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t-72

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Helmet love ...
« on: September 06, 2016, 21:03 »
I was out cycling earlier tonight, on a route I follow quite often, just for a workout. Somehow got myself into the slightly embarrassing situation of poorly executing a jump over a tram track which happened to be quite slippery due to recent rainfall. As I come to this place quite often, I think I stick that 63 times out of ...make that 64 now :( I didn't have much speed but must have had some - damage was quite evenly distributed all along my left side from broken shoe cleats via scratches on the knee, generally rashed skin on the outside of the tighs (up to the line which is defined by where I had my underwear...that little extra cushioning seems to have done the job and stopped more damage - elbows, upper arm, shoulder. Need new bibs and a jersey (plus cleats for my shoes).

The moral of the story is that I also fell on my head, I think that absorbed quite a proportion of the energy in the impact. All  I can say is I was able to finish my ride in good cycling style wearing rags and scratched up and a little bloody here and there but only because I was using my helmet. They work. <3
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  • Armchair Cyclist

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #1 on: September 06, 2016, 23:31 »
    I had a recent low speed, sideways fall. Very aware of the sound of my head bouncing off the road surface, and instantly grateful for my wife's constant nagging that I should wear a helmet. 

    I was aware that I had grazed my elbow, but most of the shock wave travelled up to my shoulder.  I knew from the fact that I wasn't clutching my shoulder like so many riders I have seen, but ongoing, and unpredictable, sharp shoulder pains told me that something was still wrong: finally had it diagnosed today as damage to ligaments in the rotator cuff.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 01:52 »
    Most of the time, I don't wear 'em. I can't stand helmets.  :-x

    I could go on and on regarding this topic—and I may do just that in subsequent posts—but for now, I can only say that I just don't wear helmets at all in warmer weather. Practically never.

    If we had mandatory helmet laws like Australia (did I get that right?), I would probably just stop riding. Hell, where I live, even motorcyclists aren't required to wear helmets (I believe that varies from state-to-state).

    When I grew up, bicycling helmets were unheard of. To me, wearing a helmet so greatly diminishes the overall experience of being on a bike that I'm just not willing to forgo the pleasure of having the wind in my hair, and all that comes with that. I hate helmets.

    So many, many rides would've provided with me with so much less pleasure had I been subjected to an overpriced and overrated plastic dome on my head, with an annoying chin strap wrapped around my throat. Just this past weekend I went on a solo adventure of 106 miles (170 km) without a helmet, and I can safely say that I am all the better for it (that also included a top speed of 50 mph/80 km/h on one of my favorite descents).

    Don't get me wrong, I would never encourage others to follow my path. I believe it is a vey personal decision that one must arrive at for their own reasons. But of me? No. I just don't do it.

    More to follow on this. I am sure.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 02:01 »
    I should add that I am glad to hear that both of you fared better as a result of your personal decisions.  :)

    It's a very complicated topic, I will admit.
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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 15:15 »
    When we holiday in France I don't wear a helmet and incredibly liberating it is too. I hate wearing a plastic lid, it's uncomfortable, hot, sweaty and my latest one rubs a hole in my forehead where the velcro gets exposed to my skin somehow.

    But in the UK I always wear one. I just don't trust my fellow road users here; a significant minority are completely ignorant when it comes to cyclists and a few are simply malevolent. So while wearing a helmet detracts from my enjoyment of cycling, watching their father being fed through a tube would detract from my children's, so I wear one.
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  • stereojet

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 19:16 »
    I'm in the same boat, although my other reason for wearing a hat is my own incompetence. About ten years ago I crossed a damp tramline. (Yup, I know now that it isn't the best idea.) and my front wheel went out from under me. Smoshed my right rotator cuff, did something weird to my collarbone (not broken but it popped out of place), road rash etc down my right leg. Head completely fine but the helmet was an utter wreck. Since then I've erred on the safe side.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #6 on: September 07, 2016, 22:14 »
    You guys complaining about helmets being hot .... come move up north,  chances are there will have to be something on your head anyway and it may just as well be a helmet.  :D

