecdote about your town really has no validity in the argument with me.
As far as peer-reviewed papers, I do think that actual real world data is better than a paper.
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Old 03-14-14, 09:02 AM   #7155
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The value of "real-world" data is lessened due to lack of a control group. It goes back to scientific theory.

A scenario.
A helmeted cyclist strikes his head. He comes away with no serious injury. (Yay!)
The reason we don't know if the helmet saved his life is that there is no way to determine if striking his head without a helmet would have killed him.
Sometimes, the argument is made that he would have been more seriously injured, without his helmet.
The reason we don't know if this is true is because "many" people strike their heads with no serious injury. How many, we don't know because few people report non-injury accidents.

Another scenario:
A helmeted cyclist strikes his head and dies. It happens. Sometimes it's due to blunt-force trauma to the head, regardless of the helmet. Sometimes it's due to other organs being damaged from the impact.

Both of these scenarios can and do occur with non-helmeted cyclists. The data is usually only gathered if there is an injury. Thus, the data is incomplete.

This is why testing data is more valuable. The tests are repeated with controls in place.
I.E. - A melon in a helmet will probably take less damage than a melon without a helmet, but the only difference could be in the rind. The stuff inside still gets jarred around quite sufficiently. (This is NOT how helmets are tested to become certified. Certification basically requires a helmet surviving about a 2 meter drop onto an anvil.)

As some of the regulars here know, I was struck by a car in 2012. My helmet was shattered and I had a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). My wife didn't think it was mild, but the trauma docs said the TBI was the least of my worries -- it was the broken bones and bleeding organs that they were concerned about. Did the helmet save my life? I believe it did, but I can't prove that not having the helmet would have ended my days, here. Even with the helmet, my brain got rattled around inside my skull rather seriously. So, that's why my story doesn't "prove" anything. There is absolutely no way of knowing how much damage my brain would have taken without the helmet.
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Old 03-14-14, 11:26 AM   #7156
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
The value of "real-world" data is lessened due to lack of a control group. It goes back to scientific theory.

A scenario.
A helmeted cyclist strikes his head. He comes away with no serious injury. (Yay!)
The reason we don't know if the helmet saved his life is that there is no way to determine if striking his head without a helmet would have killed him.
Sometimes, the argument is made that he would have been more seriously injured, without his helmet.The reason we don't know if this is true is because "many" people strike their heads with no serious injury. How many, we don't know because few people report non-injury accidents.

Another scenario:
A helmeted cyclist strikes his head and dies. It happens. Sometimes it's due to blunt-force trauma to the head, regardless of the helmet. Sometimes it's due to other organs being damaged from the impact.

Both of these scenarios can and do occur with non-helmeted cyclists. The data is usually only gathered if there is an injury. Thus, the data is incomplete.

This is why testing data is more valuable. The tests are repeated with controls in place.
I.E. - A melon in a helmet will probably take less damage than a melon without a helmet, but the only difference could be in the rind. The stuff inside still gets jarred around quite sufficiently. (This is NOT how helmets are tested to become certified. Certification basically requires a helmet surviving about a 2 meter drop onto an anvil.)

As some of the regulars here know, I was struck by a car in 2012. My helmet was shattered and I had a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). My wife didn't think it was mild, but the trauma docs said the TBI was the least of my worries -- it was the broken bones and bleeding organs that they were concerned about. Did the helmet save my life? I believe it did, but I can't prove that not having the helmet would have ended my days, here. Even with the helmet, my brain got rattled around inside my skull rather seriously. So, that's why my story doesn't "prove" anything. There is absolutely no way of knowing how much damage my brain would have taken without the helmet.

Of course it's true, and anybody can prove it, You want to examine "real world" data? Just bang the old bean on a brick wall without a helmet and with a helmet... I can guarantee that there will be less injury with a helmet than without... This saving of life thing that is being bandied about is a red herring/strawman argument, just because it doesn't save a life it doesn't mean it is not worth wearing for less serious impacts that are the most type of crashes...

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Old 03-14-14, 12:09 PM   #7157
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Of course it's true, and anybody can prove it, You want to examine "real world" data? Just bang the old bean on a brick wall without a helmet and with a helmet... I can guarantee that there will be less injury with a helmet than without... This saving of life thing that is being bandied about is a red herring/strawman argument, just because it doesn't save a life it doesn't mean it is not worth wearing for less serious impacts that are the most type of crashes...
I never claimed a helmet wasn't worth wearing. I'm a helmet-nanny.

