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Helmets cramp my style

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Helmets cramp my style

Old 08-21-08, 06:52 AM
  #3701  
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...where do you think you are posting, Foo?
Yes

Where AM I**********

And there is your brain proof! I ponder, therefore, I am!

Didn't claim that it was a very good brain tho.
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Old 08-21-08, 07:37 AM
  #3702  
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Looks like I don't fit the responible riding mold either, since I was the only person involved in both my mishaps and riding in a legal manner.
here's a flash. Cyclists fall. Just like everyone else does. They aren't all severely injured when they do so. Very few have been.
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Old 08-21-08, 07:53 AM
  #3703  
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
Maybe you should quit trying to pass your personal anecdotes and wild-assed guesses as valid and conclusive evidence.


It doesn't take rocket scientry to determine that my helmet with it's two large cracks and a considerable indentation in between them caused some energy assorption, just about any layman can figure that one out.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:08 AM
  #3704  
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Originally Posted by randya View Post
breaking of the foam is actually part of the energy absorbing function of the helmet
no it's not.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet

[cycle helmets] are intended to reduce acceleration to the head due to impact, as a stiff expanded polystyrene liner is crushed.

and from

https://www.helmets.org/general.htm

Helmets designed to handle major crash energy generally contain a layer of crushable foam. When you crash and hit a hard surface, the foam part of a helmet crushes, controlling the crash energy and extending your head's stopping time by about six thousandths of a second (6 ms) to reduce the peak impact to the brain...Thicker foam is better, giving your head more room and milliseconds to stop.

I emailed Randy (the guy who'd behind the BHSI) and asked about all the stories I've heard about helmets breaking apart.

he said,

"a helmet should take all of the lab testing without breaking up, a helmet should not break in the field either, just crush where necessary. In fact, they do break, both in the lab and in the field. Manufacturers try to pass this off as part of the foam's way of managing impact, while at the same time building in various types of internal and external reinforcement to try to prevent it. The fact that some helmets still break in the field indicates that we need to do more work in this area."

Newer designs of helmets that have more venting uses stiffer foam to pass the standards test may be less safe

A section on Wikipedia's entry on bicycle helmets, Criticism of current standards; new designs, says,

Helmet liners may be too stiff to be effective. Some standards require the use of headforms heavier and more rigid than the human head; these are more capable of crushing foam than is the human head. In real accidents "very little crushing of the liner foam was usually evident... What in fact happens in a real crash impact is that the human head deforms elastically on impact. The standard impact attenuation test making use of a solid headform does not consider the effect of human head deformation with the result that all acceleration attenuation occurs in compression of the liner. Since the solid headform is more capable of crushing helmet padding, manufacturers have had to provide relatively stiff foam in the helmet so that it would pass the impact attenuation test... As the results in Figure 15 illustrate, the child skull is far from being solid and will deform readily on impact. This fact is well known in the medical field and is largely why a child who has had a rather modest impact to the head is usually admitted to hospital for observation. The substantial elastic deformation of the child head that can occur during impact can result in quite extensive diffuse brain damage."
In real accidents, while broken helmets are common, it is extremely unusual to see any helmet that has compressed foam and thus may have performed as intended. “Another source of field experience is our experience with damaged helmets returned to customer service... I collected damaged infant/toddler helmets for several months in 1995. Not only did I not see bottomed out helmets, I didn’t see any helmet showing signs of crushing on the inside.”
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Old 08-21-08, 08:09 AM
  #3705  
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
It doesn't take rocket scientry to determine that my helmet with it's two large cracks and a considerable indentation in between them caused some energy assorption, just about any layman can figure that one out.
just about any layman can make a wild-assed guess
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Old 08-21-08, 08:11 AM
  #3706  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
here's a flash. Cyclists fall. Just like everyone else does. They aren't all severely injured when they do so. Very few have been.


True, I've fallen off a bike/motorcycle a number of times without any major injuries requiring ER or extensive hospital stays(probably should have went to the ER on the first head impact incident), but the odds have caught up with me twice so far on hitting my head. Since I've experienced first hand the effects of hitting my head with and without a helmet, I now choose to wear a helmet.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:17 AM
  #3707  
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good for you, no one is saying to not wear a helmet.

The question is, what would have happened had you not when you bumped your head. You seem to feel something would have happened, others may think what you feel is not necessarily what would have happened.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:24 AM
  #3708  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
good for you, no one is saying to not wear a helmet.

