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The Helmet Thread 2

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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 04-26-23, 08:18 PM
  #3601  
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"Used helmet, excellent condition, only been dropped onto concrete from 5 feet once."

Would you buy it?
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Old 04-27-23, 08:30 AM
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One more vote for "no problem," as long as her head wasn't in the helmet as she fell. Failure mode for a helmet is compression of the foam against the shell (where, unfortunately, you can't see it). If her head is 5 pounds, and the helmet weighs 12 ounces, there's less than an ounce in line with the shock (the rest of the foam has an indirect load path, so the shock will be greatly reduced). As long as nothing's visibly torn or broken (and if it was, you probably wouldn't be asking), the helmet's fine.
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Old 04-27-23, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas
If the outer shell not cracked, inner EPS core not cracked, and all attachment points are strong and intact, I believe the helmet should be ok. This is nearly impossible to “prove” so if you will sleep better at night just get a new helmet.

Reminder helmets work mainly by slowing down the sudden deceleration of head/brain on impact, and this happens by allowing the EPS to crush. So based on this, I do expect helmet should be ok.
^ This. The only possible damage from the described drop would be to the shell. If the shell is OK, then the helmet is fine. Of course if this somehow resulted in a crack to the foam then the helmet is junk, but that is MOST unlikely.
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Old 04-27-23, 10:39 AM
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You guys watch baseball? How many times do you see the batters toss their helmets? Are you going to run out the and ask them to replace the helmets between every inning?
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Old 04-27-23, 11:27 AM
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It's all about that "styrofoam shell." (insert your favorite science names, like expanded polystyrene or whatever). The job of that stuff is to absorb most of the impact force in a fall, rather than it all being applied to your eggshell skull. The problem arises when that "ability to absorb and compress" has been utilized -- it's a one-time service for that foam. So, after you whack your skull on the ground inside your helmet, you have "done the compression," and the foam will not serve its mission in a future impact. So you replace the helmet after a fall and treat your skull to new, uncompressed foam. And it's not something you can necessarily inspect post-impact, so the rule is "you bang it and it's new helmet time." What the "it's OK" voters here are saying is: this drop most likely did not compromise the foam. Ride on, kiddie"

In response to Bald Paul ... I'd be full stop at "used helmet" regardless of a drop or not. Used helmet? That's just gross. Like used underwear.
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Old 04-27-23, 12:01 PM
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Helmet thread merged into Helmet Thread 2.
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Old 04-27-23, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19
I'm not a big believer in that "You dropped your helmet 5 ft and now it's no good."
If a 5 ft drop while empty is likely to make the serious injury mitigation capability of bicycle helmets suspect, the capability and/or reliance for protection from such a fragile product when worn is also suspect.
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Old 04-27-23, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes
In response to Bald Paul ... I'd be full stop at "used helmet" regardless of a drop or not. Used helmet? That's just gross. Like used underwear.
My point was that if he felt comfortable using a helmet that had been dropped, then use it. If not, don't. His child, his decision.
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Old 04-27-23, 05:12 PM
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Thanks everyone for the (mostly) helpful insights.

I have decided to buy her a new helmet. She'll be 3 in a few weeks, so it is going to be one of her birghday presents. Judging from the information given in the replies, the current helmet is *probably* fine. It's just for my peace of mind.
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Old 04-27-23, 10:49 PM
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Get her one of these, I left the brim on mine like a cap.

Last edited by LarrySellerz; 04-30-23 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 04-28-23, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
"Used helmet, excellent condition, only been dropped onto concrete from 5 feet once."

Would you buy it?
Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes
In response to Bald Paul ... I'd be full stop at "used helmet" regardless of a drop or not. Used helmet? That's just gross. Like used underwear.
Would I buy used underwear in excellent condition even if it appears OK? Probably not as a matter of esthetics, not safety or health..
Would my family reuse my or my child's used underwear if in excellent condition after laundering? Yes.
There are no hidden defects that are not also visible that would make underwear or bicycle helmets unserviceable .

Replacing helmets in visibly excellent condition due to a fear of hidden defects (or time induced hidden degradation) is a successful marketing ploy promoted by so-called safety advocates encouraged by some helmet manufacturers and retailers.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 04-28-23 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 04-28-23, 10:52 AM
  #3612  
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Originally Posted by daihard
Thanks everyone for the (mostly) helpful insights.

I have decided to buy her a new helmet. She'll be 3 in a few weeks, so it is going to be one of her birghday presents. Judging from the information given in the replies, the current helmet is *probably* fine. It's just for my peace of mind.

