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The helmet thread

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View Poll Results: Helmet wearing habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet
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10.66%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped
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5.63%
I've always worn a helmet
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38.80%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do
408
24.43%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions
342
20.48%
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The helmet thread

Old 10-05-12, 09:45 AM
  #3601  
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I started riding in the 1960s when no one wore helmets. In the 1970s, the pros wore them, as did the highest category of amateur racers. They were leather clad foam longitudinal bands (front to back) that covered the head every few inches or so, with a chinstrap. In the 1980s, several european companies began to import plastic helmets with open-celled foam interiors. There was little adjustability, except to change out the padding for various supplied thicknesses. I adopted the habit at that time because I was a bike commuter in Southern California, and drivers did stupid things even then (before the internet and cell phones). Helmets have improved a lot. I still wear one. Why not? Inconvenience? "Individuality"? Fashion?

It's like wearing shoes in the summertime. Barefoot feels great, until you step on a wasp's nest...
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Old 10-05-12, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz
I started riding in the 1960s when no one wore helmets. In the 1970s, the pros wore them, as did the highest category of amateur racers. They were leather clad foam longitudinal bands (front to back) that covered the head every few inches or so, with a chinstrap. In the 1980s, several european companies began to import plastic helmets with open-celled foam interiors. There was little adjustability, except to change out the padding for various supplied thicknesses. I adopted the habit at that time because I was a bike commuter in Southern California, and drivers did stupid things even then (before the internet and cell phones). Helmets have improved a lot. I still wear one. Why not? Inconvenience? "Individuality"? Fashion?

It's like wearing shoes in the summertime. Barefoot feels great, until you step on a wasp's nest...
You claim to wear one because "drivers did stupid things even then (before the internet and cell phones)". As has been mentioned here hundreds of times, bicycle helmets are not capable of protecting you from a collision with a car. Why not wear one? How about safety? Studies have shown that motorists give helmeted riders less margin, resulting in increased likelihood of a collision. Also, how about the perception wearing a helmet gives, that cycling is now much more dangerous than it used to be? If this is true, the danger is from more distractions of drivers in cars, which a helmet is worthless against. These arguments have been repeated here hundreds of times. Do I wear a helmet? Yes. Why? I don't want the #$^@%#^ who runs me over to get off scott free because I wasn't wearing one. Alabama's contributory negligence law makes it impossible for me to collect damages from a guilty party if I bear any part of the responsibility for the collision, and public opinion has rendered not wearing a helmet to be a contributory cause in collisions. If I lived someplace where that wasn't the case, I wouldn't wear one, except off-road.

Re: your barefoot analogy... How many wasp's nests have you stepped on, with or without shoes? In my >50 year life, my grand total is zero. Your dire warnings of going barefoot sound a lot like your dire warnings of not wearing a helmet.
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Old 10-05-12, 11:18 AM
  #3603  
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Originally Posted by bemoore
Re: your barefoot analogy... How many wasp's nests have you stepped on, with or without shoes? In my >50 year life, my grand total is zero. .
During my California commuting years, I had two incidents where I was thrown from my bike or fell as a result of driver error. One was a right hook, and the other was a side street turn infront of me. I avoided collision each time, but hit the ground and slid. I can't confirm whether or not the helmet helped me, but it was scraped up as a result of each event.

Stepped on wasps twice in my childhood. Once in bare feet at a sleep over when I was maybe 10 years old. We were playing flashlight tag or somesuch, and I took one between the toes. Stung pretty good, but my friend's mom knew about the baking soda paste trick. Took down the irritation and I felt better by bedtime.

The other time I was in my teens and we were playing football in a friend's yard. We had sneaks on, but I was running an out pattern that ended just against a slate/stone planter that bordered the yard. As I arrived, ground wasps poured out from that opening beneath the stone just at ground level. Man, did we scatter and run. I got stung a few times on the leg. My friends all got one or two, if I recall.

Don't know where I pulled that analogy from in the context of helmets - it just came to mind.

