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The helmet thread

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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.
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
342
20.48%
Voters: 1670. You may not vote on this poll

The helmet thread

Old 02-27-14, 10:21 AM
  #7026  
I-Like-To-Bike
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
My mind has been changed because of this thread...
I was wearing helmets for the wrong reasons, now I wear them for the correct ones. Many of the assumptions I'd made or been led to believe regarding helmets and cycling safety/injury mitigation were wrong. I am a much more educated rider and consumer due to this thread.
I am well aware of the incorrect assumptions about helmets' place in cycling risk reduction and "incorrect" reasons for wearing a helmet.

What did you decide are the "correct" reasons for wearing your helmet?
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Old 02-27-14, 10:50 AM
  #7027  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Actually, no. I was trying to convey the similarities, in this very specific situation. Whether helmets, seatbelts or goggles are effective in protecting the wearer is irrelevant.
"This very specific situation"??? What the hell is that?
Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
None effect how safe the user operates his or her equipment so this is the similarity they share.
**********?? Who the hell is arguing that they "effect how safe the user operates"?

(Actually, the so-called "Bare-Head Brigade" do frequently argue that helmets cause cyclists to ride in an unsafe manner.)

Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
They are all there to reduce injury when something goes wrong. Whether they are effective is irrelevant.
This is badly written. Since the object of "effective" is not stated, it would seem to be referring to the object mentioned in the prior sentence ("reduce injury").

"Effective" at what??? "Irrelevant" to what?? "reducing injury"???

Helmets could only possibly be effective at "reducing injury". They have nothing to do with "safe cycling" (no one is saying that they do!). So, effective can't be referring to "safe cycling".

Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Actually, no. I was trying to convey the similarities, in this very specific situation. Whether helmets, seatbelts or goggles are effective in protecting the wearer is irrelevant.
"very specific situation"???? Again, what???

Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
What IS relevant in this specific situation is their similar inability to effect safe user operation.
**********

This either doesn't make any sense (it's too vague) or it's a strawman. No one is saying that helmets have "an ability to effect safe user operation".
Wow! I don't think we're actually debating here and if we are, I don't think we're on opposing sides of an issue. I am, however reminded of my advanced writing class, in high school and the berating we would get from our teacher for missed punctuation and typos.

I'm going to try to reconstruct how we ended up here:
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Boardman says helmets not even top 10 regarding safe riding; LAB puts helmet use last of five in their list of safe riding attributes.

Helmet =/= safe riding. May help in a crash, but not very meaningful in the greater category of safely operating a bicycle on roads or trails.
This lead to rek's reply:
Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Helmet =/= safe riding. May help in a crash, but not very meaningful in the greater category of safely operating a bicycle on roads or trails.
Same is true with seatbelts and airbags...may help in a crash but not very meaningful in the greater category of safely operating a motor vehicle on roads or highways.
And mconlonx's reply:
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Same is true with seatbelts and airbags...may help in a crash but not very meaningful in the greater category of safely operating a motor vehicle on roads or highways.
Except seatbelts and airbags are verified to provide way more protection in car wrecks than helmets regarding bicycle crashes. Apples, oranges, and absolutely nothing to donwith either bicycle safety or bicycle helmets. Nothing. False equivalence.
And rek:
Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Except seatbelts and airbags are verified to provide way more protection in car wrecks than helmets regarding bicycle crashes. Apples, oranges, and absolutely nothing to donwith either bicycle safety or bicycle helmets. Nothing. False equivalence.
A huge pile of BS! It's the same thing, you can't have it one way for helmets and another for seatbelts and airbags, these are all safety items that may help in crash but not very meaningful in the greater category of safely operating a motor vehicle on roads or highways; or: Helmet = safe riding. May help in a crash, but not very meaningful in the greater category of safely operating a bicycle on roads or trails.

It's the same thing!!
And mconlonx:
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
It's the same thing!! [/I][/COLOR]
Not at all. There are those who would post studies about football or skateboarding helmets here and try to make equivalencies; others who claim that if a helmet is needed for cycling, obviously they are needed for climbing ladders, showering, and just plain walking along. These have nothing to do with cycling and helmets, just like safety features in cars have nothing to do with cycling and helmets.

And that whole, pesky part about airbags and seatbelts having been proven to save lives and reduce injury, where the same cannot be said for bicycle helmets.
In an effort to clarify rek's point for mconlonx, I then offered:
Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
I think rek's point is that helmets have little to do with safe cycling just as seatbelts have little to do with safe driving just as goggles have little to do with safe power-tool operation. None of these affect how safely or dangerously you operate this equipment. They are all there to reduce injury when something goes wrong. Whether they are effective is irrelevant.
I think mconlonx understood my point and replied, (apparently in too sarcastic a tone for your taste):
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Ah. I see.

So helmets have little to do with safe cycling.

Got it!
And then we devolved into your critique of my writing skills. So, let me try and explain your most recent questions.

Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
"This very specific situation"??? What the hell is that?
In comparing helmets to seatbelts, their effectiveness to prevent injury is diverse enough that this is not a fair or competent comparison. The "very specific situation" that they are similar and makes comparing them reasonable is that neither one effects how the wearer operates their equipment.

Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
**********?? Who the hell is arguing that they "effect how safe the user operates"?

(Actually, the so-called "Bare-Head Brigade" do frequently argue that helmets cause cyclists to ride in an unsafe manner.)
By lumping helmet use into the list of top 10 things that keep cycling safe, Chris Boardman did.

Then you jumped back several posts to me stating:
"They are all there to reduce injury when something goes wrong. Whether they are effective is irrelevant."
Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
This is badly written. Since the object of "effective" is not stated, it would seem to be referring to the object mentioned in the prior sentence ("reduce injury").

"Effective" at what??? "Irrelevant" to what?? "reducing injury"???

Helmets could only possibly be effective at "reducing injury". They have nothing to do with "safe cycling" (no one is saying that they do!). So, effective can't be referring to "safe cycling".
I won't disagree that I wasn't as clear as I would have liked. However, you followed that with my clarification from a newer post, so I know you saw me explain what I meant by "effective" and that being effective in protecting the wearer.

Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
"very specific situation"???? Again, what???
Again, the "specific situation" is their not effecting safe user operation. Rather than the situation of protecting the wearer.

Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
**********

This either doesn't make any sense (it's too vague) or it's a strawman. No one is saying that helmets have "an ability to effect safe user operation".
Thank you Mrs. Schliemer. I'll try to be less vague in the future.
But, again, the Boardman story we were discussing did lump helmets into a list of top 10 things that keep cycling safe.

I'll reiterate here, I don't think we had a debate about anything here, but, holy hell, I'm tired now.

Last edited by MMACH 5; 02-27-14 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 02-27-14, 10:58 AM
  #7028  
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...you had Mrs Schliemer in high school, too ? Wow, small world.
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Old 02-27-14, 01:22 PM
  #7029  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
What did you decide are the "correct" reasons for wearing your helmet?
In a bicycle crash which results in headstrike, possible injury mitigation in cases where less than serious head injury would have been sustained or might still be sustained.

Before helmet thread, I never would have included so many qualifications...

Also, helmets are way cool and I am happy to have a socially acceptable reason to wear one in public.
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Old 02-27-14, 02:27 PM
  #7030  
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
By lumping helmet use into the list of top 10 things that keep cycling safe, Chris Boardman did.
He didn't quite do that. He said it "wasn't even in the top 10" (and 9 of the top 10 is apparently some sort of secret).

And "safe" here doesn't mean just "safe user operation".

Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Again, the "specific situation" is their not effecting safe user operation.
Many of the secret "top 10" don't actually pertain to "user operation" (what the user does) directly. So, that isn't the "specific situation" at all.

Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Rather than the situation of protecting the <cyclist>.
A bicycle side path doesn't "effect user operation". (It's affect, anyway.) The direct purpose of a bike path is to "protect" the cyclist from cars.

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-27-14 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 02-27-14, 02:36 PM
  #7031  
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post

Also, helmets are way cool and I am happy to have a socially acceptable reason to wear one in public.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg
helment 001.jpg (84.3 KB, 5 views)
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Old 02-27-14, 02:39 PM
  #7032  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
Indeed.
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Old 02-27-14, 03:00 PM
  #7033  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
...(It's affect, anyway.)...
Haha! I was afraid I'd mess that one up, at some point. (I think I used "affect" correctly in an earlier post.)

And, yes, I'm choosing to ignore the rest of our ramblings. I realize this will affect my final grade, Mrs. Schleimer.
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Old 02-27-14, 06:08 PM
  #7034  
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
In a bicycle crash which results in headstrike, possible injury mitigation in cases where less than serious head injury would have been sustained or might still be sustained.

Before helmet thread, I never would have included so many qualifications...

Also, helmets are way cool and I am happy to have a socially acceptable reason to wear one in public.
If you are in accident, and if you strike your head in that accident, the helmet might reduce a less than serious injury to even a lesser injury. Got it.

Your second reason is almost as good a reason to wear a helmet as your first from a risk reduction standpoint.
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Old 02-27-14, 06:17 PM
  #7035  
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If there is a lesson to be taken from the helmet thread (other than the obvious one about wrestling in the mud with pigs) it's that helmets do not make you safe. Helmets can mitigate minor to moderate injuries in certain kinds of crashes, and almost certainly do save lives in rare circumstances, but if a cyclist is putting his life in serious jeopardy by riding a bicycle he really needs to evaluate the circumstances and take appropriate mitigating action.

The problem, essentially, is the modern idea that cycling is necessarily a life-threatening activity and that a bicycle helmet largely mitigates that threat. Both of those ideas are nonsense and pointing that out is a worthwhile effort.
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Old 02-27-14, 06:33 PM
  #7036  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
If you are in accident, and if you strike your head in that accident, the helmet might reduce a less than serious injury to even a lesser injury. Got it.

