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The helmet thread

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View Poll Results: Helmet wearing habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet
178
10.66%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped
94
5.63%
I've always worn a helmet
648
38.80%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do
408
24.43%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions
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20.48%
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The helmet thread

Old 08-29-14, 08:06 PM
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Old 08-30-14, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit
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But you win a cookie anyway. At least I know you didn't peek at the link!
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Old 08-31-14, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours
This is a very strange post to me. It all makes good sense, but then it finishes in a way that seems a bit silly. I mean, "would you rather slam your body into a concrete wall at 30 km/h with just your bare head, or while wearing _______ ?" is as good an argument for pretty much any protective gear imaginable as it is for a bicycle helmet. Frankly, if I have to slam into a concrete wall, I'd prefer to be wearing full body armor and coated in a liberal layer of bubble wrap. And honestly, if I thought slamming into a concrete wall was any kind of real possibility, I'd just stay home.

In the real world, I look at the very slight chance of falling and hitting my head, along with the very slight protective ability of the typical bicycle helmet, and figure there's no real need for it. Everything bragi writes in his post supports that conclusion except for the last line, which almost seems as though it was written by somebody else.

<edit> The short version is that I ride in such a way as to make "hitting a concrete wall at 30 kmh" an extremely remote possibility, i.e. I have not fallen off a road bike in the more than two decades since I stopped racing. So for me there is no more reason to wear a helmet while riding than there is reason to wear one while walking, driving, showering, or any other routine daily activity. Now, none of that really applies to anyone else, and I operate under the assumption that I am not qualified to tell anyone else what they should or should not do to mitigate risk in their own personal situations. I really just wish that everyone else would operate under the same assumptions regarding me.
I agree with you that a helmet, in the kind of accident I'm likely to get into (which is very unlikely in any case), is probably not going to help much. I could probably ride the rest of my life with no helmet and be just fine. Conversely, if an idiot in an SUV rams my spleen into my rib cage, a helmet is irrelevant. However. A helmet is better than nothing, and certainly can't hurt. And there's a lot of peer pressure to be helmeted in these parts, the birthplace of helmet mania.
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Old 08-31-14, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bragi
.... And there's a lot of peer pressure to be helmeted in these parts, the birthplace of helmet mania.
I would have expected the peer pressure argument to fade out after high school.

It's sort of ironic, given that historically bicycling attracted the kind of people who were immune to peer pressure, or simply too contrary to give in to it.
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Old 08-31-14, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
I would have expected the peer pressure argument to fade out after high school.

It's sort of ironic, given that historically bicycling attracted the kind of people who were immune to peer pressure, or simply too contrary to give in to it.
The peer pressure continues long after high school, my friend. Try wearing pajamas at work, and see what happens. And helmets are the law here.
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Old 08-31-14, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bragi
The peer pressure continues long after high school, my friend. Try wearing pajamas at work, and see what happens. And helmets are the law here.
I consider law separate and distinct from peer pressure.
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Old 09-01-14, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
...historically bicycling attracted the kind of people who were immune to peer pressure, or simply too contrary to give in to it.
Just shows how old you are. I think it's been twenty years since this sport was like that.
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Old 09-01-14, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Six jours
Just shows how old you are. I think it's been twenty years since this sport was like that.
No doubt, I thought it was even longer. Now that bicycling is trendy, I might have to take up bowling.
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Old 09-01-14, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours
Just shows how old you are. I think it's been twenty years since this sport was like that.
May also depend on location. Cycling is not trendy here in my dusty little corner of the world (El Paso) - So I do need to show a little immunity to peer pressure here.
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Old 09-01-14, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
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For bonus points - can anyone ID the SHOES i am wearing? (No peeking at the link until you give up!)
Chainrings are Shimano Biopace BTW.
Still rocking the middle pair, WonB and BonW, when I'm on platforms and/or walking. (Futsal and Indoor Soccer are mostly in my past.) I wear out two pair a year.

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Old 09-01-14, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
Still rocking the middle pair, WonB and BonW, when I'm on platforms and/or walking. (Futsal and Indoor Soccer are mostly in my past.) I wear out two pair a year.

-mr. bill
Nice.

