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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.
View Poll Results: What Are Your Helmet Wearing Habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet
52
10.40%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped
24
4.80%
I've always worn a helmet
208
41.60%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do
126
25.20%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions
90
18.00%
Voters: 500. You may not vote on this poll

The Helmet Thread 2

Old 09-25-19, 10:35 AM
  #2976  
mr_bill
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Many people (not you) attribute the reduced risk in Europe to "infrastructure". (It's a mistake to consider Europe as one thing)

They have no idea that some of it is awful.

I had one experience (in Augsburg?) in a narrow, recessed bicycle-lane on a sidewalk, a passing rider brushed against me. Advocates in the US would not have considered it an acceptable bicycle lane.

Much of the infrastructure (in cities) is designed to make cycling slower.
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I was thinking it would sap most of the enjoyment out of it, but you'd probably get used to it.
Much of the infrastructure (in cities) is designed to make EVERYTHING slower.

Which makes riding a bike an absolute delight:


-mr. bill
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Old 09-25-19, 11:34 AM
  #2977  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I don't think you're ever going to agree with me. But think about this part at least. The time it takes to move forward a foot or two, at 20 feet per second, is far less than the time it takes to fall 5 feet.

.2 seconds is the cap for almost everybody, the fastest they can react even with training. So no, they cannot push back to some, or any, degree before .15 seconds.
It's not clear the roll-over is completed in 0.2 seconds.

I can feel a bump with my front wheel and be off the seat by the time the rear wheel hits it. That's reacting before the gap of about 4 feet.

Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
On the other hand, any average person can very easily react fast enough to roll out of an over the bars event. There is that much difference in the timing. The last time that happened to me, I did precisely that - in my late 50's slowed down and out of practice.
No, not "any average person". It takes some practice/experience. Which the "average person" doesn't have. The "more time" isn't relevant because most people won't be able to do anything with that time.

Last edited by njkayaker; 09-25-19 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 09-25-19, 11:37 AM
  #2978  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Much of the infrastructure (in cities) is designed to make EVERYTHING slower.

Which makes riding a bike an absolute delight:

-mr. bill
That's inner-city Amsterdam.

It makes a particular style of riding a bike a delight.

I suspect some advocates think it makes all styles (especially, fast riding) a delight.

Last edited by njkayaker; 09-25-19 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 09-25-19, 11:56 AM
  #2979  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
???

wphamilton didn't say they did this.

No one has said it does this.

???
That's kind of the point. No one claims it does but helmet advocats reason like you don't have to consider things like that when it's about the number of deaths. If you expect a lower cyclist death rate in helmet wearing country than in a helmetless country, there is somewhat the assumption that only passive safety counts and that all safety is in the helmet. wphamilton made a statement in line with that and that's what I reacted to.

You've got to narrow it down to what it actually does, and then it's just a very small part of safety. If you're in an ER counting cyclists you've narrowed down your view, which isn't helpful.

Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
That goes without saying, the helmet mitigates impact to the skull.

You can wonder why cyclists don't wear full helmets.

It absolutely is the likely way to fall on a slide-out. You will hit the ground in under a second, possibly in as little as half a second, and unless you're concentrating and ready for it you will fall like a sack of potatoes. And regardless, the simple physics is that free-fall from a given height will happen in a given amount of time. Please don't be tempted to argue with me about that.
I'm not going to argue with the simple physics, it's just not all there is to it. Concentrating and ready for it has little to do with it, it's about reflexes. No, an unexpected slide out doesn't make me hit my head, the last time I had one I hurt my hip quite bad.

Over the bars is actually easier because the rotation will throw you up a bit, giving more time. Even so, your idea that the dutch bike is safer because you're higher is misguided. Given your druthers, you should rather fall from a lower distance than a higher one.
It's not (only) the height, the posture is very different too. That will influence how you fall and how you can influence the fall. Fact is that it's different, therefore the physics are different and that might influence the chance of not hitting your head on the pavement.

Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I was thinking it would sap most of the enjoyment out of it, but you'd probably get used to it.
You can't ride at any desired speed everywhere, just like with other modes of transport. Usually you'll have to slow down towards an inner city, you just have adapt your speed to the situation. But a typical 7km commute will allow for speed for the most part. It's not that different from cars, you have slow roads to get on the highway and when you get near your destination you'll have to slow down again.
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Old 09-25-19, 11:59 AM
  #2980  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
That's kind of the point. No one claims it does but helmet advocats reason like you don't have to consider things like that when it's about the number of deaths.
You are making stuff up. I don't care whether people use helmets or not.
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Old 09-25-19, 12:07 PM
  #2981  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
You are making stuff up. I don't care whether people use helmets or not.
"Even though nobody wears bike helmets in the Netherlands, the fatality rate there is six times smaller than that of the United States."
That's where it started. The 'even though' has to come from the idea that bike helmets are important to cycling safety. It's not about whether you care or not, I'm discussing the subject, not blaming you or anyone else here for beeing a helmet advocat. My view is that because the helmet is about the only safety device in a crash, it's importance for cycling safety is hugely overestimated.

