Full-face helmets

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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pjclinch
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Re: Full-face helmets

Postby pjclinch » 29 Jan 2019, 9:13am

thelawnet wrote:
pjclinch wrote:For the record, Cycling Scotland won't allow full-face helmets for on-road training because of concerns about peripheral vision possibly being affected. .

How do motorcyclists manage?


Like I said,
I imagine there are FF helmets available where this isn't an issue, but given their general unsuitability for everyday cycling it's probably easier to just rule them out than waste even more time checking helmets than we already do.


Aside from that, you do have a clear difference between A Typical Motorcyclist and A Typical Bikeabilty 1/2 Learner, which is the former can be reliably expected to have decent mirrors and be able to properly turn their head for a good look behind, while that's far from universal in the latter. Quite a lot of training has to go in to riding in a straight line while looking completely behind, the motorcyclist will maybe have learned how to do it when they doing Bikeability back in Year 6...

There is also the usual can of worms about how much safer motorcyclists are or aren't if they wear crash helmets with risk compensation etc. The answers aren't clear cut.

Perhaps also worth noting that my example didn't carry any particular judgement on Cycling Scotland's policy. It's simply a factoid about a cycling organisation with a training mandate not being entirely happy with full face helmets. You'd need to talk to them abouut what evidence they have one way or the other.

Pete.
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Re: Full-face helmets

Postby pjclinch » 29 Jan 2019, 9:25am

thelawnet wrote:The point being that if 'road' cycling is dangerous and hence warrants safety equipment, that safety equipment should be good at protecting; it seems that a full face helmet provides more protection than a standard helmet so the question is why not wear one?


You already have answers about the practicalities of wearing a m/cycle helmet for a highly athletic activity, and that is the primary reason. But when you look at downhill MTB where they do wear more protective lids you'll also notice there's more parts of a body that need protection than the head, and they wear body armour. Have a look here...
Now imagine going up an Alp in that lot... you'd retire with heat exhaustion.

If you look at risk management strategies you'll find Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is at the very bottom of the list of things to do. Much, much better to remove the risk than try and mitigate effects once things have already gone The Way Of The Pear (e.g., think you'll crash? slow down!). Another thing you need to be aware of is Risk Compensation, which is the tendency of more protected people to take greater risks. Risk by John Adams (ISBN 1857280687) is a good read on this.

Pete.
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Re: Full-face helmets

Postby Vorpal » 30 Jan 2019, 9:22am

thelawnet wrote:I believe the case for motorcycle helmets is rather better proven?

I'm not sure that it is.

There seems to be a similar mixed body of evidence for motorcycle helmets that there is for cycle helmets.

Helmet laws have been introduced and rescinded in several US states, giving us plenty of evidence that motorcyclists who wear helmets have more crashes, and when helmets are required, there are fewer motorcyclists.

However, motorcycling occurs at higher speeds, and the helmets are more rigourously tested, which does tend to produce benefits with regard to crash survival.
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Re: Full-face helmets

Postby The utility cyclist » 30 Jan 2019, 9:53pm

pjclinch wrote:
Hitting high speeds on "sporting" descents is somewhere a helmet can help. While they are designed to take 12 mph impacts that's 12 mph in the vertical, constrained by a dead stop against the road. If you come off at high speed and slide/bounce then it's quite possible a helmet would help. There is, of course, the issue that you're more likley to be going dangerously out of control if you're protected by PPE but that's a whiole different can of worms...

Pete.

It also hinders as it means you're more likely to hit your head if you do come off, more weight/kinetic energy imparted to the head, more circumference. We know that helmets have a negative effect in sporting circles as the crash and injury/death rate in the competition ranks exceeds that of the days when helmets were a rarity.
A study done on pro cyclists from the 80s/early 90s compared to that of those from the mid 2000s onward showed a doubling in traumatic injuries ... despite better brakes, tyres, better safety protocols AND helmets!

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Re: Full-face helmets

Postby pjclinch » 31 Jan 2019, 9:02am

The utility cyclist wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
Hitting high speeds on "sporting" descents is somewhere a helmet can help. While they are designed to take 12 mph impacts that's 12 mph in the vertical, constrained by a dead stop against the road. If you come off at high speed and slide/bounce then it's quite possible a helmet would help. There is, of course, the issue that you're more likley to be going dangerously out of control if you're protected by PPE but that's a whiole different can of worms...


It also hinders as it means you're more likely to hit your head if you do come off, more weight/kinetic energy imparted to the head, more circumference. We know that helmets have a negative effect in sporting circles as the crash and injury/death rate in the competition ranks exceeds that of the days when helmets were a rarity.
A study done on pro cyclists from the 80s/early 90s compared to that of those from the mid 2000s onward showed a doubling in traumatic injuries ... despite better brakes, tyres, better safety protocols AND helmets!


For some values of "we know". You've assumed that helmets, i.e. "better head protection" will cause risk compensation but "better brakes and tyres" won't have any effect at all. Now, IIRC it was you saying on another board of the forum that upgrading brakes on utility machines was a Bad Idea because of the risk compensation issues it would introduce...

You really need to stop jumping on helmets as a sole point of evil. They're one factor in a pretty complex situation, and it is indeed the very difficulty in isolating their effects from other things that makes it effectively impossible to say exactly what effect they do have.

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Re: Full-face helmets

Postby The utility cyclist » 31 Jan 2019, 2:08pm

Where did I say better brakes don't cause that RC? I've written extensively on here and elsewhere about how disc brakes will cause exactly that because for many it is a huge leap in braking power, tyre grip is something altogether different.
The only times I've come off due to tyre losing grip is once on ice this xmas day just gone, once when there was a load of gravel on the edge of a roundabout as I was pushed off line by an motor and once in 1986 when coming home from college and going too quickly to negotiate a left at the lights when it was wet, there was the usual oil and diesel from the buses/HGVs as it was straight into the industrial area and my chromed steel rims didn't quite work as well as I'd hoped so I skidded into the box junction which was fun.
Maybe people who don't wear helmets don't push their tyres to the max, had you thought about that?

The discussion is open for all, often the comments on threads divert far, far away from what the subject was, so if I want to pass comment I will, it's very much relevant.
Full face helmets will induce greater risk AND increase the chances of a head strike over and above that of a standard cycle helmet. Basically the so called safety aid leads people to more incidents/injuries through wearing, ergo if the discussion is to wear a full face then this is not a good idea for cycling, why would you do that, there's no logic to it! :?

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Re: Full-face helmets

Postby pjclinch » 31 Jan 2019, 2:45pm

The utility cyclist wrote:Where did I say better brakes don't cause that RC?


We know that helmets have a negative effect in sporting circles as the crash and injury/death rate in the competition ranks exceeds that of the days when helmets were a rarity.
A study done on pro cyclists from the 80s/early 90s compared to that of those from the mid 2000s onward showed a doubling in traumatic injuries ... despite better brakes, tyres, better safety protocols AND helmets!


If you can't see the problem, you say clearly that "we know" (i.e., it is certain that) helmets have a negative effect and you know that because of the injury rates going up.
You then list a load of factors, but despite those other factors you are certain that the negative effect comes from helmets. If it must come from helmets (helmet contribution must be non-zero), it follows that the other things are not necessarily factors or you could not isolate helmets.

As I've said before, you need to take a great deal of care about qualifying your claims and pointing out the limitations in your evidence. If you don't do this then things end up with a hollow ring. My day job is a clinical scientist, by the way. It's part of my job to pick holes in things as objectively as I can.

Pete.
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