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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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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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I didn't wear a helmet, but now do
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24.43%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions
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20.48%
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The helmet thread

Old 11-07-12, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Well, I give him as much credit as anyone else, including you, so when he says he's got a handle on the physics/math, I believe him. Maybe not all of what he has to say, but on that end, sure. He says his helmet deformed in accordance to the way it's supposed to, I accept that more than the usual, "My helmet cracked, so see? it saved my life!", because he knows what to look for and the forces involved with the material better than your average bear. Most of the people you bash here have no idea how to measure 3d deformation or that they should be looking for it in the first place.

We're still dealing with politics here, so yes, both sides are as correct as they are wrong. Just depends on your POV on this political issue. The studies both sides post don't do anything to clear up the issue because both sides use studies out of context, creating this confusing political divide for anyone coming into this for information.

In the end, despite his claims, I don't think a helmet will protect me any more than I did a few days ago before his post; a helmet won't protect me any less; but I will continue to wear one.. ...And you obviously aren't going to suddenly don a helmet because of what he says.

Again, it's the same tired "Helmet saved me!" "Did not!" bickering, just with bigger words. Do you know that his helmet didn't save his life just as he asserts? No. Does he know that it did? No. Just dealing in politics and probablities based on inconclusive studies, personal anecdote and experience. Again.
Personal experiences can be worth 10X more than any text book learning And when head meets pavement I would say most people would probably say thank goodness I was wearing one not thank goodness I wasn't... JMO

Last edited by 350htrr; 11-07-12 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 11-07-12, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Personal experiences can be worth 10X more than any text book learning And when head meets pavement I would say most people would probably say thank goodness I was wearing one not thank goodness I wasn't... JMO
...and for everyone who falls and says a helmet helped, there's someone out there who fell and didn't hit their head. Or injuries, including head/brain, were so severe, a helmet didn't matter. Or they haven't fallen in such a way that a helmet would have helped.

It's been established in this here thread that personal anecdotes are out. Like this most recent one. Even though personal experience means something to an individual, there's nothing about it which is valid in another's case.

I wear a helmet based partly on my own experience, but that's no reason anyone else should.
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Old 11-07-12, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
...and for everyone who falls and says a helmet helped, there's someone out there who fell and didn't hit their head. Or injuries, including head/brain, were so severe, a helmet didn't matter. Or they haven't fallen in such a way that a helmet would have helped.

It's been established in this here thread that personal anecdotes are out. Like this most recent one. Even though personal experience means something to an individual, there's nothing about it which is valid in another's case.

I wear a helmet based partly on my own experience, but that's no reason anyone else should.
Personal anecdotes/experiences are a good way to learn from other peoples experiences/mistakes and any particular possible outcome of a particular action/event, and should not be summarily dismissed...

Basically I guess what I am trying to say is that learning from other peoples mistakes is a lot better than ignoring them...
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Old 11-07-12, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Personal anecdotes/experiences are a good way to learn from other peoples experiences/mistakes and any particular possible outcome of a particular action/event, and should not be summarily dismissed...

Basically I guess what I am trying to say is that learning from other peoples mistakes is a lot better than ignoring them...
When that experience is filtered through someone's personal views, dogmas, and prejudices, it's up to others to sift through all that with their own value system to find something useful.

Are you down with learning from those who's mistake was wearing a helmet?
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Old 11-07-12, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Personal experiences can be worth 10X more than any text book learning And when head meets pavement I would say most people would probably say thank goodness I was wearing one not thank goodness I wasn't... JMO
OTOH, every day I'd be walking around campus futzing with a helmet saying "Why the hell did I even bring this stupid thing".
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Old 11-07-12, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Personal anecdotes/experiences are a good way to learn from other peoples experiences/mistakes and any particular possible outcome of a particular action/event, and should not be summarily dismissed...
So when I point out that during all the falls I had during decades of racing and training, including specializing in the most dangerous events on the track, I never once struck my head (helmeted or not), does that now mean you think that nobody needs a helmet and that they never help?

I suspect not. In fact, I suspect that what you really mean is that anecdotes/experiences should not be summarily dismissed as long as they support your predetermined conclusions.
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Old 11-07-12, 04:20 PM
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The graph below comes from this article on the site of the Dutch bicycle association: https://www.fietsersbond.nl/node/2070



I don't expect you to understand Dutch so let me translate: It plots for various countries the % of bikers wearing a helmet against the number of death cyclists per billion km. If anything, this should tell you that a helmet is by far not the first thing we should be worried about when it comes to bicycle safety.
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Old 11-07-12, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
When that experience is filtered through someone's personal views, dogmas, and prejudices, it's up to others to sift through all that with their own value system to find something useful.

