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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 04-16-24, 06:26 PM
  #3876  
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Originally Posted by TC1
It is a great argument to illustrate that you are completely clueless on this topic -- since you were just preaching about manufacturers rigorously testing their helmets. That is precisely not the case, which is why Virginia Tech University has had to step into the breach and develop a test program.
This really doesn’t help your case. VT’s testing finds that some helmets offer BETTER PROTECTION than others.
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Old 04-16-24, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
From the Forbes article...“The materials that are used in most of today’s helmets are engineered to absorb the high impact energies that can produce skull fractures and severe brain injuries”.


As are the materials used in proper helmets that exhibit an improvement in wearer protection. Why don't you wear one of those helmets, instead of a bicycle helmet that exhibits no benefit?


Originally Posted by Eric F
Impact energy absorption is what I've been talking about, and the fact that it's happening is evidenced by the resulting crushed EPS foam. That means 100% of the impact energy was not transmitted directly to my/your head. That's a good thing. This is simple stuff.


It is nowhere near as simple as you seem to think, as evidenced by the fact that you got your calculation wrong -- it's not 100%. Hint: Consider what happens when the foam is fully compressed.

And again, you are missing half of the equation. The increased size of your effective "head" necessarily results in more and more-severe impacts. So the question is not "Does foam absorb some energy?" It is "Does foam absorb sufficient energy to offset the increase caused by the effective head-size increase?"

That question is anything but simple to answer -- and statistics indicate that the answer is most-likely "No".


Originally Posted by Eric F
If someone is going to hit you on the head with a 2x4, and you have a choice between wearing a bicycle helmet or nothing, which do you choose?


Depends on how good their aim is. I'd rather they just barely miss my head than solidly contact my helmet, and so would you.


Originally Posted by Eric F
It truly baffles me that someone can talk themselves into the conclusion that bike helmets are useless...harmful, even.
If bicycle helmets save lives, why then are they unable to leave any trace whatsoever of their effect in the United States fatality statistics? This is the crux of the problem with your claim. You believe that helmets work. If they do, evidence should exist. It does not. In fact, evidence that they do not work exists, and could scarcely be more clear.

Again, helmet usage in the United States precisely matches the percentage of cyclist fatalities who were helmeted when they crashed -- currently both numbers are 32%. That is the precise signature of a placebo. This has been the case for many years.

Given that situation, there are only three potential high-level explanations:

Answer 1: Bicycle helmets are placebos.
Answer 2: Bicycle helmets save riders' lives, but some unknown force prevents this effect from appearing statistically.
Answer 3: Bicycle helmets cost riders' lives, but some unknown force prevents this effect from appearing statistically.

For the moment, let's ignore the third option, since it really doesn't matter because any unknown force that could satisfy A2 could apply to A3 as well, with the opposite sign.

So I will offer the helmetista crew here an olive branch, and I won't even ask for proof that A2 is the case, I will just ask for a hypothesis that could explain how A2 could be the case. Offer a plausible explanation, and maybe we can investigate it together, and determine its veracity. To date, no one has even been able to offer such a hypothesis, despite repeated requests. What could be this unknown force that prevents helmet effectiveness from leaving a statistical signature?
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Old 04-16-24, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
This really doesn’t help your case. VT’s testing finds that some helmets offer BETTER PROTECTION than others.
So? A fuzzy winter hat might offer better protection than a golf visor -- doesn't mean either one is going to save your life, or even matter.

By the way, in an interesting tangential development, the effectiveness of motorcycle helmets appears to be declining. In 2022, 60.26% of US motorcyclist fatalities were helmeted, while only 66.5% of riders wore helmets. That gap is down by close to half from just last decade.
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Old 04-16-24, 06:53 PM
  #3879  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
It is crazy and they couldn't really back up their opinion either.
I can -- I am waiting for you to accept my challenge.
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Old 04-16-24, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
Well, you've demonstrated a critical need for improved reading comprehension about a dozen times now -- I was being charitable and hoping your problem was a lack of coffee. Turns out, it may be a lack of ability to understand, which you continually demonstrate as well.



68% of American cyclists do not wear helmets. I am far from the only person who is aware that they do not work -- I'm just one of extremely few willing to attempt to educate persons like yourself.



Again with the lack of comprehension. You are no less safe with the wind in your hair versus wearing a bicycle helmet.



