Helmet Wankers

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Tom Kunich, Feb 2, 2004.

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  1. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "frkrygow" <"frkrygow"@omitcc.ysu.edu> says...
    > David Kerber wrote:
    >
    > > For hard shell, I was also thinking of the ones BMX riders wear. I don't remember ever seeing a
    > > bare polystyrene helmet. The slick outer covering on current helmet designs seems unlikely to
    > > "catch" on pavement unless some kind of object (sewer grate, curb edge, car mirror?) grabs one
    > > of the ventilation holes.
    >
    > I'm not convinced.

    I'm not either, but that's my gut feeling. IMO it certainly merits some research.

    > First, I have seen bare polystyrene helmets. They were popular in the mid '80s, as I recall. Some
    > were sold with gossamer-thin fabric coverings, claimed to hold the helmet pieces together if it
    > shattered. Worries of neck injuries took them off the market, and at least some helmet promoters
    > began saying you should buy a new one if that's what you had.

    Makes sense to me.

    > Today's helmets are mostly "microshell" - a thin (0.003") vacuum-formed plastic covering taking
    > the place of the gossamer fabric or the hard shell. Less weight & less expense than a hard shell.
    >
    > But will 0.003" of relatively soft plastic keep the helmet from "catching" on the hard, rough-
    > textured asphalt? Perhaps it might help a tiny bit, but I doubt it helps much.

    Obviously depends on the characteristics of the plastic. If it's tear-resistant enough, it should do
    the job, since it is certainly slick enough to slide if it stays intact.

    ....

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

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  2. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 19:23:51 -0800, Benjamin Lewis
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Rick Onanian wrote:
    >> Don't tell somebody on a bicycling newsfroup
    > ^^^^^^^^^ Okay, you have to do something about this habit of
    > yours... Or maybe not -- I get a giggle out of it ever time I
    > see it. Ah, simple pleasures.

    I'm glad it works on somebody, anyway. :)
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  3. Dane Jackson

    Dane Jackson Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? <[email protected]> wrote:
    > On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 03:19:40 GMT, Dane Jackson <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > <[email protected]>:

    >> no-one who actually posts to these threads is likely to change their minds. If they've worked up
    >> enough of an opinion to post, more than likely they've already drunk the kool-aid. The people's
    >> minds you are influencing are the innocent^Wuninvolved lurking bystanders.

    > A valid point - but are you *absolutely sure* you want to give the helmet activists among us this
    > encouragement? ;-)

    I somehow doubt you need much encouragement...

    --
    Dane Jackson - z u v e m b i @ u n i x b i g o t s . o r g Modern art is what happens when painters
    stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea. -- John Ciardi
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Apparently if a helmet breaks this
    >> >is an indication that it has moved from plastic deformation to brittle failure, a mode in which
    >> >it absorbs virtually no energy. So all those cracked helmets which "saved people's lives"
    >> >actually simply failed!
    >

    This "conclusion" conveniently ignores the energy expended during the plastic deformation
    phase prior to the breakup. The aim would be to absorb as much energy as possible b4 breakup -
    if the energy level exceeds that of course it WILL break. It has still reduced the impact
    energy on the head.

    One might as well suggest that since your suspension "bottoms out" on really big bumps once in a
    while, you might as well have no suspension at all.....

    I used to avoid wearing a helmet, but my intelligence finally overtook my ego.
     
  5. Frkrygow

    Frkrygow Guest

    W K wrote:

    >... there is a far less friction between shell/road and head/road.

    Really?

    I'd have assumed the opposite. Anybody got any data?

    --
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, omit what's between "at" and "cc"]

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  6. Frkrygow

    Frkrygow Guest

    Steve wrote:

    > I used to avoid wearing a helmet, but my intelligence finally overtook my ego.

    If it was mere ego that somehow made you not wear one, that may not have been intelligent.

    OTOH, it's equally possible your decision to wear one wasn't intelligent.

    Which is fine, I suppose. Intelligence isn't the only reason to select headwear, or lack of same.
    Style, physical comfort, religious feelings, tradition & custom are some other possibilities.

    But be aware that there are some extremely intelligent people who have rational reasons for not
    wearing helmets.

    Interesting article about intelligent people and motorcycle helmets:

    http://www.forbes.com/fyi/99/0503/041.htm

    --
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, omit what's between "at" and "cc"]
     
  7. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "Q." <LostVideos-AT-hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Benjamin Lewis" <[email protected]>
    >
    > > I was converted from a mostly "helmets are a good idea" point of view to
    a
    > > "they probably do little or no good and may do harm" point of view (although I was always
    > > against MHLs).
    >
    > I'd like to second that. That is exactly what happened to me.
    >
    > C.Q.C.

