POLL: Do you wear a helmet?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Revolutionary, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Phill P

    Phill P New Member

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    I always wear a helmet, not because I feel unsafe on a bike, but because I feel unsafe around the car here!

    I've trashed one helemt in the last year when a SUV pulled out in front of me at a round about 300m from my house when heading to work. I hit near the front wheel and just rotated around the handle bars and hit my head HARD on the hood, then rolled doen the side of the fender to land on the grond next to my bike. BIG cracks in the helmet just above my left eye and hurt my elbow pretty badly (nothing showed ont he first xray so didn't go back for a second).

    If I had not been wearing a helmet might have been my skull that was cracked not the helemt. That would have meant a few days in hospital, not a day off work getting xrays (elbow swelled so much I could bend or extend my elbow) and with a mild headache.

    My girl friend had a similar experience a few weeks later. Worse driving but less injuries. Similar result with the helmet.

    Accidents happen, and you can't predict them or always avoid them (no matter how special you think you are). If I break my arm it will heal. I smash my brain and I'm a vegetable. If I'm in a bad enough accident to do enough damage to my helmet to cause more than a bad concussion then the rest of me will likely be pretty messed up as well!

    I always wear a helemt, even when riding to the shops.
     


  2. Slugster438

    Slugster438 New Member

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    I used to a lot but don't much now--but I only ride recumbents now, which (I suspect) are considerably safer than upright bikes.

    On an upright bicycle,
    .....if you apply the front brakes too hard on an upright bicycle, it will flip over forward, and you'll land on your head.
    .....if you strike an immovable object on an upright bicycle, it will flip over forward, and you'll land on your head.
    .....if you attempt to "step off" a bicycle (abandon ship) while it is traveling at a high speed, your feet hit the ground in a standing position, and from that you are very likely to fall forwards, hitting your head.

    On a recumbent,
    ....most cannot be flipped over forwards from applying the front brake too hard.
    ....if you strike an immovable object, you slide forwards off the bike feet-first. Very often there's a pair of very tall handlebars or a tall steering riser in the way, but that is breakable without too much force.
    ....if you "step off" a recumbent (or it slides out from under you) then you fall only about two feet and land sitting on the ground, feet-first.

    Head and clavicle injuries from conventional bicycle crashes are common, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the most common injuries from recumbent crashes are scrapes to the legs and hands (I haven't found anywhere that logs upright and recumbent injuries separately).

    On an upright bike if you have a crash you tend to enter it head-first, where on a recumbent you tend to crash feet-first. Instead of bothering with a helmet, how about riding a bike that makes head injuries a lot less likely in the first place?
    ~
     
  3. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Freedom is expensive and dangerous. Many people in this country accept that, in fact embrace it.

    Well said!

    I wear a helmet and use seatbels/shoulder harness religiously, however...

    Those that would choose security over liberty deserve NEITHER.
     
  4. daveydave

    daveydave New Member

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    Yes, I wear one.

    I usually don't even leave my kitchen without my helmet on. That's currently my storage spot. The only time I may not wear one is when I'm making small adjustments in my yard / driveway or out front of my house. Sure, it's possible I could do something strange in my yard or have something happen out in front of my house but I feel the speed and awareness of what I'm doing doesn't necessitate it.

    I never wore a helmet as a youth. It was never thought of as a need in the States back then 70's and 80's. I never even thought about a helmet while riding my 10speed around the neighborhood / town when I was that young. At that time, I think anyone would have looked strange wearing one unless they were someone who was training for cycling events.

    This year, I took up cycling as more sport than recreation. I immediately purchased a helmet when I decided to take the sport up. I guess I completely accepted the fact that a helmet is part of the gear / bike and requirements and I have no real reason to fight the use of one.

    Note: I can understand personal preference and individuals that prefer their choice to wear no helmet. With Motorcyclists, I hope they wear helmets, but I understand their personal right & accepting the risks. The idea of having a seat belt on a motocycle seems almost absurd to me. That would be like throwing a short safety rope on a basejumper and have them smack into a canyon wall!

    I definitely lean pro-choice for helmets even though I love my helmet & feel it will save me one day. I'm still astonished by the weight, the airflow and how natural it feels. Plus, it holds those shades in place pretty well!

    To me, having a helmet is the best way to neutralize the variables that I can't control. You can be the most alert and safety conscience rider but don't have total control of: the following factors:

    a.) a puncture
    b.) slickness, gravel or road grates that can cause a loss of control
    c.) drivers that don't follow the rules of the road, or see me
    d.) sudden illness on a bike that results in a tragic crash
    e.) an anvil or piano that suddenly fall out of the sky ;-)

    I'm sure there are other variables but you get the idea. It's the stuff I can't control that I try to isolate.

    Dave

     
  5. Romis

    Romis New Member

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    I always wear helmet, usually forget about it.. on my head :)


    The only time it becomes troubling, is at the ending part of long races in +30.. but sure you have to keep it on :(
     
  6. cheapie

    cheapie New Member

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  7. paskyhawk

    paskyhawk New Member

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    Screw everything else, it hurts to hit your head on the road.
     
  8. li rider

    li rider New Member

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    ALWAYS!

    when I crashed, my hip broke, my AC joint separated, but my head only had the smallest bruise under the helmet. without it, the birds would have been eating my brains off of the road.

    every kid in my neighborhood knows that if they ride by my house without a helmet, I will take away their bike. now I have started on the adults. I am the enforcer of the helmet law on my block. the cops have enough to do
     
  9. usdalaw

    usdalaw New Member

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    Allways. Twice, the helmet has saved my head. Once on a road bike and once on a mountain bike.
     
