Riding offroad without a lid on?

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  • Riding offroad without a lid on?
  • PeterPoddy
    Member

    No PP – in that by making the poly harder they have removed some of its impact reducing properties

    Or maybe it was too soft before, so it's been toughened up? Whatever, it's still preferable to road/rock. I happen to know that Citroen laminated windscreens hurt less than the rear of a BMW 5 series, because they bend a bit more, but both are preferable to tarmac. πŸ™‚

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Double post

    Starlet
    Member

    TJ – safety issues aside, are you not bothered that other mountain bikers think you look like a total noddy when you go out on your bike without a helmet?

    crikey
    Member

    Starlet, you wear a helmet to stop the other boys laughing at you then? πŸ™„

    starlet – do you really think that bothers me in the slightest? I think many mtbers are utter numpties for all sorts of things.

    I was out with a posse a few weeks ago on a ride I know well – 15 miles of scenic flat landrover track – I asked a couple of folk if anyone would throw a tantrum as I didn't want to wear a helmet.

    One family was kids was there – they kids were told – wear a helmet or you grow up like all funny like TJ.

    The insistence on wearing helmets all the time is IMO stupid and leads to all sorts of problems – making a safe pursuit look dangerous, helmets are so poorly designed that I believe from good evidence that they significantly increase the risk of neck breaks, I believe then many folk take totally unneeded risks – hence all the injuries folk suffer.

    I am certain that the helmets are poorly designed and tested. Lots of good evidence about that and why do other similar sports have helmets tha perform so much better?

    crikey
    Member

    – making a safe pursuit look dangerous

    +20 !

    Although it may suit some bikers to bolster their image as extreeeeeme sportsmen, and you may think that girl in the office swoons because of your manly pursuit and disregard for the danger that is modern mountain biking, the fact remains that mountain biking is a safe sport, practised by largely middle class fellas.

    If it were as dangerous as some folk are making out, then two thirds of this forum wouldn't be allowed to do it by their bosses, their wives and/or girlfriends and especially by their mums.

    Dancake
    Member

    I still dont wear one on the road

    Trouble is that I am discovering more and more that some drivers love to make you brake hard in the wet hen you are on skinny tyres. At least on the trail there is a good chance of a soft landing πŸ™‚

    I have been doing this over a year and try to get out once a week for a few hours. In under 60 times out I have hit my head twice and have fallen off countless times so ovbiously I must wear a helmet; likelyhood of an accident is High … Waiting in casualty for hours for a few stiches is just a pain in the arse that we can all do without…

    nb I dont wear a helmet for walking as for the last 30 years I have walked every day and never hit my head. the risk of an accident is low

    Oh and for the poster who made the point that there is nowhere for your helmet light…well that makes the most sense of all. Good on you sir.

    mboy
    Member

    I believe then many folk take totally unneeded risks – hence all the injuries folk suffer.

    Isn't that just the "Mountain" Element of the Biking we do? πŸ˜‰

    Seriously though, you're right, many/most of us do perhaps take totally unnecessary risks when we're out on our bikes. BUT IT'S FUN πŸ˜€

    Hence I wear a helmet, as does everyone else I know and ride with… Ergo I started this thread in the first place… I perhaps hadn't realised there were people not concerned with riding technical stuff, or taking a risk at all, such as yourself. Each to their own I suppose, I'm a bit of a thrill junkie to some extent (perhaps not to Jedi's extent granted!), so a bit of speed and danger makes me feel alive. I wear a helmet to mitigate potential damage to by head caused by being potentially over zealous out on the trails.

    And before anyone asks, I suppose like TJ I do do a fair amount of risk assessment based upon the riding I'm going to be doing myself. Am I going on an XC ride? Yes, then wear an XC lid… Am I going messing about on DH tracks with a lift to the top of the hill? Yes, then wear my full face helmet, knee/shin armour my Dainese body armour too. I understand that I am creating more risks by the type of riding I am going to be doing. But perhaps it's because none of the riding I do offroad is of such low risk that I would ever consider not wearing a helmet of sorts that I always wear one? So I'll concede you do have a point there TJ.

    But I will add that whilst Cannock isn't the most extreme place in the world by some margin, the ground there is pretty firm, most of the FTD trail is now armoured against the weather, and so is pretty rocky. There's a fair few trees to smack yourself on at some sort of speed too. These guys weren't just pootling along the fireroads, they were doing the same trail, albeit granted slower than me and most other people I saw there (wearing helmets) yesterday.

    Anyway, can we close this thread now please. I started it, I take the responsibility for that, but in the 160 odd posts we must have seen the same old ground covered 120 times… I was asking the question as to why people don't wear them as it surprises me, TJ has answered that pretty well to be fair, whether or not I agree with his rationale. I was not making any judgement based upon the fact they weren't wearing helmets, and I would never be someone to go over and tell them they should be wearing them. Each to their own! But we're all adults, and know the risks of a rock/head interface, hence I thought it a bit silly these guys would choose not to wear them personally…

    Case closed?

    haven't read all the posts but here's my experience :

    Several years ago I was coming down a road off the Long Mynd in Shropshire when I had a front wheel blowout – boom – next I knew was waking up a few days later in hospital having had a fractured skull etc – apparently when I came off I skidded into the kerb and hit it with my head – I wasn't wearing a helmet.
    Of course it's a choice issue but as someone further up said consider the other people that have to deal with this –
    I know this experience was much worse for my family and for the people riding with me (luckily) at the time to deal with – as they had to do all the clearing up and worrying.
    It took a while to get to riding again.
    I've always worn a helmet since….

    clubber
    Member

    I believe then many folk take totally unneeded risks

    What like actually going out on your bike in the first place (unless specifically for commuting/getting from A to B). πŸ™„

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I am certain that the helmets are poorly designed and tested

    But you've never tested one. Those of us that have know you're talking bobbins! πŸ™‚

    (For the record, I might not agree, but I'd stand by your freedom to make the decision. I'd never want to see lids compulsary)

    mboy – wot – a sensible post on this thread! are you sure you are in the right place.

    thanks for understanding my point. See that picture I posted – I do a fair bit of that sort of riding.

    I'll add another anecdote and maybe added to the others on here it will influence some folk reading this thread to wear a lid.

    I endoed at speed on a downhill and landed on my head, back and shoulder. The impact broke five ribs in my back behind the shoulderblade where it takes a lot of force to break them. I also broke a collar bone. The A&E assessed me a major trauma and kept me in overnight for observation so I think you'll agree there was a significant amount of energy in my crash.

    Once I got home and scraped the dirt of my Giro E2 I found it was split right through. I'm convinced the helmet saved me from a serious head injury, fortunately at the time all I suffered from was some dizzyness.

    Wearing a helmet takes such little effort that certainly off-road (and for me on road) its a no brainer. You can brake legs, arms, back and neck and OK the consequences can be dreadful but damage your central processor and you could literally end up a different person.

    However I'm fundamentally a liberterian so just as I'm prepared to accept the consequences of MTBing wearing a helmet then if TJ or anyone else prefers not to use a helmet and they're prepared to accept perhaps a more serious set of consequences then fine.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    so just as I'm prepared to accept the consequences of MTBing wearing a helmet then if TJ or anyone else prefers not to use a helmet and they're prepared to accept perhaps a more serious set of consequences then fine.

    It's called 'Natural Selection' πŸ™‚

    IainAhh
    Member

    I don't get this.

    If you are out doing real mtb you are going to fall off unless you are taking it very easy.

    I would have thought most riders on trail centers would expect to have some sort of mishap on most rides.

    If you go over the front, common on the steeps I would have thought you are quike likely to land head down.

    I used to ride on an easy trail, just out for a ride without a helmet in the summer. I came over a wooden bridge and hit a tiny 2 inch stump on my front wheel. I didn't see it until I went back to look afterwards. I went straight over the front on my face. Fortunately on a plus side I didn't hit a tree (it was in a forest.)

    On the road side of things my dad and his pal were mowed down by a taxi driver from behind. My dad was off work for most of a year with a badly broken leg. But he was wearing a helmet which was cracked in half in the incident. He had no head injury. In fact the police kept as an example to show kids at schools.
    His pal was in hospital for 2-3 weeks cracked head and spinal problems.
    He still has back problems relating to this, guess what he wasn't wearing a helmet.

    Ian – hence if I am doing that sort of riding where crashes are common I wear a helmet. Not that I crash much even then – it hurts too much. I only push my limits by a little bit – as I cannot afford to get injured and take time off work
    As for your anecedote – its just that – an anecdote. One thing tho – wearing helmets increases the risk of spinal injuries so yuour dads pal without the helmet may well have had a more severe spinal injury if he had had one – and a helmet cracked into two parts more than likely has failed.

    clubber
    Member

    IainAhh, ah, so you're the custodian of the title of 'real' mountainbiking. Please define exactly real mountain biking for us as there's been much debate as to the one true definition. πŸ˜‰

    mboy
    Member

    TJ, just humour me here…

    Would you have worn a helmet if you were riding at Cannock yesterday (bear in mind a lot of the trail is rocky, it was wet, there's lots of trees, braking bumps etc.)?

    And if yes, what's your opinion on those that weren't, other than the "freedom of choice" argument… I know they have the freedom of choice, we all do, but I'd like to see where you stand on this when push comes to shove…

    clubber
    Member

    a helmet cracked into two parts more than likely has failed

    TJ, you keep bringing this up. While I can understand where you're coming from (about compression of the polystyrene reducing the peak force/decelleration of the head), I don't really agree that cracking is a failure as snapping the helmet absorbs force too. Have you got any actual proof of this?

    OK, another anecdote, I was descending a hill(road) near Haddington where its possible to exceed 90km/h .I dont know what speed I was doing as the Suzuki Vitara overtook then pulled in to avoid the oncoming car but it clipped me and I definately glanced my head and shoulder of the stone wall, before sliding a very long way on the wet road.
    Should I then take this incident as proof in the miraculous power of woolly beanies to protect against head injury?
    Sadly, all this is just anecdote, not evidence, and its the same for all these tales of polystyrene hats too.
    I'll repeat my question ; What is the most confident claim you've read from the makers of bike helmets regarding the protective qualities of their product?

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    There seems to be an awful lot of pishing about in the 'not wearing a helmet today, but MAYBE tomorrow' brigade.

    I just put it on and go out be it a pootle or being 'radical' or riding to work, it's much less thinking time πŸ˜€

    mboy – from your description I probably would have been wearing a helmet – especially as it is a trail I don't know.

    3 factors for me to think about whan chosing helmet or not.

    1) speeds – fast downhills = more momentum to hit things with
    2) – terrain – rocky steps / jumps – more chance of falling
    3) familiarity – If I know the route I am les likely to fall than if I dont – as I would know were the hazards are.

    Clubber no proof but here is some discussion on it

    But my helmet broke – isn't that proof?
    A helmet is a fragile piece of equipment. On seeing a damaged one, it is easy to assume that a serious injury has been prevented. Cycle helmets split very readily, and often at forces much lower than those that would lead to serious head injury. Helmets work by absorbing impact energy through the crushing of an expanded polystyrene liner. Once compressed the liner stays compressed. It does not bounce back to its original form like reusable helmets for some other activities. If a helmet splits before the liner has partially or fully compressed – and this is often the case – then it has simply failed. It will not have provided the designed protection and may in fact have absorbed very little energy at all.

    http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1019.html

    and follow the links for more.

    Not the most independent of sites but a decent pulling together of the evidence

    clubber
    Member

    What is the most confident claim you've read from the makers of bike helmets regarding the protective qualities of their product?

    That's a misleading question too. You'd have to be negligent as a company to guarantee any specific level of protection beyond to a standard as you'd open yourself up to all manner of lawsuits as it's impossible to forecast every possible outcome.

    clubber
    Member

    Well TJ, without proof I think you should stop quoting it as fact, in the same way that you reject pro-helmeters' claims that their helmet definitely saved their lives. Ditto with the neck/spinal injuries thing unless there's proof of that which I doubt though it sounds like a reasonable enough theory.

    Exactly, clubber, so dont claim anything.
    Helmets are the ideal consumer product – dirt cheap to make, retail at very high markup, and 'need replaced' if someone breathes on them too hard.

    Premier Icon ddmonkey
    Subscriber

    I have had a couple of crashes where I hit my head. One split the helmet open and since I was on my own in a remote location at the time, it could have been very bad for me if, had I not been wearing it, I was injured / unconscious / whatever.

    The second time was on a BMX track where the full face helment I was wearing did a lot of good in reducing the effect of going over the bars onto a very hard surface.

    Either way its your choice if you wear a helment, but I don't understand why people don't. I think that they have saved me from worse injury on at least two occasions, and would never ride my bike without one. Why not take a sensible precaution to protect your head? I don't understand why you wouldn't.

    If you don't wear a helmet whats the reason?

    clubber – you cannot prove much of this hence I said – a cracked helmet has likely failed All you can do is weigh up the evidence.

    as for the rotational injury that is pretty clear from many studies. POC are now designing helmets with mitigation of rotational injury as an aim. there is some discussion on rotational injury here – focussing on head injury not spinal but there is plenty of research that shows as helmet wering increses so does spinal injury

    http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1039.html and a couple of links at the bottom of the page.

    clubber
    Member

    Helmets are the ideal consumer product – dirt cheap to make, retail at very high markup, and 'need replaced' if someone breathes on them too hard.

    Agreed. I still choose to wear one as I reckon it's common sense but that's my choice…

    TRL's conclusions show considerable uncertainty about the critical issue of whether bicycle helmets of current design can protect against angular acceleration and consequent injuries to the brain. Further, some of the experiments reported show that some helmets can increase angular acceleration.

    clubber
    Member

    TJ, you say that it has 'likely failed'. That's no different to people saying that a helmet has 'likely saved them'. The link you provided didn't seem very compelling in it's proof or research that a cracked helmet had likely failed IMO.

    ddmonkey, when I was in my teens BMX was at its height, and only a few rich kids could afford helmets . Loads of us did plenty of daft things ( I have intimate knowledge of the drain at the bottom of Livingston bowl!)
    There isn't, however, a lost generation of people who aren't here due to the absence of lids.

