Helmets?

For all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmet usage will be moved here.
Vorpal
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Re: Helmets?

Postby Vorpal » 20 Jul 2019, 7:28pm

Cugel wrote:
The US risk-aversion culture?

It's interesting that you find that in cycling. In US woodworking circles the very opposite applies. It's almost a necessary badge of manly bravery to eschew safety guards, devices and procedures in that domain - the amateur woodworking domain at least.

For example, even today, there's a large resistance to the notion of guards over table saw blades; riving knives; sliding carriages (rather than dangerous homemade sliding contraptions). When someone invented a sawstop thingy that stopped the blade rotation instantaneously via detection of a touch of the operator flesh on the blade, there was a huge controversy about how real woodworkers just needed to be experienced to avoid losing a hand or it's fingers and that sawstop was just a money-gouging scheme. Peculiar.

Cugel

The risk aversion culture has the biggest influence when it comes to children, women, and transport choices. But the manly woodworker thing is merely the other side of the same coin.

Independence and personal capability are really important in the USA. Woodworking without guards proves independence and personal capability, as does gun ownership. Riding a bike does, too. Which is one reason it is a minority transport choice, and done by even fewer women than men. This is also why if you are injured or even killed doing it, it's your own damn fault. It's also why children are wrapped in cotton wool. They aren't old & capable enough to make these choices for themselves. If a child get hurt riding their bike, it's the parents' fault.

I've outlined a somewhat extreme take on it, but this sort of thing is the background to many apparently contradictory aspects of American culture.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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John1054
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Re: Helmets?

Postby John1054 » 20 Jul 2019, 7:31pm

Vorpal wrote:
Cugel wrote:
The US risk-aversion culture?

It's interesting that you find that in cycling. In US woodworking circles the very opposite applies. It's almost a necessary badge of manly bravery to eschew safety guards, devices and procedures in that domain - the amateur woodworking domain at least.

For example, even today, there's a large resistance to the notion of guards over table saw blades; riving knives; sliding carriages (rather than dangerous homemade sliding contraptions). When someone invented a sawstop thingy that stopped the blade rotation instantaneously via detection of a touch of the operator flesh on the blade, there was a huge controversy about how real woodworkers just needed to be experienced to avoid losing a hand or it's fingers and that sawstop was just a money-gouging scheme. Peculiar.

Cugel

The risk aversion culture has the biggest influence when it comes to children, women, and transport choices. But the manly woodworker thing is merely the other side of the same coin.

Independence and personal capability are really important in the USA. Woodworking without guards proves independence and personal capability, as does gun ownership. Riding a bike does, too. Which is one reason it is a minority transport choice, and done by even fewer women than men. This is also why if you are injured or even killed doing it, it's your own damn fault. It's also why children are wrapped in cotton wool. They aren't old & capable enough to make these choices for themselves. If a child get hurt riding their bike, it's the parents' fault.

I've outlined a somewhat extreme take on it, but this sort of thing is the background to many apparently contradictory aspects of American culture.

+1 for that :(

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Sweep
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Re: Helmets?

Postby Sweep » 20 Jul 2019, 7:40pm

Can't be bothered to plough all through this - OP - did you get a helmet?

Or still looking?

Other folks - use a helmet or don't - your choice - I'll make mine.
Sweep

Mike Sales
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Re: Helmets?

Postby Mike Sales » 20 Jul 2019, 7:48pm

Sweep wrote:Can't be bothered to plough all through this - OP - did you get a helmet?

Or still looking?

Other folks - use a helmet or don't - your choice - I'll make mine.


In some countries there is no choice, and some in this country would like to remove our choice. Some cycling groups remove the choice too.
I don't want to wear one, but I feel that if I want to continue to have the choice I need to be active in making it clear why.

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Re: Helmets?

Postby jb » 20 Jul 2019, 7:49pm

Whilst I disagree with being forced to wear a helmet either by peer pressure or regulation, I have found that I quite like the helmet I wear at present. It's a usful sunshade keeps you warm in winter and with a waterproof cover helps keep you dry.
It also protected my bonce once in an accident.

Choose a midrange one as you might need to replace it should you have an accident, even a minor one.
Don't feel forced to wear it if you feel it unnecessary.
Cheers
J Bro

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Sweep
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Re: Helmets?

Postby Sweep » 20 Jul 2019, 8:03pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Sweep wrote:Can't be bothered to plough all through this - OP - did you get a helmet?

Or still looking?

Other folks - use a helmet or don't - your choice - I'll make mine.


In some countries there is no choice, and some in this country would like to remove our choice. Some cycling groups remove the choice too.
I don't want to wear one, but I feel that if I want to continue to have the choice I need to be active in making it clear why.


I know where you are coming from but will resists that pressure to make helmet wearing compulsory when it becomes an issue - the endless rehearsals of the arguments on here are tedious in the extreme though. The OP was looking for advice on buying on - hence my question above.

