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The helmet thread

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The helmet thread

Old 08-20-12, 10:13 AM
  #3201  
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I don't always get this low but I don't think my head ever gets as high as when I walk except possibly when stomping on the pedals.

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Old 08-20-12, 10:19 AM
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I personally think the posts of those that state how helmets helped them are a great contribution to this dialogue. I think the use of statistics always muddy's up the facts because so few studies are seeking the truth, they seek to substantiate a conclusion already believed to be true. It's also true that bike skills and yes, falling skills will lessen the need for a helmet. but no bike skills will keep the drunk driver from running you over and helmets would rarely do much to help. if there's a 1 in 10 chance they did help, plus the added visibility they afford, I can't tell someone not to wear one.
but I still want the cult t-shirt though, if that's okay.


the Scott anti-helmet, getting closer all the time.

Last edited by Rx Rider; 08-20-12 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 08-20-12, 10:22 AM
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^^That does not look comfortable to me, nor would it I think to the vast majority of non-racing cyclists (who make up the vast majority of cyclists overall). I'm not dissing your riding style, btw--just saying it's not representative. The trend is toward upright bikes.

From the front lines:

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recommends that:

  • All bicyclists wear a properly fitted Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)-approved bicycle helmet.
  • Emergency physicians inform patients and parents of the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet and the dangers of riding without a helmet.
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Old 08-20-12, 10:29 AM
  #3204  
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc
I'm 5'10", but I'd say my head is more like seven feet from the ground when I ride.
I'd say you have no idea what a foot is, I'm 6' and even when I stand on the peddles I'm no where near 7'. I might remind you aircraft speed and bicycle speed share nothing in common. just as jumping out of an aircraft and cycling share nothing in common. this is called mixing apples and oranges and it only shows you have no legitimate comparison to debate. your pic didn't load is a penny farthing bike? or . . .

Last edited by Rx Rider; 08-20-12 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 08-20-12, 10:32 AM
  #3205  
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I find upright uncomfortable for more than a couple of miles. I even get low on my MTBs.

This is my gravel grinder setup. My head's approx. a foot higher when standing.


Time Trial MTB by Lester Of Puppets, on Flickr

I did own and ride this bike for about a week and it reminded me of the cycling equivalent of walking on drywaller stilts:


2012-06-24_12-07-37_277.jpg by Lester Of Puppets, on Flickr
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Old 08-20-12, 10:50 AM
  #3206  
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Sorry to hear it didn't load--it's a Trek comfort hybrid.

The American Medical Association (AMA) weighs in:

It is the policy of the AMA to: (1) encourage physicians to counsel their patients who ride motorized and non-motorized cycles to use approved helmets and appropriate protective clothing while cycling...
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Old 08-20-12, 12:02 PM
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I wear a helmet now because my Dad told me a story a few weeks ago. He was about my age, riding to work, when a car right-hooked him. He went over the bars and fractured his skull. Ended up in the hospital when he would have been able to ride on to work if was wearing a helmet. He was off the bike for months while recovering.

Sure, the helmet won't prevent a concussion, but it can prevent other injuries. Why not wear one? Speed makes no difference. You can fall on your head from any speed.

I don't want to read all 129 pages of this thread. What is the argument against helmets? They don't look cool? They're not comfortable? Those are silly arguments. It's like the motorcyclists I see flying down the interstate at 70mph wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Don't they realize that if they have to do an emergency stop and fall off the bike that they will lose all of their skin?

Last edited by spivonious; 08-20-12 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 08-20-12, 12:26 PM
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Why not wear one? For the same reason you don't wear one in the shower, or in your car, or while out for a walk: you don't feel the risk justifies it. People die during routine, low risk activities every day. Yet for some reason, it's just this particular routine, low risk activity that gets everyone up onto their soap boxes.

If your dad had fractured his skull while walking, would you now be admonishing all pedestrians to wear protective gear?

Last edited by Six jours; 08-20-12 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 08-20-12, 01:52 PM
  #3209  
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Originally Posted by spivonious
I don't want to read all 129 pages of this thread. What is the argument against helmets? They don't look cool? They're not comfortable? Those are silly arguments.
Translation: I didn't read any of the arguments against because I didn't want to, so I'm going to make up a few straw ones to tear down.


