Cycle helmet broken in fall

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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horizon
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby horizon » 25 Nov 2014, 11:26pm

einstein-cycling.jpg
Audax67 wrote:The rest of this wrangle will be as fruitless as usual.


Fruitless maybe, but as hugely enjoyable as usual. It's the self-evident versus counter-intuitive version of the unstoppable object meets the irresistible - hang on, I've got that wrong.

Would Einstein have worn a bike helmet? Did he wear one? Did he ride a bike? Have I missed something?
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

oneten
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby oneten » 25 Nov 2014, 11:51pm

Well, what interesting posts.Looking at the link to the Bell website it seems that style and aerodynamics are the key criteria and there is absolutely no mention of the safety benefits as far as cycle helmets are concerned, yet in connection with m/cycle ones, the emphasis is all about the safety benefits - how peculiar and quite an eye opener! Also, the webpage about plug covers is shocking where the safety claims/ intentions are the opposite of what the product is intended to do.
I can see where people are coming from especially when opposing making helmets compulsory.Despite all that though, I am still glad I was wearing my (yes - it just so happens it was a Bell :? !) helmet, whether it saved me from superficial or any other injury to my bone dome, or whether the extra protusion of the helmet thickness was what caused the impact or not, I'll never know, but I'm glad it was just a chunk of polystyrene that came adrift rathervthan anything else. I am going to keep on wearing a helmet ( my nice new Spezialized one) once my rib- cage is less tender ( please no-one suggest the helmet caused/could have saved me from that :D ).
Finally, as for poor 'old' Dave Goss's experience with his 2 hospital visits, it seems that our local A&E department was much more thorough in providing a head CT ( the radiologist was a cyclist who'd not long returned from an Audax event in Bulgaria) maybe it's because I'm older than you Dave - I'm an ancient 57 in comparison :) .
The piccie of Einstein ? - wonderful stuff! ..Now he knew a thing or two but not wearing a helmet ? Well at the end of the day it's all relative isn't it. I'm just going to try and take a bit more care in future.

TonyR
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby TonyR » 26 Nov 2014, 7:58am

horizon wrote:Would Einstein have worn a bike helmet? Did he wear one? Did he ride a bike? Have I missed something?


He didn't and he's dead. QED! :wink:

TonyR
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby TonyR » 26 Nov 2014, 8:02am

oneten wrote:I am going to keep on wearing a helmet ( my nice new Spezialized one) once my rib- cage is less tender ( please no-one suggest the helmet caused/could have saved me from that :D ).


Now you mention it....... when the data in the paper that helmet promoters most often quote - that helmets prevent 85% of head injuries - was re-analysed it showed they also prevented 75% of leg injuries. Although that's comment on the quality of the research, not the protective ability of helmets beyond the head.

Then there was the infamous paper by two Scottish statisticians that claimed a similar head protective effect of helmets that had a simple maths error in it which when corrected showed that every helmet worn prevented head injuries in two people. The authors accepted the correction but rejected the consequence that their conclusions were therefore nonsense. Given their absolute confidence I now rest assured that I can cycle safely without a helmet secure in the knowledge that someone else wearing one (and it could be you thank you) will save my head in an accident.

thirdcrank
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby thirdcrank » 26 Nov 2014, 8:24am

TonyR wrote: ... Then there was the infamous paper by two Scottish statisticians that claimed a similar head protective effect of helmets that had a simple maths error in it which when corrected showed that every helmet worn prevented head injuries in two people. The authors accepted the correction but rejected the consequence that their conclusions were therefore nonsense. Given their absolute confidence I now rest assured that I can cycle safely without a helmet secure in the knowledge that someone else wearing one (and it could be you thank you) will save my head in an accident.


Thanks for this, which has made me feel much more relaxed. I always wear a helmet (and hi-viz togs.) Not because I have any faith in their protection from crashes, but to give the victim-blamers one less thing to crow about. As a conscientious sort of chap, it's always worried me that by doing this, I'm reinforcing the common sense ideologies of those victim blamers - "He's a conscientious sort of chap and he always wears one..."

I can now ride easy in the knowledge that I'm protecting others as well.

I'll put :wink: to save me from :cry:

beardy
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby beardy » 26 Nov 2014, 9:08am

Now you have done it!

Having established that wearing a helmet doesnt just save your own life and limb but also somebody else's then it means that those of us who do not wear one are sponging off those of you that do. It will not be long before we are accused of being selfish and irresponsible which will lead to coercion and then compulsion to wear a helmet for the common good.
Possibly they could establish a level of take up that will create herd immunity! It doesnt seem to have worked with motorcycle helmets but as has been observed, they are not comparable to cycle helmets.

kwackers
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby kwackers » 26 Nov 2014, 10:02am

TonyR wrote:He didn't and he's dead. QED! :wink:

Yeah - but isn't his brain intact and in a jar somewhere?

