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Funny Things I’ve Seen in Cycling: Specialized’s “Duh” Moment…

March 2015
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This cycling helmet retails for $160:  

Now most people who ride a bike will, ironically, ask if I hit my head, paying that much for a bicycle helmet.  $160 is a lot of dough when you can buy a helmet that protects the dome just as well for $40 or $50.

Now, I ride enough to know that the helmet is worth the money, and that’s the important part.  This is the inside of the helmet:  

FRONT?!  No shit Batman!  Here’s the back:  

Now, first things first:  The necessity for that sticker is not without precedent.  There are photos on the Internet showing folks riding with their helmets backward.  In 100% of those photos…  All of them, they’re wearing cheap helmets.

The point, of course, is this:

If you’re dumb enough to drop $160 on a freaking helmet, you’re smart enough to know which is “Front”.

Wait, that didn’t come out right.

Dammit.

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16 Comments

  1. PedalWORKS says:

    Funny thing, I paid over $200 for my helmet and neither the front or back is marked. I had better take it back.

  2. Love my lid. Worth every penny of the $220 I paid for it. Not sure but we may have the same one.

  3. MJ Ray says:

    Oh yeah, backwards is noticeable but rare, but it’s far more common to see helmet promoters wearing them at a jaunty angle or with dangling loose straps (even some of the pro racers do that). If you’re going to wear a hard hat (and I don’t think it’s worthwhile for non-race-style rides), then at least learn how to wear it safely. When will they add “horizontal” and “do the bloody straps up snug” labels?

    • bgddyjim says:

      LOL! They do have those labels in the US! They install them in the vents where you can’t read them! Drives me up a wall.

      As far as the non-race rides and whether or not to wear a helmet, I used to be with you on that… I still don’t believe in helmet laws (I think bureaucracies are silly) but I was riding at less than 10 miles an hour with my 9 year-old daughter (she had a helmet, I didn’t) back in 2012… We were on mountain bikes but she went off the side of the road and tried to get back too shallow. She caught her wheel on the asphalt and went down, three feet in front of me… I chose to fall down myself rather than risk hurting her worse by crashing into her. My head missed the pavement by less than an inch. I’ve worn a helmet ever since, every time I go out. I respect anyone’s right to do as they please but my wife and kids need a husband and dad who doesn’t require daily diaper changes so I choose to wear one rather than risk it. You’re absolutely right though.

      • MJ Ray says:

        But your head did miss the tarmac, man, and decades of low-speed cycling suggests it usually would for most people. Yet as helmet-wearing increases, injury rates usually don’t reduce. Why not? Well, another few hundred grams of weight and it may have exceeded your neck’s strength to hold it off, or maybe it would have been the same “less than an inch” but the extra few centimetres of plastic would have hit it and you might be wearing a diaper and we might not be able to have this discussion and that would be sad 😦

        Racing is different. I don’t know as much about that and I don’t think it’s been tested as thoroughly, or at least not in published papers, which seems odd.

      • bgddyjim says:

        Ah, you bring up a very interesting point with the study that purports to show that injury rates don’t reduce as helmet-wearing increases… That whole meme is based on a mathematical equation that supposes several key points to make their case – in short, it’s faked. They use “tricks” to “hide the decline” as it were. I don’t necessarily disagree with your position, I made it through my whole childhood (and I landed on my head a few times) without a helmet. It should be up to the individual what they choose to do. I’ve written a big, well researched post on the subject and after my own experiences (and I don’t race but I ride fast enough to with the club), I err on the side of common sense. That is my own personal choice. Here’s the post: https://fitrecovery.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/did-you-know-theres-a-movement-out-there-suggesting-against-wearing-a-cycling-helmet/
        I quote the study about the math. Check it out.

      • MJ Ray says:

        I’m not relying on a meme or anyone’s mathematical tricks. I’m relying mainly on my own analysis of the best available UK data that I’ve found so far, published by the Office for National Statistics and the Department for Transport. (I hold a first-class honours degree in this stuff.) You don’t even need to get into that other hot topic of whether helmet-wearing reduces cycling rates: as helmet use has varied, injury rates have varied with very little correlation.

        This seems broadly similar to most other datasets from around the world, but I should probably mention that some ways of evaluating the NZ data seems to show a strong correlation between increased helmet use (by law) and increase injury rates.

