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View Poll Results: Helmet wearing habits?

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  • 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%
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  1. #8601
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
    Beyond the initial impact, wouldn't you think a helmet saves some skin? If you get knocked out, you really don't have control of what part of your body is grinding into the asphalt.
    Yes they are effective for preventing scrapes and contusions and in mitigating the painful bumps (non-traumatic). Also, a skull fracture can occur at lesser impacts than traumatic brain injuries, and reasonably the foam helmet is more effective in preventing that.

    That should be taken in context, both the chances of these kinds of injuries and their severity. The helmet will unquestionably help, but in my personal risk calculus of these minor injuries, the probability times severity is normally low enough that I have no qualms if I forgo the helmet, but significant enough that I don't feel foolish if I wear one.

  2. #8602
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    This thread has inspired me to read as deeply as I can about the effectiveness of bicycle helmets. I've read a lot of papers, very few of which were very impressive, and have observed:

    1. Most of the studies that are totally enthusiastic about the effectiveness of bicycle helmets were done in the 1980's and 1990's, and were mostly authored by the same three people.
    2. More recent studies are a lot more subdued about the effectiveness of bicycle helmets.
    3. The effectiveness of most bicycle helmets can be summarized like this: In an accident in which a helmet is effective, you'll survive just fine without one; in more serious accidents, such as those involving motor vehicles, a helmet will not help much, if at all.
    4. The claim that mandatory helmet laws reduce the total number of cyclists is mostly bull****; a more reasonable conclusion is that helmet laws have pretty much no long-term effect on ridership. (Australian numbers are way up since their very silly helmet law went into effect ...)
    5. Most importantly, I've learned that no one, in all honesty, has any idea whether bicycle helmets significantly reduce one's risk of injury or not. It's like the debate over the effects of running shoes on injury rates: there are simply too many uncontrolled variables to be able to say anything at all that isn't driven by one's pre-set agenda.

    My conclusion about helmets is this: helmets are a LOT less important than most other factors in determining one's safety on a bicycle. In fact, I'm certain, based on what I've seen, that one's margin of safety is not statistically significantly improved by wearing one. However, I'm going to continue to wear a helmet anyway. The reason for this seemingly silly decision is this: would you rather slam your body into a concrete wall at 30 km/h with just your bare head, or while wearing a stupid foam hat (i..e, bicycle helmet)? It may not help much, but it's a lot better than nothing.
    Last edited by bragi; 08-22-14 at 12:25 AM.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  3. #8603
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    It may not help much, but it's a lot better than nothing.
    You were doing OK until your last sentence which indicates you don't believe or do not understand a word that you wrote previously in the same post.

  4. #8604
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I was just looking at a website for a company that produces *Football* Helmets. (This is American Football, and the manufacturer does NOT ship outside the United States).

    Home page

    Prior to 1975, there were No Bicycle Helmets, and I was seriously considering getting a Football Helmet. Back then , a Football Helmet costed about sixty dollars (≈$60.00). They are a lot More Expensive today, see the site.

    The new thing, this Ridell company has a Patent,

    Insite - Shop Riddell

    which covers impact sensors embedded in the Helmet.

    This seems to be a New Idea, and may be connected with the recent controversy over Concussions .

    I would speculate that someday we may be able to purchase Bicycle Helmets with these Impact Sensors, which would send a wireless Signal in the event of a serious impact.

    As a side note, I see that the Ridell company also Reconditions Football Helmets, whereas we Cyclists are urged to throw out Helmets in the trash after five years, or after any serious blow to the head.

    Okay, this post seems to be about Helmets, so I'm going to move it to the Helmet Thread!...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  5. #8605
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
    I would speculate that someday we may be able to purchase Bicycle Helmets with these Impact Sensors, which would send a wireless Signal in the event of a serious impact.
    Wireless signal to whom, the helmet merchandiser, alerting it to a potential customer for a replacement helmet?

  6. #8606
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Football hemet has more component parts than a cycling helmet. In a bike helmet there is nothing to recondition after the crash the part that is supposed to absorb the crash energy is also the major part of the helmet. As to the sensors, assuming that it would be a help i've fallen and cannot get up" type of emergency notification, I see that a major PIA for the paramedics getting calls for all kinds of non-releted bumps on the helmet, like dropping it.
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
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  7. #8607
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Wireless signal to whom, the helmet merchandiser, alerting it to a potential customer for a replacement helmet?
    IDK, I guess it is Wi-Fi enabled...

    Must connect to a smart-phone via Wi-Fi...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  8. #8608
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
    IDK, I guess it is Wi-Fi enabled...