It is amusing that you are so completely uninformed that you think peer review has value.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...l-hoax/572212/
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/...s-and-scholars
https://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffre...h=450ccbd5463e
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2...iew-statistics
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8877864/



68% of American cyclists do not wear helmets. You hold the minority opinion.



It is a great argument to illustrate that you are completely clueless on this topic -- since you were just preaching about manufacturers rigorously testing their helmets. That is precisely not the case, which is why Virginia Tech University has had to step into the breach and develop a test program.

And you had absolutely zero clue about that, until I educated you. As with the remainder of this entire topic.



So are you willing to accept my challenge, or not? If I provide the statistics that I previously referenced, will you be an honest person and admit that you have been wrong?
VA tech has stepped in because they felt the CSPC tests weren't good enough though I am sure there are some manufacturers who don't test as well. However VA Tech creating better tests and rating helmets doesn't prove helmets are unsafe or bad.

68% of people don't wear helmets
I know the answer so this is more of a rhetorical question, where is your data? Also you are trying to claim these people believe what you believe which I know you don't have data on because it doesn't exist. People don't wear helmets for all number of reasons but I think most sane people would doubt it was because they felt they were actively unsafe and potentially dangerous as you are promoting. Regardless though people not doing something doesn't mean people shouldn't do it or that it is unsafe or dangerous. That is just silly logic. People frequently make decisions that aren't good for them. Tons of people still smoke or do hard drugs or drink excessive alcohol or other things that are reckless but that doesn't mean if a majority of people did it that it is good to do.

Now your articles have gone even farther off the deep end and have even less to do about helmets in the helmet thread. You really are going to great lengths to not support your opinion. It is amazing you hold such a ridiculous opinion but you won't actually stand behind it. You would think at the very least you would have posted those NHTSA studies you claim to have but you couldn't even do that. The best article you had was not one you posted and was just an extra one underneath one of the bicycling articles you posted and even that one was weak the first one's most damning strike against helmets was helmet hair which is neither dangerous nor a reason not to wear a helmet. Everything you post doesn't help you and your argument which is already super weak.

So your argument is now stemming upon someone else agreeing to some silly challenge that you have? You can't back up your argument it is OK that is fine just bow out.
​​​​​​​
You educated me? What did you educate me about, you not being able to stand behind your opinion or is it that there isn't all these studies you claim to be able to find easily? You educated me like the Jersey Shore show educates people as in not at all.
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Old 04-16-24, 07:49 PM
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This is fairly current and not a goofball source Nature. This one is older but again, a legit source. NIH Don't know how many beers I'd need to claim these folks are complicit in the Big Helmet Conspiracy.
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Old 04-16-24, 08:09 PM
  #3882  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
VA tech has stepped in because they felt the CSPC tests weren't good enough though I am sure there are some manufacturers who don't test as well. However VA Tech creating better tests and rating helmets doesn't prove helmets are unsafe or bad.
Anyone even slightly versed in the topic knows that helmet testing and certification has been a long-standing problem.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
I know the answer so this is more of a rhetorical question, where is your data?


I should hope that's rhetorical, because you've already been told several times that the data is available from the NHTSA. Are you unable to comprehend those 5 letters?


Originally Posted by veganbikes
So your argument is now stemming upon someone else agreeing to some silly challenge that you have? You can't back up your argument it is OK that is fine just bow out.


So, just to confirm then -- you lack the sufficient faith in your position to state that you will admit to being wrong, after I post the evidence?

What are you scared of? If you are certain that I am either wrong, or unable to defend my position, just state here publicly that you will admit to being wrong after I do so. You've nothing to lose, right?



Originally Posted by veganbikes
You educated me? What did you educate me about...
Let's see -- in no particular order:
  • the crisis in peer review
  • the fact that some products which do not protect people remain for sale
  • the fact that modern products do not necessarily improve on millennia of evolution
  • the nearly useless-quality of cycling injury statistics
  • the difference between Buzzfeed and fivethirtyeight
  • the many substances in the environment that are not harder than a human head
  • that paddlers do not wear helmets because of the "hardness" of water
  • that manufacturers do not rigorously test their helmets
  • and most importantly, that bicycle helmets exhibit the precise statistical signature of a placebo
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Old 04-16-24, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
This is fairly current and not a goofball source Nature. This one is older but again, a legit source. NIH Don't know how many beers I'd need to claim these folks are complicit in the Big Helmet Conspiracy.
That first study was previously addressed a page or so ago. I'll just quote from it, to illustrate why it isn't useful:

"These numbers are likely higher since cyclists’ injuries are still considerably under-reported, particularly in cases where no automobile was involved4."

