Do you 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.

Do you wear a helmet?

Yes
36
31%
No
55
47%
Sometimes
27
23%
 
Total votes: 118

TonyR
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby TonyR » 29 May 2015, 10:48pm

reohn2 wrote:It could be argued that if you hadn't had a branch get caught in your helmet on that day,you'd still be wearing a helmet when riding off road.


It couldn't because it had nothing to do with my decision to stop wearing one which came from reading the research evidence.

Mike Sales
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby Mike Sales » 29 May 2015, 10:51pm

Steady rider wrote:Australia the first country requiring cyclists to wear helmets also requires people to vote, so they tell people what to do, with fines for those not complying. Freedoms we have in the UK.


Too true blue. It seems to be at odds with their self image as bloodyminded and self reliant ockers.

reohn2
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby reohn2 » 29 May 2015, 10:56pm

TonyR wrote:
reohn2 wrote:It could be argued that if you hadn't had a branch get caught in your helmet on that day,you'd still be wearing a helmet when riding off road.


It couldn't because it had nothing to do with my decision to stop wearing one which came from reading the research evidence.


I beg your pardon,your post seemed to imply that to be the reason you stopped wearing a helmet.
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Tonyf33
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby Tonyf33 » 30 May 2015, 1:30am

Steady rider wrote:Australia the first country requiring cyclists to wear helmets also requires people to vote, so they tell people what to do, with fines for those not complying. Freedoms we have in the UK.

not quite 100% accurate, you have to turn up to vote (& a lot aren't even registered to vote whom should be anyway) but once at the polling station you don't have to 'vote'. A significant amount of folk spoil their ballot, don't put any mark at all or just do a donkey vote, it's the not turning up bit that gets you the $20 fine not actually the 'voting' bit, subtle difference that is actually very important as you're not forced to vote for any of the candidates.

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby pjclinch » 30 May 2015, 7:41am

mjr wrote:
pjclinch wrote:If I ride through the woods in a hurry with lots of low overhanging branches I'm at fairly high risk of the sort of hit a cycle helmet is built for.

Really? What helmet testing includes a frontal/oblique hit on a branch-like object? The above is why I wear a beanie - or thinner cap when it's hot. I don't miss having my head yanked back if the branch catches a hat. I'd rather it knocked the hat off and I stop to pick it up. Smaller hat seems to mean fewer branch strikes too.


"The sort of hit" is a relatively low energy event without motor vehicles involved. It doesn't need specific testing for every possible event before you can predict with some reasonable expectancy what will happen in at least some untested scenarios. For example, landing on a floor-full of upturned drawing pins isn't tested for, but I'd sooner do that with half an inch of polystyrene between me and the ground and not. You can say it's not tested, and there isn't a peer reviewed study, but at the end of the day a pin is a pin and most of us have felt the sharp end of one in an unpleasant manner at some point in our lives.

Your assumption of how the branches might be arranged and what degree of hurry Ia rider might be in (sports riding it tends to be more so) can be set to favour not wearing a helmet... but it can also be set that wearing a helmet is better (i.e., when you will hit, and you want to knock small but rough stuff aside so you can move on quicker). The point is not that you are always better off in a helmet to knock aside wee branches, but there are reasonably foreseeable situations for some riders to wear them some of the time.

Pete.
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TonyR
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby TonyR » 30 May 2015, 8:10am

pjclinch wrote:"The sort of hit" is a relatively low energy event without motor vehicles involved. It doesn't need specific testing for every possible event before you can predict with some reasonable expectancy what will happen in at least some untested scenarios.


Somewhat ironic since what they predict and what actually happens in tested scenarios is completely different. The appeal to common sense notoriously doesn't work for helmets in their intended use and the same may well apply to your unintended use. My experience from wearing one and not wearing one is I hit my head on branches, low doors etc a lot more in a helmet than not because it made my head a lot bigger. We've all learnt over many years to instinctively judge and through reflex motor control (e.g ducking) not hit our normal sized heads but those mechanisms all fail and need to be replaced by conscious thought when your head size is doubled by a helmet.