    Must connect to a smart-phone via Wi-Fi...
    LOL - It might send you a text.
    textMessage.png
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  9. #8609
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    (Australian numbers are way up since their very silly helmet law went into effect ...)
    Not correct. What studies or articles are you basing that claim on?

  10. #8610
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yugyug View Post
    Not correct. What studies or articles are you basing that claim on?
    http://www.carrsq.qut.edu.au/publica..._safety_fs.pdf
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  11. #8611
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    Nowhere in that government brochure does it confirm:
    "Australian numbers are way up since their very silly helmet law went into effect ...)"
    unless you want to put your baseline at 2001 - 10 years after the MHL was introduced. There is a very good reason they don't cite data from earlier, because numbers were dropping throughout the nineties.

  12. #8612
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    This thread has inspired me to read as deeply as I can about the effectiveness of bicycle helmets. I've read a lot of papers, very few of which were very impressive, and have observed:

    1. Most of the studies that are totally enthusiastic about the effectiveness of bicycle helmets were done in the 1980's and 1990's, and were mostly authored by the same three people.
    2. More recent studies are a lot more subdued about the effectiveness of bicycle helmets.
    3. The effectiveness of most bicycle helmets can be summarized like this: In an accident in which a helmet is effective, you'll survive just fine without one; in more serious accidents, such as those involving motor vehicles, a helmet will not help much, if at all.
    4. The claim that mandatory helmet laws reduce the total number of cyclists is mostly bull****; a more reasonable conclusion is that helmet laws have pretty much no long-term effect on ridership. (Australian numbers are way up since their very silly helmet law went into effect ...)
    5. Most importantly, I've learned that no one, in all honesty, has any idea whether bicycle helmets significantly reduce one's risk of injury or not. It's like the debate over the effects of running shoes on injury rates: there are simply too many uncontrolled variables to be able to say anything at all that isn't driven by one's pre-set agenda.

    My conclusion about helmets is this: helmets are a LOT less important than most other factors in determining one's safety on a bicycle. In fact, I'm certain, based on what I've seen, that one's margin of safety is not statistically significantly improved by wearing one. However, I'm going to continue to wear a helmet anyway. The reason for this seemingly silly decision is this: would you rather slam your body into a concrete wall at 30 km/h with just your bare head, or while wearing a stupid foam hat (i..e, bicycle helmet)? It may not help much, but it's a lot better than nothing.
    This is a very strange post to me. It all makes good sense, but then it finishes in a way that seems a bit silly. I mean, "would you rather slam your body into a concrete wall at 30 km/h with just your bare head, or while wearing _______ ?" is as good an argument for pretty much any protective gear imaginable as it is for a bicycle helmet. Frankly, if I have to slam into a concrete wall, I'd prefer to be wearing full body armor and coated in a liberal layer of bubble wrap. And honestly, if I thought slamming into a concrete wall was any kind of real possibility, I'd just stay home.

    In the real world, I look at the very slight chance of falling and hitting my head, along with the very slight protective ability of the typical bicycle helmet, and figure there's no real need for it. Everything bragi writes in his post supports that conclusion except for the last line, which almost seems as though it was written by somebody else.

    <edit> The short version is that I ride in such a way as to make "hitting a concrete wall at 30 kmh" an extremely remote possibility, i.e. I have not fallen off a road bike in the more than two decades since I stopped racing. So for me there is no more reason to wear a helmet while riding than there is reason to wear one while walking, driving, showering, or any other routine daily activity. Now, none of that really applies to anyone else, and I operate under the assumption that I am not qualified to tell anyone else what they should or should not do to mitigate risk in their own personal situations. I really just wish that everyone else would operate under the same assumptions regarding me.
    Last edited by Six jours; 08-25-14 at 08:01 PM.

  13. #8613
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    This is a very strange post to me.
    This entire thread is strange to me.

    I live in a city where the vast majority of people don't wear any special clothing for cycling. They hop on their bikes wearing whatever they happened to throw on that morning. A few wear helmets, most do not. Now there IS an exercise set who wear helmets because it is part of their cycling costume, but these folks are only found on fitness trails or rural areas beyond the burbs on training rides.

    Somehow, given that some do and some don't wear helmets here, the subject of helmet use never comes up in conversation. I have never heard someone chastise another person for not wearing a helmet EVER, and I hang around a lot of cycling nuts. Of course New Orleans is the poster child for "being whoever you want to be" without answering to anyone about your helmet, tattoos, hair style, gender issues, facial piercings, what kind of car do you drive, or most other issues that are really nobodies' business but the person making the choices.

