kids, trailers & helmets

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by David Cowie, May 10, 2004.

  1. David Cowie

    David Cowie Guest

    I have a Burley trailer arriving soon and was wondering if it's
    necessary for helmets ? Given most riding will be sans-traffic. It's
    bad enough trying to get them to wear hats in their pram, can't
    imagine what it'll be like for helmets (although the strap will help).

    I always wear a helmet and favour Giro. I would want to invest the
    same care in the kids, but welcome arguments as to how necessary they
    are considering the roll cage etc.

    Soon to be on my bike again !!!!
     
    Tags:


  2. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    "David Cowie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I have a Burley trailer arriving soon and was wondering if it's
    > necessary for helmets ? Given most riding will be sans-traffic. It's
    > bad enough trying to get them to wear hats in their pram, can't
    > imagine what it'll be like for helmets (although the strap will help).


    The instructions will probably say to wear helmets, but it is a merkin
    device.

    The danger with trailers isn't traffic (where a helmet won't help anyway),
    it's clipping it on a kerb and rolling it. So ensure your kids are safe
    should you do this. There is some amount of roll cage on the burley ones, so
    this may not involve using a helmet - or it may.

    (you're talking about prams - are we talking about very smalls here? In
    which case use a car seat in the trailer, and you don't need a helmet with
    one of them.)

    cheers,
    clive
     
  3. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    David Cowie wrote:
    > I have a Burley trailer arriving soon and was wondering if it's
    > necessary for helmets ?


    Not a question it's possible to answer without being able to look into
    the future :-(

    AFAICT Burleys don't have a habit of flipping so there's no particular
    reason the kids inside it should be banging their heads off the ground.

    I can't /guarantee/ their safety without versus with, of course, but if
    there's no reason to expect the trailer to unload them there's no
    particular point in a helmet, which is designed for low speed,
    relatively low energy impacts like just falling over.

    > Given most riding will be sans-traffic.


    Doesn't necessarily make any real difference. If it's hit by a motor
    vehicle then all the bets are off and it's fairly unlikely a helmet
    (even if properly fitted) would make any real difference in such a case.
    Sad, but probably true.

    > I always wear a helmet and favour Giro. I would want to invest the
    > same care in the kids, but welcome arguments as to how necessary they
    > are considering the roll cage etc.


    See above. Note that a helmet specification (plus real world data
    showing what they will do) is such that you can expect them to save the
    wearer from a nasty graze (if they land somewhere the helmet's
    protecting, mine didn't save me a horrible scab on my chin last year),
    and not really much more. Now, that's a good thing in itself, but a
    nasty graze is unlikely to kill you or even give any sort of long term
    problems.
    I used to always wear a helmet, these days I'm a bit more in touch with
    what I can expect of them and certainly wouldn't want to be wearing one
    today for just getting about as it's hot, sunny and humid, just the sort
    of conditions to make wearing a lid particularly unpleasant. I'm not in
    the habit of falling off, at least for utility cycling, so why wear
    something to possibly mitigate a possible but very unlikely injury when
    the cost to do so is a 100% certainty of a good deal of comfort loss?
    If you want them to enjoy travelling by pedal power then having them
    associate it with hot, sweaty boxes with snug chin straps doesn't look
    to me like the Way Forwards. I'm a lot happier to wear mine in the
    winter, but on a day like today it's just making what should be a
    complete pleasure less so.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  4. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 14:48:02 +0100 someone who may be David Cowie
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >I have a Burley trailer arriving soon and was wondering if it's
    >necessary for helmets ? Given most riding will be sans-traffic.


    I assume you mean sans-motor-traffic?

    >It's
    >bad enough trying to get them to wear hats in their pram, can't
    >imagine what it'll be like for helmets (although the strap will help).


    Hats can be useful in cycle trailers. They keep the sun off more
    than tinted plastic windows.

    Helmets are not much use in cycle trailers. The children will be
    strapped in, so if the trailer turns over they should not hit their
    heads on anything. If something hits the trailer and punctures it
    then a helmet is not likely to do much extra for the child.

    >I always wear a helmet and favour Giro. I would want to invest the
    >same care in the kids,


    You are assuming that it is care.


