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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%
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The Helmet Thread 2

Old 04-15-24, 12:51 PM
  #3826  
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly
Why would anyone advocate to not use a piece of safety equipment?
A little sleuthing of post history will answer that.
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Old 04-15-24, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly
Why would anyone advocate to not use a piece of safety equipment?
Because bicycle helmets do not work, and wearing one in public while not racing is, as I said, detrimental to the collective safety of all cyclists. The latter point has been explained by others, so most cyclists should already be aware of it.

When you wear a helmet while riding your bicycle in public, you send an unmistakable message to everyone that sees you -- and that message is that riding a bicycle is dangerous. That simply is not true, statistically, and broadcasting that falsehood is detrimental to the collective safety of cyclists, because it reduces cycling uptake. When people are led to believe that cycling is dangerous, and an activity suited only to daring young men and a few other crazies in lycra, they don't become cyclists. Or more likely, they stop riding the day they get their driver's license and never look back. And the only thing that has ever been shown to actually improve cyclist safety, is more cyclists. With more cyclists on the roads, other road users become accustomed to them, and they learn how to cooperate with them -- and that current lack of cooperation is almost-entirely the extant safety issue today.

Originally Posted by pepperbelly
A bicycle helmet probably wonít do much if a car hits you- but it might. It can help a minor fall from being worse. All we can do is try to mitigate damage.
Why don't you wear a kevlar vest while riding? That's "a piece of safety equipment". It could, theoretically anyway, stop you from being impaled in a crash, or prevent you from breaking a rib. Why don't you advocate for that? Same question for motorcycle leathers. Or real helmets. Or BMX armor.

Originally Posted by pepperbelly
Think of it like disc brakes. They donít completely eliminate problems but they give you a better chance.
The point is that this "better chance" to which allude does not exist. The statistical signature of bicycle helmets is, as I explained, precisely identical to that of a placebo.

Originally Posted by pepperbelly
If you donít like wearing a helmet then don't wear one. But donít try to talk someone else into not wearing one.
For the above-explained reason, wearing useless helmets in public is detrimental to cyclist -- and arguably pedestrian -- safety.
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Old 04-15-24, 01:14 PM
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These helmet threads bring out some truly twisted logic.
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Old 04-15-24, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
When you wear a helmet while riding your bicycle in public, you send an unmistakable message to everyone that sees you -- and that message is that riding a bicycle is dangerous. That simply is not true, statistically, and broadcasting that falsehood is detrimental to the collective safety of cyclists, because it reduces cycling uptake. When people are led to believe that cycling is dangerous, and an activity suited only to daring young men and a few other crazies in lycra, they don't become cyclists. Or more likely, they stop riding the day they get their driver's license and never look back. And the only thing that has ever been shown to actually improve cyclist safety, is more cyclists. With more cyclists on the roads, other road users become accustomed to them, and they learn how to cooperate with them -- and that current lack of cooperation is almost-entirely the extant safety issue today.
If I only rode a bike on a bike path, out of the path of travel of cars, at an easy-to-moderate pace, with other competent riders, I might consider not wearing a helmet. I don't ride that way, and I don't want to. A large majority of the people I ride with don't ride that way, either. What you're talking about is a societal shift...and a fantasy. In the real world, and the places I enjoy riding, I'm going to stick with wearing a helmet any time I ride further than the end of my block, because doing so has proven to protect me from a more significant injury than if I hadn't been wearing one, multiple times.
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Old 04-15-24, 02:06 PM
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Everything out there is harder than your head. Saying that you shouldn't wear a helmet because YOU personally feel that it sends a message to everyone that is not being sent is just silly. I guess someone like you would say OK don't have lights on your bike because that shows it is unsafe and heck brakes also show it is unsafe because having to stop means that could be an unsafe situation.

If you don't want to wear a helmet it is your head and your brain or lack thereof but to say it is bad to do it because it makes things less safe is just ridiculous.

I wouldn't wear a kevlar vest because I am not worried about getting shot while riding and if I was in that situation I probably wouldn't be on a bike at that point. Wearing a specific piece of equipment that could help protect your head while riding makes sense while a kevlar vest doesn't. Tell me a crash situation where having your head a bit protected is worse than not having it protected at all? I haven't been able to ever think about one. I tend to find I would rather have some protection than none at all. It may not totally save me but it could make a big difference.
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Old 04-15-24, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
Everything out there is harder than your head. Saying that you shouldn't wear a helmet because YOU personally feel that it sends a message to everyone that is not being sent is just silly. I guess someone like you would say OK don't have lights on your bike because that shows it is unsafe and heck brakes also show it is unsafe because having to stop means that could be an unsafe situation.

If you don't want to wear a helmet it is your head and your brain or lack thereof but to say it is bad to do it because it makes things less safe is just ridiculous.

I wouldn't wear a kevlar vest because I am not worried about getting shot while riding and if I was in that situation I probably wouldn't be on a bike at that point. Wearing a specific piece of equipment that could help protect your head while riding makes sense while a kevlar vest doesn't. Tell me a crash situation where having your head a bit protected is worse than not having it protected at all? I haven't been able to ever think about one. I tend to find I would rather have some protection than none at all. It may not totally save me but it could make a big difference.
I think it's possible that TC1 has been hit on his helmetless head a few too many times.
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Old 04-15-24, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
What you're talking about is a societal shift...and a fantasy.
First of all, societies shift. As recently as 15 years ago, postulating the idea that every human being required a small computer in their pocket at all times might've gotten you forcibly committed. Now, the opposite situation is here, or on the immediate horizon.

Secondly, the shift you imagine is not that large. A very large percentage of American youth ride bicycles -- but as I mentioned, most of them stop when they reach adulthood, and they do so in large part due to the myth that cycling is dangerous.

