A Conversation for Bicycle Helmets

Yes, but ...

Post 1

Ek* this space intentionally left blank *ki

I have found that wearing a helmet induces a false sense of security in much the same way as wearing elbow and kneepads does when roller blading. If I'm not wearing a helmet I'm infinitely more cautious and wary than when I am and as a result don't put myself in any dangerous situations. Put a helmet on and I become invincible.

It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that motorcyles have a greater accident rate than cyclists. I'd be intrigued to see what proportion of these involve people on Mopeds as I'm sure they are more dangerous than proper bikes.

As a cyclist around the streets of London I've had my fair share of near misses. Most of these have involved pedestrians and stationary vehicles rather than moving ones - partly due to the fact that it's usually gridlocked for most of my journey. People opening their doors and pedestrians stepping out from behind vans are the greatest hazard, and eejits who overtake you and then turn left. Cyclists who listen to headphones I have no time for at all and there was one guy I was cycling behind who was smoking ... as if inhaling the 74 bus isn't enough!

It has to be said though, not only does cycling around town get you fit, but you also find out alot about town, especially as a newbie, also it makes your day go well ... a couple of near death experiences first thing in the morning means that the rest of the day has to improve, or else you're dead ... a jolly thought!

Yes, but ...

Post 2

Researcher 191690

I'm 18, and I've grown up with the pressure of enforced cycle helmet wearing. Having a very over protective mother meant I had to have the the biggest, most noticable one, which didn't help, but I found that wearing it really put me off cycling. They are truly horrible ugly things, especially for girls, as they make your head look weirdly bulbous. It's not a matter of putting fancy pants colours on, and logos and all that stuff, they need to be smaller and more flattering. Surely there's some kind of material out there that could protect your head whilst staying close to it? Well, if there isn't, someone should create it, they'd earn alot of money, especially if I ruled the world, or was at least Minister for cycling protection.

I think cycling is great! I went to Statford last Summer and it was so refreshing and pleasant to see so many people cycling about and smiling. More cycling! And more smiling!


Yes, but ...

Post 3


I too am a London cyclist and used to religiously wear a helmet; however whilst I didn't feel invincible, I did find it uncomfortably hot in even the mildest of weather, too cold in the winter and useless for keeping my head dry in the rain.

Most of my near misses cycling in London have been due to pedestrians just stepping off the pavement, white van men being, well, white van men and idiot youths on mopeds.

I generally find bus drivers and cab drivers to be fairly considerate of cyclists and private car users seem to be getting better.

My biggest gripes when cycling are the w*****s that park in cycle lanes and fellow cyclists who believe that traffic signals, lights, signage and the Road Traffic Act don't apply to them - THEY DO!! Pedestrian crossing are what the name suggests, not a speedy way for cyclists to avoid red lights.
Riding at night in dark coloured clothes, without any lights or reflective material is moronic, dangerous and causes accidents.
Pavements are for pedestrians not cyclists.
The list is endless.................

Yes, but ...

Post 4

Ek* this space intentionally left blank *ki

I agree with you there Ross although I can't say I abide by all the rules ... I'm not inconsiderate in the slightest and often find myself stopping cars from driving straight over Zebra crossings. Pavements I don't do although I times I'm tempted if only because the road is full of pedestrians.

The problem with the cycle lanes in this country is that they aren't wide enough and one I saw today was actually a peak time parking zone ... what is the point in having a cycle lane if cars can park in it ... a waste of white paint.

The other people who irritate me are wideboys in their "phat motaz" who scream past you when you move off from traffic lights ... what exactly are they trying to prove, that their sooped up, turbo charged, fuel injected golf Gti has better acceleration than a bicycle ... gosh!

I have to say that although Woozles is right in saying that helmets aren't what could be described as aesthetically pleasing, I'd rather look a prat than be in hospital for a week ...

Yes, but ...

Post 5

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

The most endangered motorcyclists are "born again bikers" who earned their bike licence on a "fizzy" and may have got as far as a 250cc before jobs, women, kids and stuff curtainled their biking. At 35 or 40 they suddenly have enough money for a Honda Fireblade, and they go off and kill themselves on the Cat & Fiddle Pass.

Most fatalities involving bikers of this age apparently involve no other vehicle.

Yes, but ...

Post 6

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

Don't get me started on people riding at night without lights. I have around £250 worth of lights on my bike, steady and flashing, plus flashing armbands and Scotchlite tape everywhere. Drivers all appear to be nyctalopic, so I give them daylight-intensity lighting smiley - smiley

I always wear a "lid." If yours is too hot, get a Giro - I find it comfortable even in the hottest summer weather (better than no lid, in fact, as it insulates the head from the sun). They aren't cheap, but they are good.

I personally don't give a toss what the helmet looks like - I never have as ultimately girls find quadraplegia a real turn-off.

Yes, but ...

