Bicycle helmets are unsafe!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Witty McWitterson
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    Bicycle helmets are unsafe!

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...4&page=1&pp=25

    Check out this thread from another board I visit. I was even called an "a$$hat". Too funny.
    Just a regular guy.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...4&page=1&pp=25

    Check out this thread from another board I visit. I was even called an "a$$hat". Too funny.
    Just what is an a$$hat, exactly? Is it some form of protective or decorative covering for one's a$$, or is it actually a hat shaped like an a$$?

    And by "a$$", are we talking about a rear end or a donkey?

    Really, I just don't understand the kids and their hip lingo these days...

    P.S.: When are the mods going to drop this silly-a$$ censoring program?

  3. #3
    ballbuster
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    dang...

    I'm still amazed that this debate comes up, and from the same article. The article just points out the numbers, but fails to mention how riding and driving habbits have possibly changed.

    After having a childhood friend die on the trail from cracking his head against a rock (Deer Park trail in Fairfax, just a stupid fireroad), and seeing most of my buds falling off thier bikes, and getting their skulls thumped on the pavement, it is so totally obvious that even a poorly fitted crapmaster2000 helmet is better than nothing.

    This dude is just a contrarian. He wants to believe he know some piece of 'wisdom' to feel superior to the rest of us tools.

  4. #4
    lurker spaz
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    When properly worn

    even a sombrero can be a magical life-saving device
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Barneys Unite!
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    Amen! I mean, couldn't agree more!

    Last summer, in one of my more ridiculous and humiliating falls, I bounced off a chain link fence -- into a four-foot deep culvert with a rock strewn concrete bottom. I landed flat on my back, and I hit my head (helmeted) so hard that my nose dripped for three hours.

    I can assure you, if I had not been wearing a helmet, I would have fractured my skull. And I know a little about these things, because I work for a couple of brain surgeons.

    My advice to everyone -- wear a helmet. Even if you're just riding around the neighborhood.

  6. #6

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    If more people took the time to actually read a great deal of the research and read about the certification/testing standards, and were willing to challenge their lifelong assumptions, there would be far less posts containing claims like "a helmet saved my life" "I would be dead" "my skull would have fractured."

    But it's good that people don't because they provide ample fodder for the helmet wars.

  7. #7

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    Heh, funny this should come up. I was just on a ride on the neighborhood trails. There is a spot on one really fun downhill where a tree has fallen across the trail at about 4-5' off of the ground. At 6'3" its a no question push for me, but I encountered a shorter woman on the trail today. She'd tried to ride under it she said and bowed down to show me the top of her helmet, which bore a hole in the shell about 3" long. She was fine and continued her ride. I get back here and read this post. I'm thinking of what kind of fun some blunt-force trauma & wicked axial spinal compression woulda been.

    A helmet kept this woman from drooling and eating applesauce for the rest of her life, and let her finish up her ride smiling.

    Also, helmets are lo-carb+atkins friendly (WTF!?!) from what I hear.

  8. #8
    Barneys Unite!
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    Sorry, Pete, gotta disagree.

    I live in Boise, Idaho, and I'm the administrator of a neurosurgical practice. We see very few bicycling related head injuries (except for the occasional "rode into a rear view mirror" accident). And most cyclists in Boise wear helmets.

    By comparison, we see a boatload of skiing related head injuries, and most of the skiers were not wearing helmets. I know it's not a scientific study, but occasionaly anecdotal observations are true.

    And if you gotta fall, try not to land on the back of your head.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Floyd
    I live in Boise, Idaho, and I'm the administrator of a neurosurgical practice. We see very few bicycling related head injuries (except for the occasional "rode into a rear view mirror" accident). And most cyclists in Boise wear helmets.

    By comparison, we see a boatload of skiing related head injuries, and most of the skiers were not wearing helmets. I know it's not a scientific study, but occasionaly anecdotal observations are true.

    And if you gotta fall, try not to land on the back of your head.
    "But it's good that people don't because they provide ample fodder for the helmet wars."<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->

  10. #10
    Ouch, I am hot!
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    Headache

    My head hurts from trying to figure all this out. I wish I had worn my helmet.
    I AM JUST A JERK

  11. #11
    ballbuster
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    Well, it's not like...

