Wear a helmet and discard the broken and probably old ones

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
Mark, what a scary story!
I believe in good helmets. A few days after I bought my first e-bike, I was riding it very fast (as the newbies do) and the wheel of my e-bike touched a low curb of the sidewalk on a MUP. On that very day, I forgot taking a helmet with me. It was a nasty crash at some 20 mph. When I came back to my senses, I could see a concrete post maybe 2 inches in front of my forehead! A lot of blood from road rash etc. From that day on, I swore to always wear a helmet. Now, I own four different helmets, each for a different purpose. I had many crashes since, none as dramatic as the first one. A helmet has to be worn!
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Atlanta
I expect I will be riding again “soon” but not sure how long of rides and will need to a tracker and Sat phone and most likely not by myself. I feel almost normal but not quite and feel better every day. I may or may not have other issues and at least they are looking a little harder for reasons for ongoing pains and weird sensations after this incident. These may or may not be related but asking while I have some extra attention.

One night I fell years ago because I missed a turn and at the last moment turned the bike sideways and both wheels slid into the curb, almost movie like. I went about 90 degrees off the bike landed on grass rolled a little and got up laughing . It was the bottom of hill so I was doing 20 at least I guess before braking and hitting the curb. I went back a day or 2 later I saw I missed a road sign by inches when I flew off that I didn’t see at night , would not have been laughing if I hit that when I left the bike.

I was not always a helmet wearer .I started wearing before ebikes though. I used to get annoyed at the other bikers who had the nerve to say something or point to their head as I rode. “ it wasn’t comfortable “ but after my wife got me to wear it it took just a couple rides to be nothing….then you fall and hit your head even a little and understand why you wear it . I won’t even test ride a bike a block without one.
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I expect I will be riding again “soon” but not sure how long of rides and will need to a tracker and Sat phone and most likely not by self. I feel almost normal but not quite and feel better every day. I may or may not have other issues and at least they are looking a little harder for reasons for ongoing pains and weird sensations after this incident. These may or may not be related but asking while I have some extra attention.
That's good.

BTW and way down the list of priorities, but how's your bike? I'm also curious what happened to the bike when you went for the ride in the ambulance?
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Atlanta
The bike I was riding was a very large WattWagon cargo bike , HUGE! The police some how took it to their station . I had 4 batteries with me in 2 bags, my spare clothes , fruit and other standard stuff I bring. I know I had gotten my wallet out but nothing else I guess. My wife and a friend drove there I think the next day and picked it up in the van. Everything there . I have not ridden the bike seems as the most damage was me snapping the fender while trying to stop it from rubbing. The support is still rubbing but the wheel is moveable, looks like a pedal is scratched it may have hit the bags when contacting the ground . I haven’t done much with it yet, sitting in the stable with the other bikes looking pretty :)
 

TForan52

Active Member
Region
USA
OP, glad you are ok. Personally, I’ve never fallen off a bike in my life. I know, there’s always the first time but maybe not.
 

TForan52

Active Member
Region
USA
OFFS. What a ridiculous statement... but what I do deserve for responding...
To you maybe. Please explain to me how so many here fall off their bikes numerous times ? Don’t you have to ride a bike where your feet completely touch the ground ? I personally can’t ride those bikes but if it makes you feel more stable,so be it.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
I expect I will be riding again “soon” but not sure how long of rides and will need to a tracker and Sat phone and most likely not by myself. I feel almost normal but not quite and feel better every day. I may or may not have other issues and at least they are looking a little harder for reasons for ongoing pains and weird sensations after this incident. These may or may not be related but asking while I have some extra attention.

re tracker, For a long time, I used a garmin inreach ( sat based tracking ,sms , and emergency signal device ) - I particularly wanted the sat based breadcrumbs that theoretically would send a text to my wifes phone every few minutes so I could be located by clicking on those links. I've stopped using it because if one of those signals failed to transmit I would come home to no messages on her phone but a bill for the unsent messages!! Garmin also make it challenging to unsubscribe from their plans, or at least it challenged my IT / comprehension skills. It's a shame , because I'm more than happy to pay for reliable 2 way sms / tracking when outside of mobile range .

