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 » 31 May 2015, 5:06pm

pjclinch wrote: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.


There seems to be some disconnect here. You reiterate the choice, confirmed by the BMC article, to wear a helmet being for protection against falling rocks and ice. But the BMC article then goes on to explain that falling rocks and ice are not the main problem, falls are and you should seriously consider wearing one to protect against those even where rock/ice fall is minimal. Not that there is any evidence I can see for the claim for protection in falls. If you look elsewhere at the BMC guidance on helmets it claims freedom of choice but starts with a helmet saved my life anecdote as evidence. Curiously standards is confined to a brief uninformative section right at the end.

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby pjclinch » 31 May 2015, 5:43pm

TonyR wrote:There seems to be some disconnect here. You reiterate the choice, confirmed by the BMC article, to wear a helmet being for protection against falling rocks and ice. But the BMC article then goes on to explain that falling rocks and ice are not the main problem, falls are and you should seriously consider wearing one to protect against those even where rock/ice fall is minimal.


You've missed the point that what the article is on about in terms of "the main problem" is serious head injury (i.e., stuff they had to get the MRT out for). But, much as bike helmets aren't primarily for the sort of accident you're calling out the emergency services for (no matter what some people think), nor are climbing helmets.

I'd say a climbing helmet is far more useful in that limited arena than a bike helmet. If I'm not wearing a helmet and have a sort of accident they're designed to deal with then on a bike probably the case I'll say "ouch" and limp off home (or call a pal for a lift). If I'm half way up a cliff with a 5 mile walk-out even when I do get off with the light failing 'cause it's Scotland in winter that's a far trickier spot to press Pause.

Helmets in both arenas of play are mainly about getting straight on with it after minor hits. These don't make hospital and rescue data so they're not really researched, but this is a lot of the use (and why they make more sense in cycle sport than utility riding).

It's anecdote time! (hurrah...) We had a Go-Ride session last year, and we were playing Silly Buggers with the limbo pole. My fellow coach fell off and her bike came down on top of her and the bar-end whacked the helmet (we know it did, the helmet cracked and since we'd inspected all lids at the start we knew it was a new crack). No problems at all, we all got a laugh, her included, everything moved straight ahead. Without the helmet it would have very probably been a painful knock necessitating time out, and possibly an end to the session for at least some of the kids (we wouldn't have had the numbers for instruction ratio without her). No illusions about life-saving etc., and the split in the lid showed just how rubbish cycle helmets are at serious stuff. But it did just the sort of job it was specced for here, letting a coach and lots of kids carry right on enjoying themselves instead of a coach with a bump and a bad headache and no more cycling and a morning lost.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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

Postby [XAP]Bob » 31 May 2015, 8:53pm

How was she allowed to continue with a cracked hat though - did she have a spare?
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, 11:56pm

pjclinch wrote:Without the helmet it would have very probably been a painful knock necessitating time out


Pure speculation of the typical "helmet saved my life" type

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

Postby [XAP]Bob » 1 Jun 2015, 6:36am

TonyR wrote:
pjclinch wrote:Without the helmet it would have very probably been a painful knock necessitating time out


Pure speculation of the typical "helmet saved my life" type

But with a much more realistic assessment - it would have hurt.
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.

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby pjclinch » 1 Jun 2015, 8:22am

TonyR wrote:
pjclinch wrote:Without the helmet it would have very probably been a painful knock necessitating time out


Pure speculation of the typical "helmet saved my life" type


Sorry Tony, but you're really not doing yourself any favours when you switch in to "autosceptic mode".

Speculating that someones's nervous system will transmit pain signals when their head is given a sharp rap by a metal bar that has just fallen on to them is not really going very far out on a limb. We don't actually need a peer reviewed journal article with population studies to tell us about that. Whereas speculating that a whole chain of catastrophic events ending with a loss of life will come to pass, when the initial event is one that people have a track record of surviving going back throughout history, is.

Why do you think people have an instinct to protect their head from impacts with hard objects? Ever bumped your bare head unexpectedly on something hard? Did it hurt? Ask around to up your sample base if you're not sure that's enough data. If you don't have enough personal history to know about minor swelling and bruising I think a medical textbook will probably tell you what you need.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby pjclinch » 1 Jun 2015, 8:23am

[XAP]Bob wrote:How was she allowed to continue with a cracked hat though - did she have a spare?


Didn't notice until after the session.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

TonyR
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby TonyR » 1 Jun 2015, 8:43am

pjclinch wrote:
TonyR wrote:
pjclinch wrote:Without the helmet it would have very probably been a painful knock necessitating time out


Pure speculation of the typical "helmet saved my life" type


Sorry Tony, but you're really not doing yourself any favours when you switch in to "autosceptic mode".