    I am actually not completely joking about that because that's how I came to getting used to helmets. Moving from more x-c skiing to downhill I was a slow adopter of the safety equipment for many reasons, but mostly because they were uncomfortable. However, its mandatory in races and some training activities too so just had to, but never enjoyed until one day my head grew too big and I bought a new one - and it was actually comfortable. It soon became headgear of choice, especially in bad weather - however, downhill skiing only has short bursts of high intensity and you never really build up heat like you do in endurance sports. When backcountry skiing, I almost never bring a helmet. You spend almost all the day going across flattish terrain and eventually climbing steeper slopes up to a summit, then get 5-30 minutes back downhill. Chances are you can fall and you can hit your head on something, but it is still far less than a day spent downhill skiing when you are involved in the risky business halft the time (the other half you're on the lifts.) However, snow and ice is generally a much gentler medium to fall onto than cobbles, asphalt, concrete or gravel roads, because the friction is much lower.
    Falling on a bike is inherently more dangerous than falling on skis, thankfully I don't fall of my bike often - but the risk decides my behavior, I don't challenge on the descents the way I can do while skiing. Then again, yesterday's crash had nothing to do with descending, just poor concentration on an everyday little obstacle in the middle of town. 
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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #7 on: September 08, 2016, 11:07 »
    You guys complaining about helmets being hot .... come move up north,  chances are there will have to be something on your head anyway and it may just as well be a helmet.  :D

    I am coming up North!

    Last year I went skiing for the first time in 32 years, wore a ski helmet for the first time ever and visited Norway for the first time ever. And I'm really glad I did all three.

    According to my ski instructor, a former holder of the Norwegian backwards skiing speed record no less, I must have been a pretty accomplished skier in my teens. However the long gap meant that I had lost the knack of doing certain things. What was weird was that I didn't go back to being a beginner/intermediate say, I went to being advanced but with basic and quite comical mistakes, such as dabbing my ski pole down and promptly skiing into it or dithering for so long about where to make the turn that I ended up running out of groomed piste and trying to carve the turn at Mach II in deep powder. This meant that I fell on my head more often than I remember doing in my youth when other, softer parts of my anatomy took the impact.

    Anyway, we enjoyed it so much, the family are heading your way again. Just have to talk to the bank about remortgaging the house first.

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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #8 on: September 08, 2016, 12:34 »
    Anyway, we enjoyed it so much, the family are heading your way again. Just have to talk to the bank about remortgaging the house first.
    :lol
    That's the problem with Norway. Everything is so utterly ridiculously expensive!
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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #9 on: September 08, 2016, 12:43 »
    I wear a helmet often with a windstopper beanie under gets cold up my way, I also got given a helmet for Snowboarding after the kid asked where my helmet was last trip we did....

    me - Put your helmet on

    kids - why?

    me - so you don´t hurt your head when you fall

    kid - do you fall?

    me - sometimes

    kid - where is you helmet ?

    me - hmmm checkmate  :angry :D
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  • Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

    Larri Nov 12, 2014

    stereojet

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #10 on: September 08, 2016, 14:31 »
    Blasted kids. They always have the answer, don't they?
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #11 on: September 08, 2016, 14:34 »
    All the references to skiing are quite interesting to me as well.

    I started skiing at around 4-years-old, and of course back then no one in the general public wore helmets. I even remember skiing in Quebec where some of the chair-lifts didn't even have safety bars to hold you in! 
    Now that was scary.  :o

    Nowadays, I think most kids wear helmets (it may even be required?). But I never hit my head growing up—not on trees, ice or other skiers. I do think head-to-head collisions are one of the more serious threats with skiing these days though. After many years away from the sport, I was appalled to discover the lack of form and technique on display by the vast majority of participants when I briefly returned. Not to mention the chaos introduced by having to share the mountains with snowboarders. It felt like an entirely different environment, and one that I was no longer much interested in being a part of. I love to ski. I love so many things about the experience. But many people have no business whatsoever being on the slopes.

    I've skied at all the most well-known destinations throughout the Northeast U.S., as well as some of the most popular locations out West (Utah, California). Even where one would expect to find a decent level of proficiency, a surprising amount of people simply have no idea what they're doing on a pair of skis. I suppose it's a bit like a large group/charity ride where people don't know how to control their bikes. Neither scenario is very appealing to me.

