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Old 09-16-09, 11:22 AM   #1
Mr_Christopher
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Helmets, required?

I'm not a 99er, more like a 2007er...So here is my question, I see older tour photos where guys are not wearing helmets but the more recent photos they all are. Are helmets required?
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Old 09-16-09, 12:45 PM   #2
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Yes, they have to wear helmets. For many years already actually.
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Old 09-16-09, 12:46 PM   #3
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The rules used to vary depending on the type of stage. Now they are required 100% of the time.
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Old 09-16-09, 12:46 PM   #4
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They used to not be required. Then they were required, except for the final climb on uphill finishes. Now, they are required all the time.
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Old 09-16-09, 12:52 PM   #5
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I remember Casartelli's death being the true beginning of the movement to require the wearing of helmets.
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Old 09-16-09, 12:58 PM   #6
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I think it is worth pointing out that helmets becoming required went hand in hand with helmets being usefull and having minimal problems. Go back far enough and helmets would actually have been a danger, contributing to overheating and sweat running into riders eyes (Easy to deal with on a social ride, not so easy for a race). As Helmets got the tho point where they did not significantly reduce cooling and actually provided aero advantages they becamse required. These days few pros would go bareheaded (at least under normal conditions) even if allowed to.

If I recall correctly the NHL changed the rules a while ago allowing players to play without a helmet, few if any play that way. (The years before required helmet use, though at least for a while there was a grandfather clause).
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Old 09-16-09, 01:25 PM   #7
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I remember Casartelli's death being the true beginning of the movement to require the wearing of helmets.
Kivilev's death was 2003 and Casartelli's death was 1995 (edited, thanks Laggard); those were the incidents that brought about the most recent version of the helmet rules.

Decent helmets started appearing about 1985.

Mandatory non-hairnet helmets in pro events had been tried several times before, although it was generally a race-specific or country-specific regulation; frequently encountered with scorn and sometimes protests.

The Belgians required hairnets for all races when most of the rest of Europe did not so you'll see lots of old photos of de Ronde where everyone is wearing hairnets.


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Old 09-16-09, 01:39 PM   #8
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Casartelli was '95.
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Old 09-16-09, 02:01 PM   #9
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If I recall correctly the NHL changed the rules a while ago allowing players to play without a helmet, few if any play that way. (The years before required helmet use, though at least for a while there was a grandfather clause).
You don't (recall correctly). Helmets are mandatory in all levels of organized ice hockey.
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Old 09-16-09, 05:28 PM   #10
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You don't (recall correctly). Helmets are mandatory in all levels of organized ice hockey.
Nope I do recall correctly, but you are also correct. 78-79 was the manditory Helmet rule. In 1992 they reversed the rule. I can not find any reference to when they reintroduced it. The current rules seem to require a helmet. (Only reason I say seem to is that the 92 reversal required a waview to be signed by the player. I've seen enough burried rules elsewhere to know there could be one in this case.)

Links:

http://www.tmlfever.com/TheGame.html

http://www.google.com/search?q=NHL+H...itle&resnum=11

Along the way I found the last player to play helmetless was Craig MacTavish in 95-96. I'm thinking he may already have been the only one in 92 and that at that time no players went helmetless for more than a shift or 2 if that.

Major trivia research points to anyone who can find the reinstution of the helmet requirement in the NHL.
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Old 09-16-09, 05:53 PM   #11
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I remember Casartelli's death being the true beginning of the movement to require the wearing of helmets.
A lot of people wear helmets because they want protection in high speed falls such as in racing situations, but because of the flimsy materials bike helmets are made out of, the protection at speed is very, very minimal. Bike helmets are designed to provide protection falling from a top a bicycle, or about a 12mph impact. That is the test they have to pass. But since collision energy varies with the square of speed, this means that if one were to crash at 30mph, the helmet would only reduce this impact energy to the same level as crashing without the helmet at 27.5mph. In other words, slowing down from 30 to 27 is providing you more safety benefit than wearing a helmet. (and if the helmet cracks in the crash, it is even less effective even though people mistakenly say things like "my helmet cracked and that would have been my head." if your helmet cracked, it didn't do you much good at all.)

