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Thread: Helmets

  1. #1
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    Helmets

    I road raced motorcycles for a number of years with the American Federation of Motorcyclists. Most of the races were at the tracks around California. Motorcycle helmets are constructed with a hard shell and Styrofoam interior. They work quite well for racing because track crashes are almost all "slide outs" where you just push it too far and lose traction. That leaves you sliding along the ground and the hard shell is far more important than the foam padding as your head bounces along the road surface.

    My best friend owned a motorcycle shop in Oakland and while we were talking one night after closing time, he had a heart attack and died with me feeling absolutely helpless since I didn't know CPR. The ambulance didn't get there until long after he had expired and the distance to the hospital was only minutes away.

    In any case, I lost my taste for motorcycles but the AFM asked me to be their safety director since I was an engineer. I took a trip down to Bell and after watching their testing procedure it was pretty clear that a helmet wasn't going to save anyone in a street accident. The maximum speed that they were designed to handle was something like 15 mph at the time (it has since increased slightly but that isn't the point.) How many street accidents involve only your head and are at 15 mph? The answer is none.

    When I got involved in bicycling no one wore anything but a cap. And while head injuries were rare they did occur in single vehicle accidents which were mostly fall-overs. Again, deaths on bicycles are usually traffic accidents and being hit by a car normally negates any protection you may think you have.

    Then Bell who invented the motorcycle helmet started making bicycle helmets. This would seem to be the perfect market since bicycles travel so much more slowly than motorcycles. But again - deaths on bicycles occur in traffic accidents and even if a helmet worked, having all of your bones broken and your head struck on the windshield of a car at twice the speed rating of the helmet negates any protective capacity of the helmet.

    And single vehicle accidents at any speed on a bicycle proved that the design of a bicycle helmet which is to prevent the fracturing of the skull was a bad design. Most serious non-fatal injuries of bicyclists are like football players - concussions where the sudden stop tears the brain loose from it's moorings and slams it into the opposite side of the skull's interior. This causes a variety of injuries from death to seizure to other brain injuries that leave one a vegetable.

    I know that any number of you will say that a helmet saved your life but believe me, if you did not get a concussion the helmet did not save your life; it prevented minor injuries that you interpreted as great danger to your life.

    Now I'm sure that there is the extremely rare instance of being struck by a car and being thrown and falling on your body and striking your head and the helmet absorbing a tiny portion of the impact which is very easy to interpret as being of use and it was. But it wasn't saving your life. While that may have been extremely frightening it wasn't the helmet but circumstance.

    Some manufacturers of helmets have come up with the idea that people were being killed because of neck injuries and invented what is known as MIPS which is a liner inside the helmet that can rotate preventing the deceleration forces being placed upon your neck. While this sounds good, statistics don't seem to bear out any improvement in head injuries.

    Trek as a manufacturer with engineering, finally put their heads to heads. Speaking to Neurologists that are involved in football and especially college football, they ascertained that what was needed wasn't protection of the skull nearly as much as a reduction of the decelerative forces in a crash. They designed a helmet specifically to prevent concussion and they claim to have been successful. So successful that their Q-Cell helmets are said to give you 48 times less chance of a concussion.

    Sold under the Bontrager trademark they are quite easy to spot in the range of helmets by not having a Styrofoam liner but a 3-D printed honeycomb looking structure. They are also available with a MIPS liner but personally I would avoid that since I cannot see it preventing enough helmet rotation to do any good without rotating completely off of your head. And they cost twice as much as the normal helmet.

    I bought one and wear it. It could probably be a little more stylish but style isn't engineering and protection of your head is the entire point of the helmet. They are about twice the price of a Bell helmet but they are a lot cheaper than most of the helmets around like Giro.

    They have not been around to have any statistics to prove their claims one way or another but perhaps that proves their claims in and of itself. If you do not have a concussion you simply get up and dust yourself off and carry on feeling a bit of the fool. So if you are on the market for a helmet I would suggest going to your local Trek dealer and purchasing a Bontrager helmet.

    I have absolutely no connection with Trek or Bontrager beyond having known Keith a very long time ago. His machinist was a friend of mine back in the day when he made mountain bikes.

    My purpose for posting this is that I had a crash 10 years ago in which I received a severe concussion and didn't know heads or tails for two years. It was so bad that I didn't even remember to eat and was near starving to death when a cop friend took me to Stanford Medical center and they recommended a professor or neurology who had a small practice at Palo Alto Medical Canter. He took about a year to discover effective drugs and dosages and I began the long road back to normalcy. The drugs have some side effects that you wouldn't want and the damage from the concussion leaves me with no sense of balance. So I have to maintain a visual horizon to keep from falling down. Something as common as looking up or looking down to see what gear you're in can cause me to lose my balance. So I simply don't do that. I have to use my small shower so that while I'm washing my hair and have to close by eyes I can lean against the hard surfaces of the shower to maintain a sense of up and down. So concussions are not "being knocked out" or anything like that - they are serious injuries with serious consequences. Avoid them by taking any and all possible steps.
    Last edited by Tom Kunich; 1 Week Ago at 08:14 AM.

