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Old 12-05-04, 05:51 PM   #1
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Had a bad spill today while shuttling. Was going over a very rooty section at a good clip of speed, just remember feeling the bike starting to wash out on me. Next thing I remember is laying on my side, don't remember the impact or anything afterwards, must of not been out too long though, the bike was just coming to a stop. Get up, felt ill, checked rest of self over, just scratches and bruises. Took a look at my helmet, the helmet is broken in 2 spots. If I did not have the helmet on, it would have been way worse. Managed to limp way back to my car, called a friend to come get me and take me to the hospital. The helmet is broken, so what, much better than my head.
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Old 12-05-04, 06:25 PM   #2
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Helmets make sense. Personal freedom says you can not wear one and nobody's going to arrest you for it, but I won't get on a bike without one.
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Old 12-05-04, 06:34 PM   #3
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I don't know what you mean- as far as I know your head is a lot harder than most helmets so impact required to break the two is not equal and thus a broken helmet does not equate to a broken head. Your story is purely antidotal and means very little to the helmet discussion. I am sorry you had a bad spill but it doesn’t prove anything one way or another.

That being said, I took a spill last weekend and broke a helmet. Bike came out from under me on a muddy corner- not much of an impact, small bruises on my hip and upper arm, hand still hurts (I was in the drops on the brakes) and a broke helmet right where the arm for a mirror attached. I believe I would have maybe hit my head without two inches of helmet and mirror attached to it and I probably would have had a bump for a week. However, no way would I have really injured my head on that fall without a helmet. Either way my story, like yours, is not a proof of anything other than antidotal evidence is worthless.
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Old 12-05-04, 06:46 PM   #4
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it's not breaking a bone so much as it is the sudden jarring of your brain against the inner skull that causes problems.

You have to remember the brtain floats inside your head ina fluid filled cavity...that fluid was designed to handle us falling while running, etc...not while we are moving at two to three times our running speed. The helmet is there to offer that last bit of deceleration force that might keep the brain from jarring too badly.

many folks for examnple who die from getting hit on the head is more of an internal issue than their skull breaking. Yes it's anecdotal...so is 90% of any information given onver the internet.
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Old 12-05-04, 06:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaRider24
Had a bad spill today while shuttling.
Glad you're ok! I firmly believe in helmets, I mean, would rather run into a wall headfirst with a helmet or without? I just can't see how anyone can argue against them, but it in the end it is your choice. I like Jerry Seinfeld's take on helmet laws, something about how we are protecting those brains that are functioning so poorly they don't want to wear a helmet.
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Old 12-05-04, 06:49 PM   #6
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You don't need to break your skull to inflict serious, even lethal, brain injury. Still doesn't prove anything one way or another, I know, but my thought on helmets is that they're awfully cheap insurance against it.

Also nitpicky note: I think you mean "anecdotal", not antidotal :-)

Last edited by 'nother; 12-05-04 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 12-05-04, 06:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor98
I don't know what you mean- as far as I know your head is a lot harder than most helmets so impact required to break the two is not equal and thus a broken helmet does not equate to a broken head. Your story is purely antidotal and means very little to the helmet discussion. I am sorry you had a bad spill but it doesn’t prove anything one way or another.

That being said, I took a spill last weekend and broke a helmet. Bike came out from under me on a muddy corner- not much of an impact, small bruises on my hip and upper arm, hand still hurts (I was in the drops on the brakes) and a broke helmet right where the arm for a mirror attached. I believe I would have maybe hit my head without two inches of helmet and mirror attached to it and I probably would have had a bump for a week. However, no way would I have really injured my head on that fall without a helmet. Either way my story, like yours, is not a proof of anything other than antidotal evidence is worthless.
Let's just say that this was a Fullfaced helmet that I broke in two spots, it takes a really hard hit to break a full faced helmet. Without the helmet, I might not be here right now. All of the armor I had on did it's job, which was why I was able to just walk away with just a concussion.
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Old 12-05-04, 07:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 'nother
You don't need to break your skull to inflict serious, even lethal, brain injury. Still doesn't prove anything one way or another, I know, but my thought on helmets is that they're awfully cheap insurance against it.

