First Helmet : jury is out.

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Walter Mitty, May 10, 2004.

  1. Walter Mitty

    Walter Mitty Guest

    Hmm. Just bought a cycling helmet for my last short tour which
    encompassed quite a bit of city cycling. Never wore one before : don't
    think I will again.

    The added noise and irritation that the helment causes more than offsets
    the "possible" help it gives in case of a spill by deducting from my
    usual spacial awareness.

    I don't know. I still refuse to believe that the helmet won't help in a
    spill, but wonder if the %chance of it helping offsets the % increase
    in likelihood of an accident due to lower awareness levels.
     
    Tags:


  2. Peter Keller

    Peter Keller Guest

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 10:32:56 +0200, Walter Mitty wrote:

    >
    > Hmm. Just bought a cycling helmet for my last short tour which
    > encompassed quite a bit of city cycling. Never wore one before : don't
    > think I will again.
    >
    > The added noise and irritation that the helment causes more than offsets
    > the "possible" help it gives in case of a spill by deducting from my
    > usual spacial awareness.
    >
    > I don't know. I still refuse to believe that the helmet won't help in a
    > spill, but wonder if the %chance of it helping offsets the % increase
    > in likelihood of an accident due to lower awareness levels.


    When our Mandatory Helmet Law came in in 1994 I complied, even though I
    was dubious. (Very few data then, just a lot of handwringing and 'it will
    save costs in the long run --') I also thought the helmet would detract
    from road and traffic awareness, hearing etc. I found actually that my
    hearing was enhanced, so that I often thought a car was behind me where
    there wasn't one. (Perhaps "distorted" is a better word).
    Statistics about whether helmets help in the overall scheme of things seem
    to be very confused and contradictory, which is probably just another
    way of saying that helmets have a very minor part to play in overall
    safety of bicycling. However, they make fertile fodder for yet another
    "Helmet war"!!! And you are right, they are very uncomfortable and
    irritating.
    So I would like the mandatory law repealed and leave it up to the
    individual, and encourage measures for bicycling safety which really work.

    Peter

    --
    This transmission is certified free of viruses as no Microsoft products
    were used in its preparation or propagation.
     
  3. My first helmet , in 1982, was bulky and un-comfortable. So it spent
    all of its time on the top shelf in the closet.
    One afternoon in 1987 I'm out tearing around the hilly part of my
    favorite loop when my front tire hit a small rock. This upset the
    bike just enough to spill me over to the side at 18 mph. I landed on
    my head, followed by elbow, shoulder, and thigh. The guys that helped
    me out were alarmed at the amount of blood coming from my head and my
    in-coherence.
    Seems that when my head hit the pavement, my hair tore some skin away
    from my scalp, and the ER doc described "darning" it back together
    with sutures.
    Funny how the memory of getting gravel picked out of my head , along
    with other details is still vivid 17 years later.
    My current helmet is light and far more comfortable than was available
    22 years ago. I don't leave home without it.
    When I wear a winter hat under it (on those cooold rides!) I lose
    quite a bit of my awareness, otherwise I don't even notice it.
    Derek
     
  4. Roger Zoul

    Roger Zoul Guest

    Walter Mitty wrote:
    :: Hmm. Just bought a cycling helmet for my last short tour which
    :: encompassed quite a bit of city cycling. Never wore one before :
    :: don't think I will again.
    ::
    :: The added noise and irritation that the helment causes more than
    :: offsets the "possible" help it gives in case of a spill by deducting
    :: from my usual spacial awareness.

    What noise and irritation? Regardless of any merits about safety, I find my
    helmet comfortable. If I ride without it, I feel as though I'm not wearing
    my seatbelt.

    ::
    :: I don't know. I still refuse to believe that the helmet won't help
    :: in a spill, but wonder if the %chance of it helping offsets the %
    :: increase in likelihood of an accident due to lower awareness levels.

    Surely you can imagine the sitaution in a spill were a helmet might help.
    Even if it won't save my life in a full head collision with the road, I'll
    take what little protection it does offer. Given all the riding I plan to
    do my options seem limited. 1) come away dead, 2) come away extremely messed
    up, 3) come away with some skin removed and some stuff broken. So if my
    helmet helps with situation 3, I'll be happy. In either of the other two
    options, the helmet thing will be a moot point.

