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The helmet thread

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The helmet thread

Old 07-04-12, 02:05 PM
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Speaking for myself, I place quite a high value on my brain. I'm vain enough to think it's a specially good example of its kind. So were I persuaded that wearing a helmet made a material difference to its chances of surviving or avoiding injury, I'd certainly wear one.

But I'm not. For anything other than superficial injuries, helmets appear to be an irrelevance. No more essential than elbow or knee pads. I don't wear them, either.
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Old 07-04-12, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by hagen2456
Well, according to this very thorugh paper, helmets are of practically no use except to children and elderly:

https://www.cycle-helmets.com/elvik.pdf

Makes sense, once you consider what may typically cause severe brain damage. Anyway, this has been discussed ad nauseam in the helmet thread.
Um...: "Do bicycle helmets reduce the risk of injury to the head, face or neck? With respect to head injury, the answer is clearly yes,..."

This is another great part of that Elvik paper: "Once helmeted, cyclists might feel better protected and adopt more risky riding behaviour. While this cannot be ruled out, there is no direct evidence for it and performing a convincing study of such behavioural adaptation would be very difficult. The issue remains unresolved."
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Old 07-04-12, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours
I was with you all the way to the last sentence, where you insult everyone who chooses not to wear a helmet. Why is it that helmet wearers have to be so unpleasant about it?
Originally Posted by sudo bike
Ditto.
Originally Posted by closetbiker
I agree. If adults can decide for themselves, and it's none of your business, you should respect anothers thoughts that may differ from yours.
Originally Posted by closetbiker
the short answer is, because it comes off as judgemental.

I can appreciate you have your view, and I know you don't mean it that way but that's how it comes off. To me anyway.

If wearing or not wearing a helmet isn't anyones business but their own, why make the comment? It seems by making one, you're judging.
This whole thread is about making a personal judgement about whether a helmet is worth wearing or not. Ya'll not wearing helmets are judging, you're also judging doohickie, here.

For those of you who don't wear helments--who think that helmets are not as protective as those who wear them like to think, that they are basically valueless when it comes to protection while riding--I'm not sure why you don't agree with Doohickie that his noggin is exactly as valuable as you all find the protective qualities of the helmet he chooses to wear...
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Old 07-04-12, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
This whole thread is about making a personal judgement about whether a helmet is worth wearing or not...
This whole thread is about the helmeted judging the helmet-less. Y'know - calling 'em Spring Airheads, morons, organ donors.

This just begs for a response and debate, something that wouldn't happen if a judgement wasn't made and thrust upon others in the first place.

Last edited by closetbiker; 07-04-12 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 07-04-12, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx

For those of you who don't wear helments--who think that helmets are not as protective as those who wear them like to think, that they are basically valueless when it comes to protection while riding--I'm not sure why you don't agree with Doohickie that his noggin is exactly as valuable as you all find the protective qualities of the helmet he chooses to wear...
I'm not at all sure that this paragraph means anything. But if it does, it probably invites us to agree with Doohickie that his noggin is worthless. Try to express yourself more coherently.
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Old 07-04-12, 03:06 PM
  #2806  
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Originally Posted by Doohickie
What's unpleasant about "But I personally value my noggin enough to protect it."? I wasn't trying to be unpleasant, it's just my personal statement, the way I view things personally. I wasn't judging anyone else.
Because the implication of that sentence is obviously "... more than someone who doesn't wear a helmet", since it is being given as justification for... wearing a helmet . If your justification for wearing a helmet is you value your noggin enough to protect, that leaves you with the case if you didn't value your noggin, you wouldn't wear one. Implying those who don't wear one somehow don't value their noggin'. QED.

It would be like me saying people don't need to use life insurance and then going on to say "but I value my family enough to protect them". It's obviously inflammatory to those who don't use life insurance. See what I mean?
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Old 07-04-12, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
This whole thread is about making a personal judgement about whether a helmet is worth wearing or not. Ya'll not wearing helmets are judging, you're also judging doohickie, here.

For those of you who don't wear helments--who think that helmets are not as protective as those who wear them like to think, that they are basically valueless when it comes to protection while riding--I'm not sure why you don't agree with Doohickie that his noggin is exactly as valuable as you all find the protective qualities of the helmet he chooses to wear...
No. Riding without a helmet is indeed a personal choice, but that personal choice doesn't involve any judgement at all about what anybody else should do.

Now, if I wrote that I personally go without a helmet because I'm not an incompetent fool who can't go for a simple bike ride without falling off and landing on my head, then your argument might hold water - the implication that helmet wearers are incompetent fools is plain.
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Old 07-04-12, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Um...: "Do bicycle helmets reduce the risk of injury to the head, face or neck? With respect to head injury, the answer is clearly yes,..."