      • bgddyjim says:

        The preponderance of evidence shows that I have a much better chance of walking away from any cycling accident if I’m wearing a helmet. This fact is irrefutable which is specifically why those opposed go to statistical analysis of whether injuries increase or decrease with use. Any analysis of the data that purports to show that helmets don’t help rely on little tricks to make their case. We can go back an forth all day, I understand the words that you are typing, about the veracity of the statistical data, what I don’t buy is the context of the analysis – a melon in a helmet fares better than one without in any cycling crash. I do, however, respect anyone’s right to choose not to wear one, but to try to convince me that I shouldn’t (or that I should irresponsibly change my view as expressed on my blog), it’s just not going to happen because the only data that matters is this: I have a better chance of avoiding a hospital stay if I fall from my bike, hit my head and I’m wearing a helmet. I ride with more than a few guys who have broken their helmets in half without damage to their scalp or brain.

        The whole “injuries don’t decrease” argument is based on one main notion: the idea that car crashes would decrease if they swapped the driver-side airbag with a 4″ knife blade, welded to the steering wheel and pointing at the chest of the driver.

        There’s no doubt, car crashes would decrease. People would drive with more caution, stop texting, pay more attention, wouldn’t drive drunk or tired… But injuries and deaths due to car accidents would go through the roof. So, you would be able to say that installing a knife on the steering wheel decreased accidents and increased deaths at the same time, and be “technically” correct.

      • MJ Ray says:

        An irrefutable fact that no-on can point to any explanation of – because there isn’t one. There are biomechanical explanations both for and against helmets in collisions. However, the big question with that approach that it starts with the same assumption that you do, “if I fall from my bike”, without considering whether the probability of that fall or the associated head impact is changed by wearing. That’s where real-world statistics can help because they needn’t avoid that effect.

        I wasn’t opposed to helmets when I started analysing the statistics – I’m a statistician not a biologist, so naturally I look at what I understand better – but what I found makes me think they’re probably a net harm, as I’ve outlined.

        I don’t really understand why you’re comparing riding normally to deliberately aiming a knife at a motorist, as the effect of helmets seems to be that accidents and casualties vary in the same direction as usage, not opposed like that. Rest assured I didn’t consider that idea.

        Anyway, as you wrote elsewhere, I respect your right to be wrong, too. 🙂 I’d still suggest being very wary of the “last night a helmet saved my life” stories, of which there are far too many to all be true.

      • bgddyjim says:

        I was going to give you right up until that last point. Two of my best cycling friends had their hospital stays greatly reduced because they were wearing a helmet. One tried to stop his bike with his head when a guy in the group broke his chain and went down directly in front of him. The other passed out, probably from dehydration, and hit the ground, splitting his helmet in two. Now, were their lives saved? You can’t say they weren’t anymore than I can say they were and that’s where you’re trying to claim superiority for your argument.

        I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

      • MJ Ray says:

        You disagree with “being very wary” of such tales??? I accept that I can’t say they weren’t for any particular incident, but you write with certainty that they “had their hospital stays greatly reduced” and I strongly suggest that’s unproven.

        Also, you seem to be writing about sports-style group riding and I always say that I’m less sure about helmets and body armour for sports cycling, rather than solo/transport riding. Most riders avoid such collisions by leaving a larger stopping distance and stopping for drinks.

      • bgddyjim says:

        It’s not unproven, it’s entirely proven beyond a shadow of a doubt! The helmets are made of material that crushes (or in some cases broke) on impact. This lengthens the distance with which the melon comes to an abrupt halt and spreads the shock across the helmet, thus protecting the melon. Brother, that’s not rocket science, that’s physics 101. You need to watch a little more “Outrageous Acts of Science”. You’re going with too much statistical analysis and need to interject a little bit of physics in there… And that second guy, the one who passed out, was on his own – just a solo 45 miler (he hit the concrete three miles from his home).

        Again, I’m all for you having a choice in whether or not you where a helmet, but not wearing one will never be promoted on this blog. No chance, because I know better. I’ve seen the difference of wearing one and not wearing one with my own two eyes – sport cycling (which I do partake in at least three times a week) and on leisurely cruises.

      • MJ Ray says:

        I don’t think physics alone is helpful unless someone brings some medical evidence along to show that the physics makes enough difference to shorten a hospital stay. It’s obvious that it spreads the impact but it doesn’t lessen how much the brain has got to decelerate inside the skull and I would expect that to be pretty important. The British Medical Association didn’t back cycle helmets until the politicians interfered.

        But I’m not trained as a medic or a physicist – I trained as a statistician, so yes, I rely on the statistics, and they really do suggest helmets aren’t helpful, for general cycling at least. What you can see may be nothing short of miraculous, but why hasn’t that translated into changes in the casualty (note: NOT only deaths) figures?

      • bgddyjim says:

        Seriously brother. You’re incorrigible.

  4. bonnev659 says:

    I was looking at a few of the new helmets that the pros are using and those looks nice..

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