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  1. #26
    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    consumer reports stated that if it had one of the approved safety endorsments (snell, etc) there is no difference in protection from inexpensive to expensive when it comes to protection.
    Did they take into account that these ratings are a minimum? You either pass or fail. A helmet could far exceed the requirements while another comes in at the low limit. They get the same sticker. Did they do some real tests? I would be interested.

    Similar to the question: What do you call someone that got a D- in medical school?

    Doctor.

  2. #27
    sch
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    Prestonjb: I was aware of your statistics and facts and don't disagree. I should have turned my rant mode down. Good example of state of the art factory written up in Maximum PC making computer cases.

    Rev: I don't feel your markup is out of line, it is necessary to stay in business, just commenting that
    the biggest component of final price is from the final
    seller, not unusual in retail sales. The end seller has
    the most at risk. Steve

  3. #28
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    You all are missing the real reason, here. It's liability insurance. Helmet makers pay out their ears for it. I used to race harness horses. About twenty years ago, many studies were done to come up with safer helmets. I was on a couple of review boards that met with the manufacturers. I developed some good relationships with people on the manufacturing side of the issue and have stayed in contact with them.

    They all agree that the insurance costs included in the price of a helmet far outweigh any research, development and manufacturing costs.

  4. #29
    Senior Member danr's Avatar
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    Expensive helmets aren't safer, they're just lighter with more vents.

    I can see your points with a $5.00 helmet, but I am sticking with my $40.00 Giro. I'm sure it'll protect the brain just as well as a $200.00 helmet that Lance wears (and doesn't even pay for since he is just promoting it).
    Does the perfect bike really exist?

  5. #30
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean Counter
    You all are missing the real reason, here. It's liability insurance. Helmet makers pay out their ears for it... insurance costs included in the price of a helmet far outweigh any research, development and manufacturing costs.
    Now here's a good point.

    Are you saying the manafacturers pay for liability insurance in case they are sued from individuals who suffer damage while wearing their product?

    This makes sense to me, as I've read that Dr. George Shively, of The Snell Memorial Foundation, say "... it is impossible to build a helmet that will offer significant impact protection"

    as well as reading in the Journal of Products Liability, conclusions of a survey of 15 years and 8 million cases of American cyclist injury/fatality incidents show there is no evidence that hard shell helmets have reduced the head injury and fatality rates.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  6. #31
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    It seems that anytime a manufacturer makes something designed for protection, they are sued whenever an accident occurs even if it is the fault of the wearer. Insurance mus be a huge expense for helmet makers. I know it is for football helmets.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  7. #32
    newbie newbie georgesnatcher's Avatar
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    All I know that is I have crashed twice where I hit my head. One helmet was wrecked which tells me that I probably would have been ER bound without it. I'd rather buy a new helmet than risk a potential brain injury.

  8. #33
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgesnatcher
    All I know that is I have crashed twice where I hit my head. One helmet was wrecked which tells me that I probably would have been ER bound without it. I'd rather buy a new helmet than risk a potential brain injury.
    Maybe, maybe not.

    From the most recent year that stats are available (2002) in my province (that has an all ages mandatory helmet law and about an 85% compliance with the law),

    "There were 3 deaths of cyclists, 2 were wearing helmets, 1 was not...

    helmetless cyclists suffered head injuies 18.2% of the time and for cyclists with helmets on, they suffered head injuries 14% of the time."

    Point is, it's not that black and white. There is a significant grey area.

    We should spend time trying to get drivers to drive safe than spend time and effort that has questionable results.

    In relation to the topic header, manafacturers will try to sell product anyway they can and if that involves exploiting an irrational fear, they will. Helmets are priced to what people want to pay, if those people think the helmet will act as a magic hat and stop 80% of accidents and injuries, they will pay big money for them.

    Look to Europe and see very few people wear them and their injury rates are the lowest in the world.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 11-09-03 at 08:53 AM.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  9. #34
    truthisntalwayswanttohear jacob's Avatar
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    There are many government standards and ratings.
    One helmet I had years ago I traded in after getting hit by a car(for free).(Bell Image, which I still have)
    high demand(economics)
    risk of getting hit by car outweighs risk to car of getting hit by head...

