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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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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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The helmet thread

Old 12-30-13, 05:37 PM
  #6626  
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howsteep

And all the posts against helmets is not a mantra?
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Old 12-30-13, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit
Over the years ....
Off topic, but you left out Reduce in your signature which is > than those other Rs.
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Old 12-31-13, 02:53 AM
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John4789 call 'em like you see 'um, I'll do the same

Last edited by howsteepisit; 12-31-13 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 12-31-13, 06:04 PM
  #6629  
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Ski Helmet Use Is Up, but Brain Injuries Arenít Down

I do not contend this is relevant to the cycling helmet question but it's nonetheless interesting.

Ski Helmet Use Is Up, but Brain Injuries Arenít Down
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/sp...nted=1&_r=0&hp

(Disclosure: I believe it is indisputably true that bicycle helmets offer some level of rider protection. I often ride without one.)
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Old 12-31-13, 06:07 PM
  #6630  
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Faster, riskier skiing and more snowboarding in the mix.
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Old 01-01-14, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl
Faster, riskier skiing and more snowboarding in the mix.
One of the points I have been making right along is that there are different kinds of bicycling and thus different exposures to danger. The criterium racer, the tourist, and the grocery-getter have much different exposures yet the helmet crowd offers them the same solution.

Short version: I think you'd have to be a nut to fly down a hill at 70 MPH on skis bareheaded, but telling the nordic ski tourist on groomed trails that he has to wear a helmet is silly. That seems pretty obvious, but apparently it isn't if you are a bicycling helmeteer.
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Old 01-01-14, 12:29 PM
  #6632  
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Originally Posted by Six jours
One of the points I have been making right along is that there are different kinds of bicycling and thus different exposures to danger. The criterium racer, the tourist, and the grocery-getter have much different exposures yet the helmet crowd offers them the same solution.

Short version: I think you'd have to be a nut to fly down a hill at 70 MPH on skis bareheaded, but telling the nordic ski tourist on groomed trails that he has to wear a helmet is silly. That seems pretty obvious, but apparently it isn't if you are a bicycling helmeteer.
On that well-groomed piste you don't have huge metal objects weighing thousands of pounds hurtling along at a fast pace, nor is the piste studded with granite or concrete edges, or have patches of metal on it.

The reason a helmet is a good idea compared to shin and knee protectors is that even if you were to have an open fracture on your shin or arm, you wouldn't be dead or damaged to the point where you couldn't function. Hit your head and have an open skull fracture and you are much more likely to die or become a vegetable.
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Old 01-01-14, 10:06 PM
  #6633  
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Do you honestly believe that a few ounces of styrofoam are adequate protection against "huge metal objects weighing thousands of pounds hurtling along at a fast pace"?

And do you really believe that there is nothing a nordic skier could strike his head against? When I skied biathlon I noticed quite a few trees and boulders along the track.

As for the rest, I do not know why you brought shin guards into the discussion, but I will point out that a broken neck is a fairly serious injury, yet I have never seen a road rider wearing a bicycle-specific neck brace. I suspect that is because road riders would consider them uncomfortable, uncool, and simply not necessary for the level of risk their activities incur...
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Old 01-02-14, 01:43 AM
  #6634  
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Originally Posted by Six jours
Do you honestly believe that a few ounces of styrofoam are adequate protection against "huge metal objects weighing thousands of pounds hurtling along at a fast pace"?
It has been shown to help you protect your head in such accidents. Do you honestly believe a helmet doesn't protect your head?


And do you really believe that there is nothing a nordic skier could strike his head against? When I skied biathlon I noticed quite a few trees and boulders along the track.

On your next trip down the road, do try to pay attention to all the hard stuff along the way. do you honestly believe a nordic skier has to deal with that much hard stuff?

As for the rest, I do not know why you brought shin guards into the discussion, but I will point out that a broken neck is a fairly serious injury, yet I have never seen a road rider wearing a
bicycle-specific neck brace. I suspect that is because road riders would consider them uncomfortable, uncool, and simply not necessary for the level of risk their activities incur...
I mentioned shin guards et al because some people used those things as an argument against helmets, saying that if we were to wear helmets we should also wear those things.

Last edited by SmallFront; 01-02-14 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 01-02-14, 03:20 AM
  #6635  
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Originally Posted by Six jours
And do you really believe that there is nothing a nordic skier could strike his head against? When I skied biathlon I noticed quite a few trees and boulders along the track.
This
I have just started doing XC-skiing and most of our downhill sections are very scary. One mistake and you're in the trees/rocks and the speeds are very comparable to cycling speeds. and no braking while going down so fun fun fun
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Old 01-02-14, 03:36 AM
  #6636  
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Originally Posted by SmallFront
It has been shown to help you protect your head in such accidents. Do you honestly believe a helmet doesn't protect your head?



