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Old 06-28-09, 01:39 PM   #1
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Helmets and racing

Just watching the 2001 TDF on Vs, and have seen old photo's in the mags where no one is wearing a helmet. Just wondering if helmets are now mandatory as everybody seems to wear them now. I've road and raced motorcycles since I was a kid and the rules were always that you had to wear a helmet, so just wondering when and if this became the rule in bicycle races?

I think it's a good idea, just curious why they didn't wear them back in the day?

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Old 06-28-09, 02:49 PM   #2
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Pretty sure the rules were changed in 2003.
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Old 06-28-09, 07:33 PM   #3
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I believe that on some stages the riders were required to at least wear hairnets.
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Old 06-28-09, 08:09 PM   #4
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I believe that on some stages the riders were required to at least wear hairnets.
DUDE! Don't give up your day job! At least put a Smiley after it!

Just seems strange that if these guys are hitting 60 MPH on some of the downhills that a helmet would be a good idea. They showed one point in the race where Lance's chief rival went "Off Roading" going head over heals, so no helmet wasn't good in that case.
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Old 06-28-09, 08:40 PM   #5
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I noticed the same thing, but wondered if they had removed the helmets on the final ascent - appears to be the case:

"Stage 15 will pass the spot on the descent from the Porte d'Aspet where, in the 1995 Tour, (correction) Motorola's Fabio Casartelli died when he crashed and hit his head on a low concrete wall. The white jersey competition has since been named the 'Souvenir Fabio Casartelli' in his honor.

Perhaps the greatest legacy of Casartelli's death is the UCI helmet rule, which has gradually been strengthened to the point that this year, riders can be fined for riding without helmets at any time during the race (last year, they could remove them on finishing climbs)."
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Old 06-28-09, 09:13 PM   #6
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I noticed the same thing, but wondered if they had removed the helmets on the final ascent - appears to be the case:

"Stage 15 will pass the spot on the descent from the Porte d'Aspet where, in the 1995 Tour, (correction) Motorola's Fabio Casartelli died when he crashed and hit his head on a low concrete wall. The white jersey competition has since been named the 'Souvenir Fabio Casartelli' in his honor.

Perhaps the greatest legacy of Casartelli's death is the UCI helmet rule, which has gradually been strengthened to the point that this year, riders can be fined for riding without helmets at any time during the race (last year, they could remove them on finishing climbs)."
Great info, thanks! It just looks strange after watching the Giro and the Tour of Switzerland to see the TDF and nobody has a helmet on!
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Old 06-29-09, 08:32 AM   #7
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In 1996 (the year after F. Casartelli's fatal crash), the UCI made wearing helmets a "mandatory recommendation". Many races, including the Grand Tours have required helmets since 1996. At that time, riders were mandated to wear helmets at all times with the only exception being that they could take off the helmet for the final climb on mountain top finish stages and questionable "fairing only" type helmets were legal for TTs.

When Andrei Kivilev died in Paris-Nice in the spring of 2003, the UCI mandated for the 2003 season (starting with the Giro) that all races would require the use of helmets in all stages with no exceptions to the rule.

In 2005 the UCI and all member national cycling associations mandated certified helmet usage for all stages. This included TT helmets which had to meet the same regulations.

In the pro peloton with the significant amount of money being payed by helmet manufacturers and sponsors that nearly every team has (often in conjunction with other accessories), most teams have had internal helmet requirements since the late 1990s.
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Old 06-29-09, 09:46 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info. It's sad that somebody had to die before they figure it out.
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Old 06-29-09, 10:07 AM   #9
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HIPCHIP,

a 'hairnet' was a leather helmet long since banned by the UCI
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Old 06-29-09, 12:56 PM   #10
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HIPCHIP,

