"Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

For all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmet usage will be moved here.
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meic
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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic h

Postby meic » 20 May 2016, 8:48am

You cannot control that because they are all built to the correct spec.
They are all the same in that respect.


It's only a minimum standard, they are free to exceed it as much as they like and to then market it on the grounds of its added "benefits" in this respect, except that they may be called on to justify these claims.

They could avoid that justification by just making it up to the higher Snell standards instead, then advertise that fact but very few bother and very few buyers are bothered by that.
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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic h

Postby MartinC » 20 May 2016, 8:53am

Mick F wrote:Of course it does.
You cannot control that because they are all built to the correct spec.
They are all the same in that respect.
The only differences are heat dissipation, comfort, security of the straps, weight ............ and what it looks like.

Other than that, you use your intuition and/or some product reviews.


There's quite a few blithe assumptions there. I've never seen a product review that addressed effectiveness. Most people just assume it.

Incidentally, which is the correct spec? EN1078?

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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic h

Postby Phil Fouracre » 20 May 2016, 9:27am

You're all doing so well! Soon be to 10 pages :-) sorry, mustn't laugh, but! I'm 100% against. Two offs in thirty years, one bruised elbow and a knee.
Seriously though I'm anti for very basic reasons - having organised local rides for beginners it does give the impression that it is dangerous. How can it be sensible to persuade people who want to be able to ride to their local Tesco that this will require protection against all sorts of unforeseen risks, why would they want to do it?
Then you have the fantasy about the efficacy of wearing a piece of magic polystyrene on their heads, equates with having a quick prayer to whichever deity you believe in!
Apart from that, uncomfortable, draughty, sweaty, and worst of all producing distracting wind noise, that can mask background traffic
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic h

Postby mjr » 20 May 2016, 10:07am

MartinC wrote:There's quite a few blithe assumptions there. I've never seen a product review that addressed effectiveness. Most people just assume it.

Incidentally, which is the correct spec? EN1078?

EN1078 is the basic norm. CPSC is the US state testing body and ANZI the Australia/New-Zealand one, with equivalent norms. Snell B90-A and B95-A are tougher standards, backed by a foundation.

Reviews by the Consumer Association and their US equivalent have tested helmets, which has led to a couple of product recalls and at least Cannondale refusing to recall a helmet which failed the test. I suspect most magazines aren't allowed to deliberately impact the helmets they're sent to review and they're probably sent best-of-batch examples anyway, whereas the Consumer Association buy them from shops (as does the Snell Memorial Foundation for its standard testing, I think).

...which leads to another point. Most people assume that the helmets they buy are genuine and have been stored/transported without damage. Verification can be handled by stickers linked to serial numbers, verification websites and so on, but correct handling between production and sale is more difficult to check. I've seen some shops selling helmets with visibly-damaged boxes, which seems a bit reckless, but I guess someone will buy any bargain, even if it may mean all of the drawbacks without the claimed minimal protection :roll:
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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic h

Postby Mick F » 20 May 2016, 11:54am

MartinC wrote:There's quite a few blithe assumptions there. I've never seen a product review that addressed effectiveness. Most people just assume it.
Utterly agree on all three of those points.
Blithe assumptions, no decent product review and most folk buy on looks, comfort and price.

I've had a thread on here - if you could be bothered to find it - about the effectiveness and quality of different helmets and asking your very point.
Answer came there none. :wink: ................ except opinions.

Any road up, I've done with them. Being completely hairless has given me the excuse to ditch the thing.
Anyone want to buy a Specialized S3 in Small 51-57cm. Never been raced, never crashed, and never dropped, one careful owner, and bought locally.
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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic h

Postby Flinders » 23 May 2016, 8:11am

Si wrote:Flinders - would you not agree that in order to convince people of something it is better to put across a level headed argument supported by proof, rather than supposition and insults?


Yes. I am pointing out the difference between riding communities and cycling communities. And if a photo goes up of anyone riding a horse without a helmet, you will not find many riders defending them, in fact, you'd be lucky to find one - they will be ripped apart by other riders for setting a bad example. And people are always wanting improvements in design, I've never once heard anyone oppose them, though somewhere you might find one. If you want evidence, check out riding forums. The attitude difference is marked.