As for banging your head to prove data. Once you've gone about setting the parameters of banging your head to see if it hurts, you've established testing controls and it is no longer "real-world" data. I believe "real-world" data, the way it is being used in this thread, is another term for anecdotal evidence.
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Old 03-14-14, 12:22 PM   #7158
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Of course it's true, and anybody can prove it, You want to examine "real world" data? Just bang the old bean on a brick wall without a helmet and with a helmet... I can guarantee that there will be less injury with a helmet than without... This saving of life thing that is being bandied about is a red herring/strawman argument, just because it doesn't save a life it doesn't mean it is not worth wearing for less serious impacts that are the most type of crashes...
I would suggest that you try banging your face into the same wall as used in your initial experiment, with and without a football helmet or a hockey helmet with a face shield. I predict you will find the face shield saves your face from injury. therefore you should wear a more protective helmet, such as those I suggested.
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Old 03-14-14, 12:29 PM   #7159
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I never claimed a helmet wasn't worth wearing. I'm a helmet-nanny.

As for banging your head to prove data. Once you've gone about setting the parameters of banging your head to see if it hurts, you've established testing controls and it is no longer "real-world" data. I believe "real-world" data, the way it is being used in this thread, is another term for anecdotal evidence.
No I didn't mean you did, just used your statement to say my bit...
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Old 03-14-14, 01:18 PM   #7160
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I would suggest that you try banging your face into the same wall as used in your initial experiment, with and without a football helmet or a hockey helmet with a face shield. I predict you will find the face shield saves your face from injury. therefore you should wear a more protective helmet, such as those I suggested.
I never said that a helmet would/could save you from every injury to the head, unlike most anti-helmet guys saying a helmet won't save you from anything thus it's not worth wearing... Just try my experiment and come back and tell us if it was better with or without the helmet...
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Old 03-14-14, 02:04 PM   #7161
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Yes, and I offered a second experiment to see if a football or hockey helmet is even more protective than a bicycle helmet is your test scenario. Personally, I see no validity to testing any type of helmets effectiveness by ramming you head into a wall, but apparently you do. As a trained and experienced scientist, I was helping you with experimental design.
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Old 03-14-14, 02:54 PM   #7162
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Yes, and I offered a second experiment to see if a football or hockey helmet is even more protective than a bicycle helmet is your test scenario. Personally, I see no validity to testing any type of helmets effectiveness by ramming you head into a wall, but apparently you do. As a trained and experienced scientist, I was helping you with experimental design.
There's the problem, my "test" would show the the effectiveness of a helmet versus no helmet very well I suspect... To anyone who tries it... Numbers on paper can be manipulated any way anybody wants, my personal type of test would be hard to convince anyone who does it that a helmet is worthless, I would suspect...
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Old 03-14-14, 03:00 PM   #7163
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Oh I will admit I was wrong, your test would demonstrate the effectiveness of a helmet should you ram into a wall while cycling at a slow speed. as would mine. Face it, by your test design, a full face shield hockey helmet or a football helmet is more effective than a cycling helmet. Quit acting stupid and go get a hockey helmet for gods sake if you have any sense at all! I think Only stupid people would refuse to wear a hockey helmet when cycling.
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Old 03-14-14, 04:05 PM   #7164
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Well there you are, we finally seem to agree that a helmet is better than no helmet when said head hits a hard object. (didn't even need no stinking scientific paper) I even agree that other types of helmets would offer different protection... YAY! Now how much protection a helmet actually offers is a totally different discussion (probably does need a scientific paper), as does how often would you actually hit your head when falling off a bike (knowing that would be nice).
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Old 03-14-14, 04:12 PM   #7165
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I am willing at this point to let it ride. I may do the same and ride, no helmet today though, as I do not plan on riding by any walls that I could smash head first into.
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Old 03-14-14, 04:14 PM   #7166
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Well be carefull, you know what they say about well made or is it layed plans of mice and men...
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Old 03-14-14, 11:22 PM   #7167
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Seriously??? If he hadn't worn the helmet he would have been a lot worse off. That thing did its job. The helmet took most of the impact while he took very little. Also there is more reason than that little story, that just happened to be a story I rattled off.

Why are people so anti-helmet? Do you lose hipster credits if you don't hate on helmets. Where do you spend your hipster credits? And one final question, can I get one of those fake moustaches with my credits and wear it ironically?
Nobody knows how he would have fared without the helmet. That's the point. Some of us like to imagine that any time any head injury is suffered while wearing a helmet, or any time any damage to the helmet is apparent, that a life has been saved. The fact that we don't actually know any more than that the helmeted person suffered injury or that the helmet suffered damage seems to go unremarked.

Beyond that, your "hipster" stuff is so off-base as to be laughable. I am, in reality, an old, fat, grumpy ex-pro bike racer who wouldn't know a hipster if one bit him on the ass. I also am pretty far from being "anti-helmet" and was, in fact, an "early adopter" - to the point that people made fun of me for being the only guy wearing a helmet. I regularly wear a helmet to this day - at least when I am putting myself at enough risk to think that a helmet makes sense. But by the same token, I do not accept the modern thinking that bicycling - any bicycling - is automatically so dangerous that protective gear is necessary any time one goes for a ride, and I feel bad for younger riders who have been brought up to think that they are putting their lives at risk by merely throwing a leg over a bicycle.