Also nitpicky note: I think you mean "anecdotal", not antidotal :-)
I think he meant it as in an antidote to pro-helmet anecdotes.
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Old 12-05-04, 08:17 PM   #9
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I think he meant it as in an antidote to pro-helmet anecdotes.
Ahh yes, the old anecdotal antidote! How could I have missed the subtlety?!

On topic/thread: the Seinfeld reference is excellent. I think I'm going to do a custom jersey with that quote on the back.
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Old 12-05-04, 08:23 PM   #10
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Ahh yes, the old anecdotal antidote! How could I have missed the subtlety?!
Sadly, I think he did...
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Old 12-05-04, 08:34 PM   #11
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Wow... and no one saw you fall or anything? No witnesses to tell you what happened?



I'm glad to hear you're generally ok. Get well soon, dood.

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Old 12-05-04, 09:01 PM   #12
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Trevor98 the point of a helmet is to absorb the impact from a crash. Helmets are softer than you're skull so that they crumple before you're brains are smashed all over the street. If you're helmet was harder than you're skull it would be like a stuntman using concrete blocks to break his fall, you're skull would fracture and the stuntman would be, well, he wouldn't be in good shape.

KonaRider24, glad you're ok. I crashed recently as well, nothing like your crash but hard enough to leave me a bit dazed. My helmet broke but I was ok, if I hadn't been wearing I would have had a nasty headache and probably a fractured skull.
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Old 12-05-04, 09:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor98
I don't know what you mean- as far as I know your head is a lot harder than most helmets so impact required to break the two is not equal and thus a broken helmet does not equate to a broken head. Your story is purely antidotal and means very little to the helmet discussion. I am sorry you had a bad spill but it doesn’t prove anything one way or another.

That being said, I took a spill last weekend and broke a helmet. Bike came out from under me on a muddy corner- not much of an impact, small bruises on my hip and upper arm, hand still hurts (I was in the drops on the brakes) and a broke helmet right where the arm for a mirror attached. I believe I would have maybe hit my head without two inches of helmet and mirror attached to it and I probably would have had a bump for a week. However, no way would I have really injured my head on that fall without a helmet. Either way my story, like yours, is not a proof of anything other than antidotal evidence is worthless.
Not to pick on the finer points of your statement but you need to take a basic course in physics, there's a real good reason why helmets are designed to break as easily. And there are different types, some helmets can withstand multiple impacts while some can not, the amount of impulse rendered, however, changes with that. It's not the fact that you go from 30mph to 0mph that kills you, it's how fast you do it and how large the impact area is.
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Old 12-05-04, 09:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor98
I don't know what you mean- as far as I know your head is a lot harder than most helmets so impact required to break the two is not equal and thus a broken helmet does not equate to a broken head. Your story is purely antidotal and means very little to the helmet discussion. I am sorry you had a bad spill but it doesn’t prove anything one way or another.

That being said, I took a spill last weekend and broke a helmet. Bike came out from under me on a muddy corner- not much of an impact, small bruises on my hip and upper arm, hand still hurts (I was in the drops on the brakes) and a broke helmet right where the arm for a mirror attached. I believe I would have maybe hit my head without two inches of helmet and mirror attached to it and I probably would have had a bump for a week. However, no way would I have really injured my head on that fall without a helmet. Either way my story, like yours, is not a proof of anything other than antidotal evidence is worthless.

wow.. that was just... dumb..
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Old 12-05-04, 09:25 PM   #15
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A helmets main purpose is to increase the length of time of impact. This decreases the max accel. of the brain reducing its impact against the inside of the skull. There are coup and countra coup brain strikes. The coup is when the brain injury is on the side the skull was struck in, contra coup is when the injury is opposite the strike point. If you don't think a helmet works, sign my waiver and I will gladly whack you, in the head, with a pick handle. It is hickory and has ten inches cut off the big end for a quicker swing.
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Old 12-05-04, 09:34 PM   #16
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Step 1) Put helmet on head, smack head against wall. Now take off the broken helmet. Step 2) repeat with no helmet. Call an ambulance before attempting step 2.