Finally, if you could do something today to drastically improve cyclist safety fifteen years from now, would you do it?

Originally Posted by Eric F
because doing so has proven to protect me from a more significant injury than if I hadn't been wearing one, multiple times.
No, it has not. But confirmation bias is incredibly powerful -- which is literally why ingested placebos work. Strapping one to your head, OTOH, does not work, as the statistics clearly show.

Originally Posted by Eric F
I think it's possible that TC1 has been hit on his helmetless head a few too many times.
If the only retort that you can manage is a sad ad hominem attack, you may wish to reconsider, and investigate Twain's comments on fools and silence.
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Old 04-15-24, 04:42 PM
  #3833  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
Everything out there is harder than your head.
Complete nonsense. Unpaved ground is not. Most parts of a motor vehicle are not -- which is why door dings, and cracked bumpers and windshield exist. Most parts of most animals are not. Most plants are not. Water is not.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
Saying that you shouldn't wear a helmet because YOU personally feel that it sends a message to everyone that is not being sent is just silly. I guess someone like you would say OK don't have lights on your bike because that shows it is unsafe and heck brakes also show it is unsafe because having to stop means that could be an unsafe situation.
That was the silliest attempt at analogy that I've seen in years. Lights work. Brakes work. Helmets do not. And, without attempting to give your nonsense more credit than it deserves -- which is none -- even if lights and brakes did not work, they are legally required.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
If you don't want to wear a helmet it is your head and your brain or lack thereof but to say it is bad to do it because it makes things less safe is just ridiculous.
Attempt to make an argument, then -- not just a declaration of your opinion. Attempt to explain why every study ever done finds that the biggest reason Americans stop cycling is perceived danger, when the danger is far less than other activities.

Attempt to explain why every municipality that has attempted mandatory helmet laws experienced a reduction in cycling and an increase in the danger thereof.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
I wouldn't wear a kevlar vest because I am not worried about getting shot while riding
Please plug in your brain before continuing. A kevlar vest can stop all manner of protrusions into your body, not just bullets -- which I already explained.

I note here with interest that you declined to address the other items -- motorcycle leathers, real helmets, and BMX armor.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
Tell me a crash situation where having your head a bit protected is worse than not having it protected at all? I haven't been able to ever think about one.
This is not difficult at all. A bicycle helmet significantly increases the outer dimensions of your "head", and therefore, there exists an entire array of situations in which a bare head makes no contact with anything, but a helmet does. There are at least as many situations where a bare head just barely contacts an object, but a helmet suffers a significant impact. I've done these at least twice, personally. Once, I lightly collided with a friend riding through a parking lot at 5 mph -- miscommunication about our direction resulted in a bump. I fell over, but I caught myself with my right hand on the ground and I stopped my head just before it touched pavement. Other time was on a wooded singletrack where I brushed my ear on a tree, unintentionally -- that would've been a solid hit to a helmet.

Increasing the effective size of your "head" necessarily means it will suffer more and more-severe impacts than otherwise. This should not be difficult for you to puzzle out, and if you cannot do so, you might should consider that this topic is beyond your capacity to discuss. Increasing the effective size of your head with a useful helmet -- like a quality motorcycle helmet for example -- can be a net positive, as the earlier statistics demonstrated, but increasing your head size with a plastic placebo, does not create a positive safety effect, again, as earlier demonstrated.
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Old 04-15-24, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
Finally, if you could do something today to drastically improve cyclist safety fifteen years from now, would you do it?
Not at the cost of my personal safety when I leave the house on my bike this afternoon. Maybe that makes me tremendously selfish. In this case, I can live with that.

EDIT: In your fantasy world, what is is that would change that would suddenly make the way I prefer to ride safer?

Originally Posted by TC1
[No, it has not. But confirmation bias is incredibly powerful -- which is literally why ingested placebos work. Strapping one to your head, OTOH, does not work, as the statistics clearly show.
Here's some actual experiences of when a bike helmet made a difference to me...

A couple of years ago, I was riding my MTB on a section of twisty singletrack, following a buddy, having a great time ripping along at the limits of our skills. Around one particular turn, my balance was not exactly where it needed to be, and the front left part of my helmet slammed onto a tree branch next to the trail, hard enough that I was knocked off my bike. My helmet was significantly crushed in an area smaller than the diameter of a soda can. I had a bit of a headache, but everything else was okay, and I was able to complete the ride without issue.

20-ish years ago, while participating on a local, fast-paced, competitive group ride, I was accelerating hard up the side of the peloton (probably going about 35mph), when I hit a bump, my chain skipped, and I tumbled forward over the handlebars. My bike cartwheeled down the road a few times, but thankfully did not collide with anyone else.. My head was one of the things that impacted the pavement, with enough force to crush and split my helmet. I had road rash in a few places, a mild headache, but no serious injuries.

In both instances, my helmets served their purpose by absorbing impact energy that would have otherwise been taken on 100% by my skull. In both instances, I can say, confidently, that my helmet saved me from more severe head injuries.

These are just two examples.

"Confirmation bias"...nonsense. I also don't give a damn about your "data".


Originally Posted by TC1
If the only retort that you can manage is a sad ad hominem attack, you may wish to reconsider, and investigate Twain's comments on fools and silence.
What I find sad is your inane proclamations that defy simple common sense. A helmet's job is to sacrifice its integrity to absorb impact energy. If you can't recognize how that is greater protection than not wearing a helmet, there's something broken in you. Personally, I think you're dangerous.
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Last edited by Eric F; 04-15-24 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 04-15-24, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
... Strapping one to your head, OTOH, does not work, as the statistics clearly show.

...
I got the helmet I was wearing back when I went over the bars and put myself into a 5 day coma. Foam was crushed to half thickness. You're telling me I would have walked away if I wasn't wearing it?

