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The helmet thread

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View Poll Results: Helmet wearing habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet
178
10.66%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped
94
5.63%
I've always worn a helmet
648
38.80%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do
408
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 10-30-11, 12:37 AM
  #401  
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They're a business. I don't expect them to invest in things not related to their business any more than I would any other business. I'm interested in spreading information and dismissing misinformation, not criticizing a company for doing what is in it's best interest. As long as they aren't making false claims, they are acting exactly as they should. To expect otherwise is silly.
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Old 10-30-11, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
They're a business. I don't expect them to invest in things not related to their business any more than I would any other business. I'm interested in spreading information and dismissing misinformation, not criticizing a company for doing what is in it's best interest. As long as they aren't making false claims, they are acting exactly as they should. To expect otherwise is silly.
According to closetbiker, companies like Bell do make false claims, but not directly, they fund outside organizations to do it for them.
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Old 10-30-11, 06:46 AM
  #403  
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Yeah, I don't really have a problem with that.
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Old 10-30-11, 08:37 AM
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Got yourself painted into some sort of corner there, haven't you?
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Old 10-30-11, 09:35 AM
  #405  
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Companies like Bell directly benefit by misleading and false claims made by others at the expense of cycling safety
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Old 10-30-11, 10:33 AM
  #406  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
Companies like Bell directly benefit by misleading and false claims made by others at the expense of cycling safety
Indeed, but I'm more concerned with addressing said claims than attacking the one benefiting.
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Old 10-30-11, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by hagen2456
Got yourself painted into some sort of corner there, haven't you?
How so?
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Old 10-30-11, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
How so?
Well, it's kinda like saying "I don't approve of murder - that is, only if it's done by a hired killer".
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Old 10-30-11, 11:37 AM
  #409  
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Originally Posted by hagen2456
Well, it's kinda like saying "I don't approve of murder - that is, only if it's done by a hired killer".
Ooo -- fine vintage of anti-helmet hyperbole you got going on there.
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Old 10-30-11, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
Indeed, but I'm more concerned with addressing said claims than attacking the one benefiting.
and I don't have a problem with a company making a profit, but I do when some people claim they are not taking part in that profit.

Last edited by closetbiker; 10-30-11 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 10-30-11, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
and I don't have a problem with a company making a profit, but I do when some people claim they are not taking part in that profit.
Wait a minute... you talkin' 'bout me...?
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Old 10-30-11, 11:58 AM
  #412  
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Wait a minute... you talkin' 'bout me...?
not at all. You've been quite up front about your profiting from your customers impressions
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Old 10-30-11, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
not at all. You've been quite up front about your profiting from your customers impressions
FYI, I just looked at our numbers. About 2% of store revenue from helmet sales. While technically there is some profit there, you'll have to explain to me and others how that 2% justifies any kind of slanted sales toward helmets. Hardly worth it. I'd rather sell someone something beneficial and at much more margin, like new cables and housing with installation fee on a bike that desperately needs it.
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Old 10-30-11, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
FYI, I just looked at our numbers. About 2% of store revenue from helmet sales. While technically there is some profit there, you'll have to explain to me and others how that 2% justifies any kind of slanted sales toward helmets. Hardly worth it. I'd rather sell someone something beneficial and at much more margin, like new cables and housing with installation fee on a bike that desperately needs it.
just out of curiosity, do you have any idea of what the helmet to Can-Bike course sales ratio is?

I do know there are fewer than 100 people a year take this course in BC and I'm sure helmet sales far eclipse this.

It seems the consumer is making a choice about what they want to spend their safety dollars on

Last edited by closetbiker; 10-30-11 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 10-30-11, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
just out of curiosity, do you have any idea of what the helmet to Can-Bike course sales ratio is?

I do know there are fewer than 100 people a year take this course in BC and I'm sure helmet sales far eclipse this.

It seems the consumer is making a choice about what they want to spend their safety dollars on
We are a USA shop -- no Can-Bike courses on offer. We did offer a LAB Traffic Safety 101 course (helmets required). Ratio of $$$ spent on false safety (helmets) vs. real safety (road safety course) is about 12:1, which is actually a much better ratio than I expected. Difference is the shop makes money on helmets; shop space was offered gratis for safety course.

^^^ Gets me thinkin'...
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Old 10-30-11, 01:07 PM
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12:1 Isn't that an indication of helmet promotion as a substitute for safety?