This is another great part of that Elvik paper: "Once helmeted, cyclists might feel better protected and adopt more risky riding behaviour. While this cannot be ruled out, there is no direct evidence for it and performing a convincing study of such behavioural adaptation would be very difficult. The issue remains unresolved."
Cherry picking, there. Please stop (and please note, if you REALLY haven't, that apparently helmets increase the risk of neck injury to the effect that the net result of helmets on fatalities is very very close to none at all).
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Old 07-04-12, 08:44 PM
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From todays stage of the Tour. Cavendish crashed just before the finish line. Look at his helmet.

You should really wear a helmet.

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Old 07-05-12, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975
From todays stage of the Tour. Cavendish crashed just before the finish line. Look at his helmet.

You should really wear a helmet.
Oh, please. In the first place, none of us are going out today to join in a bunch sprint in the Tour de France. In the second place, the very low incidence of death from head injury among pro cyclists has risen, not fallen, since helmets were made manadatory.
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Old 07-05-12, 05:06 AM
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Which is more reason to wear a helmet. WTF is wrong with you people? I mean seriously?! Helmets don't kill people. The death rate hasn't gone up due to them. Th death rate is up due to pro cyclist taking bigger risks and being able to go faster due to better bikes and component. I honesty can't believe y'all would argue this!

Two weeks ago I went down on my mtb. Tire my shoulder up pretty bad. After I accessed my own damage, I looked my hear over. My helmet has several small pings in it and one deep, inch wide, gash in it. I'm so glad that I didn't buy into this nonsense on here!!!
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Old 07-05-12, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975
Which is more reason to wear a helmet. WTF is wrong with you people? I mean seriously?! Helmets don't kill people. The death rate hasn't gone up due to them. Th death rate is up due to pro cyclist taking bigger risks and being able to go faster due to better bikes and component. I honesty can't believe y'all would argue this!
The bulk of the argument in this thread is not about pro cyclists, for good reason. However, to broaden your point a little, it is quite likely that helmets do, directly or indirectly, cause deaths. Directly because they increase the incidence of neck injuries, and possibly of diffuse axonal injury to the brain by increasing the tendency of the head to rotate. Indirectly because of risk compensation. The safer people feel, the more llikely they are to engage in risky activities. Your own accident is a perfect example of this. Had you not been wearing a helmet you'd be much less likely to ride your MTB aggressively enough to risk falling off so often. So it isn't stretching the point too much to suggest that your helmet caused you to ride more dangerously, and therefore to crash and injure yourself.
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Old 07-05-12, 07:40 AM
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The helmet rule for professional cyclists was brought by the UCI in 2003 following the death of Andrei Kivlev during the Paris-Nice race.

Since then deaths of professional cyclists while racing have doubled, so where is the protection that helmets are supposed to give a rider?
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Old 07-05-12, 09:16 AM
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Ah, but they didn't take the chances they do today, back in the day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T_qiZepycE (from 3:08 and on)
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Old 07-05-12, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
I'm not sure why you don't agree with Doohickie that his noggin is exactly as valuable as you all find the protective qualities of the helmet he chooses to wear...
Hey, it's the only noggin I've got. I've grown attached to it.

Originally Posted by sudo bike
It would be like me saying people don't need to use life insurance and then going on to say "but I value my family enough to protect them". It's obviously inflammatory to those who don't use life insurance. See what I mean?
The whole thread is inflammatory.

I feel pretty strongly about wearing a helmet. For myself anyway. Whatever the rest of you want to do is your own business. (I thought that's pretty much what I said earlier, and why y'all took offense at my last sentence... in a pissin' match of a thread like this one, is beyond me.)

I'll do my own analogy: It would be like me saying people can smoke if they want and then going on to say "but I value my lungs enough to not smoke".

Is that obviously inflammatory to those who smoke?

Bottom line: I don't really care because as I said up front, that's your call. Do what you want: Wear a helmet or not; buy life insurance or not; smoke or not. We're all adults here; you're old enough to make your own decision, and why would you be offended if I think you're a fool for the choice you make? A lot of people on the helmetless side seem to think I'm a fool, but hey, that's cool; I don't really care what you think as long as you respect my right to act like a fool.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

Last edited by Doohickie; 07-05-12 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 07-05-12, 11:40 AM
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Hey, I made a new sweat band for my helmet. The old one was soaked with something like pus, gross, eww...

So I got some Felt at a local store that sells sewing supplies.

Now I'm expecting someone to say that I should've bought a new helmet. Hey, the Felt cost 35 cents, a new helmet costs 35 dollars.

I believe this sweat band is better than what came with the helmet.
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Old 07-05-12, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
This whole thread is about the helmeted judging the helmet-less. Y'know - calling 'em Spring Airheads, morons, organ donors.