    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
    I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK government
    prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  5. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, David Cowie
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > I have a Burley trailer arriving soon and was wondering if it's
    > necessary for helmets ?


    Helmets are never necessary. There are circumstances in which they are
    reasonably likely to be effective, and others where they will do little
    or no good.

    > Given most riding will be sans-traffic. It's
    > bad enough trying to get them to wear hats in their pram, can't
    > imagine what it'll be like for helmets (although the strap will help).


    It's one of the situations where wearing a helmet might do some good. If
    you were cycling in traffic there'd be little point, but in non-traffic
    situations at the sort of trundling speed you'll be going with kids in
    the trailer a helmet should be strong enough to be effective.

    > I always wear a helmet and favour Giro. I would want to invest the
    > same care in the kids, but welcome arguments as to how necessary they
    > are considering the roll cage etc.


    With the kids strapped in, if the trailer inverted, would the rollbar
    keep their heads clear of the ground at all stages in the inversion? If
    you can confidently say it would, then no need for helmets.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; Friends don't send friends HTML formatted emails.
     
  6. Ian G Batten

    Ian G Batten Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Simon Brooke <[email protected]> wrote:
    > With the kids strapped in, if the trailer inverted, would the rollbar
    > keep their heads clear of the ground at all stages in the inversion? If
    > you can confidently say it would, then no need for helmets.


    Of course, helmets are worn in cars with roll cages partly because
    impact with the roll cage may be serious. I suspect --- but I may be
    wrong --- that a bike helmet would be in a region more likely to be
    effective when hitting a smoothly curved region like a roll bar and
    spreading the impact a little, and it's hard to see how it could make
    things worse. It's pretty standard racing practice now to use confor
    foam on roll cage members, and that's not unlike bike helmet material.

    Of course, back outside hysterical fears land, quite how you'd get
    enough energy into a roll for this to matter, and how it would be any
    different from rolling a buggy, and how indeed you'd get enough energy
    to even roll a trailer in the first place, I don't know. Before reading
    this froup I didn't fully get the ``if you convince people it needs
    protective clothing they'll thing it's risky and stop anyway'' meme, but
    it does seem very compelling. And any argument about heads and roll
    bars on bikes goes tenfold for heads and childseat sides in cars.

    ian
     
  7. JohnB

    JohnB Guest

    David Cowie wrote:
    >
    > I have a Burley trailer arriving soon and was wondering if it's
    > necessary for helmets ? Given most riding will be sans-traffic. It's
    > bad enough trying to get them to wear hats in their pram, can't
    > imagine what it'll be like for helmets (although the strap will help).
    >
    > I always wear a helmet and favour Giro. I would want to invest the
    > same care in the kids, but welcome arguments as to how necessary they
    > are considering the roll cage etc.
    >
    > Soon to be on my bike again !!!!


    We had a Burley d'lite trailer for about ten years and there wasn't any
    time when it got anywhere near rolling over. In fact I can't even recall
    ever lifting a wheel of the ground and that included hammering down
    alpine passes.
    I'm not sure I could have rolled it even if I tried.
    The kids were always strapped in, mainly to keep them under control ;-)
    but *never* wore helmets.
    They would have been totally superfluous.

    John B
     
  8. On Mon, 10 May 2004 20:41:55 +0100, JohnB <[email protected]> wrote in
    message <[email protected]>:

    >We had a Burley d'lite trailer for about ten years and there wasn't any
    >time when it got anywhere near rolling over. In fact I can't even recall
    >ever lifting a wheel of the ground and that included hammering down
    >alpine passes.
    >I'm not sure I could have rolled it even if I tried.
    >The kids were always strapped in, mainly to keep them under control ;-)
    >but *never* wore helmets.
    >They would have been totally superfluous.


    Unless, of course, Carl Baxter was around :-(

    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
     
  9. Sandy Morton

    Sandy Morton Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Simon
    Brooke <[email protected]> wrote:
    > With the kids strapped in, if the trailer inverted, would the
    > rollbar keep their heads clear of the ground at all stages in the
    > inversion? If you can confidently say it would, then no need for
    > helmets.



