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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: What Are Your Helmet Wearing Habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet 52 10.44%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped 24 4.82%
I've always worn a helmet 207 41.57%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do 125 25.10%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions 90 18.07%
Voters: 498. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-03-14, 06:06 PM   #101
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Well, they really do nothing to prevent internal torso bleeding either, but of course if you're dead from a head injury, it's of little consequence I guess.
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Old 11-04-14, 09:43 AM   #102
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corrado33, wphamilton:

I have a busy day & won't be able to respond in depth until this evening or tomorrow.

Both of y'all have asked good questions, made intelligent statements and made it clear that you have open minds --- those are wonderful things. I would be glad to answer, as best I can and as soon as possible.

If we can get other clear-thinking, open-minded and knowledgeable folks into this version of the helmet thread, then, perhaps we may all learn things about bicycle helmets that are helpful.


later,
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Old 11-04-14, 10:34 AM   #103
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"Road riding 'scary' for gold medalist"

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa...old-medallist/

This pretty much sums it up for me. I no longer ride on the road. I either stick to segregated bike trails, or off road.
+1

I am still car free and bike to work and other utilitarian purposes ONLY. Sold the last road bike i will ever own a month ago. No more "pleasure" rides or bike tours on the open road or outskirts of town. Motor vehicles keep getting larger and no one is looking through their windshields any more since the hand-held electronics craze. It's just too much to deal with.

I have survived many narrow misses, even some that have caused minor crashes or "ditching". Never been hit yet, but I see where this trend is going as others in my area are getting maimed and killed on a fairly regular basis. I feel lucky I survived long enough to make the decision on my own. I am done with unnecessary cycling on the road. None of my 4 helmets are going to save me with a dualie up my arse.
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Old 11-04-14, 11:14 AM   #104
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corrado33, wphamilton:

I have a busy day & won't be able to respond in depth until this evening or tomorrow.

Both of y'all have asked good questions, made intelligent statements and made it clear that you have open minds --- those are wonderful things. I would be glad to answer, as best I can and as soon as possible.

If we can get other clear-thinking, open-minded and knowledgeable folks into this version of the helmet thread, then, perhaps we may all learn things about bicycle helmets that are helpful.


later,
Joe
Thanks for the confidence Joe, but in the interest of full disclosure I should mention that I often don't wear a helmet when I estimate the odds of needing it are too low to be meaningful. That said, there's something you could shed some light on.

Helmets are commonly rated for 250 to 300g impacts. I have seen studies which suggested that for a perfectly linear, straight-on impact that it takes considerably more than that to result in a concussion, so on the face of it we might think that those helmets are insufficient. But two things occur to me about that: it seems like it would be difficult to have a hard impact without having some rotational component (in which case less than 300g could cause a concussion, which might be prevented by the helmet depending on the angular vector), and that skull fractures are possible at lower g accelerations. Either point would weigh in favor of the helmet. Does that scan right from the vantage point of your experience?

Also, do you think that the newer double layers with differing densities will serve to reduce angular accelerations?

Regarding the pointy aero helmets, I always got a mental image of trying to do a back-fall or shoulder roll wearing one of those with a guaranteed neck injury. I figured that the pointy back was just a flimsy facade or break-away piece.
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Old 11-04-14, 11:21 AM   #105
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I figured that the pointy back was just a flimsy facade or break-away piece.
Probably no more flimsy or break-away than the rest of the helmet, given the numerous testimonials of people who claim that their life was saved as evidenced by a helmet that cracked/broke into pieces after impact with a hard object.
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Old 11-04-14, 04:14 PM   #106
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wphamilton:

I mentioned my friend Professor Hurt, "Harry" to his friends: more about him later.

Even though he was a proponent of wearing helmets for safety's sake, he privately supported an individual's right to not wear one. He knew (better than almost anyone) the likely consequences of helmet-free collisions/impacts but thought that freedom of choice was more important (he was from West Texas after all). He, like I, only want those who choose not to wear a helmet to know what they actually face --- it ain't pretty.