Also, entertainingly, they had to whittle-down their dataset from an initial 780 studies to just 10 ( ! ) due to the lacking quality thereof, and some of those studies included as few as 21 cases. Meanwhile, they claim to expect a reduction in cyclist fatalities due to helmet usage, per their estimates, but they declined to explain why that has never occurred in the real world.


The second study you linked was done by one of the same authors who famously had his earlier attempt retracted pursuant to the Data Quality Act, since it was garbage.

https://waba.org/blog/2013/06/feds-w...ent-effective/


So nice try, but you'll want to do better next time.
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Old 04-16-24, 09:06 PM
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That's as good as it gets, though. Obviously nobody is going to set up controlled experiments. I wonder why this subject has you so agitated. Wasn't there a question in some of your other whoop ups as to whether you even ride a bike? Do you stand on the street and tell folks they shouldn't look both ways before crossing? Or rail against people thoroughly cooking their pork? Even Larry knows to use a condom.
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Old 04-16-24, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
Our new shop will have a policy of wearing helmets at all events we are a part of. There is no ifs ands or buts in this situation. There is just no point to not wear one unless you are riding on soft fluffy clouds in dreamland and your bike is made of air (but plenty stiff). I have a brain and it ain't perfect but unfortunately I won't be able to get another one and really don't want to have to do that ever. It would be miserable to have any brain damage especially as a result of cycling. I love eating vegetables but I don't want to become one unless it were a cartoonish version and I was a crime fighting habanero pepper with garlic bulbs for fists...HAHAHA
One of my very few memories of my hospital stay was of walking into some patient's room and viewing a vegetable. A living, breathing piece of wood. (It was completely beyond me that there might be "rules" for patients, or even that I was a patient and perhaps not supposed to wander. Heck, a week before I wasn't even born yet.)
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Old 04-16-24, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
That's as good as it gets, though. Obviously nobody is going to set up controlled experiments.
The same author that you quoted, who had his early work famously retracted, has now given-up trying to push the helmet falsehood. One of his more recent studies concludes:

Originally Posted by https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/3/2/110
RESULTS: There were 3854 injured cyclists in the three year period; 3390 (88%) completed questionnaires were returned 51% wore helmets at the time of crash. Only 22.3% of patients had head injuries and 34% had facial injuries. Risk of serious injury was increased by collision with a motor vehicle (odds ratio (OR) = 4.6), self reported speed > 15 mph (OR = 1.2), young age (< 6 years), and age > 39 years (OR = 2.1 and 2.2 respectively, compared with adults 20-39 years). Risk for serious injury was not affected by helmet use (OR = 0.9). Risk of neck injury was increased in those struck by motor vehicles (OR = 4.0), hospitalized for any injury (OR = 2.0), and those who died (OR = 15.1), but neck injury was not affected by helmet use. CONCLUSIONS: Prevention of serious bicycle injuries cannot be accomplished through helmet use alone, and may require separation of cyclists from motor vehicles, and delaying cycling until children are developmentally ready.
Originally Posted by shelbyfv
I wonder why this subject has you so agitated.
Why do you think I am? I am just taking time out of my day to educate people who should already be educated on this topic. I wonder why so many posters to the Advocacy & Safety forum are so completely unfamiliar with the topic at-hand.

Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Wasn't there a question in some of your other whoop ups as to whether you even ride a bike?
No, that was a pathetic and desperate attempt by an individual with no remaining position to defend, who had previously talked a lot of smack, and regretted it -- you should probably search up that person, you two might have a lot in common.
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Old 04-16-24, 09:39 PM
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Sorry, TC1. It appears that you have not convinced a single person here that wearing a bike helmet has no safety benefit over a bare head. Your theories simply don’t hold water against common sense backed up by personal experiences, and data. Your attempts at justifying your position are weak, and lack substantive supporting data. Statistics can be interpreted different ways, depending on the picture you want to paint. Fail. Zero stars. Do not recommend.

You have the distinct title of being the first BF’er to join my ignore list.

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Old 04-16-24, 09:58 PM
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There's a well known horse trainer that also believes helmets make you less safe. His argument is that the weight of a helmet makes it more likely that a rider will land on their head if thrown from a horse. (I suggested they should just wear lead spurs to guarantee that they always landed on their feet.)
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Old 04-16-24, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Sorry, TC1. It appears that you have not convinced a single person here that wearing a bike helmet has no safety benefit over a bare head.
Did you do a poll, or are you just imagining again? At least a couple people have liked my comments, and several others have become extremely quiet when pressed to defend their claims -- which may or may not indicate enlightenment.

