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The helmet thread

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The helmet thread

Old 06-14-13, 07:20 AM
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Will a helmet help if you are hit by a car doing 65-----------of course not. But if a helmet saves a person even some road rash in a slow speed accident, why is a helmet a bad thing????
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Old 06-14-13, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
Will a helmet help if you are hit by a car doing 65-----------of course not. But if a helmet saves a person even some road rash in a slow speed accident, why is a helmet a bad thing????
You like to see these yahoos here start up again don't you?
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Old 06-14-13, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
You like to see these yahoos here start up again don't you?
Rydabot auto-post feature permanently stuck on "agitate."
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Old 06-14-13, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
Will a helmet help if you are hit by a car doing 65-----------of course not. But if a helmet saves a person even some road rash in a slow speed accident, why is a helmet a bad thing????
Nobody says a helmet is a bad thing. Just that it's maybe not as great a thing as some believe. In any case, while nobody is advocating making helmets illegal, many are advocating making them mandatory.

I strongly believe it's a personal choice, and people can and should make their own decision about when or if to wear one.
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Old 06-14-13, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
, "What would Jesus do ?"
Well, I wear a helmet.
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Old 06-14-13, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
You guys are in a hell of your own design.
A helmet will melt in hell. I do not recommend you wear one there.
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Old 06-14-13, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Rydabot auto-post feature permanently stuck on "agitate."
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Old 06-14-13, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
I know I'm gonna hate myself later on for asking this, but what exactly passes for content in the helment thread ?

Are there really 225 internet pages worth of statistical studies of bicycle accident and injury, science of helment design, and similar ?

Or is it pretty much 225 pages of the same insult and invective, coupled with painful logical fallacy I've so far seen in the last couple ?
You'll understand if I am reluctant to go back and review it from the beginning, I hope.

I know this thing serves a useful purpose, if nothing else as a source of entertainment for the moderation staff.

But really..................content ? Honestly ?...........................
The whole thing reads like an existentialist play on steroids, my friend.
You guys are in a hell of your own design.
There has been quite a bit of useful discussion on these threads, including a very thorough dissection of the available science and statistics. There have also been more than a few folks who came in here swinging, but stuck around long enough to learn that the issue is not nearly as as clear-cut as the "If you don't wear a helmet you'll die!!!" crowd would have us believe.

The useful stuff is, of course, grossly outweighed by the nonsense. That doesn't, though, mean that yet another contributor of nonsense is just what we were looking for - and the 41 brand of cutesy/ironic/snark is, if anything, even more tiresome than the A&S invective.
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Old 06-14-13, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours
There has been quite a bit of useful discussion on these threads, including a very thorough dissection of the available science and statistics. There have also been more than a few folks who came in here swinging, but stuck around long enough to learn that the issue is not nearly as as clear-cut as the "If you don't wear a helmet you'll die!!!" crowd would have us believe.

The useful stuff is, of course, grossly outweighed by the nonsense. That doesn't, though, mean that yet another contributor of nonsense is just what we were looking for - and the 41 brand of cutesy/ironic/snark is, if anything, even more tiresome than the A&S invective.
So a summary of the useful stuff, if I may paraphrase for concise effect:

1. If you fall off your bike, or otherwise crash it, a currently available bicycle helment may help to avoid some degree of injury.

2. There are a great many studies of bicycling and helment usage, most of which employ statistical methods, and many of which
are suspect in nature because of some agenda by the sponsoring agency or on the part of the researcher.

3. There is a great deal of ancecdotal evidence repeated by believers in helment usage that indicate they think they do some good.

4. There is some fear, probably justifiable, on the part of helment non believers that they will be compelled to wear them by statute.

5. There is some argument, probably not supported by most of the research given as support, that helment design might increase your
risk of damage in the event of a crash on your bicycle...........thus, another excellent reason to not wear one.

6. Some people believe in and wear them, and some people do not.

........................have I missed anything ? Because my time here grows short. And I do so want to know "the truth".


You have the mistaken impression that I am a participant in the 41, when in reality, the last time I posted there I was banned for a short time.

I suspect this may not be the only area where you are misinformed, but to further speculate would only further the insanity here,which was never my intention.
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Old 06-14-13, 06:53 PM
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........page #226 WOOT !!

Just one last thing on my way out the door. If you have not yet figured it out from the
last several pages, I could give a royal rat's ass about whether any of the guys I've
talked to here do or do not wear a helment. I do know that in the emergency services
business, there's a general consensus it's a good idea on a bicycle, but it's more from
the number of incidents you go on where people are genuinely ****ed up than from any
science...........what you like to call anecdotal, but in pretty significant numbers.

And it's not just fire and ambulance guys, but ER physicians seem pretty well brainwashed
in this direction as well. Again, they see a lot of unhappiness on a daily basis, and anything
that seems to promise some degree of mitigation is gonna be embraced.......human nature.