    Chiming in with a "Me too"

    Pete
     
  8. Peter Keller

    Peter Keller Guest

    On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 05:25:52 +0000, Pete wrote:

    >
    > "Q." <LostVideos-AT-hotmail.com> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >>
    >> "Benjamin Lewis" <[email protected]>
    >>
    >> > I was converted from a mostly "helmets are a good idea" point of view to
    > a
    >> > "they probably do little or no good and may do harm" point of view (although I was always
    >> > against MHLs).
    >>
    >> I'd like to second that. That is exactly what happened to me.
    >>
    >> C.Q.C.
    >
    > Chiming in with a "Me too"
    >
    > Pete

    And me too. That is why I put up with 9 years of our (NZ) MHL before, almost by accident, starting
    to read some statistics. It is amazing what yu might find when you try and look for the truth! Now I
    am a member of http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cyclinghelth/ which is trying (without any success so
    far) to get this damaging and harmful law repealed. Peter

    --
    This transmission is certified free of viruses as no Microsoft products were used in its preparation
    or propagation.
     
  9. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "frkrygow" <"frkrygow"@omitcc.ysu.edu> says...
    > W K wrote:
    >
    > >... there is a far less friction between shell/road and head/road.
    >
    > Really?
    >
    > I'd have assumed the opposite. Anybody got any data?

    I have seen it, but can't recall just where. Remember they're talking about a helmet with a shell,
    not a bare polystyrene or cloth- covered one.

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  10. Burt

    Burt Guest

  11. Ian Smith

    Ian Smith Guest

    On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 13:01:44 +1100, Steve <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >> >Apparently if a helmet breaks this is an indication that it has moved from plastic deformation
    > >> >to brittle failure, a mode in which it absorbs virtually no energy. So all those cracked
    > >> >helmets which "saved people's lives" actually simply failed!
    > >
    >
    > This "conclusion" conveniently ignores the energy expended during the plastic deformation phase
    > prior to the breakup. The aim would be to absorb as much energy as possible b4 breakup - if the
    > energy level exceeds that of course it WILL break. It has still reduced the impact energy on
    > the head.

    No, because had there been any energy in _PLASTIC_ deformation, the bits picked up afterwards would
    be crushed, and the the anecdotes typically describe helmets cracked _without_ significant plastic
    distortion.

    regards, Ian SMith
    --
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  12. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "frkrygow" <"frkrygow"@omitcc.ysu.edu> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > W K wrote:
    >
    > >... there is a far less friction between shell/road and head/road.
    >
    > Really?
    >
    > I'd have assumed the opposite. Anybody got any data?

    Just as a memory - Specialized ran some tests in which they intended to show that their new helmets
    with the plastic shell over the foam reduced the friction between helmet and road. There had been
    some complaints that the older foam-only helmets would stick to the road and cause broken necks.

    They set up some pretty good experiments in which various types of helmets were used and they struck
    the ground at many angles to get the real effects of what was happening.

    As it turned out, they found out exactly nothing. At some angles the foam-only would stick and at
    others the plastic cover would stick in the same manner. There didn't seem to be any simply solution
    to the problem and they scrapped the test results or at least didn't publish them.

    The way that a head is constructed it doesn't stick at all on reasonably flat surfaces such as a
    road but it abraids like crazy.

    Other "studies" about helmet effectiveness were extremely misleading. Very often if you read the
    conclusions it would say that helmets showed some positive effect. But when you went into the text
    of the study you'd discover that in fact the helmets almost ALWAYS had negative effects. If you read
    the Seattle study it was also shocking - the entire statistical base was self-selected!

    One really serious omission was in a test on helmets to observe the results of overheating from
    wearing a helmet. In the conclusions they stated that the data was inconclusive but tended to
    disprove any ill effects via heating for helmet wearers. But if you read the study in its entirety
    it was shocking. EVERY person tested showed a performance drop and increased heart levels from
    wearing a helmet. Guess who paid for that study? Right, a helmet manufacturer. Which part do you
    suppose they used for advertising?

    The long and the short of it is that almost all of the "scientific" studies were compromised.
    But what matters it since statistical studies in real life have shown exactly what honest
    scientific analysis would show - that a helmet offers so little energy absorption that it would
    actually be a surprise if it were effective in the sort of accidents in which people are
    seriously injured or killed.

