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So, I'm not about to proselytize or seek to convert people, this is what I experienced today: (disclosure:  I've always been a sort of fan of helmets though never a fanatic, today made me a firm believer though).

Returning home, gusts of wind, rain starting in earnest.  I took a roundabout that I've taken a thousand times before.  Only difference was that I'd forgotten that just last saturday I had installed a brand new set of Hutchinson sector 28 mm tyres, brilliant on dry pavement, murder on wet, especially when new.

I entered the roundabout (right hand side driving over here) at 32 kmph (about 20 mph I guess) and halfway through, felt the rear wheel slide from under me.  I hit the pavement on my left hip and elbow, then my head just 'bounced' on the tarmac.  Or rather, my Bontrager specter wavecell helmet did.  Picked myself  up almost immediately, saw the proverbial stars and felt a bit dizzy.  A police patrol that saw everything pulled over to ask if I needed medical assistance, which I declined.  Rode home (no real damage to the bike) at a much lower speed than before.

End result:

-  Bit of a headache

- 20 cm of road rash on my left hip (kudos to Assos:  not a nick on their Cento evo bib, under it my skin was virtually gone).  Spraying desinfectant on that was an interesting experience.   Guess I'll be black and blue tomorrow.

- Sore elbow

- Sore ribs

The helmet shows very little sign of impact on the exterior, just some dimples.  On the interior however, the wavecell structure cracked/deformed in the temporal region.  I guess that's what it's designed to do.  I'll have to get a new one but don't doubt for a second that without it I'd have been visiting the casualty ward, riding in a ambulance rather than on my bike.  So for me it's helmets all the way from now on.

For the doubting Thomases (I understand):  yes, I have pics but unfortunately I don't see how to upload them here.  If you can explain how I should do so I'll gladly post them.

 

 

71 comments

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Boatsie [465 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Glad you're ok. I went skate boarding once or twice. Lost to speed wobbles while hanging onto an XT Falcons rear bumper bar. Mates thought I was dead.. Didn't bleed much but had more than a tennis ball size growth on my head.. Correction. Bled heaps; non compound.
Nowadays I'm lost in an argument. Apparently mini vs have a 7-8 mm pull.. They should work.. Yet I think I'm going to go back to flatbars, I love brakes, I have 3 brakes on my fixie.  1

Yeah, a big fan of helmets too bro.. And a big fan of free medicine.. Sugar. (Although useless with many because they chow everyday.)
Dropbars are so comfy though..

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hawkinspeter [4094 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

That does sound like your helmet did its job correctly. I'm always more suspicious when the helmet cracks in two as that makes me think that it didn't absorb much impact energy whereas others will claim it shows how effective the helmet was.

It's easy to upload a picture if you comment on this thread - you should see the "browse" and "upload" buttons underneath your comment. It's trickier to upload a picture when you start a forum thread - it is possible, but can't remember the details.

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JohnnyRemo [314 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

Or maybe your head wouldn't have hit the  ground, - it  was the much bigger dimensions of your helmet that caused the impact.

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Xenophon2 [112 posts] 2 months ago
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hawkinspeter wrote:

That does sound like your helmet did its job correctly. I'm always more suspicious when the helmet cracks in two as that makes me think that it didn't absorb much impact energy whereas others will claim it shows how effective the helmet was.

It's easy to upload a picture if you comment on this thread - you should see the "browse" and "upload" buttons underneath your comment. It's trickier to upload a picture when you start a forum thread - it is possible, but can't remember the details.

 

This should work then, first pic is the exterior of the helmet, next to nothing visible.  Colour's off, the helmet is really fluo yellow.  Second is the interior, I've circled the affected part.  You'll have to take my word for the road rash though.

 

 

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Xenophon2 [112 posts] 2 months ago
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second pic

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Organon [341 posts] 2 months ago
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Ah, the old magic injury transferring bibshorts.