It's like the motorcyclists I see flying down the interstate at 70mph wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Don't they realize that if they have to do an emergency stop and fall off the bike that they will lose all of their skin?
You mean kinda like crashing on a bike on asphalt? May not be as bad, but you can lose some serious skin in a bike crash. Had an uncle lose all the skin on his right leg when going down in gravel and sand on asphalt. Do we ride in leathers all the time to combat this? No. There's your answer: convenience. We make these tradeoffs all the time. My risk assessment is that I have a very low chance of falling, the benefits of a helmet are limited to relatively minor injury mitigation, so I don't stand to benefit all that much. Combined with the tradeoff of either locking my helmet to the bike (which gets cut off and stolen; experience) or lugging another thing around campus everywhere, I make the decision that I don't really need one. If my situation changes - say the first rain of the season which makes the road much more slick or icy winter conditions - my assessment may change and I may don one to help with more liely minor injuries. If your assessment is different, fine. But I really doubt most people doing most kinds of riding are really going to benefit all that much from helmet use.
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Old 08-22-12, 01:12 AM
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Hey all, this is my first post on this forum. Been lurking for a few weeks now since I've recently started commuting by bike to work a few times a week. I've been unhappily wearing a helmet for the first time in my life mainly because it's the law here in Seattle. I grew up crashing my bmx/freestyle bike (Haro Sport) almost daily as a kid and never thought twice about not wearing a helmet. Now I admit I haven't read any scientific studies about the benefits of wearing a helmet or not, so I'm certainly not a expert in this, but as of Saturday my views on this have changed.

My girlfriend (admittedly a novice) misjudged a corner on the Burke-Gilman trail and had quite the crash. A fairly serious concussion, an inch deep gash above the eye, 3 fractured facial bones, a helmet cracked clean through, an ambulance ride to the ER, and a night in the hospital later, I really hate to think about what would have happened if she hadn't been wearing a helmet.

I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do, but just thought I would share my experience on the matter. When a head strikes pavement, the pavement seems to usually win.
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Old 08-22-12, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Pugly
A fairly serious concussion, an inch deep gash above the eye, 3 fractured facial bones, a helmet cracked clean through
To me this reads as an example of a single vehicle incident in which the helmet failed. As per spec it failed to prevent a concussion, it also failed to protect her face, again as per spec.

Originally Posted by Pugly
I really hate to think about what would have happened if she hadn't been wearing a helmet.
Pretty much the same probably. Except maybe without a helmet she would have ridden more cautiously? Perhaps the money spent on the helmet could have gone to an LAB Road 1 or an MTB skills class?

Originally Posted by Pugly
I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do, but just thought I would share my experience on the matter. When a head strikes pavement, the pavement seems to usually win.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophasis#Paralipsis
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Old 08-22-12, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc
Are some of you being purposely disingenuous, or just not comprehending my posts well? I have repeatedly said I am not advocating for a law to mandate helmets for adults. Therefore the Australia study is irrelevant, as are any other studies arguing for a confounding effect of helmet laws. (Good discussion here.) I am only arguing that when an individual gets in a crash, their head will be significantly more protected from brain injury if they are wearing a helmet than if they are not. Not a controversial assertion!

I wonder: do you also believe that it's safer to be shot wearing a sweater vest rather than a Kevlar vest? Safer to play football or hockey without a helmet or pads? Safer to skydive without a parachute? LOL
The study doesn't examine the law itself. The law created a large population with differing helmet usage rates. That is how one does epidemiological studies. Did the rate of XYZ go down after vaccination? Yes. Then the vaccination was effective on a population-wide basis.

The same here. Did head injuries go down when helmet usage increased? No. Then wearing a helmet is an ineffective means of preventing head injury.

As far as your analogies go, they only serve to demonstrate your ignorance and your inability to argue effectively. They do not make your case against helmets any stronger.

And, by the way, your request for reposting citations that have already been posted here multiple times is just effin' lazy. If you want to play in this sandbox, you're gonna have to do your homework first.
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Old 08-22-12, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by skye
Did head injuries go down when helmet usage increased? No. Then wearing a helmet is an ineffective means of preventing head injury.

As far as your analogies go, they only serve to demonstrate your ignorance and your inability to argue effectively. They do not make your case against helmets any stronger.
What kind of head injuries are you talking about? All the literature I've read qualifies such statements with "serious" as in "serious head injuries." What about head injury which doesn't qualify as serious? As in, the kind of injury helmets are specifically designed to address -- minor or moderate, certainly less than serious head injury. Oh, right: we don't know. And yet you're quick to make an overly broad statement to that effect. Tut-tut.

Especially when you chastise someone else for their post content. Much like other times you've quoted studies out of context, or conflated broad statements with superfluous data from unrelated studies, you do the bare-head brigade no favors with your editorial commentary...
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Old 08-22-12, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
To me this reads as an example of a single vehicle incident in which the helmet failed. As per spec it failed to prevent a concussion, it also failed to protect her face, again as per spec.



Pretty much the same probably. Except maybe without a helmet she would have ridden more cautiously? Perhaps the money spent on the helmet could have gone to an LAB Road 1 or an MTB skills class?



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophasis#Paralipsis
The helmet cracked. To me, that says her head would have cracked if she wasn't wearing a helmet.