The question is, what would have happened had you not when you bumped your head. You seem to feel something would have happened, others may think what you feel is not necessarily what would have happened.
When I hit my head in the second incident with a helmet, in virturally the same manner as the first incident ,at a faster speed, with much less injury, that's enough evidence to convince me personally to continue wearing a helmet. Use whatever information you want to convince yourself to or not wear a helmet, that's your choice.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:41 AM
  #3709  
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I've worn a helmet for over 21 years and it's clear no one needs to look at any evidence to convince themselves of anything.

You've looked at very little evidence and have convinced yourself of something and what much less injury means, it's hard to say. I think you'll find most agree a helmet can help with superficial injury. If much less injury means, superficial injury, we're on the same page.

I've found it's better (for just about anything) to be informed than not be informed.

Guessing isn't worth much but I guess understanding takes more effort and that's pretty discouraging for lots of people.

Last edited by closetbiker; 08-21-08 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 08-21-08, 11:32 AM
  #3710  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
no it's not.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet

[cycle helmets] are intended to reduce acceleration to the head due to impact, as a stiff expanded polystyrene liner is crushed.

and from

https://www.helmets.org/general.htm

Helmets designed to handle major crash energy generally contain a layer of crushable foam. When you crash and hit a hard surface, the foam part of a helmet crushes, controlling the crash energy and extending your head's stopping time by about six thousandths of a second (6 ms) to reduce the peak impact to the brain...Thicker foam is better, giving your head more room and milliseconds to stop.
Well... there you go... THEY WORK! Bare head can't do what even the thinnest foam helmet can do.
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Old 08-21-08, 11:36 AM
  #3711  
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
When I hit my head in the second incident with a helmet, in virturally the same manner as the first incident ,at a faster speed, with much less injury, that's enough evidence to convince me personally to continue wearing a helmet. Use whatever information you want to convince yourself to or not wear a helmet, that's your choice.
I agree. Having been in an accident myself and having had a helmet I can definitely say they work. Yeah it was a motorcycle crash, but it proved the simple equation:

Any Helmet > Bare head

which is what I've been preaching about all along. I do agree that the current helmets could be improved. But that doesn't mean one shouldn't wear any of the current breed because they're not 100% effective. In any case, Helmet > Bare head so wear one.

It's smarter to err on the side of caution.
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Old 08-21-08, 12:15 PM
  #3712  
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Originally Posted by Zeuser View Post
Well... there you go... THEY WORK! Bare head can't do what even the thinnest foam helmet can do.
Originally Posted by Zeuser View Post
Any Helmet > Bare head

which is what I've been preaching about all along. I do agree that the current helmets could be improved. But that doesn't mean one shouldn't wear any of the current breed because they're not 100% effective. In any case, Helmet > Bare head so wear one....
I think what's being discussed at this point is less about if helmets can do some good in some situations when they work and more to do with the misplaced faith in helmets ability to prevent any number of life threatening injuries, and the incorrect belief that a broken/shattered helmet has worked as intended.
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Old 08-21-08, 12:22 PM
  #3713  
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Originally Posted by twiggy_D View Post
I think what's being discussed at this point is less about if helmets can do some good in some situations when they work and more to do with the misplaced faith in helmets ability to prevent any number of life threatening injuries, and the incorrect belief that a broken/shattered helmet has worked as intended.
Does it really matter?

Just because there may be misplaced faith in what helmets can do, is that an excuse not to wear them?

Remember the title of this thread: "Helmets cramp my style".

While the discussion has evolved quite a bit, it's still mostly about helmet vs. anti-helmet. I've chosen the "helmet" camp because of my simple equation: Helmet > Bare head
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Old 08-21-08, 12:38 PM
  #3714  
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Originally Posted by Zeuser View Post
Does it really matter?

Just because there may be misplaced faith in what helmets can do, is that an excuse not to wear them?

Remember the title of this thread: "Helmets cramp my style".

While the discussion has evolved quite a bit, it's still mostly about helmet vs. anti-helmet. I've chosen the "helmet" camp because of my simple equation: Helmet > Bare head
OK, time to restart the broken record...

So if the equation is that simple, why don't you wear a helmet at all times, or at least when climbing a ladder, working on the roof, diving into a pool, walking through a construction zone, walking down the street (ie no sidewalk), walking under window washers on a building, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I mean, you DO want to protect yourself, don't you...why wouldn't you wear a helmet?
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Old 08-21-08, 12:47 PM
  #3715  
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Zeuser,

It's not an Us Vs Them thread.
It's evolved into a discussion about a persons right to make their own choices, without the interference of others.