Joe
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Old 11-04-14, 09:18 PM   #107
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wphamilton:

I mentioned my friend Professor Hurt, "Harry" to his friends: more about him later.

Even though he was a proponent of wearing helmets for safety's sake, he privately supported an individual's right to not wear one. He knew (better than almost anyone) the likely consequences of helmet-free collisions/impacts but thought that freedom of choice was more important (he was from West Texas after all). He, like I, only want those who choose not to wear a helmet to know what they actually face --- it ain't pretty.

Joe
You claim all this expertise (not to mention the "fact based life" business) but you write such nonsensical things. Getting run over by a car - just as an example - is "not pretty", regardless of whether the fellow is wearing a bit of foam on his head. Anybody who truly understands bicycle helmets and has first-hand experience with the results of car-bike collisions intuitively understand that. And anybody who truly believes that the results of not wearing a bicycle helmet can be expected to be "not pretty" is either a truly horrible cyclist or completely uninformed.
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Old 11-05-14, 08:18 AM   #108
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You claim all this expertise (not to mention the "fact based life" business) but you write such nonsensical things. Getting run over by a car - just as an example - is "not pretty", regardless of whether the fellow is wearing a bit of foam on his head. Anybody who truly understands bicycle helmets and has first-hand experience with the results of car-bike collisions intuitively understand that. And anybody who truly believes that the results of not wearing a bicycle helmet can be expected to be "not pretty" is either a truly horrible cyclist or completely uninformed.
It is a colloquialism for "a really bad result" so in some sense he's agreeing with you about the potential severity of a collision.

There are skilled and informed cyclists who wear helmets in traffic, so you should re-examine your last statement. They might still be wrong, but your perception that it is self-evident is the red flag - the majority of people who are knowledgeable about something are not going to miss or be ignorant of something which is self-evident to you.

I wonder if you're assuming that any collision with a car must imply a certain level of severity, such as "Getting run over" as you said above. You are certain to have multiple traumatic injuries, most likely fatal, as if it were the same as a fall from a great height - is that it?
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Old 11-05-14, 10:53 AM   #109
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He, like I, only want those who choose not to wear a helmet to know what they actually face --- it ain't pretty.
In the Netherlands people crash bicycles all the time and generally sans helmet. The typical outcome of a bicycle crash are "injuries" like abrasions, cuts and bruises and mild injuries to one's pride. I think pretending that bicycle crashes "ain't pretty" by default is more than a tat fear mongering.
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Old 11-05-14, 11:02 AM   #110
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In the Netherlands people crash bicycles all the time and generally sans helmet. The typical outcome of a bicycle crash are "injuries" like abrasions, cuts and bruises and mild injuries to one's pride. I think pretending that bicycle crashes "ain't pretty" by default is more than a tat fear mongering.
I have crashed countless times since childhood on bikes, skates, skateboards, horsing around, jumping ramps, holding on to cars, and never once hit my head.

On the other hand, I grew up with two kids who hit their heads when the car they were leaning on at ZERO MPH took off suddenly and both died of basal skull fractures instantly. Really not a scratch otherwise.

There are so many variables when it comes to accidents. It is up to each individual to do what they can to minimize their damages, or not. The problem with risking your head is that it generally can't be fixed to like-new condition. It takes some serious denial to believe that no helmet would ever do any good under any condition.
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Old 11-05-14, 11:03 AM   #111
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Who knows, maybe wearing a helmet caused the break in my C-6 along with the compression and slippage of my C-5/C-6/C-7 when I hit the ground after being ejected from my bike 3 years ago. Who knows, maybe wearing a helmet prevented injuries when my head bounced upon hitting the ground after falling over doing a track stand or the time a friend clipped my front wheel at a slow 18mph and again my head bounced off the ground or when I dumped at 25.2mph during a roundabout encounter in a triathlon.