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby pjclinch » 30 May 2015, 5:34pm

TonyR wrote:
pjclinch wrote:"The sort of hit" is a relatively low energy event without motor vehicles involved. It doesn't need specific testing for every possible event before you can predict with some reasonable expectancy what will happen in at least some untested scenarios.


Somewhat ironic since what they predict and what actually happens in tested scenarios is completely different. The appeal to common sense notoriously doesn't work for helmets in their intended use and the same may well apply to your unintended use. My experience from wearing one and not wearing one is I hit my head on branches, low doors etc a lot more in a helmet than not because it made my head a lot bigger. We've all learnt over many years to instinctively judge and through reflex motor control (e.g ducking) not hit our normal sized heads but those mechanisms all fail and need to be replaced by conscious thought when your head size is doubled by a helmet.


I guess that's why cavers abandoned them years ago (yes, we hit our heads a lot more because of our helmets, but lots of small minor discomforts are much better, according to the typical caver, than a bumped bare head at a fraction of the frequency).

If there's a fair chance you're going to hit it anyway, might as well protect it.

Pete.
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TonyR
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby TonyR » 31 May 2015, 12:16am

pjclinch wrote:I guess that's why cavers abandoned them years ago (yes, we hit our heads a lot more because of our helmets, but lots of small minor discomforts are much better, according to the typical caver, than a bumped bare head at a fraction of the frequency).

If there's a fair chance you're going to hit it anyway, might as well protect it.

Pete.


Ah, the wisdom of crowds. A million lemmings can't be wrong. Just as in climbing you don a helmet where there is likelihood of rock or ice falls when in practice that represents just 3% of head injuries compared with 83% from falls (which climbers these days tend not to wear them for).

ballibeg
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby ballibeg » 31 May 2015, 7:27am

TonyR wrote:
pjclinch wrote:I guess that's why cavers abandoned them years ago (yes, we hit our heads a lot more because of our helmets, but lots of small minor discomforts are much better, according to the typical caver, than a bumped bare head at a fraction of the frequency).

If there's a fair chance you're going to hit it anyway, might as well protect it.

Pete.


Ah, the wisdom of crowds. A million lemmings can't be wrong. Just as in climbing you don a helmet where there is likelihood of rock or ice falls when in practice that represents just 3% of head injuries compared with 83% from falls (which climbers these days tend not to wear them for).

Citation needed. Wouldn't want you to give impression you make up data to suit your arguments.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 31 May 2015, 7:54am

Maybe the helmets are just effective at dealing with falling rocks?
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.

TonyR
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby TonyR » 31 May 2015, 8:34am

ballibeg wrote:Citation needed. Wouldn't want you to give impression you make up data to suit your arguments.


Its funny how those arguing for helmets typically appeal to "common sense" but in a reversal of the normal burden of proof, ask for evidence or citations from those challenging them. If I were proposing mandatory lucky rabbits feet at upwards of £10 a pop for all cyclists to protect them from injury I would rightly be challenged to provide evidence they worked first. But make it a plastic foam beanie and suddenly its expected that you have to provide proof they don't work.

But to answer you challenge, https://www.thebmc.co.uk/tech-skills-wh ... r-a-helmet. In return can you now provide me with research evidence that climbing helmets prevent head injuries? We wouldn't want you to give the impression you were challenging my data to prop up your own arguments would we?

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby pjclinch » 31 May 2015, 8:40am

[XAP]Bob wrote:Maybe the helmets are just effective at dealing with falling rocks?


High magazine once ran a Top Gear Fails, one of which was a hollowed-out cannon ball of a helmet called the Compton Mk II, advertised as stopping a 14 lb weight falling from 50'. "How it was subsequently removed from the user's boots was not explained", quipped the nominator.

