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 » 18 Jul 2016, 8:26am

Cunobelin wrote:Actually the increasing use of helmets in events is another demonstration of a problem with helmets and their unsuitability / inadequacy

In the UK we use a standard (EN1078 that is laughably weak and inappropriate. There are a number of organisations that recognise this.

One large organisation that organises Sportives on an National basis clearly feels that the EN1078 helmets are inadequate as they state in their requirements that :

t is mandatory that all riders wear a safety approved cycling helmet complying with latest ANSI Z90/4 or SNELL standards.


Interesting that they have insisted on helmets that exceed the standard for sale in the UK


One wonders where the Magic Cutoff is between too rubbish to bother with (quoting Brucey, "I was forced to wear a helmet (a bad helmet, worse than useless)" speaking of the 70s) and perfectly adequate for the job is. But one thing that makes that hard to answer is what is "the job"? is it the specification, is it what is widely assumed (life-savers, on numerous occasions), some vague touchy-feely "safer", or what? Personally I'd go with the spec, and I do note that the folk making and selling the things don't make any claims beyond they meet a given spec. The spec is based on mitigating minor injuries in low speed impacts with no other vehicle.
I like mine for warding off small overhanging tree branches on single-track, which is well within spec.

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

Postby Bez » 18 Jul 2016, 9:13am

Brucey wrote: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.


I'm guessing you haven't been motor racing recently and are a member of the "no driving helmet please" brigade.

You've hit upon the nub of the problem: cycling is not a homogeneous activity with a uniform level of risk. Nor is driving. Nor is anything else. You've identified that risk is not defined solely, or even necessarily primarily, by your choice of activity but the way in which you go about it.

Once this is understood, we then just have to deal with residual risks that can't be mitigated by one's own behaviour: for example, being hit from behind while cycling, being hit by a car mounting the pavement while walking, and so on. Cycling is the only activity—certainly the only mundane, everyday one—where people think such risk still warrants a helmet.

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

Postby RickH » 18 Jul 2016, 10:44am

pjclinch wrote:
RickH wrote:Slightly at a tangent but relevant to the discussion - is it possible to be rendered unconscious without a direct blow to your head?


Yes. Fainting is just that.

From my limited experience of fainting (2 or 3 times & not cycling related) that seems a different thing - a more gradual process that you can feel coming on.

kwackers wrote:Rotational injury.

It's the most common mechansim for brain damage and doesn't require actual physical damage to your head. It's also a potential reason cycle helmets aren't that good, by making your head bigger and heavier they increase the chance of making contact with the floor and imparting rotation to your skull with the consequent brain injury.
In theory anything that 'whips' your head could cause such injury.

That seems the most plausible - I'm guessing I tumbled vertically &/or rolled horizontally as I landed. As I said, I can't recall having any bruises or bumps on my head (or anything memorable anywhere else for that matter) as a result.

That is the only incident in 40 years where I might have banged my head. I've had about 6, as far I remember, other "offs" from various causes in those 40 years, none of which have involved my head at all just a bit of leg &/or arm grazing/bruising.

Cunobelin wrote:One large organisation that organises Sportives on an National basis clearly feels that the EN1078 helmets are inadequate as they state in their requirements that :

t is mandatory that all riders wear a safety approved cycling helmet complying with latest ANSI Z90/4 or SNELL standards.


Interesting that they have insisted on helmets that exceed the standard for sale in the UK

Possibly the same one I emailed to ask why they asked for a helmet standard (ANSI Z90/4) that was declared obsolete in 1995 (link). I never had a reply from them. For UK events I think only Specialized declare they meet SNELL standards so their rules are, if enforced, asking you to wear a 20+ year old helmet if you don't wear a Specialized. I'm not sure that Specialized helmets comply with the latest SNELL standard rather than an earlier one either. :?

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

Postby Adam S » 18 Jul 2016, 1:52pm

I wrote to Specialized 3 or 4 years ago and the answer then was that they all conformed to the Snell B90, but usually not the newer B95. Some of their downhill mountain bike helmets were B95 compliant

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

Postby Cunobelin » 18 Jul 2016, 7:02pm

Another part of the pro-helmet stupidity


All cyclists should wear helmets...

