Should I wear a helmet for biking?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Should I wear a helmet for biking?

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This topic contains 68 replies, has 50 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Robert Dobbs Robert Dobbs 3 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #117531

    Recently an acquaintance showed me video of his nephew, who’s a high level BMX street rider. I was surprised to see that he didn’t wear a helmet. No helmet! http://www.vitalbmx.com/videos/features … /Losey,112

    So I may well be an old fuddy dutty, but I’ve felt 2 hard smacks on the dome peace (with helmet) in the last year, most recently on concrete in a not so cool crash complete with broken collar bone and cracked and broken ribs,but no head aches or anything else up top. ????

    Is there anyone who doesn’t wear a helmet for biking? and what about ski, skate, and walking in the park?
    And how many of you believe the foam noggin cover saved you from brain injury or at least bloody scrapes ect.?

  • #117532

    I always wear mine riding now, but when I skateboarding for about 10 years I never did unless we had to at certain parks. My head was younger, harder, and more stubborn when I was younger 😀

  • #117533

    I just started back to biking 2 years ago. I didn’t even buy a brain bucket until after my 1st crash. It sorta dawned on me as I was going down, that it might be possible to fall. 😆

  • #117534

    I always wear a helmet and make my kids wear one your head doesn’t heal well like the rest of your body

  • #117535
    "gunshow" wrote

    I always wear a helmet and make my kids wear one your head doesn’t heal well like the rest of your body

    I think I’d rather loose my right hand than have a serious TBI.

  • #117536

    Always a helmet, and I won’t ride with someone who isn’t wearing one.

    I’ve had a bad crash. If I wasn’t wearing a helmet, I’d be typing this with my lips!

  • #117537

    I agree don’t want to drag myself or anyone else of the trail with CSF or blood draining from their head

  • #117538

    I always wear a helmet when mountain biking. Where one about 90% of the time when rock climbing, downhill skiing, and snowboarding… occasionally I’ll skip the helmet on those, but mostly if I’ve forgotten it.

    If not for helmets, I’d probably be sitting in a chair watching tv with drool hanging out of my mouth… or I just might be dead. They’ve saved me in plenty of bad crashes before!

  • #117539

    Always, road and mountain bikes. We all know the mtb crashes happen. On my road bike, I got nailed by a car pulling out of a driveway. Flew over over her car and landed on my head. With no helmet, I would have been in bad shape!

  • #117540

    I grew up skateboarding, and I never wore a helmet, even after hitting my head on concrete.
    But when I started mountain biking in college, the guys I rode with wouldn’t take me out without a helmet. I’m glad they insisted.
    After I had been riding for five years, I moved to a small mountain town with great, fast trails. I went on a group ride on a trail I knew little about. At the bottom of a long, fast downhill was a jump with a lip on it. The lip threw me to the right, and when I crashed, my head slammed into the ground and my helmet cracked.
    I finished the ride and felt no ill effects. I’m convinced the helmet saved me.
    Now I feel naked riding just around my neighborhood without a helmet.

  • #117541

    I wear a helmet with almost every activity that I do, from MTB’n, Snowboarding, MX, and Dirt Jumping… Your noggin is way more valuable then looking cool and it’s wayyyyyyyy softer then the cement, hardpack dirt, ice or even a tree… So always strap on your lid before you ride!!! 😉

  • #117542

    I’ve had 2 hard impacts to my head. Blew an xc lid to shreds and blacked out, and put a good crack in my full face (hit so hard I puked). There is no doubt that both impacts would have had major effects on my health had I not been wearing a helmet. I can’t see a reason to not wear a helmet.

  • #117543
    "jtorlando25" wrote

    I can’t see a reason to not wear a helmet.

    I don’t think I can say anything different then the above quote!!

    Plain, simple and to the point…….

    Along with my fullface, I have started to wear a Leatt neck brace when ever I’m on my downhill bike. The one purchase my wife had no issues with me spending money on. If only I could convince her that new carbon RaceFace SIXC bars would also improve my safety on the bike 😆

  • #117544

    Helmets are not only good for crashes but I’ve been wacked on the top by tree branches that would’ve hurt without a helmet.

  • #117545
    "lovemountainbiking12" wrote

    Helmets are not only good for crashes but I’ve been wacked on the top by tree branches that would’ve hurt without a helmet.