    ... you can take 1000 bikers and give them 'placebo' helmets and 1000 with real hemlets, and track them for a few years and see which group has the most head injuries.

    I think the major issue here in the data collection, is that there is no way to really track the incidents like 'wups! I fell, and thumped my skull. That kinda hurt' and they continue the ride. If they didn't have a helmet, they would be in the ER getting their head stitched up or worse. I had one of those when I was a kid. I still have the dent in my skull. Heck, I ring my bell on 'low bridges' all the time.

    I guess if they did a random survey, they could get semi-acurate data. Collecting data in the hospital is grossly skewed. You're only counting those who are hurt so bad (and with the bias of 'am I covered by health insurance') that they go.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    I think the major issue here in the data collection, is that there is no way to really track the incidents like 'wups! I fell, and thumped my skull. That kinda hurt' and they continue the ride. If they didn't have a helmet, they would be in the ER getting their head stitched up or worse.
    Those kinds of "common sense" assumptions are what make helmet efficacy discussions so funny.

    How can you know?

  13. #13
    Ouch, I am hot!
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    Was this with or without a helmet?




    I choose not to wear a helmet because it is cost prohibitive and causes me to faint from the heat. It also can get tangled up in trees and such.
    I AM JUST A JERK

  14. #14
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    You don't, but the fact of the matter is is that you are doing yourself no harm by wearing a helmet (and yes, I know your "courage for your head" argument).

  15. #15
    ballbuster
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    Tell me....

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Those kinds of "common sense" assumptions are what make helmet efficacy discussions so funny.

    How can you know?
    Do you wear a hemlet?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Those kinds of "common sense" assumptions are what make helmet efficacy discussions so funny.

    How can you know?

    By a knowledge of mechanisms of injury and their respective effects.

    While not labratory test results, let me walk you through the logic of how this works, we'll use the woman I encountered this afternoon:

    I can deduce from the cracked shell of the helmet and deformity in the underlying foam that the impact was with a certain degree of force. This is of course a rough estimate, but when dealing with situations like spinal and head injuries it is a binary thing - force significant enough to cause a spinal/head injury, or not significant enough to cause said injuries. I know how hard it is not to carry a lot of speed into this stretch of trail where she hit the tree.

    So I can safely say that had it not been for the helmet, that same force would have been visited on her head and axial skeleton, presenting a mechanism of injury that would likely result in a smorgasboard of injuries, from as small as a concussion to paralysis or death.

    Maybe you'd like the semantics to be correct.

    I cannot say that there is a cause and effect relationship between helmets and reduced injuries in crashes.

    I can however say with absolute certainty that I have observed a very strong correlation between the wearing of helmets and a decrease in ill-effects from crashes that would have otherwise been very significant.

  17. #17

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    I think it's sad when people replace common sense with statistics.

    DD

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    Do you wear a hemlet?
    No I don't. I wear a helmet.

    That's a classic question in these discussions.

    Again, how do you know?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archdukeferdinand
    I cannot say that there is a cause and effect relationship between helmets and reduced injuries in crashes.
    Which jives with the numerous studies, opinions of the certification /testing folks, medical professionals who have studied the issue, etc. when discussing serious injuries and death.

    Of course helmets prevent inconvenient scrapes, bruising and scalp lacerations.

    In your example above there are simply too many variables to be able to definitively claim that the helmet prevented serious injuries.

    For example...My head is a bit higher off the ground when I wear a helemt. Some branch blows would surely be avoided if I was riding without a helmet, just because I have better clearance.

  20. #20
    ballbuster
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    well...

    I guess the only way statisctically they could figure it out is to do a random survey.

    How I personally know, is that I've thumped my skull a bunch of times, and whenever I wear a helmet, it's no big deal, and when I don't it is a big deal. It's really easy to do as well, just fall off going any kind of speed, and your head tends to roll down torward the ground. Heck, I used to do BMX flatland freestyle without a helmet. I used to ride ramps as well, but at least common sense kicked in there and I wore a full face for that.

    I even knew one kid who died on the trail going around 10 mph, front wheel washed out, he landed on a pointy rock that pierced his skull. I guess I have no way to know for sure that a helmet would have saved his life, but my guess is that the helmet would have at least lessened the impact of a fist sized pointy rock. I wasn't there myself, but I knew him and rode with all the people he rode with back when we were like 12.