    Wear a helmet if you like, but don't pretend that it offers you any protection beyond what a nice
    wooly cap might.
     
  13. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "Steve" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Apparently if a helmet breaks this
    > >> >is an indication that it has moved from plastic deformation to brittle failure, a mode in
    > >> >which it absorbs virtually no energy. So all those cracked helmets which "saved people's
    > >> >lives" actually simply failed!
    >
    > This "conclusion" conveniently ignores the energy expended during the plastic deformation phase
    > prior to the breakup.

    Maybe you missed the part above where it said "brittle failure, a mode in which it absorbs virtually
    no energy." If so you will note that breaking a helmet doesn't absorb very much energy. This is a
    COMMON mode of helmet failure and contrary to your visualization, it doesn't absorb very much energy
    BEFORE it starts to break up.

    Think about this - when a helmet is working under perfect conditions it hardly works at all.
    Reducing it's ability by 60 or 70 percent sure as hell isn't going to improve matters even when you
    do mention that it is better than nothing.

    > I used to avoid wearing a helmet, but my intelligence finally overtook my ego.

    It ain't a matter of ego. I suggest that you're the one exhibiting ego if you think that your choice
    to wear a helmet is any better, intelligent or more effective than the guy who chooses otherwise.

    That's the whole point here. Maybe there's some small collection of accident types in which helmets
    offer an effective solution to saving your head from getting knocked around. But there is pretty
    obviously another spectrum of accidents in which wearing a helmet leads to more accidents, more
    serious accidents or redirects one type of accident into another type of accident in which a person
    is injured or killed. The statistics are pretty plain that helmet wearing doesn't change the numbers
    or severity of head injuries.
     
  14. > That's the whole point here. Maybe there's some small collection of accident types in which
    > helmets offer an effective solution to saving your head from getting knocked around.

    A large collection - they'll be oodles and scroodles of minor knocks and headbutts that the helmet
    helps with. Only problem is that these don't produce KSIs, which is what the legislation is seeking
    to prevent.

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  15. "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Nick Maclaren" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > Helmets almost certainly reduce trivial head injuries in all classes of cyclist - i.e. mere
    > > bruises, cuts and so on. Yes, some of the cuts may have needed hospital treatment, but they
    > > are STILL trivial.
    > >
    > > Helmets almost certainly make a negligible difference to the incidence of brain damage
    > > following an accident for normal cyclists, and the data are not good enough to tell whether
    > > the difference is positive or negative.
    > >
    > > Helmets probably help with extreme cycling - crashes at speeds above 30 MPH, people who ride
    > > over broken rock and so on - the evidence is very scanty and hence inconclusive, but is at
    > > least fairly consistent.
    > >
    > > Mandatory and even semi-mandatory helmet wearing reduces the number of normal cyclists
    > > significantly, especially those that are using cycling as a form of transport rather than
    > > recreation. And 'significantly' is of the order of tens of percent.
    > >
    > > The rest is politics, dogma and so on.
    >
    >
    >
    > On the face of it it's hard to add anything to that, other than that I believe the evidence
    > indicates that cyclists wearing helmets have a
    greater
    > propensity to risk-taking (risk compensation).
    >
    > The helmet issue also affects the perception of the risk of cycling by drivers, such that they are
    > likely to attribute the death of a cyclist wrongly as the consequence of cycling being a dangerous
    > activity, when the reality is that it's driving that's dangerous. What a horrible sentence.
    I
    > think you know what I mean, though.
    >
    > --
    > Guy
    > ===
    >
    > WARNING: may contain traces of irony. Contents may settle after posting.
    > http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
    >

    Could risk compensation apply to the motorist rather than the cyclist? If a driver sees you wearing
    a helmet is he/she likely to take greater risks with your safety? It would certainly be a study
    worth doing.

    Julia
     
  16. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "Mark Thompson" <[email protected] (change warm for hot)>
    wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > That's the whole point here. Maybe there's some small collection of
    accident
    > > types in which helmets offer an effective solution to saving your head
    from
    > > getting knocked around.
    >
    > A large collection - they'll be oodles and scroodles of minor knocks and headbutts that the helmet
    > helps with. Only problem is that these don't
    produce
    > KSIs, which is what the legislation is seeking to prevent.

    I didn't want to bring it up but one of the guys in the club had a minor accident in which he went
    to turn right because he thought the guy he was riding next to was going to turn right. Then clashed
    and he fell at slow speed and fell into a fence.

    He was just arguing with me that the helmet saved his life when the other guy that was there
    explained to me that our friend's helmet caught in a cyclone fence and that broke his neck The
    witness is an person with accident experience. I forget whether he is a fireman or cop.

