Strapless cycle helmets - great invention! (1 Viewer)

Jan 27, 2014
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I have seen this advert in a couple of magazines this month. I suspect the original photo showed no helmet wearing, but the PC police thought this was irresponsible, so they seem to have photoshopped two 25 year old helmets on, with no straps, one at an impossible angle perched on the back of her head!
 

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Jan 19, 2014
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Mushroom heads 😏 They offer virtually zero protection anyway, silly design. Why dont they make them more like open face motorcycle helmets?
 
Sep 3, 2012
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You just need to read the " small print"
You require to superglue velcro to your head first, then you can attach the helmet with using straps. (y) :love:
 
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cb_stalbans
Jan 27, 2014
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Off road downhill MTB riders use that type. I suspect I would explode with heat climbing up a long hill expending lots of energy with a full helmet on. Cycle helmets are designed for falling off and banging your head, not for impacts at the speeds of motorbikes or indeed by falling off and getting run over by a car.

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Sep 17, 2017
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There's very little evidence that helmets make urban cyclists safer in traffic accidents. They just aren't designed to deal with the levels of impact from colliding with a car... But I still always wear mine.
 

Greasy Chap Butty

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There's very little evidence that helmets make urban cyclists safer in traffic accidents. They just aren't designed to deal with the levels of impact from colliding with a car... But I still always wear mine.
Bang your head on the tarmac, parked car or a telegraph pole doing 20mph, you are getting a bad head injury.
With one of those helmets on much less chance.
Simple.
 
Sep 17, 2017
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Bang your head on the tarmac, parked car or a telegraph pole doing 20mph, you are getting a bad head injury.
With one of those helmets on much less chance.
Simple.
Not really. They aren't very good at absorbing impacts. They cope with minor stuff and abrasion, but they just aren't robust enough to do much against hard, heavy, fast moving objects.

If you look at data comparing the proportion of cyclists that wear helmets to the chance of them getting a head injury, the correlation is actually negative. There's reasons for that, but it does strongly imply that helmets can't be doing much to protect cyclists.
 

Jim

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I still don't wear one, I posted this here in 2007


Cycle Helmets. Wear one?

In Spain a couple of weeks ago, me and my family watched a 30 year old Spanish lady die from a simple fall from a bicycle. We were stationary in a car and right in front of us we saw her come down a slight incline picking up speed, then as she looked over her left shoulder for her husband who was behind her, she steered left at the same time. Her front wheel turned almost 90 degrees, dug in and she was thrown over the handlebars with considerable force, her head hit the ground very hard and 3 yards from me I saw her head actually bounce, she then lay very still.

I was with her in seconds and the scene played out right in front of my children as I tried to clear her airway and calm and fight off the husband who thought kissing her would help. When the ambulance finally came I left right away. she was breathing very shallow but did have a strong pulse. Sadly a few days later I learned that she died at the scene.

My children were very stressed as they watched it all play out but do not know the final outcome as I chose no to tell them, but I do not think that I will ever again have to explain to them the importance of wearing a cycle helmet.

Anyone who has met me knows that my head is rather large :) and that if I wear a cycle helmet I would quite easily cause accidents as passing motorists lose control of their vehicles whilst laughing at the hat perched on my head. But after witnessing this accident I think this is a small price to pay. A £10 helmet might have saved that ladies life. Please do wear one.
 

Greasy Chap Butty

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Not really. They aren't very good at absorbing impacts. They cope with minor stuff and abrasion, but they just aren't robust enough to do much against hard, heavy, fast moving objects.

If you look at data comparing the proportion of cyclists that wear helmets to the chance of them getting a head injury, the correlation is actually negative. There's reasons for that, but it does strongly imply that helmets can't be doing much to protect cyclists.
Sorry. Can't agree.
If I were to gently and then more strongly bang you on the head with a metal sign post pole, would you prefer it to be on your bare head, or a helmet?

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Sep 17, 2017
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I still don't wear one, I posted this here in 2007


Cycle Helmets. Wear one?

In Spain a couple of weeks ago, me and my family watched a 30 year old Spanish lady die from a simple fall from a bicycle. We were stationary in a car and right in front of us we saw her come down a slight incline picking up speed, then as she looked over her left shoulder for her husband who was behind her, she steered left at the same time. Her front wheel turned almost 90 degrees, dug in and she was thrown over the handlebars with considerable force, her head hit the ground very hard and 3 yards from me I saw her head actually bounce, she then lay very still.