I still have an old iridium Sat phone, but it's too clunky for most mountain bike trips I do. It goes on the motorbike if I'm doing a remote ride, especially group rides where the risk of a rider being injured increases. I doubt I'd replace it if it breaks - a few years back I'd probably have considered a thuruya , simply because they offered a reasonable compromise meant 1 device for both mobile and semi sat services, but now I'm holding out for a decent single device option - praying apple decide to make their iphone 14 Sat function work in Australia!

Meanwhile, I'm back to just carrying a gps equipped plb. It's far from perfect - nothing beats the ability to communicate in an emergency. The garmin SHOULD have been perfect for me, but I just lost faith in it.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
. From that day on, I swore to always wear a helmet. Now, I own four different helmets, each for a different purpose. I had many crashes since, none as dramatic as the first one. A helmet has to be worn!

Stefan, are any of those 4 helmets more than 4 years old or have any of them hit the ground? If so, please throw them out!

The other day I was horrified to see daughter 2 had grabbed her sisters old helmet for a quick ride into town. It had done it's job a month earlier, but looked unscratched - just BENT and a bit hollow sounding over the area of impact !!! Both daughters received a lecture about why we throw out helmets after they hit the ground!!!
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
OP, glad you are ok. Personally, I’ve never fallen off a bike in my life. I know, there’s always the first time but maybe not.
I've never fallen over yet, but I have hit the ground. A lot of us ride rocky, rooted mountain trails. I've yet to meet the mtb'er that hasn't hit the ground. We're all getting older too. I think this thread is a teaching moment and I am glad to hear from people that haven't let ego keep them from sharing their experiences. This is the best use of a forum.

Stefan, are any of those 4 helmets more than 4 years old or have any of them hit the ground? If so, please throw them out!

The other day I was horrified to see daughter 2 had grabbed her sisters old helmet for a quick ride into town. It had done it's job a month earlier, but looked unscratched - just BENT and a bit hollow sounding over the area of impact !!! Both daughters received a lecture about why we throw out helmets after they hit the ground!!!
You're a very observant father and cyclist. Given all we know about head trauma now... 👍👍
 

Djangodog

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Claremont, NH
Stefan, are any of those 4 helmets more than 4 years old or have any of them hit the ground? If so, please throw them out!

The other day I was horrified to see daughter 2 had grabbed her sisters old helmet for a quick ride into town. It had done it's job a month earlier, but looked unscratched - just BENT and a bit hollow sounding over the area of impact !!! Both daughters received a lecture about why we throw out helmets after they hit the ground!!!
I retired this motorcycle helmet 14 years ago, but I will never throw it out because it means something special to me. I don't really need to keep it as a reminder of that day, (I can't move without being reminded). The helmet did it's job and saved my life. My head could not have survived the impact that the helmet did. I did have a severe concussion, but fortunately, the head injury and blindness was not permanent. I am sure the the foam inside is compromised and I would never consider riding with it again and I think that the helmet is obviously damaged, which brings me to my point.

This thread, and daughter 2 grabbing a damaged helmet has made me think about keeping the helmet as is and I have decided that I will cut the chin strap so that no one could ever use it. I think that making a helmet unusable before discarding it or keeping it as a keepsake is probably the responsible thing to do. You don't want someone to resurrect your damaged helmet and use it or put it on ebay.

Follow up, I cut the straps and removed all of the padding from the inside.

IMG_3144.JPG
 
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TForan52

Active Member
Region
USA
I've never fallen over yet, but I have hit the ground. A lot of us ride rocky, rooted mountain trails. I've yet to meet the mtb'er that hasn't hit the ground. We're all getting older too. I think this thread is a teaching moment and I am glad to hear from people that haven't let ego keep them from sharing their experiences. This is the best use of a forum.


You're a very observant father and cyclist. Given all we know about head trauma now... 👍👍
I agree that off road, a helmet is a must and the chance of falling is much greater. I stick to the paved paths unless I’m on a MC.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Atlanta
I have fallen at 0 mph (not moving) and another at 1 or 2 mph . 1 was not my fault :) someone cut me off and I was stopped but couldn’t get my leg down and fell over . the other time I went over a curb at the slowest speed thinking it was a break in the curb and a ramp but wasn’t . Both times I fell over don’t remember specifically if I hit my head but I remember I hurt afterwords. I would guess I hit my head on 1 of them at least , maybe not hard especially WITH A HELMET!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
Stefan, are any of those 4 helmets more than 4 years old or have any of them hit the ground? If so, please throw them out!