Speculating that someones's nervous system will transmit pain signals when their head is given a sharp rap by a metal bar that has just fallen on to them is not really going very far out on a limb. We don't actually need a peer reviewed journal article with population studies to tell us about that. Whereas speculating that a whole chain of catastrophic events ending with a loss of life will come to pass, when the initial event is one that people have a track record of surviving going back throughout history, is.

Why do you think people have an instinct to protect their head from impacts with hard objects? Ever bumped your bare head unexpectedly on something hard? Did it hurt? Ask around to up your sample base if you're not sure that's enough data. If you don't have enough personal history to know about minor swelling and bruising I think a medical textbook will probably tell you what you need.

Pete.


We all bang our heads all of the time on things or from things falling on us. Does our nervous system transmit pain signals when it happens? Yes. Do we wear helmets all the time to prevent them? No, we rub our heads, say ouch and get on with it. So what is different about banging your head when you are on a bike?

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby pjclinch » 1 Jun 2015, 9:19am

TonyR wrote:We all bang our heads all of the time on things or from things falling on us. Does our nervous system transmit pain signals when it happens? Yes. Do we wear helmets all the time to prevent them? No, we rub our heads, say ouch and get on with it. So what is different about banging your head when you are on a bike?


If it's a sharp enough rap that you need half a minute rubbing it, quite possibly probing the interesting bump and noticing small quantities of blood from a scalp laceration, the "ouch" is quite a big one and it might be a few minutes before we get on with it. And if the "it" we're getting on with is technically challenging and/or requiring considerable exertion and/or we're now getting lapped, we may well give up on it. That's not the same as killing you, but in a sporting context it can ruin the exercise pretty thoroughly, and in a sporting context that sort of whack is far more likely than if trundling to the shops or similar, so both likelihood and consequences (day of sport ruined is a consequence worth avoiding) are upped compared to utility cycling. So why is that different from a running race? There aren't lots of bits of metal machinery involved that you're prone to get tangled up in in a running race, it's much easier to gain speed beyond your ability to control on a bike, and avoiding someone falling in front of you is a whole different kettle of fish on a bike.

Note that I'm not saying all sporting cyclists should be wearing helmets, or they're particularly likely to have such an accident. I'm saying this is the sort of accident that occasionally happens and is the sort of thing where even an EN1078 helmet can be of some genuine utility, and is also the sort of context where absolute riding comfort and faff are probably not high on the agenda. It's not an unreasonable choice to wear an improved hairnet for a sporting ride.

Further note that the questions of whether an EN1078 hat can be any use at all, and whether we should wear them in any particular cycling contexts, are entirely different. In this exchange you're chopping and changing between them, and much like your chiding of me for speculating that being hit on the head with a metal bar will probably hurt, it isn't doing you any favours.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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

Postby [XAP]Bob » 1 Jun 2015, 9:39am

pjclinch wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:How was she allowed to continue with a cracked hat though - did she have a spare?


Didn't notice until after the session.

Crikey - I'd have expected her to get struck by lightning for not minutely examining the hat for any damage after seeing a feather land on it ;)

On a more serious note, I'd have expected any reasonably significant impact to result in a similar inspection to that at the beginning of the ride... Might be something to think about (or not, since the ride would have been screwed)
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.

samsbike
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby samsbike » 17 Jun 2015, 5:20pm

I wear a helmet when mtbing and not when commuting or road riding neck etc and rolled over several times. When I came to a stop I had my head cradled in my hands. My head was fine although I think I had a very small bump.

I am not sure a helmet would have helped and probably would have hit my head more.

Back about 30 years ago when I hit a kerb, that time my head did land with a loud bang but no long term effects ( well I don't think so lol).

Still don't wear a helmet and still can't figure out how useful it really is especially if I can't attach lights t it.

landsurfer
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby landsurfer » 17 Jun 2015, 7:49pm

Lights to your helmet . . . Tie-wraps, double sided tape, Velcro etc . . How difficult is it.
It's just like that, it's just the way it is.
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samsbike
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby samsbike » 17 Jun 2015, 8:14pm

landsurfer wrote:Lights to your helmet . . . Tie-wraps, double sided tape, Velcro etc . . How difficult is it.

More from the safety aspect that the ability to attach.

I am not clear sticking hard objects onto a polystrene shell makes for good sense.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby Cunobelin » 18 Jun 2015, 6:03am

pjclinch wrote:Why do you think people have an instinct to protect their head from impacts with hard objects? Ever bumped your bare head unexpectedly on something hard? Did it hurt? Ask around to up your sample base if you're not sure that's enough data.

Pete.



It is the reason that helmets should be compulsory in any "Olde Worlde" pub with low beams