Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
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pjclinch
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby pjclinch » 16 Jul 2016, 4:15pm

Dave W wrote:So what is an average cyclist?


Looking at the figures which show safety figures for UK cyclists on the roads, one that crashes a lot less than you.

So, back to your original question, why wouldn't I wear a helmet? And again, because for exactly the same as your reasoning for not wearing one on the stairs, it's not worth my while. Cycling is safe enough for me that such protection is not worth the faff.

The difference here, if we judge from your replies, is my decision on a bike merits scorn for assuming that past performance is a guide to the unpredictable future and I'm an idiot with no common sense for assuming I won't ever have an accident where I'd be better off with a helmet in the future because accidents just happen, while your decision on the stairs is entirely sensible.

This does rather smack of double standards. I would say your decision on the stairs is entirely reasonable. The problem comes where you utterly fail to see the same reasoning works very well for a lot of people on bikes and write them off as sense-free fools.

Pete.
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Dave W
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby Dave W » 16 Jul 2016, 5:13pm

:? not exactly. Because the way I see it provided I have full charge of my faculties I'm extremely unlikely to have the same accident on the stairs as I will on a bike. In the house I'ts more than likely It would be entirely my fault, very little else comes into play. However, on a bike the way I see it more reasons for an accident outside of my control come into play. I can't predict, an animal darting under my front wheel, I don't know the next bend is smothered in cow poo, I can't tell where black ice may be, I can't know when my front tyre may blow, I can't predict what the guy in front of me will do or if he will crash, I don't know what the next car driver coming up behind will do. I don't know if I will hit that pothole because the guy in front hasn't pointed it out. Friends have fallen when chains have snapped, chains have jumped off the rear sprocket. One guy fell off when his seat post snapped and required hospital attention.
It is the unpredictability of each ride that encourages me to try and protect myself and past experience tells me it would be a good idea to at least try.

kwackers
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby kwackers » 16 Jul 2016, 5:50pm

Dave W wrote::? not exactly. Because the way I see it provided I have full charge of my faculties I'm extremely unlikely to have the same accident on the stairs as I will on a bike. In the house I'ts more than likely It would be entirely my fault, very little else comes into play. However, on a bike the way I see it more reasons for an accident outside of my control come into play. I can't predict, an animal darting under my front wheel, I don't know the next bend is smothered in cow poo, I can't tell where black ice may be, I can't know when my front tyre may blow, I can't predict what the guy in front of me will do or if he will crash, I don't know what the next car driver coming up behind will do. I don't know if I will hit that pothole because the guy in front hasn't pointed it out. Friends have fallen when chains have snapped, chains have jumped off the rear sprocket. One guy fell off when his seat post snapped and required hospital attention.
It is the unpredictability of each ride that encourages me to try and protect myself and past experience tells me it would be a good idea to at least try.

Sounds mostly like a combination of not riding to the conditions, riding too fast, too close, poor bike maintenance etc etc.
No wonder every ride is a lottery!

Good luck relying on a polystyrene hat to save you...

PhilWhitehurst
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby PhilWhitehurst » 16 Jul 2016, 7:32pm

I don't know the next bend is smothered in cow poo

So ride round the corner such that cow poo won't bring you down.

I can't tell where black ice may be

So ride as though the black ice could anywhere . With experience you'll know where black ice forms.

I can't know when my front tyre may blow

Don't run your tyres till there's barely anything left and you'll be fine.

I can't predict what the guy in front of me will do or if he will crash

Don't ride so close you can't take avoiding action.

I don't know what the next car driver coming up behind will do.

Being hit from behind is extremely rare, rarer than you falling down the stairs and cracking your head.

I don't know if I will hit that pothole because the guy in front hasn't pointed it out.

Don't ride so close behind the unpredictable rider that you can't see potholes as they come up. Get wider tyres so potholes are a non issue.

Friends have fallen when chains have snapped

Maintain your chain and learn how to use the gears properly.

chains have jumped off the rear sprocket.

Same as above maintain your drivetrain.

One guy fell off when his seat post snapped and required hospital attention.

Check your seatpost before every ride. A well maintained and looked after seatpost does not just snap.

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pjclinch
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby pjclinch » 16 Jul 2016, 8:14pm

If it's the roads that are the problem, I wonder if you drive? If so, do you insist on a 5 point safety harness, full roll cage, Nomex suit and autosport crash helmet? If not, why not? There are so many factors outside of your control, the sorts of things that get thousands dead every year.

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JimL
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby JimL » 16 Jul 2016, 8:42pm

Nothing wrong with riding fast in a bunch , it is good fun and does make one feel alive and with the best will in the world things do sometimes happen ,either rider error or mechanical.

Having said that I don't share his views on helmets and fully concur with the view of Tonyf33 above.

irc
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby irc » 16 Jul 2016, 8:46pm

Dave W wrote::? not exactly. Because the way I see it provided I have full charge of my faculties I'm extremely unlikely to have the same accident on the stairs as I will on a bike.