  2. #2
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kunich View Post
    I know that any number of you will say that a helmet saved your life but believe me
    Nope. Not gonna believe some random dude on the interwebs that spews out a bunch of unsubstantiated claims and says 'believe me'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Nope. Not gonna believe some random dude on the interwebs that spews out a bunch of unsubstantiated claims and says 'believe me'.
    And that is because you're a real expert at these things. Gotcha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kunich View Post
    And that is because you're a real expert at these things. Gotcha.
    You're the one making unsubsatnated claims. Not me.
    Got it

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    You're the one making unsubsatnated claims. Not me.
    Got it
    So you actually have spent your life engineering. You've traveled down to Bell and actually discussed it with the people who invented the helmet and you've watched the way they were developed, tested and constructed? You're actually read the statistics of bicycle accidents and the conditions they occurred under and this is what you are calling "unsubstantiated"?

    This is precisely why I said that you didn't have your life saved by a helmet and that you don't know anything about them except you put it on your head.

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    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kunich View Post
    So you actually have spent your life engineering. .
    I have. But that's irrelevant.
    IM NOT THE ONE MAKING UNSUBSATNATED CLAIMS. YOU ARE.

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    Not sure about the Q-Cell that you are referring to, but Trek/Bontrager is touting their WaveCell technology as the latest/greatest in helmet design. This is suppose to limit the amount of rotational acceleration imparted to the brain at the moment of impact, which incidentally is the same design objective behind the MIPS design. I am not aware of any focus on improved neck protection offered by MIPS. In motorsports, there is the HANS(Head and Neck Support) device that limits the amount of head motion relative to the neck, which reduces the chance of basilar skull fracture due sudden deceleration from a crash, but this is a bit of an overkill for cycling.

    I believe the main arugument from Trek against MIPS design is the ability to fully control the head motion since MIPS can potentially allow too much rotoation/movement that exposes the head outside the protection envelope of the helmet. Trek's design relies on the flex/distortion of the material itself, which they believe can be better controlled.

    Both offer mountains of test data to support their design, and I think either one is an improvement over the traditional one. But as far as which one is better, the jury is still out and I believe any comparisons made are driven more by the marketing department than anything else.

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    Isn't Tom Kunich the guy that was in a number of threads months ago making claims that caused rather heated discussions with many disagreeing with him? I didn't search, but the name triggered the thought. My apology to Mr. Kunich if I'm mixing him up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogus View Post
    if I'm mixing him up.
    You may want to take a look at this thread.

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    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    You may want to take a look at this thread.
    He's got a history of getting spanked and earning himself time outs.

    And this one
    https://forums.roadbikereview.com/do...ml#post4883637


    And this one.
    https://forums.roadbikereview.com/bi...ls-370607.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogus View Post
    Isn't Tom Kunich the guy that was in a number of threads months ago making claims that caused rather heated discussions with many disagreeing with him? I didn't search, but the name triggered the thought. My apology to Mr. Kunich if I'm mixing him up.
    You just saw me making a long posting showing my credentials and experiences with helmets and you have one man saying that I'm making unsubstantiated claims. Of what he didn't say. The other man was discussing MIPS which is initials for Multidirectional Impact Protection System. While this may work on hard foam helmets the way it achieves its purpose is by the mounting system to allow some rotation of the helmet on your head. Trek themselves say that MIPS doesn't seem to change the effectiveness of their wavecell helmets but they have them if you want them.

    There are a LOT of people that will argue that their lives were saved by their helmets when they fell over at a complete stop and their helmet never even touched the ground.

    So when I say that cycling deaths are not caused by fall over accidents but by being run over by cars these same people will argue with you for days on end resorting to name calling and meaningless statements when state DMV statistics plainly show that you are killed on a bicycle by being stuck at high speed by motor vehicles.

    https://www.emedicinehealth.com/bicy...bicycle_safety

    "The most common cause of bicycle crashes is due to falls or collisions with stationary objects. Collisions involving motor vehicles account for most of all bicycle-related deaths and some nonfatal injuries. The majority of these bicycle deaths are caused by head injuries.'

    I would like to stress that while the coroner will put "cause of death" as head injuries these people are broken into pieces and if their heads were totally intact, they would be equally dead.

    Most of these impacts are caused in intersections so if you want to avoid being struck ALWAYS be aware of possible red light runners or stop sign runners. I watch every intersection. I nearly made a mistake recently, The exit if the San Mateo Bridge in Hayward has stop light system. I was tired from a long ride and came up to the intersection. The light turned green and I wondered why no one was moving and I was about to go when a large pickup exited that freeway at 75 or so mph directly through the red light 5 full seconds after the light had changed. This is how bicyclists are killed.