    The Burleys which we use for hire are - IMVHO - the best and safest
    trailers I have ever used. I happily allow my number 3 son (a
    professional hooligan) to take gorgeous (our only grandson) out in
    one without supervision.

    --
    A T (Sandy) Morton
    on the Bicycle Island
    In the Global Village
    http://www.millport.net
     
  10. takver

    takver Guest

    David Cowie wrote:
    > I have a Burley trailer arriving soon and was wondering if it's
    > necessary for helmets ? Given most riding will be sans- traffic. It's
    > bad enough trying to get them to wear hats in their pram, can't imagine
    > what it'll be like for helmets (although the strap will help).



    I have a Phillips kiddiecarrier trailer for my 3yo. Under mos
    circumstances a helmut is superfluous while riding in the trailer. Th
    trailer has been overturned once with her in it...Her older sibling wa
    towing it going down a gravel road doing about 30kph and the traile
    wheel hit a large rock and flipped onto its side. The child was hel
    securely by the 5 point harness and the frame/roll cage protected he
    effectively

    However, I always put the helmut on to get my daughter used to th
    helmut, so that when she starts riding her own bike it will be secon
    nature. That is when she will really need it


    -
     
  11. JohnB

    JohnB Guest

    takver wrote:
    >
    > David Cowie wrote:
    > > I have a Burley trailer arriving soon and was wondering if it's
    > > necessary for helmets ? Given most riding will be sans- traffic. It's
    > > bad enough trying to get them to wear hats in their pram, can't imagine
    > > what it'll be like for helmets (although the strap will help).

    >
    > I have a Phillips kiddiecarrier trailer for my 3yo. Under most
    > circumstances a helmut is superfluous while riding in the trailer. The
    > trailer has been overturned once with her in it...Her older sibling was
    > towing it going down a gravel road doing about 30kph and the trailer
    > wheel hit a large rock and flipped onto its side.


    Oh dear. I wouldn't use such a trailer again then.

    > However, I always put the helmut on to get my daughter used to the
    > helmut, so that when she starts riding her own bike it will be second
    > nature. That is when she will really need it.


    I think better advice would be to look before pulling the garage door down.

    John B
     
  12. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Ian G Batten
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > Of course, back outside hysterical fears land, quite how you'd get
    > enough energy into a roll for this to matter, and how it would be any
    > different from rolling a buggy, and how indeed you'd get enough energy
    > to even roll a trailer in the first place, I don't know.


    I have frequently rolled a luggage trailer (a 'Bike Hod'). It isn't hard
    to do. Mind you, the Bike Hod, which hitches to the seat post, is
    probably more unstable than a trailer that hitches to the dropouts. But
    a downhill corner taken at anything above 35mph is likely to flip a
    Bike Hod, and on rough surfaces much less.

    Any dual track trailer has different cornering dynamics from a single
    track vehicle like a bicycle. The bicycle counters the centrifugal
    force by leaning into it, the trailer can't. Ultimately it will either
    skid sideways or flip. That's why my next trailer will be a single
    track, like a BOB Yak.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    [ This .sig intentionally left blank ]
     
  13. Ian G Batten

    Ian G Batten Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Simon Brooke <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I have frequently rolled a luggage trailer (a 'Bike Hod'). It isn't hard
    > to do. Mind you, the Bike Hod, which hitches to the seat post, is
    > probably more unstable than a trailer that hitches to the dropouts. But
    > a downhill corner taken at anything above 35mph is likely to flip a
    > Bike Hod, and on rough surfaces much less.


    That's interesting: I didn't realise that. Although realistically,
    people with small children in the trailer are unlikely to be doing 35mph
    downhill corners, and would hit comfort limits pretty quickly over rough
    ground.

    > Any dual track trailer has different cornering dynamics from a single
    > track vehicle like a bicycle. The bicycle counters the centrifugal
    > force by leaning into it, the trailer can't. Ultimately it will either
    > skid sideways or flip. That's why my next trailer will be a single
    > track, like a BOB Yak.


    The single-wheel tagalong I have for my younger daughter appears good on
    corners, albeit not at 35mph.

    ian
     
  14. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Ian G Batten
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > Simon Brooke <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> I have frequently rolled a luggage trailer (a 'Bike Hod'). It isn't
    >> hard to do. Mind you, the Bike Hod, which hitches to the seat post,
    >> is probably more unstable than a trailer that hitches to the
    >> dropouts. But a downhill corner taken at anything above 35mph is
    >> likely to flip a Bike Hod, and on rough surfaces much less.