    Plus, it looks cool....bicycle peacock thing.....IMO. :)
     
  5. Gooserider

    Gooserider Guest

    "Walter Mitty" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > Hmm. Just bought a cycling helmet for my last short tour which
    > encompassed quite a bit of city cycling. Never wore one before : don't
    > think I will again.
    >

    Geez, now you did it. :)
     
  6. Walter Mitty

    Walter Mitty Guest

    Peter Keller wrote:

    >
    > When our Mandatory Helmet Law came in in 1994 I complied, even though I
    > was dubious. (Very few data then, just a lot of handwringing and 'it will
    > save costs in the long run --') I also thought the helmet would detract
    > from road and traffic awareness, hearing etc. I found actually that my
    > hearing was enhanced, so that I often thought a car was behind me where
    > there wasn't one. (Perhaps "distorted" is a better word).


    Most certainly is distorted!
     
  7. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    says...
    >
    > Hmm. Just bought a cycling helmet for my last short tour which
    > encompassed quite a bit of city cycling. Never wore one before : don't
    > think I will again.
    >
    > The added noise and irritation that the helment causes more than offsets
    > the "possible" help it gives in case of a spill by deducting from my
    > usual spacial awareness.
    >
    > I don't know. I still refuse to believe that the helmet won't help in a
    > spill, but wonder if the %chance of it helping offsets the % increase
    > in likelihood of an accident due to lower awareness levels.


    Maybe for some people; I think the one I have does make a little more
    wind noise than riding without it. I wear mine all the time, but have
    become less of an advocate than I used to be.

    --
    Remove the ns_ from if replying by e-mail (but keep posts in the
    newsgroups if possible).
     
  8. Pbwalther

    Pbwalther Guest

    >The added noise and irritation that the helment causes more than offsets
    >the "possible" help it gives in case of a spill by deducting from my
    >usual spacial awareness.
    >


    I don't seem to have that problem. Of course, after wearing my helmet so
    routinely, I barely notice it even with it on.
     
  9. maxo

    maxo Guest

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 10:32:56 +0200, Walter Mitty wrote:

    >
    > Hmm. Just bought a cycling helmet for my last short tour which
    > encompassed quite a bit of city cycling. Never wore one before : don't
    > think I will again.
    >
    > The added noise and irritation that the helment causes more than offsets
    > the "possible" help it gives in case of a spill by deducting from my
    > usual spacial awareness.
    >
    > I don't know. I still refuse to believe that the helmet won't help in a
    > spill, but wonder if the %chance of it helping offsets the % increase
    > in likelihood of an accident due to lower awareness levels.


    I've walked away from two accidents because of cheap, but effective $20
    Bell helmets, and I've also had a hundred facial stitches and dental
    reconstruction because I didn't wear one...

    Fit is everything, I've got a huge melon and the cheap Bells actually fit
    me the best. I don't even feel like I'm wearing anything, and they keep
    the rain off of my glasses, the sun off of my shaved skull, and best of
    all redirect the sweat from my eyes.

    Fit fit fit! :) You really shouldn't be buggered by the thing, and it
    should "disappear" after a couple minutes of use. Make sure it sits low
    enough in front and you don't wear it like a bloody yarmulke. ;)

    I do think those old "leather hairnets" looked a hell of a lot cooler
    though!


    :D


    It's your choice certainly--I often do go helmetless for a short jaunts
    and I'm aware of the risks, but do try out a few more lids.

    btw, I'm not really accident prone--just put in a lot of urban miles and
    a lot of night miles (with full lights, but still...)
     
  10. Badger_South

    Badger_South Guest

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 10:32:56 +0200, Walter Mitty <[email protected]>
    wrote:
    >
    >I don't know. I still refuse to believe that the helmet won't help in a
    >spill, but wonder if the %chance of it helping offsets the % increase
    >in likelihood of an accident due to lower awareness levels.


    I wear my bike helmet for one reason only. It's black, and it seems to
    scare the peds on the bike trail when I come zipping by. (I'm thinking of
    adding viking horns).