Still don't like wasps that much...
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Old 10-05-12, 11:43 AM
  #3604  
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Originally Posted by bemoore
Do I wear a helmet? Yes. Why? I don't want the #$^@%#^ who runs me over to get off scott free because I wasn't wearing one. Alabama's contributory negligence law makes it impossible for me to collect damages from a guilty party if I bear any part of the responsibility for the collision, and public opinion has rendered not wearing a helmet to be a contributory cause in collisions. If I lived someplace where that wasn't the case, I wouldn't wear one, except off-road.
Is there any evidence of "public opinion has rendered not wearing a helmet to be a contributory cause in collisions" actually being "rendered" in fact in any courtroom in Alabama or anywhere else in the U.S. ?

Or is that just a factoid based on Internet speculation and Urban Legend?
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Old 10-05-12, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
All of the above.
Ah. Nice broad brush you paint with, there. Which means you're a little to moderately wrong.
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Old 10-05-12, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
By "LBS marketeers," are you talking about bike shop owners and employees selling cycling gear to retail customers, or companies and distributors selling stuff to shops...?
Me: All of the above.
Originally Posted by mconlonx
Ah. Nice broad brush you paint with, there. Which means you're a little to moderately wrong.
Is dat right? Which bicycle industry wholesaler or LBS retailer is not out hawking special gear (to include sports/competition oriented bikes) and special "bicycling attire" for all bicycling activities?
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Old 10-05-12, 01:12 PM
  #3607  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Is there any evidence of "public opinion has rendered not wearing a helmet to be a contributory cause in collisions" actually being "rendered" in fact in any courtroom in Alabama or anywhere else in the U.S. ?

Or is that just a factoid based on Internet speculation and Urban Legend?
I'll admit that its speculation, but, as I linked above, Alabama has a contributory negligence law, which prevents collection of damages if the injured party bears ANY responsibility. And given that every news report mentioning a helmet will include a statement that the rider was NOT wearing a helmet (never a mention that the rider WAS wearing one).... And given that I know of ZERO cases of a cyclist successfully suing an at-fault motorist who ran them over.... And given that I know of motorists in this state who got not even a slap on the wrist after using the "I never saw him" defense.... I don't think my speculation is too far off the mark. Most cases never wind up in court, as the responding officer almost never cites the motorist, unless it's ABSOLUTELY CLEAR (as in, with multiple witnesses) that the motorist is 100% at fault.

I know of one case in North AL in which a motorist was charged and indicted in a collision with a cyclist. Craig Chandler was indicted for Criminally Negligent Homicide in the crash that took the life of Christina Genco. Christina was wearing a helmet, and on a 4000 mile cross country ride with 33 other members of Bike and Build Inc. — a nonprofit organization that raises money for affordable housing. Her 2nd such tour. So she was regarding as a highly competent cyclist. I doubt that I would get the same consideration without video evidence.

I don't know of ANY cases where a collision with an unhelmeted cyclist resulted in charges to the motorist.
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Old 10-05-12, 10:24 PM
  #3608  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Me: All of the above.

Is dat right? Which bicycle industry wholesaler or LBS retailer is not out hawking special gear (to include sports/competition oriented bikes) and special "bicycling attire" for all bicycling activities?
Depends on what you mean by "hawking." lf merchandizing specialty gear counts, then anyone at a bike shop is guilty. What if it's there, but salespeople don't really push it?

Flip side is that bike shops really don't make enough selling bikes and service to stick around for the most part. Lots of money that keeps doors open and bike inventory on the floor is the superfluous stuff that goes along with it. Not to mention if people stop by a shop because they've been sold on the benefits of said gear by forces other than the shop -- if the shop doesn't have what they are looking for, like helmets for instance, they'll go elsewhere.