Are you down with learning from those who's mistake was wearing a helmet?
Yes I am, I agree there are instances where wearing a helmet could be worse than not wearing a helmet, or would have made no difference, but those instances would be much less than where wearing a helmet actually helped... JMO, And I already learned a lot from this thread about different shell, different softness/cushioning factors, helmets made for hard or soft falls...

As for a scientific study, yes one MUST filter out all the personal views, but for a personal decision, one MUST learn from others experiences/probable mistakes and go with the prevailing view, but take it with a grain of salt...
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Old 11-07-12, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
As for a scientific study, yes one MUST filter out all the personal views, but for a personal decision, one MUST learn from others experiences/probable mistakes and go with the prevailing view, but take it with a grain of salt...
Which is different from the reasoning of those who don't wear helmets, how?
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Old 11-07-12, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Which is different from the reasoning of those who don't wear helmets, how?
I decide to wear a helmet because of my non belief of these so called studies, believing more in my real experiences/mistakes and also taken other peoples experiences/mistakes as I have been told about, and... I put on a helmet believing over all it's better.

The non-helmet group seems to have decided to ignore (and not learn from) other peoples experiences/mistakes as their personal mistakes haven't caused then any harm yet, and are believing the supposedly scientific studies/conclusions... Thus no helmet is better than wearing a helmet so they don't wear one...

Last edited by 350htrr; 11-07-12 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 11-07-12, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
I decide to wear a helmet because of my non belief of these so called studies, believing more in my real experiences/mistakes and also taken other peoples experiences/mistakes as I have been told about, and... I put on a helmet believing over all it's better.

The non-helmet group seems to have decided to ignore (and not learn from) other peoples experiences/mistakes as their personal mistakes haven't caused then any harm yet, and are believing the supposedly scientific studies/conclusions... Thus no helmet is better than wearing a helmet so they don't wear one...
^^^ That's what I thought. I.e. you're as much an ignorant tool as you think the bare-headers here are. JMO

Your reasoning is no different; your conclusions are. You admit that it is just your opinion, yet you discount the mere studied opinions of those who disagree with you.

Last edited by mconlonx; 11-07-12 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 11-07-12, 05:27 PM
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With over 4,000 posts in this thread, I doubt I can bring anything new to the discussion, but I'm going to try anyway.

A couple days ago, I took a spill. It was almost a non-event; I ended up with a skinned knee and elbow, and a sore hip. I also noticed a stiff neck that became apparent long after I returned home. It felt like whiplash, and I didn't think much about it at the time.

That was Monday. I didn't ride yesterday, but decided to go for an easy workout this morning. When I started to put the helmet on, I saw a big scuff on the side. I then saw a crack. Apparently my head hit the pavement hard enough to ruin the helmet, and I didn't even notice at the time.

I'm wondering what might have happened without the helmet.

Anyone who chooses not to wear a helmet knows better than I what the value of their head is.
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Old 11-07-12, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Ancient Mariner
I'm wondering what might have happened without the helmet.
Maybe nothing. Maybe you could have died. You don't know, I don't know, nobody does.
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Old 11-07-12, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
^^^ That's what I thought. I.e. you're as much an ignorant tool as you think the bare-headers here are. JMO

Your reasoning is no different; your conclusions are. You admit that it is just your opinion, yet you discount the mere studied opinions of those who disagree with you.
Exactly, I live my life according to my experience and what information I think is more relevant to me...

They live life according to their experience, and what information they think is more relevant to them...

I discard/disregard their piece of paper, they discard/disregard other peoples real life experiences... Of course we come to a different decision...

The ONLY reason I'm here is to try and make people on the fence think first before they decide whether to wear a helmet or not. I think once you have decided one way or the other change will be hard either way...
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Old 11-07-12, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Ancient Mariner
I'm wondering what might have happened without the helmet.
You would have bled out and died a miserable death.

... or, more likely, it would have hurt more, and you may have needed to apply first aid. Stitches at worst. Those are the sorts of things helmets do, in fact, seem to help with. JMO.
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Old 11-07-12, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
The ONLY reason I'm here is to try and make people on the fence think first before they decide whether to wear a helmet or not. I think once you have decided one way or the other change will be hard either way...
But people have posted their real life experiences that run contrary to yours, so whether you're deciding based on "real-life experiences" (which is anecdotal, and there's a reason it's considered a far inferior form of evidence of something ) or "pieces of paper" (studies), you're filtering out some you don't like to hear.

:EDIT: FWIW, the "common-sense" option to me is as obvious as it is to you: bicycles are safe, and I feel no more in danger riding a bike to the grocery store than walking to the mall. I'd find wearing a helmet for errand-running as silly as walking around with a helmet downtown. And the benefit is approximately the same.