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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic h

Postby Flinders » 23 May 2016, 8:18am

mjr wrote:
Flinders wrote:Wearing a helmet is no hardship, and it may well help in an accident.

It may help, but it is unlikely to, and wearing a helmet is a hardship, a real pain in the neck. Even if you leave aside the helmet-injured necks of me and others, it's still a relatively-expensive delicate object that you have to carry around with you at your destination, protecting from knocks and scratches - they're too big for most briefcases and havesacks, or a small rucksack if you have anything else in there. Can you imagine how much less popular motoring would be if drivers had to carry an F1 helmet around at their destination? Also, it's inconvenient to carry one for a whole trip just in case you might hire a cycle and I wouldn't trust a hired helmet that has probably been knocked about, so it maims bike hire schemes.

So I wear one - the best I can find. Why not?

There's no reliable evidence of a significant improvement to cyclist outcomes, their straps are a source of artificial wind noise that impairs your hearing and they contribute to the false belief that cycling is particularly dangerous, to name but three reasons why not.

I think we need more research on cycling helmets, and more pressure for higher standards at point of sale, and I'm annoyed that some of those who are anti-helmet seem to oppose the raising of standards for helmets for the rest of us who want to wear one.

I think you'll find that the greatest pressure against higher standards comes from the helmet manufacturers. Look at how many manufacturers offer any hats that meet the higher Snell B90 and B95 standards over the weaker EN1078 and CPSC ones. Now why isn't that nearer 100% than zero?

Bad helmets do nobody any good- like the old 'prettier' riding hats, where some people still die or are badly injured in accidents using them when a modern one would have saved them.

So how do you know that your helmet isn't a "bad" one? Have you tested it yourself? A helmet by Met was only withdrawn after a magazine tested it, whereas Cannondale disputed a 2015 magazine test failure of one of theirs. Government testers do catch some (Specialized and Uvex have recalled some in the past due to this) but I'm sure you've read in the news about the cuts to government spending...


1) I have no difficulty carrying mine about, but if I did, that would not to my mind be a good reason for not using one. My riding helmet is far heavier and bulkier, but I'd never get on a horse without it.
2) The wind noise thing can be remedied with fur baffles, but I've never found it a problem myself.
3) Manufacturers tend always to oppose improvements that cost money. That's a given. We don't let that stop us asking for them, or campaigning for them, with other products. What annoys me is some cyclists - only some- of those who don't wear one not wanting improvements for those of us who do.
4)I use the snell standard ones, as that's the best standard I have found, and tests production models. Have you evidence that the snell standard is no good? If so, I would definitely like to hear it.

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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic h

Postby MartinC » 23 May 2016, 8:32am

Flinders wrote:.......................Have you evidence that the snell standard is no good? If so, I would definitely like to hear it.


Well, the evidence that Snell B90 isn't the best is that Snell think the very rarely used B95 is better.

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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic h

Postby Si » 23 May 2016, 8:48am

Flinders wrote:
Si wrote:Flinders - would you not agree that in order to convince people of something it is better to put across a level headed argument supported by proof, rather than supposition and insults?


Yes. I am pointing out the difference between riding communities and cycling communities. And if a photo goes up of anyone riding a horse without a helmet, you will not find many riders defending them, in fact, you'd be lucky to find one - they will be ripped apart by other riders for setting a bad example. And people are always wanting improvements in design, I've never once heard anyone oppose them, though somewhere you might find one. If you want evidence, check out riding forums. The attitude difference is marked.


If horse helmets are so good then, why don't you use one on the bike?

Likewise, if bike helmets are so important, why don't you wear a full face one so that you get even more protection?

And finally, just because a lot of people support something it doesn't make it true. We want proof not opinion.

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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic h

Postby mjr » 23 May 2016, 10:20am

Flinders wrote:1) I have no difficulty carrying mine about, but if I did, that would not to my mind be a good reason for not using one. My riding helmet is far heavier and bulkier, but I'd never get on a horse without it.
2) The wind noise thing can be remedied with fur baffles, but I've never found it a problem myself.
3) Manufacturers tend always to oppose improvements that cost money. That's a given. We don't let that stop us asking for them, or campaigning for them, with other products. What annoys me is some cyclists - only some- of those who don't wear one not wanting improvements for those of us who do.
4)I use the snell standard ones, as that's the best standard I have found, and tests production models. Have you evidence that the snell standard is no good? If so, I would definitely like to hear it.

