Plastic hats

DIscuss anything relating to non-standard cycles and their equipment.

IF you normally wear a lid on an upright, do you do so on your 'bent?

Yes
6
29%
No
3
14%
Only in heavy traffic
0
No votes
I don't normally wear one on the upright or don't ride an upright.
12
57%
 
Total votes: 21

byegad
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Re: Plastic hats

Postby byegad » 26 Sep 2009, 9:06am

OK first thing John Franklin has a pages on the benefits and disadvantages of Helmets.

Grossly simplified the benefit from wearing a helmet is that they will save you from injury if say, as you pull up at the lights and suffer a clipless moment and topple over hitting your head on the kerb edge. This kind of accident is rare and most accidents involve larger forces.

The disadvantage seems to be four fold.

1. Coming off at speed the helmet can act as a lever to increase torsional movement of the head. This can cause the worst kind of brain injury.

2. Risk compensation is evident both with the rider and other traffic. Research has suggested that drivers allow less room for cyclists wearing a helmet.

3. Unlike motorcycle helmets the area covered is small and the construction is flimsier, it has to be as a Motorcycle helmet would cause severe overheating problems for cyclists.

4. Because helmets are large it is possible to hit your helmet in a fall when you would not hit your head.

With regard to recumbents,

1. The first incident is less severe for a recumbent rider as you have less distance to fall, while learning to ride my Azub-4 I fell of while stopping and starting several times, including near the kerb and did not bang my head once.

2. In a collision with an object you are likely to hit feet first. A recumbent rider reported on the BHPC forum an accident where he was overtaken by a car who then pulled in on him. He hit that car and several others. Lying on the floor and bleeding he was attended by a motorcycle paramedic who assessed his injuries and got onto his radio to cancel the helicopter which had been scrambled. When asked why he'd been so quick to do this he said well you were on a 'bent, on an upright you may have had a head injury.

What it says to me is that;
a) Wearing a styro foam hat is not a win, win choice and for a recumbent, especially recumbent trike, is not necessary, after all and forgive me shouting;
b) CYCLING IS NOT DANGEROUS!

Finally, the protection offered is largely illusionary once you get up to speed, 12mph is widely mentioned as the design limit for cycle helmets.
Last edited by byegad on 2 Oct 2009, 9:28am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cunobelin
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Re: Plastic hats

Postby Cunobelin » 26 Sep 2009, 9:23am

mw3230 wrote:Yes I know that there are extensive for and against debates but just to clarify, are the people who don't ever wear lids saying that there is no evidence to suggest any protection at all and if that is not the case - ie there is some protection - then why on earth would you not wish to avail yourself of that protection?

I wear mine as a matter of course and on one occasion did come off my bike and head-butt a car. I'm happy that my bumped bonce was less severely bumped because of the helmet.


Ask the same question differently.......

Cohort studies show that that the biggest single risk factor in head injuries is alcohol, all the above apply - do you wear a helmet in the pub?

Typical results are from Thornhill et al (2000) who show that :

The most common causes of injury were falls (43%) or assaults (34%); alcohol was often involved (61%),


So cycling is not where we can achieve the greatest reduction in head injuries. People suffering falls would also benefit greatly - why on earth were they not availing themselves of such obvious protection?

Epitomising the issue is the wonderful Thudguard

Image

It has the same "proven"problem as cycling:

"Over 318,575 baby & toddler head injuries are recorded each year!"(Department of Trade & Industry)


It carries the same emotional blackmail as many pro helmet sites:

What are the chances of you falling over and hitting something solid? Most homes today have hardwood floors or tiles so statistically the chances are really high. The problem is this kind of fall is very common in even the safest homes and gardens. The damage to a falling toddler's hands and knees can be an acceptable form of pain for learning but a head injury can be traumatic for both infant and parent.


It carries the same endorsements as cycle helmets:

It is a pleasure to support the 'Thudguard' in my capacity as President of the British Association for Accident and Emergency Medicine. Any device which helps to reduce the number of head injuries sustained by young children each year is most welcome
John Heyworth
President
British Association for Accident and Emergency Medicine


Throughout more than 20 years as an emergency paramedic, I have encountered numerous worried parents who have called an ambulance because their young toddler took a fall and suffered a head injury. While most are minor, some have resulted in serious and debilitating injuries.

Lawson E. Stuart, RN, MBA, MICP
Executive Director
Academic Programs, California


It is about time that someone has addressed the diffuse head injuries that are so invisible but on the rise for toddlers learning to walk. Thudguard is a one of a kind invention. As a practicing neurophysiologist, I highly endorse this incredible product.
Dr. Kevin Fleming. Ph.D., P.C.
Neurophysiologist
Jackson Hole, Wyoming USA


... should make a valuable contribution to risk reduction in a similar way to cycle helmets...
David W. Jenkins BA MPhil(Eng) PhD DCA FTSI
Product Safety Adviser to RoSPA


So why are all the irresponsible parents out there not making their children wear them with the proven protection they give ?