    Jacob

  10. #35
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngateguy
    Helmets are more than a marketing scam
    Well, I'm not so sure marketing has nothing to do with it. Manafacturers recommend replacement every 3 years or so, but the BHSI says,

    "we don't find the case for replacing a helmet that meets the ASTM or Snell standards that compelling if the helmet is still in good shape and fits you well."

    Replacement means more sales, not safer cyclists.

    The BHSI also says,

    "We kill more car passengers on our highways every year than the number of Americans killed in the ten years and more of our involvement in Vietnam. But the public outcry that would accompany such a rate of carnage associated with any other activity in our society is strangely absent...Since the passenger car is The Problem in cyclists' deaths, and a big factor in major cycling injuries, some of that attitude will inevitably affect the bicycle rider. Rage against it if you will, but meantime wear your helmet."

    a good argument to this I've read includes, "One would think that the appropriate response would be for the BHSI to mount at least as aggressive a public campaign against automobile use as they do for helmets...We are advised not to try to do anything about it, other than go out and buy a helmet, make an individual accommodation to an intolerable social problem...When we think about *** violence in schools, do we start by passing laws mandating the purchase and daily wear of Kevlar vests for all school kids? No, we try to stop the shooting."

    Also the BHSI has a stats page that shows cars have nearly twice the # fatalities per 1,000,000 exposure hours as a bicycle. Why should cyclists wear the extra protection?

    Quote Originally Posted by ngateguy
    for more info on helmets check out this site

    http://www.bhsi.org/
    for balance, I'd recommend a read of two good arguments @

    http://www.ucolick.org/~de/AltTrans/helmet.html and
    http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/advocacy/mhls.htm

    and a site with lots of study showing a different point of view @
    http://www.magma.ca/~ocbc/

    I'd also add to:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Clark
    While I have very little faith in a helmet's ability to do me any good in a crash, I see no harm in wearing one.
    more ideas I've read, and have little argument with, that say,

    "bicycling is not particularly dangerous; that automobile use is far more dangerous, in many ways both direct and indirect; that our society stigmatizes and marginalizes people who don't own or drive cars; and that it is this social stigma, rather than any objective statistical analysis of risk, which motivates "helmet hysteria""
    Last edited by closetbiker; 11-08-03 at 08:09 PM.
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  11. #36
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    the gray area is between your ears. Most of the above fits under the category called rationalisation. The statisitical analysis link
    is unimpressive. There are experts at this sort of thing, he ain't one of them. Beyond that, having seen a motorcyclists gray area spread over several square feet of roadway; I have an all too vivid memory of the consequences.

  12. #37
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    The helmet issue: always with us, and a source of perpetual debate. I'll add my non-unique point of view. Helmets are significantly overrated as a safety device by most riders. It's unlikely a helmet could actually save your life, or that it could prevent serious brain damage. It might do that, of course, but the chances of this occurring are lower than most riders think. The safety standards for these things are actually fairly low. So the range of accidents in which helmets could have a dramatic effect is not all that broad. Many riders who are killed or seriously brain damaged would have been anyway whatever was on their heads, and a lot of people who have only minor injuries while wearing a helmet tend to overestimate the real danger they would have been in without a helmet.

    Which is not to say that helmets aren't worth wearing. If you like them, more power to you. More safety's not something I'm anxious to discourage. But there's way too much urgency, and even hostility, from helmet-wearers about the issue.

    If helmets really were *that* effective, I'd wear one in my car, too. But I don't, and neither do you all. If you go swimming, you have a greater chance of permanent brain damage than you do riding a bike, but I bet you all still go into the pool without a life jacket. And so on.

    Anyway, one reason helmets are so expensive is that, after being told there's little cost to wearing helmets, riders figure out they're hot, dopey looking, somewhat heavy, and awkward. So they start paying more money to mitigate these problems. More holes, a more aerodynamic shape, lighter weight, and so on, all cost money. But they reduce protection, too, of course.

