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New to cycling - helmet advice please

(26 Posts)
Treysanatomy Sun 12-Jun-16 12:08:24

I've bought myself a bike and plan to cycle to work 3 days a week. It's about 8 miles but flat cycle path all the way.

I guess I will still need a helmet even though I won't be on the road? Is there any particular style / make which won't completely devestate my hair do or is helmet hair inevitable?

VioletBam Sun 12-Jun-16 23:47:32

Your hair will look bad and your face will sweat meaning your makeup will too. Have you had a trial run? 8 miles is quite a lot for a newbie, flat or not.

BikeRunSki Sun 12-Jun-16 23:49:43

Try a few helmets in a see which one feels most comfortable. The lighter, and more air vents you have, the more comfortable to wear in use. You'll get helmet hair regardless.

BikeRunSki Sun 12-Jun-16 23:50:48

8 flat mikes is fine, but have a trial run. I reckon it'll take you about an hour as a pnewbie.

InsufficientlyCaffeinated Sun 12-Jun-16 23:53:20

You don't need a helmet, just assess the risks of your particular route & decide what works for you.

If you choose to use one, go for lightweight. Helmet hair is unavoidable. Dry shampoo can help as can a portable wireless hair styler

peggyundercrackers Mon 13-Jun-16 00:05:55

As your on a cycle path I wouldn't bother with a helmet.

readyforno2 Mon 13-Jun-16 00:13:30

Seriously?! You wouldn't bother with a helmet?
I'm gobsmacked. My friend worked for a year or so in a brain trauma unit. 90% of the people she worked with were young (late 20's- early 30's) who have come off a bike.

Helmet hair is probably unavoidable but as pp have said, try a couple and choose the lightest.

VioletBam Mon 13-Jun-16 00:18:18

You do need a helmet....

InsufficientlyCaffeinated Mon 13-Jun-16 00:22:28

The chances of an accident are very small. Most head injuries occur in cars. Those worried about lack of helmets, do you wear one in cars? If not you should if you're genuinely worried about risk of head injury

VioletBam Mon 13-Jun-16 00:26:15

What? Why would I wear a helmet in a car? There is a roof and ceilings! On a bike, you're totally out in the open....if you hit a rock and fell off, you could smash your head on the pavement or road doing real damage.

Who cares how small the risk is? Helmets protect you.

InsufficientlyCaffeinated Mon 13-Jun-16 00:29:51

Who cares how small the risk is? Helmets protect you.

That's why you should wear a helmet in a car, because that's where most head injuries happen. Doesn't matter that there's a wall & roof, you're still at risk and by your very own doesn't matter how small the risk is.

Alternatively let people assess the risk of their own journeys

VioletBam Mon 13-Jun-16 00:40:56

What shite. The two issues are separate. You honestly think that because people don't wear helmets in a car they shouldn't bother on a bike?

Crock of crap.

peggyundercrackers Mon 13-Jun-16 00:42:55

Violet pram no I don't think you need a helmet, they actually only provide very little protection - focus sing on your riding style and a well maintained bike are shown to be more effective in making you safe. several studies have showed to over estimate the benefits of wearing a helmet. Studies also show riders take more risk when wearing a helmet. its also been proven that drivers tend to give cyclists who wear helmets less space when passing.

Iflyaway Mon 13-Jun-16 00:43:21

Check out Youtube for cyclists in the Netherlands and see how many wear a helmet (= none)....

Iflyaway Mon 13-Jun-16 00:48:00

InsufficientlyCaffeinated Mon 13-Jun-16 01:02:55

No I'm not saying that because people don't wear a helmet in a car they don't need to on a bike, what I'm doing is turning your own logic back at your statement.

Far more people have head injuries in a car than on a bike. If you believe that even a small risk is worth protecting against, then you should also be in favour of wearing helmets in cars. People over-estimate the danger of cycling and under-estimate the danger of driving.

My point is that it is up to every individual to assess their risk based on their riding style and the conditions in which they cycle.

For most people who cycle commute, it is safe to ride helmetless. Here's a brain surgeon saying helmets are pointless

MyFriendsCallMeOh Mon 13-Jun-16 01:28:46

This is USA data, there's lots of it and nearly all conclusive in the case for wearing a helmet. 3 cyclist deaths within a 10 block radius of my residential area home in the last 6 months, none of them wearing a helmet, all died from head injuries.

Colville Andersen did a TED talk against bike helmets which set the precedent for anti-helmet ideas (he's from Copenhagen where drivers are hugely aware of cyclists on their roads). This response shows how far off the mark he was.

I'm pretty risk averse. I wear sunscreen in the summer, lock my doors, look both ways before crossing the road. I understand however that not everyone prioritises minimal risk.

