• I am told by them that it's due to insurance.

    And I'm calling bullshit. Make them prove that their insurer makes their cover contingent on insisting that people do something not required by either national laws or governing body regulations.

  • Here's mine:-

    https://www.windmilers.org.uk/Cycling.ht­ml

    ... Helmets and spare inner tubes are mandatory.

    They don't say "because insurance" on the site but it's the reason I've been given when I've asked before on the Whatsapp group.

    (Spare inner tubes are not a legal requirement either...)

    Given my Audax experience they keep asking me if I've considered joining their club runs, I keep declining as they require helmets.

  • Either way I'm not joining them so didn't bother to chase it up.

  • I think one of the big turning points came when pros were forced to wear them. This was following Kivilev's death. Since then, all images of pros on bikes in races (except some TTs) have been with helmets on. As club riders look up to pros, that kind of settled it in that world, although there had, of course, always been club riders before who insisted on helmets.

  • Sustrans have updated (slightly) their helmet policy:-

    https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/pol­icy-positions/all/all/our-position-on-th­e-use-of-cycle-helmets/

    tl;dr:-

    We believe that it is a personal choice whether to wear a cycle helmet or not, and for parents to make that choice for their children.

  • The Islington CC rule was an arbitrary decree introduced after a couple of complaints from members who said they felt uncomfortable riding in groups with people not wearing helmets. If anyone’s telling you it’s due to insurance they’re talking shite.

    (Helmets were optional for several years before the rule came in, although 99% of riders wore them, so it’s possible to operate a BC club without a compulsory helmet rule)

  • The best couple of paragraphs from this is are:

    Improved safety records in the most cycling-friendly countries are greatly attributed to a network of well-connected and high quality dedicated infrastructure, public awareness and understanding of cycling, and a culture where most people cycle regularly rather than helmet use.

    Countries with the highest levels of cycling, such as Denmark and the Netherlands, record the lowest levels of helmet use in the world. For example, the Netherlands has 5% helmet use and the lowest incident of head injuries in the world.

  • That Sustrans page is brilliant. So well written and balanced.

    For ages now I have defined my view on helmets as "pro-choice". It's great to have backup to that position.

  • The weird bit about the Sustrans thing is:

    For example, a recent academic study showed cycle helmets offer "effective protection at low speeds of less than 50km/h (31 mph)".

    My definition of low speed on a bike would be about half that. Anything above 20mph is pretty fast.

  • The next bit says

    ... less protective the faster cars are travelling, and were of "minimal" use in crashes with cars travelling at more than 50km/h (31 mph).

    So now I'm not sure whether the first 50km/h meant the speed of the bike, or the speed of the previously-unmentioned car it's colliding with.

  • now I'm not sure

    It's always best to read the actual study rather than somebody else's abstract of it. I don't suppose Sustrans are as bad as the Daily Mail, but everybody misses important detail and nuance when they try to convert academic results into actionable bullet points.

  • Yep, it reads like the "with cars travelling at" part was supposed to apply to both mentions of the speed threshold, but got separated during editing.

    It's easily done.

  • wearing-cycle-helmet-may-increase-risk-i­njury-says-new-research

    Obviously it's hard to say without reading the report, rather than the journalism, and even then I suspect it's unlikely to become any clearer, but I would not be at all surprised if the proper conclusion from the data was actually "Cyclists self-identifying as at higher risk of falls choose to wear helmets at a much higher rate than others"

  • Yeah, just seemed like a fun way to restart an argument.

  • I've done a bit of number-crunching of my own, and while not as exhaustive as what the CTC guys seem to have done, I've increasingly tended towards the view that helmet-wearing (in all scenarios, whether there's legal compulsion or not) increases crashes not only among all helmet-wearers, but also among non-wearers affected by other people's riding. This is not a scientific conclusion, by the way, just my personal impression from a lot of reading.

    I, like many others, used to peddle the old 'it should be personal choice' line that all cycling organisations have been running since forever and a day, but I increasingly think that's not a good line to take. on its own without very much more robust work about the problems and countering the pro-helmet propaganda.

  • I'd be curious to see the rates of professional crashes pre/post compulsory helmet, and whether things like descending speeds increased correspondingly.
    It feels like there has been more incidents recently, but it could just be more widespread reporting.

  • it could just be more widespread reporting

    There are other factors in professional road racing which have probably contributed more to an increased crash rate than risk-compensation by riders.

  • I'm not sure it even counts as risk-compensation for these youngsters who, likely, won't have ridden without a helmet.
    Are they trying to emulate more seasoned riders when they descend at 80-100kph? I appreciate that for success in pro riding, they try to ride right on the limit of physics, and that the courses are getting harder.
    I guess it's not really right thread for that discussion though.

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Remember kids... always wear a helmet. (The almighty bikeradar helmet thread)

Posted by Avatar for ThisIsRob_(RJM) @ThisIsRob_(RJM)

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