There are quite a few rabid anti-helmet commentators around here. Frankly this is exactly what they are designed for. I don't care how any amount of taking care or 'riding to conditions' can prepare you for every eventuality. Sure a helmet won't protect you from a left hook from a white Audi, but it did it's job here. I've only scraped my helmet on the road on a little chute and still have the same one, I've never been concussed, but it still saved me some lost hair and face rash, who knows what, and that was caused by pigeon shit on a wet underpass.

I'll take the acedotal evidence every time because strangely enough we don't here from the people hitting their heads sans helmet and then saying 'I was fine.' Please come forward if this is you.

Please don't conflate being pro-helmet to being pro-complusion, I still ride to the shop was just a cap. 

Ride on Xenophon2.

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ConcordeCX [1176 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
Organon wrote:

...

I'll take the acedotal evidence every time because strangely enough we don't here from the people hitting their heads sans helmet and then saying 'I was fine.' Please come forward if this is you.

...

ok. I've had two cycling incidents as an adult.

In the first one nobody else was involved, and I fell off my bike while negotiating a kerb. I bumped my head on the pavement quite hard, no damage. I also broke my wrist.

In the second one I rode fast into a car turning right across me - I had priority. I went flying over the handlebars, bounced off the car and landed on the pavement. I bumped my head quite hard, no damage. I went to hospital because my arm hurt; they told me it was broken. Then two weeks later they told me it wasn't.

glad the OP is ok.

 

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giff77 [1395 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

Years ago I came off my bike while negotiating a tight turn when my toe caught the front wheel due to me not concentrating. Gave my head a right auld crack on the road and had a cracker of an egg for a few days. No concussion though. I did badly stave my wrist  which made work challenging due to the amount of lifting I need to do. Cycling was challenging as well to say the least. 

Speaking of concussions. I actually wound up with more of these on the rugby pitch. 

I would raise the question though of would your head have made contact if it didn’t have the extra circumference?  Apparently are bodies are pretty good at protecting themselves naturally without our having to put any thought into it.  

Glad the OP is grand though. But more importantly. Is the bike ok?

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Boatsie [465 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

That does sound like your helmet did its job correctly. I'm always more suspicious when the helmet cracks in two as that makes me think that it didn't absorb much impact energy whereas others will claim it shows how effective the helmet was.

It's easy to upload a picture if you comment on this thread - you should see the "browse" and "upload" buttons underneath your comment. It's trickier to upload a picture when you start a forum thread - it is possible, but can't remember the details.

Years ago at Kangarilla, SA: a steep mountain trail. To walk up was to use front brake and the bicycle as a pulling stick. To come down was fast.
My mates helmet cracked through, 3 seperate pieces. He was knocked out. He'd headbutted a Pine tree at a fair pace. The Pine trees there are ladders of about 1 foot branch lengths. He was also extremely happy to have been wearing expensive ballistic grade lense sun glasses. Nothing permanent. He's quite a nerd.
I'm still impressed with 30clicks around a corner.. That's about all I get on flat road straights.  1

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burtthebike [3247 posts] 2 months ago
7 likes
Organon wrote:

There are quite a few rabid anti-helmet commentators around here.

I'll take the acedotal evidence every time because strangely enough we don't here from the people hitting their heads sans helmet and then saying 'I was fine.' Please come forward if this is you.

There are quite a few anti-lies, fairy tales and assumption commentators around here, but I haven't seen any anti-helmet commentators, rabid or otherwise.

There's a very good reason no sensible person takes anecdotes as reliable evidence, because it isn't.  Reliable evidence is gathered over time, from the best available raw data, like over twenty five years of helmet laws in Australia and New Zealand.

I've posted several times about when I've fallen off and been knocked off a number of times, all without a helmet, and I'm still alive, and some of them included hitting my head, and there are many others who have posted exactly the same experience, but you state categorically that "we don't here (sic) from" them.

You might like to check the mirror next time you accuse other people of being rabid.

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hawkinspeter [4094 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
Organon wrote:

I'll take the acedotal evidence every time because strangely enough we don't here from the people hitting their heads sans helmet and then saying 'I was fine.' Please come forward if this is you.