Originally Posted by Eric F
Your theories simply don’t hold water against common sense backed up by personal experiences, and data.
Speaking of holding water, I'm glad you replied again, because I wanted to educate you about your EPS foam misunderstanding. You believe that EPS foam magically absorbs 100% of energy applied to it, as stated earlier.

Originally Posted by Eric F
Impact energy absorption is what I've been talking about, and the fact that it's happening is evidenced by the resulting crushed EPS foam. That means 100% of the impact energy was not transmitted directly to my/your head.


Here is a "simple" experiment that you can do at home, to learn how wrong you are, and it only requires two items -- a bucket of water, and a section of new EPS foam. Float the foam on the water, and wait until the water settles to a glassy surface. Now take your fist, and strike the foam. Your hypothesis is that 100% of the energy from your strike will be absorbed by the foam, and in that case, the water will remain completely undisturbed and glass.

Please have someone record a video, and post your results.


Originally Posted by Eric F
Your attempts at justifying your position are weak, and lack substantive supporting data. Statistics can be interpreted different ways, depending on the picture you want to paint.


At least I've defended my position. You, and just about everyone else, have been forced to resort to ad hominem attacks because you can't even attempt to defend yours.
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Old 04-17-24, 05:32 AM
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"Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." Supposedly Mark Twain but does it matter? Anyway, I agree that nobody is convinced. It's bad enough to make the leap from death statistics to all injuries but some person with no expertise imagining they can pull off a "gotcha" of NIH, etc is too much. Of course we just went through this with anti-vaxxers so it shouldn't be a surprise. Repetition, lack of new material has diminished the entertainment so I'll move along as well.

Last edited by shelbyfv; 04-17-24 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 04-17-24, 10:09 AM
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The stance that helmets do nothing is where you go off the track. They are used to mitigate the impact. I rode yesterday and saw about 90 percent of the riders using helmets. There was no complaints about their use or non use. I think the biggest issue with people not riding is that their but hurts...
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Old 04-17-24, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
... so I'll move along as well.
That is the only reasonable course of action. This is not about an exchange of information, or even people expressing their opinions -- it's about one person arguing an untenable position because arguing is their favorite sport.
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Old 04-17-24, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
Anyone even slightly versed in the topic knows that helmet testing and certification has been a long-standing problem.



I should hope that's rhetorical, because you've already been told several times that the data is available from the NHTSA. Are you unable to comprehend those 5 letters?



So, just to confirm then -- you lack the sufficient faith in your position to state that you will admit to being wrong, after I post the evidence?

What are you scared of? If you are certain that I am either wrong, or unable to defend my position, just state here publicly that you will admit to being wrong after I do so. You've nothing to lose, right?




Let's see -- in no particular order:
  • the crisis in peer review
  • the fact that some products which do not protect people remain for sale
  • the fact that modern products do not necessarily improve on millennia of evolution
  • the nearly useless-quality of cycling injury statistics
  • the difference between Buzzfeed and fivethirtyeight
  • the many substances in the environment that are not harder than a human head
  • that paddlers do not wear helmets because of the "hardness" of water
  • that manufacturers do not rigorously test their helmets
  • and most importantly, that bicycle helmets exhibit the precise statistical signature of a placebo
OK, so we should not wear helmets because some testing is slightly lacking. Really good logic.

You keep saying this data exists but yet you CANNOT prove it. It is not on me to find the data to back up your position. It is not on me to have to argue on your behalf and provide evidence to prove something that is so ridiculous. You cannot prove me wrong literally your position is untenable. "Helmets are unsafe because of helmet hair and someone might think cycling is dangerous if you wear helmets and because Amazon and others sell bad helmets they must all be unsafe, VA Tech has to rate them now.. Oh and if you want to find the data to back up my position you need to do because I can't" I think I have summed up your position pretty well and I am sure your response will be "you got it all wrong you won't let me post the data because you won't agree to my silly terms" or some such nonsense.

So no real education then because none of that is actual education. It is you trying to make more silly claims or say something that was already known. I know why paddlers where helmets yet you are trying to claim that rocks are some how significantly harder than pavement and because of that one should not wear a helmet. Some manufacturers do rigorously test their helmets some don't. You haven't educated about placebos you have just used the word over and over and over making false claims.