People certainly don't need specialty gear, but there's them what actually want it for good reasons.
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Old 10-06-12, 07:20 AM
  #3609  
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Originally Posted by bemoore
You claim to wear one because "drivers did stupid things even then (before the internet and cell phones)". As has been mentioned here hundreds of times, bicycle helmets are not capable of protecting you from a collision with a car. Why not wear one? How about safety? Studies have shown that motorists give helmeted riders less margin, resulting in increased likelihood of a collision. Also, how about the perception wearing a helmet gives, that cycling is now much more dangerous than it used to be? If this is true, the danger is from more distractions of drivers in cars, which a helmet is worthless against. These arguments have been repeated here hundreds of times. Do I wear a helmet? Yes. Why? I don't want the #$^@%#^ who runs me over to get off scott free because I wasn't wearing one. Alabama's contributory negligence law makes it impossible for me to collect damages from a guilty party if I bear any part of the responsibility for the collision, and public opinion has rendered not wearing a helmet to be a contributory cause in collisions. If I lived someplace where that wasn't the case, I wouldn't wear one, except off-road.

Re: your barefoot analogy... How many wasp's nests have you stepped on, with or without shoes? In my >50 year life, my grand total is zero. Your dire warnings of going barefoot sound a lot like your dire warnings of not wearing a helmet.
I agree that helmets don't protect you from cars. It can help when you are thrown at odd angles after being hit. Now bee's... I grew up with a clover lawn and got stung all the time when the slip and slide came out.
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Old 10-06-12, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Depends on what you mean by "hawking." lf merchandizing specialty gear counts, then anyone at a bike shop is guilty. What if it's there, but salespeople don't really push it?

Flip side is that bike shops really don't make enough selling bikes and service to stick around for the most part. Lots of money that keeps doors open and bike inventory on the floor is the superfluous stuff that goes along with it.
Ya mean just because it has never been seen, it could happen? Yes, its possible, but see your next paragraph - the real money (such as it exists)is made on merchandizing specialty gear, not selling bikes and service. I wouldn't be surprised if there is more money to be made selling a high priced helmet than on a low priced non sporting bicycle.

Originally Posted by mconlonx
People certainly don't need specialty gear, but there's them what actually want it for good reasons.
It is the mission of the helmet proselytizers and helmet merchandisers to convince the public, by hook or crook, that "good reason" exists for them to want a helmet.
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Old 10-06-12, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Ya mean just because it has never been seen, it could happen? Yes, its possible, but see your next paragraph - the real money (such as it exists)is made on merchandizing specialty gear, not selling bikes and service. I wouldn't be surprised if there is more money to be made selling a high priced helmet than on a low priced non sporting bicycle.
There's certainly more margin on helmets than bikes, especially if you're comparing a high end helmet vs. a low end bike. If they are the same price, it follows that there's more money to be made selling the helmet. Although I really can't see any shop, no matter how Church of Helmet, selling a top of the line helmet with a bare bones bike...

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
It is the mission of the helmet proselytizers and helmet merchandisers to convince the public, by hook or crook, that "good reason" exists for them to want a helmet.
There are good reasons to wear a helmet. There are negatives associated with helmets. Some believe the former outweigh the latter...
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Old 10-06-12, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Aeolis
I started cycling this summer and have yet to purchase a helmet, who else doesn't wear one and why? Personally I don't feel like I need one yet but eventually I plan on getting one. I'm not keen on wearing one but I feel like I look ridiculous not wearing one around the lbs guys ect.
This is the reality among today's recreational cycling enthusiast. The argument that people are avoiding helmets because of appearance is idiotic.
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Old 10-06-12, 10:41 PM
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Full face helmet, your experiences & why you think they are unpopular!

Of course my first vehicle was a pedal bicycle, but I have more experience on Suzukis than I do schwinns. That said I am quick to add that I wouldn't be caught dead on my motorcycle without a full face helmet.

I understand not every motorcyclist feels the way I do about helmets, and for that matter cyclists are probably less concerned with what may be perceived to be overkill. So right away I'd like to detail that I am not saying indiviuals should wear motorcycle helmets on their bicycles. I doubt many were thinking that I was making that suggestion (maybe it would be more comfortable on a very cold day, idk) especially for every day riding. But, how many of you feel strongly in favor of wearing any helmet? Plenty I'm sure, I'm wondering though how many Users wear full face helmets?! Also, if you have anything else on the subject of full face bicycle helmets I think this is the place to post!