Bicycler
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby Bicycler » 26 Nov 2014, 10:24am

horizon wrote:Would Einstein have worn a bike helmet? Did he wear one? Did he ride a bike? Have I missed something?

Pffft.. some theoretical physicist riding before helmets came about. So ubiquitous are they in sports cycling and so endless is the helmet debate that they seem to have been around forever. We forget that their widespread use is an incredibly recent trend.

Anyway. This is a bicycle forum. I raise you Saint Sheldon:
sheldon.jpg
sheldon.jpg (9.25 KiB) Viewed 336 times

http://sheldonbrown.com/helmets.html
I can find no peer reviewed research into the benefits of attaching plastic eagles to helmets :wink:

oneten wrote:I am going to keep on wearing a helmet ( my nice new Spezialized one)

I shan't try to dissuade you. Like most on here I am happy for others to wear helmets. Unfortunately an appetite for compulsion (be it through legislation, "contributory negligence", event rules or social pressure) mean that we often feel the need to balance any overly-enthusiastic assessment of the their benefits. Interestingly Specialized are the only major manufacturer which states that its UK helmets are tested to both the European EN1078 and older Snell B90 standards I referred to earlier.

beardy
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby beardy » 26 Nov 2014, 10:53am

Saint Sheldon said

Helmet opponents consistently deny the robust scientific data supporting helmet use


So what is that evidence?

He also said

Both sides have more in common than they might think: both like to make decisions for other people. Both often fail to consider unintended consequences.


Can anybody show me a quote from a helmet opponent where they try to impose their will on other cyclists and demand that a helmet is NOT worn or even condemn somebody for so doing.
With the exception of a bit of mickey taking because they see it as a bit of a silly thing to do.

I know that helmet supporters like to spread such misinformation (and I will give Sheldon the benefit of the doubt here as things are probably different over there) but I dont see any (robust :wink: ) evidence for it.

Oneten: I would say that I disagree with your choice of wearing a helmet but I will defend your right to that choice with my life but it wouldnt be true (I am too selfish for a start).
However what I do say is if you like and want to wear a helmet that is your choice and none of my business and I honestly dont give it a thought about what others choose to wear until they start to lecture or impose their will on others and you most certainly have done no such thing on this thread.
There isnt any argument here that I can see where people are putting themselves against each other just a different choice about a piece of kit as is common on this forum.
Unfortunately some people feel the need to resort to compulsion under law when they fail through persuasion.
I dont think more than a couple of posters in this forum are even trying to persuade others from wearing a helmet. Though they are frequently questioning much of the reasoning behind that choice.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby [XAP]Bob » 26 Nov 2014, 11:06am

oneten wrote:Well, what interesting posts.

It's a much more interesting topic than most people realise.

Looking at the link to the Bell website it seems that style and aerodynamics are the key criteria and there is absolutely no mention of the safety benefits as far as cycle helmets are concerned, yet in connection with m/cycle ones, the emphasis is all about the safety benefits - how peculiar and quite an eye opener! Also, the webpage about plug covers is shocking where the safety claims/ intentions are the opposite of what the product is intended to do.

Yes - safety products should be marketed on the basis of safety, AND they should actually be able to prove that safety...
The issue with cycle helmets is that the evidence on a large scale is that they simply aren't effective. This may be down to a variety of factors, including risk homoeostasis.

I can see where people are coming from especially when opposing making helmets compulsory.Despite all that though, I am still glad I was wearing my (yes - it just so happens it was a Bell :? !) helmet, whether it saved me from superficial or any other injury to my bone dome, or whether the extra protrusion of the helmet thickness was what caused the impact or not, I'll never know, but I'm glad it was just a chunk of polystyrene that came adrift rather than anything else. I am going to keep on wearing a helmet ( my nice new Specialized one) once my rib- cage is less tender ( please no-one suggest the helmet caused/could have saved me from that :D ).

Your last comment is ironic, since the main report suggesting large benefits from helmet wearing suggested exactly that - that helmets prevented 75% of leg injuries.
I'm glad you've got a Specialized helmet now, I *think* all of their helmets are Snell tested, so you likely have a "better" (from a fairly low starting point) helmet now, and I will (alongside most people here) defend your choice to wear one.
Many people here would however vigorously oppose compulsion, it just doesn't make sense.

