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Crash hat...or wearing a helmet
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Barry



Joined: 10 Jun 2012
Posts: 258
Location: Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:15 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

I'm all for choice and the anarchist in me would strenuously resist and campaign against any law that seeks to compel or restrict mine or others, riding style and habits.

That said, I wear helmets every single time I get on a cycle, even if it's just nipping down to the local shops. I feel vulnerable and unprotected without one. I am more likely to walk out the house without trousers, than cycle without a helmet. While I respect the concept of free choice and those of this forum who think differently from me, I think of people who don't wear helmets, as being reckless, verging on the idiotic.

I find helmets keep the head far cooler in hot weather, than being bare headed. All that polystyrene offers excellent thermal insulation, protecting the head from the sun's rays directly beating down on it. Also the better designed helmets, channel air flows across the head far more effectively than can be experienced without.

Top of the range helmets from all the main manufacturers are ridiculously expensive and are appalling value or money. With these things, regardless of the marketing and sales pitch, you're not paying for better protection, improved aerodynamics and enhanced air flow. You're paying for a bit of bling and exclusivity to pose with. Cheap helmets are infernal torture devises that pinch your temples, restrict your vision and fry your brains.  I'm most comfortable spending about £80 on a helmet and I normally have two on the go, one road and one mountain regardless of the fact that all my riding is road. I like the visor on mountain helmets, particularly in the winter when the sun is lower down in the sky and more likely to dazzle. I average about 12 hours of cycling a week and I normally change my helmets after about three years of use. If I was to calculate the amount of money I spend in the same time period, on tyres, chammy cream and drive chains, etc, it's easily a four figure sum. So I think £80 for a helmet is pretty good value in the general schemes of things and extremely good value if it saves me from possible brain damage or worse.
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mathman



Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 589
Location: Deepest Norfolk

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose the Bumpmeister should have a say: I only wear a helmet when regulations require it, with the exception of during my short mountain bike career. In my experience a good parachute roll will get you out of most trouble, such as today when I caught the near-side wheel on a new bollard while traversing the University campus on my way from the hospital (making appointment for next check up on the retina repair - doing nicely thanks!) to the CTC meet out on the Broads. The workmen, who may well have recently installed the bollards were very attentive and amazed that I escaped with a trace of skinned knee and elbow - and a blow-out! What I find most disturbing is the fellow (new generally) cyclists that yell at me that I should be wearing a piece of polystyrene on my head. Maybe I should start yelling that they should experience freedom.
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Tango



Joined: 10 Oct 2015
Posts: 234
Location: Glossop, Derbyshire

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My twopennuth contribution to the can of worms is entirely anecdotal and very unscientific:-

My first 3 visits to the local crem were clubmates who'd died of head injuries in the days before helmets. Nobody I know's died since helmets.

A clubmate headed a drystone wall at speed on a club ride a few weeks ago, helmet smashed but rode home OK.

My latest off was on the trike when I was forced off the road on a descent by an oncoming car, through no fault of my own (apart from being daft enough to want to ride a trike in the first place!). Helmet was crushed but not head. I met a club rider at a cafe on the way home who saw my (minor) injuries and regaled me with his life changing head injury tale, again not his fault - a clubmate fell in front of him - he'd had to give up work but would be dead without a helmet.

I've read all the arguments for and against but couldn't venture out without a helmet, if I see a bareheaded cyclist it makes me cringe (but wouldn't shout at them Martin!)

We won't allow anyone on our club rides without a helmet, its unfair to clubmates who may have to pick up the pieces if someone gets a head injury which could've been prevented with a helmet.
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rigger908



Joined: 24 Mar 2012
Posts: 189
Location: Funen

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think of people who don't wear helmets, as being reckless, verging on the idiotic.


A recent on-the-street count here put helmet use at 11%, so I am sure that Danish cyclists will be delighted to learn that 89% of their number are "reckless and verging on idiotic"     positive

I would imagine that our friends in Holland might be even more upset as helmet use there is significantly lower than it is in Denmark.

