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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
342
20.48%
Voters: 1670. You may not vote on this poll

The helmet thread

Old 06-28-14, 09:38 PM
  #8101  
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The way I see it is, besides (trying to) look cool, what do you gain from not wearing a helmet?

Forget stats and what not for a minute: Isn't it kind of obvious that in a situation where you're crashing into the ground/pole/wall/wtv at 20km/h, a helmet will give you more protection than the absence of one? Having had 3 concussions in my young life (I'm 20 y/o; all three were hockey related), the last thing I want to do is risk having another and ruining the rest of my life. A helmet helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.

Just my $0.02...
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Old 06-28-14, 10:07 PM
  #8102  
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Originally Posted by pguru
The way I see it is, besides (trying to) look cool, what do you gain from not wearing a helmet?

Forget stats and what not for a minute: Isn't it kind of obvious that in a situation where you're crashing into the ground/pole/wall/wtv at 20km/h, a helmet will give you more protection than the absence of one? Having had 3 concussions in my young life (I'm 20 y/o; all three were hockey related), the last thing I want to do is risk having another and ruining the rest of my life. A helmet helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.

Just my $0.02...
Your experience and $0.02 sounds like you have the most to gain by quitting hockey.
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Old 06-28-14, 10:16 PM
  #8103  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Your experience and $0.02 sounds like you have the most to gain by quitting hockey.
Some bad luck and inexperience played a bigger role in those concussions than anything else. That being said, I have had to quit playing due to post-concussion symptoms that my doctor has said may stay with me for the rest of my life. You don't "quit" hockey though, maybe one aspect of it, but never the whole sport; I'm currently coaching minor hockey.

Contrary to what I believed when I was 13-14, I am indeed not invincible and truly believe that you should always do everything you can to ensure personal safety. (I'm not saying not to have fun, just don't be stupid about it!)
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Old 06-29-14, 12:48 AM
  #8104  
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Originally Posted by pguru
The way I see it is, besides (trying to) look cool, what do you gain from not wearing a helmet?

Forget stats and what not for a minute: Isn't it kind of obvious that in a situation where you're crashing into the ground/pole/wall/wtv at 20km/h, a helmet will give you more protection than the absence of one? Having had 3 concussions in my young life (I'm 20 y/o; all three were hockey related), the last thing I want to do is risk having another and ruining the rest of my life. A helmet helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.

Just my $0.02...
What if I told you that some forms of cycling are not dangerous enough to warrant safety gear and are actually on par or lower in risk levels with several other day to day activities where no safety equipment is worn.
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Old 06-29-14, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
What if I told you that some forms of cycling are not dangerous enough to warrant safety gear and are actually on par or lower in risk levels with several other day to day activities where no safety equipment is worn.
And what forms of cycling would that be?
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Old 06-29-14, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by pguru
And what forms of cycling would that be?
Depending on the person riding the bike lots of stuff. You only really need to look a few pics of the netherlands to see what day to day utility cycling looks like.

So mainly non sportive cycling in general
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Old 06-29-14, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by pguru
The way I see it is, besides (trying to) look cool, what do you gain from not wearing a helmet?

Forget stats and what not for a minute: Isn't it kind of obvious that in a situation where you're crashing into the ground/pole/wall/wtv at 20km/h, a helmet will give you more protection than the absence of one? Having had 3 concussions in my young life (I'm 20 y/o; all three were hockey related), the last thing I want to do is risk having another and ruining the rest of my life. A helmet helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.

Just my $0.02...
Would you wear a helmet for this activity?

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Old 06-29-14, 01:12 AM
  #8108  
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
Would you wear a helmet for this activity?

If I'm on the ice by myself, or with a person or two, no. GASP! WHAT A HYPOCRITE?!??!?!

The reasoning is, I'm a highly competent skater and have %110 faith in my own abilities. The reason I wear a helmet while cycling is not because I think I'll make a mistake, but because I know that not everyone on the road, whether they're driving or cycling are as skilled/experienced as they should be (to maintain a safe environment on the road). I'm worried about a driver running a red, or being doored as I pass by a parked car.
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Old 06-29-14, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by pguru
If I'm on the ice by myself, or with a person or two, no. GASP! WHAT A HYPOCRITE?!??!?!

The reasoning is, I'm a highly competent skater and have %110 faith in my own abilities. The reason I wear a helmet while cycling is not because I think I'll make a mistake, but because I know that not everyone on the road, whether they're driving or cycling are as skilled/experienced as they should be (to maintain a safe environment on the road). I'm worried about a driver running a red, or being doored as I pass by a parked car.
I'm a very competent cyclist and my bike is about the safest two wheel kind (29er). I steer clear of other road users so I'm pretty much in the clear it seems.