This just begs for a response and debate, something that wouldn't happen if a judgement wasn't made and thrust upon others in the first place.


Sheesh.

As I've pointed out before, the "judgment" goes the other way too. You provided one example of that.

And it's dishonest or ridiculously obtuse to suggest that this "whole thread" is about that one topic. Clearly, obviously, it isn't only about that one topic.

You are suggesting that helmets are the cause of the increase in deaths. Bizarre.

Last edited by njkayaker; 07-05-12 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 07-05-12, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975
Which is more reason to wear a helmet. WTF is wrong with you people? I mean seriously?! Helmets don't kill people. The death rate hasn't gone up due to them. Th death rate is up due to pro cyclist taking bigger risks and being able to go faster due to better bikes and component. I honesty can't believe y'all would argue this!

Two weeks ago I went down on my mtb. Tire my shoulder up pretty bad. After I accessed my own damage, I looked my hear over. My helmet has several small pings in it and one deep, inch wide, gash in it. I'm so glad that I didn't buy into this nonsense on here!!!
The reason you cannot understand why people disagree with you is because you refuse to surrender (even temporarily) your assumption that helmets save lives. Until you question this assumption (the whole basis of the debate) or at least considering the criticism (without necessarily accepting it), you will neither understand nor make any relevant arguments. Until then you can continue making anecdotal arguments about getting hit in the head with a hammer, banging your head against a wall, etc. Also MTBing is much different from road cycling and commuting, which is the orientation for most arguments against helmet advocacy.
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Old 07-05-12, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jjamesstrk
Also MTBing is much different from road cycling and commuting, which is the orientation for most arguments against helmet advocacy.
It appears that the only differences is that crashes are more common in MTB biking and those crashes never involve cars. Outside of that, there's a lot overlap of crash properties between the two activities. That is, if helmets are useful for some MTB crashes, then they are useful for some road cycling crashes.

Of course, we don't really know (that is, assuming the events are similar is risky but assuming that they are different is equally risky).
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Old 07-05-12, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie
I'll do my own analogy: It would be like me saying people can smoke if they want and then going on to say "but I value my lungs enough to not smoke".

Is that obviously inflammatory to those who smoke?
There's a subtle but important difference between the noggins statement and the lungs statement: We're supposed to use our brains to decide whether it's stupid or not to ride helmetless. See?
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Old 07-05-12, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
You are suggesting that helmets are the cause of the increase in deaths. Bizarre.
That might be the case. Can you prove that it isn't?

Or will you perhaps accept a reasoning that will suggest that as speed increases, so does the risk of helmets actually causing harm, given that the risk of oblique impacts will be higher and thus the risk of rotational injury - which is apparently aggravated by helmets?

Not that I can prove it, but as a working hypothesis it doesn't sound completely whacky, right?
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Old 07-05-12, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by hagen2456
That might be the case. Can you prove that it isn't?
It seems highly unlikely. Sort of like Elvis being alive. I'm not required to prove either claim: the people making the claims have that requirement.

Originally Posted by hagen2456
Or will you perhaps accept a reasoning that will suggest that as speed increases, so does the risk of helmets actually causing harm, given that the risk of oblique impacts will be higher and thus the risk of rotational injury - which is apparently aggravated by helmets?
Please provide any data about the speed of the TdF crashes before and after the introduction of helmets you have. Once I see your data, maybe, I'll comment on it.

Do we know what the number of total crashes (not just fatal ones) were?

If the speed of the crashes are higher (I have no idea), maybe it's just the extra energy rather than the complicated "rotational injury" stuff you are speculating about.

Originally Posted by hagen2456
Not that I can prove it, but as a working hypothesis it doesn't sound completely whacky, right?
??? So, I'm required to prove it isn't correct but you aren't required to prove that it is correct? That's bizarre too!

Last edited by njkayaker; 07-05-12 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 07-05-12, 04:13 PM
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Studies show that the higher the IQ the higher helmet useage. That says something.
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Old 07-05-12, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
Studies show that the higher the IQ the higher helmet useage. That says something.
Oh, the irony!
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Old 07-05-12, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker


Sheesh.

As I've pointed out before, the "judgment" goes the other way too. You provided one example of that.

And it's dishonest or ridiculously obtuse to suggest that this "whole thread" is about that one topic. Clearly, obviously, it isn't only about that one topic.
Of course not, it's also for people who want to make up stuff, and be argumentative too.

Like I said, some posts just beg for a response, something that wouldn't happen if a judgement wasn't made in the first place.

You are suggesting that helmets are the cause of the increase in deaths. Bizarre.
Now you're making something up that hasn't been suggested or said. You're not being argumentative, are you?

Last edited by closetbiker; 07-05-12 at 05:54 PM.
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