Yet the modern designs are less effective, cause more injuries and prevent less injury than 15 years ago

I don't think it is possible to name any other "safety device" that despite advances in material and technology has been allowed to deteriorate in its benefit


Imagine a company trying to market a brake with less stopping power and efficiency than 15 years ago, or a gear system that changed less smoothly and was more likely to miss gear changes or unship

Why is this acceptable for helmets

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

Postby Cunobelin » 19 Jul 2016, 6:47am

Bez wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:The late Paul Smith of Safespeed loved this method. Apparently if you take the number of pedestrian deaths caused by motorists and divide it by the total mileage performed by vehicles, then compare the number of deaths caused by cyclists and divide by the total mileage performed by cyclists then the unpleasant truth is that for the average pedestrian, the threat from cyclists is greater


CTC published something very similar a year or two back, though IIRC it suggested that the danger was, at face value, surprisingly close to that presented by motor traffic rather than in excess of it. It's worth noting, of course, that you get far more walking/cycling shared space than walking/driving shared space (and more illegal pavement cycling than pavement driving) so a higher rate of collisions is unsurprising. And in the case of the CTC report, which included serious injuries, it's worth noting that not all serious injuries are equal.

Anyway, I was thinking the comparison was the overall fatality rate in RTCs for pedestrians per mile walked and for cyclists per mile cycled. The former is slightly higher than the latter.



Pavement driving is a classic.

If you measure the problem in distance then the fact that a car is causing problems for 8 - 10 hours per day is missed.

Measure pavement abuse in time and you start to see the effect on the disabled, visually impaired etc.

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

Postby drossall » 19 Jul 2016, 7:52am

I think I'm right in saying that something like 14 out of every 15 serious cycle-pedestrian incidents (fatalities?) have historically been on the road. 15 is about five years' worth or something, since fatalities are mercifully rare. It's just that people assume that these things must be happening on the pavement or shared facilities.

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

Postby mjr » 19 Jul 2016, 12:04pm

Cunobelin wrote:
Bez wrote:CTC published something very similar a year or two back, though IIRC it suggested that the danger was, at face value, surprisingly close to that presented by motor traffic rather than in excess of it. It's worth noting, of course, that you get far more walking/cycling shared space than walking/driving shared space (and more illegal pavement cycling than pavement driving) so a higher rate of collisions is unsurprising. And in the case of the CTC report, which included serious injuries, it's worth noting that not all serious injuries are equal.


Pavement driving is a classic.

If you measure the problem in distance then the fact that a car is causing problems for 8 - 10 hours per day is missed.

Measure pavement abuse in time and you start to see the effect on the disabled, visually impaired etc.

Surely there should also be an increase to recognise the greater speed-mass or kinetic energy?

I'm actually not so convinced that there's more illegal pavement cycling than pavement driving any more. The last few years, some motorists seem to think nothing of mounting a kerb to pass someone waiting to turn right off a road and they don't slow any more than they must for passenger comfort - never mind looking for anyone walking or cycling. High kerbs seem to have gone out of fashion with highways authorities - probably because they cost more and don't stop large vehicles anyway.
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Tonyf33
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby Tonyf33 » 19 Jul 2016, 3:39pm

These saps clearly have no idea how to ride at speed close to each other...maybe some stern emails to these novices are in order, think of the children :roll:
https://youtu.be/35zTb6C-JAc

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

Postby drossall » 19 Jul 2016, 7:36pm

I've always thought that the only reason that there is relatively little pavement driving is lamp posts.

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

Postby Cunobelin » 19 Jul 2016, 7:37pm

My wife is disabled and is a wheelchair bound

Believe me, having to track back a hundred yards or more, then an couple of hundred yards down an narrowed road until you find another dropped kerb to get back on the pavement is all too common

The other night we went to the local pub.... we spent more time on the road than the pavement because it was inaccessible due to parked cars

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

Postby Cunobelin » 19 Jul 2016, 7:38pm

drossall wrote:I've always thought that the only reason that there is relatively little pavement driving is lamp posts.


Over the last ten years theer has been a program to move lampposts to the rear of the pavement because they "cause accidents" and "inconvenience" motorists

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 19 Jul 2016, 11:16pm

Can;t we make them more solid instead?
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drossall
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Re: Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet?

Postby drossall » 19 Jul 2016, 11:40pm

Maybe they could be mobile and patrol the pavements, thus being a better deterrent. And, at last, making the excuse that a lamp post jumped out at me true :lol:

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

Postby Stevek76 » 24 Jul 2016, 3:04pm

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 ..... etc..... 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.



Perhaps then you should have put the original question as:

"Is there any reason you wouldn't wear a helmet when pushing your bike and yourself to the limit?"

and it might have been rather less contentious. Saying that, if your road riding is in such a manner to be that risky I wonder why you're not also considering other forms of protective gear (eg wrist guards)?

Also it's a little much to suggest those things are completely outside your control. They largely were within your control but you've elected to relinquish that through the way you're cycling. That is fine, and very much your choice* and it's mostly yourself and your group who've made the same choices that are being put at risk. It's worth considering though that if a car was going round a bend at such a speed that they could not stop in time for the unexpected and collided with an unseen pedestrian, or cyclist, they'd probably end up getting charged and/or ending up in the 'lenient sentencing' thread.

*I do precisely the same thing when mtbing, hence why I wear protective stuff when doing so.