  10. MMSR

    MMSR New Member

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    Always. I made a 'no helmet no ride' rule for myself around 6 or 7 years ago and I haven't done a single ride without one since. My routine is to put the helmet on before even unlocking the bike, and I only take it off once the bike is locked up again at the end of the ride. This way I'm never even sat on the bike, even stationary, without head protection. I'd never even consider riding without wearing a helmet. Wearing a helmet while riding is an absolute and total 'must' in my opinion.
     
  11. Tapeworm

    Tapeworm New Member

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    I always were a helmet, in all conditions (including a race at 42 degrees plus!).

    I have once seen a rider who's foot slipped on the clip in, lost balance, fell over and I heard the loud crack of the helmet hitting concrete. All at a speed of about 2 kph. But rider was ok, helmet was not. So I think low speed is not a valid argument for not wearing a helmet (that goes for recumbent bikes too!).

    As for making it law to wear a helmet or a seatbelt for that matter... many would argue that it is "their right" not to wear a helmet or a seat belt. Those people are selfish. A simple law to try, on the balance of effectiveness, cost and practicality, to make life safer. You say it is your right to choose? Well what a about a innocent bystander being killed by a body hurled from a moving car because they exercised their "right" not to wear one? Don't laugh, its happened. Or I am sure the emergency crews would feel great about picking up two halves of your body once thrown from a car because you exercised your "rights".

    These laws would not exist if everyone valued their life and safety and that of those around them but, by and large, they don't. Hence it becomes law.

    On the plus side people who make these selfish choices have a greater chance of removing themselves from the gene pool. Carry on the good work!
     
  12. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    This post is kind of silly. I have never been able to apply my front brakes hard enough to flip over the handlebars.

    There is no bike that is not going to flip you forward if the front wheel hits an imovable object, unless they have found a way to keep the rear wheel of a recumbent from coming up off of the pavement.

    If I were to try to step off my bike at high speed, I would definitely kill myself, but not because both feet hit the ground in a "standing" position. Instead of stepping off, the more sane response would be to lay the bike down and take the road rash.

    Head injuries are an all too realistic risk on any kind of bicycle to not wear a helmet. For your safety and the well being of your family, I hope that you will begin to wear one.
     
  13. 956870733

    956870733 New Member

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    Saying directly: don't need one when you are riding slowly and better to have one when you ride fast. Somebodies might have fantastic responses that they are able to protect their heads with their hands and arms when they fall even at high speed.


    For me, the significance of having a helmet is just for protecting my head from the attack of those trees when I am riding crazily on the sidewalk.
     
  14. MMSR

    MMSR New Member

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    Don't need one when riding slowly? Surely it's better not to assume that would always be the case? And, with the greatest respect, your fantastic responses comment doesn't really make that much sense! You could go from riding to being on the ground in less than a second at speed, and I don't know anyone who could think to get their arms around their head to protect it in such a short time, in 100% of incidents. Isn't it better to just wear a helmet so you always have a degree of protection should you fall?
     
  15. Henrywrites

    Henrywrites Member

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    This is good way to ensure that you are safe while riding since series of things can happen while we were on the road and reducing damage is better.
     
  16. Henrywrites

    Henrywrites Member

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    Forcing it on people is not really nice as a better way is to educate people on the need to wear it while rifiri since it is a safer option.
     
  17. treecko142

    treecko142 Active Member

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    I make it a point to always wear my helmet even for shorter rides. It's the best form of protection from permanent damage for cyclists and it's just so much cheaper compared to the medical bills that you'k=ll incur when you don't wear a helmet and get in an accident.
     
  18. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Active Member

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    I ride a short, dead end road, at least four times a day, totaling eight miles, with no helmet. When I go on my 20-mile rides around the county, I wear a helmet. It's rare, around here, to see cyclists wearing helmets. Most often it's the guys on the skinny road bikes, wearing skinny clothing and skinny shoes, that wear helmets, but they are the ones that ride at 20 mph in groups. I'm an 8 mph rider on a fat bike or a hybrid men's bike.
     
  19. -Ash-

    -Ash- New Member

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    I always wear a helmet, I have heard way too many horror stories from friends! My friend once got dragged about for a bit by one of the London busses and he is extremely thankful that he was wearing a helmet at the time.

     
  20. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Several years ago I wrote a paper on the effectiveness of helmets in the USA - it showed nil effect. Recently I was questioned about it and whether helmets had "improved". As to fatalities NO. But I will have to look into whether or not there are fewer injuries with the advent of helmets and their recent improvements.

    But anyone that tells you their life was saved by a helmet doesn't know what the hell they are talking about. But that doesn't mean that the possibility of having fewer and less severe injuries may not be occurring.

    I should say this: speed limits in cities are increasing to ease traffic flow. This is the most dangerous thing you can do to bicyclists. A 15 mph collision between bicycle and car results in about 1 in 10 accidents resulting in a death. A 25 mph collision means a 50:50 chance of death and a 35 mph collision is over 80% chance of a fatality. So compared to speed limits helmets are effective-less.

    I was wearing a helmet when I received a severe concussion. This was under perfect conditions for a helmet to show its worth and it did effectively nothing. At the time I was bending down to re-adjust the speedo pickup which had just started making noise. It turned out that it was because my carbon fiber fork was breaking. The fork exploded and I fell only three feet to the ground and the concussion was so severe that I wasn't me for 2 1/2 years until my friend got me to a professor of neurology at Stanford. By this time I was near death from starvation since my memory was so bad I wasn't remembering to eat.

    With proper treatment and a lifetime of medication both costly and with nasty side effects ahead of me I'm pretty much back to normal.

    So while head injuries are nothing to smirk about, helmets do not appear to prevent deaths. Though as I say I will look into more modern helmets ability to reduce severity of injuries.
     
    #60 cyclintom, Jul 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
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