Loose helmet straps. Bad?
Last Post 08/30/2013 04:16 PM by Joe Rockbottom. 24 Replies.
Author Messages
79pmooney

Posts:1155

--
08/23/2013 12:44 AM
<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
79pmooney

Posts:1155

--
08/23/2013 12:48 AM
My last crash and the new MIPS helmets (did I get the acronym right?) got me thinking. My strap was clearly not tight. Lots of evidence my helmet moved a lot. My right ear was nearly severed by the strap and my glasses were knocked around and caused several cuts. But, I suffered no concussion, very surprising as I hit hard on the side of my head (and remember it).

Clearly the helmet relieved much of the shear acceleration by sliding on my head. Maybe it is time to rethink the idea that tight straps are the way to go (on a non-MIPS helmet). And we have O.C. leading the way.

Ben
Entheo

Posts:317

--
08/23/2013 08:07 AM
i see way too many folks with their helmets loose and too far back, leaving their foreheads relatively exposed. the tip of the helmet should be just above one's eyebrows.
zootracer

Posts:303

--
08/23/2013 11:33 AM
You see a lot of loose helmet straps with the pro's. Makes me wonder if they do any good at all if they crash. Simple test is if you can push your helmet back on your head, your straps are too loose..
79pmooney

Posts:1155

--
08/23/2013 12:00 PM
I'm not talking about so loose that the helmet isn't there at impact. I am talking about loose enough that it slides on the head rather than staying in place and accelerating the head. In other words, not the snug straps I was always told with any helmet sport I played.

I did not see (yet another) concussion this crash.  I certainly hit hard enough.  I'm wondering if on the whole, snug straps cause more damage than not so snug.  What I read of the MIPS research and this experience suggests that might be the case.

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:694

--
08/23/2013 12:15 PM
A little elasticity, perhaps?
pabiker

Posts:80

--
08/23/2013 12:31 PM
A friend of mine was killed last year on a ride. His helmet was always loose and cocked a little bit (like OC's). He suffered trauma to his forehead and never regained consciousness. When I got back to him his helmet had slid back onto his head leaving the front of his head completely exposed.

His helmet should have been crushed - it was not.

Dale

Posts:493

--
08/23/2013 04:41 PM
Sorry to hear that, PA, that must have been tough.
Orange Crush

Posts:1202

--
08/23/2013 08:32 PM
I find it somewhat mind numbing that while we can probably point out 99 factors that are more important for our overall road safety, the conversation is always dominated by that piece of styrofoam still so ill fit for purpose regardless whether you mount it properly on your skull or not.

Talk about this, should power meters or other stem mounted screen units be banned from group rides (races) just like we don't want to see guys on tri bikes in our groups? If you're looking at your stem you're not looking at the road. In my mind, these things are only a touch off handheld devices in cars, which we know to be about as dangerous as drunk driving. "How fast are we going downhill Steve? Lemme check"...crash, boom.

Don't follow me when it comes to helmets Ben, I am a highly skeptical user. Or at least do so at own risk. Oh and that lid of mine sits a lot tighter than one might think from the photo. A little while ago, descending down the stairs with my helmet on, it ended up hitting the structure above the stairs. Helmet did not budge one bit. That's a good enough impromptu test IMO.
pabiker

Posts:80

--
08/23/2013 10:20 PM
Sure OC. They serve a lot of red herring in the Netherlands?

We shouldn't text while driving either, but we still drive cars that have 12 airbags. The fact that people make foolish decisions doesn't negate the value of a helmet or airbag.

When your head hits the concrete it won't be your power meter or ponytail that has chance to save you. Perhaps it's a conspiracy by the greedy Styrofoam consortium - I think not. Perhaps they save lives.

Mark's two kids would preferred that he had cut his hair shorter, had his helmet tighter, been uncomfortable, been uncool, been a golfer - WTF ever. They don't have a dad anymore.

To add risk unnecessarily and knowingly is to be foolish. Sure, I go fast downhill, but I stack the odds IN my favor not the other way around.
Entheo

Posts:317

--
08/24/2013 07:35 AM
agree PA; there's no reason not to have one's helmet properly fitted and securely strapped to one's head.

there's the illusion of security during inertia -- an object in motion... "my helmet doesn't move at 30+ mph, even with loose straps." but it will when it goes from 30 to 0 in a split second. just ask princess diana, who didn't have her seat belt on.
Yo Mike

Posts:265

--
08/24/2013 10:19 AM
As I understand it, early styrofoam shell helmets were found lacking as the foam would not slide well on pavement, resulting in neck injuries, so the thin plastic layer was added. Leather hairnets must have been even worse. I'd prefer to have my helmet stay in place on impact, thank you, covering what it is supposed to cover.

And the guys on motos too 'cool' to wear a helmet? I understand some in the medical profession call them 'organ donors'. Deaths / injuries of moto riders in PA have gone way up since helmets were made 'optional' for 'experienced' moto riders.
Orange Crush

Posts:1202

--
08/24/2013 10:22 AM
So PA, using distractive devices or going fast downhill is not knowingly adding unnecessary risk? But that is OK cause your helmet stacks the odds in your favour? That is faulty logic right there. Too many people put their stock in passive safety devices. There's no styrofoam conspiracy but no miracles either. Active incident prevention is what really makes the difference. I go fast down hills but slow it down when the situation requires. These are the things that should be talked about, road sense.

I am sorry to hear about your friend Mark. Did they ever learn what caused the accident? That to me is the bigger question, a properly worn helmet may or may not have made a difference, we can only guess at that.