Now, granted, I wouldn't be here wasting my time arguing with you.
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Old 04-15-24, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
First of all, societies shift. As recently as 15 years ago, postulating the idea that every human being required a small computer in their pocket at all times might've gotten you forcibly committed. Now, the opposite situation is here, or on the immediate horizon.

Secondly, the shift you imagine is not that large. A very large percentage of American youth ride bicycles -- but as I mentioned, most of them stop when they reach adulthood, and they do so in large part due to the myth that cycling is dangerous.

Finally, if you could do something today to drastically improve cyclist safety fifteen years from now, would you do it?

No, it has not. But confirmation bias is incredibly powerful -- which is literally why ingested placebos work. Strapping one to your head, OTOH, does not work, as the statistics clearly show.
You think American youth stop riding bicycles because of safety? Have you seen some of these kids? A helmet is not going to stop kids from riding if they understand what a helmet is and why they should wear one. Most kids are stopping bikes because they get a car and can go farther, we treat bicycles as basically toys in America so when you become an adult you generally get rid of your toys. Most of us on this forum obviously know differently but we don't see bicycles as transportation like they would in say Europe. There are loads of people who use them as transportation but our mentality is not that. However regardless a helmet has no bearing on riding or not riding bikes except in terms of mandatory helmet laws which I do oppose.

Also it should be noted these days a lot of parents don't want their kids going out without supervision so riding a bike can be out of the question or at least riding out of their neighborhood back when some of us were kids riding wherever was fine nobody cared it wasn't a problem now everyone is freaking out because of the internet and NextDoor and the news media blowing things well out of proportion and so much in society changing. Plus

And no a helmet is not a placebo, maybe you don't have a basic understanding of how brain injuries and head injuries work but having something to protect a very vulnerable area is pretty helpful in a crash. Unfortunately you cannot just magically have it appear on your head when you crash that is not how things work. Yes a helmet is not perfect and certainly you can still get head and brain trauma while wearing a helmet but I think most any E.R. doctor would tell you a helmet is better than not a helmet. I think most medical professionals would. I know the American Medical Association, American College of Surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control do as well as many hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic and there are tons of peer reviewed studies from the NIH library supporting helmet usage such as these:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10220019/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7025438/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598379/

I get that helmets are not cool and sexy and all of that but to say they are a placebo or somehow not effective is just silly. The late great Mitch Hedberg had a joke about Dr. Scholl's. and it kind of fits:" Dr. Scholl is a doctor, which means he spent nine years in med school. That man wasted his time. It doesnt take a doctor to know that stepping on a cushion is more comfy. I would have bought that *stuff* from a Mr. Scholl. Maybe even a Senor Scholl.".Same sort of deal with a helmet what is more protected a bare skull with some hair (or not) or a purposefully designed bit of special foam designed to take an impact?

In terms of safety I don't see a helmet as showing people cycling is unsafe people work at construction sites, go mountain/rock climbing, white water rafting/kayaking...and wear helmets and I don't really see an ill effect from that. I don't see a point in saying well we should intentionally not protect our heads and more importantly our brains because a small number of people cannot understand that cycling is marginally unsafe on occasion (though not enough to worry) but protecting your head is important. People wear helmets in motor vehicles like cars and trucks and that doesn't seem to stop people from driving in cars and trucks they also wear seatbelts and so far I don't really think wearing a seatbelt has stopped many people from driving a car and if it did they are a small minority and not worth your time.

In the end you can wear what you want to wear or don't that is entirely your choice but to make crazy claims about helmets just isn't needed. There aren't a lot of people advocating against helmet usage (and I am not talking mandatory helmet laws which I oppose and many others also oppose) there will always be a few because there is always going to be contrarians out there it is the nature of the world. I don't think there is any issue in the world someone won't oppose for some reason sometimes legit and sometimes super silly. Some people just do it to be different or because logic has no meaning for them.
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Old 04-15-24, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
Complete nonsense. Unpaved ground is not. Most parts of a motor vehicle are not -- which is why door dings, and cracked bumpers and windshield exist. Most parts of most animals are not. Most plants are not. Water is not.



That was the silliest attempt at analogy that I've seen in years. Lights work. Brakes work. Helmets do not. And, without attempting to give your nonsense more credit than it deserves -- which is none -- even if lights and brakes did not work, they are legally required.



Attempt to make an argument, then -- not just a declaration of your opinion. Attempt to explain why every study ever done finds that the biggest reason Americans stop cycling is perceived danger, when the danger is far less than other activities.

Attempt to explain why every municipality that has attempted mandatory helmet laws experienced a reduction in cycling and an increase in the danger thereof.



Please plug in your brain before continuing. A kevlar vest can stop all manner of protrusions into your body, not just bullets -- which I already explained.

I note here with interest that you declined to address the other items -- motorcycle leathers, real helmets, and BMX armor.



This is not difficult at all. A bicycle helmet significantly increases the outer dimensions of your "head", and therefore, there exists an entire array of situations in which a bare head makes no contact with anything, but a helmet does. There are at least as many situations where a bare head just barely contacts an object, but a helmet suffers a significant impact. I've done these at least twice, personally. Once, I lightly collided with a friend riding through a parking lot at 5 mph -- miscommunication about our direction resulted in a bump. I fell over, but I caught myself with my right hand on the ground and I stopped my head just before it touched pavement. Other time was on a wooded singletrack where I brushed my ear on a tree, unintentionally -- that would've been a solid hit to a helmet.

Increasing the effective size of your "head" necessarily means it will suffer more and more-severe impacts than otherwise. This should not be difficult for you to puzzle out, and if you cannot do so, you might should consider that this topic is beyond your capacity to discuss. Increasing the effective size of your head with a useful helmet -- like a quality motorcycle helmet for example -- can be a net positive, as the earlier statistics demonstrated, but increasing your head size with a plastic placebo, does not create a positive safety effect, again, as earlier demonstrated.
Unpaved ground can be quite hard (it can also be a bit softer but not some fluffy pillow to protect your head) and most people are not falling on animals or water and in the water such as for kayaking and white water rafting people do wear helmets. Motor vehicles do dent but that isn't to say no you shouldn't wear a helmet. Sometimes condoms break so we should have unprotected intercourse?