Also, while walking down the street you can trip, get run over by a car or plowed down by an errant cyclist. You can't really trust the judgement of others while doing something as simple as walking so why not wear a helmet then?
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Old 06-29-14, 02:47 AM
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A typical road cycling helmet is inadequate for many crashes involving automobiles and a helmet should not be considered baseline PPE for any cycling activity.
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Old 06-29-14, 03:27 AM
  #8111  
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Originally Posted by pguru
The way I see it is, besides (trying to) look cool, what do you gain from not wearing a helmet?

Forget stats and what not for a minute: Isn't it kind of obvious that in a situation where you're crashing into the ground/pole/wall/wtv at 20km/h, a helmet will give you more protection than the absence of one? Having had 3 concussions in my young life (I'm 20 y/o; all three were hockey related), the last thing I want to do is risk having another and ruining the rest of my life. A helmet helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.

Just my $0.02...


I doubt anybody is going to try to talk you out of wearing a helmet. Wear it in good health. You have a lot of company, judging by the poll results. I'm one of the very small minority who used to, but stopped.

I would guess that most non-wearers who have posted here have given the matter a fair amount of thought; aren't particularly interested in "(trying to) look cool" (maybe actually being cool, in some cases); and are aware how important their head is. They simply disagree that a helmet is necessary to keep it intact.

Considering how many accidents happen in the home, cycling is probably the safest thing I'll do today.


Palace security insists that the Queen wear a helmet, even at home, in case she slips and hits her head on the medal.

Last edited by 905; 06-29-14 at 03:30 AM. Reason: That's Victoria Pendleton, trying not to scream as the Queen pierces her chest
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Old 06-29-14, 04:16 AM
  #8112  
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Originally Posted by pguru
The way I see it is, besides (trying to) look cool, what do you gain from not wearing a helmet?
This is just a false cliche BHAs use to portray people who choose to ride bare-headed as shallow idiots who are only concerned with their image. Of course there's people who's coolness factor is the only consideration to not wear a helmet, but there are many other reasons to not wear and/or be critical of helmets.

-Helmets are uncomfortable.
-Helmet are a hassle and inconvenient.
-Helmets greatly reduce the sense of freedom associated with cycling
-There are much better ways to ensure safety than helmets
-Helmets are fairly ineffective
-Helmets distract from real safety issues, especially when they are promoted as the Holy Grail of bicycle safety, which they most definitely arent.
-Helmets often give wearers a false sense of safety, arguably resulting in too much) risk compensation.
-Helmets damage the image of cycling
-Helmets discourage cycling
-Helmets are unnecessary for the common cyclist.

A helmet helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Limiting your speed to 25km/helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Avoiding busy traffic helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Installing bicycle lights helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Mirrors help you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Avoiding mountain biking helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Staying off of unpaved roads and trails helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Only riding stationary bicycles helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Ditching your brake-less fixie helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Not riding under the influence of alcohol and drugs helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Not wearing headphones helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.

Just my $0.02...

(Just to be clear, I'm not arguing people should stop mountainbiking etc. ,I'm not arrogant enough to tell other adults what risks they should and shouldn't take, but this is how BHAs sound to me. The difference is that most of the suggestions I make are much better to ensure safety than donning foam fruit baskets.)

Last edited by CarinusMalmari; 06-29-14 at 04:30 AM.
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Old 06-29-14, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by pguru
And what forms of cycling would that be?
Cruising, for one. City biking can qualify depending on the area.
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Old 06-29-14, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by pguru
And what forms of cycling would that be?
Among other things the most common form of cycling on the planet, which would be (generally low-speed) utility cycling.

Last edited by CarinusMalmari; 06-29-14 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 06-29-14, 06:52 AM
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carinus

The first 3 and the last 3 on your list is just plain wrong. As I have stated many times, after I put my helmet on, it is completely forgotten until I get home and go to take it off.

Really would you ride down the street chanting to yourself --------Im wearing a helmet--Im wearing a helmet?
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Old 06-29-14, 06:57 AM
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carinus

You say helmets damage the image of cycling. I say it is the complete opposite. In fact I say that anyone that sees a cyclist riding with a helmet thinks that there is a person that is really into cycling.
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Old 06-29-14, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
The first 3 and the last 3 on your list is just plain wrong. As I have stated many times, after I put my helmet on, it is completely forgotten until I get home and go to take it off.
Good for you, but multitudes of other people, including yours truly, report they experience discomfort etc. when wearing a bicycle helmet. The fact that it isn't true for you, doesn't mean it isn't a legitimate argument against bicycle helmets for other people.

