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Helmets cramp my style

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Helmets cramp my style

Old 03-16-07, 09:35 PM
  #1226  
jwc
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I wish I could comment on the difference between helmets, but helmets are a compromise since how effective it is depends on the type of crash and the surface you impact. How much of the helmet covers your head would be a factor also. Helmets will protect you from a skull fracture, but not neccesarily a brain injury.

From what I've read, the softer the helmet (and I suppose bigger) the better. Unfortunately, soft helmets tend to lead to more severe neck injuries. I suppose the compromise is that you're not a drooling vegetable, you are just fully aware of the fact you can't walk anymore.

Since it is bound to come up again, I'll go ahead and say, yes, I've suffered a brain injury, but have fully recovered (it was an accident in 1998), my head didn't impact anything, but my brain did.
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Old 03-16-07, 10:30 PM
  #1227  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
OK, maybe a regular motorcycle helmet is better?

on an earlier link I gave

https://www.cyclehelmets.org/papers/c2023.pdf

the head of the leading UK testing lab for helmets claims motor cycle helmets give far superior protection for cyclists at the cost of excessive bulk and inadequate ventilation, so while bicycle helmets are lighter and cooler, they are also less protective.
another bit of trivia -- the m/c helmet is not rated above 30-35mph themselves. just thought i'd toss that out....
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Old 03-17-07, 12:33 AM
  #1228  
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That's freakin awesome some of you don't like to wear helmets if thats what you chose. Your choice, blah-blah, blah-bloo- blah blee. However, if there's anyone on the fence on this issue, be smart. Make an informed decision. And once you've made that educated decision, don't shun the durn helmetless. If they wave at you, give 'em a wave back. They're people too. Here's one of quite possibly thousands of studies to help you make that decision.

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

But please don't take my word for it. Use your nogin!!!!!
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Old 03-17-07, 05:32 AM
  #1229  
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I actually didn't question the validity of using a helmet or the effectiveness of helmets until I did the research. Helmets.org is a good site and was my first stop when researching the best helmet.

I tend not to take things at face value, especially since my accident. I want to know both sides and what is the agenda, hidden or not, of the article's writer.

I think doing research and deciding for yourself is the best advice so far. It is the laws being forced on us that I oppose more than anything else....well, almost. The constant questioning of the sanity of anyone who chooses not to wear a helmet angers me as well.

One of my co-workers always asked where my helmet was if it was a day I decided not to wear it. Until she had to do clinicals in the brain injury unit at the local hospital. She walked up to me and said that now she understood what I had been telling her about how the brain is injured and related what doctors had told her about helmets (all kinds) and how ineffective they are or can be. The point is, she just took everything said about how safe helmets are at face value and tried to force that belief on those she thought were doing dangerous things, like riding a bicycle.

It is amazing to me how many people tell me that riding a bicycle on country roads and town streets is dangerous. Apparently, that belief has been taken seriously by my town. They just passed new ordinances allowing the closing of some streets to bicycles at the descretion of the chief of police and a requirement to use bike lanes.

Funny thing is...there are no bike lanes in my town.
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Old 03-17-07, 10:05 AM
  #1230  
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Originally Posted by bigpedaler
another bit of trivia -- the m/c helmet is not rated above 30-35mph themselves. just thought i'd toss that out....
yeah, I know. It's still better than a bicycle helmet, though I can understand why few people use them on bikes.

A friend of mine rides a motorcycle all the time and he had a good take on motorcycle helmets. He said, they're more for sliding than for impact.
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Old 03-17-07, 10:11 AM
  #1231  
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Originally Posted by yewborn
So much debate over the exact effectiveness of the representative helmet...The situation is complex. ...a bike helmet is better than nothing at all, even if it only works for those 7 mph impacts.
yeah it is, but lets not get confused over a fall that is a pain and requires stiches and traumatic brain injury. There's a world of difference between the two and it's often misunderstood that a bicycle helmet significantly reduces traumatic brain injury. It does not.
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Old 03-24-07, 12:04 AM
  #1232  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
yeah it is, but lets not get confused over a fall that is a pain and requires stiches and traumatic brain injury. There's a world of difference between the two and it's often misunderstood that a bicycle helmet significantly reduces traumatic brain injury. It does not.
Oh, I think we had this debate way, way back, and I was disagreeing with that statement (in bold). You presented some study info dating back to WWII, and it turns out that the author was trying to promote the use of motorcycle helmets in WWII as a prevention to traumatic brain injury. It is unfortunate that people get into these discussions without reading through the whole thread, but by now, with all the "stuff" put on here, that is the equivalent of reading a novel (and about as educational). 'Just thought I'd let you know that occasionally I do come back and read the newer posts.