I see a light on a bicycle I feel it is unsafe same with brakes. It is a silly analogy but no more silly then what you are talking about. Helmets have been proven effective. Despite it increasing the "effective size of your "head"" they do help prevent impacts and are not just plastic but specifically designed foams to protect you.

You did have some great anecdotal evidence on two little things that happened to you and that is wonderful you used your hands to stop everything (I won't get into gloves) and in the other case you used your ear to protect you even though generally your shoulders stick out more than your ears but whatever something happened and you used your ear to protect your head great. That means nothing in this context. I have fallen as well and didn't hit my helmet or any part of my head. It happens but would I rather have something protecting my head in an impact or not I think I will stick to the helmet.

Yes kevlar vests can stop other stuff. In terms of motorcycle and BMX gear go for it I am all for more safety that doesn't mean you cannot also wear a helmet or shouldn't wear a helmet in fact all of that other gear just as you would say "increases the effective size of your body". Generally though crashing and hurting my arm is a lot less damaging then hitting my head a fact that seems to elude you.

Real helmets? What perchance is a real helmet and what is a fake helmet? Beyond actual fake helmets that aren't properly tested and hopefully exceed national or international standards. Saying a helmet is bad but a helmet is good doesn't really help your case much, motorcycle helmets and bicycle helmets are different because generally the two vehicles go at different speeds but yes a motorcycle helmet will generally be more protective for a reason. However again saying one is bad and one is good kind of undercuts your argument because it seems as if you are advocating for one based on the same argument you are advocating against the other.

In terms of mandatory helmet laws I am not for those as stated in my other response. You can drop that one it won't do you much good I am all for people wearing helmets but not for making them mandatory which causes a lot of other issues unrelated to safety.

Also just curious about your studies, you mention studies and so far I haven't seen links to STUDIES from you. There was someone who had their own personal opinion piece from 2002 which was not a peer reviewed study.

Last edited by veganbikes; 04-15-24 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 04-15-24, 05:38 PM
  #3838  
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Not at the cost of my personal safety when I leave the house on my bike this afternoon. Maybe that makes me tremendously selfish. In this case, I can live with that.
And if -- as is the case in reality -- there would be no effect to your personal safety?

Originally Posted by Eric F
EDIT: In your fantasy world, what is is that would change that would suddenly make the way I prefer to ride safer?
Fifteen years is not "suddenly" except to geologists.

Originally Posted by Eric F
Here's some actual experiences of when a bike helmet made a difference to me...
You seem fixated on damage to a 200 gram helmet as proof. Your helmets contain perhaps a few dozen grams of plastic shell. It should surprise no one that such thin plastic shells are easily destroyed -- especially in comparison to a human skull, which has around 20 to 30 times more mass.

Such damage says very little about any injury protection on offer -- which we know, from analyzing statistics as opposed to stories, does not exist for bicycle helmets.

Originally Posted by Eric F
"Confirmation bias"...nonsense. I also don't give a damn about your "data".
Burying your head in the sand might actually offer you some protection -- unlike strapping on a placebo.


Originally Posted by Eric F
What I find sad is your inane proclamations that defy simple common sense.
Pretend for a second that you know nothing about the topic at-hand. I hand you a 200 gram device made of a thin plastic shell, riddled with holes, over ~7 mm of hard styrofoam. I tell you that it will protect your head in a crash. Would you believe that? Would it be "common sense" to believe such an outlandish claim?

"No", on both counts.

What if I subsequently hand you a full-face M-rated helmet that weighs approximately an order of magnitude more, while explaining that such a device offers only a little protection. What, exactly, would cause you to believe that a 200 gram helmet might work, if a 2 kg helmet only just barely does?

Originally Posted by Eric F
A helmet's job is to sacrifice its integrity to absorb impact energy.
Yes. And a few dozen grams of thin, hard plastic, and ~7mm of styrofoam do a very bad job at that. Which should surprise no one with "common sense", or any founding in physics.

Again, it is possible to build helmets that work. They are even available in the marketplace. But bicyclists do not wear those helmets, and even those real helmets only offer slight protection -- nothing approaching that which is claimed by bicyclists regarding their dainty little plastic hats.

You can insult me all you like, by the way, but doing so will not change the facts nor the physics of the situation.

Last edited by TC1; 04-15-24 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 04-15-24, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
I got the helmet I was wearing back when I went over the bars and put myself into a 5 day coma. Foam was crushed to half thickness. You're telling me I would have walked away if I wasn't wearing it?
No, I never said anything like 'Unhelmeted cyclists are invincible'. I specifically said that luck plays a large part in sustaining head injuries. In your case, in all likelihood, your helmet made no difference whatsoever and you would have been injured with or without it. And we know this because even helmet manufacturers state that their bicycle helmets are not designed to prevent the sort of injury you received.

As an aside, for the folks here who are suffering from confirmation bias, your story is precisely an example of that phenomenon. You want to believe that it was your foresight and intelligence in wearing a helmet that day which saved your life. I get that -- everyone wants to believe that they are in control, and no one wants to believe that they just got lucky. So everyone wants to believe that, as long as they wear their dainty little plastic hat, they will be safe. And I get that too, feeling safe is nice. But feeling safe is not being safe, and it is important to recognize the difference.

To the point, an equally-valid interpretation of your story is that your helmet did a very poor job of protecting your brain, and you wound up in a coma despite wearing your hat.
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Old 04-15-24, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
And if -- as is the case in reality -- there would be no effect to your personal safety?