It is down to personal choice, look at the pros, look at the cons and make up your own mind - so long as the choice is informed then it is up to you..... analyse YOUR risks, style and decide if you want to wear one or not.

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Re: Plastic hats

Postby Kipper » 27 Sep 2009, 3:53pm

Totally agree that it should be down to the individual. The decision can be based upon informed opinion and/or personal experience.

I always wear track mitts and a helmet when riding. This is a legacy of my former mountain bike racing days and the habit proved invaluable a few years ago when I exited stage right from my Moulton APB and the back of my head met tarmac at 25mph. I was knocked out cold and recall later being in hospital watching the doctor looking from the remains of my helmet to x-rays of my scull and back again. His view was that I had been very lucky to be wearing one of the (then) new style helmets with a dropped down profile behind the ears and around the lower part of the back of the head. Apparently I had impacted right on the weakest part of the scull and the outcome could have been "a whole lot worse".

I have only once fallen off my Kingcycle and did not, on that occasion, hit my head on anything. I lost the front wheel on some sand while learning to ride it and the resulting slide led to an embarrassing loss of shorts and skin from my right thigh and buttock. Maybe it's plastic pants you need on a recumbent! :D
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tatanab
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Re: Plastic hats

Postby tatanab » 28 Sep 2009, 10:33am

Cunobelin wrote:Tricycles are exempt from motorcycle helmet legislation and therefore one assumes would be exempt from cycle legislation

As a rider of upright trikes I have to say I wish this were likely - then I'd bin the bikes and just use a trike all the time. The truth is that tricycles in the cycling world will be seen as for children, and of course children must be "protected". There will be no thought to separating adult trikes form kiddy trikes, so I fear any compulsion will be across the board.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Plastic hats

Postby Cunobelin » 28 Sep 2009, 10:11pm

mw3230 wrote:Yes I know that there are extensive for and against debates but just to clarify, are the people who don't ever wear lids saying that there is no evidence to suggest any protection at all and if that is not the case - ie there is some protection - then why on earth would you not wish to avail yourself of that protection?

I wear mine as a matter of course and on one occasion did come off my bike and head-butt a car. I'm happy that my bumped bonce was less severely bumped because of the helmet.


Given that 44 % of head injury admissions are falls, and that climbing stairs will contribute three times as many head injuries as cyclists, do you wear a helmet when using stairs or out walking.

In both cases the use of a cycle helmet would be entirely appropriate due to the impact velocity and type, as well as offering the same (if not greater) level of protection...... After all, why on earth would you not wish to avail yourself of that protection

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Si
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Re: Plastic hats

Postby Si » 29 Sep 2009, 10:25am

Just to try and persaude the thread back to where I was hoping it would go...... :oops:

My intention was not another discussion of whether or not helmets worked or to what extent theyt did work generally. Rather it was just to poll the views that used helmets on up rights as to whether they also used them on 'bents?


start from the hypothesis* that helmets might help a little on a crash on an upright (but certainly do not guarantee to save your life, or indeed save you from serious or moderate injury in a collision with a 1/2 ton+ vehicle at speed), with their 12mph testing (or what ever it is) it seems that they would be most use when you suddenly throw yourself off the bike onto the floor while pootling - thus the height that you fall from is a factor. On a 'bent the height is much reduced, and the way that you fall is different - much less likely to go head first over the bars. So if we assumed (just for the sake of argument) that they offered _some_ protection on an upright, does it follow that they still offer this protection on a 'bent?

From this I move on to ask the same of track mitts? I'm saying that you don't need the comfort of track mitts on a bent because your weight isn't on your hands, but do you still need the protection from gravel-rash that they can give, or do crashes on 'bents, unlike uprights, generally not give you time to get your hand down first?

*try and put yourself into the mind of someone with this POV for the sake of answering the question - assume that this is what that person believes and that for this thread this belief is set in stone and so the only thing to debate is the question regarding 'bents :wink: - we have a thread on the go for general helmet arguments at the moment

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squeaker
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Re: Plastic hats

Postby squeaker » 29 Sep 2009, 11:06am

In the spirit of the original question: I usually wear one on longer rides (both uprights and 'bents) but never on the trike, and rarely when cycling locally (e.g. a couple of miles from home). Probably illogical (e.g. when rolling a trike probably more likely to hit head?) but I hope I am more aware of potential fall inducers (potholes, road failures, loose gravel) in the locality than when further afield. Mainly though, it's to keep SWMBO off my back :roll:
"42"

byegad
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Re: Plastic hats

Postby byegad » 29 Sep 2009, 11:46am

Styrofoam hats can save you from injury. I fully accept this.