You say helmets damage the image of cycling. I say it is the complete opposite. In fact I say that anyone that sees a cyclist riding with a helmet thinks that there is a person that is really into cycling.
Popularity of bicycle helmets is the hall-mark of societies with a failed bicycle culture, and the most successful bicycle cultures are dominated by bare headed cyclists. Cycling takes a giant hit whenever MHLs are adopted. Popularity of cycling helmets is accompanied with the prevailing idea in those societies that cycling is dangerous. It's not the Dutch and the Danish who hysterically over-hype the dangers of cycling, it's Americans and Australians. etc. etc. etc.

Last edited by CarinusMalmari; 06-29-14 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 06-29-14, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
carinus

The first 3 and the last 3 on your list is just plain wrong. As I have stated many times, after I put my helmet on, it is completely forgotten until I get home and go to take it off.

Really would you ride down the street chanting to yourself --------Im wearing a helmet--Im wearing a helmet?
If your bike ride frequently involved these:
Post Office
Bank
Grocer
Hardware Store
Barber
Florist
Yoga Studio
Cafe
Restaurant
Bus
Train
Ferry
Etc

You would likely think about your helmet every stop you make. People who ride their bike places to do things often buckle their helmet to their bike (which could lead to theft, tampering and UV damage of EPS) or carry it in with them which can be burdensome on many errands and can result in one putting the helmet down and forgetting it and leaving it behind.

It strikes me that cycling itself is likely the end goal of most your trips. If cycling was simply the means of most of your trips you might have a different perspective.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 06-29-14 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 06-29-14, 09:54 AM
  #8119  
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Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
This is just a false cliche BHAs use to portray people who choose to ride bare-headed as shallow idiots who are only concerned with their image. Of course there's people who's coolness factor is the only consideration to not wear a helmet, but there are many other reasons to not wear and/or be critical of helmets.

-Helmets are uncomfortable.
-Helmet are a hassle and inconvenient.
-Helmets greatly reduce the sense of freedom associated with cycling
-There are much better ways to ensure safety than helmets
-Helmets are fairly ineffective
-Helmets distract from real safety issues, especially when they are promoted as the Holy Grail of bicycle safety, which they most definitely arent.
-Helmets often give wearers a false sense of safety, arguably resulting in too much) risk compensation.
-Helmets damage the image of cycling
-Helmets discourage cycling
-Helmets are unnecessary for the common cyclist.


Limiting your speed to 25km/helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Avoiding busy traffic helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Installing bicycle lights helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Mirrors help you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Avoiding mountain biking helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Staying off of unpaved roads and trails helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Only riding stationary bicycles helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Ditching your brake-less fixie helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Not riding under the influence of alcohol and drugs helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.
Not wearing headphones helps you better protect the MOST important part of your body; if that's not reason enough, I don't know what is.

Just my $0.02...

(Just to be clear, I'm not arguing people should stop mountainbiking etc. ,I'm not arrogant enough to tell other adults what risks they should and shouldn't take, but this is how BHAs sound to me. The difference is that most of the suggestions I make are much better to ensure safety than donning foam fruit baskets.)
Some or your points do actually cause safety concerns though; speed is always an important consideration when riding in public, you should not be riding under the influence of anything, unless you're a skilled fixie rider, having brakes on (while you're still learning) is probably a good thing to have, not wearing headphones allows you to hear cars coming and you should have some sort of lighting on your bike, especially if you're riding at night.

I get it, you're sick of pro-helmet people pushing their ideologies on you, and I respect that. I'm going to keep wearing a helmet, and you should go ahead and not wear a helmet (if that's the way you want to ride). Not looking to start a flame war; I'm sure we both have better things to do.
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Old 06-29-14, 10:06 AM
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I wear a giro savant.

There are days when I would to ditch the helmet but the fact that something can happen any second has me feared to go helmet less.
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Old 06-29-14, 11:26 AM
  #8121  
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Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
-Helmets are uncomfortable.
So are bullet-proof vests on cops, oxygen tanks for firemen, ropes, harnesses, and hardware for mountain climbing or rock climbing, life jackets on boats or skis, and other uncountable safety accoutrements that people routinely wear and might never actually need.

-Helmet are a hassle and inconvenient.
So are bullet-proof vests on cops, oxygen tanks for firemen, ropes, harnesses, and hardware for mountain climbing or rock climbing, life jackets on boats or skis, and other uncountable safety accoutrements that people routinely wear and might never actually need.

