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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

View Poll Results: You currently commute with no helmet. Your mentality behind this issue?
Used to wear a helmet, but no longer do. 6 46.15%
Never used a helmet and never will. 4 30.77%
Do not use a helmet but am considering it. 3 23.08%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-07-12, 02:24 PM   #1
steve-in-kville 
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Why do you choose to NOT wear a helmet while commuting?

I've worn a lid for near 3 years. I've been pondering doing away with it given my commute, circumstances, etc. Please be kind in this thread. This is geared to those who do not wear a lid. I would like to hear the non-helmet commuters' opinions on this topic.

Save your "pro helmet" criticism for other threads. Thank you.
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Last edited by steve-in-kville; 07-07-12 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 07-07-12, 02:36 PM   #2
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My current top reason is that the helmet doesn't have a brim, so my ears and neck burn, but honestly, cagers give me 2-3x as much space when I ride without the helmet than when I ride with it. So, the helmet stays at home.
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Old 07-07-12, 02:47 PM   #3
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Steve, there is currently a "Helmet Thread" in the Advocacy and Safety forum of BF that has a wealth of opinions on this subject, all of which have been expressed ad nauseum for literally thousands of posts and for several years.

It would be worthwhile for you to peruse that thread before relaunching this contentious dialogue in the otherwise friendly Commuting Forum. As far as "pro-helmet" criticisms I think you'll find that the Helmet thread tends to be dominated by the same players, saying the same things again and again with what seems a higher percentage of non-helmeted riders dominating the discussion (in fact, one prolific non-helmeted poster has almost 10,000 posts on the subject) despite the poll results showing a much larger percentage of helmet wearers as having responded to the poll.
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Old 07-07-12, 08:56 PM   #4
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I wear a helmet and hate it and would love to stop wearing it, but I guess as I have become older I have lost that immortal feeling that I had as a younger man. I don't know if the helmet is protective or not but I guess I wear it to be sure. I'm pretty fat and slow, so, maybe it doesn't really matter one way or another anyway.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:02 PM   #5
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Why a poll? If you don't want to wear one, don't.

ETA: Seriously, it's like asking random strangers "Should I blow my life savings in Las Vegas? Y/N?" Those inclined to do so will tell you to go for it, the rest of us will look on in horror. For every person who says they never wore one and never needed it, you'll get another who says a helmet saved their life. In the end, it's your brains potentially spilled all over the road. If you're okay with that risk, let your hair blow free.

Last edited by debit; 07-07-12 at 09:15 PM. Reason: Opinions, I has them.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:03 PM   #6
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I am an organ donor and I have worn a helmet since the mid-1970s . . . (remember the leather heairnets?).
Have cracked a couple helmets in the last 300,000-some miles I've ridden.
You do what you want to do.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:08 PM   #7
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I reject the premise of the question. It simply never occurred to me to wear one.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:24 PM   #8
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I wear a helmet when riding the moped, but not the bike. Not sure why. I think it is in part because I'm more likely to take busier routes on the moped, and part because it's cooler (I mean heatwise) to not wear a helmet when you have to pedal.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
Steve, there is currently a "Helmet Thread" in the Advocacy and Safety forum of BF that has a wealth of opinions on this subject, all of which have been expressed ad nauseum for literally thousands of posts and for several years.

It would be worthwhile for you to peruse that thread before relaunching this contentious dialogue in the otherwise friendly Commuting Forum. As far as "pro-helmet" criticisms I think you'll find that the Helmet thread tends to be dominated by the same players, saying the same things again and again with what seems a higher percentage of non-helmeted riders dominating the discussion (in fact, one prolific non-helmeted poster has almost 10,000 posts on the subject) despite the poll results showing a much larger percentage of helmet wearers as having responded to the poll.
+1

Threads of this particular topic generally never end well. It'll either end up locked, moved to A&S, or merged with the 'Helmet' sticky in A&S.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:44 PM   #10
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I wear a helmet most of the time just because I would rather have one on my head in the event I should happen to whump my coconut against the pavement.
If it is really cold in the winter I sometimes just wear a wool beenie instead so my ears don't freeze off.
If you do not wear a helmet that is your skull and your business.
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Old 07-07-12, 10:50 PM   #11
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Mtn biker only here. I run helmets for warmth in the winter, (ski helmet sometimes). Shade in the summer, and visor for shade also, and a place to ziptie the spot nightlight. I would wear a Sombrero or a hard hat before nothing.