    +1 for this. 😃

  • #117546

    MTITrailblazer

    Other than my first over the handlebar crash my most thankful moment for wearing a helmet was riding under a very large tree that was suspended above the trail and not getting low enough. That would have been a very bad day. Well it ended up a bad day screwed up the bike, my neck, my glasses etc. but I always say it could have been worse. Also the glasses helped as well which is fortunate or I’d probably have one less eye to go along with my deaf ears.

  • #117547

    I have had too many concussions in my youth to not wear a helmet! Even when just riding paved trails anymore. I think after picking up motorcycling I just feel wrong to be on a bike without a helmet on!

  • #117548

    Twice I’ve had crashes that made me more than a little loopy–literally seeing stars just like in the cartoons–while wearing a helmet. I shudder to think what the damage would have been without one. At this point, I wouldn’t even contemplate riding without one.

  • #117549

    helmet = good

    besides, you’re harder to recognize when poaching

    not that i would.

  • #117550

    I agree helmets = good, but compulsory helmets as law and social policy = very very bad.

    Not sure where the thread is heading but thought it might be relevant to share some experience from the land where the use of helmets is mandated by law.

    The Australian "experiment" with mandatory helmet laws saw cycling participation drop by 35-40%, and exercise rates plummet accordingly, and never recover. On some credible estimates, at least a million more people would be cycling and exercising regularly if helmet laws were repealed in Oz.

    Even the promotion of them can have unintended adverse consequences, as the Danes have recently found, when cycle commuting participation dropped from 37% of trips to 35% in Copenhagen in the wake of a helmet promotion campaign. The suspected mechanism is the implication in the campaign that cycling is dangerous.

    While I always wear one when trail riding and commuting, and insist my son does the same, I think on the basis of physics alone we need to be realistic about the amount of protection a half-inch thick piece of foam coffee cup* can provide.

    It frustrates me when trauma surgeons come out supporting helmet use saying "a helmet would have saved this man" when they have no idea of the forces involved in the impact, how fast the vehicle that struck him or her was travelling, and so on. They simply can’t and don’t have enough information beyond gut feel to support the claim authoritatively and is an abuse of the credibility they have in the community, in my view.

    Further, they are only seeing what’s directly in front of them without considering the wider community health issues. Is the prevention of a few tens of head injury cases a year, at the much greater cost to the community of a million or more people not exercising and suffering obesity-related illnesses such as heart attack, diabetes, infertility and more, a sound trade-off?

    My cousin, whom I greatly admired, had a clipstack last year when he hit a pine cone at walking pace with his road bike, for some reason couldn’t get his hands out, struck his head on the road and was killed instantly. He was wearing his AS/NZS 2063-compliant helmet correctly.

    While they are very important pieces of safety equipment that I personally would not be without, it’s equally important to avoid placing too much reliance on helmets for the prevention of head injury.

    * yes, I’m being controversial, but it is what it is.

  • #117551
    "trailgumby" wrote

    I agree helmets = good, but compulsory helmets as law and social policy = very very bad.

    Not sure where the thread is heading but thought it might be relevant to share some experience from the land where the use of helmets is mandated by law.

    The Australian "experiment" with mandatory helmet laws saw cycling participation drop by 35-40%, and exercise rates plummet accordingly, and never recover. On some credible estimates, at least a million more people would be cycling and exercising regularly if helmet laws were repealed in Oz.

    Even the promotion of them can have unintended adverse consequences, as the Danes have recently found, when cycle commuting participation dropped from 37% of trips to 35% in Copenhagen in the wake of a helmet promotion campaign. The suspected mechanism is the implication in the campaign that cycling is dangerous.

    While I always wear one when trail riding and commuting, and insist my son does the same, I think on the basis of physics alone we need to be realistic about the amount of protection a half-inch thick piece of foam coffee cup* can provide.

    It frustrates me when trauma surgeons come out supporting helmet use saying "a helmet would have saved this man" when they have no idea of the forces involved in the impact, how fast the vehicle that struck him or her was travelling, and so on. They simply can’t and don’t have enough information beyond gut feel to support the claim authoritatively and is an abuse of the credibility they have in the community, in my view.