Can say for sure that the TBI my wife suffered when we were stopped at a traffic light and were rear ended by a car doing 60mph happened without hitting her head on anything in the car and just maybe, having the extra weight on her head from a helmet might have caused a neck injury.

Who knows??????
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Old 11-05-14, 08:16 PM   #112
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It is a colloquialism for "a really bad result" so in some sense he's agreeing with you about the potential severity of a collision.

There are skilled and informed cyclists who wear helmets in traffic, so you should re-examine your last statement. They might still be wrong, but your perception that it is self-evident is the red flag - the majority of people who are knowledgeable about something are not going to miss or be ignorant of something which is self-evident to you.

I wonder if you're assuming that any collision with a car must imply a certain level of severity, such as "Getting run over" as you said above. You are certain to have multiple traumatic injuries, most likely fatal, as if it were the same as a fall from a great height - is that it?
You so badly interpret my posts that, again, there really seems no point in responding, because you then misinterpret my responses. No actual information seems to make into the loop.
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Old 11-05-14, 08:39 PM   #113
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You so badly interpret my posts that, again, there really seems no point in responding, because you then misinterpret my responses. No actual information seems to make into the loop.
Why don't you explain yourself then, clearly and concisely?

"And anybody who truly believes that the results of not wearing a bicycle helmet can be expected to be "not pretty" is either a truly horrible cyclist or completely uninformed." might mean that you believe that the term is understated, or it might have been meant in the literal sense of disparagement that a helmet could possibly help in a car-bike collision. Surely you don't actually mean the latter?
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Old 11-06-14, 07:46 AM   #114
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The problem with risking your head is that it generally can't be fixed to like-new condition. It takes some serious denial to believe that no helmet would ever do any good under any condition.



It takes some serious issues with reading comprehension if you think this is what I tried to say. But as far as I can tell a bicycle helmet won't do you much good since they're a badly designed compromise between protection, comfort and style. Luckily bicycle accidents are typically minor incidents that can be survived with much ill effects without any protection.
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Old 11-06-14, 09:36 AM   #115
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I've been riding for a short time now but have noticed that "veterans" are the ones that usually prefer not to wear them but do have the rest of "cycling equipment"; jersey, bibs, shoes, etc. I do have to say that I feel safer riding with a helmet on. I see lots of comments about how wearing a helmet didn't helped in an accident...I have to ask; were you wearing it properly?

My humble opinion: always wear a helmet and lookup how to proper fit it if you have doubts.
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Old 11-06-14, 09:38 AM   #116
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I do have to say that I feel safer riding with a helmet on.
Why do you feel safer, riding while wearing a helmet?
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Old 11-06-14, 09:52 AM   #117
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Why do you feel safer, riding while wearing a helmet?
Imagine just standing where you are and hit the floor head first...with and without a helmet; exactly. God protect us all but if I were to be involved in a cycling accident, I prefer to have one in my bald head that hitting a tree or the pavement without one.

Yes, you could have numerous injuries to the rest of your body but at least you may not have an open skull.
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Old 11-06-14, 11:46 AM   #118
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Imagine just standing where you are and hit the floor head first...with and without a helmet; exactly. God protect us all but if I were to be involved in a cycling accident, I prefer to have one in my bald head that hitting a tree or the pavement without one.

Yes, you could have numerous injuries to the rest of your body but at least you may not have an open skull.
If I fall from just standing and hit the floor head first, I'm not likely to suffer an open skull fracture. Which is why I don't walk around with a helmet, generally speaking. I'll take my chances.

Your chances of crashing on your bike are low.

Your chances of crashing on your bike with headstrike are lower.

Your chances of crashing on your bike with headstrike resulting in injury which a helmet might mitigate to some extent is lowest.

Your chances of crashing on your bike with headstrike resulting in injury which a helmet would not at all help with is about the same, i.e. lowest chances.