The list of shoes I wear on platform pedals is long and full of variety. Anything from dress shoes to Crocs.
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Old 09-04-14, 08:30 AM
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Here's an interesting read about the helmet controversy done intellectually unlike what most are doing here!

https://www.roadbikerider.com/current-newsletter
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Old 09-04-14, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
Here's an interesting read about the helmet controversy done intellectually unlike what most are doing here!

https://www.roadbikerider.com/current-newsletter
If you'll indulge my curiosity, what arguments are made there that haven't been presented in this thread?
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Old 09-04-14, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
If you'll indulge my curiosity, what arguments are made there that haven't been presented in this thread?
Not necessarily an argument, at least not by logical/rational standards, but bragging about a physical shrine to helmets built by a true believer? Now that is something new!
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Old 09-04-14, 10:25 AM
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Seems that to many, if its posted in a blog it must be fact.
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Old 09-04-14, 10:53 AM
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I'm always interested in the anti-helmet arguments.

Example, the materials testing required for all helmets, the drop test, does not replicate real-world crashes. No, it does not, it is not meant to replicate a real-world event, it is a test of the material and only the material. However, top manufactures do a lot of additional testing:

Clearly, a helmet at a big-box store from a no-name company is only going to pass the material test, that's why it's so cheap.

I can not think of one good reason to go without my helmet. I have many examples about how the helmet will not save you from any crash. I have no delusions about limitation of a helmet. Likewise, the seat belt in my car is not going to save me from all collisions, but it will help more than it will hurt; therefore, I always wear a seat belt. Same with helmets, I cannot think of a way the helmet will cause me more injuries than not having the helmet, so I always wear a helmet.

Footnote, you make your own decisions about your head and helmet, not my issue. You have to live with any possible consequences.
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Old 09-04-14, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Not necessarily an argument, at least not by logical/rational standards, but bragging about a physical shrine to helmets built by a true believer? Now that is something new!
That struck me too as not necessarily an example of intellectual debate. And his admission that he "bristles" at mention of arguments contrary to his own opinions.
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Old 09-04-14, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
Clearly, a helmet at a big-box store from a no-name company is only going to pass the material test, that's why it's so cheap.
Bell is the most common adult helmet brand in big-box stores around here. Not exactly no-name, and owned by the same company as Giro.

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Old 09-04-14, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
Bell is the most common adult helmet brand in big-box stores around here. Not exactly no-name, and owned by the same company as Giro.
Sorry, I mean a no-name brands at the big-box store. There are good helmets at the big-box store. Just sayin' I'd avoid a no-name helmet from a big-box, they likely are lacking the best/latest design. I ride a Bell helmet these days, Bell is a name I trust.
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Old 09-04-14, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
If you'll indulge my curiosity, what arguments are made there that haven't been presented in this thread?
In essence, none. But the new twist is John the blogger responding correctly that helmets are not solely responsible for less safety for cyclists in response to Tim's typical arguments against helmet use. Otherwise, it's a re-hash of the same things presented here, complete with erroneous arguments on both sides.

Jim, the guy with 36 broken helmets in his shed, and his friends don't appear to ride very safely...
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Old 09-04-14, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
I'm always interested in the anti-helmet arguments.
...Same with helmets, I cannot think of a way the helmet will cause me more injuries than not having the helmet, so I always wear a helmet
....
I don't put much stock in the claims that a helmet leads to greater injury or different injuries, and even less in the claim that people ride more carefully without a helmet. But here are a few common claims, with one or two that I've added just for fun.

Rotational injuries. Sudden rotations are the most serious danger for concussions (true), and the extended area of the helmet makes it more likely to catch on something and twist the head. (hasn't been demonstrated). The extra mass of the helmet makes rotational injuries more likely (maybe) or makes them worse (unlikely IMO).

Impacts. Having a larger volume, the helmet is more likely to hit against something.

Heat. The helmet obstructs air flow causing the body to retain more heat.

The following are mine:

Stinging insects. The helmet can trap insects which leads to stinging injuries. It may seem minor, but I've had about as many insects in my helmet as I've had scalp wounds when not wearing one.