    >
    > That's interesting: I didn't realise that. Although realistically,
    > people with small children in the trailer are unlikely to be doing
    > 35mph downhill corners, and would hit comfort limits pretty quickly
    > over rough ground.


    The Bike Hod is fundamentally designed as a shopping trailer and is
    probably fine for that. The high hitch point is very convenient but
    almost certainly contributes to instability. The other notable fault in
    my opinion is that the wheel bearings were not servicable, so when they
    died the whole thing was scrap. Apart from that it's a good trailer -
    it carries a lot of gear, it's easy to hitch and unhitch, it's very
    easy to manhandle when unhitched, it's exceedingly visible from the
    rear. It's also relatively light and has very good carrying capacity.
    For an urban shopping and utility trailer I think it's probably very
    good.

    I used it when as a poor research student I was doing fieldwork all over
    the country and carrying a fair bit of gear with me, so it was doing
    long distances on fast rural roads. The first couple of times it went
    over were deeply scarey, but after that I kind of got used to it - it
    never caused me to fall off, and the bag was tough enough to survive
    being dragged along the tarmac reasonably well. It got a bit tatty but
    none of the contents were ever damaged.

    The current production model comes with optional pneumatic tyres which I
    suspect would improve stability.
    <URL:http://www.twoplustwo.uk.com/gtrailers/bike-hod.html>


    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; in faecibus sapiens rheum propagabit
     
  15. David Cowie <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I have a Burley trailer arriving soon and was wondering if it's
    > necessary for helmets ? Given most riding will be sans-traffic. It's
    > bad enough trying to get them to wear hats in their pram, can't
    > imagine what it'll be like for helmets (although the strap will help).


    My daughter Ellen, who is 14 months old, doesn't wear one in the
    trailer (Burley Solo). There are no helmets that fit her small head.
    Yes, there are helmets where the little plastic ring on the inside of
    the helmet can be adjusted small enough to fit her head, but then
    there's a huge gap between her head and the foam. I know enough about
    helmets to know that helmets have to fit properly to have any
    effectiveness at all, and having a helmet where the foam is nowhere
    near her head is not a good fit, no matter when the manufacturer may
    say.

    I have only rolled it once, when a dozy Japanese tourist decided to
    panic and backtrack into my trailer when I rang my bell as I was about
    to ride behind her. Ellen was still in her car safety seat then, so no
    damage done at all. She just looked a big puzzled when I put the
    traile back upright.

    When she actually gets big enough that I can get a helmet that fits
    her properly, I'll have to decide if I think it's worth trying to get
    her to wear it.

    -Myra

    PS As far as hats go, we just use jackets/coats with hoods. They can't
    pull that off so easily!
     
  16. chris French

    chris French Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, JohnB <[email protected]> writes
    >David Cowie wrote:
    >>
    >> I have a Burley trailer arriving soon and was wondering if it's
    >> necessary for helmets ? Given most riding will be sans-traffic. It's
    >> bad enough trying to get them to wear hats in their pram, can't
    >> imagine what it'll be like for helmets (although the strap will help).
    >>
    >> I always wear a helmet and favour Giro. I would want to invest the
    >> same care in the kids, but welcome arguments as to how necessary they
    >> are considering the roll cage etc.
    >>
    >> Soon to be on my bike again !!!!

    >
    >We had a Burley d'lite trailer for about ten years and there wasn't any
    >time when it got anywhere near rolling over.


    I've once flipped my Chariot trailer onto it's side, the trailer was
    unloaded at the time, going down a moderate hill, at a moderate speed on
    a path, I clipped the corner of the bend and hit a bump (covered rock,
    old stump?) of some sort and it flipped onto the side.

    Loaded, even with just one kiddie would have made this much less likely
    (given my experience with loaded and unladen load trailers) as it makes
    them much more stable. but I can' say I've even come close to this when
    towing Elinor. For one thing you probably are more careful when towing
    them as well

    --
    Chris French, Leeds
     
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