Last edited by sudo bike; 11-07-12 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 11-07-12, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
But people have posted their real life experiences that run contrary to yours, so whether you're deciding based on "real-life experiences" (which is anecdotal, and there's a reason it's considered a far inferior form of evidence of something ) or "pieces of paper" (studies), you're filtering out some you don't like to hear.
Yes, but people have different life experiences...
One person crashes and only has a bump on the head even tho he wasn't wearing a helmet.
Another person crashes and has a weeks worth of memory gone and was wearing a helmet, thus the conundrum...
What would have happened if the first person was wearing a helmet?
What would have happened if the second person wasn't wearing a helmet?

I can assure you that no piece of paper would/can answer those two questions... But maybe a 100 years + of people saying what happened to them may shine a bit of light onto the subject? But oh no that's anecdotal evidence and can't be used scientifically, but maybe should be used personally to decide what one should do...

Last edited by 350htrr; 11-07-12 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 11-07-12, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Yes, but people have different life experiences...
One person crashes and only has a bump on the head even tho he wasn't wearing a helmet.
Another person crashes and has a weeks worth of memory gone and was wearing a helmet, thus the conundrum...
What would have happened if the first person was wearing a helmet?
What would have happened if the second person wasn't wearing a helmet?

I can assure you that no piece of paper would/can answer those two questions... But maybe a 100 years + of people saying what happened to them may shine a bit of light onto the subject? But oh no that's anecdotal evidence and can't be used scientifically, but maybe should be used personally to decide what one should do...
Sure, but then that isn't you basing your opinion on experience while everyone else is basing it on studies... that's you basing your opinion on some people's experience. 100+ years of a mixed bag doesn't shine much light on the subject...
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Old 11-07-12, 06:19 PM
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WOW, Are we ACTUALLY having a REAL discussion on this subject?
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Old 11-07-12, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
Sure, but then that isn't you basing your opinion on experience while everyone else is basing it on studies... that's you basing your opinion on some people's experience. 100+ years of a mixed bag doesn't shine much light on the subject...
Yes it is me and my opinion, but then so are studies, or they can be, sometimes they end up as someones opinion... Like who ever paid for it?
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Old 11-07-12, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Exactly, I live my life according to my experience and what information I think is more relevant to me...

They live life according to their experience, and what information they think is more relevant to them...

I discard/disregard their piece of paper, they discard/disregard other peoples real life experiences... Of course we come to a different decision...

The ONLY reason I'm here is to try and make people on the fence think first before they decide whether to wear a helmet or not. I think once you have decided one way or the other change will be hard either way...
Why do you discount the personal experiences of others in favor of your own? Or rather, why do you expect others to give your personal experience more credence than their own?

Why do you assume the opinions of the bare headers are based only on studies you don't agree with instead of their own first hand experience on the matter?

Last edited by mconlonx; 11-07-12 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 11-07-12, 06:42 PM
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Here is my PERSONAL experience...
I have probably crashed/fallen off the bike 10 times in my life, 9 of those times my head never touched the ground... So mathematically in my case the helmet was TOTTALY USELESS 9 out of 10 times, I could write a paper saying that 90% of the time you crash the helmet is TOTTALY USELESS and be correct. But 1 time I lost one weeks worth of memory even tho I was wearing a helmet, so, was the helmet useless or not? Hard to prove what COULD have happened so my 9 out of t 10 stands and wearing a helmet is not needed... Isn't that how it works?

EDIT; Oh hell why not add a curve ball and actually come up with a hypotheses that the helmet actually may have increased the chance on my 1 week of memory loss happening, who can prove different?

Last edited by 350htrr; 11-07-12 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 11-07-12, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Why do you discount the personal experiences of others in favor of your own? Or rather, why do you expect others to give your personal experience more credence than their own?

Why do you assume the opinions of the bare headers are based only on studies you don't agree with instead of their own first hand experience on the matter?
I don't discount others personal experiences I was just saying how I come to my conclusions and how they probably came to their conclusions...
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Old 11-07-12, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
I don't discount others personal experiences I was just saying how I come to my conclusions and how they probably came to their conclusions...
Your conclusions. Fine.

Others' conclusions. You are not qualified to comment; you are not them.

Your assumptions about their conclusions could be as wrong as their assumptions about your conclusions.
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Old 11-07-12, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Here is my PERSONAL experience...
I have probably crashed/fallen off the bike 10 times in my life, 9 of those times my head never touched the ground... So mathematically in my case the helmet was TOTTALY USELESS 9 out of 10 times, I could write a paper saying that 90% of the time you crash the helmet is TOTTALY USELESS and be correct. But 1 time I lost one weeks worth of memory even tho I was wearing a helmet, so, was the helmet useless or not? Hard to prove what COULD have happened so my 9 out of t 10 stands and wearing a helmet is not needed... Isn't that how it works?

EDIT; Oh hell why not add a curve ball and actually come up with a hypotheses that the helmet actually may have increased the chance on my 1 week of memory loss happening, who can prove different?
Now you're getting it...
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