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Was anyone even wearing a helmet in the 1980's?

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Was anyone even wearing a helmet in the 1980's?

Old 04-14-22, 08:46 PM
  #126  
repechage
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
Nope, still do not unless I am riding my motorcycle.
getting less hair on top will keep the skin Dr happy, and is sensible.

prior, worn in a group as I don't trust that many, trust is earned.

way back, on the Sunday Club ride, helmets were expected, no big deal, they were not that effective, of the hairnet type but, better than nothing.
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Old 04-14-22, 09:17 PM
  #127  
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I bought a Bell Biker spring 1977 when I knew I'd be racing Cat 3/4 and I also knew I wasn't fast enough to ride the front most of the time. That fall I was riding to a group ride with a friend of the ride leader; an aid in a neurosurgical unit when my Lambert fork broke downhill. Ended up under a CAT scanner (they were still feline with the letter "A" in those days), then a 5 day coma and another scan. Walked out of the hospital 3 weeks later. FUll recovery except basically a ten year setback in my life's plans and many opportunities lost. But without that helmet, I wouldn't be here.

I became instantly famous and put Bell on the map in the Boston area cycling world. (The fame I had no clue of. I had bigger matters on my plate. Later I used it for fun. I'd go to any shop in Boston when I was back visiting, go the Bell helmet display, which now existed but not when I bought mine, and wait for an employee to come and tell me my story.)

I have had repercussions from that head hit. I now concuss easily. My brain is not well anchored and I get reminders often. I could sit down with an NFL lineman and trade stories. Very different stories but I guarantee you we'd relate.

My helmets since have been all Bell until I learned of MIPS. Bought the first brightly colored MIPS that fit, a POC Trabec MTB helmet. That POC is far higher quality than any Bell I've owned and I'll get another. Still, I owe a deep gratitude for Bell putting out there an imperfect helmet that changed the cycling world and saved my life.
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Old 04-14-22, 09:31 PM
  #128  
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Bah~ Answered another zombie thread, probably for the second time. No, I am not going back and looking.

Saw the mention of Skid Lids. Also MSR. I knew when I bought my Bell that it might save me in a hard crash where neither of the others would. Always got a kick out of the name Skid Lid because that was the derogatory name in my race circles for the leather hairnets we were required to wear racing. Standard joke - so we could have an open casket funeral. No road rash.
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Old 04-14-22, 09:34 PM
  #129  
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I rode the farm lands of north central IN as a teen in the late 80s, usually doing 20-40m of farm roads. One evening I was late getting home after getting clipped and waking up in the ditch a period of time later. I didn't really think anything of it (I was 14, I think); but my parents went out and bought me a clearance black Brancale hardshell. It was heavy and it was hot.

These days I only wear one if I expect to go fast in traffic, If I'm running suburban errands through the neighborhoods, PT rides on the MUP, or riding the city mtb park; I just wear a cap. With all the craziness in the news, if I die on bike crash at least I went doing something I loved.
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Old 04-14-22, 09:36 PM
  #130  
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I finally broke down and bought a Trek helmet 11 years ago. How I survived I’ll never know.
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Old 04-14-22, 11:30 PM
  #131  
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I’ve cracked three helmets in the last thirty years, and have been glad for the extra time on this earth that each of them has allowed me.
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Old 04-14-22, 11:58 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Not till the 90s for me, kind of coincided with have kids. Finally bought my first ski helmet last year, been skiing since early 70s
Tim
Same here. I think I might have bought my first helmet in the early 90s after riding since the late 50s, "real" road bikes since the early 70s. I remember when I saw people riding with helmets in the late 70s and 80s I thought it was a totally ridiculous concept. Frankly, although I don't disagree that helmets do provide a degree of protection and safety and I have no issue with comfort and don't have any reason NOT to wear one. But, I still believe the danger of bike riding is way overblown and it doesn't bother me one whit when I see kids or adults riding without helmets.

I probably started after my kids were born the bottom line reason being "why not". Certainly wasn't worth disagreeing with my wife about.

Back to the question though. My first two helmets were the styrofoam+lycra and mesh covered ones. One I think was a Bell- red and black highlights on the lycra and mesh covering. The other was a Performance brand, white and blue. At the time, I believe I'd read a Consumer Reports test of helmets and at the time, and the Bell was top rated according to the tests they did and the Performance i got to be able to just leave one at my office in case I forgot to bring the Bell for my noon ride. I believe it was thought that the fabric covered ones were better than what passed for hard shell. I think that conventional wisdom lasted a few years? Does anyone remember this?

