Helmets

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
glueman
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Postby glueman » 25 Aug 2008, 9:05am

Encasing the head in polystyrene may be the final straw in the sweat battle. I'm fed up with organisations, especially commercial ones, pointing out how dangerous life is and offering to cure it for a fee. Death is not optional.

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360fix
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Postby 360fix » 25 Aug 2008, 10:26am

bikely-challenged wrote:At least you'd get noticed by drivers.

Maybe thats the truth. Car drivers observe all the helmets and this is a constant reminder to them that basicly we are a soft-headed bunch at heart.

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Cunobelin
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Postby Cunobelin » 25 Aug 2008, 1:32pm

360fixation wrote:
bikely-challenged wrote:At least you'd get noticed by drivers.


Maybe thats the truth. Car drivers observe all the helmets and this is a constant reminder to them that basicly we are a soft-headed bunch at heart.


Two research pieces, both independent of each other suggest that this is NOT a good thing................

Ian Walker of Bristol University showed that drivers give LESS room when overtaking than non-helmeted cyclists and the DfT showed that drivers consider helmeted cyclists as "more competent" and hence there was no need to slow down or give additional room when overtaking.

So are you INCREASING your risk when a car driver notices that you are wearing a helmet and acts as these two papers suggest?

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Beakyboy
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Postby Beakyboy » 27 Aug 2008, 10:39am

Catlike Whisper....................!
May the wind always be at your rear!

james01
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Postby james01 » 27 Aug 2008, 12:22pm

Cunobelin wrote:Ian Walker of Bristol University showed that drivers give LESS room when overtaking than non-helmeted cyclists and the DfT showed that drivers consider helmeted cyclists as "more competent" and hence there was no need to slow down or give additional room when overtaking.

This makes sense. By the same logic, I get given more space when carrying a childseat, or when cycling with a group of wobbly children rather than with a group of competent-looking adults. This means that most drivers are carrying out a subconscious risk-assessment based on the type of cyclist they're about to pass .

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cranky
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Postby cranky » 27 Aug 2008, 12:27pm

Beakyboy wrote:Catlike Whisper....................!


polystyrene cuphead........................!
Iain

Ridgeback Genesis Day 2
Surly Long Haul Trucker

richards
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Postby richards » 28 Aug 2008, 12:28pm

Summary: Dr Ian Walker's measurements show that under some conditions British drivers leave 3.3 inches more passing distance if the cyclist is not wearing a helmet, and another 2.2 inches if the cyclist is wearing a wig. The average passing clearance for all three cases was more than four feet. The cyclist's position on the road changed everything, canceling the difference at times.

Summary of Dr Walker's findings. Note distances. I've seen this study quoted before, but never read it. I do wear a helmet and the often-used line of 'Ian Walker's study shows you are safer without one' always seemed counter-intuitive. As I suspected the study does not show that.

richards
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Postby richards » 28 Aug 2008, 12:42pm

I've just read the DfT report. This is not original research,nor does it pretend to be. It is a round-up of other studies all of which show that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of serious or fatal injury when riding a bike. (See summary below). I'll stick to the helmet.