The point? Mandating helmet usage for high speed cycling is kind of silly. The helmet is almost totally useless at those impact speeds and its popularity is a triumph of marketing by helmet companies! Helmets are much more useful for people who ride slow since they can mitigate almost all the energy of a tipping-over-while-stopped type crash.
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Old 09-16-09, 05:57 PM   #12
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Major trivia research points to anyone who can find the reinstution of the helmet requirement in the NHL.
Looks like they allowed them to go helmetless from '92 to '96. I don't recall anyone other than those who were grandfathered not wearing helmets. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...20/2/index.htm
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Old 09-16-09, 06:12 PM   #13
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What is this "hockey"?
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Old 09-16-09, 07:19 PM   #14
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Nope I do recall correctly, but you are also correct. 78-79 was the manditory Helmet rule. In 1992 they reversed the rule. I can not find any reference to when they reintroduced it. The current rules seem to require a helmet. (Only reason I say seem to is that the 92 reversal required a waview to be signed by the player. I've seen enough burried rules elsewhere to know there could be one in this case.)

Links:

http://www.tmlfever.com/TheGame.html

http://www.google.com/search?q=NHL+H...itle&resnum=11

Along the way I found the last player to play helmetless was Craig MacTavish in 95-96. I'm thinking he may already have been the only one in 92 and that at that time no players went helmetless for more than a shift or 2 if that.

Major trivia research points to anyone who can find the reinstution of the helmet requirement in the NHL.
The helmet rule was put in place in 78-79 and any players playing without one were allowed to continue until they retired or decided to wear one. Nobody else has ever been allowed to play without a helmet since then except when it is knocked off during play. The rule has been in place since then and has never been reversed.
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Old 09-16-09, 07:34 PM   #15
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A lot of people wear helmets because they want protection in high speed falls such as in racing situations, but because of the flimsy materials bike helmets are made out of, the protection at speed is very, very minimal. Bike helmets are designed to provide protection falling from a top a bicycle, or about a 12mph impact. That is the test they have to pass. But since collision energy varies with the square of speed, this means that if one were to crash at 30mph, the helmet would only reduce this impact energy to the same level as crashing without the helmet at 27.5mph. In other words, slowing down from 30 to 27 is providing you more safety benefit than wearing a helmet. (and if the helmet cracks in the crash, it is even less effective even though people mistakenly say things like "my helmet cracked and that would have been my head." if your helmet cracked, it didn't do you much good at all.)

The point? Mandating helmet usage for high speed cycling is kind of silly. The helmet is almost totally useless at those impact speeds and its popularity is a triumph of marketing by helmet companies! Helmets are much more useful for people who ride slow since they can mitigate almost all the energy of a tipping-over-while-stopped type crash.
Wrong on two points here.

First, its a poor assumption that your head will hit whatever it's going to hit with ALL of your forward speed. Sure, it's possible. However, if you fall over to your side, it will be the same impact regardless of forward speed. Many crash scenarios will impact with less velocity than forward speed.

Secondly, a helmet absorbs energy by crumpling. It takes energy to smash a helmet. that is energy that didn't go into your head. Furthermore, you seemed to have assumed a completely elastic collision, which is inappropriate. Heads don't bounce off the concrete, they thud inelastically. The function of a helmet is that while its crushing, it spreads the impact over an additional fraction of a second. This reduces g-forces and thus injury.

I've landed on my head a few times without a helmet. Never again. it may not be perfect, but it's better than nothing.

Would you tell a little kid to not wear a helmet?
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Old 09-16-09, 07:46 PM   #16
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...

The point? Mandating helmet usage for high speed cycling is kind of silly. The helmet is almost totally useless at those impact speeds and its popularity is a triumph of marketing by helmet companies! Helmets are much more useful for people who ride slow since they can mitigate almost all the energy of a tipping-over-while-stopped type crash.
I suspect Jens Voigt is glad he was wearing a helmet in the Tour.
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Old 09-16-09, 08:27 PM   #17
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What is this "hockey"?
Good cross training for cycling. Another sport that transitioned into requiring helmet use. The original question of this thread was answered in the first response so we are meandering a little.
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Old 09-16-09, 08:40 PM   #18
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Wrong on two points here.
Not so much wrong, as you assuming I was making claims different from what I actually said. I.e. you're setting up a strawman and arguing against that.

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First, its a poor assumption that your head will hit whatever it's going to hit with ALL of your forward speed. Sure, it's possible. However, if you fall over to your side, it will be the same impact regardless of forward speed. Many crash scenarios will impact with less velocity than forward speed.
My numbers were from a 30mph impact: rider hits side of car, rider goes flying over the handlebars, rider highsides in turn, rider lowsides in turn, etc. if you want to analyze different types of crashes where one's head hits the ground/tree/car/whatever at a lower impact speed, be my guest.

Just remember that the helmet is only capable of absorbing the energy of a fall over type impact: any additional energy is going to be transmitted to the head. If you aren't moving and just fall over, your head will hit the ground at roughly 12mph, with about 1300 joules of energy. If your head is going 30mph when it hits the ground, that's about 6150 joules. The helmet will potentially subtract its 1300, leaving you with a 4850 joule impact. That's the same as from a helmetless 27mph impact. That is all the difference your helmet will make for you. But we never tell people to slow down: we tell them to wear a helmet and go nuts, with the mistaken belief that their helmet is going to protect them.