    It all ends happily since our member was in a halo for several months and has apparently recovered
    without complication.

    I doubt he would have broken his neck had he not been wearing a helmet.

    I think you are probably correct that a helmet can prevent oogles of very minor injuries and if
    that is your intent then you are thinking well. But let's remember that you ass is grass helmet or
    no in a bad accident. If your helmet encourages you to ride more dangeously than you would without
    DON'T WEAR IT.
     
  17. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "the Baker-Bealls" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Could risk compensation apply to the motorist rather than the cyclist? If
    a
    > driver sees you wearing a helmet is he/she likely to take greater risks
    with
    > your safety? It would certainly be a study worth doing.

    Motorists seem to be at fault about half the time regardless of any other variable if I've read the
    reports correctly.
     
  18. Peter Keller

    Peter Keller Guest

    On Thu, 12 Feb 2004 02:00:31 +0000, Tom Kunich wrote:

    > "the Baker-Bealls" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >>
    >> Could risk compensation apply to the motorist rather than the cyclist? If
    > a
    >> driver sees you wearing a helmet is he/she likely to take greater risks
    > with
    >> your safety? It would certainly be a study worth doing.
    >
    > Motorists seem to be at fault about half the time regardless of any other variable if I've read
    > the reports correctly.

    Most reports I have read put the motorist at fault in about 68% of the accidents, the bicyclist in
    about 24%, and the rest undetermined or both equally. I love the European idea where, when there is
    an accident involving a bicyclist and a motorist, negotiations start off from the standpoint that
    the motorist is at fault. Perhaps this is one reason why bicycle accident and death rates there are
    only 1/3 - 1/7 those in NZ (I believe USA has similar accident rates to NZ), despite no compulsion
    to wear helmets. Peter

    --
    This transmission is certified free of viruses as no Microsoft products were used in its preparation
    or propagation.
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Tom Kunich wrote in message ...
    >"Steve" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    >syd.cdn.telstra.com.au...
    >> Apparently if a helmet breaks this
    >> >> >is an indication that it has moved from plastic deformation to
    brittle
    >> >> >failure, a mode in which it absorbs virtually no energy. So all
    those
    >> >> >cracked helmets which "saved people's lives" actually simply failed!
    >>
    >> This "conclusion" conveniently ignores the energy expended during the plastic deformation phase
    >> prior to the breakup.
    >
    >Maybe you missed the part above where it said "brittle failure, a mode in which it absorbs
    >virtually no energy." If so you will note that breaking a helmet doesn't absorb very much energy.
    >This is a COMMON mode of helmet failure and contrary to your visualization, it doesn't absorb very
    >much energy BEFORE it starts to break up.
    >
    Actually I noticed that it said "...has moved from plastic deformation to brittle...." so I took it
    that both phases occured, buthe second brittle phase didn't absorb much energy.
    >Think about this - when a helmet is working under perfect conditions it hardly works at all.
    >Reducing it's ability by 60 or 70 percent sure as hell isn't going to improve matters even when you
    >do mention that it is better than nothing.
    >
    >> I used to avoid wearing a helmet, but my intelligence finally overtook my ego.
    >
    >It ain't a matter of ego. I suggest that you're the one exhibiting ego if you think that your
    >choice to wear a helmet is any better, intelligent or more effective than the guy who chooses
    >otherwise.
    >
    Interesting thought. I suppose ego is what drives people to bother with posting :) That was my
    personal feeling about why I started wearing a helmet.

    >That's the whole point here. Maybe there's some small collection of
    accident
    >types in which helmets offer an effective solution to saving your head from getting knocked around.
    >But there is pretty obviously another spectrum of accidents in which wearing a helmet leads to more
    >accidents, more serious accidents or redirects one type of accident into another type of accident
    in
    >which a person is injured or killed. The statistics are pretty plain that helmet wearing doesn't
    >change the numbers or severity of head injuries.
    >
    That's surprising - & interesting - have you got some studies/references we can peruse? ta Steve
     
  20. Burt

    Burt Guest

    "the Baker-Bealls" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > Could risk compensation apply to the motorist rather than the cyclist? If
    a
    > driver sees you wearing a helmet is he/she likely to take greater risks
    with
    > your safety? It would certainly be a study worth doing.
    >
    > Julia
    >

    I have certainly read something which supports this. CTC member riding in the US wrote that many
    drivers gave them more room than helmeted riders, with some taking extreme measures to avoid them.
     
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