If you're going to wear a helmet, wear it right!!



SEAcarlessTTLE

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Nov 29, 2005
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This is not about whether one should wear a helmet. Please go away if you want to rant about that. Rather, this is my small rant about helmets worn badly.

I'm terrified for all the folks I see rolling around town with helmets all askew. There seem to be a billion ways to wear a helmet wrong, and I've seen quite a few:

Put the big fat winter hat *over* the helmet if you must wear it.
Do you really want to trade your hairdo for your cranium?
Strapless is for dresses.
That's perfect, except your bike and your body are facing the wrong direction.
It's good to know your stem and bars will survive your next crash.*

*popular pro racer look

I know my favorite bike shops are pretty good about fitting helmets, but there are plenty of ways to buy a helmet without getting the proper treatment. I generally stay out of peoples' business but feel compelled to speak up when I see little kids wearing helmets badly... I think I'll volunteer with the local club to do fittings this season so I can redirect this rant into something more productive...
 

1id10t

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Apr 11, 2005
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What about alternative helmets. I've seen plenty of those.

Construction helmets - very popular it seems. Don't know if all of the people I see donning these are actually in construction though.
Full face downhill - a bit of overkill for commuting methinks but i've seen a couple; one guy passed me on the harbour bridge. Made me laugh but I guess he is protected.
The cap - It covers the head but protection? Not sure about that.

I prefer to wear one (it's the law here in Aus anyway) but I must confess to having gone out without one in error a couple of times and it was quite liberating; took me back to the days when they were not compulsory.
 

sogood

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Aug 24, 2006
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Yep, just came across this senior lady this morning on her hybrid bike. Nice looking and well fitted helmet on her head, but the straps were dangling freely on two sides... How useful can that be? :eek:

Helmet are not designed to protect you from hails, magpie attacks or shrapnel.
 

lance99

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Oct 10, 2006
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sogood said:
Yep, just came across this senior lady this morning on her hybrid bike. Nice looking and well fitted helmet on her head, but the straps were dangling freely on two sides... How useful can that be? :eek:

Helmet are not designed to protect you from hails, magpie attacks or shrapnel.
protect that frontal lobe

http://www.helmets.org/fit.htm
 

sogood

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Aug 24, 2006
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lance99 said:
protect that frontal lobe
Forget about that pair of frontal lobes. You'll still be able to ride even if you've lost your frontal lobes. :D
 

Eddie Dee

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Dec 28, 2006
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I have a good helmet, and I wear it religiously. Last Thursday was the first sunny warm day in months, and I was in such a hurry to get out riding that I forgot to put on the helmet. Naturally, that's the day I got hit. I was knocked off the bike onto the pavement. I got an ambulance ride to the hospital, three stitches in my head, and a headache that has lasted almost a week. I am certain that if I'd worn my helmet, I'd have no injuries and no pain. Let's face it, pavement is damn hard, when you come right down to it. (pun intended) The auto driver was ticketed, but that doesn't benefit me in the slightest.
Forgive me if I've posted this in the wrong place. This is only my third attempt at this, and I don't really know the system well.
 

SEAcarlessTTLE

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Nov 29, 2005
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1id10t said:
Construction helmets - very popular it seems. Don't know if all of the people I see donning these are actually in construction though.
Interesting...I see reflective construction shirts and vests on cyclists, but I haven't seen the helmets rolling around these parts. Incidentally, these helmet advocates say they don't make the cut:

"Helmets designed for lesser impacts do not necessarily have foam inside. Some are just hard shells with a suspension headband that provides the fit and keeps some space inside for air to circulate. Construction helmets are of this type, and do a fine job when somebody drops a brick on your head or you bump hard against an overhanging steel beam. Just don't fall off a bicycle with one, since they will not handle the impact of falling on pavement."

http://www.bhsi.org/general.htm
 

SEAcarlessTTLE

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Nov 29, 2005
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Eddie Dee said:
I have a good helmet, and I wear it religiously. Last Thursday was the first sunny warm day in months, and I was in such a hurry to get out riding that I forgot to put on the helmet. Naturally, that's the day I got hit. I was knocked off the bike onto the pavement...
Yow...glad you lived to tell the tale. I'm terribly forgetful, so I've gotten in the habit of "storing" my helmet on my bars when I bring the bike inside. In fact, I often put my wallet, mobile, and keys on my rack, too, to keep myself from forgetting all that! (...and I still do, sometimes *sigh*) If anything good comes from stories like yours, it'll be that they make me less likely to go out without my helmet.
 

NewRiderMan

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Mar 5, 2007
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Another thing that bugs me to no end about helmets is that a person will put a thousand dollars worth of accessories on their bikes,; bottle cages, light systems, new gearsets, better pedals, stickier tires, tougher tubes, and then turn around and ride that bike with a $10 helmet from Wal-Mart.

It fails to make sense to me. they'll spend oodles of money to have a specific little needless part on their bikes fitted to perfection, then will happily buy a helmet off the rack from a store that won't let them even try it on. And, after you get it home, you put it on your head, discover it fits like a bucket, and now the store won't take it back because it is used...

Also, helmet "style" seems to be as important as price. Two helmets, one for $20 with no decals, another of a cheaper manufacture (using questionable materials) with decals for the same $20, most will go with the helmet that is cheaper made but prettier.

It is my hope that someday bicycle helmets are required to pass DOT regs just like motorcycle helmets. Sound like excessive effort to make sure a cycle helmet is good enough? Not in my mind. Of the last four accidents I've had, all were on asphalt or concrete. I'd love to know that my helmet is rated for DOT regs. However, this is going to make for a much heavier and less ventilated helmet. But, for those who ride on the roads a lot, I could see the safety outweighing the slight hassle.

As a former motorcyclist, I was required to wear a DOT rated Helmet, and when I had my big wreck, I was glad it was required!
 

Europa

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Jan 12, 2007
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Helmets have been compulsory for years here, so I'm betting we see more incorrectly worn helmets than non-compulsory countries. Probably the stand out was the late middle aged Italian gentleman in his working clobber, you know the sort, making every cent work hard (and probably a millionaire - I ain't criticising, just observing), wearing a plastic icecream tub on his head tied on with two bits of string :eek: No, that's not legal :rolleyes:

Richard