"pros" in helmets

thermopyl
thermopyl Posts: 17
edited August 2010 in Road beginners
As a newcomer to road bikes (mtb are my thing) I bought a used racer and am giving it a go. Riding in my mtb gear at the mo, don't feel I have justified lycra yet!

One thing I would never do on a mtb though is ride without a helmet. But why do I see so many guys on megabucks bikes fitted out in team colours riding without helmets?????!

Are they bloody stupid?

(edited to fix predictive texting in my original post!)
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Comments

  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,363
    They are exercising their freedom of choice (and you have opened a can of worms!). For the record I always wear a helmet but if others don't it's up to them until legislation is put in place.
  • anto164
    anto164 Posts: 3,500
    Yes they are.. I always stand beside you should wear a helmet whenever you're on a bike. FULL STOP.

    A lot of people in these full team kits have probably rode for years, and when they started riding, none of the pros wore helmets, none of their friends wore helmets, and there was none of the 'you should wear a helmet because of XXXXXX' when they started riding.

    Old habits die hard sometimes.
  • i wear a helmet but it does make me look like a proper cock!! why do they all look like cornish pasties gone wrong? still, i cant let my kids see me not practising what i preach.
  • sundog
    sundog Posts: 243
    Depends if you are just out for a short 'leisure' ride and not aiming to do any type of speed.

    I get more concerned at complete novices on bikes weaving all over the road/cycle paths without helmets.

    As already said, personal choice.
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  • Ollieda
    Ollieda Posts: 1,010
    Pross wrote:
    For the record I always wear a helmet but if others don't it's up to them until legislation is put in place.

    And here's me thinking that your profile pic was a pic of you!

    I always wear a helmet, find it silly not too......actually the one time I didn't I got hit by a car lol
  • I don't think they're bloody stupid, but it may be a bit of 'it won't happen to me'.

    Well it happened to me when I first went clipless. I did the 'sack of potatoes' manouvre and bounced the side of my head as I went down on a load of shaley gravel. Least I think that's what happened. Has anyone else given themselves whiplash whilst stationery. :oops:

    So, until I can trust myself, I won't be trusting anyone else with my head safety (apart from helmet manufacturers oh ykwim).
  • one thing is certain - sooner or later we all fall off

    you could fall off and have a small scratch

    you could fall off and crack your skull meaning 12 months of work and all the emotional/financial problems that come with it - this happened to a work colleague on a 300yd ride to the park

    For the sake of £50 and wearing a cornish pastie it just aint worth it folks
  • I've prettymuch always worn a helmet-I've been cycling since I was a kid and had the safety message drummed into me by the parents. Since then, it has always felt a bit like not wearing a seatbelt in a car. I wasn't sure if there was much point, but I carried on wearing a lid just to be safe. Then on my commute one night the inevitable happened-a car drove right into me (he didn't stop at a t-junction). I got off with a few stitches and aches & pains, but my (helmetted) head took a pretty good whack on the windscreen. That was easily enough to confirm to me the merits of wearing a helmet. Head injuries are so much more difficult to recover from. Having worn one, I was back on a new bike within couple of weeks.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I started riding before the foam helmets were invented. Me and my mates got on fine. Sure we came off - but none of us came to any harm.

    Guys in my club have been riding for 50 years or more - if they dont feel the need for helmets, then thats fine.

    The most devout helmet advocates are people who have just taken up cycling and know no other way.