On your next trip down the road, do try to pay attention to all the hard stuff along the way. do you honestly believe a nordic skier has to deal with that much hard stuff?

[COLOR=#000000]

I mentioned shin guards et al because some people used those things as an argument against helmets, saying that if we were to wear helmets we should also wear those things.
Of course you can be afraid of everything you see in the city. I admit I'm scared of black ice whilst walking (the whole quarted backflip land on your neck is nasty business)
But somehow I'm not scared of all the "hard stuff along the way" whilst cycling because I tend to avoid those objects and I take due care if I have to be near a risky object.
I imagine this is the case with most European cyclists and the reason most normal day to day cyclists don't wear helmets. Cycling is only as dangerous as you make it.
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Old 01-02-14, 03:43 AM
  #6637  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
Of course you can be afraid of everything you see in the city. I admit I'm scared of black ice whilst walking (the whole quarted backflip land on your neck is nasty business)
But somehow I'm not scared of all the "hard stuff along the way" whilst cycling because I tend to avoid those objects and I take due care if I have to be near a risky object.
I will make the argument that you are underestimating the dangers of hitting hard stuff when on a bike because you are used to it, and overestimate the dangers of XC skiing because you are not. You are "near risky objects" almost all the time when riding a bicycle, not so when XC skiing.

I imagine this is the case with most European cyclists and the reason most normal day to day cyclists don't wear helmets. Cycling is only as dangerous as you make it.
I am an European cyclist, and I'd estimate that 80 percent of youngsters in cities wear a helmet, and 30-40 percent of the old farts. And, no, regardless of what you do, you can be hit by a car or fall down hitting a kerb, a bicycle, a bicycle stand, or, as is everywhere: Hard asphalt. And once again: A helmet will help alleviate head injuries if you do fall.

Last edited by SmallFront; 01-02-14 at 04:30 AM. Reason: Curb=>kerb
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Old 01-02-14, 05:04 AM
  #6638  
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Originally Posted by SmallFront
I will make the argument that you are underestimating the dangers of hitting hard stuff when on a bike because you are used to it, and overestimate the dangers of XC skiing because you are not. You are "near risky objects" almost all the time when riding a bicycle, not so when XC skiing.


I am an European cyclist, and I'd estimate that 80 percent of youngsters in cities wear a helmet, and 30-40 percent of the old farts. And, no, regardless of what you do, you can be hit by a car or fall down hitting a kerb, a bicycle, a bicycle stand, or, as is everywhere: Hard asphalt. And once again: A helmet will help alleviate head injuries if you do fall.
Yes you can get hurt if you ride too fast and don't know what you are doing. If your bike handling sucks wear a helmet. If it doesn't make up your own mind. Also there is always a chance that something might happen even though you are prepared. But that applies to everything you do. You lose control of your car, your plane crashes, you get overrun by a car whilst crossing a road on foot. You prepare with options most convenient. A helmet for me is not convenient for day to day so I ride safer so I don't need one. And I actually mean that. I do not need it because I know what I am doing. I do not fall and if I do I know how to fall properly covering my head.
It's the same thing why i don't wear studded shoes. They would be absolutely handy and smart where I live, but as I know what I'm doing I no longer slip and fall down and possibly break my ankle (as I did once. How I wished I had had studs on me feet)

If I decide to go shred some trails I wear a helmet because I make it more dangerous in chase of adrenaline.

And as a side note. If you fall down while crossing a curb etc. do you really think you should be riding anyways?

And as a final note. You mentioned earlier that an XC-skiier doesn't have to handle hard stuff. You are welcome to come here and try. even the most simple downhill can be considered hard stuff with traditional skiis.
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Old 01-02-14, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
Yes you can get hurt if you ride too fast and don't know what you are doing. If your bike handling sucks wear a helmet. If it doesn't make up your own mind.
And there we have it: A misplaced "macho" point of view, where only incompetent people wear helmets on a bike, on a motorcycle, wear a seatbelt or make use of any safety device.

Also there is always a chance that something might happen even though you are prepared. But that applies to everything you do. You lose control of your car, your plane crashes, you get overrun by a car whilst crossing a road on foot. You prepare with options most convenient. A helmet for me is not convenient for day to day so I ride safer so I don't need one.
Unless you ride in a vacuum with no obstacles, the statistics show otherwise. Unfortunately, the ones who were proven wrong aren't here to rescind their arguments.