Little kids seem to really like the fun ones. I see a lot of kids her age wearing the ones with bunny ears and other funny decorations. And yeah, that peace of mind is as good a reason as any.
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Old 04-28-23, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Replacing helmets in visibly excellent condition due to a fear of hidden defects (or time induced hidden degradation) is a successful marketing ploy promoted by so-called safety advocates encouraged by some helmet manufacturers and retailers.
Could somebody buy Johnny One-Note a new trumpet, please?

A few years ago, I was hit by a car, and my helmet didn't have a mark on it. Given that I was pretty much completely disoriented for about a minute after the crash and don't actually remember being hit, I could not say for certain whether or not I had struck something with my head. Sorry if you don't approve, but I did discard the helmet out of caution.
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Old 04-28-23, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Could somebody buy Johnny One-Note a new trumpet, please?

A few years ago, I was hit by a car, and my helmet didn't have a mark on it. Given that I was pretty much completely disoriented for about a minute after the crash and don't actually remember being hit, I could not say for certain whether or not I had struck something with my head. Sorry if you don't approve, but I did discard the helmet out of caution.
Got it. All that your anecdote proves is that you also are susceptible to marketing induced caution/just to be safe suspicions and conjecture. I could care less if you choose to discard serviceable stuff, replace it with equally serviceable stuff and believe that makes you safer.
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Old 04-28-23, 12:26 PM
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Basic Helmet Fit Guidance

I recently started cycling to do a triathlon. Don't have any LBS or other sporting goods stores around here. I went to Walmart (&#129763 and none of the bike helmets fit well (I'm sure that's not surprising &#128517. IIRC they were all around $20-40, Schwinn, Bell, Zefal, and Ozark brands.

Didn't buy anything, but came back later bc I was too busy to go anywhere else and didn't know the first thing about finding the right helmet online.

It appears I have a long head and all these helmets are made for round heads. I bought the Schwinn, which I thought fit best, but it is only tight at the center of my forehead and at the back of my head. All of the helmets, the adjustable band part only went from the back of the head to near the ears, so it doesn't touch the front half of the head at all except at the center of the forehead. There's a gap at the sides of my head (all of the helmets had a gap, some nearly one inch on both sides). I either tighten the helmet so much that it hurts my forehead a lot, or it is tolerably tight but will jump around/become repositioned whenever I go over bumps (and there are a few sections with multiple bad tree root bumps on my usual route).

I'm in USA. Does anyone have suggestions on where I can find a (low budget option) better fitting bike helmet or have recommendations of brands/models? I do feel safer with a helmet, but I don't feel top of the line protection is essential bc I don't cycle that fast and I'm basically only on empty bike trails with no vehicle traffic.
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Old 04-28-23, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Got it. All that your anecdote proves is that you also are susceptible to marketing induced caution/just to be safe suspicions and conjecture. I could care less if you choose to discard serviceable stuff, replace it with equally serviceable stuff and believe that makes you safer.

No, it demonstrates that I really don't have confidence in my ability to determine whether foam has been compressed when I definitely had been knocked unconscious while wearing the helmet. It's adorable that you think that's susceptibility to marketing. My handlebars were quite mangled by the crash, for all I know that helmet may already have saved my skull and brain from serious damage. I have literally no idea how my head was oriented when I hit the ground,
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Old 04-28-23, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
No, it demonstrates that I really don't have confidence in my ability to determine whether foam has been compressed when I definitely had been knocked unconscious while wearing the helmet. It's adorable that you think that's susceptibility to marketing. My handlebars were quite mangled by the crash, for all I know that helmet may already have saved my skull and brain from serious damage. I have literally no idea how my head was oriented when I hit the ground,
You must still be disoriented from your collision if you can't tell by eyeball and fingers if the foam has been compressed. If infinitesimally minute "invisible" compression were a credible safety factor what gives you confidence that any and every helmet that has been handled at all since leaving the assembly line (if not before) doesn't suffer from such a defect?
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Old 04-28-23, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
You must still be disoriented from your collision if you can't tell by eyeball and fingers if the foam has been compressed. If infinitesimally minute "invisible" compression were a credible safety factor what gives you confidence that any and every helmet that has been handled at all since leaving the assembly line (if not before) doesn't suffer from such a defect?
Please provide us with your scary credentials to state crap like that with such assurance. I don't know that there couldn't be a significant impression made evenly that was difficult to detect by touch (and neither do you), but I do know to a certitude that the helmet went through a process (crashing with a head inside it) with a relatively high likelihood of significant impact. I did not measure the thickness of the foam with a caliper before the crash, so I don't have a baseline to compare it to after the fact.

There is a small chance that the helmet I buy off the shelf is defective in a way that is hard to detect. I updated the probability of that based on the fact of it going through the crash. I determined that the risk of it no longer being properly functional outweighed the relatively light cost of replacing it (I pay about $50-60 for my helmets). Get someone to explain Bayesian probability to you.
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Old 04-29-23, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mara777
I recently started cycling to do a triathlon. Don't have any LBS or other sporting goods stores around here. I went to Walmart (&#129763 and none of the bike helmets fit well (I'm sure that's not surprising &#128517. IIRC they were all around $20-40, Schwinn, Bell, Zefal, and Ozark brands.

