helmets and rearview mirrors

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Esmail Bonakdar, Apr 14, 2003.

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  1. Hello all

    For the longest time I have held on to my hardshell BELL helmet, primarily because it offers a nice
    safe and sturdy way to attach a rear-view mirror.

    Last time I checked (I admit it's been a while), the newer helmets didn't seem to allow rear-view
    mirrors to be attached in a nice stable way - is that still the case? I saw velcro and other fairly
    "wobbly" arrangements.

    I have really come to depend on my helmet mirror over these many years, but this helmet is really
    not safe any more so I'd like to get a new one, but one where I can mount a mirror that won't fall
    off or get misadjusted all the time.

    Can anyone share their experiences and/or make some recommendations?

    Thanks a lot.

    Esmail
    ---
    Esmail Bonakdarian - [email protected] - http://www.cs.mercer.edu/bonak 32N 83W
     
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  2. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Esmail Bonakdarian wrote:
    > I have really come to depend on my helmet mirror over these many years, but this helmet is really
    > not safe any more so I'd like to get a new one, but one where I can mount a mirror that won't fall
    > off or get misadjusted all the time.

    I'm still using my Bell helmet from July 1975 (mail order from Bell, when it was new). It serves its
    original function very well, namely keeping my head cool by keeping the sun off it.

    It's vastly improved by wearing a baseball cap under it (for the visor, a multipurpose sun rain and
    winter wind deflector). In addition it plugs the holes so the bugs can't get tangled in your hair.
    Cooling doesn't depend on holes.

    It's also vastly improved by substituting a maxipad for the forehead pad - no more bumps draining
    the old sponge into your eyes. Put it inside the baseball cap.

    I never got into mirrors. A guy at work had a weekly story about how his mirror saved his life in
    traffic - evidently he's able to see motorists coming and swerve out of the way just in time.
    Somehow it never happened to me, not to say he's paranoid or anything.
    --
    Ron Hardin [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  3. If you can find it, get the "Third Eye Pro". It has a large adhesive pad that supposably sticks to
    the side of any helmet.

    Don't rely on their adhesive, though. Get some mild solvent and wash it off, then attach it with
    Superglue gel. Once you have the position right, that is! :-3)

    Another nice thing about this model is the extra large mirror (relative to other brands), and the
    fact the just about every part can be disassembled if it breaks and you can send to Third Eye for
    replacement parts. Much less expensive than a new mirror.

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  4. Hi Chris,

    Chris Zacho The Wheelman wrote:
    >
    > If you can find it, get the "Third Eye Pro". It has a large adhesive pad that supposably sticks to
    > the side of any helmet.

    I'll check it out. My current mirros is an Third Eye too, it has a little sort of screw that lets me
    tighten it around the shell.

    But why "if you can find it" .. aren't they being made any more?

    > Don't rely on their adhesive, though. Get some mild solvent and wash it off, then attach it with
    > Superglue gel. Once you have the position right, that is! :-3)

    Sounds good.

    > Another nice thing about this model is the extra large mirror (relative to other brands), and the
    > fact the just about every part can be disassembled if it breaks and you can send to Third Eye for
    > replacement parts. Much less expensive than a new mirror.

    :) .. that's true .. and I have a whole bunch of them around .. I didn't
    know you could get them replaced like that.

    Thanks, Esmail
    ---
    Esmail Bonakdarian - [email protected] - http://www.cs.mercer.edu/bonak 32N 83W
     
  5. Ron Hardin wrote:
    >
    >
    > I'm still using my Bell helmet from July 1975 (mail order from Bell, when it was new). It serves
    > its original function very well, namely keeping my head cool by keeping the sun off it.

    :)

    Well, I think those are all good, but really the main purpose (for me at least) is to help me
    minimize head injury should I ever be in an accident. (As a matter of fact I was once hit by a car
    where the helmet I was wearing at the time took a lot of the impact - I shudder to think of the
    consequences had I not been wearing it).

    However, after all these years the styrofoam (?) material is supposed to deteriorate and lose some
    (or all?) of it's properties that make it an absorbent material. If they still made this model, I'd
    get it, but I really feel like it's time to replace it.