Last edited by Stadjer; 09-25-19 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 09-25-19, 12:49 PM
  #2982  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
T... My view is that because the helmet is about the only safety device in a crash, it's importance for cycling safety is hugely overestimated.
Yeah, I'll concur. I've broken collarbones 4 times, broken or cracked I don't know how many ribs, a wrist, both shoulders have seen serious soft-tissue damage, acres of road rash and just one hard hit on the helmet and two or three minor hits. Helmets are way over-rated. (Mine in fact enabled about 80% of the injuries I just listed. Had I not been wearing mine, most of those injuries I just listed would not have happened, caskets offering more protection than any level of safety gear.)

Ben
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Old 09-25-19, 01:05 PM
  #2983  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
That's inner-city Amsterdam.

It makes a particular style of riding a bike a delight.

I suspect some advocates think it makes all styles (especially, fast riding) a delight.
That STYLE is riding a bike. From one place to another. Get off the bike, do things, get back on the bike, stop, get off the bike, do things, get back on the bike, lather rince repeat.

I love riding a bike in Boston too.

I can understand people HATING to ride in Boston, because MA holes. But about the only people I can think of who would HATE to ride in Amsterdam are people who ride to suffer.

Slow down and smell the tulips.

-mr. bill
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Old 09-25-19, 01:30 PM
  #2984  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
You can wonder why cyclists don't wear full helmets.
Too hot, not much to wonder about.

I'm not going to argue with the simple physics, it's just not all there is to it. Concentrating and ready for it has little to do with it, it's about reflexes. No, an unexpected slide out doesn't make me hit my head, the last time I had one I hurt my hip quite bad.
I haven't hit my head on a low-slide but I've hurt other things. I've also landed on my feet. Reflexes are hit and miss for that. I'm going to go with trusting physics.

It's not (only) the height, the posture is very different too. That will influence how you fall and how you can influence the fall. Fact is that it's different, therefore the physics are different and that might influence the chance of not hitting your head on the pavement.
Not really different, not the way you seem to think. As I've mentioned, the differences due to different postures are minute when you put the numbers to them. The physics is actually quite simple, and the main complexity involves the flexibility of your body as you're hitting the ground. Mainly - do you absorb impact with various parts sequentially, or slap down stiff like a board? If it happens quickly enough, you're going to hit the ground in pretty much the same posture you're riding in.


You can't ride at any desired speed everywhere, just like with other modes of transport. Usually you'll have to slow down towards an inner city, you just have adapt your speed to the situation. But a typical 7km commute will allow for speed for the most part. It's not that different from cars, you have slow roads to get on the highway and when you get near your destination you'll have to slow down again.
All I know about that in the Netherlands is published population data, and that my commutes are typically 1.5-2 times the speed and 4-5 times the distance.
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Old 09-25-19, 01:37 PM
  #2985  
njkayaker
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
That STYLE is riding a bike.
It's ONE style. It's a completely fine style but not the only one.

Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Slow down and smell the tulips.
Why should people need to ride the way you think they should?
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Old 09-25-19, 01:37 PM
  #2986  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
That's where it started. The 'even though' has to come from the idea that bike helmets are important to cycling safety. It's not about whether you care or not, I'm discussing the subject, not blaming you or anyone else here for beeing a helmet advocat. My view is that because the helmet is about the only safety device in a crash, it's importance for cycling safety is hugely overestimated.
How does pointing out 6 times better safety without helmets translate to an assumption that helmets are important, let alone hugely overestimate them?
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Old 09-25-19, 01:42 PM
  #2987  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Why should people need to ride the way you think they should?
Why should EVERY road be the way you think it should be?

Helpful hint - you can ride MUCH faster in a crosswind if you ride in an echelon. Wouldn't suggest doing so on a road that's open, but that's just me.

p.s. My riding in Amsterdam was NO SLOWER than my riding in Boston. But whatever.

-mr. bill
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Old 09-25-19, 01:48 PM
  #2988  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Why should EVERY road be the way you think it should be?
??? I never said that.

Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
p.s. My riding in Amsterdam was NO SLOWER than my riding in Boston. But whatever.
Riding in any city is often slow.

You don't generally get very many opportunities to smell the tulips riding in cities because doing so would usually get you run into.
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Old 09-25-19, 01:52 PM
  #2989  
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Riding in any city is often FAST!

-mr. bill
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Old 09-25-19, 02:10 PM
  #2990  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
But about the only people I can think of who would HATE to ride in Amsterdam are people who ride to suffer.