By the way, I did search and found no thread dedicated to full face helmet discussion. Admittley I didn't read but one page of the stuck helmet thread. If this is a dead horse, please link me to a thread, that I may beat it.



First off I don't own or wear a full face bicycle helmet. I am interested in getting one. I am not looking at a downhill mtb lid, but something suitable for a recreational road rider.

https://forums.mtbr.com/attachments/a...mets-cu29r.jpg

If that was at the bike shop when I bought my helmet (and not crazy priced) I probably would have bought that instead.

I have always worn full face when riding motorcycles. Obviously speed and proximity to highway traffic weighs heavy on thr decision to. Riding in Harpers Ferry West Virginia means lots of hills. This is great for training, but downhill speeds approaching 40 mph, on roads that are not in great shape can be scary. Thankfully I have not had any pucker inducing moments.

In my reading of David Hough's Profficient Motorcycling I came across a helmet shaped diagram that detailed "The Hurt Report"'s (named for a Mr. Hurt who participated in a study of reported motorcycle crashes) findings in regard to what part of the helmet is damaged after a motorcycle crash. I found the most common spot to be affected was the cheeks to jaw line of the full face helmet.


Step back for a second and look at it like this. Wearing a full face helmet doesn't mean you are more likely to scuff up your helmet in one spot or another. The information I take from it is that if you wreck your motorcycle you are perhaps most likely to scuff up your face and chin (regardless of the helmet if any you are wearing). So how close is a motorcycle crash to a bicycle crash? I haven't crashed my bicycle since I was a kid (I haven't been riding as an adult all that long) but I bet wrecking at 40 mph on a bicycle is alot like wrecking a motercycle at 40 mph.


I feel that a standard bicycle helmet provides inadequate protection, even at low speeds. If you go over the handle bars because you hit something, I think it is very plausible that you hit your mouth first into be it the ground or the back of a car.


I think that the full face helmet is not more popular because it seems overkill.
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Old 10-06-12, 10:48 PM
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https://dontai.com/wp/wp-content/uplo...ashdiagram.gif


This is the diagram I was talking about, the larger percentages indicate a higher frequency of direct impact on the helmeted head of the rider. I don't intend to speak at length about the hurt report, but I think his diagram is very relative to bicyclists.
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Old 10-06-12, 10:56 PM
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On a motorcycle at 60 miles an hour the wind gets painful. Unless you are riding a road bike down a steep hill the wind doesn't get nearly as bad. I always wear a full face helmet on a motorcycle/scooter, but a bike helmet is fine on a bike.
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Old 10-06-12, 11:18 PM
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It's been 45 years since the last time I could have used a full face helmet, otherwise, I find them way to hot to use as bicycle helmet.
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Old 10-06-12, 11:20 PM
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That helmet is not that bad looking. I would love to find one for my self and my daughter. Granted more for her, she is going to mess her face up big time one day the way she rides,
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Old 10-06-12, 11:27 PM
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I actually do wear a full-face helmet on my bicycles. In warm weather I use a downhill MTB helmet, and if it's rainy and cold I use a lightweight dirtbike (motorcycle, that is) helmet without vents on the top, so my head stays dry. Before I got a bicycle, motorcycles were my transportation for a number of years, so I was used to wearing a full-face helmet all the time. I tried a regular bike helmet but never could get over how flimsy it seemed; as if the small amount of protection afforded was simply not worth the bother of wearing it.

I find the chin straps and general helmet fit more comfortable with the full-face helmets too. Fortunately I have never had occasion to put any helmet's protective qualities to the test, and I suppose there are no studies comparing the efficacy of different kinds of helmets, so my choice is based on observations of crash damage I have seen.

The only downside to wearing the full-face, in my experience, is that people tend to laugh and make rude comments.
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Old 10-06-12, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ro-monster

The only downside to wearing the full-face, in my experience, is that people tend to laugh and make rude comments.
I catch similar attention when I wear my Aerostich suit on my motorbike. Rather when I am nit riding it, at a stop for gas example. Usually I enjoy the attention but sometimes it can be more of a deterrent to wearing gear.