    > I never got into mirrors. A guy at work had a weekly story about how his mirror saved his life in
    > traffic - evidently he's able to see motorists coming and swerve out of the way just in time.
    > Somehow it never happened to me, not to say he's paranoid or anything.

    he he .. well, for me it's good as it provides some sort of situational awareness in that I scan for
    traffic behind me without having to turn or twist around.

    Cheers, Esmail
    ---
    Esmail Bonakdarian - [email protected] - http://www.cs.mercer.edu/bonak 32N 83W
     
  6. Buck

    Buck Guest

    > > Don't rely on their adhesive, though. Get some mild solvent and wash it off, then attach it with
    > > Superglue gel. Once you have the position right, that is! :-3)

    Be careful with your glue selection and where you put it. Most superglues will dissolve styrofoam.
    Test out any glue you buy on a styrofoam coffee cup before you get it anywhere near a helmet.

    -Buck
     
  7. Esmail Bonakdarian wrote:
    >
    >
    > However, after all these years the styrofoam (?) material is supposed to deteriorate and lose some
    > (or all?) of it's properties that make it an absorbent material.

    Why do you think that?

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  8. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Mon, 14 Apr 2003 20:53:12 GMT, <[email protected]>, Esmail Bonakdarian
    <[email protected]> inquired about hard shell helmets:

    >Can anyone share their experiences and/or make some recommendations?
    >
    >Thanks a lot.
    >
    >Esmail

    BMX and skate pots are hardshell. They'll do the job. They're often called "bucket style" helmets. I
    wear one but chucked the mirror.
    --
    zk
     
  9. In article <[email protected]>, Buck <j u n k m a i l @ g a l a x y c o
    r p . c o m> wrote:
    >> > Don't rely on their adhesive, though. Get some mild solvent and wash it off, then attach it
    >> > with Superglue gel. Once you have the position right, that is! :-3)
    >
    >Be careful with your glue selection and where you put it. Most superglues will dissolve styrofoam.
    >Test out any glue you buy on a styrofoam coffee cup before you get it anywhere near a helmet.

    But surely the outer shell of the helmet, where you'd be gluing the mirror, isn't usually styrofoam?

    --Bruce Fields
     
  10. Zoot Katz wrote:
    >
    > >Can anyone share their experiences and/or make some recommendations?
    >
    > BMX and skate pots are hardshell. They'll do the job. They're often called "bucket style" helmets.
    > I wear one but chucked the mirror.

    Hi,

    thanks for the suggestions,

    Esmail
    ---
    Esmail Bonakdarian - [email protected] - http://www.cs.mercer.edu/bonak 32N 83W
     
  11. Frank Krygowski wrote:
    >
    > Esmail Bonakdarian wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > However, after all these years the styrofoam (?) material is supposed to deteriorate and lose
    > > some (or all?) of it's properties that make it an absorbent material.
    >
    > Why do you think that?

    Hi Frank,

    My statement is based on what I have been told repeatedly by other cyclists. And friends working in
    bikestores. Not all of them were trying to sell me some helmets :)

    Seems to me I've read this also in the product literature, but I couldn't quote any sources.

    Why, does this not agree with what you know? I thought this was a pretty common knowlegde? Not an
    urban myth, is it? It does feel like the styrofoam has gotten more brittle/harder over the years.

    Safetly is really my primary concern, so if I wear a brain bucket, I'd like it to be as effective
    as possible.

    Cheers, Esmail
    ---
    Esmail Bonakdarian - [email protected] - http://www.cs.mercer.edu/bonak 32N 83W
     
  12. Buck wrote:
    >
    > > > Don't rely on their adhesive, though. Get some mild solvent and wash it off, then attach it
    > > > with Superglue gel. Once you have the position right, that is! :-3)
    >
    > Be careful with your glue selection and where you put it. Most superglues will dissolve styrofoam.
    > Test out any glue you buy on a styrofoam coffee cup before you get it anywhere near a helmet.

    That sounds like a good idea.