John
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Old 03-24-07, 08:56 AM
  #1233  
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Isn't a discussion (or debate) have everything to do with disagreements?

That study had to do with the mechanics of brain injury and the recently added wikipedia link does a good job of summarizing the point, as well as most of the points made in this thread in a concise entry

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

The nature of Wikipedia lends credence to a more tolerant view of those who choose to not wear helmets.

Evidence for the efficacy of helmets in preventing serious injury is contradictory and inconclusive...Recent research on traumatic brain injury adds further confusion, suggesting that the major causes of permanent intellectual disablement and death may well be torsional forces leading to diffuse axonal injury (DAI), a form of injury which helmets cannot mitigate...in order to present the idea of a "problem" to match the solution they present, promoters tend to overstate the dangers of cycling...Helmet promoters routinely make claims which manufacturers cannot, due to truth in advertising restrictions.

Last edited by closetbiker; 03-24-07 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 03-25-07, 05:36 PM
  #1234  
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Thought I would chime in my $.02

I wear a helmet while biking.
I wear a helmet while climbing rock.
I wear a helmet while climbing ice.

I've had to retire two bicycle helmets due to incidents... one got a chainring jammed almost all the way through it in an offroad accident. The other got bashed up when I got jumped on my bike. Both incidents involved concussions and a lot of pain, but am pretty damn sure that I would have lost a lot more brain cells had I not been wearing a lid.

On another note.. I took an old helmet that was too small and drove over it with my car (slowly). It held up for 3 passes before it broke. Not scientific, but it was kind of reasurring.
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Old 03-25-07, 07:50 PM
  #1235  
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Helmet page on Wikipedia biased

Closetbiker,

I note that this is posted on that Wikipedia page:

The neutrality of this section is disputed.
Please see the discussion on the talk page.
John
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Old 03-25-07, 08:07 PM
  #1236  
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my ride

Not since about 1978 have I ridden a bicycle for any length of time without a helmet but had the opportunity to use a local bike trail to test my bike out after a headset change and went ahead and rode the 15 miles, sans helmet. I left it at home 30 miles away and wanted to ride, so I did. I've never had so much fun and I had my best time on the course ever. Must have been the better cooling effect or increased areodynamics. Of course many of us older than maybe 40 never had a bike helmet growing up and we put thousands of miles on our single speed ballooners.

In a few years I'll be riding a groovy trike anyway, just so I can ride without a helmet. Instead I'll use a straw hat to keep the sun off and avoid skin cancer.
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Old 03-25-07, 10:10 PM
  #1237  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
Closetbiker,

I note that this is posted on that Wikipedia page:



John
Good for you John! That section is disputed. The preceding section and a later section (that I believe I quoted from) is not. You can add an edit with sources or references that appear in reliable, third-party publications if you want to improve the article. Appropriate citations, from reliable sources.

Last edited by closetbiker; 03-25-07 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 03-25-07, 10:54 PM
  #1238  
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Helmet Studies Again

Closetbiker,

Just below the study cited in the Wikipedia entry (#14) is another, #15 on the reference page. If you go to that study, this is the abstract for it:

Inj Prev 2003;9:266-267
2003 BMJ Publishing Group
BRIEF REPORT

ABSTRACT
Trends in serious head injuries among English cyclists and pedestrians

A Cook1 and A Sheikh2
1 Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK
2 Professor of Primary Care Research and Development, Division of Community Health Sciences: GP Section, University of Edinburgh


Correspondence to:
Mr A Cook, Commission for Health Improvement, Finsbury Tower, 103–105 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TG, UK;
adrian.cook@chi.nhs.uk


ABSTRACT
In England the use of bicycle helmets remains low as debate continues about their effectiveness. Time trend studies have previously shown an inverse association between helmet wearing rates and hospital admissions for head injury, but data on helmet wearing are often sparse and admission rates vary for numerous reasons. For the period of this study comprehensive data on helmet wearing are available, and pedestrians are used as a control to monitor trends in admission. Among cyclists admitted to hospital, the percentage with head injury reduced from 27.9% (n = 3070) to 20.4% (n = 2154), as helmet wearing rose from 16.0% to 21.8%. Pedestrian head injury admissions also declined but by a significantly smaller amount. The wearing of a cycle helmet is estimated to prevent 60% of head injuries.
This is from the same Wikipedia page of references you are referencing.