Fifteen years is not "suddenly" except to geologists.
Forget "suddenly". Explain how me riding without a helmet today makes my riding significantly safer in 15 years. Zero of the things you've talked about before significantly apply to the way I prefer to ride my bike.



Originally Posted by TC1
You seem fixated on damage to a 200 gram helmet as proof. Your helmets contain perhaps a few dozen grams of plastic shell. It should surprise no one that such thin plastic shells are easily destroyed -- especially in comparison to a human skull, which has around 20 to 30 more mass.

Such damage says very little about any injury protection on offer -- which we know, from analyzing statistics as opposed to stories, does not exist for bicycle helmets.

Pretend for a second that you know nothing about the topic at-hand. I hand you a 200 gram device made of a thin plastic shell, riddled with holes, over ~7 mm of hard styrofoam. I tell you that it will protect your head in a crash. Would you believe that? Would it be "common sense" to believe such an outlandish claim?

"No", on both counts.

What if I subsequently hand you a full-face M-rated helmet that weighs approximately an order of magnitude more, while explaining that such a device offers only a little protection. What, exactly, would cause you to believe that a 200 gram helmet might work, if a 2 kg helmet only just barely does?

Yes. And a few dozen grams of thin, hard plastic, and ~7mm of styrofoam do a very bad job at that. Which should surprise no one with "common sense", or any founding in physics.

Again, it is possible to build helmets that work. They are even available in the marketplace. But bicyclists do not wear those helmets, and even those real helmets only offer slight protection -- nothing approaching that which is claimed by bicyclists regarding their dainty little plastic hats.

You can insult me all you like, by the way, but doing so will not change the facts nor the physics of the situation.
The crushing of helmet foam is the deceleration of the skull after impact. No helmet means 100% of the impact force is applied to the skull. That's why the crushing matters. Reducing the transfer of energy to the skull reduces the severity of injury. This is a simple concept. A helmet also significantly reduces the potential of exterior injuries, as well. That's also a pretty big bonus.

Yes, there are more protective helmets in the world, such as those worn by motorcyclists. The trade-off is that they are limiting to the performance of operating a bicycle at a high level. There are also better strategies to skull deceleration than just the rigid styrofoam typically used in bike helmets. I learned a lot about the importance of multi-density layering while investigating softball catchers helmets for my daughter after a couple of concussions while using a primarily styrofoam lined helmet. Bike helmets are trade-offs of weight, size, and aerodynamics because of the nature of the activity. Despite the protection limitations of current bike helmet designs, it's still better than being helmet-less...by a lot. Your continued insistence that bike helmets are worthless is delusional. You have fooled yourself into a hole of nonsense.
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Old 04-15-24, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
No, I never said anything like 'Unhelmeted cyclists are invincible'. I specifically said that luck plays a large part in sustaining head injuries. In your case, in all likelihood, your helmet made no difference whatsoever and you would have been injured with or without it. And we know this because even helmet manufacturers state that their bicycle helmets are not designed to prevent the sort of injury you received.

As an aside, for the folks here who are suffering from confirmation bias, your story is precisely an example of that phenomenon. You want to believe that it was your foresight and intelligence in wearing a helmet that day which saved your life. I get that -- everyone wants to believe that they are in control, and no one wants to believe that they just got lucky. So everyone wants to believe that, as long as they wear their dainty little plastic hat, they will be safe. And I get that too, feeling safe is nice. But feeling safe is not being safe, and it is important to recognize the difference.

To the point, an equally-valid interpretation of your story is that your helmet did a very poor job of protecting your brain, and you wound up in a coma despite wearing your hat.
Have you noticed that absolutely nobody agrees with you?
Does that make you stop and rethink your position or do you think everyone is out of step but you?
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Old 04-15-24, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
You think American youth stop riding bicycles because of safety?
No, I said they stop riding as adults. This is why there are around 70M youth cyclists in the US, but only around 50M adults.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
Most kids are stopping bikes because they get a car and can go farther, we treat bicycles as basically toys in America so when you become an adult you generally get rid of your toys.
Not in this timeline. Check out the market for, well, any luxury good.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
Most of us on this forum obviously know differently but we don't see bicycles as transportation like they would in say Europe. There are loads of people who use them as transportation but our mentality is not that.
Largely because of the perception of cycling danger, as I explained. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...en-dont-cycle/ among hundreds of other studies.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
And no a helmet is not a placebo
Why then do they precisely match the statistic signature thereof?

Originally Posted by veganbikes
maybe you don't have a basic understanding of how brain injuries and head injuries work but having something to protect a very vulnerable area is pretty helpful in a crash.
The human skull is not actually all that vulnerable, especially at cycling speeds. It has been designed for millennia precisely to protect its contents, and it does a pretty good job -- and isn't assisted to a significant degree by 200 grams of plastic. Especially so when, as previously explained, that "something" causes more head impact and more severe head impacts by the very nature of its increased size.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
but I think most any E.R. doctor would tell you a helmet is better than not a helmet.
Which would be useful information if medical schools instructed doctors on accident reconstruction, statistical analysis, and a host of other skills necessary to make that judgement. But they do not.

All of which claim to find a benefit to fatal injuries which does not exist in the real world. Can you explain this problem? Why do these theoretical benefits disappear when we analyze real-world data?