Please don't conflate being pro-helmet to being pro-complusion, I still ride to the shop was just a cap.

I've come off only a handful of times and as I remember I was wearing a helmet for most of those, but I've never hit my head coming off a bike. Most of my offs were due to extra slippery conditions (the old CheeseGrater bridge, black ice etc) though I did a nice one whilst borrowing my wife's (then girlfriend) bike and had the chain jump off as I was doing some serious acceleration away from lights - managed to tear a little chunk from a finger. I've done a couple of sideways slides into vehicles with no damage sustained and twice had a vehicle clip my rear wheel though neither time did I come off.

As a slight aside, I've come off hundreds of times whilst riding a unicycle (never wore any protection whilst riding one) and only once had any injury - I was experimenting with toe-clips and as I ducked underneath an overhanging willow tree, I hit the lamppost that was hiding there. I didn't get my feet free to do a controlled "step-off", so I ended up taking the fall onto my outstretched hand which did something nasty to my wrist - couldn't take any weight on it for a couple of months.

On the flip side, I've hit overhanging branches with my helmet a couple of times and was glad of the protection, though that would have just been an 'ow' rather than a concussion etc.

So in conclusion, I don't see much benefit in a helmet though I always wear one now (the wife gets anxious if I don't). Gloves, on the other hand, have definitely saved me some skin.

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joeegg [111 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

No rabid anti helmet commentators on here ? Come on,pull the other one !

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jollygoodvelo [1878 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

This is exactly why I wear a helmet too.  It won't stop a left-hook from an Audi or a taxi, but it might just save my head from wiping out on a patch of gravel in a corner, a wet manhole cover or a slippery leaf.  I might only have to get it wrong once, and frankly I don't find wearing one uncomfortable or restricting, so it's fine.

But should it be compulsory?  Absolutely, 100% hell no.

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Awavey [644 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
Xenophon2 wrote:

second pic

 

see this is what annoys me more than whether you believe the helmet "totes saved your life" or not, weve got people using their helmet crash anectdotes as evidence of how great helmets are, but then seemingly happy to carry on using  their crash damaged helmets just because they arent totally broken in to lots of pieces

if you believe helmets offer any protection at all, if its taken a hit on the road and its clearly showing damage, even if its not broken apart its not offering the same protection anymore ,so you need to bin that helmet and get a new one, or else whats the point ?

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Awavey [644 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
Organon wrote:

I'll take the acedotal evidence every time because strangely enough we don't here from the people hitting their heads sans helmet and then saying 'I was fine.' Please come forward if this is you.

Ive flown over the handlebars in a crash, landed on my head, still have the visible scar from when I used my head to stop a somersault on a balance beam, and face planted more than once when Ive lost my footing, I certainly know what concussion feels like, if anything I should wear a helmet as a pedestrian as Im far more likely to hit my head just walking along on past history

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Sniffer [682 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
Awavey wrote:
Xenophon2 wrote:

second pic

 

see this is what annoys me more than whether you believe the helmet "totes saved your life" or not, weve got people using their helmet crash anectdotes as evidence of how great helmets are, but then seemingly happy to carry on using  their crash damaged helmets just because they arent totally broken in to lots of pieces

if you believe helmets offer any protection at all, if its taken a hit on the road and its clearly showing damage, even if its not broken apart its not offering the same protection anymore ,so you need to bin that helmet and get a new one, or else whats the point ?

Read the original post.  He did say he would need to get a new one.

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Awavey [644 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
Sniffer wrote:
Awavey wrote:
Xenophon2 wrote:

second pic

 

see this is what annoys me more than whether you believe the helmet "totes saved your life" or not, weve got people using their helmet crash anectdotes as evidence of how great helmets are, but then seemingly happy to carry on using  their crash damaged helmets just because they arent totally broken in to lots of pieces

if you believe helmets offer any protection at all, if its taken a hit on the road and its clearly showing damage, even if its not broken apart its not offering the same protection anymore ,so you need to bin that helmet and get a new one, or else whats the point ?

