Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

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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mjr
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby mjr » 20 Feb 2017, 6:00pm

Ruadh495 wrote:That's what I was trying to get at, though I couldn't remember the terms. Now, is it valid to assume that a fietser is at significantly lower risk of head injury than a wielrenner, due to both riding style and machine style? That could lead to a large fietser population "masking" the weilrenner rate of injury where both are recorded as "cyclist" in the injury stats and in comparison with a country where fietser are rare and the majority of cyclists are weilrenner.

I would like to see any statistics about the fietser:wielrenner split of the UK. The closest I know are the utility:recreation prevalence split in England in the Active People Survey which I think is roughly 2:3, but I suggest recreation there may be mostly stuff like touring and parkrides which definitely aren't wielrenner-y.

In some hostile parts of the UK, wielrenner may be the only cyclists, but in the cities and better towns and villages, their numbers are dwarfed by fietser, so I suspect they're still a minority.
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby deliquium » 20 Feb 2017, 6:05pm

meic wrote:Buried somewhere in this subforum.
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=65625


Thanks meic :D
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby pjclinch » 21 Feb 2017, 10:07am

mjr wrote:I would like to see any statistics about the fietser:wielrenner split of the UK.


I think it will be clouded somewhat by the UK marketing model, which until recently has mainly given you a choice of sports machinery or other sports machinery. In NL you'd have trouble finding a bike shop that doesn't sell a selection of Oma/Opafietsen while they're like gold dust in the UK. So even people who are by inclination/nature fietsers may well be on sports (or at least sporty) equipment. This also relates to what people ride in: a surprising number of folk riding fairly sensible hybrids at speeds never exceeding R on shortish local trips seem to feel the need for specialist riding kit.

In the UK we have a high proportion of Enthusiasts, who like to have All the Right Stuff, even for pottering. This just hasn't been an obvious riding group I've seen when in NL, excepting families of German tourists cycling through the dunes in dayglo and crash hats.

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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Ruadh495 » 21 Feb 2017, 12:18pm

I think the inability to distinguish is a particular problem when it comes to helmets. The logic goes like this: Motorcyclists are at high risk of head injury and so benefit from helmets. Some cyclists sometimes go faster than some motorcyclists (consider a moped rider at 30mph on a down hill and the roadie overtaking him at 40, which is at greater risk?). Therefore all cyclists need helmets.

It's a fallacy, of course, because most cyclists don't go faster than most motorcyclists.

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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby tatanab » 21 Feb 2017, 12:54pm

The motorcyclist/cyclist comparison has another side to it. Unless racing the motorcyclist is not physically working. The cyclist is working and so would like to lose heat not be covered with insulating material.

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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Wanlock Dod » 21 Feb 2017, 2:01pm

This seems to be a discussion about whether or not wearing a helmet is associated with riskier riding styles, yet nobody really seems to have mentioned risk compensation and how that fits with this.

I believe in risk compensation/homeostasis, so I don't find it hard to believe that wearing a helmet might well lead to people being more open to taking risks which they otherwise wouldn't (it isn't safe enough to ride on the road without a helmet, thus the helmet makes the road sufficiently safe, provided it is worn in the appropriate manner).

Motorcycling in itself isn't an inherently dangerous activity, I have seen unhelmeted riders cruising the freeways in Florida. Helmet wearing amongst motorcyclists depends principally on what kind of bike they are riding as far as I can tell, no helmet for a cruise on a Harley, helmet when racing around on a sports bike.

My observations of helmeted Dutch cyclists lead me to believe that a reasonable proportion really are riding right at the limit and will have an accident, it's just a matter of time.

Personally I am inclined to think that it is a lack of acceptance of unconscious risk compensation that is the biggest factor in failing to understand just how protective helmets really are.

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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Ruadh495 » 21 Feb 2017, 3:20pm

Wanlock Dod wrote:
Motorcycling in itself isn't an inherently dangerous activity, I have seen unhelmeted riders cruising the freeways in Florida. Helmet wearing amongst motorcyclists depends principally on what kind of bike they are riding as far as I can tell, no helmet for a cruise on a Harley, helmet when racing around on a sports bike.



That may be the case in Florida, where motorcycle helmets are not compulsory. Here motorcycle helmets are worn because they are compulsory regardless of the type of riding or motorcycle. This leads to an assumption that a helmet is necessary even to ride a moped which can not exceed 30mph. I would guess that most riders here exceed 30mph on a fairly regular basis, so if the helmet is "necessary" for the moped rider, why would it not be for the cyclist?