CHEERS.

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Old 12-05-04, 09:47 PM   #17
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I've run head first into trees, cars and park benches, and been hit by cars while wearing a helmet, and the helmet's have definetly helped avoid more serious injury... yet, everytime I've had a concussion, I wasn't wearing a helmet... and, after falling off a roof once, came to thinking I had been in a bike accident!

Once I woke up from a wicked drunk after doing some late night beach riding, and I was floating on my back in the shallows of Lake Superior wearing my helmet....I'm convinced my helmet saved my life that night...
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Old 12-05-04, 11:31 PM   #18
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Glad you're ok. Does the helmet still have the replacment warranty on it? You know the one where if you crash it within a year, I think, you take it to the bike shop & they give you a new one,? Then I think the shop sends the crashed one to the manufacturer.
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Old 12-05-04, 11:38 PM   #19
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Generally, crash replacement involves sending the helmet directly to the manufacturer. They give you a new helmet in exchange for wholesale minus 20% (or something to that effect)
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Old 12-05-04, 11:45 PM   #20
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The helmet was only two weeks old, sending it in for replacement.
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Old 12-06-04, 12:57 AM   #21
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One other interesting benefit to helmets... they make a nice brush guard... going under tree branches and whatnot, you can tilt your head down and let the branch(es) smack your helmet instead of your skull. Mind you, with smaller branches you're not really preventing an injury, but getting whacked in the head with branches is most certainly annoying as heck
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Old 12-06-04, 10:57 AM   #22
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One other interesting benefit to helmets... they make a nice brush guard... going under tree branches and whatnot, you can tilt your head down and let the branch(es) smack your helmet instead of your skull. Mind you, with smaller branches you're not really preventing an injury, but getting whacked in the head with branches is most certainly annoying as heck
hey, and you can also use it to block those thorny branches...
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Old 12-06-04, 11:03 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor98
I don't know what you mean- as far as I know your head is a lot harder than most helmets so impact required to break the two is not equal and thus a broken helmet does not equate to a broken head. Your story is purely antidotal and means very little to the helmet discussion. I am sorry you had a bad spill but it doesn’t prove anything one way or another.
Seems to me that without the helmet, we might not have gotten this anecdotal report. Sometimes anecdotal information is more valuable than we give it credit for.
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Old 12-06-04, 03:46 PM   #24
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hey, and you can also use it to block those thorny branches...
yep! thats true! the helmet not only protects our heads when we fall but it protects us from killer foliage. in tallahassee we have lots of canopy roads...made of oak trees! and what do oak trees have? ACORNS! those things hurt when they fall off the tree branches and whack you on the head.
we also have lots of low branches. i just lean my head down and let my helmet take the beating or brushing from the tree branches.
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Old 12-06-04, 05:39 PM   #25
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The idea that a helmet crushes to help reduces deceleration forces is a persuasive one, but I've yet to see or hear about a helmet that actually does this. It's a myth. Stop believeing the propaganda. To do this the material deeds to be a lot more deformable than the stuff they currently use.

One manual I got with a helmet actually claimed it would crush down to 1cm thick (it didn't). They [i]always[\i] crack well before they crush. As such they have failed. In the case above, it's failed doubly as he experienced an (albeit brief) period of unconsciousness. My conclusion from the story is that the helmet provided minimal to zero protection from deceleration forces. Dude, a far better safety practice if you're gonna ride like that would be to never do it alone.

I personally think helmets are poorly designed and their testing is inadequate. They could quite easily be better, but there hasn't been a noticable improvement in their design for years. It's a case of doing just enough to comply with the standards to get by, and sadly this has resulted in helmets that are little better than a placebo.

I wear a helmet (as I am legally required to) but I am under no illusions that it will save my life in a really nasty crash. It has, however saved me from many cuts, bruises and bumps (not to mention the occasional magpie) and that's all I expect of it.

As for Rev. Chuck's invitation - I'll pass. Helmet or no helmet, a whack to the skull with a pick handle is gonna hurt. A lot.
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