Wearing a helmet doesn't make me a less cautious rider, just like wearing a selt beat doesn't make me a less cautious driver.

I'm a strong believer of free will, so if you don't want to wear a helmet then go ahead. But don't try to convince others that they're worthless.
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Old 08-22-12, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
Pretty much the same probably.
Or it saved her from further or more serious injury. Probably.

Originally Posted by spivonious
The helmet cracked. To me, that says her head would have cracked if she wasn't wearing a helmet.
Cracked helmet doesn't mean her head would have cracked any more than it did. Cracked helmet could also mean that it provided very little protection in that particular accident. Check the interior polystyrene liner for a head-shaped dent on the inside -- if there is an indent or thinning of the styrofoam, it might have provided some protection. If that depression/collapse of the energy absorbing and spreading liner does not exhibit that kind of compression, the helmet most likely did nothing for her.

Originally Posted by spivonious
I'm a strong believer of free will, so if you don't want to wear a helmet then go ahead. But don't try to convince others that they're worthless.
Hahahhahahahahahaaaaaa... *hack, cough, gasp* Woah. Thanks for the laugh.

Most people here believe in free will -- it has nothing to do with free will, or rather, everything to do with arguing who's version of free will is better.
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Old 08-22-12, 08:36 AM
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My story, I have been riding many years(and boy were my legs tired...). A truck T-boned me, totally trucks fault. I saw him run the stop and leaped in time to clear his bumper on rolled up on his hood, he slammed the brakes, I was now on the windshield and rolled off the hood, by now my bike was sent down the street so I fell on the cement. I rode 50 klm the next day happy to be alive. Oh, the only thing I had to replace was a wheel, water bottle, bike computer, pannier, and oh ya my helmet because it got crushed at the back.
I guess I could have walked away with a minor headache if I didn't wear a helmet, I mean all the years I wore one could have been avoided and dealt with a headache, but you know It was not that big of a deal to wear one and I will continue.
So will I judge someone for not wearing one, probalbly not, but I make my son wear one, I encourage my wife to wear one and fail every time, but she doesn't ride fast, in traffic, or very often.
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Old 08-22-12, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Much like other times you've quoted studies out of context, or conflated broad statements with superfluous data from unrelated studies
When did I do that? Proof, please.
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Old 08-22-12, 08:57 AM
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Thanks for the URL. I just expanded my vocabulary, never knew the terms to describe this method of argument.
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Old 08-22-12, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by skye
When did I do that? Proof, please.
I could provide proof, but that would be... what was closetbiker's term, again?... ah, yes: enabling.

I've pointed out where you've done so before in this very thread. Should I chastise you as you do others for not doing the research, looking back through this thread on your own? Oh, wait, I just did.

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Old 08-22-12, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Or it saved her from further or more serious injury. Probably.
Yeah sure, wise guy. Except that we can see from places where most cyclists wear helmets that there's no measurable decrease in "more serious injury". Probably.
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Old 08-22-12, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Thanks for the URL. I just expanded my vocabulary, never knew the terms to describe this method of argument.
You're welcome. There's some other good stuff here: https://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/silva.htm
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Old 08-22-12, 10:22 AM
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Skye, you may as well argue that drinking alcohol prevents machine gun violence, because Prohibition. I'm willing to believe that helmet laws may be counterproductive, but that's quite different from individual helmet use. You seem unable or unwilling to comprehend the distinction.
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Old 08-22-12, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
Yeah sure, wise guy. Except that we can see from places where most cyclists wear helmets that there's no measurable decrease in "more serious injury". Probably.
Dang. You're correct. I hate that.

I should have said "more extensive injuries" or "any of a myriad of additional less than serious head injuries."
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Old 08-22-12, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc
Skye, you may as well argue that drinking alcohol prevents machine gun violence, because Prohibition. I'm willing to believe that helmet laws may be counterproductive, but that's quite different from individual helmet use. You seem unable or unwilling to comprehend the distinction.
You've never had a course in statistics or logic, have you?

Your turn. You keep making assertions about helmet effectiveness. Show me evidence, in a peer-reviewed journal, that a bicycle helmet protects you from the forces involved in a real-world accident.

Go ahead, sparky. I'm waiting.
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Old 08-22-12, 11:39 AM
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Let's just recap this, shall we?

You made an accusation that I am intellectually dishonest. I asked you politely to back up your statement with evidence. Instead of providing anything to support your slander, you reply with this lame-ass excuse.

Nice try, chump. Wanna go another round?


Originally Posted by mconlonx
I could provide proof, but that would be... what was closetbiker's term, again?... ah, yes: enabling.

I've pointed out where you've done so before in this very thread. Should I chastise you as you do others for not doing the research, looking back through this thread on your own? Oh, wait, I just did.

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