    Further, they are only seeing what’s directly in front of them without considering the wider community health issues. Is the prevention of a few tens of head injury cases a year, at the much greater cost to the community of a million or more people not exercising and suffering obesity-related illnesses such as heart attack, diabetes, infertility and more, a sound trade-off?

    My cousin, whom I greatly admired, had a clipstack last year when he hit a pine cone at walking pace with his road bike, for some reason couldn’t get his hands out, struck his head on the road and was killed instantly. He was wearing his AS/NZS 2063-compliant helmet correctly.

    While they are very important pieces of safety equipment that I personally would not be without, it’s equally important to avoid placing too much reliance on helmets for the prevention of head injury.

    * yes, I’m being controversial, but it is what it is.

    Concur–while I won’t ride without one, that’s my choice–as it should be.

  • #117552
    "trailgumby" wrote

    I agree helmets = good, but compulsory helmets as law and social policy = very very bad.

    +1

  • #117553

    I always wear one but I am a firm believer of individual responsibilty. I do not believe the local, state or federal government should make uniserval laws forcing people to wear them.

    Just like seat belts, helmets prevent injury during accidents, they do not prevent accidents from happening. At one time, still may be, New Hampshire had the highest rate of seat belt users. Guess what? In NH persons above 12 do not have to wear them.

  • #117554

    ya i wear a helmet on every ride. my first day back into it i underestimated a turn and got intimate with a tree! I will always wear a helmet.

  • #117555

    I always wear a helmet while mountain biking and when I ride on the road/paved trail with the family. I also always wore one while riding motorcycles.

    Even though the helmet has saved me in at least one large crash, it’s mostly for the reason lovemountainbiking12 stated: the helmet saves my noggin when hitting branches.

    I also agree with trailgumby. It should be up to the individual if he or she wants to wear a helmet. Although, if it’s a place of business (like Ray’s) I understand their insurance company might require the use of helmets.

  • #117556

    No helmet will prevent a brain injury if there is no brain present. No matter if one wear a helmet or not must know own abilities. Not so long ago a guy died in MTB crash. He had a helmet on but broke his neck. I want to say that while this foam lid save us from some mistakes it’s not a panacea from catastrophic scenario.
    I always wear helmet when downhill skiing and on 99% of MTB rides. I will take off my helmet when caught by rain and want to put a waterproof with hood on; or when I need to put something warmer on winter ride, etc. always wear helmet on night rides – to strap a headlamp onto and because its harder to see hanging branches.

  • #117557

    I always wear a helmet when on a bike. My friends and I specifically go out in bad weather where there’s rain, things falling from trees, etc. and it’s nice that the visor keeps a lot of the rain off your face and you won’t get hurt by a falling branch. More things falling on me than me falling…
    Also, being around collegiate races where they’ll get real mad if anyone who doesn’t have one on (even if you’re just sitting on a trainer and couldn’t possibly fall.) helps I guess.

    But that bring up a good point now that I think about it.
    I don’t always wear one when I’m inline speed skating. Mainly when I’m really racing someone. Not always when I’m just fuddling around.
    And I never wore one when I used to skateboard as a kid.

  • #117558

    Like the rest of you, I completely agree, helmets are good and should be worn. I don’t necessarily believe we need the government to step in and create a law requiring them… I always wear one when MTBing. I do believe safety equipment can give us a false sense of security. There is nothing stating safety equipment is 100% effective. Obviously, helmets (or any other safety equipment for that matter) are most effective when worn correctly and we are riding within our skill level.

  • #117559
    "ablack84" wrote

    are most effective when worn correctly

    Haha, I did just see someone riding down the road today with a helmet on backwards. 😛
    Just saying.

    Wearing safety equiptment should file under common sense.
    Besides a helmet I also always wear glasses. I’ve had a bee fly into my eye while riding…not once, but twice. Luckily I had shades on when that happened. After that I got creeped out at the thought of it happening again and I’ve always had something protecting my eyes since. Plus it helps keep flying dirt out.

  • #117560

    Image

  • #117561
    "Ginny_Tory" wrote

    [quote="ablack84":fnhg7wnc]are most effective when worn correctly

    Haha, I did just see someone riding down the road today with a helmet on backwards. 😛
    Just saying.