    But HERE! OMG. It,s like watching a clothes dryer full of tennis shoes go round and round and round - bumpity, bumpity, bump - but never get the shoes dry.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  14. #8614
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    But HERE! OMG. It,s like watching a clothes dryer full of tennis shoes go round and round and round - bumpity, bumpity, bump - but never get the shoes dry.
    Haha. Yep.

    I kind of feel that because i live in a jurisdiction, alas, almost an entire country, with a mandatory helmet law, I have more reason to be here to argue than others. But yep, sneakers in a dryer is a great analogy.

  15. #8615
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    No wonder everybody hates you.

  16. #8616
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    It's funny that you quote this study, as it states:
    TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE
    • Wear a standards approved and
    properly fitted bicycle helmet...
    John
    John Ratliff

  17. #8617
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    This thread has inspired me to read as deeply as I can about the effectiveness of bicycle helmets. I've read a lot of papers, very few of which were very impressive, and have observed:

    1. Most of the studies that are totally enthusiastic about the effectiveness of bicycle helmets were done in the 1980's and 1990's, and were mostly authored by the same three people.
    2. More recent studies are a lot more subdued about the effectiveness of bicycle helmets.
    3. The effectiveness of most bicycle helmets can be summarized like this: In an accident in which a helmet is effective, you'll survive just fine without one; in more serious accidents, such as those involving motor vehicles, a helmet will not help much, if at all...

    My conclusion about helmets is this: helmets are a LOT less important than most other factors in determining one's safety on a bicycle. In fact, I'm certain, based on what I've seen, that one's margin of safety is not statistically significantly improved by wearing one. However, I'm going to continue to wear a helmet anyway. The reason for this seemingly silly decision is this: would you rather slam your body into a concrete wall at 30 km/h with just your bare head, or while wearing a stupid foam hat (i..e, bicycle helmet)? It may not help much, but it's a lot better than nothing.
    Actually, your intuition is correct even if your study is not. Take a look at a few newer studies:
    Health Promot Int. 2007 Sep;22(3):191-7.
    A decrease in both mild and severe bicycle-related head injuries in helmet wearing ages--trend analyses in Sweden.
    Berg P1, Westerling R.
    Author information
    Abstract
    Several international studies point at the efficacy of bicycle helmets in reducing head injuries. In Sweden, observational studies show that from 1988 to 1996 helmet use increased in all categories of cyclists. The objectives of this study were to analyse the trends of bicycle-related head injuries based on their main diagnosis and external cause of injury by different age groups. Our study area was the whole population of Sweden from 1987 to 1996. Outcome evaluation was based on data from the Swedish National Hospital Discharge Register concerning all bicycle-related injuries from 1987 to 1996, which presented 49 758 reported in-patient care. The trends in incidence rates (IRs) were studied with regression analyses. The results show that children under 15 years had the highest IRs. For these children, the IR decreased by 46%. The head injuries in children decreased both in collisions with motor vehicles and in other accidents. Similarly, the IR of concussion and skull fracture decreased. For non-head injuries, there were no significant changes for children. On the other hand, the incidence of both head and other injuries for adults aged 16-50 years increased. Ages above that showed no significant changes. Our conclusions are that the decrease in IR for bicycle-related head injuries refers to children in ages for whom bicycle helmet use during the period increased. This could not be explained by any general decrease in bicycle-related accidents or by any changes in the distribution of injuries after collision with motor vehicles. The increasing helmet use among younger schoolchildren probably contributed to the decrease in head injuries.
    A decrease in both mild and severe bicycle... [Health Promot Int. 2007] - PubMed - NCBI
    This paper shows that children in Sweden had fewer injuries because of higher rates of wearing helmets, whereas adults who did not increase helmet usage did not show such a decrease.