Post 7

The Fish

Well... only the shallow ones ei! smiley - winkeye

Yes, thankfully thanks to manufacturers being slightly more conscious of both style and technical ability of helmets (ie cooling). It's possible to get a helmet which will actually keep you head cooler than without a helmet. smiley - bigeyes Giro and Met are good brands generally, but like most things, unless you spend a lot of money, it's not going to be that good. smiley - smiley

I guess you only "REALLY" appreciate what "could" happen to your head if something where to hit you/come off. When it happens to a friend/relitive. As it did to my sister smiley - erm She was fine, although the windscreen of the car, her old helmet and her bike were all written off. Although fortunately this all happened near a fire station, so she was soon surrounded by lot's of very friendly firemen! smiley - cool Although she still wishes she could remember more of it... smiley - winkeye

smiley - biggrin
smiley - fish

Yes, but ...

Post 8

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

To be fair even my old Bell wasn't too bad - again, the insulation value from the sun was worth having.

I once got knocked from one side of Park Street Roundabout to the middle by a woman who was apparently driving with her eyes shut. I was out for about fifteen minutes, judging by the fact that the ambulance was already there before I regained consciousness. Funny, though - although I have suffered migraines and tinitus ever since, nothing was broken (except the bike I was riding!) and the compensation paid for my first "proper" bike, a Dawes Super Galaxy - so I suppose it ended as well as could be expected.

Yes, but ...

Post 9

The Fish

smiley - yikes! smiley - erm

How most drivers get away with retaining their licences amazes me! Their most common reason for hitting cyclists is usually "I didn't see them"... To which most cyclists would reply "well you should have been LOOKING then!" smiley - biggrin

The only time I've ever been knocked off my bicycle, was when I was a lot younger (a teenager) and I was cycling along this pavement (one that cyclists are allowed to smiley - winkeye.... not that I would have cared either way)... Anyway, I was cycling along this path (next to a main road) and suddenly this van started to reverse out of a drive! My only options were either braking, or increasing my speed... Having forsight, I can now see the beneficial effect that braking would of had. However I sped up, and the back of the van clipped the back of my bike, sending me flying... smiley - bigeyes (fun at the time, but slightly painful) Anyway, the chap was very kind and helped me up, and checked I was ok... along with the usual line of "Oh, I didn't see you"... smiley - smiley

But considering the amount I cycle around, it's surprising I haven't been knocked off lately.... I guess I just usually see the cars before "they" see me... smiley - cool

smiley - fish

Yes, but ...

Post 10

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

Shared-use paths (i.e. riding on nominated pavements) are just about the most dangerous possible environment for cyclists. You trade the risk of collision from behind (rare) for a dramatically increased risk of collision due to motorist pull-out, plus the need to look in at least three directions at once every time you reach a junction, plus the fact that you are out of the normal attention area of motorists joining the road along which you are riding. Some estimates from the USA suggest that this kind of cycle track increases the risk of collision by over 300%.

Yes, but ...

Post 11

The Fish

smiley - erm Quite.... I'm not surprised...

As you can probably guess, I stopped using them after that... smiley - winkeye

I'm often amazed at how blind most car drivers are.... especially ones who never indicate... smiley - cross
I ride a motorcycle aswell as a bicycle, and often have to "dodge" cars who just pull out across your path, leaving you having to swerve of brake suddenly... smiley - sadface
smiley - fish

Yes, but ...

Post 12

Researcher 195158

Hi I think that helmets look frightenly silly, but I always were one, which took an age to find, I was in a shop for about an hour trying on different helmets. When I found one that was comfortable it was the most expensive in the shop and ugly as sin.

The other day I came of my bike after hitting a car that had pulled out of a side road, I recall flying through the air over the car bonnet landing on the road hitting my head quite hard. I got up went over and sat on the pavement took of my helmet which looked fine on the outside but inside there were serveral cracks. No doubt the helmet saved my life.

Nuff said!!!

Yes, but ...

Post 13

The Fish

smiley - yikes

What was the drivers reaction??? And what were they like? Surely the "SHOULD" have seen you... smiley - erm

I guess unfortunately, that kind of accident must be the most common... where a car driver/cyclist isn't paying enough attention, and there's a junction.... smiley - sadface

What helmet was it? I know that some manufacturers, offer a discount on new ones, if you return your broken helmet to them...
Besides which, the top end helmets look very smiley - cool in my opinion.. The new Giro E2 Blue Flames is very nice! smiley - bigeyes Although a tad over priced.... smiley - winkeye
smiley - fish

Yes, but ...

Post 14

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

The problem is that you are too insignificant to have a company car with receivers for telepathic indicators. Also, you are clearly not important enough to have been issued with a traffic regulation exemption certificate, as issued to all BMW drivers.

Yes, but ...

Post 15

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

Like the man says, there is no guarantee that wearing a helmet will save your life, but there is a 100% certainty that if you're not wearing one, it won't.

Yes, but ...

Post 16


I notice the above article doesn't include a link to http://www.cyclehelmets.org

BLimey. It has been so long since I've been here I've forgotten how to use the code.

I should point out that this article has been made a topic of conversation on both urbancyclist-uk and C+. The risk compensation argument is a good one. As is the observation that if we make it appear necessary to wear a helmet then people will naturally think cycling is dangerous.

There is also a good paper here:


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