    Esmail
    ---
    Esmail Bonakdarian - [email protected] - http://www.cs.mercer.edu/bonak 32N 83W
     
  13. Esmail Bonakdarian wrote:
    >
    > Frank Krygowski wrote:
    > >
    > > Esmail Bonakdarian wrote:
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > However, after all these years the styrofoam (?) material is supposed to deteriorate and lose
    > > > some (or all?) of it's properties that make it an absorbent material.
    > >
    > > Why do you think that?
    >
    > Hi Frank,
    >
    > My statement is based on what I have been told repeatedly by other cyclists. And friends working
    > in bikestores. Not all of them were trying to sell me some helmets :)
    >
    > Seems to me I've read this also in the product literature, but I couldn't quote any sources.
    >
    > Why, does this not agree with what you know? I thought this was a pretty common knowlegde? Not an
    > urban myth, is it? It does feel like the styrofoam has gotten more brittle/harder over the years.

    Except for unusual circumstances, it's almost certainly an urban myth.

    Some helmet manufacturers (Bell, for one) said that you should replace your helmet every three years
    because of possible degradation of the foam. Obviously, they had an economic interest in promoting
    the myth. The myth was picked up by some of the helmet proselytizers, passed around with great
    sincerity, and has now been repeated so often that it's hard to convince people it's false. (This is
    _exactly_ like the myth that helmets prevent 85% of head injuries, BTW.)

    I've found only one mention of an actual test of an ancient helmet. The impact test detected no
    degradation on a helmet that was well over ten years old. And if you think about it, this is
    logical. Assuming you don't store your helmet in the closet with your opened bottles of acetone,
    your helmet actually lives a soft life. Right now it's probably in your basement or closet,
    protected from sunlight.

    Sunlight or other UV will eventually affect styrofoam, but the main mass of the styrofoam is
    shielded from sunlight by the thin plastic shell. Besides, few cyclists ride more than 2500 miles
    per year. Even if you do that and your average speed is only 10 mph, that's just 250 hours per year
    of outdoor exposure (probably much less). It's nothing like the situation for a thin styrofoam
    coffee cup you see sitting in the gutter
    - and those survive for years.

    In any case, the supposed degradation has not been demonstrated by any test. And Bell no longer says
    their helmets will degrade in three years
    - probably on the advice of their lawyers! Instead, they now (last I checked) suggest you replace it
    every three years to take advantage of advances in styling and new design features.

    :) Yeah, right! As someone once posted here, a company manufacturing
    cast iron door stops might say the same thing!

    > Safetly is really my primary concern, so if I wear a brain bucket, I'd like it to be as effective
    > as possible.

    First, if you want it to be "as effective as possible," get the cheapest, heaviest, least-ventilated
    helmet you can find. More expensive helmets actually cut closer to the lower limit of the impact
    standards, in an effort to reduce weight and increase ventilation.

    Second, you'd do well to remember that the protection afforded by the impact standards is very
    slight indeed. Helmets are certified by a test that simulates a disembodied head falling about six
    feet onto a hard surface. The impact speed is about 14 mph, and again, there's no body mass behind
    the headform in the test. In a real crash, the limited protection of a helmet is very easily
    exceeded. And helmets can't be made significantly more effective with present technology, because
    they'd be too uncomfortable to cycle in.

    (It's probably because of this that helmets have made no apparent difference in head injury deaths
    and serious injuries of cyclists in the general population. But that's almost never publicized.)

    Third, please keep in mind that, despite all the hype to the contrary, cycling is NOT especially
    risky regarding serious head injuries. The only comparative data I've been able to find (in years of
    reading & research) said that the risk of serious head injury, per hour, on a bike is almost exactly
    the same as it is inside a car. That's despite seat belts and air bags.

    50% of head injury fatalities happen inside cars. 40% happen in falls around the home. Less than 1%
    happen on bikes. It's not as bad as they'd have you believe.

    Finally, if you do wear a helmet, you'd do well to pretend it's not there. Many researchers believe
    helmets lead people to take risks they wouldn't otherwise take because they feel protected; when a
    crash occurs, they find the protection isn't so significant! Keep telling yourself: "It's only a 14
    mph helmet." It'll make you more careful.