How would you like it if someone told you that you would no longer be allowed to ride your bike(push or motor) after dark because it's not safe?
How would you feel if you where called an "organ donor" (actually, as a motorcyclist you'd already be called one by us brits, they aren't called donorcycles for nothing you know)
How would you feel about random people calling you names, or insulting your intelligence for riding at night?

Because these things are common of the "pro helmet" nutts that are floating around, maybe you haven't ever said anything derogatory towards people who choose to ride without a helmet, or maybe you have, it doesn't matter. That it happens, and is considered acceptable is just not right.


Cycling advocacy can not move forwards while there is division and victim blaming, motorists and law enforcement will listen to the disenting voices and say;
"see, wasn't wearing a helment, so it's her own fault the car ran into her"

We cyclists need to get past this issue if we want to end the injustices that are perpetrated against us by the motoring masses.
I don't want to wear a helmet, and no one should have the right to try and force me to do so.
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Old 08-21-08, 12:51 PM
  #3716  
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I do!

I wear a helmet while walking through a construction zone... it's required anyway!
When I do construction work around the house, I wear a helmet and goggles.
I don't walk under window washers on a building. They have a nice warning sign on the sidewalk: "Work overhead", and I avoid them.

Walking down the street does not have the same speed and stability issues that riding a bike does. The risk is greatly reduced compared to riding a bike. I've never fallen over just walking down the street but I have fallen over riding my bike.

I do want to protect myself but I also protect myself where it's appropriate and necessary. And a helmet on a bike, fits that definition. Same as wearing goggles when doing housework. It's not 100% perfect but it is appropriate with the increased risk factor involved with the activity.
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Old 08-21-08, 12:57 PM
  #3717  
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Originally Posted by twiggy_D View Post
Zeuser,

It's not an Us Vs Them thread.
It's evolved into a discussion about a persons right to make their own choices, without the interference of others.

How would you like it if someone told you that you would no longer be allowed to ride your bike(push or motor) after dark because it's not safe?
How would you feel if you where called an "organ donor" (actually, as a motorcyclist you'd already be called one by us brits, they aren't called donorcycles for nothing you know)
How would you feel about random people calling you names, or insulting your intelligence for riding at night?

Because these things are common of the "pro helmet" nutts that are floating around, maybe you haven't ever said anything derogatory towards people who choose to ride without a helmet, or maybe you have, it doesn't matter. That it happens, and is considered acceptable is just not right.


Cycling advocacy can not move forwards while there is division and victim blaming, motorists and law enforcement will listen to the disenting voices and say;
"see, wasn't wearing a helment, so it's her own fault the car ran into her"

We cyclists need to get past this issue if we want to end the injustices that are perpetrated against us by the motoring masses.
I don't want to wear a helmet, and no one should have the right to try and force me to do so.
Well, I'm told I'm not allowed to drive my car without a licence, insurance etc. I'm also told I can't drive my car without my seatbelt.

And you know what? Despite these being "rules" that somewhat impede my freedom, they're there for my own protection.

I simply abide by the rules and I can legally drive my car. If it comes down to making Helmets mandatory on bikes to protect people from themselves, then so be it.

After all, they passed that law a few decades ago in our country regarding motorcycle helmets. And back then we heard the same "it impedes my freedom" B.S. from riders. What happened? They're all helmet wearers now... every last one of them. And as a Motorcyclist who had a crash which my helmet protected me from, I'm here today... ALIVE! ... to tell you it's a good law!
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Old 08-21-08, 01:14 PM
  #3718  
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Maybe Zeuser needs some laws about what he should eat, how much exercise he gets, what he is allowed to see on TV, etc., etc.

Maybe Zeuser feels he is incapable of making those decisions himself, and wants Mommy government to hold his hand and wipe his nose.

The grown-ups, though, have a different opinion. Thankfully, the grown-ups still have some say in the matter, at least outside of Canada.
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Old 08-21-08, 01:17 PM
  #3719  
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
It doesn't take rocket scientry to determine that my helmet with it's two large cracks and a considerable indentation in between them caused some energy assorption, just about any layman can figure that one out.
Fair enough. How much energy did it absorb? And how much was involved in the accident? Was there enough to cause serious head injury, and did the helmet absorb enough to make a difference? And how much energy was involved in the unhelmeted crash?