Read the original post.  He did say he would need to get a new one.

 

" 'have' to get a new one" doesnt sound as urgent a priority to sort out to me as must get me a new one now that Ive put this old one in the bin or cant ride my bike at all given my new found confidence in helmets till I get a replacement as this one is toast.

understandibly those wavecel helmets are £100+ arent they, but there you go worth remembering Lazer do money off for crash replacements next time, but if you believe in the efficacy of  helmets at all its not a choice you can afford to make on getting it replaced.

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Jimnm [324 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

I swear by Lazer helmets, just the basic ones not the mips. Pay £50 or so, saves your head and doesn’t break the bank to replace. I never go out on a ride without a helmet. 

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Organon [341 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
joeegg wrote:

No rabid anti helmet commentators on here ? Come on,pull the other one !

Well, some of them are on a short 'holiday' because of other things they might have said. At least this helmet debate has been a bit more refreshing as such. We've heard from some people who have crashes and don't wear helmets. It seems like people just make a decision early on about wearing them or not. Those who do wear think it made the difference and those who don't just suck up their licks. One thing is certain, we all crash.  

I personally got left hooked at speed when I was 23, went over a bonnet and broke my elbow and collar bone. Did a forward roll, my arms took the impact. Whilst it is true you will naturally protect your head, I am not infallible and others aren't either, so I started wearing a helmet regularly after that. 

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L3gion [17 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

Glad to hear you are OK after all that!

Personally speaking, my hutchinson sector 32s are hanging up gathering dust and I will never fit them again after a few damp rides that scared the beejezus outta me. I'm amazed you seemed to know they were this bad in the wet - and then bought another pair!? 

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Xenophon2 [112 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
Awavey wrote:
Sniffer wrote:
Awavey wrote:
Xenophon2 wrote:

second pic

 

see this is what annoys me more than whether you believe the helmet "totes saved your life" or not, weve got people using their helmet crash anectdotes as evidence of how great helmets are, but then seemingly happy to carry on using  their crash damaged helmets just because they arent totally broken in to lots of pieces

if you believe helmets offer any protection at all, if its taken a hit on the road and its clearly showing damage, even if its not broken apart its not offering the same protection anymore ,so you need to bin that helmet and get a new one, or else whats the point ?

Read the original post.  He did say he would need to get a new one.

 

" 'have' to get a new one" doesnt sound as urgent a priority to sort out to me as must get me a new one now that Ive put this old one in the bin or cant ride my bike at all given my new found confidence in helmets till I get a replacement as this one is toast.

understandibly those wavecel helmets are £100+ arent they, but there you go worth remembering Lazer do money off for crash replacements next time, but if you believe in the efficacy of  helmets at all its not a choice you can afford to make on getting it replaced.

 

You assume a lot without anything to back up those assumptions, must be a politician.  See, I'm not a native speaker though I consider myself proficient in English.  So I consulted the Oxford dictionary and thesaurus, unabridged edition.  Under 'have' it states under 4) '(have to):  be obliged to, must'.  So I guess that more or less covers it.  Anyway, new helmet's on its merry way and riding out today I wore my CX helmet.  Looked like a dork but it got me there and back (not falling off again also helped there).

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Xenophon2 [112 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
L3gion wrote:

Glad to hear you are OK after all that!

Personally speaking, my hutchinson sector 32s are hanging up gathering dust and I will never fit them again after a few damp rides that scared the beejezus outta me. I'm amazed you seemed to know they were this bad in the wet - and then bought another pair!? 

I know.  The thing is, I really, really like them on dry surfaces and they're rock solid as a tubeless tyre.    Usually the grip in the wet improves after a couple 100 km but I had stupidly forgotten all about them being new while riding home and thinking about some work-stuff.  Had a couple of close calls in the past but never actually fell, this is my first fall in 5 years and 40k km of commuting  (club rides are a different matter).   Kissing the ground yesterday has dampened my love somewhat, come mid October I usually take them off (riding them in frosty conditions would be sheer madness) and we'll see if i put 'm back on again come mid April.