They can also in some cases make an injury worse, the dreaded Rotational injury which can be the worst kind of brain injury. This is the bit that some of the pro-helmet brigade find difficult to accept.

On a two wheel bent you fall a shorter distance than when falling from a DF. The same can be said re a falling from a Df rather than from an 'Ordinary'. You can roll a trike, a helmet may help you survive this better than not wearing one but surely rotational forces could be higher? I don't know, there are too many variables. While learning to ride my AZUB-4 I fell off at low speed several times and the one thing I didn't do was bang my head.

So I don't wear a helmet on my recumbent trikes except in the depths of winter when I wear a skate boarding helmet, with liner, for warmth.

If you are hit by a ton of car going at a fair clip only a motorcycle helmet is going to be of any use. Cycling with that sort of helmet is a no, no, heat and weight make it impractical.

I don't regard cycling as dangerous, yes people die on the road, but so do people falling at home and I don't wear a helmet while on the stairs, even though I a more likely than most to fall over due to a balance issue!

To answer Si.

On a 'bent, you have less distance to fall, if you run into something you are going to hit it feet first, in the kind of nightmare accident that kills, a helmet is going to be no use as the back wheels of the lorry roll over you.

THAT is why I don't wear a helmet on my bents.
Last edited by byegad on 1 Oct 2009, 1:03pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pjclinch
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Re: Plastic hats

Postby pjclinch » 1 Oct 2009, 10:09am

If I'm going to wear a lid the reason will centre on my expectation of parting company with the bike in an uncontrolled manner. I don't see any particular reason to feel I'm more likely to do that on a 'bent or an upright. You might see me wearing one for technical mountain biking on tricky terrain negotiated at low speed because that's the sort of thing where I expect to fall off (in part as I don't do it often and am not very good at it!). I did wear one when I was getting started on the unicycle, as I knew I'd fall off and wasn't sure how controlled it would be... with more experience I still fall off, but with nothing much to get tangled in I've never come close to banging my head so don't bother any more on that (but I do wear skater's wrist guards, and have been glad of them a couple of times).

I expect to bang my head when I'm caving, so I wear one there. Risks from rockfall are quite tangible climbing, especially on big mountain routes, so I wear one there. On the bike, a bit of a non issue when you look at the real risks and so whether I'm on the 'bent or one of the uprights I very rarely bother.

Our lad had a friend over to play last week and he arrived by bike, with lid. Later on, they went out on bikes and amazement was expressed that ours didn't wear a helmet. He was, however, wearing his track mitts, which our visitor wasn't. There was a minor fall involved for our visitor, and do you think he broke his fall with his hands or his head?

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Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: Plastic hats

Postby EdinburghFixed » 1 Oct 2009, 2:05pm

I've come off my lowracer a few times now (once at about 25mph) and am happy to report my compete absence of instant head-exploding death. However I have picked up a few new leg and elbow scars... as has been observed, I'll be just as dead if I am killed by a car, and in all other accidents you're already in a much better position bare-headed than a helmeted DF rider would be anyway (perhaps we should be discussing mandatory recumbantism? :lol: )

One unanticipated side-effect is that it has made me feel less comfortable riding the uprights without a helmet. Before it worried me not at all, but now, I feel inexorably like I'm speeding along with my face stuck out the front, asking for trouble. :shock:

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Si
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Re: Plastic hats

Postby Si » 1 Oct 2009, 2:38pm

One unanticipated side-effect is that it has made me feel less comfortable riding the uprights without a helmet. Before it worried me not at all, but now, I feel inexorably like I'm speeding along with my face stuck out the front, asking for trouble.


<German accent>Very interesting</German accent>

Mrs Si reports a similar thing when going from the tandem to a solo...a horrible feeling of having nothing in front of her to cushion impacts. It's nice to know that you are regarded as a human air-bag :mrgreen:

(perhaps we should be discussing mandatory recumbantism? )


Dare I say it, makes more sense than some of the safety improvements that have been put forward :twisted:

I wonder, (dare I say it Mk 2) are there any comparative stats on 'bents vs uprights in terms of collisions/crashes suffered, and injury sustained. Although I would guess that they would be wildly skewed in the 'bent's favour as they tend to be ridden by more experienced riders and the more 'cumbersome' nature of 'bents means that you can't indulge in pavement hopping and the like so easily.