And attempting to study cyclist injuries has been notoriously plagued by inaccurate studies that have been subsequently retracted. By the way, one of your studies even claims that mandatory helmet laws work -- which almost no one believes any more. And some of the studies used as few as 21 cases. So the quality of these studies leaves much to be desired.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
I get that helmets are not cool and sexy and all of that but to say they are a placebo or somehow not effective is just silly.
Again, why do bicycle helmets present the precise statistical signature of a placebo? This trumps your opinion, until and unless you can explain why bicycle helmets do not work in the real world, which we inhabit.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
The late great Mitch Hedberg had a joke about Dr. Scholl's. and it kind of fits:" Dr. Scholl is a doctor, which means he spent nine years in med school. That man wasted his time. It doesnt take a doctor to know that stepping on a cushion is more comfy. I would have bought that *stuff* from a Mr. Scholl. Maybe even a Senor Scholl.".Same sort of deal with a helmet what is more protected a bare skull with some hair (or not) or a purposefully designed bit of special foam designed to take an impact?
A most unfortunate example for your position -- since much like the human skull versus thin plastic hats, it turns out to be the case that millennia of evolution did an impressive job designing our feet and legs. To the point that there's significant debate over whether barefoot running is better than your fancy plastic shoes...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212355/ among lots of others that are not really germane to this forum, and can be googled by interested parties.


Originally Posted by veganbikes
In terms of safety I don't see a helmet as showing people cycling is unsafe people work at construction sites, go mountain/rock climbing, white water rafting/kayaking...and wear helmets and I don't really see an ill effect from that.
It exists, and many studies have proven that the perception of danger limits cycling uptake. On this very forum, you will find many people who are happy to share that they "only ride trails" or "don't ride outside" due to perceived danger. An enormous part of the gravel boom has been this exact ideation. And it isn't unique to cycling -- I am a paddler, and a similar and similarly-misguided situation applies to personal flotation devices. There is a movement to demand that all paddlers wear PFDs at all times, and practitioners thereof love to shame anyone who dares hit the water without one -- to the point where even paddlers who are sharing water with swimming children can be harrassed. I've purchased two second-hand boats from people who stopped using them because mandatory vest laws were passed, and their wives decided that hobby was too dangerous as a result.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
I don't see a point in saying well we should intentionally not protect our heads...
Again, the protection to which you refer is imaginary. That's the point. If you believe that you need to protect your head while cycling, you should be wearing a motorcycle helmet. There's no valid argument to the contrary.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
... to make crazy claims about helmets just isn't needed.
I am not making the crazy claim, you are. The claim that bicycle helmets offer the protection that you allege they do, is crazy. That claim is contradicted by real-world statistics, and has always been, for as long as anyone has kept such statistics. Your (general) wishful thinking and hoping does not change that fact.
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Old 04-15-24, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Forget "suddenly". Explain how me riding without a helmet today makes my riding significantly safer in 15 years. Zero of the things you've talked about before significantly apply to the way I prefer to ride my bike.
I explained the concept previously. That said, I've no idea how you ride your bike -- maybe you ride exclusively on a velodrome, or hucking off mountain tops. Hopefully you can imagine that you are not the only cyclist in the world.

Originally Posted by Eric F
The crushing of helmet foam is the deceleration of the skull after impact. No helmet means 100% of the impact force is applied to the skull. That's why the crushing matters. Reducing the transfer of energy to the skull reduces the severity of injury. This is a simple concept.
In point of fact, it is not so simple. As previously explained, the larger size of the helmet necessarily means that it will impact more objects and with greater force than a bare head would. So the question is, does the helmet absorb enough energy to offset the increase which its size and mass necessarily causes? The relevant statistics illustrate that "No, they do not" because we see no benefit whatsoever offered to helmeted cyclists.

Be careful claiming something is "simple" before you have thought much about it, especially when conversing with someone who has.

Originally Posted by Eric F
A helmet also significantly reduces the potential of exterior injuries, as well. That's also a pretty big bonus.
So do all manner of hats, and -- more to the point -- real helmets do a vastly superior job at this task, so if you are really concerned with safety and not virtue signaling, you would be wearing a motorcycle-rated helmet.

Originally Posted by Eric F
Yes, there are more protective helmets in the world, such as those worn by motorcyclists. The trade-off is that they are limiting to the performance of operating a bicycle at a high level.
As I said, the priorities for bicycle helmets are "light, cool, cheap, and safe" -- in that order. Maybe throw 'fast' in there, too. So let's not pretend this helmet fetishization is about safety, eh?

Originally Posted by Eric F
Despite the protection limitations of current bike helmet designs, it's still better than being helmet-less...by a lot. Your continued insistence that bike helmets are worthless is delusional.
So why, exactly, do the relevant statistics in the United States argue precisely against your imagination on this point? Why do helmeted riders die at precisely the same rate as bare-headed ones?
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Old 04-15-24, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly
Have you noticed that absolutely nobody agrees with you?
Yes. If I agreed with the mistaken conventional wisdom, there wouldn't be much point in commenting, now would there? In fact, if everyone is merely responsible for toeing the party-line and worshiping the conventional wisdom, there wouldn't be much point in having a discussion forum at all, would there?

That said, out of an unknown number of readers here, it seems to be around 3 who disagree with me so far, with one or two persons agreeing with me. That's not exactly a landslide vote.

Originally Posted by pepperbelly
Does that make you stop and rethink your position or do you think everyone is out of step but you?
Unlike other commenters, I think about the topic at-hand before commenting, not after. So, in this example, I have thought-about and studied and researched this topic for around 20 years. I am quite sure that I am correct. And I've had this debate many dozens of times -- all with the same outcome, which is that helmet-believers will make all manner of outlandishly-optimistic claims for the powers of their dainty little plastic hats, but they will be unable to explain why none of these powers are ever detectable statistically. Then they will become very quiet or resort to ad hominem attacks. BTDT -- still waiting for anyone to explain why bicycle helmets exhibit the precise statistical signature of a placebo, and have for many years.
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Old 04-15-24, 07:05 PM
  #3845  
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Originally Posted by TC1
No, I said they stop riding as adults. This is why there are around 70M youth cyclists in the US, but only around 50M adults.



Not in this timeline. Check out the market for, well, any luxury good.



