Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby Cyril Haearn » 1 Sep 2019, 5:52pm

A Helmut might protect the head but how might one protect other parts of the body?
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The utility cyclist
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby The utility cyclist » 1 Sep 2019, 7:13pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:A Helmut might protect the head but how might one protect other parts of the body?


In a study of professional racing cyclists that asked pros how many traumatic injuries they sustained, the groups in the helmet wearing era was over a third more than the era where no-one wore helmets. I wish I had saved the web page where I read it but it was made clear that the later groups (I think it was from mid 2000s to 2010 ish) suffered far more traumatic injuries despite universal helmet wearing.

When you compare the rates of actual injuries in Ice-hockey it was noted that were far more injuries post helmet and face mask wearing both during transition of encouraging players to wear and further when it was made compulsory, additionally the traumatic injuries of gridiron players is significantly greater than that in either code of rugby or AFL (aussie rules), the attrition rate in gridiron is ridiculous and the injury sideline timescale is also increased due to severity of injury.

tim-b
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby tim-b » 1 Sep 2019, 9:39pm

Hi
The UCI introduced compulsory helmets in 2003 following the tragic death of Cofidis rider Andrei Kivilev as the result of injuries including a fractured skull, " Cofidis team doctor Jean-Jacques Menuet said that the rider's injuries would have been reduced if he had been wearing a helmet. My medical colleagues in other teams will agree" (https://www.velonews.com/2003/04/news/uci-will-make-helmets-mandatory_3699)

Several riders made 130+kph in the 2017 Tour de Suisse and, while I can't find the stats that you refer to, it's apparent that (in common with most sports) competitors are faster than they ever were and I'm not convnced that the wearing of helmets has contributed to that. Unfortunately if anything goes wrong at those speeds then injuries will be worse and it isn't necessarily a function of increased risk-taking
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The utility cyclist
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby The utility cyclist » 2 Sep 2019, 12:11am

tim-b wrote:Hi
The UCI introduced compulsory helmets in 2003 following the tragic death of Cofidis rider Andrei Kivilev as the result of injuries including a fractured skull, " Cofidis team doctor Jean-Jacques Menuet said that the rider's injuries would have been reduced if he had been wearing a helmet. My medical colleagues in other teams will agree" (https://www.velonews.com/2003/04/news/uci-will-make-helmets-mandatory_3699)

Several riders made 130+kph in the 2017 Tour de Suisse and, while I can't find the stats that you refer to, it's apparent that (in common with most sports) competitors are faster than they ever were and I'm not convnced that the wearing of helmets has contributed to that. Unfortunately if anything goes wrong at those speeds then injuries will be worse and it isn't necessarily a function of increased risk-taking
Regards
tim-b

Medical professionals/GPs are not qualified to make statements regarding cycle helmets, we know this, they make no qualified statement whatsoever, even worse they add no quantifiable fact to their guesswork. we also know that the forces involved in Kivilev's crash massively exceeded ANY cycle helmets maximum protective forces, many times over, we know this is a fact as the test parameters in the lab are based on speeds/forces multiple times less than Kivilevs crash. Wearing a helmet would have done diddly squat, for them to suggest so is not just disingenuine, it has turned out to be patently a lie and made for the pro ranks and cycling as a whole to be more dangerous because of the pressure from some circles.

You say speeds have gone up, go ask Sean Kelly how fast he was going downhill, Kelly said he once reached 124 km per hour, coming off the Col du Joux Plane on the 1984 Tour, so factually you're wrong on that score. Coming down a mountain it's about luck not a helmet whether you survive or have a serious injury or not. Average speeds might have gone up over a stage but not by much, the pros now crash far more and have more injuries, why when they have better brakes, better tyres, better handling bikes AND also the advantage of better on course safety protocols, more marshals, better signage.

Factually the evidence says helmets made matters worse, when you add in all the benefits the modern riders have regarding safety other than what you think re helmets and better bikes.braking ability, it makes it even clearer that helmets are a massive failure.

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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby poetd » 2 Sep 2019, 6:41am

"Factually Unicorns exist!"

"Factually Zoologists and Veterinarians know nothing about animals because they only study real world ones!"

"Factually Unicorns were faster with longer horns"


I get, I get it. This isn't about anti-helmet - it's an exercise in art-humour.
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby tim-b » 2 Sep 2019, 6:44am

Hi
Medical professionals/GPs are not qualified to make statements regarding cycle helmets...