The answer is, of course, that a helmet is not necessary for all motorcyclists, let alone for cyclists, but motorcyclists in the UK don't get to decide if they need a helmet. Cyclists do, for now.

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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby mjr » 21 Feb 2017, 4:01pm

Ruadh495 wrote:I would guess that most riders here exceed 30mph on a fairly regular basis, so if the helmet is "necessary" for the moped rider, why would it not be for the cyclist?

Really? Even on the road bike, I only exceed 30mph with a stonking tailwind or a long downhill - and long hills are in rather short supply in the fens! It happens, but once in a blue moon, not "a fairly regular basis". Most of the time, if I've a stonking tailwind or a long downhill, I take it as a chance to take it easy!

Yep, I've just done the calculations and I reckon the road bike which will exceed 30mph at 100 cadence in top, then there's one bike I know I spin out at 33mph (done in a stonking wind a few years ago). I think most of the bikes will spin out below 30mph because they're either three speeds set to cruise in top, or derailleur bikes geared low for various reasons like trailer-pulling. (edited to rephrase the stonking wind)

Are most of you really exceeding 30mph fairly regularly?
Last edited by mjr on 21 Feb 2017, 7:01pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby tatanab » 21 Feb 2017, 5:24pm

I live in moderately hilly country and it is a rare ride where I do not top 30mph, often 40mph at some point. Even "flat" rides will see almost 30 mph. This is downhill, freewheeling.

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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Stevek76 » 21 Feb 2017, 5:43pm

Ruadh495 wrote:It's a fallacy, of course, because most cyclists don't go faster than most motorcyclists.


Also motorcycle helmets are actually quite protective, they'll absorb considerably more energy and are full face and are smooth so don't suffer the rotational risk.

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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby tatanab » 21 Feb 2017, 6:39pm

Stevek76 wrote:Also motorcycle helmets are actually quite protective, they'll absorb considerably more energy and are full face and are smooth so don't suffer the rotational risk.
Many, not all are full face. They still have problems with rotational injuries which is why some US states have rescinded their compulsory helmet law. I suppose they cannot compel you to wear something that may injure you - just think of the compensation!

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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Wanlock Dod » 21 Feb 2017, 7:21pm

Ruadh495 wrote: ...I would guess that most riders here exceed 30mph on a fairly regular basis....


Seemingly of relevance here, in days gone by, when helmeted cycling was normal for me, that was certainly the case, whereas these days, when I use only "The Force" to protect me, I find it's much less likely to be the case. Indeed Strava assures me that these days even when I'm fairly belting along downhill I'm appreciably slower than I ever was when I was wearing a helmet (but not necessarily really "going for it"). Risk compensation?

mjr wrote: ...I only exceed 30mph with a stonking tailwind or a long downhill ...


Increased pie consumption can greatly assist in increasing the potential energy of descending cyclists

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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby mjr » 21 Feb 2017, 7:54pm

Wanlock Dod wrote:Increased pie consumption can greatly assist in increasing the potential energy of descending cyclists

Challenge accepted! :-)

https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/desce ... st-4688203 claims that aerodynamics mean that a cyclist maxes out about 30mph on most hills unless they go into an aero tuck. I'll ask if there's any maths behind it.
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby meic » 21 Feb 2017, 8:07pm

claims that aerodynamics mean that a cyclist maxes out about 30mph on most hills unless they go into an aero tuck.

He is probably right, let us say that four out of five hills you max out at 30mph.
That still leaves me doing 35 mph about five times in a day's ride, without bothering with an Aero tuck.
Back when I bothered chasing speeds downhill, I would expect to exceed 40mph on every ride but never quite made the 50.
Though on many other descents I crawl down at 20 mph because it isnt a clear run.
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Vorpal » 21 Feb 2017, 11:01pm

mjr wrote:
Wanlock Dod wrote:Increased pie consumption can greatly assist in increasing the potential energy of descending cyclists

Challenge accepted! :-)

https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/desce ... st-4688203 claims that aerodynamics mean that a cyclist maxes out about 30mph on most hills unless they go into an aero tuck. I'll ask if there's any maths behind it.

I regularly exceed 30 mph without going into an aero tuck. Someone who says such a thing doesn't have any experience with proper hills. ;)
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