...................................

Last edited by 3alarmer; 06-14-13 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 06-14-13, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
So a summary of the useful stuff, if I may paraphrase for concise effect:

1. If you fall off your bike, or otherwise crash it, a currently available bicycle helment may help to avoid some degree of injury.

2. There are a great many studies of bicycling and helment usage, most of which employ statistical methods, and many of which
are suspect in nature because of some agenda by the sponsoring agency or on the part of the researcher.

3. There is a great deal of ancecdotal evidence repeated by believers in helment usage that indicate they think they do some good.

4. There is some fear, probably justifiable, on the part of helment non believers that they will be compelled to wear them by statute.

5. There is some argument, probably not supported by most of the research given as support, that helment design might increase your
risk of damage in the event of a crash on your bicycle...........thus, another excellent reason to not wear one.

6. Some people believe in and wear them, and some people do not.

........................have I missed anything ? Because my time here grows short. And I do so want to know "the truth".


You have the mistaken impression that I am a participant in the 41, when in reality, the last time I posted there I was banned for a short time.

I suspect this may not be the only area where you are misinformed, but to further speculate would only further the insanity here,which was never my intention.
I believe most of the current helmets on the market have the same protection factors. The current design does the most good for serious crashes, but not much good for minor crashes.

They say that something better is just around the corner, but I have heard that before.
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Old 06-14-13, 08:48 PM
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It kind of interesting when a straight forward logical question is asked, if it embarrasses the anti helmet cult, all they do is attack the person that asked the question!!!! It show just how bankrupt their anti helmet arguments really are!!!

I can only believe that in support of their anti helmet position, they think it is better to have scalp tears, and road rash to the head and face in a low speed accident. Better to show your he-man scabs and scars than wear a helmet. I choose otherwise. Too bad they are too pigheaded to accept that. But worse yet they try to talk new cyclist out of wearing a helmet.
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Old 06-14-13, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
It kind of interesting when a straight forward logical question is asked, if it embarrasses the anti helmet cult, all they do is attack the person that asked the question!!!! It show just how bankrupt their anti helmet arguments really are!!!.
There's no anti-helmet cult. There are simply people who chose not to wear a helmet.

The simple reality is that some helmet wearers are true believers, and feel helmets are so important that everybody should wear them. If they could, they'd make that happen trough law but until then the feel compelled to ask every non-helmeted cyclist "hey, where's your helmet"

IME, there's no symmetry. Helmeted riders aren't yelled at by the members of the fictional anti helmet cult.

I'm not saying, do not wear a helmet, or that they don't help, or that they may cause other types of injuries. I'm just saying to the true believers, you take care of yourself, and I'll take care of myself, and we don't have to insult each other when we meet on the road.
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Old 06-15-13, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
........page #226 WOOT !!

Just one last thing on my way out the door. If you have not yet figured it out from the
last several pages, I could give a royal rat's ass about whether any of the guys I've
talked to here do or do not wear a helment.
Your presence here suggests otherwise. <--- insert passive aggressive smiley face of your choice
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Old 06-16-13, 06:48 AM
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The reason bent are safer, the LWB bents like mine is the fact that you cant be thrown over the handlebars. Broken collar bones is almost unheard of while riding a bent. Second, LWB bents in an emergency stop do have weight transfer to the front wheel and therefore can brake much better than a DF bike. LWB bents can stop far shorter than a DF bike. Third there is a lot less distance fall, and when you do it is usuall off to the side. On a bent since the rider sits up right and can far better view traffic and the surroundings, it is less likely that a bent rider will get sucked into an accident. It is far better to arrive at the scene of an accident feet first than head first. Lastly on my trike since it is so different than the usual DF bike that doesnt call attention to it, I almost alway get noticed and given far more passing clearance. Some of that passing clearance is thot to be that a lot of motorist may think that the trike is some kind of a wheel chair, and they sure dont want to be caught hitting a handicaped person. And on my trike I fly two tall dayglo orange flags.

Im alway glad to get the uninformed DF riders up to speed on the safety aspects of a recumbent. And yet as safe as they are, I wear a helmet every time I ride.
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Old 06-17-13, 07:25 AM
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I wonder about the mind set of the members of the anti helmet cult that think NOTHING unexpected will EVER happen to them. How can they be assured in their mind that a tire WONT blow out or they WONT hit an unexpected patch of sand or gravel in a turn? This is when a helmet may save them from some injury.
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Old 06-17-13, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
Perhaps you'd care to discuss the latest study from Canada which shows that in yet another Mandatory Helmet Law region there is little evidence that helmets prevent serious head injuries?
Is that the same one where they report that, while helmets do not prevent serious head injury (no wonder, they weren't designed to...), they do provide significant injury prevention/mitigation at less than serious head injury levels?
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Old 06-18-13, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Is that the same one where they report that, while helmets do not prevent serious head injury (no wonder, they weren't designed to...), they do provide significant injury prevention/mitigation at less than serious head injury levels?
That's the one[1]. The one which notes that injury rates were already decreasing before the introduction of helmet legislation. You did get that bit?