You choose to not wear one? Good, I salute you. I can see commuters to work with helmet head being pretty funny looking.

As a kid we wheelied for thousands of miles, nose wheelies, jumps beyond stupid on pre-bmx bikes. We did this thing where we would pedal as fast as you can (SS back then) then hit the rear brake on something like plastic, or a piece if tile and slide sideways for hundreds of feet. No helmet, and I'm here!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-08-12, 12:48 AM   #12
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i had a steel plate in my head but my insurace company replaced it with Tupperware then they replaced the Tupperware with some dolor store crap. they ddint even clean it first
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Old 07-08-12, 01:17 AM   #13
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I don't really wear a helmet all the time just when I feel like it. I rather not get in an accident than to get into one and say, "glad I had my helmet"
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Old 07-08-12, 02:08 AM   #14
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Steve: Sorry for all the crap you are getting. You asked an honest question.

A question for you (more of a point of clarity): Why are you thinking about not wearing one?
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Old 07-08-12, 02:19 AM   #15
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i should wear one . but i never wreacked a bike before. but i also only have 1 brain so i think i will get a helmet.
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Old 07-08-12, 03:58 AM   #16
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...because it messes up my hair. No, seriously, that was it. But after a string of incidents - one of which involved a car, the scar of which is still there - my dad sort of pressured me into getting one. So I got a Giro that fits perfectly for $25 and it just so happens to match my bike. Can't argue with that.

Also, I found that my hair looks about the same if I run wet hands through it.
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Old 07-08-12, 04:31 AM   #17
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The same reason I don't wear a full fireproof suit and crash helmet when I'm driving my car. The level of risk, combined with the limited protection given, isn't enough to warrant it.
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Old 07-08-12, 05:20 AM   #18
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The same reason I don't wear a full fireproof suit and crash helmet when I'm driving my car. The level of risk, combined with the limited protection given, isn't enough to warrant it.
I bet you wouldn't buy a car without airbags though.
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Old 07-08-12, 05:21 AM   #19
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or a seat belt.
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Old 07-08-12, 05:28 AM   #20
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Houston heat.

Up 'til now I've not worn a helmet on my commute because of the river of sweat that ran down my forehead. I was wearing a headband - ala 1979. However, I just picked up a Sweat Gutr from my LBS and that thing works great. It channels the sweat away from the front of my face and turns loose of it between my ears and my eyes so that it runs down the sides of my head. It never gets saturated (made of some PVC material) so there is no need to periodically wring it out or change it.

That means I can start wearing a helmet. I'll start wearing one for safeties sake. It'll also be nice to have a mount point for a mirror - a handy thing on a commute.
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Old 07-08-12, 05:37 AM   #21
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Here we go again. I never wore a helmet while commuting, I never wear one when training, I wear one only when competing. Largely that is because it's mandatory when competing.

The seat belt comparison is flawed, as is the comparison with motorcycle helmets. Both of those demonstrably reduce the risk of death or serious injury. Cycle helmets, with their much more lightweight construction and limited capacity to absorb impact, do not.

Whereever cycle helmets have been been made compulsory they have failed to make any discernible impact on the rate of death or serious injury to cyclists. This conflicts with our intuition, and with all the "my helmet saved my life" stories. The only conclusion it is possible to draw is that the vast majority of the people who fall off and bang their helmets would have been OK had they fallen off and banged their heads. And when one thinks about it, that makes sense. Styrofoam helmets are probably pretty good at mitigating minor injuries (which, I admit, can be messy and painful) but are simply overwhelmed by the forces involved in accidents that are most likely to kill you - namely, collisions with vehicles.

Add to this the fact that cycling is very safe - here in the UK there is one cycling death for, approximately, every thirty million miles cycled, and the fatality rates per mile travelled are similar for cycling and pedestrians - and I am confident that not wearing a helmet makes virtually no difference to my chances of avoiding death or brain damage. No more, anyway, than not wearing one when I am walking downstairs or crossing the road.

Others may make different choices, that's mine. Lots of interesting info here.

Last edited by chasm54; 07-08-12 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 07-08-12, 10:41 AM   #22
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Save your "pro helmet" criticism for other threads. Thank you.
All helmet discussion, pro or con, belongs in the existing A&S helmet thread.

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