Largely because of the perception of cycling danger, as I explained. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...en-dont-cycle/ among hundreds of other studies.



Why then do they precisely match the statistic signature thereof?



The human skull is not actually all that vulnerable, especially at cycling speeds. It has been designed for millennia precisely to protect its contents, and it does a pretty good job -- and isn't assisted to a significant degree by 200 grams of plastic. Especially so when, as previously explained, that "something" causes more head impact and more severe head impacts by the very nature of its increased size.



Which would be useful information if medical schools instructed doctors on accident reconstruction, statistical analysis, and a host of other skills necessary to make that judgement. But they do not.



All of which claim to find a benefit to fatal injuries which does not exist in the real world. Can you explain this problem? Why do these theoretical benefits disappear when we analyze real-world data?

And attempting to study cyclist injuries has been notoriously plagued by inaccurate studies that have been subsequently retracted. By the way, one of your studies even claims that mandatory helmet laws work -- which almost no one believes any more. And some of the studies used as few as 21 cases. So the quality of these studies leaves much to be desired.



Again, why do bicycle helmets present the precise statistical signature of a placebo? This trumps your opinion, until and unless you can explain why bicycle helmets do not work in the real world, which we inhabit.



A most unfortunate example for your position -- since much like the human skull versus thin plastic hats, it turns out to be the case that millennia of evolution did an impressive job designing our feet and legs. To the point that there's significant debate over whether barefoot running is better than your fancy plastic shoes...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212355/ among lots of others that are not really germane to this forum, and can be googled by interested parties.




It exists, and many studies have proven that the perception of danger limits cycling uptake. On this very forum, you will find many people who are happy to share that they "only ride trails" or "don't ride outside" due to perceived danger. An enormous part of the gravel boom has been this exact ideation. And it isn't unique to cycling -- I am a paddler, and a similar and similarly-misguided situation applies to personal flotation devices. There is a movement to demand that all paddlers wear PFDs at all times, and practitioners thereof love to shame anyone who dares hit the water without one -- to the point where even paddlers who are sharing water with swimming children can be harrassed. I've purchased two second-hand boats from people who stopped using them because mandatory vest laws were passed, and their wives decided that hobby was too dangerous as a result.



Again, the protection to which you refer is imaginary. That's the point. If you believe that you need to protect your head while cycling, you should be wearing a motorcycle helmet. There's no valid argument to the contrary.



I am not making the crazy claim, you are. The claim that bicycle helmets offer the protection that you allege they do, is crazy. That claim is contradicted by real-world statistics, and has always been, for as long as anyone has kept such statistics. Your (general) wishful thinking and hoping does not change that fact.
I was not talking about youths not cycling but youths stopping cycling maybe it wasn't clear but I am talking about youths becoming adults and stopping cycling.

So your piece of data is an online news piece of why women don't cycle which features a link to a buzzfeed twitter post. Real strong argument. Clearly a peer reviewed study if the peers are millenniums at buzzfed and the study was an article on a blog website. It also mentioned helmets exactly ONCE and that was related to HAIR as in helmet hair which is the silliest argument against helmets out there.

So it looks like you have an issue with plastic, because you do really mention plastic a lot. The weight of the helmet is pretty immaterial but the average helmet weight is 280-450 grams and yes they do help. It is not a placebo and you yet haven't proven it is beyond saying it's a placebo over and over. Medical professionals have said to wear helmets a random internet person has said not to because of a flimsy article that doesn't mention helmets (beyond helmet hair) and the repetition of plastic and placebo and statistics which you don't seem to have.

Again naked skull vs pavement or protected skull vs pavement do you truly and honestly think a naked skull is going to be more protected? I mean I know some people who smoke a lot but never to that level. I mean if you are going to argue helmets don't protect anyone why in the heck would they still exist? Why would football players wear them because they cannot be effective at all and the reason is a football field is much softer than asphalt. It is a beyond silly argument for a beyond silly arguer.

I am curious what helmets did to you? Show us where on the doll the helmet touched you...LOL!
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Old 04-15-24, 07:19 PM
  #3846  
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LOL Guys! Again, this isn't his first rodeo. Got some real doozies if you want to go back and look, though this one ranks pretty high. You aren't going to persuade him with facts, FWIW.
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Old 04-15-24, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
Unpaved ground can be quite hard (it can also be a bit softer but not some fluffy pillow to protect your head) and most people are not falling on animals or water and in the water such as for kayaking and white water rafting people do wear helmets.
Paddlers wear helmets due to submerged rocks, not due to your imagined hardness of water. Water doesn't get hard until you jump off a bridge. Cyclists do collide with animals. But the point is, your statement that everything is harder than a skull was demonstrable nonsense.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
Helmets have been proven effective. Despite it increasing the "effective size of your "head"" they do help prevent impacts and are not just plastic but specifically designed foams to protect you.
You are babbling complete nonsense now -- some of which I elided to save you further embarrassment. Go have a coffee or whatever you require, and get your head straight before continuing. A helmet cannot prevent an impact -- that is a physical impossibility. Stop wasting my time with such garbage.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
Real helmets? What perchance is a real helmet and what is a fake helmet?
Read the last page or so. This has been covered. A real helmet is Snell M or SA rated, or the European equivalents which I no longer recall by heart. "Fake" helmets are the ~200 gram plastic hats currently sold under the guise of "bicycle helmets", which offer no benefit.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
However again saying one is bad and one is good kind of undercuts your argument because it seems as if you are advocating for one based on the same argument you are advocating against the other.
Again, I invite you to coffee-up and read the last couple pages. The point, which has been made repeatedly, is that real helmets offer a safety benefit to the wearer, and bicycle helmets do not.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
Also just curious about your studies, you mention studies and so far I haven't seen links to STUDIES from you.
Do you need an all-capital-letters study to help you look up the relevant statistics, which are all available from the NHTSA? If you are honestly unaware of the relevant statistics, and not just further wasting our time by trolling, why are you even participating in this discussion? The absolute basic information that a person should be in-possession of, before attempting to discuss the alleged merits of bicycle helmets, is how well they accomplish their alleged function. Do you mean to tell me that you have never bothered to do the very first bit of research that must necessarily precede intelligent discussion on this topic?
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Old 04-15-24, 07:38 PM
  #3848  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
I was not talking about youths not cycling but youths stopping cycling maybe it wasn't clear but I am talking about youths becoming adults and stopping cycling.
So you are unaware that there are about 70M youth cyclists in the US, and only about 50M adults? How can that situation exist, if kids are not stopping once they become adults?