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  14. "Frank Krygowski" <[email protected]> wrote in message .edu... .
    >
    > Some helmet manufacturers (Bell, for one) said that you should replace your helmet every three
    > years because of possible degradation of the foam.

    Frank, who cares what the foam does, the question is do you really want to be seen in a three year
    old helmet? That's one of the first things riders check out when you show up for a group ride, you
    don't want to lose easy points like that in the first minutes of pulling into the parking lot before
    the ride even starts.

    Of course I'm confident enough to know when I can get away with fudging abit on this, the other
    night I went out for a recovery ride and wore a four year old Limar helmet. Now I managed this as
    it's the very same issue as Ullrich wore at team Deutsche Telekom, if you can get a copy of the May
    '98 CycleSport check out the photo of Jan U. on page 14, that's what I looked like the other night.
     
  15. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "J. Bruce Fields" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, Buck <j u n k m a i l @ g a l a x y c
    > o r p . c o m> wrote:
    > >> > Don't rely on their adhesive, though. Get some mild solvent and wash
    it
    > >> > off, then attach it with Superglue gel. Once you have the position right, that is! :-3)
    > >
    > >Be careful with your glue selection and where you put it. Most superglues will dissolve
    > >styrofoam. Test out any glue you buy on a styrofoam coffee
    cup
    > >before you get it anywhere near a helmet.
    >
    > But surely the outer shell of the helmet, where you'd be gluing the mirror, isn't usually
    > styrofoam?

    Depends on the helmet and the mirror. Several helmets I have owned have a hardshell on the upper
    3/4ths, but are bare styrofoam where I would think one would want to mount a mirror.

    -Buck
     
  16. "Fabrizio Mazzoleni" <[email protected]> writes:

    > Frank, who cares what the foam does, the question is do you really want to be seen in a three year
    > old helmet? That's one of the first things riders check out when you show up for a group ride, you
    > don't want to lose easy points like that in the first minutes of pulling into the parking lot
    > before the ride even starts.

    Fab, you are so much my hero for speaking the truth about those critical moments leading up to the
    ride with a new club.

    IMO, the initial entrance is paramount in establishing your position in the paceline, as well as
    what order you will be served in the post-ride bar and/or cafe stop. Besides avoiding steel and
    aluminum, that is. I have two favorite approaches.

    The "well-heeled club mixer" approach should only be deployed on rides where you have a chance to
    shave and bathe before the start. The goal is to appear as experienced, smooth, and perfect as
    possible. You should have a fine sheen of sweat on your freshly shaved legs as you pull into the lot
    (if you ride to the start). If you drive, wash your care the night before, be sure to wax the bike
    rack. Your bike of course will be spotless, with extra attention paid to the chainring and that
    annoying spot between the cassete and the hub (a pack of pipecleaners is in order here). Before
    socializing, ask for the race leader and complete all paper work, being sure to present your ID,
    USCF license and any other paperwork that will indicate the level of expertise you operate at.

    The lacadaisical asskicker approach is my specialty. It is harder to pull off once you pass 30, but
    not impossible. It is all about the contrast between apparent lack of preparedness and absolute
    attention to seemingly minor details that will indicate to any observant rider that you are as
    prepared as a samaurai. Don't wash your bike, put polish your hubs. Wear a nearly threadbare old pro
    jersey, preferably with some Gu stains, but a 80 dollar mesh base layer. A one to two year old Limar
    or RP helmet with stickers, but the straps perfectly even and the loose ends aligned. A worn pair of
    italian shoes, with 20 dollar Campy socks. When you arrive, by truck or bike, wait until someone
    prompts you to sign in, and pretend not to hear the mandatory helment rule. It sometimes help to
    spill a little beer on your jersey before you arrive, and talk about passing out after the all-night
    party following the alley-cat race you did last night.

    Those of us in the know understand how the attention to detail at this stage can lead to great luck
    with the ladies after the ride.

