To wear a helmet or not?

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sanderson 15 Nov 22:19  

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I'm new to cycling and at the moment I cycle off road, would you advise me to wear a helmet? if so which make is the best? (I can spend the money I have saved since packing in the ciggies or I could buy a new handbag) Thanks

woodowl 16 Nov 00:10  

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I"m also am an offroader and i used to wear a helmet, i found them uncomfortable and dont wear them now,however i"ve decided to start wearing them again in 2012 as you just never know.(just ordered new bike,new everything)
Giro helmets are spot on as i used to own one but i also had a Bell helmet which was also spot on so each to their own.
Congratulations on packing in the cigs,i packed in 2 years ago and have never felt better


BusterG 16 Nov 10:08  

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ditto on packing in the ciggies chaps!
For me never a question "wear a helmet!" too many anecdotes and personal contacts who didnt and should have. dont care if I am uncool.

I usually wear a met helmet but giro is usually considered the best, try on a few to get a good fit.

follow this thread on here to hear some stories.

http://www.cycle-route.com/forum/General-Chat-this-is-why-you-wear-a-helmet-Thread-3099.html

keep pedaling
Buster

My Latest Route: Oct 2013 Liss

dudley 16 Nov 12:33  

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like terrorists only need to be successful once over many failed attempts, as goes for riding a bike.
It only takes one fall, one stray tree root, one moron in a taxi, one pot-hole, one daft pedestrian, one snapped spoke, one failed brake for your head to hit the road / tree / car ....and it's potentially game over.
Want to risk it?
We all thought compulsory seat belts were a pain 30+ years ago. I dont know about you, but it feels weird not to have it on now.

get a helmet - and wear it.

(and don't use headphones, either!)

and never ride on the pavement!





but that's just me - i don't need a handbag!

My Latest Route: Nov 2009 Forth Estuary Circular

txbnet 16 Nov 13:54  

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I agree with all of this. I can't go on the bike without reaching for my head gear first. You only have one head, one brain. A cycling injury could be life changing if you go over the handlebars without a helmet on. Imagine hitting the windscreen in a car if you haven't worn a seatbelt. Going over the bars even at 15 mph and hitting a rock or hard road surface will have a similar effect. On a downhill stretch, you may get up to 35mph or even more, unthinkable not to wear a helmet. Even the most careful of riders is at risk from the unexpected.

Once doing the Coast and Castles (Edinburgh to Newcastle) a startled sheep grazing at the road side of a grassy mound in the Moorfoot Hills decided to run across my path on a very fast downward section. I don't know how I stayed on the bike. But these kind of things can happen.

If the helmet is uncomfortable you haven't adjusted it properly to the shape of your head, take it back to the local bike shop and they'll show you how it should fit on your head, and how to tighten/loosen everything when necessary.

And treat yourself to that handbag as well as the helmet! You deserve to treat yourself now and again.

My Latest Route: Jan 2011 Whitley Bay to Bellingham

STID 16 Nov 14:05  

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Sanderson,

There have been discussions on this site in the past about the pros and cons of wearing a cycle helmet. People have made good points for and against.

Wearing a helmet is not compulsory as is wearing reflective clothes.

Ultimitely and at the end of the day the final decision comes down to you, how much do you value your life ?

Thing is by wearing a helmet regardless and you fall and land on your head, it will afford you protection. By not wearing one and you land on your head you could be pushing up wheat for the hungry.You may be the lucky one and never come off your bike,

Do some research on the internet then go to a cycle shop and talk to the people that run the shop. Get one that fits well and wear it properly, have the chin strap fitting snug and tight and not loss and hanging, that is just as bad as not wearing one at all.

As a rule the more you pay the better the helmet will be. Do you have a budget ? Check out the internet for prices.

Just a though, why not ask family/friends to club together and buy you a good cycle helmet ? You can find the one you want then ask them to make it a Xmas/birthday present.

Also great advice from Dudley, leave your ears to listen for traffic and your surroundings, the less the distraction the safer you are.

Whatever decision you make I hope you make the right one for you.

Good luck

My Latest Route: Aug 2009 Abingdon to Long Crendon and Long Hanborough Loop.

robbierunciman 16 Nov 15:07  

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I did not wear a helmet for years with no ill effects until one year my cycle slipped on some black ice and my head hit the road pavement at 14mph. Hurt a lot and took a lot of codeine to get over the headache after a short stay in hospital. That is the shock that helmets are designed to protect you from.