    Cycling is not as dangerous as some people think - look at Holland and all their cyclists - hardly any wear helmets. Look at how many cyclists there were post war - did the streets run red with their blood ? By all means wear one if you want to, but I'd rather let people decide for themselves. All that BS of doctors or paramedics looking at a bust helmet and proclaiming it saved a life - it just is not credible. How would they know ?
  • Lady Venom
    Lady Venom Posts: 213
    my helmet saved me last week. nuff said.
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Another bloody ignorant helmet compulsion thread.
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  • DCowling
    DCowling Posts: 769
    What is the difference between coming off a moped and a bicycle at 30mph

    the roads are far far busier than they ever have been,
    the standard of diving is abysmal and there is less care or consideration for other road users. I wear a helmet and feel a little more secure for it, yes I know it will not stop an accident but it may just save my life so I can see my family again , I would be no good to my 6yr old son dead , so even if I do look like a prat in a hat I will go on wearing it ( I think this is why some of them insist on wearing dark glasses, to avoid recognition)
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    Another bloody ignorant helmet compulsion thread.
    True, some people are quite compulsive and ignorant about helmets, but I haven't noticed anyone on this thread advocating making their use compulsory.
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    bompington wrote:
    Another bloody ignorant helmet compulsion thread.
    True, some people are quite compulsive and ignorant about helmets, but I haven't noticed anyone on this thread advocating making their use compulsory.

    Just comments like this:
    thermopyl wrote:
    But why do I see so many guys on megabucks bikes fitted out in team colours riding without helmets?????!

    Are they bloody stupid?
    anto164 wrote:
    Yes they are.. I always stand beside you should wear a helmet whenever you're on a bike. FULL STOP.

    I totally agree with Cougie:
    cougie wrote:
    I started riding before the foam helmets were invented. Me and my mates got on fine. Sure we came off - but none of us came to any harm.

    Guys in my club have been riding for 50 years or more - if they dont feel the need for helmets, then thats fine.

    The most devout helmet advocates are people who have just taken up cycling and know no other way.

    Cycling is not as dangerous as some people think - look at Holland and all their cyclists - hardly any wear helmets. Look at how many cyclists there were post war - did the streets run red with their blood ? By all means wear one if you want to, but I'd rather let people decide for themselves. All that BS of doctors or paramedics looking at a bust helmet and proclaiming it saved a life - it just is not credible. How would they know ?

    One of the group I was riding with on Sunday was a retired Paramedic, and he doesn't wear a helmet though.

    I choose to wear a helmet, but there's no real evidence to support compulsion of helmet wearing and I find calling non-helmet wearers "stupid" very offensive, especially as they seem to understand the risks of cycling far better than the n00bs who support helmet compulsion.
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  • sub55
    sub55 Posts: 1,025
    sometimes i wear one, sometimes i dont.
    most of the time not. the descision to put it on has nothing to do with any precieved safety. that decision is made on the gounds of temperature. i wear one when its cold .
    people who think a helmet makes any difference to their safety once they are riding above 15 mph is frankly delusinal.
    my choice ,my head.
    constantly reavalueating the situation and altering the perceived parameters accordingly
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    anto164 wrote:
    Yes they are.. I always stand beside you should wear a helmet whenever you're on a bike. FULL STOP.

    Do you wear a helmet when you're in a car or walking down the street?
    More problems but still living....
  • Ollieda
    Ollieda Posts: 1,010
    So if you think helmets should be compulsary your a n00b? Better let the UCI know that one, they might change their rules about racing then!

    As said, I think people should be allowed to choose. Both sides of the argument have weak lines....not to keen on the "Lot's of people ride without one and they aren't badly hurt" line. Lot's of people fight in Afghanistan and they're not badly hurt, doesn't mean it's a safe thing to go and do.
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Ollieda wrote:
    So if you think helmets should be compulsary your a n00b? Better let the UCI know that one, they might change their rules about racing then!

    Well you seem to know little about the UCI. It's pretty much an established fact they are a bunch of imbeciles run by Chief Wiggum.
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  • Bunneh
    Bunneh Posts: 1,329
    amaferanga wrote:
    anto164 wrote:
    Yes they are.. I always stand beside you should wear a helmet whenever you're on a bike. FULL STOP.

    Do you wear a helmet when you're in a car or walking down the street?