Unlikely is not risk free. After more than 4 decades cycling without a head injury I also think it's extremely unlikely I'll need a helmet. Just like you and your stairs I could be wrong.

My personal experience is no close friends killed cycling but one killed by a head injury in a fall on stairs. Maybe a helmet would have saved his life? Though just like in cycling risk assessment and reduction could have prevented the accident all together. Would he have fallen if he wasn't wearing flip flops while carrying a large box in front of him.

Another cycling friend suffered a minor head injury. Slipped on wet rocks while taking a picture. Photo helmets anyone?

Dave W
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby Dave W » 16 Jul 2016, 9:32pm

Ahhhh, I see it now. This subject has been done before with the same individuals with the same arguments lying in wait. No wonder I got so much abuse. I will say no more on the subject I will don my helmet and bang my head on the nearest wall whilst you lot wait for the next victim. Get me out of here!

kwackers
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby kwackers » 16 Jul 2016, 9:35pm

Dave W wrote:Ahhhh, I see it now. This subject has been done before with the same individuals with the same arguments lying in wait. No wonder I got so much abuse. I will say no more on the subject I will don my helmet and bang my head on the nearest wall whilst you lot wait for the next victim. Get me out of here!

There's a reason there's a separate helmet section. :wink:

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gaz
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby gaz » 16 Jul 2016, 10:00pm

Dave W wrote:... I will don my helmet and bang my head on the nearest wall ...

A course of action that is contrary to advice from the Snell Foundation and therefore liable to void your warranty :wink: .
2020 : To redundancy ... and beyond!

reohn2
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby reohn2 » 16 Jul 2016, 10:53pm

And like banging yer head against a wall........ ..........it's nice when you stop :mrgreen:
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Brucey
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby Brucey » 16 Jul 2016, 11:44pm

strikes me that perhaps none of the 'no helmet please' brigade have ridden in close formation at speed lately; this might include training for, or riding a road race, a team time trial etc etc etc; (certainly a chain gang and even a brisk club run might fall into that category.) You surely can't ride in some fantasy world 'always safe' fashion when doing these things.

Falling off is a risk that you take; I would go as far as to say that the majority of people who road race have fallen off (at speed) and accept that as a risk.

I started racing and training for racing in the 1970s and I was forced to wear a helmet (a bad helmet, worse than useless) then. Modern helmets are pretty good by comparison.

If you are road racing, training for it, or even just playing at it, wearing a helmet is a no-brainer.

Furthermore, if you think you 'ride safe' all the time when you are not doing those things then you are living in a dream world; there are just too many idiots on the road, too many things that can go wrong; for example anyone who says that they always ride such that 'there could be diesel in the road and they would still be OK' is most probably either an idiot or a liar.

I have seen someone lying dead in the road, having fallen off, all by themselves. They were not wearing a helmet. Now as it happens I don't know if they might have survived if they had worn one or not, but I would bet any money that if they had a chance to go round again they would choose differently.

cheers
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drossall
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby drossall » 16 Jul 2016, 11:59pm

But everything you say suggests that you over-estimate both the risks of head injury from cycling, and the degree to which a helmet mitigates the risks that do exist. That leads inevitably to your conclusions - but people here aren't challenging your arguments, so much as your premises.

Since the premises don't seem to stand up, then yes, why not ride at speed without a helmet? The faster you go, the weaker the premises become. Indeed, in some ways, it makes more sense to wear a helmet at low speeds, when there's at least some chance that it might help. Arguing for doing so particularly at high speeds feels, as I have said before, awfully like urging the wearing of bullet-proof vests especially when facing tank fire.

I too wore hairnets for racing in the 70s. We knew that they were for preventing abrasions. I'm not sure whether we thought they were useless; they were just designed for a job.

PhilWhitehurst
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby PhilWhitehurst » 17 Jul 2016, 1:56pm

Dave W wrote:because it was an accident :roll:
If he knew it was going to happen then he might have cycled slower, he might not have even left the house, he might have changed his tyres, failing that he could have planned his dismount for maximum effect maybe landed on his feet and ran away, could have taken a selfie too mid somersault or even arranged for the ambulance to be there on his arrival.



That is where you are going wrong , only changing behaviour in relation to 100% guaranteed events of which you have prior knowledge. In other words you are not adjusting your behaviour in proportion to the risks.

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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby reohn2 » 17 Jul 2016, 2:40pm

Brucey
For the fast lads/racing big group riding I can see where you're coming from and to a great extent agree.
As for the rest of the cycling populous I disagree,though agree it's a personal choice.
The middle ground that's been put forward by many on this thread Tonyf33 and Dave W and yourself being the two polar opposites,is that that either they don't wear a helmet and don't have a problem with people who do,or they wear one for some more 'risky' cycling activities,and don't like being told by others they should wear one.
They've also backed that up with statistics and proof that compulsory cycle helmets actually don't reduce head injury or death,but actually reduce only people who cycle.
I fall into the later group,and don't like the idea of compulsion or being told I'm an idiot for holding that view,like pjclinch I've come to that way of thinking from an always wear a helmet POV.
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