    I have seen very cheap helmets at Walmart, for a lot less than $40. They're no less safe than expensive styrofoam hats. If safety were really the sole priority, one could buy one of these things and do fine.

    Motorcycle helmets do cost more money, but they perform other functions than safety. You wear them to keep warm, to keep the wind out of your eyes, to protect your hearing, to hold a radio or a com-link to your passenger, or to reduce wind noise (see hearing). Getting a helmet to these things well is a bit more expensive.

    A cycling helmet gets expensive only because people are trying to make their problems go away.

  13. #38
    truthisntalwayswanttohear jacob's Avatar
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    >Replacement means more sales, not safer cyclists.

    I disagree.
    When I got hit by a car, I was wearing a helmet because of orders given me. Later, after the replacement, I was a safer cyclist, perhaps because the helmet was better(newer version) and also because I wore the thing since I did not have to get used to and adjust a new one.

    Jacob

  14. #39
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    If you have a $10 head put it in a $10 helmet

  15. #40
    truthisntalwayswanttohear jacob's Avatar
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    WHere do you buy such a helmet?

    Jacob

  16. #41
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Goodwill in the junk pile of used cycling stuff. If you're serious you'd be better off with a styrofoam cooler on your head. Go to a bike shop and buy a reall helmet. $40 gets a decent helmet these days not too flashy but light weight with decent ventilation.

  17. #42
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacob
    When I got hit by a car, I was wearing a helmet because of orders given me.
    according to the BHSI, ALWAYS replace a helmet after an impact.

    I was responding to claims that helmets should be replaced after 3 years even if there has been no impact. That's just a sales ploy (according to the BHSI)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    If you have a $10 head put it in a $10 helmet
    The BHSI says, helmets made for U.S. sale after 1999 must meet the US Consumer Product Safety Commission standard, so look for a CPSC sticker. ASTM's standard is comparable. Snell's B-95 and N-94 standards are tougher but seldom used ...and.... Good news for consumers! We routinely see Sunday newspaper ads in our area for helmets certified to the CPSC standard for between $10 and $20.

    if a $10 helmet has the same safety standard sticker as a $100 helmet it's just as safe
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  18. #43
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    helmet expense

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=DarkOliveGreen]
    Helmets (and all other items designed/intended to protect us) are potential targets for lawsuits, and have to be insured up the wazoo. This insurance costs $$$$$$$$$$. It gets passed on to us.
    So, we can thank the greedy lawyers next time we strap on our Giro's!

  19. #44
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blown Pupil
    Helmets are potential targets for lawsuits, and have to be insured up the wazoo. This insurance costs $$$$$$$$$$. It gets passed on to us.
    again, this could explain the results of court testimony, like from Chief Pathologist Clive Cooke in the Coroner's Court Testimony, where he says, "In situations of a fall they [helmets] are next to useless because they do not protect against diffused brain damage. The damage to the brain would still have occurred because it is the rattling inside the skull that caused the damage."

    I still think the market is created from the stigmatization of cycling and playing on fears of the uninformed.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  20. #45
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker
    again, this could explain the results of court testimony, like from Chief Pathologist Clive Cooke in the Coroner's Court Testimony, where he says, "In situations of a fall they [helmets] are next to useless because they do not protect against diffused brain damage. The damage to the brain would still have occurred because it is the rattling inside the skull that caused the damage."
    Personal experiance finds that above statement not always true and JAMA (Journal of American Medical Assocation) declares you have an 85% better chance to survive a serious impact with a helmet than without. I seem to recall most of the data you had on helmets was around 18 years old have you begun to look at the new studies yet?
    Matthew 6

  21. #46
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngateguy
    Personal experiance finds that above statement not always true
    well, no offense intended, but I'd take the word of a cheif coronor in court testimony over your personal experiance.