    Wearing safety equiptment should file under common sense.
    Besides a helmet I also always wear glasses. I’ve had a bee fly into my eye while riding…not once, but twice. Luckily I had shades on when that happened. After that I got creeped out at the thought of it happening again and I’ve always had something protecting my eyes since. Plus it helps keep flying dirt out.[/quote:fnhg7wnc]

    Oh man, I was racing a time trial on my road bike and had a bee hit right in the junction of my glasses and eyebrow. Got stung on the eyelid and by the time I got to the end of the race, I could barely see!

  • #117562

    Always in a helmet with built in headphones is there any other way to ski or bike? If I can’t hear there is something wrong with my bike I don’t have to fix it.

  • #117563

    Sitting up on top of a small stack of tiny bones and some tendons is this bowling ball, well an egg shell
    really.

    And in this bucket is,,, you, all that you are, have been, will ever be, etc.

    When your shoulders, back or chest hits the ground that small stack of neck bones can do nothing to stop
    the whip from cracking.

    On the end of this very short whip is you, In a shell, that can break….

    Just sayin…. 😄

  • #240636

    For 90% times yiou ride the bike nothing will happen. But you have 10% when something WILL happen. I feel so may times on my mtb in thge woods and until this day I NEVER hit my head/helmet but I had huge crash 3 weeks ago when my helmet was literally torn off my head, luckly I didn’t kit my head or hit my helmet on the ground. But your arms or legs can heal, your head and brain traum/damage can’t.

  • #240652

    Fun fact. Over 200,000/yr  people in the US are injured from slips and falls in the bathroom, 200,000!!!……do you wear a helmet in the shower??

    I also find it fascinating, and a bit comical, that we (humans) are willing to engage in an activity that requires such safety measures. Perhaps we should really examine the activity itself (mountain biking) if it’s that perilous. I mean, when was the last time you saw marathon runners wearing helmets? Perhaps we should garage the bikes and start jogging, yes?  – snarkyness provided free of charge. 😉

    Yes (sigh) I wear a helmet, but I do not feel compelled to do so and I believe their value is greatly overstated….but I lean towards risk aversion. Not quite certain if that’s common sense or cowardice…..maybe a bit of both.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to take a shower, just hope I can figure out how to get the shampoo down the vents of my Giro!

     

  • #240662

    My take on it is this: ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET! ALWAYS! Just sayin… lol

  • #240669

    Yes (sigh) I wear a helmet, but I do not feel compelled to do so and I believe their value is greatly overstated

    How much is your life worth? How about your ability to walk? The capacity to speak/type in complete sentences? (pun intended)

    Granted, I’m a bit biased in helmet wearing because I’m here today thanks to my “always were a helmet” rule. I had my worst crash on a fairly easy trail I had ridden 50 times before and was just out riding around. I still have no memory of the crash, but based on the condition of the helmet and the fact that I was knocked out cold for 15 minutes I think it’s safe to stay I would not have fully recovered, or possibly even survived, if I wasn’t wearing my helmet.

  • #240673

    How much is your life worth? How about your ability to walk? The capacity to speak/type in complete sentences? (pun intended)

     

    Actually,  I value all of the above quite a bit. But I do not wear a helmet in the shower….do you?  When you work on your roof or paint your house using a ladder – are you wearing a helmet then? How about descending the stairs in your house or apartment complex? All of the preceding are statistically fairly dangerous activities, yet we don’t wear any protective gear because we perceive the risks to be acceptable….and, to some extent, they are.

    As I mentioned I wear a helmet while cycling but I also exercise caution and try to make wise choices (as I do while stepping out of the shower or fixing my roof). I just think we need to assess life’s risks rationally and also consider the fact that bad luck/fate/destiny, now and then, comes into play – a helmet may help or it may not.

  • #240837

    I always wear a helmet when I’m on two wheels. I am pretty sure that I have used up all of my “Get Out Of Death Free” cards by now!

    When I was a kid helmets were awful to wear so I rarely made it past the end of the street with it on. I always hid it in the bushes. THEN one day I woke up in the street looking like “Two-Face” from batman after my front wheel came off during a high speed wheelie. I suffered some road rash and a light concussion ( in hind sight, I’m pretty sure I did anyway. My folks did’t take me to get looked at since I made it home under my own power.)

     

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  • #240868

    I wear a helmet some of the time, depends on the trail risk. I have fallen many time on my bike and have yet to hit my head. On the other hand, I used to street skate a lot and always wore a helmet. My basic rule is that if the trail doe not have concrete, lots of big rocks or trees close to the trail edge, I do not wear a helmet. I currently ride an average of 20 trail miles a week and have cycling/mountain biking for 40 years, if you count my childhood days.

  • #240884

    I just bought a new helmet.  Old one took a tumble down the stairs and cracked.

    I have yet to hit my head in a bike crash, but I always wear the helmet.  I have yet to hit my head while skiing, but I always wear my snow helmet.

    I have suffered head injuries while tobogganing, riding a water slide, getting hit with a pry bar at work, etc.  The water slide one was the worst one, completely knocked out, no memory of the incident, life long effects from the injury.  My noggin has had enough hits, I will do anything I can to protect it from my own clumsiness.

    I also wear my snow helmet while tobogganing.

  • #241058

    I think wearing a helmet is a good idea. Having said that the hard data that helmets reduce injuries is scanty. The reasons relate to the laws of unintended consequences – wearing a helmet might cause some folks to do stuff that is more stupid than they would do without a helmet, thereby increasing the risk of injury due to a false sense of protection. To use an example from another sport, boxing gloves probably increase the chance of brain injuries – by protecting the bones in the hand from fracturing they allow harder head punches. The best approach is to wear a helmet but not lose your common sense in the process.

  • #241072

    I hate wearing a helmet but I always do.  After a while you get used to it. Choosing not to wear one seems like taking an undue risk given that mountain biking is an inherently dangerous sport.  There are two instances I can think of where I suffered a blow to the head which common sense tells me would have been much more serious had I not been wearing a helmet.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-bicycles-helmets/helmets-prevent-severe-head-injuries-in-bike-accidents-idUSKCN10U1LY

    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/do-helmets-prevent-head-injuries/

    I only wish that for those who choose not to wear a helmet that they had to sign a waiver releasing the landowner and any others from any liability if they were to suffer a head injury.  Just hate it when people look for others to blame if a (preventable) tragedy were to occur.  We all need to be more accountable for our (in)actions.

  • #241231

    I always wear a helmet because as a racer and commuter I basically live on a bike. Even though my commute is low risk, my exposure to risk of falls is constant so I wear one (and always wear full finger gloves to prevent slipping off the controls which could cause a crash).

    However I don’t shame other commuters for not wearing one – they have their reasons. An unfortunate fact about helmet use when commuting is that your most likely accident is a head on collision with a car, which is a total overmatch in kinetic energy. At that point you’re dependent on the cars crumple zone.  That leads to a larger point that helmets really prevent lacerations and fractures and only partially mitigate concussions.

    Now one thing I don’t get is why it’s totally accepted to not wear a helmet while cross country skiing. I go as fast as I do on mountain bike on similar trails between rocks and trees.  But if a Nordic trail center made helmet use compulsory I’d protest. ????

    • #241295

      Helmet???  Most definitely.

      Retrospectly, the only time that I, knowingly, benefitted by one (other than a few minor tree branch clunks) was when I was walking my mtb across a short patch of turf (built by the forest service) over a seasonal stream (that I’ve ridden across over a dozen times in previous seasons).  The earlier spring runoff had undermined the support system of this turf bridge even though on the surface it appeared fine/dry and had supported horseback riders just minutes before.  The turf suddenly gave way under my feet and I fell 5′ at an angle striking some boulders and cracking my helmet over the occiput…saved me, at minimum, a concussion and likely a subdural hematoma (likely a roadbike helmet wouldn’t have adequately covered the occiput).

      Thank you Specialized.

  • #241972

    Always!  Always!  Always!  It will be inevitable that you will be hit by someone, something, or you will hit someone or something.  Besides my head is at least $60, I think!  I have never had a collision, only some close calls.  Recently we had a person at work who’s daughter was at college and got hit and with no helmet now has limited hearing and eyesight problems due to the head impact.  Was’t even mountain biking or doing extreme jumping.

    law of large numbers and statistic.  You are only 98% good.  This is why even the professional action sport people die while skydiving.  it is when you do the 98th jump that it goes wrong.  yeah sure all your YouTube videos show you dangling 5,000 feet in the air.  But it will always catch up to you if you do it long enough.