Concerning the section you cite, here's one quote:

Recent research on traumatic brain injury adds further confusion, suggesting that the major causes of permanent intellectual disablement and death may well be torsional forces leading to diffuse axonal injury (DAI), a form of injury which helmets cannot mitigate.[14] Helmets may increase the torsional forces by increasing the distance from the extremities of the helmet to the centre of the spine, compared to the distance without a helmet.
I don't have time to go into detail right now, but I have references which state that the friction of the bare human head is much greater than that of a helmet, especially the hard plastic helmets. But even the ones with the thinner plastic skid better than human flesh. Because of that, the tortional "increase" cited above may not be what the authors state, as it takes two components to make those forces, the radius from the center of the head, and the friction of the head against the surface. This also seems one-sided to me.

As for the "Good for you, John..." that seems a bit condescending to me.

John

Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 03-25-07 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 03-26-07, 08:06 AM
  #1239  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
Closetbiker,

Just below the study cited in the Wikipedia entry (#14) is another, #15 on the reference page. If you go to that study, this is the abstract for it:
Yup, there are lots of references for that entry and it's interesting to read the outcome of all those refeences.

I'd say it sounds an awful lot lot like what I've been posting here for quite some time, wouldn't you say?

Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
I don't have time to go into detail right now, but I have references which state that the friction of the bare human head is much greater than that of a helmet,...
well, edit the page John. You can do that but I believe it has to go through a sceening process first (or something like that). If what you reference is legitimate, I'm sure it'll go through

Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
As for the "Good for you, John..." that seems a bit condescending to me.

John
I was not trying to offend, just trying to encourage and support, but you have to see John, you're showing something that's pretty obvious, not related to what I quoted and in fact, by my previous post (Isn't a discussion (or debate) have everything to do with disagreements?), already acknowledged.
I'm wondering what's being grasped there.
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Old 03-27-07, 04:12 PM
  #1240  
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Closetbiker,

I have been doing some traveling these last few weeks, and so cannot support a major effort to re-write the text of Wikipedia entries (I already have some I'd like to add on James Kim, and on fire-building in the woods, which seems to be a lost art now).

Concerning going round and round and covering the same ground, I do that because, when I come back in and read, it's as if earlier discussions have not been processed, and the same ol' arguments about helmets not being effective are simply re-stated. It's like propaganda, whereby someone restates either a falsehood, or makes a statement that others have already addressed in the past, simply to hammer a point of view. So every so often, I come back to say that we've already covered that territory, and those who want to can read it in earlier posts.

In fact, we agree on many points, such as helmet wearing may not be the most important accident prevention methodology, the importance of engineering controls, the selection of routes, etc., that make cycling safer and much more pleasant. But this particular thread is on helmets, and so that is what is being discussed.

By the way, I'm glad you were encouraging, rather than being...just let that go to jet lag.

John
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Old 03-27-07, 04:29 PM
  #1241  
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It's not really a major effort to make an addition (I hope you weren't thinking you were going to re-write the entire article) but you don't really have to if you don't want to. Just a suggestion.

There are many arguments that are the same, but I just recently ran into the wikipedia entry and find it to be encouraging that all those same arguments I've used have been used there and considering the nature of the site, it's more than a little telling about how all contributers feel on the issue.

I think it's a thin slice of the populace that have fallen for the exaggerated claims of the helmet compulsion proponents. The majority of the studies and real world experience show...Evidence for the efficacy of helmets in preventing serious injury is contradictory and inconclusive...and...in order to present the idea of a "problem" to match the solution they present, promoters tend to overstate the dangers of cycling...

If I'm required, by law, at the price of derision, fines and my bicycle being seized, to wear a helmet and live with that, I don't think it's too much to ask the question weather riding without a helmet deserves such treatment

Last edited by closetbiker; 03-27-07 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 03-27-07, 09:23 PM
  #1242  
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Well, I've only read the first and last page of posts here, but figured I'd throw in my two cents.

I always wear a helmet, and while I know it most likely won't protect me from serious injury or harm, it will protect me from the little things I'm most likely to face. For example, last year I struck a pedestrian who was jaywalking and stepped out behind a truck right in front of me. I went over the top of the handlebars, landed on my helmet, and skidded on the ground on it for a few feet. If it weren't for that helmet, the big gouges from the gravel and the missing bits of plastic would have been my shredded face. Not a brain injury, and certainly nothing I couldn't walk away from, but I was able to get away with just a few cuts and bruises.