The European style of helmet produced by "met" doesn't look like it would be much if any hotter to wear on most days. But it looks like it provides much more protection.
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Old 10-07-12, 01:24 AM
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Hipsters are about the only group I'd see as discriminating against helmet wearers.
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Old 10-07-12, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by moochems
Riding in Harpers Ferry West Virginia means lots of hills. This is great for training, but downhill speeds approaching 40 mph, on roads that are not in great shape can be scary.

[SNIP]but I bet wrecking at 40 mph on a bicycle is alot like wrecking a motercycle at 40 mph.
Riding up those hills on a bicycle is NOT a lot like a motorcycle, especially on a summer day.
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Old 10-07-12, 08:04 AM
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Protective gear on bicycles or motorcycles is always a compromise between perceived risk and what's too bulky, heavy, restrictive, uncomfortable, outside of commonly accepted norms, or otherwise ungainly. Ideally you'd be free to decide for yourself what or what not to use, but in some cases government has deprived you of that liberty.
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Old 10-07-12, 08:22 AM
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I can see nothing wrong with full face helmets for bicycle as long as you can find one that is comfortable and light weight. I'd like to see statistics on cycling head and neck injuries with currently popular helmets vs. full face or extended coverage versions. There is a study out there that showed strong evidence that elongated aero helmets actual increase the frequency and severity of neck injuries compared to more round designs with no protruding edges. If I can find it again, I'll post the link.

One of my complaints about road bike helmets is that they don't do a very good job of protecting the occipital region (lower back of the head where the neck meets the skull). While the all important occipital region is not the most vulnerable, it could be impacted in rear end collisions, multiple bike crashes, or just plain unusual circumstances. The reason I think that helmets should protect the occipital region better is not because it is the most likely to be hit, but because hits to that area can be so devastating. They can kill, leave you in a persistant vegitative state, or leave you as a ventilator dependent quadraplegic (high c-spine injury).

Last edited by Myosmith; 10-07-12 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 10-07-12, 08:49 AM
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When I was into motorcycles, I was an ATG,ATT kind of rider (All The Gear, All The Time), and wore a full face helmet any time I was on a motorcycle.

On a bicycle, there are some times I don't wear a helmet, but mostly I do, a skate/action sports type helmet, rather than one of the lighter performance mtb or road helmets.

Cycling is safe enough that helmets are truly optional, without conclusive evidence for or against either way. (See the helmet thread pinned at the top of A&S... if you dare...) That makes need for a full-face helmet even more of an outlier. Sure, I've seen some cyclists come away with a pretty messed up face after a crash, but very few, and efficacy of a full face bicycle helmet is at least doubtful... where they might definitely have benefitted from a full face moto helmet.

To get a sense of it, since you already have one, go for a moderate bicycle ride wearing your moto helmet...

Also, the sense I get is that most full-face bicycle helmets are more styled like offroad and MX motorcycle helmets -- the chin bar is there, but it has minimal padding and doubtless impact resistance, very different than construction and purpose of the chin bar on a motorcycle street helmet.
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Old 10-07-12, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Six jours
This is the reality among today's recreational cycling enthusiast. The argument that people are avoiding helmets because of appearance is idiotic.
Truly. People seem resigned to the fact that they will look dorky in a helmet. Of course, these are the same people who seem to be overly self-conscious about the idea of being seen riding a bike on the road as well...

Although it's not said, I think a fair percentage of helmet sales are made only because some newb roadie wants to fit in with the rest of the gang. Like any other peer group, you'll adopt the costuming of your kind. Also pertains to specialty bike clothing, as well.

What astounds me is the way some kids wouldn't be caught dead without a helmet, usually with personal anecdote to back it up (no matter how incorrect they state it). Rather than a fashion no-no, it's another surface on which to mount stickers, paint, express individuality, etc. I always wonder if it's more parental conditioning at that age.

Last edited by mconlonx; 10-07-12 at 08:59 AM.
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