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

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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, 7:31pm

Wanlock Dod wrote: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.

Was competition racing (let's keep it at competition as this affects both pro and amateur racing) less exciting when they didn't wear one? Do you think pros would take more care if they weren't wearing them, do you think Froome would have done what he did without a helmet - something he actually used to do in his early sky days when training with Thomas, I bet he wouldn't (though still up for debate if the incident actually happened) So exchanging a bit more "excitement" for more injuries and career ending ones at that, maybe death, seems a legit swap!:?

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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, 7:36pm

pjclinch wrote:"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.

Pete.

We can only tell on the risk taking from either era by the number of serious injuries and deaths can we not? If the modern age with better handling bikes, better brakes, better medical attentiveness, better/more well placed barriers and marshals plus the helmets then how can the modern pro be dying and getting injured more if you're saying the latter day pro took more risks when they had inferior everything and no helmets? There's no logic to that at all.
The top speed is not the risk in itself, it's the wrong speed/line at the wrong time, this is the same on bike, motorcycle, car, building site, running in the playground etc

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

Postby pjclinch » 2 Sep 2019, 8:15pm

The utility cyclist wrote:We can only tell on the risk taking from either era by the number of serious injuries and deaths can we not? If the modern age with better handling bikes, better brakes, better medical attentiveness, better/more well placed barriers and marshals plus the helmets then how can the modern pro be dying and getting injured more if you're saying the latter day pro took more risks when they had inferior everything and no helmets? There's no logic to that at all.


Well there's no logic to that but as I was saying quite the opposite, that's hardly surprising...
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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 tim-b » 2 Sep 2019, 9:31pm

Hi
Pointless debating with people who are going to continue to ignore the facts

The point is that there are few definitive facts, just ifs, buts and maybes. The fact is that there isn't a mandatory helmet law in the UK that affects cyclists, only regulations for those that ride under the auspices of the UCI or some other organising body. With current political goings-on any helmet legislation will be a long way down the priority list of any government for many years, so most of us are free to wear/not wear a helmet as we see fit
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby bovlomov » 2 Sep 2019, 11:55pm

tim-b wrote:With current political goings-on any helmet legislation will be a long way down the priority list of any government for many years...

I'm not sure about that. A mandatory helmet law is just the kind of eye-catching initiative that a failing government would introduce as a distraction. It's never a bad time for a new, pointless law to inconvenience a minority.

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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 » 3 Sep 2019, 8:33am

tim-b wrote:... With current political goings-on any helmet legislation will be a long way down the priority list of any government for many years, ...

On the contrary, it seems like exactly the kind of thing that a populist government might do in an effort to secure additional votes from motorists in the run up to a general election. Given that the costs of implementation would largely be for the few that continued to cycle, rather than the state, it would be a great deal less costly to the tax payer than further reductions to fuel duty. Enforcement might be by the kind of private companies that are currently enforcing bans on cycling in some city centres, thus maximising any incentives for vigorous enforcement and providing employment at the same time.

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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 » 3 Sep 2019, 8:38am

The utility cyclist wrote:Was competition racing (let's keep it at competition as this affects both pro and amateur racing) less exciting when they didn't wear one? ...

I suspect that the TV audiences were probably smaller.

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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 » 3 Sep 2019, 5:35pm

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

Just riding carefully and perhaps a little more slowly would probably improve overall safety, it probably wouldn’t win you any races though. Mindful cycling?