    Quote Originally Posted by ngateguy
    and JAMA (Journal of American Medical Assocation) declares you have an 85% better chance to survive a serious impact with a helmet than without. I seem to recall most of the data you had on helmets was around 18 years old have you begun to look at the new studies yet?
    Yup. Here's one done by the JAMA in June of 2000 taken where there is less than 1% of the cycling population wearing helmets @

    http://archinte.ama-assn.org/content...ue11/index.dtl

    It says "Even after adjustment for risk factors, those who did not cycle to work experienced a 39% higher mortality rate than those who did."

    but this is not the point of this thread. I'm giving my reason why I think people will pay $100 for something that they could pay $10 for. It's a manafactured market praying on predudice of people towards people who ride a bike on streets and are different from most consumers who prefer to drive around the streets in cars.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  22. #47
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker
    again, this could explain the results of court testimony, like from Chief Pathologist Clive Cooke in the Coroner's Court Testimony, where he says, "In situations of a fall they [helmets] are next to useless because they do not protect against diffused brain damage. The damage to the brain would still have occurred because it is the rattling inside the skull that caused the damage." .
    I am sorry I missed this as being a reason to why helmets cost more and read it more like a reason NOT to wear a helmet. I don't trust anyone who testifies about anything in court anymore he probably was an expert witness hired by someone who wanted him to say that and then there was another pathologist for the other side that contradicted him. My statement was "From my Personal experience" I know because I face planted with one on and judging buy where I impacted on my helmet, barring any kind of miracle I would either be 6' under or drooling down my front side right. now.

    It says "Even after adjustment for risk factors, those who did not cycle to work experienced a 39% higher mortality rate than those who did."
    Nice stat don't see what it has to do with wearing a helmet or not, just states that someone who gets a daily workout has 39% longer life than someone who doesn't
    Matthew 6

  23. #48
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngateguy
    I don't trust anyone who testifies about anything in court anymore My statement was "From my Personal experience"
    weather you believe him or not, he's trained in the science of forensics and someone who has an emotinal connection and is not trained in that field has less weight to their opinion.


    Quote Originally Posted by ngateguy
    Nice stat don't see what it has to do with wearing a helmet or not, just states that someone who gets a daily workout has 39% longer life than someone who doesn't
    "Even after adjustment for risk factors" means, despite the risks of riding without helmets (as they do in the area of study) they still have a longer, healthier life than those that don't have the exercise cycling provides.

    It's similar to the old post "CNN article: "Heart group: Doctors should prescribe exercise" where I posted, "This article just repeats what I've posted many times, that the medical benefits for cyclists far outweigh any risks they may encounter."

    And, I've also said in previous helmet posts, I'm not going to continue to beat a dead horse unless there is some new info. The point of costs of helmets being high because of high insurance costs for liability towards negligence claims towards manafactures of helmets that exagerated claims of effectivness is a new point. My point of marginalization of cyclists is an old one (but I think, more accurate).
    Last edited by closetbiker; 11-13-03 at 12:17 PM.
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  24. #49
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    Experience serves here:

    1) wear a helmet. In a 20mph crash I landed on my back and my head pounded the pavement. I thought this was going to be bad... Reached back to feel how big the bloody-patch would be and pulled back a clump of shattered foam.

    2) My wife fell sideways after crossing an intersection when her front wheel go caught and turned... She remembers her head bouncing on the ground. Repeatedly... Like thumpady-thumpady-thump. The side of the helmet was flatened and the plastic cracked... But I don't want to think if her ear/side-of-head was skiding on the pavement.

    3) Replace every three years. You bet there is some thruth in that. Sweat and sunlight and just the day to day carrying around in your bag puts stress on the helmet. Sure if you drop it from a table you may see it crack instantly... However how do you know if it gets squished a bit in travel and gets weaker. I had a helmet that simply cracked across the foam for no reason at all. I could see the crack even though it was not truely seperated... I wore it a bit more and noticed that the crack was spreading. I think one should inspect the helmet and decide. However a good rule for those who may not be able to tell is... replace it every 3 years!

  25. #50
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prestonjb
    a good rule for those who may not be able to tell is... replace it every 3 years!
    Baaaah! .... Baaaah!

    ...or should that be...

    Buuuuy! ... Buuuuy!
    Last edited by closetbiker; 11-15-03 at 08:25 PM.
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