And your qualifications are?
Wearing a helmet would have done diddly squat

I prefer the opinion of a medical professional who was there when a tragedy unfolded and the evidence considered by the UCI. We know the outcome without a helmet so the decision by the UCI makes sense

Kelly said he once reached 124 km per hour, coming off the Col du Joux Plane on the 1984 Tour

I think that you're saying that the helmetless Kelly took the same risks as the helmeted riders of 2017

Sadly Carlo Tonon fractured his skull in a collision with a spectator in 1984 and was left disabled, another tragedy with only a two-year pro career

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tim-b
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mjr
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby mjr » 2 Sep 2019, 8:56am

tim-b wrote:I prefer the opinion of a medical professional who was there when a tragedy unfolded and the evidence considered by the UCI. We know the outcome without a helmet so the decision by the UCI makes sense

He was there in the sense that he was at the race. He wasn't riding in the convoy - the race has its own medical car and ambulances. The crash happened off-camera IIRC because not even the camera bikes could keep up with the breakaway as it raced through the town. As I understand it, the race cars are all behind the camera bikes in normal situations. It is very difficult to be certain what happened.

Thanks to the UCI exploiting the tragedy to push through a helmet rule it had been trying to impose for years over rider objections, we now also know the outcome with a helmet, so the decision no longer makes sense if it ever did.

Also, imposition of a lucrative rule under Verbruggen's UCI leadership that has been revealed as looking susceptible to bribes and still supporting Lance Armstrong right up to his ban... Well, that is the sort of stuff that fuels conspiracy theories! At the very least, it should be grounds for another look at a rule imposed then, to check it was based on hard reasons not hard cash.

I think that you're saying that the helmetless Kelly took the same risks as the helmeted riders of 2017

It looked to me like a speed report, saying nothing of the riding style and decision-making.

Sadly Carlo Tonon fractured his skull in a collision with a spectator in 1984 and was left disabled, another tragedy with only a two-year pro career

How does that anecdote contradict the idea that rider speeds were similar but risk-assessing was better? There have been plenty of rider injuries and deaths with helmets, occasionally in collision with spectators.
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby pjclinch » 2 Sep 2019, 9:36am

"Safety equipment" is known to increase risk taking.

I go much faster on technical downhills on my 'bent than on e.g. my Brompton because the brakes and handling are much better. If we compare a modern carbon disc-equipped road bike with what Kelly was riding I think it's fair to say it will have rather more capable handling, from at least brakes and tyres if not frame, and that's almost certainly going to mean more risks on technical descents. Various tricky descents have been labelled by competitors as too dangerous, but of course the issue is they're as dangerous as a rider is prepared to make them: I'd have no trouble getting down the Olympic road race descent that took out van Vleuten and Nibali... but then I'd only be doing a fraction of their speed. Racing is, at least in part, about balancing risk and speed, and the desire to win, if your professional career is based on results, is going to be something that affects the risk profile deemed acceptable.

So you have a problem here that if you're going to moan about helmets making life more dangerous for people paid to take risks going as fast as possible, then the improved technologies of their bikes are also an issue, as is the amount they get paid for winning. It's somewhat myopic to limit focus to helmets. Life is more complicated than single-issues.

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby Wanlock Dod » 2 Sep 2019, 12:34pm

How often are brakes and tyres attributed with life saving qualities though?

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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby pjclinch » 2 Sep 2019, 2:49pm

Wanlock Dod wrote:How often are brakes and tyres attributed with life saving qualities though?


An interesting question. I'd say both are recognised as being important in control of a road vehicle, and also that it's recognised that if nobody's in control then all survival bets are off.

Having said that, I've come across one instance personally and seen another reported by an instructor where a brake had been disconnected on a child's bike. Following up, that was because it was rubbing, and following up whether that was okay, it was because the child had a helmet. And no, I'm not making that up. It's just lucky that people tend to learn to deal with whatever they've got and there was still one brake left.

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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby mattheus » 2 Sep 2019, 2:50pm

pjclinch wrote:So you have a problem here that if you're going to moan about helmets making life more dangerous for people paid to take risks going as fast as possible, then the improved technologies of their bikes are also an issue, as is the amount they get paid for winning. It's somewhat myopic to limit focus to helmets. Life is more complicated than single-issues.

Pete.

I don't see anyone moaning about " helmets making life more dangerous for people paid to take risks going as fast as possible".

folks are just challenging the claim that helmets are making those people safer. Whether tyres or brakes are improved independently of this is irrelevant. (You can start a separate debate about those factors if you want!)

