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Bike helmets don't prevent concussions
Last Post 06/08/2013 07:22 PM by 79 pmooney. 34 Replies.
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CERV

Posts:136

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05/28/2013 10:08 PM
http://www.bicycling.com/senseless/ Really good article on bike helmets and the current state of the industry with respect to research on concussion and brain injury. What bike helmets are and aren't good at protecting us from.
Gonzo Cyclist

Posts:185

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05/29/2013 02:16 AM
Pretty good article for sure, I crushed one at about 30 plus when I was hit from behind, had a full blown concussion, but my head was intact
[URL=http://s424.photobucket.com/user/KennyGonzales/media/9r5edz.jpg.html][/URL]
Giro Pnuemo
pikeHillRoad

Posts:95

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05/29/2013 07:35 AM
huh. apparently mtn bike helmets are safer?

Joking aside, I find it interesting that the companies that are producing MIPS helmets are only producing mtn bike models.
jmdirt

Posts:468

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05/29/2013 09:10 AM
Thanks for sharing Cerv! If you go by the old skull/brain smash theory, you realize that helmets won't prevent concussions but once you understand the mechanics of what is actually happening you can really see that helmets won't prevent concussions. I have never expected my helmet to prevent a concussion but if they can design a helmet that can reduce my risk, I'm ready to buy.
stronz

Posts:226

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05/29/2013 09:23 AM
I read that article and found it to be a really thorough going over of the whole helmet/head trauma/brain injury issue. It really is well-done, but not that encouraging in my view about how to prevent brain injuries. The info on how torsional injuries are the most common and damaging was interesting as was the system of alllowing a portion of the external helmet to rotate with the impact while the inner layer stays fixed (is this MIPS - I dont remember). My conclusion was that its really easy to damage one's brain in a fall while riding and we need to have no delusions about that. I also think that improving one's handling skills is important in accident avoidance -- yeah there are accidents you cant avoid, but I think plenty are avoidable - particularly when riding in a group with other riders who are frequently sketchy bike handlers - chief among them being staying up at the front. I have always felt that getting on my mtn bike and riding some technical trails is very useful (and fun) in this regard. just mho
Spud

Posts:141

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05/29/2013 09:26 AM
No helmet will prevent a concussion. Not even this $750 Shoei, but they will keep you skull intact. Bicycle helmets maybe not so much, depending on the impact.

Pin0Q0

Posts:161

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05/29/2013 11:13 AM
+1 Spud. Back in March of 05, I was on aa training ride going down Hawk Mountain near Reading PA, there was salt and gravel on the road, it made me fish tale and that's the last thing I remember. Apparently I hit a ditch and flew into a tree head first at 49mph according to my team mates and speedometer. I woke in the hospital next day with three broken vertabrae 8,9,and 10. My helmet was almost cracked in half but that saved me from being a vegtable. It realy bothers me when I see people on bikes w/o one.
jacques_anquetil

Posts:188

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05/29/2013 12:21 PM
no kidding Pin0Q0. sounds like you were lucky. same thing happened to Nicole Reinhart where she clipped a pedal and went headfirst into a tree at a crit. an acquaintance was on her team and was the first to check on her. it was clear that she was not gonna make it. edit: holy! btw, that is an inspired piece of web design!
longslowdistance

Posts:443

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05/29/2013 01:29 PM
A big part of helmets not optimally preventing concussions is THE TEST, which forces manufacturers to optimize their helmets for too big hits.
Motorcycle helmet certification has the same problem: the Snell Foundation standard is designed for the helmet to stay together in a catastrophic hit, which is not optimal for protecting the brain. The Euros to their credit did some excellent research on real accidents and realized that a softer helmet liner is needed to maximize outcomes. Snell is catching on but their standards are still to biased towards huge hits that may kill you no matter what, rather than minimizing the chance of brain injury in a crash you can survive. In other words, a Snell approved sticker means the helmet is less safe than a quality helmet with a CE sticker!
Patched Tube

Posts:29

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05/29/2013 02:02 PM
My take on bike helmets has always been that they are there to protect the scalp and skull - preventing lacerations and fractures. And they do a pretty good job of that in my experiance - I've crashed a time or two and been thankfull I'd been wearing a helmet (providing me a ready made excuse to upgrade to that new model!).

But concusions are tough to deal with - in essence you have to figure out a way to deaccelerate the head and the brain therein when it really wants to come to a sudden stop. I'm sure the crush design of current bike helmets helps a little - but only a little. The forces involved are just too large for any kind of crash at speed.

Still.... all things being equal I'd much rather be wearing one than not.
-- that which cannot be proven as true must be regarded as false or not affirmed as true
Dale

Posts:336

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05/29/2013 08:50 PM
LSD, the new SNELL rating for motorcycle (Snell 2010M) more closely matches ECE in the reduction of the G spike. The older 2005 rating did not take into account the varying head mass differences between a small and an extra large size. The newer Snell rating gives a much better level of protection than the previous.

"If you tell me how you're going to crash I'll build you the perfect helmet"
Master50

Posts:170

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05/29/2013 10:07 PM
I have maintained a high level of scepticism over most of the helmet saved my life statements. They are evangelical in their character. This research enforces the limits of styrofoam in saving lives. I am glad for more scientific evidence over the rather emotional perspective of some of the helmet advocates. BTW I always wear one. An in tact skull and good hair are still good reasons for the protection.
79pmooney

Posts:816

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05/29/2013 10:18 PM
Master, I hit the pavement head first at about 35 mph when my fork snapped at the crown/steerer with no warning as I landed a bunny hop. Wearing the original Bell Biker, I suffered a 5 day coma. Without it, I doubt I'd be any better than the patients I saw in vegetative state in the recovery ward. I certainly suffered the axial (sp) nerve damage that article spoke of, plus a blood clot on my hyperthalmus (sp) and a bruise on the base of my motor nerves, both seen by CAT scan.

I don't think saying that helmet saved my life is much of a stretch.

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:443

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05/29/2013 10:22 PM
Posted By Mike Shea on 05/29/2013 10:07 PM
I have maintained a high level of scepticism over most of the helmet saved my life statements. They are evangelical in their character. This research enforces the limits of styrofoam in saving lives. I am glad for more scientific evidence over the rather emotional perspective of some of the helmet advocates. BTW I always wear one. An in tact skull and good hair are still good reasons for the protection.

 Think of it this way: minimal fall, all helmets give equal good outcome. Severe crash, you die. A snell approved helmet may keep the rider's skull may intact, but the rider dies from intracranial hemorrhage or aortic or other major internal injury so it doesn't matter. It's the in-between force accidents where helmets differ. Snell is moving in right direction but based on the Euro research not yet far enough. Change is hard.
GJanney

Posts:76

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05/30/2013 12:58 PM
I would never have imagined a helmet could prevent a concussion. Were others under that impression?
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