Author Topic: bike Helmet article  (Read 846 times)


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bike Helmet article
« on: June 21, 2013, 10:19:29 am »
After reading the web article at the end of this post, I did some "googling" and then bought new Scott Lin helmets for Lynn and I.   I have had one fall when I first started riding that knocked me unconscious, Lynn feels she had a slight concussion from her fall in Montreal when she broke her pelvis; seems like $100 for an improved technology bike helmet is a reasonable expenditure.  As a bonus, we both feel that they fit better than our previous helmets. 

*** A Teaser from the Article, the full Bicycle magazine article link is at the end.  *********************************
Woodpeckers And Helmets

Woodpeckers don't swing their heads when they peck.  They thrust their beaks forward on a perfectly straight plane.  If they swung their heads it would impart rotational force and scramble their brains.  The CPSC helmet test used to approve all bicycle helmets uses a linear force, the same one the woodpecker uses, by dropping a weighted helmet six feet onto an anvil.

The problem is that when we crash we whiplash our heads imparting great amounts of rotational force.

This article from Bicycling magazine goes into the details.  In brief, helmet tests were designed to prevent catastrophic injury but were not designed to prevent less serious concussions.  Current laws hamstring the CPSC from modifications and unless helmet safety requirements are modified,  there is little incentive for helmet makers to modify their designs.

Statistics don't tell the whole story, but they're a good place to start.

Stat #1: More people are riding. Between 1995 and 2009, the annual number of bike trips in the United States grew by 30 percent, and the number of daily bike commuters grew by 60 percent.

Stat #2: Despite that growth, until recently bicycle-traffic deaths were declining.  From 1995 to 1997, an average of 804 cyclists in the United States died every year in motor-vehicle crashes. During an equivalent three-year period from 2008 to 2010, that average fell to 655. The number went up in 2011, but there's evidence that cycling is becoming safer. That's partly a result of more bike lanes and other infrastructure, and partly because more riders make roads safer for cyclists. But at least some of the decline can be attributed to helmet use. By 1999 half of all riders were wearing them, up from just 18 percent eight years earlier, and that figure almost certainly increased as many cities passed mandatory helmet laws. (No reliable survey on helmet use has been published since 1999.)  Here's the trouble.

Stat #3: As more people buckled on helmets, brain injuries also increased. Between 1997 and 2011 the number of bike-related concussions suffered annually by American riders increased by 67 percent, from 9,327 to 15,546, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a yearly sampling of hospital emergency rooms conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).


Also, just type "mips bike helmets" into a Google search, you'll probably be surprised (I was).
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 09:16:45 pm by jim-ratliff »

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Re: bike Helmet article
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 11:00:08 pm »
I just wanted to say that I found this post and the referenced article amazing and informative.
I had always just assumed that all helmets were pretty much the same as long as the were certified by the government.