I was with her in seconds and the scene played out right in front of my children as I tried to clear her airway and calm and fight off the husband who thought kissing her would help. When the ambulance finally came I left right away. she was breathing very shallow but did have a strong pulse. Sadly a few days later I learned that she died at the scene.

My children were very stressed as they watched it all play out but do not know the final outcome as I chose no to tell them, but I do not think that I will ever again have to explain to them the importance of wearing a cycle helmet.

Anyone who has met me knows that my head is rather large :) and that if I wear a cycle helmet I would quite easily cause accidents as passing motorists lose control of their vehicles whilst laughing at the hat perched on my head. But after witnessing this accident I think this is a small price to pay. A £10 helmet might have saved that ladies life. Please do wear one.
But, they don't actually absorb much energy. The helmet may have helped, but it's very likely it would have made no difference. Even motorcycle helmets aren't great, and they are far more encompassing, bulky, and weigh 5 times as much.

... Personally I have 4 different bike helmets 😅. I never ride without one as I feel vulnerable. But it's probably giving me a false sense of security.
 
Feb 27, 2011
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If you look at data comparing the proportion of cyclists that wear helmets to the chance of them getting a head injury, the correlation is actually negative.
Can you provide a link to said data. That doesn't sound right to me. I think perhaps either the data source is suspect or you are misreading something?
 

lorger

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I came off my road bike once on a sharp corner as I was going to fast, got back on and continued my cycle home feeling a little sore. It's when I got home I realised how lucky I'd been, when i removed my helmet it split into two parts, I didn't even think I'd banged my head. I also dread to think what might have been if I wasn't wearing one.
 
Sep 17, 2017
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Can you provide a link to said data. That doesn't sound right to me. I think perhaps either the data source is suspect or you are misreading something?

"
Countries with low helmet wearing rates have more cyclists and lower fatality rates per cycle-km. Fig 1 shows that a non-helmeted cyclist in Denmark or Holland is many times safer per cycle-km than a helmeted cyclist in the US. This pattern is also reflected in injury statistics. US cyclists with 38% helmet wearing suffer 30 times as many injuries per million cycle km as Dutch cyclists with 0.1% helmet wearing.[2]"


Helmets do provide some protection. But they discourage people from cycling. And helmeted cyclist seem to get into far more accidents, so overall helmets appear to have a negative effect. Some say this is because helmet wearers take more risks. Others have said it's because drivers treat them with less care. And undoubtedly there's a feedback loop, dangerous roads mean riders try to mitigate. But regardless, helmets don't provide the level of protection people think they do.
 
Feb 27, 2011
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Countries with low helmet wearing rates have more cyclists and lower fatality rates per cycle-km. Fig 1 shows that a non-helmeted cyclist in Denmark or Holland is many times safer per cycle-km than a helmeted cyclist in the US. This pattern is also reflected in injury statistics. US cyclists with 38% helmet wearing suffer 30 times as many injuries per million cycle km as Dutch cyclists with 0.1% helmet wearing.[2]"
Well that is a pretty crappy study based on this quote alone.

Denmark and Holland both have road layouts and systems much more suited to cycling and much safer. This is likely to have a much greater effect on statistics.
The driving test in Denmark and Holland is more stringent than the US driving tests. Likely resulting in few serious accidents as the drivers are safer.

I also suspect with american vehicles being bigger visibility is an issue. Damage is likely to be higher.

You cannot compare one country to another.

To get an accurate figure you need to to look at actual accidents and compare similar accidents.

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Jim

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High speed collisions with vehicles and they likely make little to no diffence, but low speed stuff, they have to help and no study will convince me otherwise.

Unless of course the study presenter shows conclusivly with a demonstration that a collision with fence post, kerbstone or car, hurts him less with a bare head than when wearing a lid. .
 
Sep 17, 2017
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High speed collisions with vehicles and they likely make little to no diffence, but low speed stuff, they have to help and no study will convince me otherwise.

Unless of course the study presenter shows conclusivly with a demonstration that a collision with fence post, kerbstone or car, hurts him less with a bare head than when wearing a lid. .
If you are already flying over the handlebars, then that would be a good time to be wearing a helmet. But the stats appear to show that you are far more likely to get into that situation if you wear a helmet. Which more than offsets the protective effect.
 