The piccie of Einstein ? - wonderful stuff! ..Now he knew a thing or two but not wearing a helmet ? Well at the end of the day it's all relative isn't it. I'm just going to try and take a bit more care in future.

That's the key finding - I'm going to take more care. I'm not suggesting that this is proof that you were careless due to the helmet, but the evidence suggests that helmet wearers take more risks (whether there is a causal link or just a correlation is not demonstrated), and there are certainly people who would say that they wouldn't "do that" without a lid... (whatever the risky behaviour is, cycling or otherwise)

In terms of the helmets mentioned up thread there are several types to think about:
Hard hats - building site, repeated protection against sharp objects, possibly dropped from some height. The shock absorption is very small, the penetration protection good. They are often fairly well ventilated (by virtue of the main helmet sitting an inch away from the head).

Rock climbing - Again, a hard hat designed to deflect hard/sharp stones dislodged from above. Not hugely shock absorbing, must take multiple hits, possibly in one climb.

Motorcycle helmets/Race helmets - high level of protection offered by a combination of a penetration resistant (and slippery) shell and both crushable and "springy" foam inners. However, the protection comes at a cost of weight (hence F1 drivers wearing HANS devices, to prevent their necks from being snapped by the weight of the helmet when they hit a wall) and of heat - they are completely impractical to wear when doing anything active (F1 drivers make significant sacrifices in this matter). They are also not perfect, yet their strength and isolation means people do things they wouldn't otherwise do.
Massa did nothing wrong in Hungary a few years ago - the spring that he hit (at ~160mph) weighed just over a kilo, and it hurt, but the extreme strength of the F1 style helmet undoubtedly saved his life (a lower rated helmet would have done something, but a bare head would have been demolished) a stronger helmet would probably have left him with a concussion.
We recently had a video of a motorcyclist who hit a car which turned across his path, and died instantly. The helmet he was relying on was unable to deal with the extreme forces involved.

Cycle helmets - low level of protection, standards are generally looking at a fall off a stationary bike. Cyclists also heat up, and even a moderate ride will result in a significant heat build up. Helmets need to allow that to escape, so they offer no penetration protection (certainly in the areas of the vents, and limited elsewhere). That requirement significantly compromises what can be accomplished.
The main design is to reduce linear acceleration, with rotational acceleration not considered. Evidence suggests that it is rotational acceleration which does the damage - American footballers helmets have been wired up, and they regularly get hits of hundreds of G, but without rotation the brain is already in a well designed hard case with fluid cushioning, so it survives pretty well (very high numbers of impacts might not be great, but the occasional 100g impact is not significantly damaging. The lack of rotational testing actually results in helmets likely to *increase* the danger from these events - fortunately most events are rare to start with...
Additionally the main failure mode (brittle fracture) looks impressive, so the OP "mistake" is common. But a snapped seatbelt hasn't saved the car occupant, it's failed.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Bicycler
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby Bicycler » 26 Nov 2014, 11:24am

The one thing I feel Bob omitted there is that it is recognised that motorcycle helmets contribute to rotational injuries. It is viewed that the substantial protection that they offer outweighs this downside. Some argue that cycle helmets have a similar effect whilst offering much less impact protection

kwackers
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby kwackers » 26 Nov 2014, 11:29am

The real issue IMO is 'cracked hat syndrome'.

The world seems to be full of people who see their cracked hat as saving themselves from a cracked skull.
I'm not sure though how you address such a lack of understanding of materials science. I've tried a number of ways in the past with varying (low) degrees of success (although I quite like Bob's seatbelt analogy above.)

kwackers
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby kwackers » 26 Nov 2014, 11:31am

Bicycler wrote:The one thing I feel Bob omitted there is that it is recognised that motorcycle helmets contribute to rotational injuries. It is viewed that the substantial protection that they offer outweighs this downside. Some argue that cycle helmets have a similar effect whilst offering much less impact protection

They do but they're a lot better than cycle helmets. At least they're smooth and the inertia from their greater mass presumably reduces the angular acceleration??

There's not much worse than a cycle helmet for contributing to rotation - perhaps a tightly bound turban?

thirdcrank
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby thirdcrank » 26 Nov 2014, 11:43am

beardy wrote: ... it means that those of us who do not wear one are sponging off those of you that do. ...


Have this one on me. :wink:

TonyR
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Re: Cycle helmet broken in fall

Postby TonyR » 26 Nov 2014, 3:01pm

kwackers wrote:
TonyR wrote:He didn't and he's dead. QED! :wink:

Yeah - but isn't his brain intact and in a jar somewhere?


You're Dr Hfuhrhurr and I claim my £5 :wink: