19 May 2008

Helmet Advice

I can't tell you whether to wear one or not - that's up to you. I've already said that my position is that I don't want the regret of not wearing one, should the unthinkable happen and I survive, but barely. So I wear a helmet.

In choosing a helmet it's important to know that ALL helmets in the USA must comply with the same safety standards. The only difference between a $20 and a $100 helmet is things like the air vent design, the harness materials, the aesthetics, etc. Functionally it is required by law to work the same.

So buy the cheapest helmet that you like.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I eased into helmets when I found a lovely multi-sport helmet that has speakers built in (good for quiet but not distracting music).

Now I'm older and would wear one no matter what, but it was a good way to break in. I love that I can jack my MP3 player in. :)

Margaret said...

Yowzas.. Jack your MP3 player in it? That doesn't sound safe...

I had a wee crash last year at the beginning of Spring. Luckily, I had just started to wear a helmet. My head hit the side of a car, and for a couple of minutes I had an impact-induced seizure. My helmet shattered. Someone stopped to call 911, and when I came to, he said to me, "Thank God you were wearing a helmet".

Anonymous said...

Oooh, that helmet sounds great for touring. Who makes it?

Better than wearing earphones!

AC said...

I ride for recreation mostly occasionally I commute to work. I have noted that most recreational cyclist on "road bikes" wear helmets, but many who tend to ride comfort bikes and commuter type bikes ie: loop frames, vintage 3 speeds often don't wear helmets. I'm not sure why this is. I started to wear a helmet after I hit a woodchuck on a sidewalk while riding my bike on a lunch break. That convinced me that anything can happen you never know. Since then I've become a big advocate for wearing helmets due to my nephew's severe traumatic brain injury which he received while riding a longboard (basically a long skateboard) down a steep hill when he was 17 yr old. TBI's affect every aspect of your life and your family. My nephew came up with this slogan while he was in rehab. Helmets are lame until you break your brain.

Christopher Traynor said...

AC, regarding your comment, "but many who tend to ride comfort bikes and commuter type bikes ie: loop frames, vintage 3 speeds often don't wear helmets." I can't speak for others, but as someone who never wears a helmet riding my upright, I can say it is because I see things so much better. The riding position is more conducive to paying attention. I do wear a helmet when I ride my mountain bike...hunched over, head often down...same when I rode a road bike.

Anonymous said...

You need your ears to listen to the sounds around you while riding your bike or walking; not the distraction of an mp3 player built into your helmet, or otherwise. You need all your senses while biking and or walking in this day of cellphone wielding drivers.....Franky.

Kate said...

I'm just starting out cycling. I haven't made up my mind which cycle yet but I know a helmet is a MUST!

Nimeus said...

I agree !

Andrew said...

If wearing a helmet gets you on a bike cool if not wearing a helmet keeps you on a bike cool, the evidence suggests strongly that cycling with or without a helmet will do more for your health, wealth and independence then any other single thing.
In the years to come people will discover that not cycling a bike is far more dangerous

David said...

I think conventional bike helmets look dorky,but that does not mean I don't wear a helmet. I'm not promoting any particular manufacturer, but nifty designed helmets like those from Nutcase are great to look at and great to wear.

For those that believe that bicycling is a lifestyle, these kind of multi-design helmets are something of a fashion statement. Safety and trendy, what could be a better combination for cycling.

phylos said...

I commuted in a large Southern city without a helmet, until fracturing my skull after being mowed down by a Volvo. How does one know if a helmet would have made a difference? There is analogy with skiing...when safety bindings came into vogue in the 60s, distal tibial fractures were converted to long spiral fractures. When high-topped boots came into vogue in the 70s, those long spirals were converted to knee damage. Maybe, the helmet converts fractured skulls into closed head injuries or cervical spine injuries. Where's the data? Having said that, I do wear a helmet for my commute now, to echo an earlier comment because I wouldn't want to regret not wearing one and I'm scared of inconsiderate morons in cars. I don't wear one on the bike-only path however. I sit up, I ride about 11-12 mph, and I look around and listen to my surroundings.

Tom said...

I used to wear my helmet sporadically at best 'til this happened:
It's a beautiful, sunny afternoon. One grand kid is in school and the other two are down for a nap. I'm on my bike with no one to set an example for. So minus my helmet, I cruise down the bike path in the woods and cross through the tunnel under Rutherford Road picking up speed all he way. Take the turn fast, wind in my hair. Life is good! Then I see the slimy patch of pavement too late. BAM! I'm down like a house of cards. I manage to get the chain back on and limp back home at a little slower speed. I probably looked like a mugging victim with blood smearing my glasses, watchband snapped, and a big scrape on my hand. Slime and mud all over my jeans and sweatshirt. And that's how I come to be holding a Buzz Lightyear BooBoo Buddy icepack against a lump on my head the size of a Cadbury egg. Cost me 4 dr. visits, a CT scan, an MRI, & a month off the bike. Wear your helmets, people!

Anonymous said...

I am TOTALLY FOR helmets! I can't believe people risk it. I know cycling on a urban road is different than a rural road, but an accident is an accident and they happen everywhere.

I was doored in a big city and I lost part of my front tooth. I hit my head, but had a helmet on which did its job! After the shock, I was okay.

My friend was doored out on a rural country road by a pulled over sight seer. Unfortunately, they weren't wearing a helmet and ended up in a coma for a few weeks. They wear a helmet now.

Ask yourself: Which is worse, wearing a helmet or not being able to wipe your own ass?

Accidents happen, period. Wear a helmet!

Anonymous said...

Do you wear a helmet when you drive a car? Head injuries occur everyday in auto accidents.Race car drivers always wear helmets.We are all comfortable with some level of risk. I may choose to go without a helmet when riding on dedicated cycle paths,yet I always wear a helmet when riding with auto traffic.Responible cyclists will educate themselves regarding the risks and make their own choices.

Andrew said...

Often wondered why there is no movement to include helmets in cars. I suppose it's the perception that once you have your seatbelt on in a car you are safe. It's a bit like that on bicycles some people perceive the danger some don't. I also think the type of bike matters, when I,m on my racer I wear a helmet because of speed and my center of gravity. When I,m on my Grandad bike in a two piece suit I,m in balance moving along at little less then a good marathon runner pace so I perceive the danger differently.
What I don't understand is a lack of consistency I have being asked by friends you don't wear a helmet and then three hours late when it's dark the same person has no lights on their bike.
I,m often amazed at the amount of people with helmets with no lights at night time in dark clothes. So I suppose it all come down to risk assessment .