    -B
     
  11. R15757

    R15757 Guest

    maxo wrote in part:

    << ...and I've also had a hundred facial stitches and dental
    reconstruction because I didn't wear one... >>


    Only if your helmet is a full-face model, unfortunately. Even Thompson, Rivara,
    Thompson admit that regular bicycle helmets do not prevent or reduce severity
    of common facial injuries.

    Robert
     
  12. maxo

    maxo Guest

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 14:54:29 +0000, R15757 wrote:

    > maxo wrote in part:
    >
    > << ...and I've also had a hundred facial stitches and dental
    > reconstruction because I didn't wear one... >>
    >
    >
    > Only if your helmet is a full-face model, unfortunately. Even Thompson, Rivara,
    > Thompson admit that regular bicycle helmets do not prevent or reduce severity
    > of common facial injuries.
    >
    > Robert


    It would have prevented most of my forehead injuries, nose, but perhaps
    not the teeth--it was a sliding forward on the pavement type impact, vs.
    a full face plant. Would've prevented the concussion, too. I was an
    unusual wreck: a huge SUV drove straight into the back of me and sent me
    flying. Wierd thing is though: the bike survived with only torn tape.
    Those old Univegas are tough! ;)

    On the moto, I always wear the full face--I switched when a pal walked
    away after a seemingly deathly wreck wearing hers and said: it's pretty
    cool to see the road fly by through the visor :)

    Now if I could only get shorts in a lycra/leather blend...
     
  13. Doug Huffman

    Doug Huffman Guest

    | It would have| It would have| It would have| It would have| It would have|
    It would have| It would have| It would have| It would have| It would have|
    It would have| It would have| It would have| It would have| It would have

    The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.


    "maxo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]
    | On Mon, 10 May 2004 14:54:29 +0000, R15757 wrote:
    |
    | > maxo wrote in part:
    | >
    | > << ...and I've also had a hundred facial stitches and dental
    | > reconstruction because I didn't wear one... >>
    | >
    | >
    | > Only if your helmet is a full-face model, unfortunately. Even Thompson,
    Rivara,
    | > Thompson admit that regular bicycle helmets do not prevent or reduce
    severity
    | > of common facial injuries.
    | >
    | > Robert
    |
    | It would have prevented most of my forehead injuries, nose, but perhaps
    | not the teeth--it was a sliding forward on the pavement type impact, vs.
    | a full face plant. Would've prevented the concussion, too. I was an
    | unusual wreck: a huge SUV drove straight into the back of me and sent me
    | flying. Wierd thing is though: the bike survived with only torn tape.
    | Those old Univegas are tough! ;)
    |
    | On the moto, I always wear the full face--I switched when a pal walked
    | away after a seemingly deathly wreck wearing hers and said: it's pretty
    | cool to see the road fly by through the visor :)
    |
    | Now if I could only get shorts in a lycra/leather blend...
    |
     
  14. maxo

    maxo Guest

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 12:19:36 -0400, Doug Huffman wrote:

    >
    > | It would have| It would have| It would have| It would have| It would have|
    > It would have| It would have| It would have| It would have| It would have|
    > It would have| It would have| It would have| It would have| It would have
    >
    > The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.


    What the fuck is your problem?

    Go back to your Monty Python box set and leave us alone.
     
  15. Q.

    Q. Guest

    "Roger Zoul" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    <snip>
    > :: The added noise and irritation that the helment causes more than
    > :: offsets the "possible" help it gives in case of a spill by deducting
    > :: from my usual spacial awareness.
    >
    > What noise and irritation? Regardless of any merits about safety, I find

    my
    > helmet comfortable. If I ride without it, I feel as though I'm not

    wearing
    > my seatbelt.


    Interesting ... I've heard similar statements before. I wonder if there is
    a "security blanket" effect associated with helmets. I can see how wearing
    a "magic foam hat" fundamentally wouldn't be any different than a cave man
    wearing a talisman around his neck while going into battle.

    C.Q.C.
     