And I actually mean that. I do not need it because I know what I am doing. I do not fall and if I do I know how to fall properly covering my head.
Yeah, the rest of us don't know how to fall, so we need the helmet. If only we could all be as good as you.

It's the same thing why i don't wear studded shoes. They would be absolutely handy and smart where I live, but as I know what I'm doing I no longer slip and fall down and possibly break my ankle (as I did once. How I wished I had had studs on me feet)
I bet you also refuse to put on your seatbelt when driving and refuse to wear a helmet when motorcycling, and think wearing a backprotector on a motorcycle is equally stupid.



If I decide to go shred some trails I wear a helmet because I make it more dangerous in chase of adrenaline.

And as a side note. If you fall down while crossing a curb etc. do you really think you should be riding anyways?
Ever had another cyclist force you into the kerb or a truck or a car? No, well, then you don't ride as much as you would like us to believe.

These things do happen. Not to all of us and not all the time, but they do happen.


And as a final note. You mentioned earlier that an XC-skiier doesn't have to handle hard stuff.
No I didn't. You are being dishonest. I said that they don't have to deal with hard stuff such as asphalt, bikes, stands, signs, pillars, kerbs, and cars like we do constantly on a bike. If you think XC skiing is equal to that, I'd hate to see what you think of going really off piste.

You are welcome to come here and try. even the most simple downhill can be considered hard stuff with traditional skiis.
You seem to confuse things. I wasn't saying it wasn't hard to do. I was talking about hard objects, which should be easy to tell if you had given my post even a cursory read.
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Old 01-02-14, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SmallFront
And there we have it: A misplaced "macho" point of view, where only incompetent people wear helmets on a bike, on a motorcycle, wear a seatbelt or make use of any safety device.
Ah, but here is your problem. You have the notion that just because a bicycle has two wheels it is dangerous. But here we have the normal apples and oranges situation. A motorcycle is capable of 120km/h in legal traffic speeds. When I'm doing my day to day (DTD from now on) I rarely go over 20km/h. See a difference? didn't think so... Same thing with cars.

Unless you ride in a vacuum with no obstacles, the statistics show otherwise. Unfortunately, the ones who were proven wrong aren't here to rescind their arguments.
Actually the statistics are in my favor in this case. In my age group in my country bicycle fatalities are exceptionally rare. Serious accidents with head injuries are also very rare.
I would go on a limb and say that over 70% of all cycling head injuries in my country happen to people over 65 years old. And I only go on a limb because I can't remember the exact number but it was 70ish

Yeah, the rest of us don't know how to fall, so we need the helmet. If only we could all be as good as you.
Most people actually do. It's hard wired. It's just that with practice as with everything you get better at it. Old people are again more at risk of fall injuries because of slower reflexes and frailer bodies.

I bet you also refuse to put on your seatbelt when driving and refuse to wear a helmet when motorcycling, and think wearing a backprotector on a motorcycle is equally stupid.
I do wear a seatbelt while driving. I don't own a motorcycle but I would wear all the necessary protective things with that also. Why? because even the lowest city speed allowed for those vehicles is over double my normal DTD cycling speed. Two and a half times in suburbia and multiple times on the average road.

Ever had another cyclist force you into the kerb or a truck or a car? No, well, then you don't ride as much as you would like us to believe.
Nope. Some close calls with a road bike but with a road bike I do wear a helmet. The road bike is not my DTD vehicle. I am trying with great effort to show you that there is in fact a difference and all cycling is not the same.
Also I live car free so most of my travel is with a bicycle. I don't count miles

These things do happen. Not to all of us and not all the time, but they do happen.
Not to me they don't, because I am prepared
Or if they do it's statistics and by those statistics I don't warrant a helmet for DTD hence I think MHL's are an idiotic anti cycling idea.

No I didn't. You are being dishonest. I said that they don't have to deal with hard stuff such as asphalt, bikes, stands, signs, pillars, kerbs, and cars like we do constantly on a bike. If you think XC skiing is equal to that, I'd hate to see what you think of going really off piste.
You don't know what XC-skiing is do you? Well then, I am going to stop talking about that then
And umm... I know how to skii off piste. I know how to skii in a dense pine forest or the avalanche ravaged spring St. Anton. But that is downhill, not XC.

You seem to confuse things. I wasn't saying it wasn't hard to do. I was talking about hard objects, which should be easy to tell if you had given my post even a cursory read.
Yeeeees... and I said that there are hard objects right next to the trail. You go downhill, cool. You go to a curve it gets difficult. You go off the curve and you are within the trees and rocks which I suppose do not qualify as hard stuff...