    Not quite the same thing though :) In a car you're much safer than you are on a bicycle. Same goes for walking, you're not exactly going at break-necks speeds down a techical single track with branches jutting out.

    I don't wear my helmet and it's purely for vanity reasons. It's way too big, sits on my head like a toadstool cap and the strap rubs my neck raw! I tried the Boardman helms and they're just as bad. Prefer my bandana, makes me look like a pirate, yaar!
  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    I wear a helmet, though I know it is unlikely to be life saving if I hit the deck with my head at the speeds I travel. I use it more as an example for my little boy (who does go at the speeds helmets are designed for, and has a very soft head in comparison to an adult).

    I have had off's both MTB and on the road, I have never hit my head yet. Thats not to say it won't happen, but you don't hit your head every time you hit the deck.

    If people don't want to ride without them, that is their choice, I know plenty of the older guys that have ridden and raced for years an ride without helmets (unless racing now), they are still all mentally sound.

    The roads maybe busier today, but if you get hit by a car, then wearing a helmet will be the least of your worries, you normally have far worse injuries from the vehicle impact to those of hitting the deck I would imagine.
  • sub55
    sub55 Posts: 1,025
    Ollieda wrote:
    So if you think helmets should be compulsary your a n00b? Better let the UCI know that one, they might change their rules about racing then!

    Well you seem to know little about the UCI. It's pretty much an established fact they are a bunch of imbeciles run by Chief Wiggum.

    :lol::lol:
    i`ll agree with that
    constantly reavalueating the situation and altering the perceived parameters accordingly
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,363
    Ollieda wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    For the record I always wear a helmet but if others don't it's up to them until legislation is put in place.

    And here's me thinking that your profile pic was a pic of you!

    I always wear a helmet, find it silly not too......actually the one time I didn't I got hit by a car lol

    That's a hill climb about 20 years ago on an 11% gradient, my mum had the helmet at the top for the descent. My first ever race I was one of only two people with the new fangled hard shell helmets (anyone thinking they look bad now should have seen that solid dome of polystyrene!!) and I learned my lesson when I decided to do a time trial on a hot night without a helmet thinking 'it's only a time trial' only to get hit from behind by a clubmate and end up taken to hospital in an ambulance with concussion. These days I've got a family to worry about and I owe it to them to do my best to protect myself or at least ensure that if the worst happens no slimy lawyer will manage to reduce their compensation by arguing contributory negligence.
  • hambones
    hambones Posts: 407
    OP - offroad cycling helmet-wearing makes far more sense as the likelihood of either falling off or hitting your head on something overhanging is far greater. Road cycling is incredibly safe and when done well the chances of having any kind of fall or accident are very small, let alone actually hitting your head when falling.

    As an aside, on many of these threads I often see people mention kids wearing helmets. Where does this happen? I see 100's of kids cycling around my way and except for the 4-year olds on stabilisers out with their mums none wear helmets. At a recent cubs night they had 20 8-9 year olds going for a cycling badge and one of the requirements when doing so was to wear a helmet - they had to borrow 2 as no-one turned up with one!!!

    Glad to see many advocate choice though - remember it is all about risk perception.
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  • DCowling wrote:
    What is the difference between coming off a moped and a bicycle at 30mph

    Do you wear something like this when you are out on you bicycle then?46158338ed_12_r.jpg
  • DCowling
    DCowling Posts: 769
    DCowling wrote:
    What is the difference between coming off a moped and a bicycle at 30mph

    Do you wear something like this when you are out on you bicycle then?46158338ed_12_r.jpg

    No but then you wouldn't see me on a moped either
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    @redddragon - I wasn't actually getting at you specifically, I was referring to the generally high level of heat that this topic generates. But you were the one who brought up compulsion!