    I have never hit my head hard enough to crack a helmet, but I would imagine that it takes a lot to split one. I know a few people who have cracked a helmet and a few that actually split them, and they walked away from it. that much force applied directly to somebody's skull would probably mean a hospital visit for at least a few stitches.

    How's that? Probably not enough for you, but that's okay. I'm over it.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    I guess the only way statisctically they could figure it out is to do a random survey.

    How I personally know, is that I've thumped my skull a bunch of times, and whenever I wear a helmet, it's no big deal, and when I don't it is a big deal.
    So what's the scientific definition of "big deal"?

  22. #22
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    Science or statistics?

    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...4&page=1&pp=25

    Check out this thread from another board I visit. I was even called an "a$$hat". Too funny.
    That fellow "doinky" insists on a scientifc experiment with a control experiment before he will accept the idea that helmets lessen injuries, yet his aurgument is based on just correlation of data, he doesn't present a controlled experiment for his hypothesis.

    Using Doinky's method I present this: The use of sun screen is on the rise. Skin cancer is on the rise, therefore sun screen does not reduce the risk of skin cancer.

  23. #23
    bi-winning
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    Cool-blue Rhythm I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Floyd
    My advice to everyone -- wear a helmet. Even if you're just riding around the neighborhood.
    thats some good advice. it could save your life, or just prevent it from being ruined (brain damage)

  24. #24
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    But there is harm

    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    You don't, but the fact of the matter is is that you are doing yourself no harm by wearing a helmet (and yes, I know your "courage for your head" argument).
    Harm as follows:

    1. Prohibitive cost to purchase a helmet
    2. Purchase proceeds contributing to the evil helmet coporations
    3. Lack of heat dissipation from your skull and resulting fainting spells
    4. Head and neck fatigue from excess helmet weight
    5. As Pete said, higher noggin profile which creates a hazard for head impacts with trail obstacles such as trees, airborn animal life, ect.
    6. Funky helmet head patterns, chicks don't dig this
    7. Giant sponge like receptacle that sucks up flying horse patooty and takes it to your mouth area (see AZ threads)
    8. Nerd like appearance
    9. Smelly hair
    10. Chin pinch upon installation on cabeza

    I probably could think of more, but this will suffice. Based on these reasons and more, I generally don't wear a helmet except when I wear one. Which will depend on whether I am wearing a helmet.

    Seriously Skinny-Tire, aren't you that guy on T100 that jumps cars at the parking lot at high speeds without a helmet and no shirt, or is that guy my frat buddy from Chico State, I forget.
    I AM JUST A JERK

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Which jives with the numerous studies, opinions of the certification /testing folks, medical professionals who have studied the issue, etc. when discussing serious injuries and death.

    Of course helmets prevent inconvenient scrapes, bruising and scalp lacerations.

    In your example above there are simply too many variables to be able to definitively claim that the helmet prevented serious injuries.

    For example...My head is a bit higher off the ground when I wear a helemt. Some branch blows would surely be avoided if I was riding without a helmet, just because I have better clearance.

    I'd already considered the clearance variable. Its my job to assess situations like this, given the location of the blow (direct top of the helmet. She had to put chin to chest in order for me to see it) she would have hit it, helmetless or not. That is also why I described the spinal load as axial compression, not flexion as would be associated with a glancing blow to the back of the head.

    I understand what you're looking for, with empirical data chock full of physics equations and force vectors and the force required to collapse the cranial vault, etc. But the point I'm making is that it isn't really necessary.

    Considering that everyone's bones are different in size, strength, porosity and density, there is no hard and fast "Everyone's skull would collapse in this crash" by which you can realistically guage the efficacy of helmets. You can easily say "to a bareheaded person, a crash involving X kind of forces would cause significant damage" without specifying what TYPE of damage will occur. This is the binary nature of head/spinals to which I referred earlier. Like I said, she may have escaped with just a concussion (they're not that bad, I've had one, fairly common and easy to recover from) or that simple concussion could later cause swelling, increasing intracranial pressure, and ultimately death. Perhaps a person of different height would have taken the blow to the face (she didn't have on a full-face helmet, so we'll assume this other person doesn't as well) and had blateral facial fractures and died from teeth and bloody bone fragments obstructing the airway. Head injuries resulting from direct blows are so universally bad and so complex in the reach of their consequences that the type of study or proof which you request is simply not realistic. The exact same load on two people with the exact same skeletal system won't necessarily produce the same results.

    Of course there are crashes so hard that a helmet won't save you, and I'm not meaning to say that I view helmets as a panacea for knowing how to fall properly, riding within your ability and knowing what's above your head. All I know is that I have seen helmets probably save lives.

    PS- How sure are you that scalp lacerations and such injuries aren't significant? They're indicators of deeper injuries, personally I don't think that riding or walking 10 miles back to a trailhead with pointy shards of bone fragment floating around inside my head is the safest thing to do, even if the impact didn't directly cause me extensive damage.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archdukeferdinand
    Head injuries resulting from direct blows are so universally bad and so complex in the reach of their consequences that the type of study or proof which you request is simply not realistic.
    That's one of the key points. Helmets are not designed to protect the brain from bouncing around inside the skull when the head receives a blow that is severe enough to cause injury.

    Yet the vast majority of cyclists see helmets as a panacea against serious injury and death. When even the manufacturers and the folks who created the testing methods and certification levels proclaim that that type of protection is beyond the design parameters of cycling helmets.

  27. #27

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    [QUOTE=Archdukeferdinand]By a knowledge of mechanisms of injury and their respective effects.

    While not labratory test results, let me walk you through the logic of how this works, we'll use the woman I encountered this afternoon:

    I can deduce from the cracked shell of the helmet and deformity in the underlying foam that the impact was with a certain degree of force. This is of course a rough estimate, but when dealing with situations like spinal and head injuries it is a binary thing - force significant enough to cause a spinal/head injury, or not significant enough to cause said injuries. I know how hard it is not to carry a lot of speed into this stretch of trail where she hit the tree.

    I had a situation where I ducked under a tree fallen across a trail and I hit the bottom of the fallen tree with my helmet and basically got clotheslined. I was on my back completely spun-I sheered of the top of my helmet...
    The thing was,in my mind my head stopped "here",but with my helmet on it really stopped "there" therefore causing me to hit the low tree.
    surely I could have been more jacked if it was my exposed head that hit the low tree,but I would not have hit it. The helmet raised my head a couple inches higher than my mind made it out to be.

    that's just what happened to me, and I am more aware now of how much higher my head is with a helmet now!
    ahaa!!!

  28. #28
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    Bike fell on my head...

    I've had one specific case where I was glad I had my helmet on (many more where I think it helped out). I went over the handlebars, the bike followed me over. The cassette left a nice dent in my helmet. Maybe not life threatening, but enough evidence for me to say, I'll ride with a helmet thanks.

    John

  29. #29
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    No evidence, yet makes stupid conclusions

    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    That fellow "doinky" insists on a scientifc experiment with a control experiment before he will accept the idea that helmets lessen injuries, yet his aurgument is based on just correlation of data, he doesn't present a controlled experiment for his hypothesis.

    Using Doinky's method I present this: The use of sun screen is on the rise. Skin cancer is on the rise, therefore sun screen does not reduce the risk of skin cancer.
    Pacman has nailed it on the head (and I here propose a scientific experiment: Let us try driving a 1/2 inch nail into doinky's head, one time when he is wearing the helmet, one time when he is not. Which will hurt him more?) In claiming that there is no evidence to prove helmets help, he fails to provide any evidence or hard data that they don't help. If you're gonna cry for data, experiments, etc, start doing it yourself.

    Furthermore, he quotes this article as reason to not wear helmet, as if the article demonstrated any proof that helmets don't help. The article does not even conclude that the statistics (which aren't even given any hard numbers) say you shouldn't or needn't wear a helmet--it concludes that safety awareness is required alongside the use of helmets to more fully prevent injury, which is a valid point. Helmets won't always save you--there are other parts of the body that can be injured badly enough for you to die--but they do help, as real data would demonstrate, I am sure. At the very least, they cannot hurt.

  30. #30
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    Not me. I agree, the way I ride, I don't need a helmet...but that's just me.

  31. #31

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    How many guys have killed a helmet? I've done 3, 2 hard shell old school ones and a newer thin shell styro job.

    First one, hucking off my friends roof into the half pipe he built in the backyard. Missed the pipe, 15 feet straight into the ground on an old BMX. Smashed into the fence and split the shell where it rivetted together.