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burtthebike [3247 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
joeegg wrote:

No rabid anti helmet commentators on here ? Come on,pull the other one !

As I've already pointed out, anecdotes are useless as evidence, so you'll be able to post multiple examples of these "rabid anti helmet commentators" to conclusively prove your case.  Otherwise it's just like the the case for helmets.laugh

Or perhaps you're using some definition of rabid which includes pointing out that the data shows that helmets aren't effective, and other facts like that?

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Rapha Nadal [1147 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

These threads are the ultimate trolling on this board.  Chapeau, OP.

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ConcordeCX [1176 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
Organon wrote:
joeegg wrote:

No rabid anti helmet commentators on here ? Come on,pull the other one !

Well, some of them are on a short 'holiday' because of other things they might have said. At least this helmet debate has been a bit more refreshing as such. We've heard from some people who have crashes and don't wear helmets. It seems like people just make a decision early on about wearing them or not.

...

 

well, no, I don't think people necessarily make a decision. When I started cycling in the 1960s nobody wore a helmet, and I don't think there has ever been a point where I've explicitly decided not to wear one, I have simply never worn one; I have never seen any convincing evidence to make me decide otherwise.

with helmets now being so prevalent, and from observing the growth in their use, I suggest that a very large number of younger people have worn helmets since their parents made them wear one, and it has become second nature to them, so they probably haven't decided either.

sometime in the 80s and 90s a lot of people who grew up in the pre-helmet days must have decided to switch, but i'd be astonished if very many people otherwise have ever given it much thought one way or another.

 

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mattsccm [428 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Bit like seat belts I guess. My fathers generation need to be reminded to use them, mine sticks them on most of the time and my neice would put her on like she picks up her phone. 

Compulsion and fear of getting caught has brought this about.

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burtthebike [3247 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes
mattsccm wrote:

Bit like seat belts I guess. My fathers generation need to be reminded to use them, mine sticks them on most of the time and my neice would put her on like she picks up her phone. 

Compulsion and fear of getting caught has brought this about.

And just like helmets, the benefits have yet to be proved.  Sure, they save some drivers and passengers, but because of risk compensation, more pedestrians and cyclists die.  The safest car wouldn't have seat belts, air bags, side impact bars or any other kind of preservation device for the driver, but it would have a rusty 14" bayonet sticking out of the steering wheel.

Basically, we've approached road safety from completely the wrong angle, and instead of making it safer, we've made driving more survivable so that people drive more recklessly, putting vulnerable road users at greater risk.

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kevvjj [476 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
L3gion wrote:

Glad to hear you are OK after all that!

Personally speaking, my hutchinson sector 32s are hanging up gathering dust and I will never fit them again after a few damp rides that scared the beejezus outta me. I'm amazed you seemed to know they were this bad in the wet - and then bought another pair!? 

ditto!

Hutchinson Sector 32s have been binned after a disasterous winter season where they saw me on my arse more than once. Does anyone have recommendations for a 32c tubeless ready tyre that does grip in the wet?

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slappop [80 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
Awavey wrote:
Organon wrote:

I'll take the acedotal evidence every time because strangely enough we don't here from the people hitting their heads sans helmet and then saying 'I was fine.' Please come forward if this is you.

Ive flown over the handlebars in a crash, landed on my head, still have the visible scar from when I used my head to stop a somersault on a balance beam, and face planted more than once when Ive lost my footing, I certainly know what concussion feels like, if anything I should wear a helmet as a pedestrian as Im far more likely to hit my head just walking along on past history

If you're falling that often, maybe get your vitamin B12 levels checked. For example:

https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S0029665113002735

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brooksby [5032 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

I don't see much benefit in a helmet though I always wear one now (the wife gets anxious if I don't).

My wife insists I should wear a helmet because this one time driving through town she saw a woman come off and get taken away in an ambulance.

I wear a helmet if its icy or snowy (admittedly, how often is that nowadays?) or if my wife catches me before I've left the house... 

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