Slow down and smell the tulips.

-mr. bill
Nothing new about hating on Dutch bicycling infrastructure - The two most prominent Johnnies of Vehicular Cycling have a long history of unfounded hating all things related to Dutch cycling because it doesn't fit their scheme of efficient cycling. https://departmentfortransport.wordp...dutch-context/
and
https://departmentfortransport.wordp...about-holland/

A related sub specious of cyclists who may hate to ride in Amsterdam are those who are devotees of the two Johnnies and believe cycling task number one is maximizing so-called efficiency and speed for every ride regardless of location or destination. They seem to believe that their priority placed on so-called efficiency and maximum speed per output of effort trumps all other cycling concerns like practicability, comfort and/or pleasure.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 09-25-19 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 09-25-19, 03:54 PM
  #2991  
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Does wearing a helmet reduce the likelihood of an injury or lessen the severity of an injury to either your head or your brain? Well, yeah, especially to your head, (skull and tissue covering it), but not the same level of added protection to your brain.

IMO the claims of protection to the brain by a helmet in the event of a head strike is overrated and the amount of protection is not measurable in a standard meaningful way. The data for MIPS and now the foam-filled helmet is suspect as to what the data represents according to the interpretation of those selling it.

On my road bike, I wear a helmet. Around town, for short errand rides, I do not. I make that choice both for convenience and to also add some even sun coloring to my shaved head.
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Old 09-26-19, 07:45 PM
  #2992  
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I always ride with a helmet on except when I forget to put it on. If I start riding and realize a few minutes later that I don't have my helmet on I would go back to get it.

About 5 years ago I crashed at about 15 mph while making a turn because of gravel on the road. I ruined my helmet and knocked myself out for a few minutes but got no serious injury.

Earlier this month my wife hit a curb with a Wheels electric bike without a helmet on and was hospitalized for 6 days. She had a concussion and was on life support for a whole day.

My current helmet is a Giro Foray. I also have a rear-view mirror and two Cateye lights attached to my bike.

Last edited by LJ Seals; 09-27-19 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 09-30-19, 09:14 AM
  #2993  
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When it comes to helmets, I find that people will ultimately chose the correct level of protection based on the value of their brain.
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Old 10-07-19, 02:56 PM
  #2994  
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I have always worn a helmet for both Mtn & road biking beyond the age of 10 with my old BMX.
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Old 10-09-19, 01:43 PM
  #2995  
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Im late to the game here as we are already almost 3000 posts in, but Ill chime in anyway. As a kid in the 70s I never did, though there was an occurrence when I was 6-7 that it may have helped but that's water under the bridge. As an adult I didn't much either until the early 90s when I went on a few charity rides and went mountain biking down the local 10000 ft mountain at the ski area.

As I got into some lighter road biking I did as well because of riding in the city with all its hazards but as Ive gotten older and arthritis has taken away most of my bikes and my only real riding is cruising around away from the traffic at 8-10 mph Ive lived with a ball cap mostly to keep my head from getting cooked.

I still have a helmet for those occasions when its "gotta have one" and i'll take it with me to pick up my bike when it shows up so they will let me ride ride it before I take it away but that will probably be the last of it.

DO I think they needed? Probably. There are far too many Ghost bikes where I live and drive and as well as I might think I'm careful I see the distractions everyday and If I were to be riding in traffic (which I won't be) or on a road bike leaning so far forward or on man bike flying through the woods I think its foolish not too. But that me.

Where I live Motorcycle helmets are not required for those over 18, nor is any other gear save sunglasses and Darwin waits for them and another memorial goes up.
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Old 10-13-19, 03:48 PM
  #2996  
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Efficacy of a cheap helmet

Hi all - asking this here, but I apologize if a separate thread is more appropriate.

In college I had a cruiser and no helmet. Bike accidents happened there, but they were pretty mild and risks were low. Now I live in a big city, with big hills and lots of traffic. We have bike lanes, but most of them aren't protected. Often we need to share the road.

I admit that the first time I rode with traffic I was a bit scared a immediately thought - I need a helmet. I have a pretty low budget, so I looked on Amazon and saw a number of cheap ($20-30), highly rated helmets. It became very obvious to me that most of those aren't actually designed by the companies that sell them, but rather bought off Alibaba for $8, stamped with a logo and sold on Amazon. Since they're so generic, it's hard to find any sort of independent testing - the ratings come from similarly clueless customers. They claim to meet some standards (CPSC/EN1078) but who really knows...

My biking pattern is quite casual - I bike mostly on weekends on the parks and in the city - so I don't anticipate constant danger. However, would such a helmet be enough to give me some peace of mind?
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Old 10-14-19, 03:03 PM
  #2997  
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Nobody's immune...
https://www.cyclingnews.com/amp/news...y-after-crash/
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