Last edited by elcruxio; 01-02-14 at 06:03 AM.
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Old 01-02-14, 08:04 AM
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While it has nothing to do with cycling helmets, this morning on TV there was a report on helmet use by skiers. It was about the F1 driver that is in a coma from an accident. The report said that now approx 72% of skiers now wear helmets. BTW the report said that the doctors say if he didnt have a helmet on, he would be dead.

So while it really doesnt mean anything to this thread, many posters always want to skew the subject away from bike helmets. So this is for them. It shows that people that do other sports understand that helmet are a good safety item.
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Old 01-02-14, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
...
I would go on a limb and say that over 70% of all cycling head injuries in my country happen to people over 65 years old. And I only go on a limb because I can't remember the exact number but it was 70ish
...
As much as I'm enjoying this epic nordic battle, explain this. (But please you two carry on too.)

-mr. bill
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Old 01-02-14, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by SmallFront
It has been shown to help you protect your head in such accidents. Do you honestly believe a helmet doesn't protect your head?
Actually, it hasn't. But even pretending it has, it is incapable of preventing brain stem detachment, cervical spine separation, and vital organs torn loose from their supporting vasculature - all of which can be expected when the human body is accelerated from 20 mph to 50 mph in microseconds.

I know arguing against faith is pointless, but come on: it's a few ounces of styrofoam.

Originally Posted by SmallFront
On your next trip down the road, do try to pay attention to all the hard stuff along the way. do you honestly believe a nordic skier has to deal with that much hard stuff?
Considering how much more I fell racing skis than racing bicycles, a skiing helmet would have been much more appropriate for me than a bicycling one. I know that's another point that the helmeteers are good at ignoring - or branding as "macho" - but the simple fact is that various people doing various things incur various risks, depending upon an array of factors. Trying to reduce it all to the amount of "hard stuff" present is silly - unless you believe that the grocery-getter on his 3 speed is at greater risk than the downhill ski racer. I mean, snow is soft. Right?
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Old 01-02-14, 10:53 AM
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I see a helmet as almost essential because it's a platform holding the mp3 player and earbuds, which I consider to be essential safety equipment for hearing protection.

That should settle the argument once and for all. The logic is undeniable.
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Old 01-02-14, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
As much as I'm enjoying this epic nordic battle, explain this. (But please you two carry on too.)

-mr. bill
This made me find the statistics again.
2011 there was a slightly higher chance to be in an bicycle accident if one was over 55 years old. However people over 55 represented 75% of all cycling fatalities.

And still the amount of accidents and fatalities was so low that I'm really not concerned.
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Old 01-02-14, 03:08 PM
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And here I thought in your country that old people had seven heads.

I am further curious. The study shows in your country that 20-24 year olds are dramatically under-represented in cycling injuries, is it your hypothesis that:

a) Innate cat-like reflexes deteriorate rapidly in the mid 20s?
b) 20-24 year olds live near university and first job and don't cycle very much?

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 01-02-14 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 01-02-14, 03:21 PM
  #6647  
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Who said anything about 20-24 year olds?
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Old 01-02-14, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
And here I thought in your country that old people had seven heads.

I am further curious. The study shows in your country that 20-24 year olds are dramatically under-represented in cycling injuries, is it your hypothesis that:

a) Innate cat-like reflexes deteriorate rapidly in the mid 20s?
b) 20-24 year olds live near university and first job and don't cycle very much?

-mr. bill
It more likely has to do with reflexes deteriorating with age and frailer bodies. You can also break a hip when you are older.
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Old 01-02-14, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
And here I thought in your country that old people had seven heads.

I am further curious. The study shows in your country that 20-24 year olds are dramatically under-represented in cycling injuries, is it your hypothesis that:

a) Innate cat-like reflexes deteriorate rapidly in the mid 20s?
b) 20-24 year olds live near university and first job and don't cycle very much?

-mr. bill
Of course the statistics only represent those who seek professional medical care after a crash. Those under 19 are more likely to still live with parents who want to have a doctor check out their injured child and those over 25 are likely to have a spouse with similar concerns. The 20-24 group is more likely to be living alone (or with less concerned roommates) and may be less likely to seek treatment for minor injuries that they expect to heal on their own.

Another consideration is that the figure is dealing with very low numbers (2 injury cases for 20-24 year olds vs. 10 cases for 25-29) so random fluctuations can be significant.
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Old 01-02-14, 04:05 PM
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I've watched this thread for a while and it's pretty clear that you're better off if you don't hit your head on things.
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