    Second one, coming down a dirt trail at about 175,000 miles an hour. Lost it, woke up in a creek blowing bubbles in the water, and the extra weight of a small rock that got stuck in the helmet. Bike was ridable, walked home anyway. Lost my sense of balance for a little while, no permanent injury.

    Thin shell, riding on the road in the wet and hit the paint with the rear tyre. Bike wetn away from me, decided to slow myself down by using my head, literally. Hey, I was wearing a helmet, my head is going to be fine. Head was ok, helmet was toast.

    All of them could have been avoided easily if I was riding properly.

    As could all those extra injuries that are reported. If folks would realize that a helmet is just another layer and not "Courage for your head" like some halfwit ad exec nightmared up, then the injuries would go down in an awful big hurry.

    Just like seatbelts and airbags, they don't make anyone able to defy Sir Isaac's discoveries. Physics is physics, and if you hit something it's going to break something. Maybe just a little pride, maybe your neck. Preferrably something easy to repair or replace.

    Due to the thinking that helmets add ability/reduce resposibility, the data in this case is skewed. It's said that numbers don't lie, but where the numbers come from and why they occur the way they do is not revealed by numbers alone. Simply saying that helmets don't do anything based on statistics, without finding out why the statistics exist in the way that they do, is the thinking of a first grade nimrod.

    Add to that, occasionally helmets can cause injuries when a naked nob would escape with lesser injuries. Usually neck injuries, sometimes brain injuries, rarely skull injuries. It's a tradeoff because helmets do offer a better chance of escaping the ultimate injury in most cases. It's pretty hard to heal when yer dead.

    BTW, was it just me or did anyone else learn in school how numbers can be made to say anything? It's the first thing a politician learns...

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    That's one of the key points. Helmets are not designed to protect the brain from bouncing around inside the skull when the head receives a blow that is severe enough to cause injury.
    What are you talking about? That is exactly what helmets are designed to do.

    By allowing impact energy to crush the polystyrene, the time it takes for your brain to slam into the side of your skull is increased, thus force is disipated over a greater period of time.

    How can you be certain that this enegy disipation won't be such that it takes the impact force below that which would cause brain injury?

    Can you please post your scientific study? Or are you just making up your own "facts"?
    Last edited by Halloween; 05-08-2004 at 11:59 AM.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Yet the vast majority of cyclists see helmets as a panacea against serious injury and death.
    Using your same logic, where is the scientific prove to back up this argument? In fact, I'd like to see a study that shows "the vast majority of cyclists" think helmets can prevent serious injury and/or death. In fact, I'd venture to say that a small minority actually take this view of helmets.

  34. #34
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    I'll second the common sense argument

    Quote Originally Posted by ditchdiver56
    I think it's sad when people replace common sense with statistics.

    DD
    Pretty much anyone who has any background using statistics could dig up some random stats dealing with this issue and make an argument either way that appears believable at first glance. Take any situation involving a blow to the head, mtb or not, and it would be ignorant not to believe a helmet could save you. Try making the argument to an NFL quarterback or a baseball player facing a hunderd mile an hour fastball that it would be much safer to play without the helmet. Or how about this hypothetical situation, if you were going to be dropped on your head from 5 feet off the ground onto a sharp rock, would you or wouldn't you want to wear a helmet?

  35. #35
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    Helmets work

    Quote Originally Posted by Halloween
    What are you talking about? That is exactly what helmets are designed to do.

    By allowing impact energy to crush the polystyrene, the time it takes for your brain to slam into the side of your skull is increased, thus force is disipated over a greater period of time.


    This is correct. Its funny how Polystyrene is still the only substance shown to significantly reduce not only cranial damage, but the "Coup-Contracoup" of secondary impact inside the skull as well, and thats why its the only substance approved to absorb impact in bicycle/motorcycle helmets. I may not have seen any studies proving helmets help with bicycle crashes, but there have been many done on motorcycle crashes. They almost universally show that helmets reduce the chances of serious injury. There will always be those crashes in which nothing would have saved the person, but thats not what helmets are for. They are for the far more common crashes in which the head is exposed to significant impacts. And for these, there is no question that they help.

    From my own experience (12 years as a FF/Paramedic), I've seen several instances of motorcycle helmets that were all but destroyed in an impact, and the patient walking away from it. I didn't need any studies to be impressed by that.
    If you want to play with electricity, more power to ya......