Short my view on topic - I don't think it should be compulsory (except maybe for minors) - adults can do what they want - I personally wouldn't dream of not using one. End of.

Did you find one OP?

If not, I can maybe suggest one or two possibilities.
Sweep

Mike Sales
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Re: Helmets?

Postby Mike Sales » 20 Jul 2019, 8:19pm

The OP seemed to assume that to ride a bike = wear a helmet.
Some of us feel that it is important to make it clear that it is not automatic. We do not want to let the choice disappear in the face of all the pressure and propaganda.

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Sum
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Re: Helmets?

Postby Sum » 20 Jul 2019, 9:07pm

I don't think the OP had assumed they needed to wear a helmet but in any case you may rest assured you've made your point clear.

Mike Sales
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Re: Helmets?

Postby Mike Sales » 20 Jul 2019, 9:20pm

Sum wrote:I don't think the OP had assumed they needed to wear a helmet but in any case you may rest assured you've made your point clear.


I was explaining why those who don't wish to wear a helmet are keen to state their reasons.
Thank you for your reassurance.

JohnW
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Re: Helmets?

Postby JohnW » 20 Jul 2019, 11:10pm

Oldjohnw wrote:What a sensible post, JohnW.

It's all in the name!


Well thanks John - it's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about anything I've ever done!!!! :D :D :D :D

I have edited it though, because I'd said that I wasn't injured in my most recent accident. I was injured in fact - my leg was broken - but that's not relevant to the subject of helmets.

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Cugel
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Re: Helmets?

Postby Cugel » 21 Jul 2019, 8:03am

JohnW wrote:I don't like helmets - I never have. They're hot, sweaty and cumbersome.
14 years ago I had a prang, flew over the bars and headed into the tarmac at about 30mph.
Blood was pouring from my ear and I was in the middle of a main road.
I was in intensive care for about three days, in hospital for a week, confined to bed for a further week, housebound for a further three weeks and off the bike for two months.
The head-man who treated me was a cyclist and gave me a telling off, explaining which injuries I'd have avoided if I'd been wearing a helmet.
I've worn one ever since - religiously.
About two years later, one of our club slipped on a corner in ice, hit the road with her head and smashed her helmet. She was unhurt.
Again about two years later I came off on loose gravel on local Greenway, hit a boulder with my head, split the helmet but unhurt.
Three years ago I was hit from behind by a Volvo estate (it's not always an Audi! :lol: :lol: :lol: ) I can't account for this, but I must have been whiplashed or hit by something from behind at head level, because the back of my helmet was smashed to bits. I was injured and incapacitated for 6 weeks, but had no head injury nor headache.

I always wear a helmet now - because of my own experience - no-one persuaded me but the doctor's advice made it's mark. What I do is up to me, and what others do is up to them.

Three things I've learned to watch for are :
1).Shape around the head.
2). Ventilation.
3). Don't ask the price - don't be put off by price - you'll have to try helmets to satisfy item 1). You may have to try several different brands.
4). Pay what you have to, to ensure correct shape and fit - ask the price afterwards.
5). Be sure that replacement inner pads are easily and freely available. They get sweated up and horrible.
A 6th thought is not to buy on-line. You can't try it on on-line. If you've saved a few quid on-line, and find it's wrong then you've all the pain of returning it and getting another and you're still not sure....................a cheapo may not be right for you, and may fail to perform when you need it most.

The last two that I bought were :
1). A frighteningly expensive (and wonderfully ventilated) Giro - the importer's rep came to the bike shop to help me with that.
2). A Specialized - less expensive, but the bike shop are Specialized dealers/agents and fit me right.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting that a helmet will save you in every and any situation, but some protection is potentially better than none.

Edited 20th July - highlighted heavy.


That is a sensible post albeit still anecdotal and made based on a guess, rather than certainty, that the helmet prevented significant additional injury. Of course, your guesses may be accurate but the unfortunate fact is that it's impossible to measure how a helmet has reduced any injury to the head; or whether it has actually caused some additional injury.

As you know, the helmet testing procedures don't test real world cycling events in which the helmet may play a part, other than falling off at low speed and hitting a flat surface. If only such real-world tests could be devised, they might make it more clear about what sort of events could see a helmet offering which sort of protection (or additional harm).

One self-test, if you do have an event in which your helmet gets broken, is to look at the details of the breakage. For a helmet to have absorbed any significant force, the polystyrene would have to be crushed. It doesn't recover from crushing so it is an indicator that significant force has been absorbed. If there is little or no crushing, but just a shattered helmet, the likelihood is that the helmet didn't absorb significant force but broke only because it is, inherently, a flimsy item that takes very little force to break.