So yeah, I wear it every day. It's not inconvenient by any means, and I see no reason not to.
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Old 03-27-07, 10:02 PM
  #1243  
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In the last two years I have fallen twice. Both times due to debris on the road. Injured my shoulder one time broke my arm the other. Both times I hit my head hard enough to do severe damage without a helmet. I always wear a helmet when riding.
The argument that riders take more risks, when wearing a helmet, makes no sense to me. That is like saying that a car driver takes more risks when wearing a seatbelt.
There are enough other body parts you can damage, while riding, to keep you cautious.
Keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up.
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Old 03-28-07, 08:15 AM
  #1244  
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Originally Posted by roadiespinner
... I hit my head hard enough to do severe damage without a helmet. I always wear a helmet when riding.
Could you define "severe damage" and if you always wear a helmet when riding, were you wearing one during those falls and if you were, how is it that you could know there would have been "severe damage" without the helmet?
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Old 03-28-07, 07:53 PM
  #1245  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
...I think it's a thin slice of the populace that have fallen for the exaggerated claims of the helmet compulsion proponents. The majority of the studies and real world experience show...Evidence for the efficacy of helmets in preventing serious injury is contradictory and inconclusive...and...in order to present the idea of a "problem" to match the solution they present, promoters tend to overstate the dangers of cycling...
Closetbiker,

Do you remember the video of the major cycling accident in the Tour de France we discussed some pages back last year? That, to me, illustrates the effectiveness of the helmets. Remember the one cyclists continuing with rocks--boulder, by one comentator's comments--sticking out of his helmet? These were pretty high speed accidents, where the cyclists went over the guard rail onto their heads in the rocks.

John
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Old 03-28-07, 08:09 PM
  #1246  
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Yes I do and I think it shows how 2 different people view the same thing differently.

I remember riders sliding along the pavement on their butts and one hitting a barrier with his thigh.

Yes one rider did get up ride along with some rocks stuck in his helmet but that was because there was loose rocks where he landed. Doesn't mean the helmet helped at all or he would have been hurt had he not been wearing one. In fact the Tour has been going for a long time and they have had an awful lot of crashes and went without helmets without problems for just as long as the Tour has been going on.

The damage was to the butt, not the head and it just goes to show how some people worry about what ifs and if only, too much. Some people "create" problems where there are none.
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Old 03-28-07, 10:26 PM
  #1247  
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Closetbiker,

I addressed these issues, starting on post 684, and continuing on post 690 (sheet 28 or 29, I believe, for those who may want to read backwards). Here's some of what I said:
Originally Posted by closetbiker
...and you have to wonder why when someone sees a broken collar bone and a broken leg, they say that's a good example of why someone should wear a helmet.
Did it ever occur to you that there may be a reason that there was no head/brain injury showing here? Could it be that helmets do protect, even at the speeds of these racers? Could it be that there was a reason that Kessler had to push his helmet up after getting up (some impact), and had rocks imbedded in the air vents when he left on his bike? Could it be that the reason David Canada had only a collar bone fracture, and not a head injury, was that his head skidded along the pavement without catching, because of the design of the helmet? This was a high speed crash, the type that you say helmets will not protect against. Look at the video, and tell me after watching it several times what you think. You have stated on these threads that helmets will not protect in these kinds of crash scenarios. You have said previously that helmets would cause diffuse brain injury by increasing the head rotation in these kinds of crashes. Do you see any evidence of this effect in this video of their crash? This is objective information, in the form of OLN's video of the event. Use it and learn.

I think there is a reason that David Canada and Matthias Kessler were able to get right up after this crash (Rick Verbrugghe had a broken femur, and was not able to get up obviously, but from what I'm hearing, no head injury). Their helmets did what they were designed to do, protect against brain injury.

For those of you who have not seen this video, here's the link (again):

https://www.olntv.com/tdf/article/cat...=true&ss=video

John
I have looked, and that video is, unfortunately, not now available at that site.

John

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Old 03-28-07, 10:43 PM
  #1248  
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That video is still available, but was harder to find. Here is the video I described last year:

https://www.versus.com/tdf/article/ca...=true&ss=video

Click on "Stage 14 Recap," the "Watch Video" link to see the actual video of this crash. If you try watching it twice, you may have to reload it as it wants to go to the recap of the whole Tour de France. But if you do watch the Stage 14 recap, you'll see on the far right of the screne the first accident; the second two are much more obvious, and sometimes the most serious is not seen at all because of this.

John
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Old 03-28-07, 11:00 PM
  #1249  
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I'll watch the video, but I watched the stage. You're looking for something that wasn't there. Sort of like the last time I was hit by a car. The insurnce agent asked if I was wearing a helmet, but my injury was my knee. Why people get wrapped up in non-issues is more of a psychology issue than a safety issue, if yoy ask me.
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Old 03-29-07, 12:22 AM
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rambler1au
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helmets are the law in australia and so they should be Ive seen too many bike accidents and helmets dont hurt but do help.
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