Your favorite blog and Buzzfeed are different but the article you posted was again listing Buzzfeed as their first source and then a tweet from Buzzfeed and the only mention of helmets was "helmet hair" which is very very very very very very very poor support for your argument.

I feel like if you had a good argument against helmets you could articulate it clearly and concisely and provide something to back up what you are saying. You cannot do that therefore you do not have a good argument against helmets. Not only that there really isn't a good argument against helmets. There are issues with helmets but not a good argument to not wear one. You certainly don't actually have one otherwise you would have posted it.
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Old 04-17-24, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Might be an insurance thing. .
That's the answer.
If you're not sure of an answer due to political, cultural, or personal pride, check to see what insurance companies think.

They tend to brush off society norms in the name of capitalism.
Translation: Follow the money.
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Old 04-18-24, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
That's the answer.
If you're not sure of an answer due to political, cultural, or personal pride, check to see what insurance companies think.

They tend to brush off society norms in the name of capitalism.
Translation: Follow the money.
Exactly. They depend on their actuarial tables to establish policies and rates. Their numbers have told them that the use of bike helmets saves them money.

More cynically, they can contest or deny a claim resulting from injury or death of a cyclist by citing the absence of a helmet, but that would still be argued on the basis of their data showing that bike helmets generally reduce accident trauma.
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Old 04-18-24, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
That's the answer.
If you're not sure of an answer due to political, cultural, or personal pride, check to see what insurance companies think.

They tend to brush off society norms in the name of capitalism.
Translation: Follow the money.
Originally Posted by Trakhak
Exactly. They depend on their actuarial tables to establish policies and rates. Their numbers have told them that the use of bike helmets saves them money.

More cynically, they can contest or deny a claim resulting from injury or death of a cyclist by citing the absence of a helmet, but that would still be argued on the basis of their data showing that bike helmets generally reduce accident trauma.
Please provide any links to credible sources that provide insight into "what insurance companies think" about the money saving potential of bicycle helmets, or their actuarial tables, "numbers" and/or rates that indicate bicycle helmets "save them money," or evidence of injury claims of customers being denied by "citing the absence of a bicycle helmet" that was not mandated by law.

Note that insurance companies can contest or deny anything for any reason that a lawyer can dream up; doesn't mean it will hold up if challenged in court.

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Old 04-18-24, 10:55 AM
  #3897  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
You keep saying this data exists but yet you CANNOT prove it. It is not on me to find the data to back up your position.
I did not ask you to find the data, I only require that you stand behind your position, and commit to admitting that you are wrong once I prove it. And you are too frightened to do so, for obvious reasons.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
"Helmets are unsafe because of helmet hair and someone might think cycling is dangerous if you wear helmets and because Amazon and others sell bad helmets they must all be unsafe, VA Tech has to rate them now..
It is a bit entertaining to watch you contort yourself around these red herrings, like a security blanket. You claimed that helmet manufacturers rigorously test their helmets to assure that they are all as effective as you hope they are -- so I was forced to educate you that nothing could be further from the truth. Try to keep up -- no one is talking about hair, except in your imagination.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
Some manufacturers do rigorously test their helmets some don't.
Would ya look at that! It can learn.

Originally Posted by veganbikes
I feel like if you had a good argument against helmets you could articulate it clearly and concisely and provide something to back up what you are saying.
After I do so, will you admit that you are wrong?
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Old 04-18-24, 01:16 PM
  #3898  
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Originally Posted by TC1
I did not ask you to find the data, I only require that you stand behind your position, and commit to admitting that you are wrong once I prove it. And you are too frightened to do so, for obvious reasons.


It appears you made a claim based on data you didn’t provide (a link to).
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Old 04-18-24, 01:35 PM
  #3899  
TC1
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
It appears you made a claim based on data you didn’t provide (a link to).
The NHTSA and DOT ( and NSC ) alter their reporting tools somewhat frequently, so links into them tend to be fragile and in some cases, impossible -- requiring screenshots and such. So no, I did not post links -- but I have offered to, if a certain individual expresses the confidence to own up afterwards.

For the record, everyone here who claims that bicycle helmets do save lives has also made a claim without providing a link to evidence. Claims that estimate that bicycle helmets should save lives are not evidence that they do.

Last edited by TC1; 04-18-24 at 01:37 PM. Reason: typo, added NSC
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Old 04-18-24, 01:36 PM
  #3900  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Please provide any links to credible sources that provide insight into "what insurance companies think
Get it yourself and stop being lazy.
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