    Another personal observation is that skiing from a very young age may be partly why I feel comfortable descending on a bike at speed. I am not a thrill-seeker. Far from it, in fact. That's never been part of my makeup. I almost always err to the side of caution when it comes to physical safety. Except for going downhill on a bike. It just doesn't bother me at all to exceeds speeds of 45mph/72km. There is often this little voice in the back of my head that says, You should probably a bit nervous right now, but I never really am (that little voice makes me more nervous than the pavement under me, for some odd reason).

    I am more likely to wear a helmet when rollerblading though. I never even considering rolling around without elbow pads, knee pads, and most certainly wrist and hand protection. It's amazing how fast you can hit the ground from just one small rock. No way am I willing to sacrifice my drumming for that. People might think I'm crazy for not wearing a helmet when riding a bike a car speeds, but I'm always bewildered when I see people rollerblading without sufficient padding. I've hit the ground many times myself. Do they make disc brakes for rollerblades yet?

    It's the same for mountain biking, too. I've only ever been hurt on a bike when trail riding. Went down hard after a failed attempt at jumping a downed tree. Plus, there's always the danger of low-hanging branches. So in that context, I've no problem with wearing a helmet.

    On the road bike in the winter though, wearing a proper winter hat usually offers more comfort and warmth than any combination of helmet and thin insulator. So it really depends on the exact temperature and wind conditions. I'll put a helmet on when it feels climate-appropriate. I really don't have a problem with that.

    Yes, wearing a helmet could prove to be valuable in certain situations. I don't dispute that. But the same could be said for everyday life-events as well. We'd all be safer wearing helmets all the time. But we don't.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #12 on: September 08, 2016, 18:37 »
    I wear a helmet often with a windstopper beanie under gets cold up my way, I also got given a helmet for Snowboarding after the kid asked where my helmet was last trip we did....

    me - Put your helmet on

    kids - why?

    me - so you don´t hurt your head when you fall

    kid - do you fall?

    me - sometimes

    kid - where is you helmet ?

    me - hmmm checkmate  :angry :D
    NEVER argue with kids. :lol
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #13 on: September 08, 2016, 18:43 »
    Do they make disc brakes for rollerblades yet?
    Do they make any brakes for rollerblades yet? Those small plastic things they call 'stoppers' certainly don't count - they could be called 'slow-you-down-marginally-ers' at most!

    After many years away from the sport, I was appalled to discover the lack of form and technique on display by the vast majority of participants when I briefly returned. Not to mention the chaos introduced by having to share the mountains with snowboarders. It felt like an entirely different environment, and one that I was no longer much interested in being a part of. I love to ski. I love so many things about the experience. But many people have no business whatsoever being on the slopes.
    I believe that it's much easier to hit high speeds on skis these days than it was way back when. Better materials, skis purpose-built for speed etc. ... and yes, many people have found skiing that just didn't do it earlier. They only go skiing for a week or two per year, never really learn it, and never really improve either.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #14 on: September 08, 2016, 22:17 »
    I am coming up North!

    ....(skipping the details)....

    Anyway, we enjoyed it so much, the family are heading your way again. Just have to talk to the bank about remortgaging the house first.



    :lol
    That's the problem with Norway. Everything is so utterly ridiculously expensive!

    I still would not say that Norway is a cheap place but the Norwegian Krone dropped significantly relative to major currencies such as the Euro in the last few years. In 2012 we could get 1 Euro for 7.4 NOK now we have to pay 9.2 NOK. In other words, your Euro is now worth 24% more in NOK - this translates to a price cut for you foreigners, and the country is having a best ever year for tourism. For us, its the opposite... :angry

    EDIT: you are welcome here with or without helmet  :)
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #15 on: September 08, 2016, 22:37 »
    EDIT: you are welcome here with or without helmet  :)
    I'd love to come, loved my trip from Bergen via Kirkenes to Trondheim & Oslo last winter. :cool

    Bergen 2017 is marked with a big, fat X in my calendar. :)
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #16 on: September 09, 2016, 12:53 »
    I believe that it's much easier to hit high speeds on skis these days than it was way back when. Better materials, skis purpose-built for speed etc. ... and yes, many people have found skiing that just didn't do it earlier. They only go skiing for a week or two per year, never really learn it, and never really improve either.
    Good points. What I really found disheartening was that many people seemed only interested in getting to the bottom of the hill in the least amount of time as possible. Even if they weren't tucking and going for top speed, it was still mostly just straight-line skiing. No turning, no challenging the moguls, no interest in the surrounding experience. Just up & down, up & down, up & down.