The reality is, if you look at the pure numbers, they suggest that helmets might be making theie life *more* dangerous (albeit only marginally, in my view).

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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby tim-b » 2 Sep 2019, 6:08pm

Hi
Thanks to the UCI exploiting the tragedy to push through a helmet rule it had been trying to impose for years over rider objections, we now also know the outcome with a helmet, so the decision no longer makes sense if it ever did

Riders in the 1991 Paris-Nice went on strike because the UCI attempted to impose mandatory helmet use, which "was rejected by a large majority of professional riders" (https://web.archive.org/web/20160304062947/http://oldsite.uci.ch/english/news/news_2002/20030312_comm.htm)
If "the decision no longer makes sense if it ever did", why do the majority of pro riders seem to be less convinced and haven't taken action as they did in 1991?

Former professional cyclist Andrea Ferrigato has this anecdote for you, https://www.allianz.com/en/press/extra/knowledge/mobility/130916-why-i-always-wear-a-bicycle-helmet.html

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tim-b
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby mjr » 2 Sep 2019, 6:30pm

tim-b wrote:If "the decision no longer makes sense if it ever did", why do the majority of pro riders seem to be less convinced and haven't taken action as they did in 1991?

Maybe they want a job? They no longer have the luxuries of existing contracts and race results that the 1991 objectors had, plus most teams have helmet makers among their sponsors. Now if you don't use one, you generally are not allowed to race, so it's only a job open to compulsion agnostics and enthusiasts.

Former professional cyclist Andrea Ferrigato has this anecdote for you,
https://www.allianz.com/en/press/extra/knowledge/mobility/130916-why-i-always-wear-a-bicycle-helmet.html

And do you think that since helmets have been forced, no cyclists have died from skull fractures after collisions with stone guards on descents? https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/13333589
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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby Wanlock Dod » 2 Sep 2019, 6:55pm

Personally I don’t have any objection to helmets for professional bike racing, I suspect that it results in more exciting viewing for the TV audience. If racers are more comfortable taking risks whilst wearing helmets then anybody who doesn’t wear one is at a potential disadvantage, at least in some situations. There is a clear incentive to wear helmets once they become relatively common amongst those racing.

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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby The utility cyclist » 2 Sep 2019, 7:27pm

tim-b wrote:Hi
Medical professionals/GPs are not qualified to make statements regarding cycle helmets...

And your qualifications are?
Wearing a helmet would have done diddly squat

I prefer the opinion of a medical professional who was there when a tragedy unfolded and the evidence considered by the UCI. We know the outcome without a helmet so the decision by the UCI makes sense

Kelly said he once reached 124 km per hour, coming off the Col du Joux Plane on the 1984 Tour

I think that you're saying that the helmetless Kelly took the same risks as the helmeted riders of 2017

Sadly Carlo Tonon fractured his skull in a collision with a spectator in 1984 and was left disabled, another tragedy with only a two-year pro career

Regards
tim-b

Lol, sorry but just have to laugh at your reply it just beggars belief you actually wrote that.

How many times did Kelly crash say compared to others in the modern day pro ranks, how many times did Kelly smash his head in, how many times did the pros get serious traumas at the same speeds as those in the post helmet peleton? As I said, the one actual study done that asked professional riders themselves re injuries showed us that risk taking was clearly worse in the post helmet groups, so that shows us that were taking LESS risks, how can you not grasp something so simple! If fewer people died over same period without helmets than died with helmets despite all the advantages other than the helmets themselves how can you say that the non helmet wearers took greater risks? If you even watched the races you'd see how much more the risk taking is in the modern pro and even amateur ranks, it's massively more crashy!

we can say that speeds are similar, we can say that skill/ability to handle bikes is similar, BUT the facts are that more pros have died post helmet rules, more pros have got serious injuries post helmet rules, and with all the advantages I mentioned and including wearing plastic hats.

So what has made competition cycling less safe, more on course marshals, nope, the better signage, nope, more/quicker to attend medical professionals, er nope, has better brakes and tyres made riding less safe, nope, that leaves us with the one thing that people like you continue to ignore, one that has the same effect in sport and leisure cycling, one that has the same effect in other sports around the globe.

You people are more dangerous to yourselves and the rest of us both in the way you cycle and the way you continue to push the agenda that damages cycling/cycling freedoms as a whole and continually takes away the onus from those that are doing the most damage by far that a helmet will not prevent serious injury from. You won't accept facts, you won't accept physics/science, even when it's shown not just in one area but all, and even in other sports.
Pointless debating with people who are going to continue to ignore the facts.