And yes, I do think that the trend of increasing crashes in peleton in seemingly innocent situations (straight roads) in recent years has a curious parallel with the introduction of distractive devices. It's not like these guys suddenly don't know how to ride a bike anymore.
Entheo

Posts:317

--
08/24/2013 02:37 PM
not sure many crashes can be attributed to SRMs or GPSs. always have been a lot of crashes - some very bad - in feed zones and riding piano. wouters turned his head to see who was behind him, and then there was a rock cliff. kivilev should have gotten back on his bike after a relatively minor accident... but he never got on a bike again. helmets were made mandatory after the latter.
79pmooney

Posts:1155

--
08/24/2013 06:40 PM
O.C., I plan to ride the rest of my life. There will be times when I will ride distracted. There will be times when I will ride when I am so tired I shouldn't. I will space out. I will pull clumsy moves. I will ride when cars are out, the roads are wet, the leaves are wet, there is sand. And I will do all of these things after dark.

For me, crashes are when, not if. I don't put electronics on my handlebars or in my ears. But I will never figure I get a pass from wearing the best helmet because I don't do those things. I will get a good MIPS helmet soon. My life is too crazy (with kitchen remodel) to even think about it now and I will go through Cycle Oregon with my old Bell. But I will not tighten the strap as tight as I used to. Tighter than your photo, but loose enough to slide after impact. 2nd impact is a risk, but another concussion has been nearly a given for me (and thankfully, stitches in ears don't hurt at all. Been there.)

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:1202

--
08/24/2013 07:57 PM
Ben, you list two types of situations:

One you can't control (cars, weather), a helmet is a good way of mitigating risks albeit not a fool-proof one (unlike seat belts which work briliantly). I bet if we did a quick survey amongst forumites we'd find maybe 50% wearing their helmets as designed (you, like I would not pass it sounds like). Half of this has to do with user error, the other half reflects the inherent design challenges of bike helmets, it is pretty easy to put these things on wrong (unlike a seat belt). This especially goes for kids etc., how often as parents do we check those helmets go on correctly?

The other aspect (being tired, distracted), a helmet is a sorry excuse for bad behaviour. instead consider whether you should ride that day, far more effective for your long-term well being. With field work related travel, there's a clear rule for us, if you're tired, pull off, take a nap or if need be check in a hotel, no exceptions. It keeps our people safe.
Orange Crush

Posts:1202

--
08/24/2013 08:00 PM
Posted By entheo genic on 08/24/2013 02:37 PM
not sure many crashes can be attributed to SRMs or GPSs. always have been a lot of crashes - some very bad - in feed zones and riding piano. wouters turned his head to see who was behind him, and then there was a rock cliff. kivilev should have gotten back on his bike after a relatively minor accident... but he never got on a bike again. helmets were made mandatory after the latter.


Entheo, remember the Tour, what 2-3 yrs ago? A bunch of mass crashes on straight roads took out a good chunk of contenders before race even started proper. I remember folks on forum going like WTF?
79pmooney

Posts:1155

--
08/24/2013 09:18 PM
O.C.,
a helmet is a sorry excuse for bad behavior


I do not ride tired, etc, because I am wearing a helmet. I ride tired etc. because I ride. I wear a good helmet because crashed happen, not vice versa. That my riding may well cost me my life (by my own actions or the actions of others) is something I came to accept years ago.

Ben
Entheo

Posts:317

--
08/25/2013 12:10 PM
Posted By Orange Crush on 08/24/2013 08:00 PM
Posted By entheo genic on 08/24/2013 02:37 PM
not sure many crashes can be attributed to SRMs or GPSs. always have been a lot of crashes - some very bad - in feed zones and riding piano. wouters turned his head to see who was behind him, and then there was a rock cliff. kivilev should have gotten back on his bike after a relatively minor accident... but he never got on a bike again. helmets were made mandatory after the latter.


Entheo, remember the Tour, what 2-3 yrs ago? A bunch of mass crashes on straight roads took out a good chunk of contenders before race even started proper. I remember folks on forum going like WTF?


again, first week of the tour there's always lots of nerves, everyone crowding narrow french roads to be near the front. i think riders let their staff crunch their numbers; they're trying to keep their jobs by getting results.
Gonzo Cyclist

Posts:203

--
08/25/2013 04:38 PM
with my Uvex FP-3, it's more about the head adjustment (wheel on the back) to secure it, and the strap can be a bit loose
pabiker

Posts:80

--
08/25/2013 10:08 PM
Gonzo, no way that is true. Post me some user instructions that say that.

OC - I was just pointing out that your helmet appears to not be adjusted properly, and since we like having you around here, suggested that you think about adjusting it properly.

Obviously, it's your call; but it wasn't meant to be an argument about how one can get killed on a bicycle.
Orange Crush

Posts:1202

--
08/30/2013 11:44 AM
Meanwhile for a bit of context, back in my old hometown... this used to be me

Oldfart

Posts:484

--
08/30/2013 12:59 PM
Sweet bike OC. Reflectors, kickstand. Lucky. Taking off on sweet jumps
Keith Richards

Posts:739

--
08/30/2013 02:25 PM
Emerson Fittipaldi said of his car racing, "I like doing dangerous things as safely as possible."

I always remember that regarding the sport of cycling.

----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
C2K_Rider

Posts:171

--
08/30/2013 04:16 PM
Helmets are most useful in those cases in which you have no control at all...like the dog crash I had a few months ago. Low speed but the running dog shot out from behind some bushes and took out my front wheel. My hands never came off the bars before I hit the ground on my left shoulder.. My head smacked the ground pretty well. Not enough to crack the helmet but enough to ring my bell a bit..luckily no concussion. A sliding crashwould not be near as bad. A high speed crash right over the bars would be a lot worse. I find it nearly impossible to adjust the helmet as they describe in the instructions...not supposed to be able to push it back on e head, so get as close as I can.


---
Active Forums 4.1