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Helmets are overrated?

May 24, 2016, 11:19 a.m.
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

should you wear a helmet? generally yes. should you be such a self-righteous prick towards those who don't? probably not. Booms not wrong here, just because you don't like the message. Bigger issue is likely that people just don't pay enough attention to what's going on around them and pay the price for it. If you're gonna cruise to the lake/groceries/wherever without one, just take it slow and keep your head up and eyes open and you'll probably be fine.

That being said, I never don't wear one when I go for a real bike ride/commute to work as opposed to one of the other examples I mentioned.

May 24, 2016, 11:34 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Oct. 6, 2005

should you wear a helmet? generally yes. should you be such a self-righteous prick towards those who don't? probably not. Booms not wrong here, just because you don't like the message. Bigger issue is likely that people just don't pay enough attention to what's going on around them and pay the price for it. If you're gonna cruise to the lake/groceries/wherever without one, just take it slow and keep your head up and eyes open and you'll probably be fine.

That being said, I never don't wear one when I go for a real bike ride/commute to work as opposed to one of the other examples I mentioned.

That's kind of the point.

If I am riding to the coffee shop down the street, I am barely over walking pace and I don't always wear a helmet. If I am riding on a road ride my pace is closer to 32-38km/hr and I wear a helmet.

May 24, 2016, 1:34 p.m.
Posts: 815
Joined: March 13, 2004

If the impact without a helmet doesn't get you then the gunshot from the lingering effects will.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/24/health/dave-mirra-cte-bmx-biker/index.html

May 25, 2016, 2:09 p.m.
Posts: 5635
Joined: Oct. 28, 2008

I'm a feeb so should probably wear one even when I'm taking a dump.

Wrong. Always.

May 25, 2016, 2:48 p.m.
Posts: 326
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

i've poked around the data and research on this issue before and the evidence that's out there is somewhat vague which make the interpretations some people come up with (such as that howie chong page) rather useless even though the research may hold some valid points.

i know one thing, if i have a crash and hit my head on a solid object there is less chance of a head/brain injury wearing a helmet than without one. we have one brain and it doesn't heal like cuts, bruises or broken bones. mess up your brain and you mess up you.

I'm not a human in real life, I just play one on the internet. 

May 26, 2016, 10:32 a.m.
Posts: 8596
Joined: Nov. 15, 2002

i'm ambivalent about it

i think that helmets, on a number of counts, depress rates of cycling activity - the "but it will mess up my hair" issue is a canard; and whatever we may think of people who don't/won't ride because they have to wear a helmet isn't really important. helmts definitely don't reduce collision rates - and while they (marginally) reduce rates of head injuries among those who suffer collisions, they don't reduce rates of serious injury and hospitalization overall

increase cycling rates do impact safety, unequivocally, by reducing collision rates - see my second slide on the previous page

my attitude towards helmets is that personally i think they're a good idea, and i almost always wear one. for other people, i say wear one (on the road) if it makes you feel better - but if you're not going to ride if you have to wear one, then do ride and don't wear one, definitely: at both the public and individual level, cycling has a much higher health benefit that it poses an injury risk. personally, and as a country, the benefits outweigh the risks between 10 and 100 to 1

plus there are, at all levels, things that you/we can do that will have a much bigger impact on cyclist safety. effectively encouraging more people to ride bikes and building better infrastructure will keep cyclists much safer than mandating helmet use. at an individual level, good route choice (i.e. ride on a bike lane or quiet street vs. riding on an arterial) will have an exponentially higher impact on your personal safety than wearing a helmet does

finally, consider: motorists and pedestrians receive the same, if not greater, benefits to head-safety from wearing helmets as do cyclists. knowing that, are you going to put on a helmet when you go for a walk, or get behind the wheel of a car?

Nailed it Omar.

I also think there is a lot of pseudoscience in the helmet world. I had one helmet manufacturer tell me there was no measurable benefit to MIPS but he was employing it because it sells helmets. I've had companies tell me the same things about neck braces. No measured benefit/detriment based on some studies. Anecdotally you hear people say they are sure that their helmet/brace saved them but how do we really know?

I had a big crash and landed on my face wearing a FF. Even with the helmet I punched a hole through my face and walked around in a fog for six months. The doc told me I would have required reconstructive surgery without the helmet. I think he's right but maybe I wouldn't have crashed wearing a skid lid or no helmet at all because I would have been more careful and/or more aware of what I was doing?

Science often reveals that our intuition about things like helmets is wrong and I think it's important to pay attention to facts and well produced studies when we make decisions about safety.

May 29, 2016, 7:04 p.m.
Posts: 844
Joined: April 19, 2003

Nailed it Omar.

I also think there is a lot of pseudoscience in the helmet world. I had one helmet manufacturer tell me there was no measurable benefit to MIPS but he was employing it because it sells helmets. I've had companies tell me the same things about neck braces. No measured benefit/detriment based on some studies. Anecdotally you hear people say they are sure that their helmet/brace saved them but how do we really know?

I had a big crash and landed on my face wearing a FF. Even with the helmet I punched a hole through my face and walked around in a fog for six months. The doc told me I would have required reconstructive surgery without the helmet. I think he's right but maybe I wouldn't have crashed wearing a skid lid or no helmet at all because I would have been more careful and/or more aware of what I was doing?

Science often reveals that our intuition about things like helmets is wrong and I think it's important to pay attention to facts and well produced studies when we make decisions about safety.

That's the thing with most studies is that the information is very hard to decipher and categorize for accurate results. Types of crashes and injuries can never be 100% duplicated so basically all of the evidence is somewhat anecdotal.

To a person that says there is no scientific evidence that wearing a helmet helps prevent or increase the amount of injuries can spout off all he/she wants, but give him a choice to wear a lid or no lid and whack him over the head with a plastic kids bat, and I am pretty sure he/she would probably take the lid option.

I went lake jumping once and left the lid in the truck "What could happen jumping into the lake" I thought? Under rotating a back flip and dropping your bike on your head can happen opening you up and ruining a perfectly good day. To top it all off I actually sat on my helmet while getting into my truck on the way to the hospital bruising my ass crack.

I'm the best at being modest !

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