It's very significant, because it refutes the earlier study[2] upon which the BMA (who publish the BMJ) decided to base it's last vote in favor of helmet compulsion. They changed from a position of anti-compulsion to pro-compulsion. Unfortunately the BMA and other bodies consisting of doctors aren't quite up to your level mconlonx, so it's worth taking a good look at this study which shows that helmets have no discernable effect on the levels of serious head injury. After all, there are many other doctors and politicians and other busybodies who are very keen to save us.

1. https://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f2674
2. https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/7/3/228.full
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Old 06-18-13, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
"Conclusion:

From 1994 to 2008, we observed a substantial and consistent decrease in the rate of hospital admissions for cycling related head injuries across Canada. Reductions were greatest in provinces with helmet legislation. Rates of admissions for head injuries, however, were decreasing before the implementation of provincial helmet legislation and did not seem to change in response to legislation. While helmets reduce head injuries and their use should be encouraged, this study suggests that, in the Canadian context of provincial and municipal safety campaigns, improvements to the cycling infrastructure, and the passive uptake of helmets, the incremental contribution of provincial helmet legislation to reduce the number of hospital admissions for head injuries is uncertain to some extent, but seems to have been minimal."

You caught that bolded part, yes?

Otherwise, the report indicates that MHLs are ineffective -- to be clear, I do not at all disagree with these findings, as they support Australian studies which have indicated the same.

Still pretty funny that a staunch bare-head brigadier such as yourself would quote a study which states that helmets reduce head injury and use should be encouraged.

No, the study I was talking about reported on less than serious head injury, indicating that while helmets were basically useless as far as serious head injury is concerned, a helmet lessened chances of moderate head injury by something like 3-4x, chances of light head injury by 7-8x or so.
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Old 06-18-13, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
" While helmets reduce head injuries and their use should be encouraged, this study suggests that, in the Canadian context of provincial and municipal safety campaigns, improvements to the cycling infrastructure, and the passive uptake of helmets, the incremental contribution of provincial helmet legislation to reduce the number of hospital admissions for head injuries is uncertain to some extent, but seems to have been minimal."

You caught that bolded part, yes?
I've moved your emphasis from the point where the authors move from their opinion to the factual result of the study.

Originally Posted by mconlonx
Still pretty funny that a staunch bare-head brigadier such as yourself would quote a study which states that helmets reduce head injury and use should be encouraged.
Only if you're approaching this as there being two sides, one of which (from your point of view) is "staunch" about not wearing a helmet, and the other which is "pro-helmet" and you insist on dividing up everything you view in the world into support/opposition of those categories.

If you step back a bit and frame the question as "Have helmets been shown to reduce 1)death; 2)serious head injures; 3)other head injuries" and try to weed out studies with obviously poor methods then you get some interesting results... even from papers like the one I just quoted, which I (and you) suspect from the authors' wording suggests that they would tend to be True Believers.
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Old 06-18-13, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
I've moved your emphasis from the point where the authors move from their opinion to the factual result of the study.
Which again supports my point: MHLs are ineffectual and do little, if anything to encourage bike safey, may even work against bike safety overall.

I hope you're not citing this study as any kind of valid comment on the effectiveness of helmets regarding injury prevention...


Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
Only if you're approaching this as there being two sides, one of which (from your point of view) is "staunch" about not wearing a helmet, and the other which is "pro-helmet" and you insist on dividing up everything you view in the world into support/opposition of those categories.

If you step back a bit and frame the question as "Have helmets been shown to reduce 1)death; 2)serious head injures; 3)other head injuries" and try to weed out studies with obviously poor methods then you get some interesting results... even from papers like the one I just quoted, which I (and you) suspect from the authors' wording suggests that they would tend to be True Believers.
There's a vast range of grey between people like you and Rydabent. I'm nowhere near either extreme. Don't try to paint me as a pro-helmet fanatic -- I'm no where near the pro-helmet advocate that you are a bare-head advocate.

The way you frame the question reveals your prejudices, lumping all three categories into the same clause, conflating them, as if the answer to all three is the same, or that the frequency of each occurrence is comparable. (1 & 2), death and serious injury rates I would not expect to change with helmet use as these are not situations a helmet is designed to help with, but these are extremely rare events for cyclists. 3) Other head injuries, on the other hand, which helmets can help with, have been a much overlooked aspect of this debate until very recently, where it was shown in a study cited in this thread, that helmets helped lower less than serious head injury rates among cyclists. And while still an infrequent occurrence for cyclists, are very much more likely to happen than serious head injury or death.
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Old 06-18-13, 10:26 AM
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I will never push a helmet on anyone's head but I choose to wear one. It's an odds thing and I like to increase my odds of surviving bicycle accidents with less injury and damage to my head.