  36. #36
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    OK Uncle, I am a helmet proponent

    I was just playing devil's advocate and must confess that I am a strong proponent of helmets. Any here is why, my story:

    It was a beautiful sunny morning. I was riding fast down some amazing single track. Suddenly, for no reason, I flew off my bike at great speed. Luckily I was wearing a helmet. I landed headfirst on a large sharp jagged boulder. But, because I was wearing my helmet, my head wad unharmed. Unfortunately, the large jagged rock ripped my head clean off at the neck and I was forced to carry my head 20 miles to the nearest hospital where they reattahced it. Thank god for the helmet or I would surely have hurt my skull.
    I AM JUST A JERK

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    I was just playing devil's advocate and must confess that I am a strong proponent of helmets. Any here is why, my story:

    It was a beautiful sunny morning. I was riding fast down some amazing single track. Suddenly, for no reason, I flew off my bike at great speed. Luckily I was wearing a helmet. I landed headfirst on a large sharp jagged boulder. But, because I was wearing my helmet, my head wad unharmed. Unfortunately, the large jagged rock ripped my head clean off at the neck and I was forced to carry my head 20 miles to the nearest hospital where they reattahced it. Thank god for the helmet or I would surely have hurt my skull.

    See, you never know when that can happen.
    If you want to play with electricity, more power to ya......

  38. #38
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    Helmets?? YUCK!!

    I absolutely detest helmets !! I hate wearing them. I hated wearing them when I raced on motorbikes and go-karts at pro level, and I hate wearing them on my mountainbike or roadbike.

    BUT !! ... I always wear one. I have crashed at very high speeds and walked/limped/was carried away from some of these with a totally wrecked helmet. Some prangs would have turned my head to mush if I wasn't wearing it.

    Helmets suck...but if you don't wear one, you're bloody crazy !!.


    R.

  39. #39
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    There are studies showing sunscreen causes skin cancer

    I believe these have been done in Australia. Sunscreen allows people to stay in the sun much longer than they would without sunscreen. Populations that use sunscreen have a much higher incident of skin cancer. Also, there is a belief that one or some of the ingredients in sunscreen may be causing the cancer.

    Who would have thunk it?


    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    That fellow "doinky" insists on a scientifc experiment with a control experiment before he will accept the idea that helmets lessen injuries, yet his aurgument is based on just correlation of data, he doesn't present a controlled experiment for his hypothesis.

    Using Doinky's method I present this: The use of sun screen is on the rise. Skin cancer is on the rise, therefore sun screen does not reduce the risk of skin cancer.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    If more people took the time to actually read a great deal of the research and read about the certification/testing standards, and were willing to challenge their lifelong assumptions, there would be far less posts containing claims like "a helmet saved my life" "I would be dead" "my skull would have fractured."

    But it's good that people don't because they provide ample fodder for the helmet wars.
    There are real, no-kidding safety and testing standards for bicycle helmets, determined by the Snell foundation. http://www.smf.org/standards/b95std.html To say that all bicycle helmets are trivially designed is incorrect, as is saying that we only have anecdotal references in the matter.

    They're incidentally the same people who wrote the standard that all racetrack motorcycle helmets meet. They do know a thing or two about how to keep your brain from deccelerating quicker than your skull.

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    I choose not to wear a helmet because it is cost prohibitive
    You can get a safety-approved helmet for less than $20.00. How much was your bike? How cheap are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    and causes me to faint from the heat.
    You should see a doctor if wearing a ventilated chunk of foam causes you to lose consciousness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    It also can get tangled up in trees and such.
    So can Jerseys and shorts. Do you ride naked?

  42. #42
    Ride what you want!!
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    Helmet caused me to crash...

    A buddy and I were riding an urban creek trail in Modesto (a killer place to live), Ca. The trail traverses the upper banks of dry creek and has a lot of trees and a couple tight spots. I was in the zone, focusing on the trail, and going at a good clip when a thumped a tree leaning into the trail. It wasn't a super hard thump, I didn't black out or anthing, but it knocked me off my bike. The problem was, there was nothing to land on. It knocked me toward the downhill side of the bank and down I went. I tumbled about 10 ft down the bank of the creek and landed in a tangle of exposed roots at the base of an old oak tree. I was ****ed up after than one.