Offering free safety courses would be a more beneficial way to improve safety for your customers and keep 'em coming back

Last edited by closetbiker; 10-30-11 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 10-30-11, 01:12 PM
  #417  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
12:1 Isn't that an indication of helmet promotion as a substitute for safety?
No, it's not. We do not promote helmets as a substitute for safe riding. And I outlined exactly where that 12:1 figure came from -- where's your point of contention?

Originally Posted by closetbiker
offering free safety courses would be a more beneficial way to improve safety for your customers and keep 'em coming back
We were offering free safety courses, along with free tire change instruction and basic maintenance seminars. Sparsely or not attended, so we cut them. You got me thinking, though -- perhaps if we charged for these courses... I can totally see it: "Sure, you could buy a helmet for $60, but for the same money, you could take a safety course through us, which would arguably serve you better in the long run from a safety perspective."

Lots more margin on a safety course with basically no COGS...

Last edited by mconlonx; 10-30-11 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 10-30-11, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Ooo -- fine vintage of anti-helmet hyperbole you got going on there.
AWWWW, come on - seriously, all I do is to point out that Sudo Bike on the face of it is expressing that double standards are all right. Not that I feel it's a big issue, just a light jab from my side, really.


And I must say that I totally fail to see any anti-helmet hyperbole in my post.
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Old 10-30-11, 02:15 PM
  #419  
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Originally Posted by hagen2456
AWWWW, come on - seriously, all I do is to point out that Sudo Bike on the face of it is expressing that double standards are all right. Not that I feel it's a big issue, just a light jab from my side, really.


And I must say that I totally fail to see any anti-helmet hyperbole in my post.
It's the equivalency that's the issue on my end: comparing helmet companies and their proxies who falsely promote helmets for features they do not provide vs. a would-be murder conspiracy.

Seriously?
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Old 10-30-11, 02:19 PM
  #420  
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
... point of contention? ...
That people will pay more to "buy" safety, than put in an effort to be safe.

It's an illusion they're chasing
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Old 10-30-11, 02:22 PM
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If MHLs decrease ridership, why would helmet industry or their proxies lobby for such? Wouldn't that severely cut down on their market for bike helmets?

Or do we think they've done the analysis -- captive market forced to wear helmets = greater profit than free market with choice to wear helmets or not -- and come to the conclusion that they will sell more helmets if helmets are mandated?
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Old 10-30-11, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
That people will pay more to "buy" safety, than put in an effort to be safe.

It's an illusion they're chasing
So...

Is this a basic human failure, one that can be demonstrated again and again, even outside the bike industry? Do we think that helmet companies are unjustly capitalizing on this tendency? It's been claimed that they foster such, but even if they didn't, wouldn't they still sell helmets based on peoples' usual habits and assumptions?

Meaning: do helmet companies even need to foster the perception that helmets save lives, or will people naturally assume such and take the easy route out -- helmet/pill vs. safety course/lifestyle change?

Is this the helmet companies' fault? As a business, do they owe it to their shareholders to talk people out of buying their product?
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Old 10-30-11, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
If MHLs decrease ridership, why would helmet industry or their proxies lobby for such? Wouldn't that severely cut down on their market for bike helmets?
I think you've answered your own question there

Originally Posted by mconlonx
..they will sell more helmets if helmets are mandated
As shown all over the world, when helmets are mandated, more helmets are bought. It doesn't matter to them that fewer people ride bikes, or what happens to the people riding those bikes, what they want are laws to ensure sales to sustain their profits
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Old 10-30-11, 02:33 PM
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Thread link summary:

Originally Posted by chasm54
Have you tried this? I know many will not regard it as neutral because it is very clear about the flaws in the pro-helmet position, but it does offer a fairly dispassionate analysis of the available evidence.

Originally Posted by sudo bike
If you insist...
Head injuries and bicycle helmet laws

D. L. Robinson

AGBU, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
Accepted 6 February 1996. ; Available online 26 February 1999.
Abstract

The first year of the mandatory bicycle helmet laws in Australia saw increased helmet wearing from 31% to 75% of cyclists in Victoria and from 31% of children and 26% of adults in New South Wales (NSW) to 76% and 85%. However, the two major surveys using matched before and after samples in Melbourne (Finch et al. 1993; Report No. 45, Monash Univ. Accident Research Centre) and throughout NSW (Smith and Milthorpe 1993; Roads and Traffic Authority) observed reductions in numbers of child cyclists 15 and 2.2 times greater than the increase in numbers of children wearing helmets. This suggests the greatest effect of the helmet law was not to encourage cyclists to wear helmets, but to discourage cycling.