May 26, 2016
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I still don't wear one, I posted this here in 2007


Cycle Helmets. Wear one?
Just a few weeks ago, I spoke to a chap shortly after an incident whereby he had just removed his cycle helmet - having stopped by the kerb - when the rear-view mirror (one of the really sticky-out ones) of a passing van clipped the back of his head, knocking him to the ground. He was shaken but OK after a few moments. All I'm saying is your don't have to crash or fall off a bicycle to appreciate the usefulness of a helmet. Things can come at you from behind too.

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Swifter

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I bet someone got in big trouble for not including helmets in the original advert 😁😆😆. They look absolutely ridiculous 🤣🤣🤣
 
May 30, 2021
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It's important to know how a helmet works, and what the design parameters are.
They work by compression of the foam, to decelerate the head more slowly than a hard impact. As an aside, they also provide some abrasion resistance. The actual design specification is to protect from a 12mph impact - which is equivalent to falling from stationary and banging your head on the ground.

A typical helmet won't be designed for much higher speed impacts for two main reasons:-
1) It adds weight and material - a heavy helmet is uncomfortable and hot to wear. You also have to balance the mass and hence momentum of the helmet - if the helmet is too heavy, it adds too much momentum in a high speed impact, which can cause neck injuries. In the long distance endurance cycling I used to do a lot of, I know many people who have suffered neck problems ("Shermer's Neck") through the weight of wearing a helmet for extended periods.
2) If you increase the speed rating too much - by making the foam stiffer and hence able to cope with larger impacts like a motorcycle helmet, for example, then you reduce the compressibility and hence efficiency in low speed impacts - and could end up failing the certification tests.

The main problem comes when you seriously overload the helmet. The foam undergoes a brittle failure, where rather than compressing it snaps. That actually absorbs very little energy, so if you go into brittle mode because of a high energy impact your helmet does pretty nothing other than protect you from abrasion. So someone holding up a helmet that broke in two saying "this saved my life" is actually wrong; the helmet failed and did next to nothing. A helmet with a design rating of 12mph does not take 12mph off a larger impact, it just doesn't work much above that speed.

You can also get rotational injuries; the helmet snags on whatever you've hit, causing your head to rapidly rotate and causing brain stem injuries. That is worse than not wearing a helmet, your head is less likely to catch in the same way. Some newer helmets incorporate "MIPS", which basically allows your head to rotate slightly in the helmet and reduce this.

Finally, a helmet makes your head bigger and heavier, so you may well hit it on the ground when an unhelmeted head wouldn't have touched - either due to size or your neck could have supported your head away from the ground; something we've evolved to do.

I'm not against helmet wearing, and do when appropriate (typically off road where I'm likely to do low speed falls or bang my head on a low branch), but they are not the magic obvious solution that many seem to think.
 
Jan 27, 2018
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I'd been riding around my local woods and had been through some tasty twisty bits and later on i felt my neck listing to one side when i stopped i found half a tree jammed in my helmet (slight exaggeration. id felt a jolt but not expecting that.
 
May 26, 2016
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I'd been riding around my local woods and had been through some tasty twisty bits and later on i felt my neck listing to one side when i stopped i found half a tree jammed in my helmet (slight exaggeration. id felt a jolt but not expecting that.
One wonders where it would have jammed, if not the helmet.
 
May 30, 2021
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Or if it would have not jammed at all and slid alongside your head causing no damage as there was nothing to catch it on?

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May 7, 2016
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But the stats appear to show that you are far more likely to get into that situation if you wear a helmet.
Do the stats include wearing Lycra? Nothing against Lycra but just trying to say that you would need to break down the statistics to include riding styles, purposes and distances before drawing any conclusions concerning helmets. Never see a lycra clad cyclist without a helmet but the old boy who occasionally cycles down a quiet village road for a short distance might never wear one. Children are made to wear helmets. So if you were to compare a big sample of helmeted regular fast long distance cyclists with a small number of slower short distance occasional cyclists without helmets you would prove nothing. Hence the need to know the source of the statistics and the parameters of the study. As they say there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Many a conspiracy theory has been based on incomplete statistics.
 
Jan 27, 2018
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Or if it would have not jammed at all and slid alongside your head causing no damage as there was nothing to catch it on?
Quite possible there are always going to be occassions when the safety kit causes more problems than without. you have to weigh up the probabilities.
(a while back) A mate of mine had a half timbered car (moggie traveller hit him at about 20mph)
due to the angle of impact his face was broken in 32 places and leg in 7 quack said either could have killed him via shock how hehad survived was beyond him. Was it a quality helmet? yes the same he used to race his tz350, never been crashed previously.
 