1) Seriously, you're claiming it's as easy to carry a helmet as to carry nothing? :shock: And I don't want cycling to become like horse-riding, where people don't do it partly because of the special clothes and kit.
2) So we need another expensive treatment to address a problem caused by the first no-benefit treatment :roll: - and the other two reasons "why not" go unchallenged. I don't really want poo-poohing responses, though: I was just responding to the "why not" question by suggesting some of the other many reasons why the majority don't wear helmets and those reasons are valid even if any particular helmet-wearer has decided they're insufficient to stop them personally.
3) Where are these cyclists arguing against helmet improvements? I suggest they're insignificant compared to the manufacturers lobbying against them.
4) The Snell standards are better than the EuroNorm, CPSC and A/NZ ones and seem to be the best available, but dropping disembodied heads onto idealised stone and kerb anvils is a long way short of realistic crash test dummy trials... but the problem remains: how do you know that any one particular example of a helmet would pass the test before it's too late?
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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby LollyKat » 23 May 2016, 1:07pm

A fundamental difference between horses and bicycles is that horses have a mind of their own - I too would wear a helmet on a horse! I don't think comparing horse riding to cycling is very relevant here.

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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby roubaixtuesday » 23 May 2016, 1:20pm

A fundamental difference between horses and bicycles is that horses have a mind of their own


I think perhaps much more fundamental is this

My riding helmet is far heavier and bulkier


Cycle helmets are very light and insubstantial - presumably this is key to why their benefit is so small. The cycling community being unenthusiastic about advocating, still less legislating for their use seems reasonable in this context.

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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby Steady rider » 23 May 2016, 1:21pm

Both have concerns about some motorists not taking sufficient care when passing.
http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/5072.html

Cycle helmets are very light and insubstantial - presumably this is key to why their benefit is so small

Of course it is debatable if they actually provide an overall benefit.

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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby recumbentpanda » 23 May 2016, 3:41pm

One is much higher up on a horse with therefore, further to fall. Also, once on the ground, the horse rider may well be in danger from the hooves of the horse, against which a helmet can sometimes offer some defence.

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Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic h

Postby Bicycler » 23 May 2016, 3:45pm

Flinders wrote:1) I have no difficulty carrying mine about, but if I did, that would not to my mind be a good reason for not using one. My riding helmet is far heavier and bulkier, but I'd never get on a horse without it.

I don't know anything about riding helmets so can't pass comment on that. However, you're drawing an equivalence between horse and cycle helmets which I'm not sure is valid. Couldn't you use the same logic to justify helmets for lots of different activities? "Well, I wear one for horse riding..."
3) Manufacturers tend always to oppose improvements that cost money. That's a given. We don't let that stop us asking for them, or campaigning for them, with other products. What annoys me is some cyclists - only some- of those who don't wear one not wanting improvements for those of us who do.

Yep, you said this before. I'll repeat my earlier request that you identify these cyclists who are supposedly opposed to higher helmet standards because it's not a view I've ever come across. Again, I think it's disingenuous to associate (some of) us non-helmet wearers with the poor standards of cycle helmets. Even if we were against improvements, we would still have no influence on the market for things we don't buy. Whilst it is refreshing to hear a helmet wearer taking an interest in standards, you need to change your focus away from we few informed non-wearers and start wondering why there is little call for higher standards from helmet wearers.
4)I use the snell standard ones, as that's the best standard I have found, and tests production models. Have you evidence that the snell standard is no good? If so, I would definitely like to hear it

Assuming Snell B90, it's the best you can commonly (with some searching) find. Yet it's still 26 years old and has been superseded for the past 21 years. In any case, a higher standard of helmet doesn't necessarily equate to a necessary or worthwhile helmet. You can buy motoring helmets to an infinitely higher standard of manufacture and protection, do you wear one?