Tumbling. The helmet's weight and bulk could interfere with your natural or trained rolling recovery. Particularly the helmets with a thick piece covering on the back of the head, and those with aero extensions in back.

Social aggression. As part of the costume, along with tight spandex and other accessories, it can feed the negative stereotype of "spandex cyclists" held by some in the general public. Dangerous driving as well as physical aggression may ensue.

Dangling straps. When you finally take it off and if you're holding it by one strap, or have a strap looped over the hood, the other strap can become entangled in the spokes leading to an accident. That may not count, being more of a misuse than use, but I include it as one of the more dangerous potential consequences. Also adjusting, taking it off, putting it on, or strapping to the handlebar while in motion and riding no-hands increases your danger.
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Old 09-04-14, 01:23 PM
  #8647  
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Thank you! I do love this stuff (and i'm not trolling, it is interesting to me). I talk it over with a friend all the time, he doesn't where a helmet most of the time and I always do.

Originally Posted by wphamilton
Stinging insects. The helmet can trap insects which leads to stinging injuries. It may seem minor, but I've had about as many insects in my helmet as I've had scalp wounds when not wearing one.
With my helmet or without my helmet, the wasp will still sting me in the lip (happened last week). Or in the collar bone (happened 4 weeks ago). Neither were "stuck" to me by an obstruction, but stung me never the less.

Originally Posted by wphamilton
Tumbling. The helmet's weight and bulk could interfere with your natural or trained rolling recovery. Particularly the helmets with a thick piece covering on the back of the head, and those with aero extensions in back.
I don't disagree with this point, but I don't wear the aero helmets, never really saw the point. I prefer the Bern style helmet. My current helmet is a Bell Muni. But if you put the aero helmet on backwards, it would help right:



(Full disclosure - this is a GoPro screen capture from a helmet mounted GoPro, and this is a bad idea, the helmet is less effective and possible damaging with the camera mounted)

Originally Posted by wphamilton
Social aggression. As part of the costume, along with tight spandex and other accessories, it can feed the negative stereotype of "spandex cyclists" held by some in the general public. Dangerous driving as well as physical aggression may ensue.
By this same logic, we should all ride city bikes (cars give me more room on my city bike than my road bikes). Or we should all pull a trailer, drivers expect a child in the trailer, but I use a BOB freight trailer and get much more room from cars with BOB. Or we should mount a child seat on the back of the bike, I've been told that will get you a lot more room too.

I have many 'looks' while biking, I notice changes by drivers based on the look. In a kit on a road bike, I will get the most aggressive/dangerous drivers, but I can't image removing my helmet will change anything as long as I'm riding a road bike with tight shorts and a jersey.

Originally Posted by wphamilton
Dangling straps. When you finally take it off and if you're holding it by one strap, or have a strap looped over the hood, the other strap can become entangled in the spokes leading to an accident. That may not count, being more of a misuse than use, but I include it as one of the more dangerous potential consequences. Also adjusting, taking it off, putting it on, or strapping to the handlebar while in motion and riding no-hands increases your danger.
I have no answer to this except, when in motion, helmet on head. That's too damn simple, but I can't think of a time I've been riding my bike with my helmet any place other than the top of my head.

I'm totally OK with your choice and reasons. Just giving my counter-points, right or wrong, they're my perspective.
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Old 09-04-14, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
I have many 'looks' while biking, I notice changes by drivers based on the look. In a kit on a road bike, I will get the most aggressive/dangerous drivers, but I can't image removing my helmet will change anything as long as I'm riding a road bike with tight shorts and a jersey.
I don't really see any change in drivers whether I'm wearing the full costume or jeans and t-shirt. I just added that for fun. But, I know, comic relief doesn't really work in this thread.
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Old 09-04-14, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
I don't really see any change in drivers whether I'm wearing the full costume or jeans and t-shirt. I just added that for fun. But, I know, comic relief doesn't really work in this thread.
HA! That ^^^ worked great for me!

I do see a change in aggression when I change bikes, but I change clothes too. I never wear the full dork costume on the city bike, but I very rarely wear cut-offs on the road bike.
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Old 09-04-14, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
I can not think of one good reason to go without my helmet.
So I'm assuming you never take it off?
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