Originally Posted by veganbikes
So your piece of data is an online news piece of why women don't cycle which features a link to a buzzfeed twitter post. Real strong argument.
You might should consider reading the article, before embarrassing yourself further. Also, fivethirtyeight is a highly respected outlet -- I'm not surprised that you are unaware of this, unfortunately.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
The weight of the helmet is pretty immaterial...
Could you be any less informed, if you actually tried to be?

Originally Posted by veganbikes
but the average helmet weight is 280-450 grams and yes they do help.
Why then can no such signal be identified in the relevant statistics?

Originally Posted by veganbikes
It is not a placebo
Why then does that precise situation exist in the relevant statistics?

Originally Posted by veganbikes
Medical professionals have said to wear helmets a random internet person has said not to because of a flimsy article that doesn't mention helmets (beyond helmet hair) and the repetition of plastic and placebo and statistics which you don't seem to have.
This is embarrassing even by your low standard. The referenced article was with respect to why people do not ride, with the answer being fear. And the statistics are available from the NHTSA -- which everyone capable of participating in this discussion already knows.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
Again naked skull vs pavement or protected skull vs pavement do you truly and honestly think a naked skull is going to be more protected?
As previously explained, in some cases, yes -- specifically, when the bare head does not contact anything in the same situation where a helmet does. This is not hard to comprehend.

That said, this is not the question. The question is, does a dainty little plastic hat offer any protection in this, or any other, scenario? And the relevant statistics say "No".

Originally Posted by veganbikes
I mean if you are going to argue helmets don't protect anyone why in the heck would they still exist?
Cigarettes still exist, and they sure as hell don't protect anyone. Very few items that can be profitably sold cease to exist.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
Why would football players wear them because they cannot be effective at all and the reason is a football field is much softer than asphalt. It is a beyond silly argument for a beyond silly arguer.
Again, stop wasting my time. I already explained many times in many posts that helmets can be made that are useful. If you cannot understand the discussion, I invite you to discontinue here.

If the quality of your comments does not improve, you will not receive any more responses from me.
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Old 04-15-24, 07:41 PM
  #3849  
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Originally Posted by TC1
Paddlers wear helmets due to submerged rocks, not due to your imagined hardness of water. Water doesn't get hard until you jump off a bridge. Cyclists do collide with animals. But the point is, your statement that everything is harder than a skull was demonstrable nonsense.



You are babbling complete nonsense now -- some of which I elided to save you further embarrassment. Go have a coffee or whatever you require, and get your head straight before continuing. A helmet cannot prevent an impact -- that is a physical impossibility. Stop wasting my time with such garbage.



Read the last page or so. This has been covered. A real helmet is Snell M or SA rated, or the European equivalents which I no longer recall by heart. "Fake" helmets are the ~200 gram plastic hats currently sold under the guise of "bicycle helmets", which offer no benefit.



Again, I invite you to coffee-up and read the last couple pages. The point, which has been made repeatedly, is that real helmets offer a safety benefit to the wearer, and bicycle helmets do not.



Do you need an all-capital-letters study to help you look up the relevant statistics, which are all available from the NHTSA? If you are honestly unaware of the relevant statistics, and not just further wasting our time by trolling, why are you even participating in this discussion? The absolute basic information that a person should be in-possession of, before attempting to discuss the alleged merits of bicycle helmets, is how well they accomplish their alleged function. Do you mean to tell me that you have never bothered to do the very first bit of research that must necessarily precede intelligent discussion on this topic?
Yes so is asphalt now significantly softer than rocks? I wasn't aware that had happened. Would love to see the peer reviewed study on that.

Nonsense? How is what I wrote nonsense. I get that you don't have an argument so all you can do is grasp at straws but come on.

Did I state that helmets prevent impacts, no, I don't think anyone has said that but they protect your head IN an impact.

So confused...you believe a bicycle helmet is fake because it is rated by a different standards organization? Are you actually trying to claim that a helmet is fake because it is not SNELL rated even though some bicycle helmets have been SNELL rated. What is your next argument that book is not a real book because it wasn't published by Pendant Publishing? Peanuts are not real legumes because they are called "nuts"?

I don't drink coffee or other stimulants, I don't need them for life. Maybe you do but I prefer not to. If that is part of your argument it is also pretty weak and flimsy.

So where are these studies, so far you haven't posted a single one you allude to them constantly but never can provide one, I provided links to data and peer reviewed studies you so far have not. It is fine you don't really have a good argument it happens I understand. You are that last Japanese soldier who was living in a cave on an island who still believed the war was going on and the rest of the world has long moved on.
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Old 04-15-24, 07:45 PM
  #3850  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
LOL Guys! Again, this isn't his first rodeo. Got some real doozies if you want to go back and look, though this one ranks pretty high. You aren't going to persuade him with facts, FWIW.
You claim to enjoy "facts", so can you explain why the percentage of cyclists who die wearing helmets exactly matches the cyclist helmet usage rate? And why that match has persisted for many years?

Or, have you nothing whatsoever useful to add apart from unsuccessful comic relief?
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