But that's not the sort of rock fall they're really aimed at. Doing a multi-pitch route you work in pairs, and the main source of falling debris is the leader, and the nature of routes means the leader is very typically at or close to directly above their second, with many climbing lines (gullies and grooves) tending to funnel and focus debris down them. While that can be big rocks it's more often stones and, particularly in winter climbing where you're using axes and crampons, blocks of ice (mostly, but not all small).

So you're in the firing line for a lot of choss, most of it not life-threatening, and you're half way up a cliff where your leader is very much reliant on you for their safety by clueful rope management, and you on their being able to reciprocate, and where it's damn hard to get any further help. That is exactly the sort of place where the consequences of even minor head injuries make the sort of protection that really amounts to not being made momentarily senseless for a few minutes by dropped stones pretty smart.

Look at the people at the top of the game and they're quite selective about when they wear helmets. Daft overhangs they don't bother, because if they fall it's in to space and if something comes from above it falls behind them. Single pitch routes again they tend not to bother, because there's no leader above them to knock down choss. But big mountain routes, where a leader knocking small stones your way a lot, very common. And winter, where every move tends to produce a shower of ice chips of varying size, it's pretty much 100%.

While it's almost certainly the case that a lot of climbers wearing helmets are doing because, well, it's a dangerous sport, yeah?, and not thinking about the context they're climbing in, it might also be the case that someone reading dry summary statistics and not really appreciating the range of activities represented by "climbing" might ride rough-shod over the realities of why some of the people do what they do.

Pete.
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TonyR
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby TonyR » 31 May 2015, 8:55am

pjclinch wrote:While it's almost certainly the case that a lot of climbers wearing helmets are doing because, well, it's a dangerous sport, yeah?, and not thinking about the context they're climbing in, it might also be the case that someone reading dry summary statistics and not really appreciating the range of activities represented by "climbing" might ride rough-shod over the realities of why some of the people do what they do.


So you think the BMC (link above) don't understand climbing and have got it wrong?

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby pjclinch » 31 May 2015, 9:28am

I think I understand it, and the BMC understand it, and you didn't actually read what I wrote, or didn't stop to think about it.

What I said was that much wearing of helmets is so that minor choss falls don't cause outsize problems. That isn't the same thing as protecting against major head injuries (dealing with misconceptions concerning which looks like the main thrust of the article you linked). You appear to have assumed that the former isn't worth doing, but those who've had a steady rain of ice showered on them in a winter gully think differently.

The BMC article ends with a remarkably sensible, "So, when you’re deciding whether to wear a helmet or not, make a decision based on the risks to you, not based on what you see in the magazines or what your friends will think. It’s your head, after all, and you only get one". Risks to me... well, my main problems climbing are psychological rather than technical, so I usually climb well inside my technical ability. As a result I've only ever had one lead fall (over a quarter of a century ago), but because I've had plenty of incoming debris come my way in that time when I'm on mountain/winter routes I climb with a helmet, but at my local climbing wall I don't.

Not for the first time you've jumped on a figure from a population data set and inferred rather more from it than is really safe to do so. Head protection often operates beyond the realm of serious injury and it is often used as a compromise point for inconvenience and unpleasantness. Caving is probably towards the end-point of that tendency (you'll almost certainly not die, but you'll almost certainly get a bloody awful headache) but various aspects of climbing and, hey!, cycling are there too. That doesn't mean there aren't lots of delusions going around about life-saving, but in turn that doesn't invalidate it for everyone, everywhere.

Pete.
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TonyR
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby TonyR » 31 May 2015, 5:00pm

pjclinch wrote:
High magazine once ran a Top Gear Fails, one of which was a hollowed-out cannon ball of a helmet called the Compton Mk II, advertised as stopping a 14 lb weight falling from 50'. "How it was subsequently removed from the user's boots was not explained", quipped the nominator.


Interestingly climbing helmets standards are, apart from a penetration test, pretty similar to those for cycle helmets. Cycle helmets are tested with a 4.5kg headform being dropped from 1.5-2m onto a surface. Climbing helmets are tested by dropping a 5kg weight from 2m onto the helmet on a headform.