The helmets thing

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.
GrumpyCyclist
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The helmets thing

Postby GrumpyCyclist » 9 Jul 2015, 12:35pm

As someone just coming back to a bike after many years away (when cycle helmets were only really ever seen on BMX stunt riders) I'm a little surprised to see the vehemence that seems to be on both sides of the helmet argument. I know there's a lot of threads on this topic but to save me a year's worth of reading if someone could give me a primer on the whys and why-nots of helmet use I'd appreciate it. Don't want to cause a riot by asking but it seems to have a become a thing recently.

Full disclaimer, I have got one and wore it for my first ride in 20+ years yesterday. I'll admit that my main reason for having it is to give some small protection on trails etc from lower than I expected branches rather than falling off the bike.
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pwa
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby pwa » 9 Jul 2015, 12:40pm

You've rekindled something now!

GrumpyCyclist
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby GrumpyCyclist » 9 Jul 2015, 1:04pm

Sorry :( But I remember them becoming a big thing and now it seems you'd be more welcome at a party if you were carrying the Bubonic Plague than a cycling helmet. Just curious as to why.
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pwa
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby pwa » 9 Jul 2015, 1:12pm

Most here will welcome you with or without a lid. There are plenty of both persuasions. Make up your own mind and stick with your choice.

Vorpal
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby Vorpal » 9 Jul 2015, 1:29pm

There is a good summary here... http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1139.html

cyclehelmets.org is probably one of the most objective sites you'll find on the issue, but they do come down on the helmet-skeptic side.
If you want to look at some material from helmet advocates, there is helmets.org.... http://www.helmets.org/shouldi.htm

Reading only the pages linked shouldn't take too long, but it if catches your interest, there is lots of material on those websites.

Either way, do what you like and don't worry about what others think.
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al_yrpal
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby al_yrpal » 9 Jul 2015, 1:32pm

Grumpy, stand by the side of any road for a couple of hours and count cyclists with and without helmets. There lies the answer. There is a massive silent majority.

Al
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Mike Sales
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Jul 2015, 2:03pm

al_yrpal wrote:Grumpy, stand by the side of any road for a couple of hours and count cyclists with and without helmets. There lies the answer. There is a massive silent majority.

Al


Depends on the country. Count the helmets in a low cycle casualty rate/ high cycling rate country. Say the Netherlands or Denmark. Very few helmets. Go to NZ or Oz and count the helmets. Many fewer cyclists nearly all in helmets but a much higher casualty rate. Whatever makes the difference, its apparent that helmets don't make cycling safe.
In the safe countries the silent majority are non wearers. In the dangerous countries the few cyclists left (its hard to use the word majority when there are so few ) put on foam in an attempt to make themselves safe, but it doesn't work.

GrumpyCyclist
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby GrumpyCyclist » 9 Jul 2015, 2:09pm

Vorpal, I'll have a look at those. It's not that what others think bothers me I was just wondering why it seems to be such a divisive issue.

al_yrpal - admittedly most cyclists I see don't have helmets on. But.... around here a lot of those are drunken teenagers so I'm not 100% convinced they'd feel anything if they fell off anyway :)
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al_yrpal
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby al_yrpal » 9 Jul 2015, 2:26pm

Around here out in the country the vast majority wear helmets with very few exceptions. In local towns where there are many more casual bike users its about 50 50.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

Psamathe
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby Psamathe » 9 Jul 2015, 2:34pm

GrumpyCyclist wrote:... I'm a little surprised to see the vehemence that seems to be on both sides of the helmet argument....

I think here the main issues are about compulsion about helmet use. and the controversy arises when people are required to wear helmets for an event - at which point some say "does it matter that much as it's probably a naive insurance company ..." and others see it as part of a march to compulsory wearing of helmets. Sometimes people can use strong language when it comes to unsupported comments and conflicting reports, but most people (here) are basically against compulsion regardless as to their own wearing/not wearing a helmet persuasion.

Ian

GrumpyCyclist
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So......this helmets thing

Postby GrumpyCyclist » 9 Jul 2015, 2:42pm

Ah. So the argument is more about choice than the idea of helmets in and of itself? Ok I think I follow that.

I think the problem these days - as someone from outside at the moment - is the 'where there's blame there's a claim' culture. I can just see someone going on an organised ride, falling off then suing because "if I'd worn a helmet I'd have been ok" (leaving aside the arguments as to whether that's true or not). These days I think people cover themselves by stipulating they must be worn just to try and close off one avenue of blame just in case.

Sad that we've come to that really. Maybe things will settle down eventually, or maybe it will get worse. I'm hoping for the former.

Thanks for the outlines folks.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 Jul 2015, 2:45pm

The divisive issue isn't helmets, it's compulsion.

Actually - promotion as well...


The statistics really don't suggest that there is any significant effect to an individual's safety, but promotion of their use does result in a significant decrease in the numbers of people cycling, and there is a reasonable amount of evidence, and explanation, to suggest that that is a bad thing (ignoring societal effects - it's terrible if you include those)

I don't feel the need to wear a plastic hat, but I do on two wheels, for the sake of my marriage - on three wheels I don't.
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Si
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby Si » 9 Jul 2015, 2:49pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:The divisive issue isn't helmets, it's compulsion.

Actually - promotion as well...


... and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope

GrumpyCyclist
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby GrumpyCyclist » 9 Jul 2015, 3:09pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:I don't feel the need to wear a plastic hat, but I do on two wheels, for the sake of my marriage - on three wheels I don't.


Funny that. That's almost 100% the reason I have a helmet. Much quieter life that way :D
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TonyR
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Re: So......this helmets thing

Postby TonyR » 9 Jul 2015, 3:24pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:The divisive issue isn't helmets, it's compulsion.


+1 and the asymmetry. There are plenty of people wanting to make helmets compulsory by law but there is almost no-one calling for them to be banned. The former group are quite evangelical in their attempts to convert the world to their religion while the second group are quite jealous about protecting their freedom of choice.