    Huge bruises all over my body, scrapes and cuts, it was ugly and it hurt. I still wear a helmet, but I don't wear a visor.

    What's my point? Nothing, just wanted to share a story.

    Oh, helmet nazis suck.

    george
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  43. #43
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    points to consider

    Quote Originally Posted by Poser
    I believe these have been done in Australia. Sunscreen allows people to stay in the sun much longer than they would without sunscreen. Populations that use sunscreen have a much higher incident of skin cancer. Also, there is a belief that one or some of the ingredients in sunscreen may be causing the cancer.

    Who would have thunk it?
    1. No statistics ever address the issue of the underlying cause. The cause might be depletion of the ozone layer. Just another speculation, not fact.

    2. Statisitcs don't tell us who is having the head injuries. Even if 90% use helmets maybe all the injuries are to the remaining 10% who don't use helmets.

    3. Statistics don't tell us who crashes and walks away unharmed. The best use of statistics would be the rate of survival with and without helmets when there is a crash.

  44. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by george_da_trog

    Oh, helmet nazis suck.

    george
    I'm with you there - it all boils down to personal choice.

    Playing Devil's advocate is kinda fun sometimes, though.

  45. #45
    Ouch, I am hot!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewdane
    You can get a safety-approved helmet for less than $20.00. How much was your bike? How cheap are you?
    My bike was almost $4,000, so I obviously cannot afford even another $20. I am very cheap. I probably would go for about $3.09 on the open market, and most of that is on account of my shoes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Drewdane
    You should see a doctor if wearing a ventilated chunk of foam causes you to lose consciousness.
    I did see a doctor and he told me1) I was crazy and; (2) to better hydrate myself. I did, but I was so wet that I could not see where I was going and smacked my head.


    Quote Originally Posted by Drewdane
    So can Jerseys and shorts. Do you ride naked?
    No, but on occassion I will ride without my shirt on to expose my beautiful upper body to the hot chicks on the trail, however, this has never resulted in any positive response from the babes. I also fantasize alot about riding with naked women.
    I AM JUST A JERK

  46. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    My bike was almost $4,000, so I obviously cannot afford even another $20. I am very cheap. I probably would go for about $3.09 on the open market, and most of that is on account of my shoes.
    Wanna buy my old helmet?


    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    I did see a doctor and he told me1) I was crazy and; (2) to better hydrate myself. I did, but I was so wet that I could not see where I was going and smacked my head.
    Use bottled water - it's clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    No, but on occassion I will ride without my shirt on to expose my beautiful upper body to the hot chicks on the trail, however, this has never resulted in any positive response from the babes. I also fantasize alot about riding with naked women.
    That's funny - I always receive LOTS of positive responses from the ladies when I ride shirtless! (loud guffaws, pointing, and retching noises are positive, right?)

    I can't think of too many activities I haven't fantasized about doing with naked women...

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    Yup....

    Quote Originally Posted by george_da_trog
    Oh, helmet nazis suck.

    george
    I'm with ya too (seriously). But I also believe that they're not quite as bad as those who would label you a "helmet nazi" just because you recommend them and believe they are a good safety device.

  48. #48
    Dax
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    agreed. I hate my helmet, its hot and a PITA. But I never leave home without it.

  49. #49

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    Statement of facts regarding helmets....

    I don't know anything about the research or standards.

    Here's what I do know:
    -I was riding down a steep technical descent
    -There was a tree in the middle of the trail
    -My handlebars clipped the tree
    -My head smacked into the tree
    -My Etto helmet (old school much like a hockey helmet) shattered
    -I had a mild headache for the rest of the day and some bark embedded in my cheek

    I am *assuming* that if I did not have my helmet on, that my head would have hit directly on the tree instead of the helmet. I can also *assume* (due to years of testing) that it hurts more to bash a helmetless head than a helmeted head against said tree. Therefore, without the helmet, my headache would have been a bit more than *mild*. Is that a fair assumption Mr. Fagerlin?

    Hence; I still cannot say that helmets save lives, but I can say, "My helmet saved me from having a more severe headache that day."

    Fair enough?

    Jed

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    To combat the helmet head problem I shaved my hair down to 3/8" on top and 1/4" on the sides. I can now cut my own hair, and the saved $ goes towards my (or my better half's) bike :-D

    Of course it helps that I'm engaged. I'm not sure what I would attract on the open market with my hair like this...