    @thermopyl: my subjective reaction is much the same ("bloody stupid") but the point is that the evidence for the benefits of helmet wearing is not that strong. Intuitively it seems obvious, but there seem to be so many confounding factors that whenever anyone does any research, it's quite easy to come up with the evidence you want to support either view. But of course this is an internet forum, so let's not let rationality get in the way of a little personal abuse, eh?

    @SBezza ("plenty of older guys") & cougie ("how many cyclists post war"): this is a classic "My great auntie smoked 60 a day and lived to 95" argument. And just a thought - could it be that roads are more dangerous places to be these days? More, faster and bigger cars, more aggressive drivers, more street furniture (what did for me on one of the occasions below - road constriction that I just didn't see in the dark & pishing rain)

    The great thing about any helmet debate is that it brings out the guys wearing tin foil ones.

    From what I can find - and I have looked - there really isn't a lot of direct evidence (of the crash test dummy type) for what helmets do and don't do in different types of collision; just a lot of statistical evidence, most of it pretty inconclusive. There is certainly some fairly good evidence that compulsory helmet wearing is counterproductive, but nothing else seems very convincing either way. (If anyone knows of any good recent stuff, please post links)

    Personal choice (prejudice) seems to outweigh evidence every time round here, so I'll throw in my ha'porth too: I've split two helmets completely in two, both by hitting my head very hard on the pavement at speeds well over 15mph (once at 25 and once at 30, since you ask: the first with the assistance of a passing car, the second all by myself).

    And if that wasn't enough to convince me, I just can't think of any real benefit in not wearing one - I just don't feel any real discomfort from it: but then I could never understand the "I need £900 Assos shorts as my delicate bum just can't cope with anythig less" brigade either.
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Bunneh wrote:
    amaferanga wrote:
    anto164 wrote:
    Yes they are.. I always stand beside you should wear a helmet whenever you're on a bike. FULL STOP.

    Do you wear a helmet when you're in a car or walking down the street?

    Not quite the same thing though :) In a car you're much safer than you are on a bicycle. Same goes for walking, you're not exactly going at break-necks speeds down a techical single track with branches jutting out.

    Well according to this US report per-mile fatalities are considerably higher walking than they are cycling. It also notes that most cycling and walking fatalities occur in collisions with vehicles i.e. the sort of collision where a helmet will make little if any difference.

    FWIW I sometimes wear a helmet. I'm smart enough to make the decision for myself based on the available EVIDENCE.
    More problems but still living....
  • Mister W
    Mister W Posts: 791
    TBH the fatal accident isn't the one I'm considering, and trying to protect against, when I put on my cycling helmet. I know it's not going to protect me very much from a full on collision with a car. It's the survivable brain damage accident I'm more concerned about. The one where I take a corner a bit fast, slide off and smack my head on the kerb or other hard object.

    But I am against compulsory helmet use. We're all adults and we all make our own choices.
  • I've always taken the view that if I wasn't wearing a helmet & come off my bike for whatever reason, & hit my head to the extent that an ambulance is required - that ambulance can't be responding to someone else. If I'd worn my helmet that ambulance could be responding to a call elsewhere & potentially saving someone else's life. I personally think that's worth it.
  • brettjmcc
    brettjmcc Posts: 1,361
    Ollieda wrote:
    So if you think helmets should be compulsary your a n00b? Better let the UCI know that one, they might change their rules about racing then!

    Shouldn't they have a moral responsibility to help promote safety though? Maybe I'm being too simplistic.

    For me its about pure risk assessment. As people say, driving standards are down. The roads are badly worn so you may need avoid the cracked tarmac. I always wear a helmet now, but never used to when I was a kid. Maybe its more socially acceptable now.

    It was the same for me with skiing. I now never go on the slopes without a helmet after seeing someone leave a large amount of claret from his head and have to be heloed out. More of interest, whilst off topic - in the USA and Canada you are almost frowned apon if you don't wear a ski helmet; however, in Europe, a lot of people still look at you like you are wierd... I don't care I win the headbutt contest with them 8)
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