I actually found the helmet market shocking and the standards a bit poor, mostly seem to be sold on looks rather than safety (unlike kids helmets). The best standard is those that go through a "Snell test" and most helmets from 10 or 15 years ago were designed to this standards. Unfortunately they are now designed to meet different standards-manufacturers did not like the methodology of the test (buying helmets from random shops rather than special batches supplied by manufacturers).

It is worth shelling out on a helmet and buying the best you can afford. I need to replace mine and I am waiting to see what "kranium" helmets are like, in the meantime I would go for something like this: http://road.cc/content/review/47165-specialized-s-works-helmet


My Latest Route: Jan 2013 Foxton Locks From Corby

Happy Snapper 17 Nov 12:10  

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I was new to cycling about 4 months ago, rode mainly on canal towpaths and off road and to me it just wasn't cool to wear the helmet that the other half had bought when she picked up the bike for me, it was a Halfords Trax one in blue which she thought matched the colour of my bike.

However I went out and bought a Giro helmet which had a better fit and didn't make me look like the toadstool character out of Mario Kart when I wore it. I now never leave home without it, even if I am riding two hundred yards to the shops and back. I also purchased a road bike and agreed to do the JOGLE for charity all within the last four months, believe I may be addicted.........


hookhai 17 Nov 12:37  

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I took up cycling again when I was working in Germany where the biking culture is much better than here (to be fair I have noticed a big improvement in the last few years)

Over in Germany everyone, but everyone has a bike and wouldnt dream of going out without a helmet. I agree with earlier comments where it now feels strange (if not unsafe) going out without the skidlid.

Wear it with pride.


sanderson 18 Nov 20:27  

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Hi Guys

Just thought I'd let you all know I have taken your advice and I am now the proud owner of a helmet, although there was'nt much choice for women. Will try it out tomorrow, hope I can get use to wearing it.


matski 19 Nov 15:34  

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I also agree with all of the above. Back in July this year, whilst out cycling in the countryside at about 20mph, came face-to-face with a pothole and did a flying leap over the handlebars & landed on grass verge. Landed on left shoulder and fractured my humerus!

Have not been back on bike as still painful putting pressure on left arm/handle bar + bike still a right-off.

Am now just hoping it doesn't spoil my skiing trip in Feb. Although, I never wear a ski helmet... not good!




STID 19 Nov 19:16  

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Sanderson,

A decision I doubt you will ever regret. Will not take long to get used to and soon will be second nature.

Keep it next to the bike so you do not forget to wear it.

Happy safe helmet cycling.

My Latest Route: Aug 2009 Abingdon to Long Crendon and Long Hanborough Loop.

racecourse42 20 Nov 19:48  

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well done on packing in the cigs, I packed em in a year and a half ago, I wear a helmet most days, mines a raleigh not top of the range but its nice and light and comfy, and you just never know it might save your life.


sanderson 20 Nov 20:49  

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Hi Guys

Just an update, tried out my helmet yesterday and must admit that after a while I forgot I even had it on, result. (Still hav'nt had a ciggie or brought me that hadbag yet either). You are now talking to the helmet converted, thank you all for your advice and keep safe.


annieslandmissile 20 Nov 20:53  

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One word - HELMET!


dsr1983 23 Nov 15:41  

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Does anyone know why cycling helmets are designed to protect the top and sides of the head but not really the softest part at the top of the neck (unlike motorsport helmets, horse riding hats and aviation helmets etc.). Is this due to the riding position on a bike? To me, it seems a weak area that should be protected.

i count myself as lucky as did 2 LEJOGs without a helmet but now wouldnt leave the garage without one.


flyby 24 Nov 18:59  

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Im new to all this but ive deffo invested in a helmet, it only takes a small bump to totally do yourself in!


SeanT 26 Nov 21:19  

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Hi Sanderson,

I cycled through Holland and decided to not wear a helmet as most people there dont. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that a helmet is essential. I was lucky I wasnt badly injured, but gave my head quite a knock after I caught my wheel in a railway track at a junction in belguim. I never go anywhere without a helmet anymore.

Sean


Captain13 29 Nov 15:19  

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My girlfriend works alongside Neurosurgeons and the stories she gets to hear are incredible, you get one chance with your napper!

Wear a Helmet - Simple!



My Latest Route: Mar 2012 North Cheshire Loop

silverstreak 07 Dec 13:52  

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Good on ya for giving up smoking and getting out there cycling. Get a helmet its a life saver that saved my life when i was knocked off my bike a few years ago. You may not have to put up with cars when going off road but a fall is a fall so put a lid on. Can't really advise on what brand to get i went with my budget at the time and i'm happy with what i got which is a venture helmet.