  16. Roger Zoul

    Roger Zoul Guest

    Q. wrote:
    :: "Roger Zoul" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    :: news:[email protected]
    :: <snip>
    ::::: The added noise and irritation that the helment causes more than
    ::::: offsets the "possible" help it gives in case of a spill by
    ::::: deducting from my usual spacial awareness.
    :::
    ::: What noise and irritation? Regardless of any merits about safety,
    ::: I find my helmet comfortable. If I ride without it, I feel as
    ::: though I'm not wearing my seatbelt.
    ::
    :: Interesting ... I've heard similar statements before. I wonder if
    :: there is a "security blanket" effect associated with helmets. I can
    :: see how wearing a "magic foam hat" fundamentally wouldn't be any
    :: different than a cave man wearing a talisman around his neck while
    :: going into battle.

    Well, seatbelts can save lives, even if helmets mostly don't.
     
  17. On Mon, 10 May 2004 06:21:38 -0400, "Roger Zoul"
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >What noise and irritation? Regardless of any merits about safety, I find my
    >helmet comfortable.


    I used to think the same until I started riding without more of the
    time and found out just how much cooler and more comfortable my head
    is. Especially when toiling up long hills.

    >If I ride without it, I feel as though I'm not wearing
    >my seatbelt.


    Risk compensation theory proved once again :)

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  18. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    Walter Mitty <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Hmm. Just bought a cycling helmet for my last short tour which
    > encompassed quite a bit of city cycling. Never wore one before : don't
    > think I will again.
    >
    > The added noise and irritation that the helment causes more than offsets
    > the "possible" help it gives in case of a spill by deducting from my
    > usual spacial awareness.


    I agree with your cost/benefit analysis, however as a regular
    motorcyclist I will say this:

    You can make peace with your helmet if it is important to you to do
    so. You will have to meddle with it to obtain a scrupulously thorough
    fit, even to the point of using the back of a spoon to squish your
    helmet where it squishes you. And you will have to wear it, a lot,
    until you are no longer annoyed by its particular sensory inputs.

    I say this as a person who does not wear a helmet when riding a
    bicycle unless in jest, and who often went without a motorcycle helmet
    whan that was an option. I'm not fond of helmets, but I can attest
    that they do not have to spoil the pleasure of riding if you are
    willing to fit them properly and get used to them.

    Chalo Colina
     
  19. On Mon, 10 May 2004 13:26:53 GMT, maxo <[email protected]> wrote in
    message <[email protected]>:

    >I've walked away from two accidents because of cheap, but effective $20
    >Bell helmets, and I've also had a hundred facial stitches and dental
    >reconstruction because I didn't wear one...


    I've walked away from four accidents with varying degrees of head
    injury. The two worst, one requiring sutures and one an overnight
    stay in hospital and extensive facial bruising, were due to a low
    doorway in an old mill, and an assault in a chilren's playground,
    respectively. The ones where bikes were involved, my life was
    presumably saved by my protective headgear, in the usual fashion. In
    one case the headgear in question was a knitted acrylic balaclava, in
    the other it was one of those old-fashioned leather racing helmets
    (the bunch of bananas style) which of course are completely
    ineffective except in preventing road rash on the head.

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  20. curt

    curt Guest

    I don't even know if helmets are a law in Pennsylvania, but I wear one. I
    don't know why, but if I were to ride a motorcycle, I probably wouldn't, but
    my bicycle I wear one. Just seems too dangerous in the city. I found you
    need to try on a bunch of helmets to get one that is very comfortable. It
    is not always the most expensive one. I am currently riding with an old
    Giro from the 80's, but am looking at a new one. Many of the expensive ones
    I didn't like. That is a good thing.

    Curt

    "Walter Mitty" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > Hmm. Just bought a cycling helmet for my last short tour which
    > encompassed quite a bit of city cycling. Never wore one before : don't
    > think I will again.
    >
    > The added noise and irritation that the helment causes more than offsets
    > the "possible" help it gives in case of a spill by deducting from my
    > usual spacial awareness.
    >
    > I don't know. I still refuse to believe that the helmet won't help in a
    > spill, but wonder if the %chance of it helping offsets the % increase
    > in likelihood of an accident due to lower awareness levels.
     
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