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?
Yes, they have to wear helmets. For many years already actually.
The rules used to vary depending on the type of stage. Now they are required 100% of the time.
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.
In search of what to search for.
I remember Casartelli's death being the true beginning of the movement to require the wearing of helmets.
i may have overreacted
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).
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.
Last edited by DiabloScott; 09-16-09 at 02:08 PM.
Casartelli was '95.
i may have overreacted
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 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.
What is this "hockey"?
"I have started many stories about bicycle racing but have never written one that is as good as the races are both on the indoor and outdoor tracks and on the roads."
-Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
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?
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.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.
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.
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.Secondly, a helmet absorbs energy by crumpling. It takes energy to smash a helmet.
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.
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.
In search of what to search for.
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.
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.
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.
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.