Didn't buy anything, but came back later bc I was too busy to go anywhere else and didn't know the first thing about finding the right helmet online.

It appears I have a long head and all these helmets are made for round heads. I bought the Schwinn, which I thought fit best, but it is only tight at the center of my forehead and at the back of my head. All of the helmets, the adjustable band part only went from the back of the head to near the ears, so it doesn't touch the front half of the head at all except at the center of the forehead. There's a gap at the sides of my head (all of the helmets had a gap, some nearly one inch on both sides). I either tighten the helmet so much that it hurts my forehead a lot, or it is tolerably tight but will jump around/become repositioned whenever I go over bumps (and there are a few sections with multiple bad tree root bumps on my usual route).

I'm in USA. Does anyone have suggestions on where I can find a (low budget option) better fitting bike helmet or have recommendations of brands/models? I do feel safer with a helmet, but I don't feel top of the line protection is essential bc I don't cycle that fast and I'm basically only on empty bike trails with no vehicle traffic.
zandoval

this was my helmet post. I didn't want to reply in the other post because I didn't want to get in trouble for having a helmet conversation there lol.

Thank you for the suggestions that you made. A helmet liner or padding solutions may be helpful. I'll look into the brand you recommended as well.

I do feel all the helmets were too round (and maybe they were slightly big in general, but the adjustable band at least made them snug in the back of my head and painfully tight at the center of my forehead.

I've read about "round" vs "long" helmets online, so I thought a "long" helmet might be a better solution for me, but was hoping for some people with experience looking for "long" shaped helmets.
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Old 05-21-23, 01:11 PM
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How many people in the Netherlands wear helmets??

I don't wear a helmet. They're uncomfortable. Unnecessary, unless your going 60mph downhill in the Tour De France. Limit peripheral vision. (Sorry I'm not about to read all of the post on this threads, but that's my 2 cents.)
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Old 05-21-23, 05:26 PM
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If one takes the bother to read accident fatalities with bicyclists one will quickly learn that they die as a result of head trauma. If one does not want their first accident to be their last then spending $50 on a bike helmet is a smart move. New helmets provide good protection and good ventilation and UV protection at moderate cost. A helmet can also increase visibility so a motorist can see the cyclists soon and avoid a collision.

A friend that I introduced to cycling did not like to wear a helmet as it messed up her hair. The first day on her new bike she applied the front brake to tightly and flipped the bike and she struck her head hard on the pavement. After that incident she had no problem with wearing a helmet.

I am not in favor of everyone using a helmet (or a seat belt) as sometimes the gene pool needs garbage removal.
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Old 05-21-23, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
If one takes the bother to read accident fatalities with bicyclists one will quickly learn that they die as a result of head trauma. If one does not want their first accident to be their last then spending $50 on a bike helmet is a smart move. New helmets provide good protection and good ventilation and UV protection at moderate cost. A helmet can also increase visibility so a motorist can see the cyclists soon and avoid a collision.

A friend that I introduced to cycling did not like to wear a helmet as it messed up her hair. The first day on her new bike she applied the front brake to tightly and flipped the bike and she struck her head hard on the pavement. After that incident she had no problem with wearing a helmet.

I am not in favor of everyone using a helmet (or a seat belt) as sometimes the gene pool needs garbage removal.
Seat belts I'm 100% on board, can't compare the two. Why don't people in the Netherlands wear helmets? I know they've done studies on this and have concluded there is no net benefit to them for average riding.
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Old 05-21-23, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rc5781
I don't wear a helmet. They're uncomfortable. Unnecessary, unless your going 60mph downhill in the Tour De France. Limit peripheral vision. (Sorry I'm not about to read all of the post on this threads, but that's my 2 cents.)
Don't wear one if you don't want to, but your post is just factually incorrect. You can easily suffer head trauma at very low speeds. And any decent cycling helmet does not interfere even a tiny bit with your peripheral vision. Also, the new helmets are quite comfortable. But you do you.
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Old 05-22-23, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mattcalifornia
Don't wear one if you don't want to, but your post is just factually incorrect. You can easily suffer head trauma at very low speeds. And any decent cycling helmet does not interfere even a tiny bit with your peripheral vision. Also, the new helmets are quite comfortable. But you do you.
Can you give me some insight into why they don't wear helmets in the Netherlands?
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Old 05-22-23, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by rc5781
Can you give me some insight into why they don't wear helmets in the Netherlands?
I expect few here care what they do in the Netherlands. If you live there you should be in a better position than BFers to figure this out.
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