I wear a helmet while riding so that if I might suffer low to moderate head injury during a crash, it may mitigate some injury.
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Old 11-06-14, 12:10 PM   #119
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If I fall from just standing and hit the floor head first, I'm not likely to suffer an open skull fracture. Which is why I don't walk around with a helmet, generally speaking. I'll take my chances.

Your chances of crashing on your bike are low.

Your chances of crashing on your bike with headstrike are lower.

Your chances of crashing on your bike with headstrike resulting in injury which a helmet might mitigate to some extent is lowest.

Your chances of crashing on your bike with headstrike resulting in injury which a helmet would not at all help with is about the same, i.e. lowest chances.

I wear a helmet while riding so that if I might suffer low to moderate head injury during a crash, it may mitigate some injury.
I agree with everything you said, but I think a helmet will mitigate some injury, may not mitigate as much as most people believe...
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Old 11-06-14, 03:04 PM   #120
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I agree with everything you said, but I think a helmet will mitigate some injury, may not mitigate as much as most people believe...
Disagree with the first part of your statement because there's simply not the data to back it up. And if I go down on my face, not counting on a helmet to "will mitigate" away resulting damage...

However "may not mitigate as much as most people believe" is the point I was trying to illustrate.
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Old 11-06-14, 03:57 PM   #121
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Imagine just standing where you are and hit the floor head first...with and without a helmet; exactly. God protect us all but if I were to be involved in a cycling accident, I prefer to have one in my bald head that hitting a tree or the pavement without one.

Yes, you could have numerous injuries to the rest of your body but at least you may not have an open skull.
That (the bolded part) is the crux of the matter and well said.

Regarding the first paragraph, there's something I always want to mention because it seems to me that the person might be unaware of it, a way to protect himself probably more effectively than the helmet. But it comes off as bragging or nagging.

For sure, if you throw your feet up and fall back from a standing position, and hit head first, you're going to have an injury. Possibly a fatal one, especially if your neck is tensed up. But in contrast, 6 or 7 years ago I was in a warehouse rushing to do something and stepped on a dolly. My feet flew out, I went down, and to a horrified co-worker it looked like a nasty fall on my back. She was ready to call an ambulance. From my perspective it was a perfect side-fall: no ill effects other than intense embarrassment. I wanted to do it again for practice.

I'm not a trained gymnast, black belt in anything, nor super-coordinated athlete. Just a bit of training. But I don't hit my head on a low-slide fall, or flying over the handlebars, or when knocked off the road by a car. I won't get much if any road rash. I can break something just like anyone else, if I mess up or the dice roll snake-eyes, but probably not. Anyone can learn those skills, and they're frankly easier to learn than some of the bicycle handling skills you probably take for granted. People don't know about this, or can't see themselves learning it - I can't see any other explanation for someone who is in fear of a head injury (not referring to you necessarily) and who don't get to a dojo or tumbling class and learn how to fall.
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Old 11-06-14, 07:27 PM   #122
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Why don't you explain yourself then, clearly and concisely?
I do that in my posts.
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Old 11-06-14, 07:29 PM   #123
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I've been riding for a short time now but have noticed that "veterans" are the ones that usually prefer not to wear them...
That is due in large part to the fact that the "veterans" have been around long enough to see that riding a bicycle really isn't dangerous, or at least doesn't have to be.

My humble opinion: mind your own business, and don't assume that people who make choices different from yours are automatically stupid.
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Old 11-06-14, 09:09 PM   #124
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mind your own business, and don't assume that people who make choices different from yours are automatically stupid.
And I thought this was a friendly forum...geez!
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Old 11-06-14, 09:17 PM   #125
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I don't see how me telling you to mind your own business is any less friendly than you telling me to wear a helmet. And frankly, arguing that people who don't see the benefit of helmets are probably too dense to figure out how to wear them properly is not very friendly at all, is it?
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