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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 04-22-21, 10:15 PM
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Was anyone even wearing a helmet in the 1980's?

They apparently sold a lot of them, but none of the guys I rode with wore one back then.

The Vintage Cycling Helmet: Bike Helmets of the 1970's & 1980's - YouTube
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Old 04-22-21, 11:16 PM
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Yep. I toured through Europe with a Bell Biker in 1976. Switched to a V1 Pro in the early 80s after my Biker was destroyed when I was run down from behind by a pickup truck and catapulted headfirst into the asphalt. Most of my riding friends wore these. Switched to the fabric covered Giros when those came out somewhere around 1985.
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Old 04-22-21, 11:59 PM
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I started wearing one of the early Bell helmets in the late '70s, the kind with a cloth cover over a foam shell as I recall. I'd' gotten a bad head injury as a kid when I went over the handlebars of my Western Flyer. When I got into college and bought a fast French bike I was doing a lot of riding over rural roads in Tennessee, where people then and now drove like mad dogs. I didn't want to take any more chances than I had to.
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Old 04-23-21, 03:54 AM
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I started road cycling in 1987 and didn't wear a helmet until 1993. That was when I was in the military and they came out with a rule that helmets were mandatory when riding on base. But that was about the time when pretty much everyone started wearing them so I didn't look out of place anymore haha. But the cotton cap has always been under my helmet.
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Old 04-23-21, 04:22 AM
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Wore a Bell starting in early-mid 80"s. Had raced motorcycles in 70's so helmet was the norm, plus had already had 2 concussions (1 motorcycle,1 soccer)
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Old 04-23-21, 05:21 AM
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Nope, still do not unless I am riding my motorcycle.
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Old 04-23-21, 05:28 AM
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Occasionally back in 1970. Again in 1997.
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Old 04-23-21, 06:25 AM
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I worked in a bike shop in the 80s. I thought they were a good idea and sold them to my customers. I think I may have used a Bell Biker for a short time. I know I used a V1 pro for some time and then the Giro when it came out.
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Old 04-23-21, 06:25 AM
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I think that I started wearing a helmet soon after moving to California in 1982, a Vetta. I'll see if I can find a photo...

1987 Tour de Sewer in Los Angeles.

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 04-23-21 at 06:29 AM. Reason: add photo
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Old 04-23-21, 06:56 AM
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Sold them in shops in the '70s and probably in about '80 a girlfriend gave me one and said, "You will wear it." I chose a hardshell yellow MSR and probably still have it somewhere.
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Old 04-23-21, 06:58 AM
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I did not and road my road bike all over the place. To concerned about my flow back then to wear a helmet. No need to worry about that now!
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Old 04-23-21, 06:59 AM
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Had a nasty bike crash in 1980, knocking myself unconscious and losing a few teeth. No helmet. My parents strongly encouraged me to pick one up thereafter; I bought a SkidLid. Fortunately, I didn't have to test it in another crash.
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Old 04-23-21, 07:13 AM
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I had a Bell in the 80's and always wore it. It was uncommon but I don't recall being mocked for it or anything. I grew up in a motorcycle family, so it was pretty normal for me. I always wanted one of the leather hair net helmets but they were expensive and I knew they did nothing.
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Old 04-23-21, 07:29 AM
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I was hit by a car in 1978 -- no helmet -- skull fracture and a number of other not-very-fun injuries. Started riding again with a Bell Biker. These days I use a Specialized Prevail -- super light and the least horrible sweat-producer of any helmet I've ever worn.

Only place/time I do not wear one now (edit: while on a bike!) is riding around in towns in the Netherlands when I go to visit my relatives there -- no one other than hard core roadies there wear one, and motorists and dogs are exceptionally well trained and respect bicycles, plus the infrastructure is terrific.
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Old 04-23-21, 07:40 AM
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My first helmet was a Bell Spectrum in 1988. I have a big head to begin with and squeezing it into that one size fits all helmet was ridiculous looking.
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Old 04-23-21, 08:02 AM
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My parents bought me a black Bracale hardshell in '87. I was spending the summer going out for 4-5hrs/day riding around rural IN, empty county roads between the corn fields and they said I had to wear it after having been run into a ditch the fall before.

To this day, I think my dislike of wearing a helmet comes from that hot, heavy thing.
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Old 04-23-21, 08:41 AM
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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.

Last edited by Moe Zhoost; 04-23-21 at 08:42 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-23-21, 08:48 AM
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I wore mine all the time a “Bell Biker” just like the one he starts the video with. Bought in the late 70s form the Yellow Jersey Bicycle Co-op on State St. in Madison WI. just a few doors down from where I worked at the time. A good thing too, had it on when I slid off the path foolishly speeding down Vail Pass bike trail and flew head over heals. Still have it, it still has a scar from that crash, still have an uncracked head the bike was never the same though. If I ever get to ride the Eroica California I plan to where it. Thanks for the link Joe brought back many memories.
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Old 04-23-21, 08:50 AM
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I've been wearing helmets since 1978 or so. This photo is from 1983:

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Old 04-23-21, 08:57 AM
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In my childhood years I never, ever wore a helmet. And come to think of it, I don't know that I even knew they existed, never saw any.
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Old 04-23-21, 09:01 AM
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I wore this one in the 80's.

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Old 04-23-21, 09:06 AM
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I started riding again in '86, and was surprised to find that a lot of serious bikers were using the Mirage soft shells. A helmet may have even been a requirement for the Cat racers around here.
My best riding buddy wore his Bell Biker well into this century.
I put a big flat spot into my Nashbar soft shell around '92.
I pick old helmets up when I find a cherry one cheap.
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Old 04-23-21, 09:12 AM
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Like others here I began wearing a helmet after a crash and concussion. That was about 5 years before this photo was taken.

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Old 04-23-21, 09:18 AM
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I bought, and used, a Bell Biker in the late 70s, possibly as early as 1978. It lasted until about 1985 when I let go of one handlebar on the most epic mountain bike jump of my life. I smashed it after going over the high side and ended up with “camera motor drive” vision. (Moving my head from side-to-side felt like I was taking pictures with a motor drive).

I smashed a MSR when one of the two dogs I was riding with decided that she was afraid of drainage grates on the road. She stopped, the other dog didn’t nor did I. I remember a might THWACK when my head hit the ground and two dogs jumping over me in a very graceful and beautiful arc.

One of my most memorable car she’s happened with a Bell V1-Pro. I smashed it to pieces when I hit a curb at about 20 mph and did a Greg Louganis dismount...full layout with a pivot on my head.

Since then I’ve smashed so many helmets that I have no idea how many. It could be as high as 20 or 30. With the exception of going over the high side, I have not once lost consciousness in any crash. I remember them in glorious technicolor.
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Old 04-23-21, 09:22 AM
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In 1982, I wore a Brancale hardshell helmet while racing as a junior in France. We were required to wear a helmet at the line up, but almost everyone discarded them by the end of the first lap. And almost all helmets were just the leather hairnet style.
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