  • #241981

    I never cared for putting on my helmet, but always did because…well, to not do so just seemed unnecessarily dumb. That said, I have done one ride without a helmet. I’d driven about an hour to get to the trailhead to meet up with someone and realized when I was getting ready I had forgotten my helmet. So, having put the drive time in and not wanting to let down the other rider, I went for the ride. I did have some fun – just about any ride is better than no ride – but I rode so cautiously that it was hard to find a rhythm. I felt tight the whole way and I finally cut the ride short after about 5 miles, figuring if I was feeling stress and couldn’t loosen up properly, I was just going to injure myself even worse if and when I did fall.

    I mentioned on another thread that this past weekend, I had my very first crash where the helmet definitely saved me a lot of pain and probably worse. At the very least, I wouldn’t have gone for the rides I went on the following two days – at worst, you all might have been reading on this website about a NH MTBer who died in a trail accident. It only takes once and a split second to permanently alter (or end) your life. Next time I forget my helmet, I’m either going home or just going for a hike. I want to do all I can to ensure I get to go for the next ride.

  • #242100

    I keep a loaner helmet in my car to offer to people that ride trails near me that show up with no helmet.  Usually I am turned down.

  • #242205

    It’s a personal choice and shouldn’t be a damn law.

    I also choose to wear one and I won’t ride with anyone who is not wearing one. I went down at Dirtfest 2014 at Raystown lake in North central PA. Out cold for 10 minutes and I was air lifted to a major hospital. I walked out several hours later with stitches above and around my left eye and a severe concussion. Without the helmet at best I would have had a profound handicap from a major TBI. At worst I’d be dead. Personally I don’t believe I would have survived.

    Not to preach but you get 1 cranium so have fun but protect it.

    Also the forces in a bike crash are far higher than a fall in the bathroom. Both can potentially kill you but the likelihood is much much higher with an mtb crash.

     

  • #242206

    Also the forces in a bike crash are far higher than a fall in the bathroom. Both can potentially kill you but the likelihood is much much higher with an mtb crash.

    Hmmmm, I really think “it depends.” Most of the trail surfaces where I ride (northeast) are dirt with root and rock strewn about. Dirt is “relatively” soft. The root and rock not so much, but the chances of directly hitting a root or rock with your head I’m guessing are fairly small, not nonexistent mind you, but much lower than landing on dirt, mud or leaves on a typical trail in my neck of the woods (bad pun intended). Now, pretty much everything in your typical bathroom is rock or steel. The bathroom is a dangerous place and CDC has the stats to back it up. – don’t even get me started on ladders.

    Also, I think the style of the rider plays a significant role in the level of injury risk. Personally, I like to go fast, but am a staunch believer in making wise choices, the judicious use of my brakes and keeping at least one wheel on the ground at all times.

    Observation: Many folks have shared their crash stories here, some of them horrific, and then praised their use of a helmet. It’s interesting that not one person has looked at the activity itself and said “Wow, perhaps I should not be mountain biking in the first place!”  –I find that fascinating, both in how we (humans) perceive risk and what we believe will abate that risk – often ignoring  the activity itself.

    Yes, i agree there should not be a helmet law. Yes, I wear a helmet. And Yes, I have absolutely no problem with riding with someone who chooses not to wear one.

     

     

  • #242208

    Observation: Many folks have shared their crash stories here, some of them horrific, and then praised their use of a helmet. It’s interesting that not one person has looked at the activity itself and said “Wow, perhaps I should not be mountain biking in the first place!”  –I find that fascinating, both in how we (humans) perceive risk and what we believe will abate that risk – often ignoring  the activity itself.

    RD:  I’m not sure that’s true.  It’s the challenge of the sport – and the inherent risk associated – that appeal to many of us.  Plus, that endorphin rush you get when you are pushing at the limits of your abilities… Many of us know we will crash at some point with a number of those crashes leading to injury, some serious.  In my experience, the head is not the <i>most</i> likely site to be injured in a crash but it’s the one area that can profoundly impact our life; thus the need to wear a helmet. I don’t delude myself into thinking it will abate the risk of injury but I do believe that it will make an injury to the head (much) less severe.  To sum it up, at least for me, the downhill is worth the climb.

  • #242211

    It’s the challenge of the sport – and the inherent risk associated – that appeal to many of us.