-Helmets greatly reduce the sense of freedom associated with cycling
So are bullet-proof vests on cops, oxygen tanks for firemen, ropes, harnesses, and hardware for mountain climbing or rock climbing, life jackets on boats or skis, and other uncountable safety accoutrements that people routinely wear and might never actually need.

-There are much better ways to ensure safety than helmets
A helmet could be a piece of the safety puzzle if you desired one.

-Helmets are fairly ineffective
This is debatable for either side of the argument. 325 pages on this thread bares proof of that. If there is no indisputable proof that bike helmets prevent head injuries, then by definition there is no indisputable proof for the opposite viewpoint.

-Helmets distract from real safety issues, especially when they are promoted as the Holy Grail of bicycle safety, which they most definitely aren't.
Maybe. Does everyone get distracted from "real" safety issues? Half the people? 10%? Or just a SWAG?

-Helmets often give wearers a false sense of safety, arguably resulting in too much) risk compensation.
So do anti-lock brakes, seat belts, and airbags, not to mention driving around in paramilitary urban assault vehicles like many motorists do. There is also a TRUE sense of security in having airbags in a vehicle that is very likely to roll over with the slightest mistake. And those vehicles have FOUR wheels. Bikes, with only two wheels pretty much WANT to fall over. Test this out. Take your bike, stand it straight up, then let go. What is the bikes "natural" rest position? Yup...on it's side. Now picture yourself ON it. The distance from where your head would be in the saddle of that fallen bicycle is your margin of error. Is it 6" or less not including head whip?

-Helmets damage the image of cycling
Probably

-Helmets discourage cycling
Absolutely

-Helmets are unnecessary for the common cyclist.
It is not easy to define "common" cyclist in the USofA. Perhaps you mean cyclists who can easily touch the ground with both feet while sitting fully on the saddle? That would be my definition of common cyclist.

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

Nice list BTW. I didn't want it go to to waste. Good points, many highly debatable IMO.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 06-29-14 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 06-29-14, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
So are bullet-proof vests on cops, oxygen tanks for firemen, ropes, harnesses, and hardware for mountain climbing or rock climbing, life jackets on boats or skis, and other uncountable safety accoutrements that people routinely wear and might never actually need.
I'm not fond of cops that wear vests at all times. Tactical gear for beat cops is BS, militarization of local police needs to end. Firemen don't wear tanks at all times, just in case. In my youth I did a lot of freeclimbing, helmet use varies in the rockclimbing world. Life jacket use varies a lot, typically dependent on vessel size. Helmet use is surprisingly low in the sailing world where head/boom impact can be a very real possibility on many craft.



Originally Posted by JoeyBike
So do anti-lock brakes, seat belts, and airbags, not to mention driving around in paramilitary urban assault vehicles like many motorists do. There is also a TRUE sense of security in having airbags in a vehicle that is very likely to roll over with the slightest mistake. And those vehicles have FOUR wheels. Bikes, with only two wheels pretty much WANT to fall over. Test this out. Take your bike, stand it straight up, then let go. What is the bikes "natural" rest position? Yup...on it's side. Now picture yourself ON it. The distance from where your head would be in the saddle of that fallen bicycle is your margin of error. Is it 6" or less not including head whip?
My bikes like to stay upright once they're rolling

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Old 06-29-14, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
..

This is debatable for either side of the argument. 325 pages on this thread bares proof of that. If there is no indisputable proof that bike helmets prevent head injuries, then by definition there is no indisputable proof for the opposite viewpoint.
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The salient point relates to this, in my opinion.

The disputed question is how probable is it that the helmet prevents a head injury. Not the conditional probability: IF you have an accident, how likely is it that the helmet will prevent a head injury. Two vastly different things.

In fact, it's Probability of accident involving a car, times probability that a car accident involves head trauma, times probability that a helmet reduces head trauma. The last of these is a fairly good probability. Most generously, 75%, less generously 33% depending on the source. Multiplied all together, the actual probability that your helmet will prevent a traumatic head injury on a given ride, is often low enough to be irrelevant.
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Old 06-29-14, 12:07 PM
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A person can drown in 3" of water. STAY AWAY FROM WATER!!!!!!!

I bicycle to Walmart, Home Depot, Publix, Winn Dixie, CVS, Walgreens and wear my helmet inside of the establishments. Never know when some shopper might mow me down with a shopping cart or I might suffer a slip and fall.
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Old 06-29-14, 12:18 PM
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The fully kitted roadies that post here against helmet reminds me of the sun deck Charlies in a very expensive ski jacket. The sit on the sun deck at the ski lodge with high priced skis that probably have never touched snow. The too know it all.
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