I can just imagine the way the conversation will go if I bring this one up among cycling friends. "Someone in England called US reckless and idiotic? Run it past us again, which nation was it who voted for Brexit?"  No, on reflection I think it might  save me a lot of embarrassment if I kept quiet about this one! Laughing  Laughing  Laughing
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tatanab



Joined: 29 Mar 2012
Posts: 731

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barry wrote:
I find helmets keep the head far cooler in hot weather, than being bare headed. All that polystyrene offers excellent thermal insulation, protecting the head from the sun's rays directly beating down on it. Also the better designed helmets, channel air flows across the head far more effectively than can be experienced without.
As I said - different people different physiology.  When I put on my top of the range super aeriated Giro in 20006 on a tour in New Zealand, I was instantly impressed by the feeling of cool air flowing over my head.   That feeling went very quickly once temperatures went up, and so did the road.  I have also lived in southern California so have suffered the compulsory helmets on club runs even if state/county law does not require it.

Expectations of what a helmet will achieve for we club riders (versus low speed commuters) seems to be too great.  There are many anecdotes of how the helmet was crushed etc but the only way to know if the helmet really achieved anything is to go back and replicate the incident without one - not something any of us want to attempt, nor would I recommend it

Anecdote - I knew somebody who died when he struck his head as a deckchair collapsed - logically all deckchair users should ----

Another anecdote - locally an elderly chap died when he tripped and knocked his head.  He was walking with a bike which made all the difference in reporting since a bike was involved so although he was walking he was a cyclist and should have ------ Fact - I witnessed a collision in the 1970s where a novice tricyclist got caught out by a change of camber on a dual carriageway.  He effectively turned right across 70 mph traffic.    There was not a scratch on him, but he suffered some sort of brain injury leading to a sort of PTSD.  Would a helmet have made a difference - I doubt it because they are not designed to cope with that sort of impact.

Freedom of choice to assess my own risks, and of course for others to assess theirs.  I will not criticise anybody for their choice, one way or another.

A slight aside, on a lighter note I hope- why do helmet wearers insist on bringing their hats into pubs and cafes and clogging the place up?  Can they not lock them to their cycles?  This is what I did in places where I had to wear one.
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BarEndFan



Joined: 17 Nov 2013
Posts: 408
Location: The North West

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iím a helmet wearer I have to my wife insist on it. Like most here I rode at a time when a helmet would only be worn when the rules of the BCF insisted and the hairnet would be extracted from your middle jersey pocket. Some may look at all of us who ride trikes or bikes as being reckless (when you could surround yourself with lots of shinny safe car bodywork) regardless of helmet use or not. Iím actually quietly gladdened whenever I see a rider without a lid. I suppose Iím a little envious I find helmets uncomfortable and letís face it cloth caps look so much better than helmets but then so do brake cables that exit through the top of the brake lever, a GP4 rim over a deep section carbon affair and horizontal top tubes. Some may say I should stand up to my wife, explain the evidence regarding helmet use in inconclusive and ride as I would like to however despite her diminutive size and petite stature she is phenomenally powerful and I prefer wearing the helmet as external apparel.

On the original point being made by the OP, helmets should offer the same level of protection so go for fit/comfort and I also like easily removable and washable pads on the inside. I find helmets can get very sweaty, the pads store up the salt from your sweat and in heavy rain run it back into your eyes Iíve had this a lot, very painful.
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9494arnold



Joined: 29 Apr 2014
Posts: 763
Location: West Midlands

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:31 pm    Post subject: Expect the unexpected Reply with quote

I used to be a fearless non helmet wearer . Even went across a car bonnet , (on a bike)!contact between the front bumper and the front of the wheel arch which is how close I was to junction when the driver pulled out, and "bounced" . But as time passed and a couple of club mates had nasty , life changing falls I decided that the helmet was the thing . Since then I have had a couple of spills, chain slipped on one of my older mounts and rolled me into the ground, didn't notice the dent in the helmet until I got back. More recently the seatpin let go on the trike and pitched me on my back with the trike following. No obvious contact to the helmet but it made me feel a bit better about the whole thing. But I'd fight against compulsion by legislation. Take Care. positive
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nickh



Joined: 02 Sep 2014
Posts: 761
Location: Middx

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long before you are considered "reckless and verging on the idiotic" if you are not wearing one of these?

https://www.facebook.com/viralthread/videos/556482971208071/

NHH

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