CTC Members: Helmet usage

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.
Big T
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Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Big T » 24 Sep 2010, 12:00pm

I nearly always wear one, as does my wife and son. The only time I don't is if it's really hot.

Me & the Mrs recently went on a CTC ride and I think we were the only 2 wearing helmets out of 12.

I was once involved in a bizarre accident, where the helmet saved me from at least a bad headache. I was riding home from work along a dark country lane in snowy weather and suddenly found myself catapulted off my bike backwardss and flat on the floor. An electricity cable had come down due to the ice/snow and was lying across the top of the hedgerows. Caught me square across the bridge of the nose and threw me backwards. Helmet cracked up the back, but did its job.
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Jonty

Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Jonty » 24 Sep 2010, 2:56pm

I've come off my bike several times since I started cycling 13 years ago. One of the falls made a hole in the helmet: I must have hit a sharp object.
I'm not saying it saved my life but it certainly saved my day.
jonty

kwackers
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Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby kwackers » 24 Sep 2010, 3:24pm

I've been cycling on and off since I was a kid. I've fallen off more times than I can remember - even got hit head on by a car once when I was young. Don't remember ever banging my head (perhaps it was concussion :lol: ).

I've fallen of motorcycles more times than I can remember as well, including 'scrambling' on dirt tracks - often with no helmet. Again the best evidence I've got that an helmet ever did anything were some light scrapes so it's just possible I saved myself from a life threatening graze.

Since I started wearing an helmet on a bicycle I've only ever fallen off about 3 times and my head didn't get remotely close to the ground. The best evidence I've got for helmets was a branch whacking the top of it whilst cycling through some woods - but then its equally likely it wouldn't have happened without one since my head would have been smaller.

If I throw in all the people I know who've cycled over the years both with and without helmets I don't know of anyone who's hit their head hard enough to damage it (beyond a graze) or bash their helmet hard enough to leave marks on it.

For a normal person, cycling on normal roads I reckon the chances of banging one's nonce isn't worth worrying about, much less banging it hard enough for a helmet to help (or hinder).
Of course it could be that some people just don't have the auto-response necessary to keep their heads of the floor.

[edit]
Actually just remembered, I did 'chin' myself so hard on a barrier once I knocked myself out. But unless the helmet included chin protection it's unlikely it would be any use.

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admin
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Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby admin » 24 Sep 2010, 3:31pm

I went over the handlebars of my bike at speed when I was 8, going down a steep hill. Had a nasty road rash on my forehead, quite concussed but not knocked out. Scab got very tight as it healed and the scar lasted for decades. Sore! Of course ordinary people just didn't wear "helmets" in those days, and given they way most people wear them nowadays (too far back, and/or loose straps) their foreheads aren't protected anyway. :(

None of our family wear polystyrene hats for cycling, nor for riding in cars, walking, or being in our kitchen (where most head injuries happen in this house!).

Quite happy for others to wear them, although sadly this practice does make cycling look as though it's more dangerous than other activities :(, when it isn't :)

----
Those that wear "helmets" to protect against crashes with cars might like to read (a) the label inside their helmet, and (b) this informative article from a helmet testing laboratory:

HEADS UP Cycle helmets are a contentious subject. Brian Walker, of helmet-testing lab Head Protection Evaluations, looks at the science instead of the rhetoric

If you're very keen to research the facts, http://cyclehelmets.org is a good starting point.

Try to get a Snell-approved one, they're twice as effective as those that merely conform to European standards. A replace it every few years for best protection.

(Oh, and helmets absorb energy to protect you by crushing. If they snap or break into pieces they've failed to do their job: probably the impact was greater than they were designed for).

Jonty

Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Jonty » 24 Sep 2010, 4:25pm

Thank you very much for that response - very helpful.
jonty

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mill4six
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Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby mill4six » 24 Sep 2010, 6:18pm

I've never crashed with a car, neither collided with, nor been hit by. I have collided with the ground on many occasions so on that basis I mostly wear a helmet but if, as the on other day I forget, I don't fret too much. I'm using flashing lights mounted fore and aft in the dark so that's as good a reason as any to wear it, I just hope I don't land on the light one day and give myself a hole in the head!