    --
    Sincerely, Craig Brozefsky <[email protected]> No war! No racist scapegoating! No attacks on civil
    liberties! Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism: www.chicagoantiwar.org Free Scheme/Lisp Software:
    http://www.red-bean.com/~craig
     
  17. Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote:
    : First, if you want it to be "as effective as possible," get the cheapest, heaviest,
    : least-ventilated helmet you can find. More expensive helmets actually cut closer to the lower
    : limit of the impact standards, in an effort to reduce weight and increase ventilation.

    My 2002 MET has about the same weight as my 1993 MET, but more holes for ventilation. How is the
    protection worse on the new helmet? One could even suspect that today's styrofoam construction is
    more advanced, so the helmet is more rigid and therefore offers better protection ;p

    : Third, please keep in mind that, despite all the hype to the contrary, cycling is NOT especially
    : risky regarding serious head injuries. The only comparative data I've been able to find (in years
    : of reading & research) said that the risk of serious head injury, per hour, on a bike is almost
    : exactly the same as it is inside a car. That's despite seat belts and air bags.

    Uhm that does make cycling sound dangerous :-( Ever read about the accidents people get with cars?
    Crushing metal and stuff in high-speed impacts is not nice...

    : Finally, if you do wear a helmet, you'd do well to pretend it's not there. Many researchers
    : believe helmets lead people to take risks they wouldn't otherwise take because they feel
    : protected; when a crash occurs, they find the protection isn't so significant! Keep telling
    : yourself: "It's only a 14 mph helmet." It'll make you more careful.

    Yeah :( And even with helmet, the other body parts are not protected so head injuries are not the
    only sort of serious injury.

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  18. [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote:
    > : First, if you want it to be "as effective as possible," get the cheapest, heaviest,
    > : least-ventilated helmet you can find. More expensive helmets actually cut closer to the lower
    > : limit of the impact standards, in an effort to reduce weight and increase ventilation.
    >
    > My 2002 MET has about the same weight as my 1993 MET, but more holes for ventilation. How is the
    > protection worse on the new helmet?

    I think you're misapplying my ideas. Is either or your helmets "the cheapest, heaviest,
    least-ventilated helmet you can find"? If not, you don't yet have the helmet which is "as effective
    as possible."

    The only way to definitely compare the rated level of impact protection in two helmets is to
    destructively test both of them. However, the tendency is: less weight and more ventilation tend to
    give less protection. This should be obvious.

    > One could even suspect that today's styrofoam construction is more advanced, so the helmet is more
    > rigid and therefore offers better protection ;p

    One could _suspect_ lots of things! But styrofoam's been around for a long, long time. I suspect
    there are no big discoveries to be made in that field.

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  19. Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote:
    : [email protected] wrote:
    :>
    :> Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote:
    :> : First, if you want it to be "as effective as possible," get the cheapest, heaviest,
    :> : least-ventilated helmet you can find. More expensive helmets actually cut closer to the lower
    :> : limit of the impact standards, in an effort to reduce weight and increase ventilation.
    :>
    :> My 2002 MET has about the same weight as my 1993 MET, but more holes for ventilation. How is the
    :> protection worse on the new helmet?

    : I think you're misapplying my ideas. Is either or your helmets "the cheapest, heaviest,
    : least-ventilated helmet you can find"? If not, you don't yet have the helmet which is "as
    : effective as possible."

    I think your ideas are not very clear...

    The most effective helmet one can find could be some hardshell thing they use for motorcycling,
    snowboarding, downhill/bmx if I recall.

    : The only way to definitely compare the rated level of impact protection in two helmets is to
    : destructively test both of them. However, the tendency is: less weight and more ventilation tend
    : to give less protection. This should be obvious.

    So are you claiming that less weight *and* more ventilation, each separately, reduce the protection?

    The weight part seems obvious but I'm having doubts about the ventilation claim... A helmet with
    more holes in it would have a thicker layer of styrofoam, so the protection might be even better
    against impacts.

    : One could _suspect_ lots of things! But styrofoam's been around for a long, long time. I suspect
    : there are no big discoveries to be made in that field.

    Too bad they spend all the money on making light titanium frames and not in such important
    contributor to safety as styrofoam construction.

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
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