Does anyone remember that helmets came with a bunch of foam fit pieces that you had to mess with - how fussy the fit was?

My last two helmets lasted about 10 years each, and I just bought a basic range Giro MIPS (~$115) last week to replace my old, but still in good shape LG which was fairly expensive 10 years ago (~$150 at the time, probably ~$200 today) I haven't ridden the Giro in hot weather yet (vent is one possible knock on it), but I'll have to say the current suspension/fit system in this new helmet seem to have improved in 10 years - requires little or no adjustment other than turning the little knob at the back, and it just seems to fit better and is more comfortable right out of the box. It seems to naturally fall into place where it should be rather than having to adjust the straps to bring it down the forehead where it should be. I have no idea if it's actually more protective, but I like it.

Last edited by Camilo; 04-15-22 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 04-15-22, 08:34 AM
  #133  
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Yes.

Around 1987 I dabbled in riding a bike.

I traded a Sony CDX-1 for a Trek 510, 2 pairs of chamoised shorts, a pair of crotchet gloves, and a Bell mushroom with the red stripe.
Years of motorcycling had me using helmets as second nature.

I was impressed with the Suntour Superbe Pro that was on the Trek, but despised the helmet. When a pace line “buddy” failed to warn me of a storm drain grate, I made use of the helmet. I replaced the rear wheel with a concave Weinmann, healed from the road rash, and sold the bike and gear.

By then, the price of CD players had come down to a rational amount, so I went back to it, blissfully unaware of indexing, Ergos, and STIs until I figured I’d give it another go in 2004.

Helmets are better now.

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Old 04-15-22, 01:19 PM
  #134  
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Even though I rode motorcycles I never wore a bicycle helmet until just twenty or so years ago. Heck, I rarely wore my first Nava mc helmet even though I thought the thing was pretty cool.

I wish I could say I was smart enough to wear them back in the day, but honestly, I wasn't. My first helmets were Bells and today I wear a Limar and some other brand I can't think of.
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Old 04-15-22, 02:10 PM
  #135  
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Old 04-15-22, 02:10 PM
  #136  
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Back in the mid 1970s, a high school classmate mine died in a head on collision (with another bicycle), at the University of Illinois. No helmet.
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Old 04-15-22, 04:40 PM
  #137  
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I was 50/50 with wearing helmets in the 80's. Half the time I wore one and half the time I didn't depending on how I feel and how hot the weather might be. Being also a motorcycle rider, I did feel a bit guilty when I rode my bicycle without a helmet, as I always wore one every time I rode my motorcycle.....
I just thought they looked so goofy on me. Never did try leather hairnets as they look super dorkey to me, but I did get myself a Bell Tourlite which looked kinda cool and modern back then with its sculpted air scoops and tinted Lexan visor, especially compared to other helmets like Skid Lids. But sometimes I felt like the helmet just makes my big head even bigger.....
I eventually transitioned to an expanded foam with lycra cover helmet from Avenir which was similar to Giros, in the late 80's.
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Old 04-15-22, 06:17 PM
  #138  
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When my brother and I raced as Midgets in the late 70's, helmets were required. The hair nets were legal, but the skid lids were not.

Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
I wore a Skid-Lid in the late 70s when I commuted back and forth to work; however I did not wear it for other types of riding. It was probably the mid-oughts when I started wearing one consistently.
I also had a skid lid that I absolutely wore out. The little plastic barbs holding the side tubes wore out and were replaced by shoe laces. The foam was thin. And, much of the paint was rubbing off.

I'll have to try to find it one of these days.
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Old 04-15-22, 09:24 PM
  #139  
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Some form of helmets were being worn in the 60s. Some riders in this film have them.

https://www.nfb.ca/film/60_cycles_en/
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Old 04-15-22, 09:52 PM
  #140  
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The closest I came to wearing a helmet was a cycling hat in the 80's. A nod to the movie "Breaking Away". The movie that inspired my friends and I to ride.
We would do our best to be "Cutters"...lol