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Sprocket
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Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Sprocket » 24 Sep 2010, 6:21pm

It's an old one, but one I love on this subject. The bare facts in this news story

Love it.

bodach
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Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby bodach » 24 Sep 2010, 7:08pm

The bodach does not wear a helmet. I know I am tempting fate here but I cannot remember when I last had a serious bike fall. My last serious incident was when I fell off my feet at an agricultural show and seriously damaged a shoulder about 4 years ago. My main fear is damage to other parts of the body such as arms,legs etc.

snibgo
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Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby snibgo » 24 Sep 2010, 7:19pm

mill4six wrote:I'm using flashing lights mounted fore and aft ...


Personally, I wouldn't mount a light or camera on a helmet, as I reckon it would increase the probability of a twisting force, or sending the light/camera through the helmet into my skull.

But isolated LEDs may be a good idea.

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Cunobelin
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Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Cunobelin » 24 Sep 2010, 8:22pm

markdalton wrote:Don't ever think it can't happen to you. A month ago I came off on three metal plates strategically placed on a corner. It was raining heavily at the time and I was on my road bike. Two weeks later I was rammed by a car from behind at another junction, this time on my newly handbuilt Woodrup tourer. I was lucky in both cases not to be seriously injured. Wear a helmet.


Both cases would also have been alleviated by a recumbent trike - I rest my case!

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Steve Kish
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Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Steve Kish » 24 Sep 2010, 9:12pm

I go out with both West Surrey and South Bucks Thames Valley and in both cases, about half of the riders wear helmets. However, the Chiltern Hills 'faster-longer' riders all seem to wear them, but in truth, this can be classed as a vet's road race at times! :mrgreen:
Old enough to know better but too young to care.

Jonty

Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Jonty » 25 Sep 2010, 7:41pm

[quote="admin"]
Quite happy for others to wear them, although sadly this practice does make cycling look as though it's more dangerous than other activities :(, when it isn't :)

Another good reason to wear a helmet: we don't want to encourage any more new recruits to cycling. Have you noticed the number of cyclists on the roads? They're everywhere! I'm getting hoarse saying "good morning" to streams of them every Sunday as wll as having the living daylights frightened out of me by being overtaken every few minutes by silent "time-trial" type machines powered by Chis Hoye lookalikes.
To cap it all I recently arrived at my favourite cafe and had to join a queue consisting of 3 other cycling groups. I had to wait a full 15 minutes before I could be served with my hot chocolate and lemon drizzle cake.
I started serious cycling to keep fit and because it was an exclusive activity inhabited by a few elderly ecccentrics. Now it's becoming a mass sport like watching football or coarse fishing.
Enough I say: wear a helmet and deflect some of them to collecting postcards.
jonty

Tonyf33
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Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Tonyf33 » 25 Sep 2010, 10:54pm

As a ctc member you can put me in the 'NO' catagory for statistical purposes.
From a personal POV, never felt the need to wear one so I won't ever wear one. In my only big accident IF I had been wearing a helmet it would have caused me to strike my encased head on the ground at high speed (& likely whiplash injury at best) as it was it was my shoulder that took the brunt of the impact. Thank god I wasn't wearing a helmet, it saved my life :lol: :lol:

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ferrit worrier
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Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby ferrit worrier » 26 Sep 2010, 8:22am

Put me down as a "Yes" and definitely after last winter, came off on some ice and head smacked the deck it put a nice crease in the side of the helmet, that could have been me on a trip to A+E. instead I got up and walked the bike off the ice. I was lucky as this was a track through a local park and not many people about.
Percussive maintainance, if it don't fit, hit it with the hammer.

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Si
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Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Si » 26 Sep 2010, 12:11pm

ferrit worrier wrote:Put me down as a "Yes" and definitely after last winter, came off on some ice and head smacked the deck it put a nice crease in the side of the helmet, that could have been me on a trip to A+E. instead I got up and walked the bike off the ice. I was lucky as this was a track through a local park and not many people about.


I found studded tyres much more of a safety bonus than a helmet last winter. Not that I'm arguing using a helmet as well - but the the studded tyres can revolutionise your winter riding.