    Not the most independent of sites but a decent pulling together of the evidence

    Ah, the old "teach the controversy" tactic – cast as much doubt as possible on a well-researched, replicable, but not conclusive body of work in order to try and give credibility to your own crackpot argument.

    There are sound arguments against wearing helmets 24/7 or making use of them compulsory, but I don't think these apply to the blokes riding around Cannock.

    Premier Icon ddmonkey
    Subscriber

    west kipper I'm not claiming that there is. All I'm saying is, in my opinion and from my experience, I have rung my bell very hard on two occasions and I think that had I not covered my head in a protective shell it would have been worse. Therefore, helmets have worked for me on two occations, not to mention the hitting branches thing etc.. That confirms my belief that there is no sensible reason not to wear a helmet if its available. So what are people's reasons for not wearing them?

    Cost? Well you bought a shiney bike didn't you?

    Can't be bothered / don't think its cool? Well that's your choice but they aren't good reasons IMHO.

    http://plomesgate.co.uk/newsjul09.pdf

    The bottom line is that nobody gets up in the morning and decides to have an accident. The fella in the incident above had been riding all his life and was a very accomplished rider on a relatively simple road ride.

    I'm sure someone will be along in a minute to tell me that there is no evidence to prove that a helmet would have saved his life, and the answer to that point is that you cannot prove a negative. One thing is absolutely certain though, there will be people left behind who will wish that he had put one on on that day.

    Everyone has the right to make their own decisions. Personally, I would hope that most of us take the path of least selfishness and take reasonable steps to protect our loved ones from unnecessary grief.

    No brainer in my opinion.

    IainAhh
    Member

    "clubber – you cannot prove much of this hence I said – a cracked helmet has likely failed All you can do is weigh up the evidence.

    as for the rotational injury that is pretty clear from many studies. POC are now designing helmets with mitigation of rotational injury as an aim. there is some discussion on rotational injury here – focussing on head injury not spinal but there is plenty of research that shows as helmet wering increses so does spinal injury"

    I suppose the helmet did fail in a way. It compressed and cracked hence dispersing the force.

    The consultant at the hospital told me that he was fortunate that he wearing a helmet. He said it had reduced the impact greatly. He explained that in his experience he would have not been sitting up and talking to us otherwise.

    Ok – a wee summary of the facts and theories as I know them – from fairly extensive reading over a number of years

    Cycling remains a safe pursuit overall

    The scientific evidence is contradictory, counter-intuitive and of a very poor standard

    Countries where helmet use is high have a higher number of injured and killed cyclists.

    Helmets can reduce some injuries but can exacerbate others.

    helmets are designed for a "fall over" type situation – a direct fall from your own height onto the ground. They are not designed for oblique impacts or hitting vehicles

    Helmet testing standards are low, outdated and unrealistic

    There is no quality evidence that I can find about helmet use and MYBing.

    helmets are much less effective than most people think.

    I personally am very concerned about the rotational impact thing especially since seeing the number of spinal injuries from MTBing There is clear evidence that helmet wearing might increase your chances of a spinal injury.

    In the end it comes down to personal choice.

    IainAhh
    Member

    i.e no lasting damage to his head

    Mr Agreeable – Member

    Not the most independent of sites but a decent pulling together of the evidence

    Ah, the old "teach the controversy" tactic – cast as much doubt as possible on a well-researched, replicable, but not conclusive body of work in order to try and give credibility to your own crackpot argument.

    Huh?

    That is a decent body of research on the cyclehelmets site – including research from such people are the TRB who cast serious doubt on the effectivness of helmets. Some real good peer reviewed research.

    Find me some decent evidence that helmets actually work – thats a challenge for you 'cos I have never found any.

    The best you get is the after the fact statistical surveys which are serious flawed.

    hora
    Member

    Live and let live. So what if someone doesnt want to wear a helmet. What next? Wrap them in bubblewrap incase they get tipsy on a night out?!!

    ddmonkey, I touched on the reasons why not earlier,
    Helmets are heavier ( strain on the neck on long rides)
    Helmets are noisy( wind noise masks traffic)
    Helmets are too warm in hot weather and too cold , due to all the weakening vents, in winter.
    Helmets MAY make a neck or rotational injury worse.
    If I have to put up with all this inconvenience, then I want to have some good evidence that they do some good or at least make me more attractive to the opposite sex ( or sheep, I'm not picky!) but there's none.

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