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Secondly, a helmet absorbs energy by crumpling. It takes energy to smash a helmet.
It sure does. But not much energy! What I was explaining is that the amount of energy one gains from 27mph to 30mph is the same amount of energy that a bike helmet is capable of absorbing and thereby not transferring to the skull. That is all.

As for your other claims of "better than nothing," please research how helmets add to rotational injuries (which are key in producing concussions and other brain injuries) before being so sure. Helmets are great at saving us from road rash, but perhaps not so good at preventing head injuries. Motorcycle helmets actually work: but not our flimsy bike helmets. Oddly, I usually wear one anyway! I just don't kid myself that it's going to perform miracles and realize that there are dozens of other actions I can do that'll do a better job of keeping myself safe.
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Old 09-16-09, 08:44 PM   #19
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I suspect Jens Voigt is glad he was wearing a helmet in the Tour.
I'm sure he is happy. I'm sure happy he's ok because he's one of my favorites.

But if he'd have been going a few mph slower, he would have been hurt the same even without his helmet. That's the crazy thing that we don't realize until we run the numbers. The helmets don't turn a crash into a non-event: they just reduce the impact and the faster we are going, the smaller of a difference it actually makes.
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Old 09-16-09, 09:08 PM   #20
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I'm sure he is happy. I'm sure happy he's ok because he's one of my favorites.

But if he'd have been going a few mph slower, he would have been hurt the same even without his helmet. That's the crazy thing that we don't realize until we run the numbers. The helmets don't turn a crash into a non-event: they just reduce the impact and the faster we are going, the smaller of a difference it actually makes.
Actually, in his case, I think the helmet did more than merely absorb some of the impact. I think it also prevented him from losing a lot more skin, and may have saved his eyesight. I see your point about head-on impacts, but quite a few of the accidents at speed are more of the "glancing blow" variety - in which case, the helmet may do considerably more good than you seem to want to give it credit for.
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Old 09-16-09, 09:16 PM   #21
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Agreed. The shell of the helmet (if hard plastic and smoothly shaped) allowing the head to slide along the ground does help spread the impact over a larger area and also prevents road rash and may protect the eyes as you mentioned.
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Old 09-16-09, 09:36 PM   #22
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Wow thanks for all the replies. I feel like I got a history lesson. Cheers!

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Old 09-17-09, 05:08 PM   #23
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My numbers were from a 30mph impact: rider hits side of car, rider goes flying over the handlebars, rider highsides in turn, rider lowsides in turn, etc. if you want to analyze different types of crashes where one's head hits the ground/tree/car/whatever at a lower impact speed, be my guest.

Just remember that the helmet is only capable of absorbing the energy of a fall over type impact: any additional energy is going to be transmitted to the head. If you aren't moving and just fall over, your head will hit the ground at roughly 12mph, with about 1300 joules of energy. If your head is going 30mph when it hits the ground, that's about 6150 joules. The helmet will potentially subtract its 1300, leaving you with a 4850 joule impact. That's the same as from a helmetless 27mph impact. That is all the difference your helmet will make for you. But we never tell people to slow down: we tell them to wear a helmet and go nuts, with the mistaken belief that their helmet is going to protect them.
I wasn't questioning if you calculated the kinetic energy correctly, merely pointing out that the metric is beside the point in this case. What matters is the change in momentum or impulse, m(v2-V2) =F*t, or (v2-v1)=a*t. The left hand side is fixed, so an object can either be slowed down quickly with a large force, or slowly with a small force.

By your thinking, i would be injured just peddling my bike up to 30mph. Same change in kinetic energy right? The rate of acceleration can't be ignored, because that is what causes the injury. Impacts are measured in G's, not joules.
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Old 09-17-09, 11:10 PM   #24
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Sometimes. But CPSC helmet standards (and snell standards) are described in Joules since they are based on a drop-testing. So when discussing helmets, we might as well talk about the joules (kinetic energy) possible from a drop-height or speed at impact.
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Old 10-01-09, 03:17 PM   #25
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I might have missed someone saying this but Casartelli was wearing a helmet, I think it was a Specialized one (I had one like it).

Belgium, when I started racing in 1983, required "helmets", but they didn't define what a helmet was. Other countries didn't require one, except the US. No definition of "helmet".

I used a Brancale Giro helmet for some time, a shell plus some fitting foam. A friend broke his (actually a Brancale Sport) when he tapped a log with his helmet.

The rest you can read above.

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