Making a Shopping List...Questions About Helmets...

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Edudbor, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. Edudbor

    Edudbor New Member

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    I'm new to bicycle riding; and I've always heard/been told, 'Where your helmet'. It wans't "cool" back in high school (but I never road a bicycle, so it worked out) but now, every single co-worker than rides a bicycle has a helmet. I bought one when I first got my bicycle (had problems, everything is returned and I'm starting over).

    I'm not sure if I should buy a helmet; I've heard that in some cases it makes things *worse* and in some cases it *might* make things better.

    I'm sure there will be people on both sides of the debate - but mostly, I'm curious what 'most people' who are serious riders do. Do most of you all ride with helmets or do most of you ride without; or is it 50/50?
     
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  2. bobt1970

    bobt1970 New Member

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    It is required by law to were a bicycle helmet when riding where I live. Almost everybody I see on the roads riding wears a helmet.
     
  3. stilesiii

    stilesiii New Member

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    helmet, magic helmet!!
     
  4. chainstay

    chainstay New Member

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    I don't know what the latest thoughts about helmets are in Europe, Australia, South America and other parts of the world, but there really isn't any serious debate here in the USA imo. Pretty much all the serious riders wear one. And helmets are mandatory to participate in any charity event or USCF (United States Cycling Federation) race.

    The way I look at it, regardless of whether helmets are required or not, is that if you value your brain, you want to wear one. Helmets have saved my head from being cracked open more than once. :D And an inexpensive helmet, as long as it has your country's official safety certification for helmets, will protect your head just as well as an expensive one will. So you don't have to break your bank to get decent helmet protection.
     
  5. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    The "debate", if there ever was one, should have ended long ago. Helmets save brains and lives, period. I've tended to riders who been knocked unconscious twice now, and both times the ambulance drivers tell the victim how they were "lucky" they were wearing a helmet. They take the broken helmet with them to the ER so the docs know where the impact occurred.

    Helmets are required on all organized group rides and races, and it's rare to have anyone question the requirement anymore. We had our club century last weekend, and over 400 riders showed up, all with helmets, just as expected. There were several minor crashes, but no head injuries this year.

    There still are idiots who go without though. A neighbor down the street, not a serious rider but more like a 25 yr old skateboard dork, was with a small group last weekend when he went down in a parking lot on his fixie. He spent 4 nights in the hospital with concussion/swelling on the brain, and has to basically do nothing for a month while he recovers. His mom told me the hospital bill was $18K so far....I hope he had health insurance.
     
  6. Retro Grouch

    Retro Grouch New Member

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    Generally when adults first buy a bicycle they question whether they should get a helmet. Many don't. As they ride more they either have some kind of crash themselves or know of somebody who crashed and they decide that a helmet might be a good thing to have.
     
  7. Eggyolkeo

    Eggyolkeo New Member

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    Helmets are mandatory in Australia (where I live). I would wear one anyway.

    When I first got clipless pedals, I was constantly falling over in my garage when forgetting to unclip! Even at 0mph, the fall to the side ended up created some nasty dents and scratches on my helmet.

    And then there's crashes at speed.

    It takes 2 seconds to put a helmet on, and cost-wise will be almost the cheapest item you'll buy. I simply can't fathom any argument saying it's safer to not wear one. A bit like the seatbelt argument in cars I guess - still makes me wonder!
     
  8. tt1106

    tt1106 New Member

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    There was a debate about seatbelts too. If you went into a river, there was a chance you could drown. This is, of course, stupid, for a couple of reasons. The most important reason being the miniscule percentage of vehicle accidents that involved going into water and the person drowning because they couldn't release their seatbelt.
    The only thing that prevent people from wearing helmets is vanity. All other arguments are moot. Helmets have plenty of vents, so they are insignificantly warmer than not wearing one. Also, in a MINOR accident, a helmet will prevent alot of injuries to your head, hoever, even a small impact of your head on a curb, could cause a concusion, which may also result in amnesia, brain swelling, skull fractures and death.
    People look alot less cool, when they are hooked up to life support, because their brain has swelled and they now have to have a hole drilled in their skull to release the pressure.
    PS. I do wear a helmet.
     
  9. mattyb

    mattyb New Member

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    There is a reason they made them mandatory on tours. It can really be the difference from death and a headache.
    I hold no sympathy, and little respect for those that don't wear lids as I think it shows a complete lack of self respect.

    I'm not saying this to put anyone down, but damn, there is sooo much documentation about safety and helmets, you'd be mad not to wear one.
     
  10. Edudbor

    Edudbor New Member

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    Huh? Well, I feel silly. I thought there was this big debate going on, but it seems like there isn't. That was easy.

    Thanks all!
     
  11. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    There's a definite crowd of helmet resistors out there. They invariably show up on some forums and Usenet groups and would inundate you with reams and reams of data to say that the data out there are inconclusive or even go against helmet wearing. One of their biggest argument is that by making helmets mandatory, people would be turned off by cycling.

    Oh well, whatever... I know I'll always keep a helmet on my head.
     
  12. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    What he said. In motorcycling and cycling there is that group of naysayers. Cyclists have people who quote studies from Australia, and motorcyclists have ABATE. Well, I consider myself walkin' talkin' proof that helmets work. Years ago, I was hit by a car while riding a bicycle and landed partially on my helmet. I walked away. About three years ago I was hit and drug along by a van, with my head on the ground. I walked away. I was hit by a car while riding a motorcycle and flew over the car onto my head without incurring any head injury. A 100+mph highside racing cause a 100 mph impact on my head and shoulder. Helmet was fubarred as was my body, but my head was injury free (Note to the ABATE turds: yep I broke my neck, but unlike your propaganda says, I did not die.). 5 years later a 120mph highside put me on my head and then drug my head along the track. Zero head injury, but the helmet was cracked badly and ground through.

    So yeah, I believe in helmets.
     
  13. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Thank God I have never had a situation where I needed my helmet and did not use one for 39 years. As I have gotten older, I have come to grips with my mortality and have started to wear a helmet every time that I get on the bike, no matter how short the ride. A helmet is cheap compared to the price of a serious head injury. I don't think that they should be mandatory but they are a great idea.
     
  14. Eggyolkeo

    Eggyolkeo New Member

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    Alienator - wow you've had some bad luck right there! Glad to hear you're alive and well!

    I wanted to add another point. Going back to motorbikes for a sec, when I wear helmet, jacket, boots and gloves I feel well protected and can have some fun. When we go on more serious rides and I'm in full leathers, back protector, race boots, gloves etc etc, I have the confidence to ride even harder.

    I think this translates into cycling a lot (maybe off-road riding moreso) - where the more protected you are, the more you can enjoy your riding and not have to worry so much about protecting yourself by conservative/defensive riding.
     
  15. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    It's sad that so many "casual" riders don't think they need helmets; I see them on the bikepath all the time here. Older people, mainly the infrequent/unskilled riders, often are helmetless, but probably need them more than young racers.

    Just last summer a local 50+ yr old "casual" rider died of a head injury while riding from his home to the greenway path a couple of blocks away. He probably thought he wasn't going far enough or fast enough to get hurt on his bike.
     
  16. mattyb

    mattyb New Member

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    Alienator - broken neck?!! That is full on!
    To add to that post, I highsided a mini moto bike (I didn't think it was possible either) going about 25 - 30kph. It flipped me around and I landed on my back and smacked the back of my head on the tarmac. The helmet was split. No doubt if I wasn't wearing a lid that would have been a fractured skull. Didn't even have a headache.
     
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