Sep 17, 2017
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Do the stats include wearing Lycra? Nothing against Lycra but just trying to say that you would need to break down the statistics to include riding styles, purposes and distances before drawing any conclusions concerning helmets. Never see a lycra clad cyclist without a helmet but the old boy who occasionally cycles down a quiet village road for a short distance might never wear one. Children are made to wear helmets. So if you were to compare a big sample of helmeted regular fast long distance cyclists with a small number of slower short distance occasional cyclists without helmets you would prove nothing. Hence the need to know the source of the statistics and the parameters of the study. As they say there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Many a conspiracy theory has been based on incomplete statistics.
You could also blame it on the infrastructure and the attitude of drivers. In a cycle friendly country like the Netherlands, there is more 'for transport' type use because it's easier to get about by bike. And these 'non-sport' groups just ride in whatever they are wearing. This leads to more cycle km travelled, so then are drivers less likely to be blind to them because they expect to see them so frequently? It's hard to separate the effects.

Regardless though, if wearing a helmet had a massive effect, you'd see it in the stats. If there is a benefit, it's not massive.
 
May 30, 2021
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Metholdology for studies is very important. One of the most often quoted ones, Thompson, Rivara & Thompson, also included a stat that showed that helmets prevented something like 20% of leg injuries. The authors of that study no longer stand behind it, but their 85% reduction in head injuries statistic is still often put forward by the mandatory helmet lobby.

The reason for the error was that the statistics were taken in the US in the 1990s, at a time when only the affluent would buy cycle helmets as they were an expensive lifestyle accessory. So, when you take emergency room stats - where the recipient of care has to pay or have good health insurance - the more affluent would pop in for a check up following a minor accident, the less well off (who would also be far less likely to wear a helmet) would only go along if there were serious injuries. Hence helmet wearers in that study had less serious injuries - but actually what the study showed was that people who could easily afford to pay for medical care would go to the doctor for more trivial reasons. Very little to do with helmet wearing.

In the whole country situation in Australia, where helmet wearing became mandatory and heavily enforced, whilst overall injuries went down (due to reduced numbers of cyclists), the proportion of serious injuries per cyclist went up - possibly due to the remaining cyclists being those who do more miles, or ride in heavier traffic rather than leisure, or risk-compensation, or any number of other reasons. Certainly the claimed percentage reduction in serious head injuries never showed itself. A full population result like that is far more compelling than limited studies that can easily have inadvertent mistakes made (like the TR&T one) or have researcher bias.
 
Sep 17, 2017
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Metholdology for studies is very important. One of the most often quoted ones, Thompson, Rivara & Thompson, also included a stat that showed that helmets prevented something like 20% of leg injuries. The authors of that study no longer stand behind it, but their 85% reduction in head injuries statistic is still often put forward by the mandatory helmet lobby.

The reason for the error was that the statistics were taken in the US in the 1990s, at a time when only the affluent would buy cycle helmets as they were an expensive lifestyle accessory. So, when you take emergency room stats - where the recipient of care has to pay or have good health insurance - the more affluent would pop in for a check up following a minor accident, the less well off (who would also be far less likely to wear a helmet) would only go along if there were serious injuries. Hence helmet wearers in that study had less serious injuries - but actually what the study showed was that people who could easily afford to pay for medical care would go to the doctor for more trivial reasons. Very little to do with helmet wearing.

In the whole country situation in Australia, where helmet wearing became mandatory and heavily enforced, whilst overall injuries went down (due to reduced numbers of cyclists), the proportion of serious injuries per cyclist went up - possibly due to the remaining cyclists being those who do more miles, or ride in heavier traffic rather than leisure, or risk-compensation, or any number of other reasons. Certainly the claimed percentage reduction in serious head injuries never showed itself. A full population result like that is far more compelling than limited studies that can easily have inadvertent mistakes made (like the TR&T one) or have researcher bias.
Yes. The mandatory helmets laws in Australia and New Zealand did decrease the number of injuries, but only because far less people cycled. It looks like it did almost nothing to individual safety. Some (rather rough and speculative) calculations said it killed more people due to loss of healthy lifestyles...

The only thing that's clear is that having good cycle infrastructure and well behaved drivers is many times more effective at improving cyclist safety than helmets or hi-vis.

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