Summary of results
The critical review of the extensive literature concludes that there is a considerable amount of scientific evidence that bicycle helmets are effective at reducing the incidence and severity of head, brain and upper facial injury. They have been found to be effective in reducing injury for users of all ages, though particularly for children. While most studies indicate that helmets offer protection from head injury, the relative risk of injury in helmeted and unhelmeted bicyclists has varied in different studies. There is equivocal evidence relating to the link between helmet use and neck injury. There is very little evidence relating to helmet use and cycling style. There is considerable heterogeneity in the studies relating to definitions of head and brain injury, choice of controls, target group and context in which cycling takes place.
On average between 1998-2000, inclusive, in Great Britain 28 children and 123 adults were killed as pedal bicyclists each year, according to police records and this is likely to be an underestimate. Males are four times as likely to be killed or injured as females. Most bicycle injuries occur in teenage children or young adults. Head and face injuries make up a significant proportion of all bicycle injuries. Bicycle helmet wearing rates in Great Britain have increased steadily in the last decade but are still low. In 1999 on busy roads the wearing rate was 22% and on minor roads 8%.
Bicycle helmets aim to reduce the risk of injury due to impacts on the head by reducing the deceleration of the skull, by spreading the area over which the forces of impact apply and by preventing direct impact between the skull and impacting object. A range of different helmet standards have been developed in different countries but they are substantially similar. The main differences relate to the impact energy during the drop tests. Only the Australian/New Zealand and Canadian standards take account of the requirements of children, whose tolerances are lower. The review found little evidence that helmets of different standards perform better in protecting the wearer.
In terms of promotion the researchers found that most bicycle helmet educational campaigns have been targeted at children. Bicycle helmet education campaigns can increase the use of helmets. Younger children and girls showed the greatest effects from the campaigns. Reducing the costs of helmet through discounts, and give-away programmes facilitates uptake and use.
Bicycle helmet legislation has been associated with head injury reductions and, with supporting educational activities, has been found to be an effective means of increasing observed helmet use. However, compulsory helmet wearing may discourage some bicyclists leading to decreased bicycle use. In Australia, New Zealand and Canada, legislation has not been introduced until high levels of helmet wearing have been attained in the population.
Over time, helmet use has increased, but there remain differences in helmet-wearing rates between and within countries. Most of the literature on barriers and facilitators of helmet use has focused on children and teenagers. Barriers to helmet use include age (teenagers), social background (lower income), geographical factors, group effects associated with companionship, cost and discomfort. Attitudinal barriers to helmet use include low risk perception, peer pressure and parental influence.
After consideration of the range of opinion pieces concerning bicycle helmets the authors conclude that ‘The way in which the debate has been conducted is unhelpful to those wishing to make a balanced judgement on the issue.’ The pro- bicycle helmet group base their argument overwhelmingly on one major point: that there is scientific evidence that, in the event of a fall, helmets substantially reduce head injury. The anti- helmet group base their argument on a wider range of issues including: compulsory helmet wearing leads to a decline in cycling, ‘risk compensation’ theory negates health gains, scientific studies are defective, the overall road environment needs to be improved.

MichaelM
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Postby MichaelM » 29 Aug 2008, 5:44pm

james01 wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:Ian Walker of Bristol University showed that drivers give LESS room when overtaking than non-helmeted cyclists and the DfT showed that drivers consider helmeted cyclists as "more competent" and hence there was no need to slow down or give additional room when overtaking.

This makes sense. By the same logic, I get given more space when carrying a childseat, or when cycling with a group of wobbly children rather than with a group of competent-looking adults. This means that most drivers are carrying out a subconscious risk-assessment based on the type of cyclist they're about to pass .


On a recent ride down to Falmouth from Shropshire, I noticed that the straighter I road, the closer cars got to me. So, in heavy traffic I put on a slight wobble and everybody gave me plenty of room, even though I was wearing a helmet. :lol:

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Tandemist
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Postby Tandemist » 29 Aug 2008, 9:30pm

I knew my cycling was better after the Pub ! :oops:
What's wrong with Gas Mask Bags ? - I've cycled thousands of miles with mine and am on the second one now because my first one wore out.
They attach nicely to the rear carrier rack with a bungy cord, replace the need for mudguards and are handy around town...Brilliant ! :D
I remember my mince pies rolling out of my gas mask bag one by one going up a hill on a Christmas ride, exploding like bombs when they hit the road, and I still hold the local Club Record for the longest rear wheel skid when my gas mask bag did fall off once !...

tb
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Postby tb » 3 Sep 2008, 12:03am

you wear a helmet if you want to.

I still enjoy feeling the sun on my face and the wind in my hair, it is without doubt a greater feeling of freedom than can be achieved by cycling with a polystyrene basin on your head.....I hate them.
and afterall I enjoy cycling mostly because of the freedom it allows me.

having said that I do wear one when commuting into London in the winter months.

vernon
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Re: Helmets

Postby vernon » 3 Sep 2008, 6:43am

aesmith wrote:
garybaldy wrote:After being so anti-helmet to the point of giving up cycling if it was made compulsory, I have now brought one!

So have I !

Best price I got was £4.99 for a Bell helmet through Ebay. I was tempted by one with a "Thomas the Tank Engine" theme, but they didn't have my size.

Tony S

When I was seeking a reasonably priced motor cycle crash helmet The only one that was in my size was this:

Image

It's a bit too sweaty for cycling though :(