CMOTDibbler Mon 13-Jun-16 09:20:30

I'd wear a helmet - just use some dry shampoo when you arrive.

Anecdote doesn't equal evidence, but one of my colleagues was out for a nice Sunday ride. A bird ran out onto the track, he swerved, front wheel hit a small rock and he went straight over the handlebars, landing on his head. 2 weeks in a coma, 6 months in rehab learning to walk, swallow etc again. His helmet was crushed and the neurosurgeons said that he would have died for sure without it.

emummy Mon 13-Jun-16 12:25:34

Agree with CMOT, looked after a man in similar accident, he hit a speed bump too fast and flew over handlebars. Unfortunately not wearing a helmet, worst head injury I have ever seen. We saved him, but he died months later after never recovering consciousness.
As to head injuries in cars, after 20 years in A&E I must say the worst head injuries I have seen have not been from car accidents, usually pedestrians, cyclists, people falling off things.
Helmet hair is unavoidable though, agree with dry shampoo! Good luck, hope you enjoy it.

knottedwood Mon 13-Jun-16 12:37:09

I don't wear a helmet.
I think I probably should start again.
I didn't, for years, because the evidence for them IS pretty dicey, and there's strong population-level evidence that making helmet use compulsory is a bad idea.
Also, if you're in a bad collision with a car/lorry/bus, a helmet is highly unlikely to make an difference. Helmets don't stop you getting squashed.
What they DO do is make a difference in no-other-person type accidents; if you hit a patch of oil and fall off suddenly; the speed bump example up-thread; potholes etc.
On choosing one - go to a really big cycle shop and keep trying them on until you find a couple that fit well. And make sure they DO fit well. You need to have them on tightly enough that if you push them hard from any angle, they stay put: chin strap needs to be tight, and your ears need to be in the triangle bit. Absolutely no point at all in a loose helmet...

lljkk Mon 13-Jun-16 20:06:26

@TREYSANAT: wear the helmet that is comfortable & you feel least like a dork in. smile You'll only wear it if you think you don't look like an eejit.

Ideally it should stay on your head even if the straps aren't done up under your chin, so will have adjustable parts around the back.

Happy cycling smile

Treysanatomy Tue 14-Jun-16 07:11:57

Thanks for all the replies.

I've done some investigating and apparently the cycle route is less than 6 miles, is 8 miles by car.

I was also pleased to hear the shower rooms at work have power sockets for straighteners and great lighting ting for make up smile

The bike arrives today so off to try on some helmets this afternoon. Will try a few short rides this week then test run at the weekend.

glassgarden Wed 15-Jun-16 10:30:12

the worst head injuries I have seen have not been from car accidents, usually pedestrians, cyclists, people falling off things
I'm not suggesting that cyclists ought not to wear helmets, but if they should then the argument that we should all wear helmets all the time is probably equally strong?

Thistledew Wed 15-Jun-16 11:03:00

The risks of head injury whilst cycling are quite different from those when walking or in a car.

Firstly, we all spend far more time walking than on a bike, and the incidence of head injury per hour is very low. Other types of injury rather than head injury are far more common from trips and falls etc as we are going at slower speeds and able to break our fall. Pretty much all of us spend far more time travelling in cars than on bikes. Again, the incidence of head injury per hour is much lower than when cycling. There are other safety measures in a car, such as seat belts, roll cages and air bags. You are likely to either be injured in another way or to receive such a catastrophic head injury due to the forces involved that a helmet would make little difference.

Cycling, on the other hand, is inherently more risky in terms of injury per hour. You are balancing on 6-12 square cm of rubber and travelling up to 20 mph (or faster). It is very hard to fall off your bike and not have your head make contact with the ground. There are no other bits of safety equipment that work to protect your head. A cycle helmet may have limited effectiveness if you are hit by a car, but it does really help when your head hits the ground.

Yes, wearing a helmet 24/7 as we go about our daily lives would prevent some head injuries, but the factor by which it would create this reduction is so statistically small to be negligible, as the risk is not high to start with. The reduction in risk is significantly bigger when it comes to preventing head injuries whilst cycling.

<disclaimer- I write this as someone who was saved from significant head injury due to wearing a helmet whilst cycling. I am an experienced and competent cyclist but hit a patch of gravel coming down a hill and my back wheel went from under me. I was unconscious for at least 5 minutes, and very glad that the square centimetre of gravel that ended up embedded flush in my helmet was not in my skull.>

glassgarden Wed 15-Jun-16 11:11:26

I know youre right thistle and thanks for typing all that out
I'm glad you're ok after your accident☺

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