Author Keywords: Bicycle; Head injury; Helmet; Legislation
Originally Posted by closetbiker

A far more realistic site that addresses the helmet issue is the first one I provided on this new version of the thread,

https://bicyclesafe.com

If one is interested in studies and analysis, far more qualified anaylsis and opinions can be found at https://cyclehelmets.org/

------------------------------

a worthwhile read is the wiki entry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet <-- Grand-daddy/mommy mother/fatherlode of helmet study linkage in the text and references at the bottom

Originally Posted by buzzman
...I would suggest going to this site, which provides objectively collected data, some pro-helmet interpretations and links to sites which counter their views:

https://www.bhsi.org

For researched rational responses to many of the negatives about helmets I would suggest this site:

https://www.bhsi.org/negativs.htm
Originally Posted by closetbiker
It's not common to receive head injuries on bikes any more than it is to receive them off a bike, which is, not not common.

Here's another link....
Originally Posted by closetbiker
[helmets/helmet advocates] promote injury.
Originally Posted by sudo bike
If the scalp helps reduce rotational injury to the brain by helping the head slide along pavement rather than catch, and a helmet reduced this effect, doesn't it stand to reason that at least in these sorts of accidents a helmet mitigates the effect of the scalp?

Again, why do you think they are now trying to replicate this "scalp effect" in new helmets? What would be the purpose if it were not effective?

"It has been suggested that the major causes of permanent intellectual disablement and death after head injury may be torsional forces leading to diffuse axonal injury (DAI), a form of injury which usual helmets cannot mitigate and may make worse.[68]"

"A bicycle helmet with its own synthetic "scalp" has been designed with the aim of mitigating rotational injury.[71]"
Originally Posted by closetbiker
don't forget the paper the Australian judge read prior to rendering a decision:

The testing and design of standard helmets continue to reflect the discredited theory that linear acceleration is the dominant cause of brain injury and to neglect rotation.

and another study examining a vital lack of coverage by the bicycle helmet

The common designs of commercially available bicycle helmets do not prevent direct contact loading on the temporal and zygomatic arch region and this contact loading is potentially harmful.

has been shown in court to be common knowledge in the helmet industry

It has been known for years by the helmet industry that the majority of head impacts occur below the "test line," and that the majority of injurious impacts are concentrated in the front or temporal region.

but this issue of protection (or lack thereof) may be completely moot because

1) On a per-mile basis, the odds of being killed or sustaining a serious head injury while riding a bicycle are about the same as the odds of being killed or injured while out for a walk.

2) On a per-capita basis, the odds of being killed while riding a bicycle are nearly the same as the odds of being killed by a bolt of lightning (this author has, in fact, been struck by lightning -- albeit indirectly -- so he is well aware that "extremely improbable" is not quite the same as "impossible"); the odds of sustaining a serious head injury while riding a bicycle are about half the odds of sustaining a serious injury while out for a walk.
Originally Posted by closetbiker
if you continue to be worried about hurting your head from falling over, you may want to wear your helmet while walking as well because,

The tests that cycle helmets currently go through mean that they should offer similar protection to a pedestrian who trips and falls to the ground.
Originally Posted by closetbiker
a bicycle helmet is not designed for impacts with other vehicles.

Impacts with other vehicles introduces additional forces that were not designed for... here's a third source that explains a bit more "when a cyclist is knocked off by another vehicle, this frequently results in the head being spun and subjected to torsional effects. One consequence of this is that they tend not to hit the ground as cleanly as children who are typically involved in low-impact, non-twisting injuries,"
Originally Posted by closetbiker
according to the Canada Safety Council, it is more important to wear a helmet than text while cycling

Paying attention to riding and avoiding distractions from cellphones and music players ranks second on the Canada Safety Council's top tips for improving cycling safety — behind wearing a helmet
And people question helmet skeptics when they say helmet promotion reduces cycling safety?

I'm going to try to keep this updated and posted every five pages or so. Previous posts will not reflect current changes, but links will be updated to current page. Meaning, links here are copied from previous post on page 12 and include links up to page 17, but from here on out, post on page 12 will not reflect any links posted subsequent to this update. This post will be updated as more links are added, until it is copied.
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Old 10-30-11, 02:34 PM
  #425  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
I think you've answered your own question there



As shown all over the world, when helmets are mandated, more helmets are bought. It doesn't matter to them that fewer people ride bikes, or what happens to the people riding those bikes, what they want are laws to ensure sales to sustain their profits
Wouldn't a bigger market, or a market which would expand as a result of no MHL be a bigger draw?
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