    Accid Anal Prev. 2014 Sep;70:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2014.02.016. Epub 2014 Mar 28.
    Bicycle helmets are highly effective at preventing head injury during head impact: head-form accelerations and injury criteria for helmeted and unhelmeted impacts.
    Cripton PA1, Dressler DM2, Stuart CA3, Dennison CR4, Richards D3.
    Author information
    Abstract
    Cycling is a popular form of recreation and method of commuting with clear health benefits. However, cycling is not without risk. In Canada, cycling injuries are more common than in any other summer sport; and according to the US National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, 52,000 cyclists were injured in the US in 2010. Head injuries account for approximately two-thirds of hospital admissions and three-quarters of fatal injuries among injured cyclists. In many jurisdictions and across all age levels, helmets have been adopted to mitigate risk of serious head injuries among cyclists and the majority of epidemiological literature suggests that helmets effectively reduce risk of injury. Critics have raised questions over the actual efficacy of helmets by pointing to weaknesses in existing helmet epidemiology including selection bias and lack of appropriate control for the type of impact sustained by the cyclist and the severity of the head impact. These criticisms demonstrate the difficulty in conducting epidemiology studies that will be regarded as definitive and the need for complementary biomechanical studies where confounding factors can be adequately controlled. In the bicycle helmet context, there is a paucity of biomechanical data comparing helmeted to unhelmeted head impacts and, to our knowledge, there is no data of this type available with contemporary helmets. In this research, our objective was to perform biomechanical testing of paired helmeted and unhelmeted head impacts using a validated anthropomorphic test headform and a range of drop heights between 0.5m and 3.0m, while measuring headform acceleration and Head Injury Criterion (HIC). In the 2m (6.3m/s) drops, the middle of our drop height range, the helmet reduced peak accelerations from 824g (unhelmeted) to 181g (helmeted) and HIC was reduced from 9667 (unhelmeted) to 1250 (helmeted). At realistic impact speeds of 5.4m/s (1.5m drop) and 6.3m/s (2.0m drop), bicycle helmets changed the probability of severe brain injury from extremely likely (99.9% risk at both 5.4 and 6.3m/s) to unlikely (9.3% and 30.6% risk at 1.5m and 2.0m drops respectively). These biomechanical results for acceleration and HIC, and the corresponding results for reduced risk of severe brain injury show that contemporary bicycle helmets are highly effective at reducing head injury metrics and the risk for severe brain injury in head impacts characteristic of bicycle crashes.
    Bicycle helmets are highly effective at prev... [Accid Anal Prev. 2014] - PubMed - NCBI
    John
    John Ratliff

  18. #8618
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    At realistic impact speeds...bicycle helmets changed the probability of severe brain injury from extremely likely (99.9% risk at both 5.4 and 6.3m/s) to unlikely (9.3% and 30.6% risk at 1.5m and 2.0m drops respectively).
    I think the argument here has long ago shifted from "bike helmets could lessen damage to the head and/or brain" to "I am never going to fall and hit my head".

    I have been cycling, skating, skateboarding, for 50 years and have never hit my head even once after countless falls and crashes. So all of the data in the world could not convince a person like me to wear a helmet to prevent something that never happens to me.

    That being said, I always wear a helmet (since 1988). A modern bicycle helmet, carefully chosen, shades my head, provides ventilation, keeps me cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than any hat, stays on my head regardless of wind forces, and keeps the sun out of my eyes (visor). I look at bike helmets as high-tech hats. Protection of my head from impact is just a bonus should I ever hit my head with force. If I were not a "hat wearer" by nature, all of the safety statistics on earth would not get me under a bike helmet. Like many others here, I seriously doubt I am ever going to injure my head while riding my bicycle.

    I feel it is a total waste of time posting statistics and studies on this thread that is far more similar to an argument about religios choices than any science known to man.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  19. #8619
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    Going through old files - found this:




    -mr. bill
    Last edited by mr_bill; 08-29-14 at 11:46 AM.
    Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts.

  20. #8620
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    Going through old files - found this:
    Didn't see a word that addressed helmet performance specifications or helmet protective capabilities/limitations. Was any safety related information listed on some other helmet documentation provided to the consumer?

  21. #8621
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
    It's funny that you quote this study, as it states:


    John
    Oh my god, don't start letting on to the bare headed brigade that you can read and understand what you read, that'll cause an uproar.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF4MIEkIBZs

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    My memory is good, but come on, you're asking me to remember something over 30 years ago.

    But IF there was a safety related manual that came with it, it's extremely likely it would have ended up in this folder too. So if it's not in the folder, there's a conclusion that more likely than not....

    -mr. bill
    Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts.

  23. #8623
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    Going through old files - found this:
    ...
    -mr. bill
    I want a helmet with a Brow Pad!
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  24. #8624
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Didn't see a word that addressed helmet performance specifications or helmet protective capabilities/limitations. Was any safety related information listed on some other helmet documentation provided to the consumer?
    I have my wife's Bell V1Pro helmet, similar design and same era (1980s), and it has a Snell sticker on the inside. It has been "retired," but I still have it around as an example of a hard shell bicycle helmet.

    John
    John Ratliff

  25. #8625
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    I loved that helmet! Mine had different graphics and was perhaps the last year they made them.

    Bell_Tourlite.jpg
    Photo circa 1988

    For bonus points - can anyone ID the SHOES i am wearing? (No peeking at the link until you give up!)
    Chainrings are Shimano Biopace BTW.

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    Going through old files - found this:




    -mr. bill
    Last edited by JoeyBike; 08-29-14 at 07:00 PM.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

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