    Regarding helmets on the slopes:
    I could definitely imagine how they could aid in keeping warm in harsher conditions, but I do wonder if they impede one's hearing, which could present its own safety issues. And peripheral vision? Is that affected too?

    I've thought about trying a full MTB helmet on my road bike for winter commuting. I've actually never seen anyone do this, but it seems logical.  It would be warmer, and certainly offer better protection than a simple road helmet. I just wouldn't want to sacrifice vision or hearing when riding in traffic.
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  • FreeWheelin

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #17 on: September 10, 2016, 07:31 »
    Michael Shumacher
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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #18 on: September 15, 2016, 09:39 »
    Good points. What I really found disheartening was that many people seemed only interested in getting to the bottom of the hill in the least amount of time as possible. Even if they weren't tucking and going for top speed, it was still mostly just straight-line skiing. No turning, no challenging the moguls, no interest in the surrounding experience. Just up & down, up & down, up & down.

    That's really interesting, I assumed it was a Scandi thing. As I said earlier, before last year, the previous time I skied was in Austria in the 80s. And then and there the object was control and fluency. Like you, I was horrified that most if not all recreational skiers weren't actually skiing to my mind but casually balancing at high speed.


    Regarding helmets on the slopes:
    I could definitely imagine how they could aid in keeping warm in harsher conditions, but I do wonder if they impede one's hearing, which could present its own safety issues. And peripheral vision? Is that affected too?
    ...
    Maybe on the hearing and vision but a hat pulled down would present the same problems. One thing that did get me thinking was whether I hit my head because I was wearing a helmet, i.e. the extra weight flung my head back. It's impossible to say for sure.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #19 on: September 15, 2016, 13:14 »
    One thing that did get me thinking was whether I hit my head because I was wearing a helmet, i.e. the extra weight flung my head back. It's impossible to say for sure.
    This is something I've often contemplated: Does wearing, or not wearing, a helmet affect they way we fall? I understand that many times such things happen so quickly, and unexpectedly, that there is little we can do. But I also suspect that having a helmet on one's head does, at times, alter the way we control our body during a crash. The same can certainly be said for other types of protection such as elbow pads, knee pads, etc. Having that sub-conscious comfort level is bound to influence the way in which we expose different parts of our body to potential harm.

    I played hockey when I was very young, and at the time we didn't have any sort of face protection. It was only later that clear shields and caging were added to our helmets. There were plenty of times that both of those protected me from errant sticks and pucks, but I never suffered any inures prior to having face protection. So does that mean that I was possibly subjecting myself to dangerous angles/positioning because of the added safety equipment? This scenario might stretch my original analogy a bit too far, but my point still stands. I do believe that wearing protective gear has some effect on how we control our bodies and what we expose ourselves to.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #20 on: September 15, 2016, 16:11 »
    So does that mean that I was possibly subjecting myself to dangerous angles/positioning because of the added safety equipment?
    Simply compare rugby (no protective equipment apart from maybe a lightly padded undershirt or a padded scrum cap) to American football (all of the protective equipment, and then some).

    American footballers do things to themselves and each other that few, if any, rugby players would ever contemplate.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #21 on: September 15, 2016, 21:10 »
    This is something I've often contemplated: Does wearing, or not wearing, a helmet affect they way we fall?

    In rare cases: if you fall on water, into water, wearing a helmet the large volume of the helmet will give your head more bouyancy, resulting in a harder impact on the water surface. This assumes a rather continuous helmet shell, not one with only a few ribs left like most cycliong helmets. (And then again very few of us take our bikes onto water, so this is not often tested with bike helmets).
    :)
    Jokes aside, this is based on a true story from one of my friends who was out of work for a while due to a concussion from a fall when practicing wakeboarding. Wearing a helmet. That is the only case I have ever heard of where the helmet is actually altering the way you fall.

    Another comment, regarding helmets when skiing - they have smaller or larger effect on your hearing depending on design, but they don't really limit your peripheral vision:most skiiers use goggles and the goggles are more limiting than the helmet with respect to peripheral vision.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #22 on: September 16, 2016, 01:13 »
    That is the only case I have ever heard of where the helmet is actually altering the way you fall.