****
All that's about the mechanical ability of a helmet to reduce injury (or not). But what about those psychological effects? There is evidence concerning the inclination of many helmet wearers to take increased risks in their belief that "a helmet will save my life". Also evidence that drivers of vehicles may cause more cycling "accidents" by making the same assumption about a helmet-wearing cyclist and so take greater risks when passing etc.. Perhaps you yourself have been a victim of the latter?

*******
I have to also ask you if you've had other head-injuring events during activities in which you didn't then, and don't now, wear a helmet as a risk-reducer? Do you wear one in the car or when going up and down stairs? These activities, along with gardening, DIY and a number of other common activities, are statistically more likely to result in a serious head-bang. I suspect you don't wear a helmet then. :-)

I'm not questioning your choice to wear a helmet but trying to examine what assumptions you're making in doing so and whether they're reasonable in light of your personal injury history or, as seems the case with many others, assumptions got from fashion-culture rather than a more objective risk assessment.

Cugel

De Sisti
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Re: Helmets?

Postby De Sisti » 21 Jul 2019, 9:01am

JohnW wrote:I don't like helmets - I never have. They're hot, sweaty and cumbersome.
14 years ago I had a prang, flew over the bars and headed into the tarmac at about 30mph.
Blood was pouring from my ear and I was in the middle of a main road.
I was in intensive care for about three days, in hospital for a week, confined to bed for a further week, housebound for a further three weeks and off the bike for two months.
The head-man who treated me was a cyclist and gave me a telling off, explaining which injuries I'd have avoided if I'd been wearing a helmet.
I've worn one ever since - religiously.
About two years later, one of our club slipped on a corner in ice, hit the road with her head and smashed her helmet. She was unhurt.
Again about two years later I came off on loose gravel on local Greenway, hit a boulder with my head, split the helmet but unhurt.
Three years ago I was hit from behind by a Volvo estate (it's not always an Audi! :lol: :lol: :lol: ) I can't account for this, but I must have been whiplashed or hit by something from behind at head level, because the back of my helmet was smashed to bits. I was injured and incapacitated for 6 weeks, but had no head injury nor headache.

I always wear a helmet now - because of my own experience - no-one persuaded me but the doctor's advice made it's mark. What I do is up to me, and what others do is up to them.

Three things I've learned to watch for are :
1).Shape around the head.
2). Ventilation.
3). Don't ask the price - don't be put off by price - you'll have to try helmets to satisfy item 1). You may have to try several different brands.
4). Pay what you have to, to ensure correct shape and fit - ask the price afterwards.
5). Be sure that replacement inner pads are easily and freely available. They get sweated up and horrible.
A 6th thought is not to buy on-line. You can't try it on on-line. If you've saved a few quid on-line, and find it's wrong then you've all the pain of returning it and getting another and you're still not sure....................a cheapo may not be right for you, and may fail to perform when you need it most.

The last two that I bought were :
1). A frighteningly expensive (and wonderfully ventilated) Giro - the importer's rep came to the bike shop to help me with that.
2). A Specialized - less expensive, but the bike shop are Specialized dealers/agents and fit me right.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting that a helmet will save you in every and any situation, but some protection is potentially better than none.

Edited 20th July - highlighted heavy.

Seems like you're a bit accident-prone. Ride slower; it may prevent some of the incidents you've been
involved in.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Helmets?

Postby Cunobelin » 21 Jul 2019, 9:07am

Cyril Haearn wrote:Cugel, please to comment on the Welsh attitude to safety with woodworking tools in relation to the attitude to Hellmuths for cycling
Danke



Following a lead from motorcycling.....

Image

For those who are truly on the fence and cannot decide, then a "half helmet" so that you can gain all the claimed advantages of both the compulsion and choice lobbies.

All you need to do then is find someone of like mind, but the opposite political persuasion to use the other half. For instance, if you are a Tory, you would wear the right half, and a Labour colleague or friend the left.

I assume that these need to be cut in half safely, hence the saw references

De Sisti
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Re: Helmets?

Postby De Sisti » 21 Jul 2019, 9:14am

A non-helmet wearing member of our club (early 60s) was knocked off his bike by a taxi last week.
He has now announced that in future he will be wearing a helmet. He didn't allude to whether his
head was injured in the collision, but he mentioned damage to his crank.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Helmets?

Postby Cunobelin » 21 Jul 2019, 10:49am

De Sisti wrote:A non-helmet wearing member of our club (early 60s) was knocked off his bike by a taxi last week.
He has now announced that in future he will be wearing a helmet. He didn't allude to whether his
head was injured in the collision, but he mentioned damage to his crank.


An ageing acquaintance of mine has had 3 head injuries in the last year, all required CT, and two required admission, one for 5 days


They still choose no to wear a helmet around the house

Which is the point, anecdotes and other peoples decisions are irrelevant. The individual should exercise an informed choice on evidence.