    Thank you rmap for having the backbone to state this. I believe it’s true. I would then say leave the helmet-less riders alone. Statements that others have made like “I won’t ride with someone not wearing a helmet.” or “I see no reason not to wear a helmet” ring hollow and seem a bit hypocritical.  With helmet-less riders perhaps *their* tolerance for “inherent risk” is higher than any of us and that is what appeals to them.

  • #242216

    I don’t think wearing a helmet should be a law, but I think people who ride without one are some of the most inconsiderate people you’ll find on the trails. Sure, it’s their choice to ride without one, but if and when they seriously hurt themselves, it’s going to suddenly be someone else’s problem, too.

    And yes, since I’ve already acknowledged going on one helmetless ride, I include myself in that and it’s something I’ve reflected upon more than once since that ride.

  • #242258

    With helmet-less riders perhaps *their* tolerance for “inherent risk” is higher than any of us and that is what appeals to them.

    But here’s the rub: it’s as charding points out:

    …if and when they seriously hurt themselves, it’s going to suddenly be someone else’s problem, too.

    When someone gets seriously injured they typically look for someone to blame (other than themselves). That has the potential to adversely impact all of us and that’s where I have a problem.

     

  • #242410

    I admit that my helmet sometimes/oftentimes comes off in the summer on long, slow, sustained climbs and especially those with hike-a-bike sections. But that’s the only time.  When I get to the top, I expand my front fork, lower my seat, put on my helmet and let the fun begin.

  • #244276

    Hi, a bicycle helmet is much important for all rider. Many of rider don’t know which helmet is best for them. In the market have various types of helmets. But we don’t recognize the best. Many of rider find a low budget helmet. Please before buying please remember that low budget= low quality. I don’t tell you that is best budget is the best quality. You should know about helmets materials. Built quality etc.

  • #244277

    I know this might sound odd, but if I ride one trail I don’t wear one because it’s almost like riding in my back yard.  But on the other I do wear it.

  • #247801

    Yes, I always wear my helmet when on my bike.

  • #249358

    Plenty of comments on this, but I’ll add that I recommend to ALWAYS wear a helmet. In addition to the obvious crashes where I know I’ve whacked my noggin, here’s another example. About a month ago I’m cruising along in an otherwise tame wooded area, when out of nowhere WHACK on top of my head. Didn’t wipe out but close. After gathering my wits, went back to inspect and an old tree with about a 4″ trunk and virtually no branches had apparently broken off just as I was passing underneath.

    Wear a helmet!

  • #249403

    After gathering my wits, went back to inspect and an old tree with about a 4? trunk and virtually no branches had apparently broken off just as I was passing underneath.

    Wear a helmet!

    HA!….something very similar happened to me many, many, many years ago as a kid; we had two ginormous shag bark hickory trees in our front yard with huge old branches. I was mowing the lawn. I didn’t have helmet on, and the branch was only 2-3″ in diameter — but it was quite painful.

    Guess we should wear helmets all the time.

  • #249676

    I grew up not wearing a helmet and rode my bike all over the place, road, grass, farm trails. Nobody wore helmets. Also seat belts were not required when I was a kid and most people viewed them as optional. I am not saying that we should make it a law to make people wear helmets but we do grow, learn and mature. When I first got in to mountain biking a few years back I was reluctant to even buy a helmet. As I upgraded bikes and found myself zooming past trees much faster and on more technical trails I thought of my kids and how they needed a dad. Even if you are not a dad you are someone’s son or daughter and you are someone’s friend. You will be missed.

    Mountain biking is dangerous. I think that is part of the appeal. I don’t think anyone is denying either fact. I believe if you are taking up the sport you should consider your options for protection depending how how you will ride. As in an activity consider the risk and equipment required.

    All that being said I do go skiing occasionally and I don’t think I could bring myself to wear a helmet. I also ski much more within in my limits and tend to be in open terrain.

    I wear a helmet. I would encourage anyone to wear one.

  • #249681

    We didn’t wear helmets when we were kids, and we rode all the time.  No one wore helmets in the 90’s.  One kid in my class (elementary school) fancied himself a “cyclist”.  Had some sort of bike, talked about biking all the time, talked about teams and races and such, and bought all the expensive gear.  He was the only one that wore a helmet, and had one of those fabric team helmet covers (that I think were soon proven to be dangerous as they would stick to the pavement rather than sliding).  Everyone thought he was an obsessive nut.