    I didn't mean to imply the differences in terms of physics, or that there are involuntary influences applied to us during a crash or fall. What I was suggesting is that we may very well react differently, subconsciously or consciously,  if there's a helmet on our head or not. When wearing a helmet, it quite possible that we don't tuck our head during a fall in the same way we might if there was no protection (because on some level we feel more secure, confident, etc). So a cracked helmet that is held up as evidence of its life-saving properties doesn't really account for the possibility that our head might not have been exposed to the same impact had we not been wearing helmet to begin with.

    Of course there would be many exceptions to this. But I do believe that external protection affects us in ways that we may not fully understand.

    On a different tack:
    Boxers are learning that protective head gear used during sparring can actually be detrimental in terms of the distribution of shock to the skull. If I'm not mistaken, at the recent Rio Olympics, male boxers were actually prohibited from wearing head gear for this very reason. It remains a hotly debated topic though.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #23 on: September 16, 2016, 08:43 »
    If I'm not mistaken, at the recent Rio Olympics, male boxers were actually prohibited from wearing head gear for this very reason.
    I heard that the lack of head gear was because of a move towards 'professionalism' in amateur boxing (contradictory, I know) in order to draw more public interest from people who are used to watching boxers without protective blue/red stuff on their heads.
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  • just some guy

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    hiero

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #25 on: April 28, 2017, 12:57 »
    I didn't mean to imply the differences in terms of physics, or that there are involuntary influences applied to us during a crash or fall. What I was suggesting is that we may very well react differently, subconsciously or consciously,  if there's a helmet on our head or not. When wearing a helmet, it quite possible that we don't tuck our head during a fall in the same way we might if there was no protection (because on some level we feel more secure, confident, etc). So a cracked helmet that is held up as evidence of its life-saving properties doesn't really account for the possibility that our head might not have been exposed to the same impact had we not been wearing helmet to begin with.

    Of course there would be many exceptions to this. But I do believe that external protection affects us in ways that we may not fully understand.

    On a different tack:
    Boxers are learning that protective head gear used during sparring can actually be detrimental in terms of the distribution of shock to the skull. If I'm not mistaken, at the recent Rio Olympics, male boxers were actually prohibited from wearing head gear for this very reason. It remains a hotly debated topic though.

    Interesting thought, but I have to admit I don't give it much credence. When in action, we tend to follow practiced motor patterns. In football (American) or hockey one's practiced actions are practiced with the thought of injury already discounted because of the protective gear.

    The speed at which a bicycle accident happens precludes much in the way of pre-practiced muscle memory. If you have practiced a tuck and roll, like in playing judo, your muscle memory will respond with that action as much as it can. At the accident level (timeframe) of quick response, it is the practiced action that gets repeated, not the "thinking" action. IMHO.
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    hiero

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    Re: Helmet love ...
    « Reply #26 on: April 28, 2017, 13:16 »
    This is the reason I sought out the helmet comment area today. For the first time in the past 30 years, I see a truly new technology being applied to helmets. One that actually promises to be effective in real life.

    This is a product link, but bear with me please:
    http://koroyd.com/koroyd-helmet-safety-initiative/

    From that page I quote:
    Quote
    The Koroyd thermoplastic tubular honeycomb core has proven to outperform EPS as an absorption liner material inside protective helmets, with maximum deceleration values often 25% to 35% lower than EPS and HIC values up to 58% lower than EPS with the same liner thickness.
    Emphasis is mine.

    That particular phrase makes all the difference. You can make an EPS helmet that would easily prevent 95% of head injuries - but it would have to be big, and the EPS would be softer than the EPS used for helmets today. EPS liners today are a compromise - and always have been. Consumers will not buy fatter softer helmets. The same is true of closed-cell foam helmet liner technology. A manufacturer could (and they have in the past) offer a greater range of protection - but it is at the cost of appearance and ventilation.

    By making a significantly more efficient liner material, we will see better protection in helmets that are on the market. We may have to wait out the patent period for other manufacturers to use a similar concept, but I think that 1) IF the Koroyd claims are accurate, that 2) other manufacturers will be looking at ways to copy the material concept, and we will see a broader availability of said helmets.

    On the other hand, if more consumers realize the compromise they are making in helmet purchasing, the market may change. Same effect, perhaps some fatter helmets out there.

    Posted FYI.
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