Your second reason is almost as good a reason to wear a helmet as your first from a risk reduction standpoint.
Don't you hate when someone has their gig down so tight and expressed so concisely and is so essentially correct that this is the best you can do?

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Old 02-28-14, 08:10 AM
  #7037  
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3alaramer

You say you crashed and were not hurt even tho you were not wearing a helmet. Please elaborate.

Apparently you were not "riding safe" as most of the anti helmet people insist they are doing.

I still maintain that anyone anywhere anytime may be involved in an unexpected accident, and a helmet may reduce the seriousness of the accident.
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Old 02-28-14, 09:48 AM
  #7038  
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
Sometimes that's true. More often, though, it's the "anti-helmet" people who give meaningful advice about which helmets are most effective, because they are the only ones who've actually tried to learn anything about them. The pro-helmet side comes up with meaningless platitudes and nonsense they read in Bicycling. Generally, the "anti-helmet" guys mind their manners until the helmeteers start dragging out their latest stories about the last dozen times they had their lives saved by their helmets, etc.
This is BS.
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Old 02-28-14, 12:16 PM
  #7039  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
This is BS.
Which helmets are most effective and why?
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Old 02-28-14, 12:52 PM
  #7040  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
3alaramer

You say you crashed and were not hurt even tho you were not wearing a helmet. Please elaborate.

Apparently you were not "riding safe" as most of the anti helmet people insist they are doing.

I still maintain that anyone anywhere anytime may be involved in an unexpected accident, and a helmet may reduce the seriousness of the accident.
.................#seriously
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Old 02-28-14, 03:56 PM
  #7041  
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3alarmer

Yes seriously.
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Old 02-28-14, 04:21 PM
  #7042  
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Which helmets are most effective and why?
No.
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Old 02-28-14, 04:36 PM
  #7043  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
If you are in accident, and if you strike your head in that accident, the helmet might reduce a less than serious injury to even a lesser injury. Got it.

Your second reason (Also, helmets are way cool and I am happy to have a socially acceptable reason to wear one in public.) is almost as good a reason to wear a helmet as your first from a risk reduction standpoint.
That's similar to one of my biggest reasons to wear one while commuting. I don't actually wear it in public (except while riding), but I carry it in with me. Being known as the bike commuter is fine with me, plus it keeps people in the office from potentially badgering me about it.

The bigger reason is that it holds my mp3 player and earbuds. Keeping the cables out of the way is a big risk reduction IMO.
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Old 02-28-14, 04:43 PM
  #7044  
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Seriously, I think you're nuts.....

Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
3alarmer

Yes seriously.
se·ri·ous·ly
ˈsi(ə)rēəslē/
adverb
  • 1.
    in a solemn or considered manner.
    "the doctor looked seriously at him"
    [TABLE="class: vk_tbl vk_gy"]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: lr_dct_nyms_ttl"]synonyms:[/TD]
    [TD]solemnly, earnestly, gravely, soberly, somberly, sternly, grimly, dourly,humorlessly



    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]



  • 2.
    with earnest intent; not lightly or superficially.
    "I seriously considered canceling my subscription"




.....and I'm seriously considering cancelling my subscription.
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Old 02-28-14, 04:59 PM
  #7045  
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Ha, I wouldn't be caught "dead" in a helmet....
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Old 02-28-14, 06:30 PM
  #7046  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
This is BS.
Without posts from people like you and and Ryda, this thread would be only so much pointless noise.
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Old 02-28-14, 06:31 PM
  #7047  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
I don't kNow.
fify.
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Old 02-28-14, 06:35 PM
  #7048  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
The bigger reason is that it holds my mp3 player and earbuds. Keeping the cables out of the way is a big risk reduction IMO.
Seems as legitimate a reason for wearing a bicycle helmet as most of the other oh-so-serious reasons posited by the usual suspects on this list.
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Old 02-28-14, 06:51 PM
  #7049  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
No.
OK, I'll start: POC Receptor Backcountry MIPS



Hard dual shell, rounded shape.
Designed anti-penetration protection.
Multiple impact EPP liner.
MIPS system, designed for oblique impact anti-rotation properties.

One of the few companies actually building helmets for safety rather than just meeting safety minimums. It is, however, hideously expensive, $250 retail.
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Old 02-28-14, 06:58 PM
  #7050  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Seems as legitimate a reason for wearing a bicycle helmet as most of the other oh-so-serious reasons posited by the usual suspects on this list.
(omg... )

Hmm. Very well, I hold out the olive branch of compromise:



I wear a helmet because on the off-chance that I do crash my bicycle, and in the even rarer chance that during that crash I strike my head, but only in a way which would not result in a serious head injury, it might possibly mitigate some damage which could have or could still result in a less than serious head injury, maybe.

Yep. That is seriously, technically why I wear a helmet.
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Last edited by mconlonx; 02-28-14 at 07:02 PM.
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