    I called the City of Hayward about this but I don't think they did anything about it but perhaps since the lights seem to change in such a manner that all of the traffic exiting the bridge freeway seem to be brought to a complete stop before the lights across change.

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    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kunich View Post
    You just saw me making a long posting showing my credentials and experiences with helmets and you have one man saying that I'm making unsubstantiated claims.
    You've provided proof of nothing. Zilch. Nada. Everything you've said is unsubstantiated claims.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    He's got a history of getting spanked and earning himself time outs.

    And this one
    https://forums.roadbikereview.com/do...ml#post4883637


    And this one.
    https://forums.roadbikereview.com/bi...ls-370607.html
    You aren't particularly smart are you? In the one case I said that doping doesn't IMPROVE human performance. And it doesn't - it improves your endurance which is what professional bike racers need in long races such as the grand tours. They don't need to take drugs in the spring classics though they certainly used to take things like testosterone which caused you to be more aggressive. That neither gave you more strength nor more endurance. But as seems to be the problem with you, you don't understand the problem and so talk about something else.

    As for the other case - They have started fixing that problem several ways. The Chinese simply build the framesets heavier. Carbon fiber is so light that you can add quite a bit of strength for almost no weight penalty. Look solves the problem by having extremely good quality control using ultrasound scans of the material to avoid folds, tears and voids. Time solves the problem by adding some layers of Kevlar which has a much longer thread length and hence doesn't tear like carbon fiber does. And Trek uses two heavy pressure molds to prevent the appearance of folds, creases or voids and then puts the frame together in pieces similar to lugged construction on a steel bike.

    You must enjoy talking about things you don't understand and don't want to understand.

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    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kunich View Post
    You aren't particularly smart are you?
    You got banned... not me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kunich View Post
    You aren't particularly smart are you?
    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    You got banned... not me.
    Ah yes, deja vu...

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    Hmm, so someone claiming to be so jacked up that he can barely stand in the shower worried about his balance, but out riding a bike in traffic knowing his motor skills are lacking.

    I guess that knot on his head has affected his judgement.

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    I find the OP's post rambling and lacking a true point.

    There's something else going on with them.

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    Tom, if you're such a great engineer, where is your Nobel Prize? Surely your groundbreaking work in this field would change the industry forever.
    Ghurarmu shirkush’ agh azgushu. Zant ya apakurizak. Gűl-n’ anakhizak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    I find the OP's post rambling and lacking a true point.

    There's something else going on with them.
    Sometime's certain people just like to hear themselves talk. I bet he's the smartest guy he knows

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeepV View Post
    Hmm, so someone claiming to be so jacked up that he can barely stand in the shower worried about his balance, but out riding a bike in traffic knowing his motor skills are lacking.

    I guess that knot on his head has affected his judgement.
    Does it hurt your feelings that I have $25,000 worth of bicycles and you have an old Schwinn?

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    Maybe you'd like to tell us all how old you are and what you do for a living?. For someone that likes to hide behind a cartoon identity you seem to have a lot to say. Are you really Porky Pig?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    You've provided proof of nothing. Zilch. Nada. Everything you've said is unsubstantiated claims.
    I've been wondering something; all of you people that love the childish act of ganging up on someone all seem to have anonymous identities. Is that because you are so deeply ashamed of who you are or do you simply not want to be in any way connected to your fathers and would rather hide beneath mommies skirts?

  23. #23
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    Stop feeding the Troll.

  24. #24
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kunich View Post
    I've been wondering something; all of you people that love the childish act of ganging up on someone all seem to have anonymous identities. Is that because you are so deeply ashamed of who you are or do you simply not want to be in any way connected to your fathers and would rather hide beneath mommies skirts?
    Rather than attacking people like a little child... why don't you substantiate your claims?

    It says a lot that it's been 22hrs. You've been asked numerous times to substantiate your claims. Instead you attack everyone by calling them names.

    No one else is relevant to your claims.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Rather than attacking people like a little child... why don't you substantiate your claims?

    It says a lot that it's been 22hrs. You've been asked numerous times to substantiate your claims. Instead you attack everyone by calling them names.

    No one else is relevant to your claims.
    Apparently you can't read. Just saying my claims haven't been substantiated does not mean that there is any value at all in your ignorance. I see that you have a lot of dots in your reputation. Yet nowhere have I seen one single intelligent thing you've ever said.

    Tell you what, I will leave you little children to your own ends such as using emojis and anonymous names so that you do not have to be held personally accountable for your postings that any 5 year old could make out on the kindergarten playground.

    There appears to be no one here seeking information and that says a very great deal for Road Bike Review and one I will be very happy to pass on.

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