Those are the questions that matter, and the ones that are never answered in these personal anecdotes. which is, again, why such anecdotes are essentially meaningless.
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Old 08-21-08, 04:17 PM
  #3720  
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
... Thankfully, the grown-ups still have some say in the matter, at least outside of Canada.
MHL's for adults only affect 4 of the 10 provinces. 2 of the provinces have 12 -18 yr old MHL's and the other provinces have rejected laws, so since no more than half of Canada doesn't have them, it's not all that bad.

Last edited by closetbiker; 08-22-08 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 08-22-08, 08:11 AM
  #3721  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
I've worn a helmet for over 21 years and it's clear no one needs to look at any evidence to convince themselves of anything.

You've looked at very little evidence and have convinced yourself of something and what much less injury means, it's hard to say. I think you'll find most agree a helmet can help with superficial injury. If much less injury means, superficial injury, we're on the same page.

I've found it's better (for just about anything) to be informed than not be informed.

Guessing isn't worth much but I guess understanding takes more effort and that's pretty discouraging for lots of people.


It doesn't take much guessing on my part when I hit my head in virturally the same manner, same distance from the ground, at a faster speed, and with a more favorable outcome to understand the reasoning I personally have made the choice in wearing a helmet.
Yesterday after I made my last post, I went and read our local paper, about half way through it was an article about a cyclist falling off his bike. The cyclist received enough head trauma which warranted him to be airlifted to the nearest medical center that specializes in major head injuries 200 to 300 miles away. This is the second article in a couple of months about a cyclist having to be airlifted to the medical center, and that one occured on a stretch of road that I commute on daily.
CB, any advantage that I can get in reducing the severity of a head injury, or any injury for that matter, I will use it, be it helmet, responsible riding, taking the lane, ect.
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Old 08-22-08, 08:16 AM
  #3722  
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"enough head trauma"

now there's a clear understanding
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Old 08-22-08, 09:54 AM
  #3723  
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
It doesn't take much guessing on my part when I hit my head in virturally the same manner, same distance from the ground, at a faster speed, and with a more favorable outcome to understand the reasoning I personally have made the choice in wearing a helmet.
Yesterday after I made my last post, I went and read our local paper, about half way through it was an article about a cyclist falling off his bike. The cyclist received enough head trauma which warranted him to be airlifted to the nearest medical center that specializes in major head injuries 200 to 300 miles away. This is the second article in a couple of months about a cyclist having to be airlifted to the medical center, and that one occured on a stretch of road that I commute on daily.
CB, any advantage that I can get in reducing the severity of a head injury, or any injury for that matter, I will use it, be it helmet, responsible riding, taking the lane, ect.
This just backs what my friend the paramedic has told me over and over. He deals with bike accidents all of the time and with no scientific proof, or stupid statistics or anything dumb like that, he just sees the obvious: Had the victim been wearing a bike helmet, he would be better off.

Again, it comes down to my simple equation: Helmet > Bare head. Or to put it into plain English: A Helmet will always protect one's head more than wearing nothing.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:04 AM
  #3724  
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
It doesn't take much guessing on my part when I hit my head in virturally the same manner, same distance from the ground, at a faster speed, and with a more favorable outcome to understand the reasoning I personally have made the choice in wearing a helmet.
Actually, it takes almost nothing but guessing. You have zero idea how much energy was involved, how much was absorbed, and how much it would have taken to cause serious injury or death. You, like thousands of other guessers, fell off you bike, looked at your helmet, and told yourself it "saved your life". Now, you making personal decisions based upon those guesses is nobody else's business. Holding those guesses out as reasons for everyone else to wear a helmet....

Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
CB, any advantage that I can get in reducing the severity of a head injury, or any injury for that matter, I will use it, be it helmet, responsible riding, taking the lane, ect.
If this was true, you'd be wearing a full-face helmet, neck brace, and full leathers with armor. What you've actually done is put on a few ounces of plastic and foam and told yourself you're being "safe". Meanwhile, on planet earth, that few ounces of plastic and foam is, looked at rationally, a very, very minimal attempt at reducing potential for injury.

Last edited by Six jours; 08-22-08 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:07 AM
  #3725  
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Originally Posted by Zeuser View Post
This just backs what my friend the paramedic has told me over and over. He deals with bike accidents all of the time and with no scientific proof, or stupid statistics or anything dumb like that, he just sees the obvious: Had the victim been wearing a bike helmet, he would be better off.
"Statistics are dumb, but third person anecdotes are proof". This from a kid who calls other people "moron".

But hey, as I've pointed out before, I'm a retired paramedic and I saw plenty of bicycle accidents. Without exception, the severely injured and dead cyclists I saw were wearing helmets. So my anecdote cancels out yours. Neener-neener.
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