My first real helmet wasn't used till the mid 90's.
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Old 04-15-22, 10:27 PM
  #141  
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I first started wearing a helmet in 1977 while attending dental school in San Francisco. I had used a bike for commuting to school in my undergrad years, a oneway distance of seven miles. Never wore a helmet for that. When I started commuting in SF (13 miles one way and a lovely ride through Golden Gate Park) I got a Bell Biker. I wore street clothes for the commute but wore the helmet and gloves. When people commented on wearing helmet and gloves I replied that protecting the two parts of my body that I would use throughout my career was a wise and cautious investment.
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Old 04-16-22, 12:16 PM
  #142  
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Anyone heard of a "Kiwi"? I've never seen one until I turned this one up at a local swap meet a few weeks ago. Apparently, once the official helmet of the 7-11 team but I couldn't find any photos of them wearing it.
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Old 04-16-22, 01:25 PM
  #143  
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Yep I have seen them back in the day. Don’t remember if 7-11 had them or not .. I do remember 7-11 did use giro helmets at one time.
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Old 04-16-22, 02:09 PM
  #144  
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i wore one on a tour of England in the early 80's and a British rider (Welch actually, I suppose) laughed at me and asked where was coat of armor and how often do you fall off?
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Old 04-16-22, 03:35 PM
  #145  
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I just avoid crashing. It works for me. You live and you learn

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Old 04-16-22, 05:22 PM
  #146  
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When I started racing and for a few years it was required to wear a helmet, but with no type specified. Most of the guys rode with leather helmets ( now sometimes referred to as hairnets). I never really put one to the test….luckily. I recall a race when I was allowed to race as a senior in the district championships one year ( as a junior), I was given some advice from a senior friend on racing in a much larger field….” When you are among the Bell V1 Pros, you are too far back….

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Old 04-16-22, 09:51 PM
  #147  
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In the middle '70s I had a leather helmet, because anyone who raced in ABL (Amateur Bicycle League) events had to wear one. Nobody else did, that I remember, and most racers only wore theirs while racing. The term 'leather hairnet' was popularized if not coined by a Competitive Cyclist columnist who railed against them in what I thought was a waste of column space. What's it to you, buddy? Then I fell down at 1/2 mph at a stop sign on a group training ride and woke up in a stranger's car. "Where's my bike!?!" (It was in back).

I'd had a concussion, but was still allowed to go to a party that evening, and felt fine. My parents then got me one of the new Bell helmets, and yes I remember the white straps. I hadn't heard the Bell 'Biker' model name until reading this thread - it was always just "that Bell helmet" to us, and I was the one wearing one. Colin Laing asked me "When you get a headache do you just fold it up and put it in your pocket?" Friends joked about running into a tree and having one of the branches go right through a vent and into your head. The sizing pads would get full of sweat, especially the one on my forehead, which I would mash down occasionally to keep it from slow-dripping, missing my face if I got the angle right. Undeterred by branches, I drilled a 3/4" hole through the front part of the shell to directly vent that front pad. It helped a little.

When I started working at Los Alamos some 30 years later, I decided to just wear my motorcycle helmet every time commuting to work, competing with 10,000 other commuters in the 'Española 500'. So I was wearing a half-helmet when a driver pulled out in front of me and I was glad I did.

Now I have a barely-there Giro helmet that I wear on every bicycle ride, except for a couple where the barely-there aspect was barely missed.
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Old 04-17-22, 06:17 AM
  #148  
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When I was in the local bike club in the late ‘70s a few people had helmets, those Bell Windjammers maybe, and usually Beta Bikers too. Most of more casual riders didn’t wear them.

When I tried to get into racing in the late ‘80s helmets were something that most didn’t have but promoters and officials were thinking about. After they became mandatory for racing I got this cheap, ugly, uncomfortable Monarc helmet that thank god my friend Eric ran over one evening after a training race. I got the, then, top of the line Gyro.

At one point we used to cruise around warming up, even on the Criterium course, with the helmet hanging off the bars…. yeah kinda dumb huh. They put a stop to that and if you were at a USCF even helmets were mandatory both racing and warming up



Actually I think this was best helmet I ever had, and I wish they would make a comeback.
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Old 04-17-22, 06:26 AM
  #149  
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I still have my leather "hair net" from back then
Skid Lid was my first helmet
Some wore hockey helmets, they worked pretty well, a lot better than the hair nets
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Old 04-17-22, 06:31 AM
  #150  
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"It's for your safety".

How many times have we heard that before as personal Liberty is constrained to some further degree, usually coinciding with some form of lightening of the wallet?

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