    Then Grandma bought us helmets for Christmas.  Got us those early Bell round things that were hot and uncomfortable.  We wore them occasionally.

    I bought a decent helmet when I was 16, to go along with my first ever brand new bike.  If I was going to ‘mountain bike’, I should have a helmet.  Kept that thing for years, but didn’t wear it much since it was never comfortable.  Until one summer when I was up north and biking on some real trails that had steep hills, rock cliffs, bears, etc.  I was flying down a hill that curved out of sight, massive trees and rocks on the left, cliff drop to the right, and I suddenly realized that this was crazy and I should be wearing my helmet.  Wore it the next time I went out, and mainly wore it from then on.

    When that one died, I bought a nice Giro and for the first time in my life, I had a helmet that was comfortable and well ventilated.

    Just this spring that helmet took a tumble down the stairs and cracked.  I bought a Giro Chronicle with Mips.

    I had a significant crash just three weeks ago.  Bruises, scrapes, over-extended shoulder, and broken ribs.  I did not hit my head at all, but it certainly was a concern.

     

    You never know what will happen.  Bones and muscle heal.  Brains don’t always heal.

  • #249846

    “When you work on your roof or paint your house using a ladder – are you wearing a helmet then? How about descending the stairs in your house or apartment complex? All of the preceding are statistically fairly dangerous activities, yet we don’t wear any protective gear because we perceive the risks to be acceptable….and, to some extent, they are.”

    I don’t wear a helmet when climbing/descending a ladder. However, I’m not wearing watches, rings, or shiny things (snag hazard) and I keep three points of contact at all times so yes, I am applying safety considerations while using ladders.

     

     The bathroom is a dangerous place and CDC has the stats to back it up. – don’t even get me started on ladders.

    You’re failing to take into consideration number of uses and the users themselves. I know plenty of able-bodied riders that have broken something, or at a minimum, crashed and yet none of them have fallen in the bathroom even through their number of trips to/time in the bathroom outweigh number of trips to/time on the trails. Age and corresponding physical ability, are huge factors when it comes to falling in the bathroom, however, biking crashes aren’t as “ageist” as falling in the bathroom…CDC has the stats to back it up 😉

  • #249848

    And I have worn a helmet when climbing to the tree in my back yard to trim branches.

  • #249852

    NO you don’t have to wear a helmet—as long as you don’t care about life altering head injuries or death!

  • #249889

    As a physician, somewhat in jest,  I say to that you are much more likely to meet criteria to be an organ donor from head trauma if you don’t wear a helmet.  We need organ donors, but not this way.  And, it is all about the odds.  Everyone falls.  Your odds of having a severe head injury are much more likely without a helmet.  So, this is a no brainier–pun is intended.

  • #249960

    Hmm…. the argument between being injured in a bike crash vs being injured in a bathroom fall….. I’m at a draw.

    So far I have had one significant injury from a bike crash – broken ribs.

    I also have had one significant injury from a fall in the bathroom – a concussion.

     

    Now, to be fair, my bathroom injury was a result of passing out due to illness, falling off the toilet, and hitting my head on the bathtub.  Fortunately my mom heard me fall and came to investigate, found me barely conscious on the floor.  I was a young teen at the time.

  • #249961

    Hmm…. the argument between being injured in a bike crash vs being injured in a bathroom fall….. I’m at a draw.

    Welllll, it’s not really an argument. I’m just trying to point out to the  “wear a helmet or else” folks how fickle and anecdotal their sense of risk and safety are. We do a hell of a lot of stuff every bloody day that’s pretty dangerous, but we really don’t think about it. And for folks to say “wear a helmet or I won’t ride with you” or “wear a helmet or you will die!” seems more than a bit pious and hypocritical to me .

    So yeah, it’s probably a very good idea to wear a helmet (I wear one), but I ain’t gonna shun ya if you don’t, and moreover, you’re more than welcome to ride with me -but- if you crash and hurt your noggin, well then, c’est le vie baby! …..and realize that it also could have happened while you were driving to Micky D’s, walking into work on a slippery floor, working on your roof with a ladder or, gasp!, steppin’ out of the shower.

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