Last edited by Number400; 07-04-13 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 06-18-13, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Which again supports my point: MHLs are ineffectual and do little, if anything to encourage bike safey, may even work against bike safety overall.
It's not just MHLs. It's the use of helmets. We can fairly assume that MHL areas have higher helmet use, both through measurements which bear this out, and as a reasonable guess. So we can conclude that the widespread use of helmets does not result in a reduction of the sort of injuries that people's neurosurgeons seem to be fond of commenting on. Trying to paint it as "MHLs don't work" kinda misses the ultimate mechanisms.


Originally Posted by mconlonx
I hope you're not citing this study as any kind of valid comment on the effectiveness of helmets regarding injury prevention...
While I find aspects of the language employed by the study questionable, e.g. the phrase you were enamored of, and I wonder about how much attention the authors were paying when they cited the notorious TRT 88% figure in support of that bit that you liked I'm still interested in their factual parts of the study:

1. Head injuries were declining before helmet use was widespread
2. They found minimal reductions resulted from widespread helmet use.



Originally Posted by mconlonx
There's a vast range of grey between people like you and Rydabent. I'm nowhere near either extreme. Don't try to paint me as a pro-helmet fanatic -- I'm no where near the pro-helmet advocate that you are a bare-head advocate.
I'm not a "bare-head advocate". I'm a "don't tell ridiculous stories about what helmets can do, and don't pass legislation or comment affecting other people". That's not the same thing at all.


Originally Posted by mconlonx
The way you frame the question reveals your prejudices, lumping all three categories into the same clause, conflating them, as if the answer to all three is the same, or that the frequency of each occurrence is comparable. (1 & 2), death and serious injury rates I would not expect to change with helmet use as these are not situations a helmet is designed to help with, but these are extremely rare events for cyclists. 3) Other head injuries, on the other hand, which helmets can help with, have been a much overlooked aspect of this debate until very recently, where it was shown in a study cited in this thread, that helmets helped lower less than serious head injury rates among cyclists. And while still an infrequent occurrence for cyclists, are very much more likely to happen than serious head injury or death.
I am happy to separate them out into three questions and wasn't trying to pull a fast one there. I also appreciate (sincerely) the way you framed the question.
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Old 06-18-13, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
It's not just MHLs. It's the use of helmets. We can fairly assume that MHL areas have higher helmet use, both through measurements which bear this out, and as a reasonable guess. So we can conclude that the widespread use of helmets does not result in a reduction of the sort of injuries that people's neurosurgeons seem to be fond of commenting on. Trying to paint it as "MHLs don't work" kinda misses the ultimate mechanisms.
Again, most of the reportage indicates that there is no reduction in deaths or serious head injuries where MHLs are law. And again, helmets are not made to protect against that damage, so no changes are expected and merely confirms that helmets do little where serious injury or death is concerned. Studies looking at only serious head injury or deaths in relation to MHLs are looking at the wrong figures only because they are the easiest figures to gather.

Regarding this study, and they mentioned it within the study, results run contrary to what they might expect and one of the reasons they listed is voluntary use of helmets on the rise before starting their study.

So I take issue with your conclusion above. Trying to paint this as "No reduction in serious injury or death among cyclists where MHLs are in place, therefore helmets aren't useful" kinda misses on a lot of levels...

Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
While I find aspects of the language employed by the study questionable, e.g. the phrase you were enamored of, and I wonder about how much attention the authors were paying when they cited the notorious TRT 88% figure in support of that bit that you liked I'm still interested in their factual parts of the study:

1. Head injuries were declining before helmet use was widespread
2. They found minimal reductions resulted from widespread helmet use.
1. Helmet use was increasing before MHLs were instituted and more people riding = safer riding. The reduction in head injury rates before and during the period of their study could have nothing to do with helmet use.

2. Reductions in what? Deaths and serious head injury? Sure, that's expected. What about less than serious head injury?

Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
I'm not a "bare-head advocate". I'm a "don't tell ridiculous stories about what helmets can do, and don't pass legislation or comment affecting other people". That's not the same thing at all.
You are someone on this thread who uses bare-head advocate tactics, like misquoting studies, quoting figures out of context, and/or misrepresenting study findings to support your POV. I don't know why you'd do such things if you're not passionate about your bare-head advocacy.
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Old 06-18-13, 04:42 PM
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I'm not big on mandatory helmet laws, in fact, my son (17 at the time) quit riding to school when a cop gave him a ticket. I sell a lot of bikes and most people want one for some security. The mushroom heads seem more fashionable now days. Ha, you guys need to join those with "Stars upon thar's".
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