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    So what's the scientific definition of "big deal"?
    Science is simply one philosphy for acquiring knowledge. Any "definition" in science is limited to the scope of the question asked and the methods. As such, it is probably useless in any real context. If we only relied on science, humanity's range of knoweldge would be much more limited, or so I suspect. It is too easy to say there isn't absolute proof; therefore, all arguments are false. It is far more productive to explore and opine or posit in the absence of proof, because that's where we may actually learn something. I often joke that science is a philosophy, a religion, and a social club that is sometimes useful.

    In my skiing life, I ski fast and regularly ski things that are on the extreme of not easilly skied or jump off of big things. I used to not wear a helmet. Things sometimes go wrong, and I've experienced everything from loss of consciousness to seeing a world in shades of yellow/green. I started wearing a helmet. Things still sometimes go wrong, but other than a mild concusion, I have not experienced the same magnitude or range of response to smacking my head. As the severity of impact increases, I believe that the benefit a helmet provides decreases, likely exponentially. But the same is true of the safest car on the road, "bullet-proof" vests, and steel-toed boots.

    Still, I don't always wear a helmet when cycling or skiing (probably 90% of the time). I suppose that may be due to wear and tear on the noggin from when I didn't wear a helmet. I'll never know for certain, but I won't let that stop me from knowing for certain.


  52. #52
    ballbuster
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    Not to mention...

    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    That fellow "doinky" insists on a scientifc experiment with a control experiment before he will accept the idea that helmets lessen injuries, yet his aurgument is based on just correlation of data, he doesn't present a controlled experiment for his hypothesis.

    Using Doinky's method I present this: The use of sun screen is on the rise. Skin cancer is on the rise, therefore sun screen does not reduce the risk of skin cancer.
    ... that those who use sunblock are more likely to be in out side in the sun in the first place.

    89% of all statiscics are bullshiz anyway.

  53. #53
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    Real World Experiment

    If you doubt the effectiveness of polystyrene helmets, try this...

    Find a piece of polystyrene or styrofoam, a cheap cooler will suffice.
    Find a brick or concrete wall.
    Have someone hold the styrofoam against the wall for you.
    With your strong hand, punch the styrofoam as hard as you can.
    Then, punch the bare wall as hard as you can with your other hand.
    Note the difference between your two hands.

    Please post back with your results.*


    *note, you may have to type one handed.

  54. #54
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    As other's have said, it's not fun listening to a helmet nazi for either side of the debate.

    I rode for a long time without a helmet and now I ride with one, for me while it may not save my life, it certainly has saved me from a couple serious headaches, possible concussions and some serious skull lacerations. Physics is physics a helmet will only do so much, if you hit a brick wall at 60mph a cycling helmet probably is not going to save your life, but it will lower the impact force your skull takes and has some resistance to penetration as well.

    I've never been tore off my bike by my helmet, fainted from overheating with a helmet on, or experienced any other real negative things from a helmet. In fact as for trail clearance I've had way more problems catching my camelbak on things than my helmet. So I wear one because for me it has benefits and no drawbacks.

    I encourage people that don't want to ride with a helmet to do so, I concider it simply putting some bleach in the gene pool. The same as I encourage people to ride motorcycles in tshirts and shorts.

  55. #55

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    Helmets

    Helmets suck, but so does breathing through a hole in your neck and eating through a G tube inserted into your gut for the rest of your life.....say nothing about making your way around the house by blowing into a straw on your wheelchair. Not only do helmets save you from devastating head injuries you can't forget it saves your neck..better to have styro foam take the impact than the vertebrae/ spinal cord......wearing a helmet, its a "no brainer".

  56. #56
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    Hydration packs are dangerous

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddM
    In fact as for trail clearance I've had way more problems catching my camelbak on things than my helmet.
    The only time I've been ripped off my bike was when I attempted to sneak under a partially fallen tree at speed. The nub of a broken branch caught my hydration pack. My bike was still clipped to my feet until it became perpendicular to the ground at which time, my cleats released and the pack ripped, dropping me 3-4 feet straight down on my back.

    I think everyone ought to quit wearing Camelbaks and other hydration packs because of the likelyhood of serious injury. Hydration is overrated.

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