a 'hairnet' was a leather helmet long since banned by the UCI
OK, sorry. Still showing my FNG-ness. I thought you were just being silly and talking about a regular hairnet
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Old 06-29-09, 01:07 PM   #11
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I know I'm old, but nothing shows it better than remembering back in the day when we actually thought those things were worthwhile.
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Old 06-29-09, 01:33 PM   #12
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I know I'm old, but nothing shows it better than remembering back in the day when we actually thought those things were worthwhile.
Guess it's better than nothing, sort of
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Old 06-29-09, 01:35 PM   #13
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I know I'm old, but nothing shows it better than remembering back in the day when we actually thought those things were worthwhile.
Didn't think they were then, don't think much of the newfangled ones either.
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Old 06-29-09, 01:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HIPCHIP View Post
......
I think it's a good idea, just curious why they didn't wear them back in the day?
......
When I raced, you were considered a FRED if you wore a helmet.
The mob psychology was that a "Pro" is too cool or pro to wear a helmet. Live by the bike, die by the bike.
Most pros still dont train with helmets on.
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Old 06-29-09, 01:47 PM   #15
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When I raced, you were considered a FRED if you wore a helmet.
Wow, you must be really old.
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Old 06-29-09, 02:09 PM   #16
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Wow, you must be really old.
No, I raced in late 90's and early 2000's.
Im not old at all.
Why would that make me old? Most pros still dont like to train with helmets?
You lost me.....
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Old 06-29-09, 06:31 PM   #17
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what did I quote?
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"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
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Old 06-29-09, 06:52 PM   #18
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[quote]No, I raced in late 90's and early 2000's.
Im not old at all.[QUOTE]

Just something to think about. Kids that were 10 years old when you were racing are now graduated from high school, maybe college, and are legal adults!
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Old 06-29-09, 07:10 PM   #19
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Just something to think about. Kids that were 10 years old when you were racing are now graduated from high school, maybe college, and are legal adults!
Just something to think about, some of us became grandparents in the late 90s and early 2000s.
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Old 06-29-09, 08:05 PM   #20
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I am glad you posted this observation as I was getting ready to. I to watched the recap of the 2001 TDF earlier today on Versus and immediatly noticed noboday wore a helmet. After watching the entire Giro a few weeks ago it was an obvious difference. I am new to all this so assumed this rule had been around for many years. I also noticed what seemed to be a lot of steel frame bikes back in 2001 which in reality was not that long ago.

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Old 06-29-09, 10:05 PM   #21
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HIPCHIP,

a 'hairnet' was a leather helmet long since banned by the UCI
Brings back memories, of course back then we didn't train with helmets/hairnets either...at least in England.
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Old 06-29-09, 10:53 PM   #22
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Just seems strange that if these guys are hitting 60 MPH on some of the downhills that a helmet would be a good idea.
Modern bicycle helmets are crash tested at an impact velocity of 20km/h. You are going to die if you hit your head on something at 60mph, whether you're wearing a helmet or not.

The reason helmets are mandatory in UCI races is because helmet manufacturers pay quite a lot of money for it to be that way.
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Old 06-30-09, 06:45 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Howzit View Post
No, I raced in late 90's and early 2000's.
Im not old at all.
Why would that make me old? Most pros still dont like to train with helmets?
You lost me.....


If you raced USCF in the late 90's early 2000's you were wearing a helmet. IIRC USCF races started requiring actual helmets (not hairnets) around 1986.

That did a couple of things, One it created a market for light breathable helemts, and spurred development. Two, it flipped the dyanamic, and the fast people were wearing helmets, and it became acceptable.

By 2000, helmet use was pretty much obligatory on all group rides where I was riding, racing.
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Old 06-30-09, 11:11 AM   #24
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Helmets are a hot issue for many riders. I didn't start riding with one until 2002 or so. I'm in my mid 40's, so the vast majority of my miles have been helmet-less. I only wear one now because I caved into societal pressure and they are well enough ventilated that I don't notice it. Weather it protects me and to what degree is a debate for which there is no end. There can be no conclusion because we are projecting events of the future which are unknown.


Many racers today don't wear them unless they have to. Reasons vary. I have no problem with wearing them or not. You could argue they are at higher risk riding all those miles. You could also argue against because, as we've seen in the news(Natasha Richardson, Billy Mays) lately, you can hit your head anywhere and be dead in a few days. "Risk" is everywhere. When it's your time to go, it's your time.

Today it's there's much peer pressure to wear one. Insurance companies won't allow unhelmeted riders in organized events. At least we still have a choice.
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Old 06-30-09, 11:59 AM   #25
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Just something to think about, some of us became grandparents in the late 90s and early 2000s.
But how many grandparents have a cover on Playboy??
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