Short version: I think people should decide for themselves whether to wear a helmet or not - but I think it is important for people to see through the "a helmet saved my life a dozen times just this week!!!" nonsense promulgated by the helmet manufacturers and the helmet lemmings. Believing in such things leads, IMO, to the idea that you can take more risks than you normally would because the helmet makes you "safe". Compared to the pre-helmet era, we are anything but.

Last edited by Six jours; 03-14-14 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 03-14-14, 11:36 PM   #7168
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...most anti-helmet guys saying a helmet won't save you from anything thus it's not worth wearing...
If anybody here had ever said anything like that, you'd have a great point.

But nobody has. So you don't.

Not that I speak for anybody but myself, but IMO the "anti-helmet" crowd here is simply trying to point out that helmets are not nearly as capable of preventing serious brain injury as their proponents would have us believe.
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Old 03-14-14, 11:46 PM   #7169
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Well there you are, we finally seem to agree that a helmet is better than no helmet when said head hits a hard object. (didn't even need no stinking scientific paper) I even agree that other types of helmets would offer different protection... YAY! Now how much protection a helmet actually offers is a totally different discussion (probably does need a scientific paper), as does how often would you actually hit your head when falling off a bike (knowing that would be nice).
I don't think anybody on this thread (or its predecessors) has ever said that helmets offer no protection. The arguments have been that A) helmets offer less protection than their proponents claim, and B) cycling isn't nearly so dangerous (or at least doesn't have to be) as the helmeteers would have us believe.

So, yes, a helmet offers protection against bumps and bruises and lacerations. No argument at all, from anyone. But then, knee pads offer the same protection as well. So do elbow pads, and hip guards, and gardening gloves. So where are the arrogant and self-righteous elbow pad Nazis, telling us that without elbow pads we will all suffer horrific (and well deserved) elbow injuries?

Ignoring the recent spate of glove Nazis over on the 41, the fact is that the helmeteers are telling us to wear our helmets because we'll die if we don't. And that is the point of contention, regardless of how many smokescreens are thrown up here in A&S.
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Old 03-14-14, 11:52 PM   #7170
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Bottom line: everyone here should listen to Mconlonx:

"Depending on how the rider hit, their helmet might have saved them from more significant laceration, abrasion, or contusion. And honestly, that's enough for me--if that's all a helmet is good for, then to me that's a good enough reason to wear one. Which is why I do.

No need to stretch the truth and say that it saved someone from "serious brain injury" when you have no way of knowing if this is true or not."

Wearing - or not wearing - a helmet based upon that (and otherwise keeping your mouth shut about it) should be the golden rule. Of course, critical thinking and the use of good judgement is an incredibly rare quality among today's cyclists, so Mcon's post has done little more than inconvenience a few electrons. That does not change the fact that he has it figured out and the rest of you, well, don't.
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Old 03-15-14, 09:02 AM   #7171
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I am sure this has been said in some form or another but "just wear a damn helmet". I had a coworker who finally started wearing helmets, crashed and luckily got away with some minor scrapes and just a very light concussion instead of serious brain damage.
YOU SEE! thats how dangerous helmets are, the moment he bought one he crashed!


IM NOT FALLING FOR THAT

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Old 03-15-14, 09:10 AM   #7172
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Ok fair enough Six jours. I guess I made an error in thinking you were a hipster. I apologize for that, you grumpy bastard

However I can say without any worry that his head hitting the pavement bare would have resulted in more injury. Having that buffer between head and pavement was a good thing. It may not be the best thing in the world but it is something.

I think you might be exaggerating with the protective gear comment. It makes me feel as though you mean every kind of pad imaginable (and I know you don't). A helmet I feel is like a seatbelt in a car in some ways.
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Old 03-15-14, 09:22 AM   #7173
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However I can say without any worry that his head hitting the pavement bare would have resulted in more injury. Having that buffer between head and pavement was a good thing.
maybe that buffer was just enough to actually hit the ground and without he wouldnt...


damn possibilities
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Old 03-15-14, 10:09 AM   #7174
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If anybody here had ever said anything like that, you'd have a great point.

But nobody has. So you don't.


Not that I speak for anybody but myself, but IMO the "anti-helmet" crowd here is simply trying to point out that helmets are not nearly as capable of preventing serious brain injury as their proponents would have us believe.
Daym, now I have to go back and find these posts and re-post them... Low blow dude...
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Old 03-15-14, 10:23 AM   #7175
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If you make two lists, one with all the positives for wearing a helmet, and the other the negatives, the positives list is way longer.
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