The other day I was horrified to see daughter 2 had grabbed her sisters old helmet for a quick ride into town. It had done it's job a month earlier, but looked unscratched - just BENT and a bit hollow sounding over the area of impact !!! Both daughters received a lecture about why we throw out helmets after they hit the ground!!!
Thank you for heads-up PDoz! These helmets are less than 3 years old, and my favourite green KASK is only 15 months old. Even if I have crashed for many times, my "falling technique" allowed me avoiding any serious harm to my body (except of one crash on ice at 0 speed). In several cases, a slight helmet touchdown took place. It was never a real hit.

I will inspect my helmets. Perhaps the Bell could be thrown out, especially as the head adjustment band looks damaged!
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
On satellite communicators of all kinds... For some background, I have owned an Iridium satellite phone, a Globalstar satellite phone, a Delorme Inreach (from 2010) and a Garmin Inreach Mini. I will likely purchase a Mini 2 over the winter. While I agree that Garmin should probably not be permitted to write software, their technology does work reliably and they have a proven track record, and that's what I'm really after.

I have observed that the Inreach devices can get a signal out in conditions that were hopeless for a satellite phone. I think a lot of this is technical protocol differences between sending a short text message and establishing a link for a voice call. This was particularly noticeable with Globalstar.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I know in auto racing, helmets have expiration dates (keyed to a certification sticker that lists a specific edition) and track operators will, at some point, say 'All drivers must wear helmets rated SA2020 or newer' which means anyone with an SA2015 has to replace that helmet or fail tech inspection. This is the track's decision - and they have a right to it - as the SA2015 helmets are not officially expired until 2027. But in all cases, the expiration is keyed NOT to the helmet's inherent material quality, but an administrative decision.

So... where does the 3-year-discard 'rule' come from (someone else here says 4 years). This is not a rule. the Consumer Product Safety Commission states on the subject:

"Follow the guidance provided by the manufacturer. In the absence of such guidance, it may be prudent to replace your helmet within 5–10 years of purchase, a decision that can be based, at least in part, on how much the helmet was used, how it was cared for, and where it was stored."

Good advice, but expressly not a 3- or 4-year rule. Its a recommendation to be mindful of the condition of your equipment when making a judgment call on whether or not to replace. Consumer Reports experts recommend replacing your well-used bike helmet after five years, “out of an abundance of caution.” Likewise, the Snell Foundation (what passes for a governing body for helmet regulations in the USA) has the most thoughtful recommendation:

Unused helmets stored in good condition do not automatically expire after five years. Replacing helmets every five years is a judgement call based on testing helmets used by the California Highway Patrol by Dr. George Snively. Wear and tear, the simple act of putting on and taking off helmets, damage the comfort pads and energy absorbing foam liner over time. Helmets with worn-out pads are at least one to two sizes larger than helmets in new condition. A poorly fitted helmet makes it more likely that the helmet will shift too much or even come off the head during a crash impact. For these reasons, Snell recommends replacing helmet after five years of normal use.

If you dig a little deeper, everyone says to replace immediately after any impact for what I hope are obvious reasons.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
So... where does the 3-year-discard 'rule' come from (someone else here says 4 years). This is not a rule. the Consumer Product Safety Commission states on the subject:

If you go to the Giro FAQ ( https://www.giro.com/frequently-asked-questions.html ) I quote:

We make a general recommendation of replacing a helmet every three to five (3-5) years depending on use and handling. This is based on observation of the average user, and factors like wear over time, weather, handling, the potential for degradation from personal care products like sunscreen or bug spray, and the simple fact that helmets do improve over time.

While helmets kept in good condition can provide protective capability beyond the 3-5 year recommended lifespan, it’s also true that they can degrade over time. This is why we recommend replacing the helmet within this regular interval.

If you fall and the helmet is impacted, you should have the helmet inspected or replace the helmet immediately, even if no damage is visible. The reason is that helmet liners are made to absorb energy from impacts and they do this through their own degradation or destruction – like an airbag in a car. If the liner is compromised from an impact or other factors, it may not offer the full protective capability it was designed to provide.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
Consumer Reports experts
Bike helmets don’t have to be expensive: We found great models for less than $50 and one that’s closer to $20. But if you think that old helmet stored in your garage will last a lifetime, it won’t. The protective foam liner can deteriorate in just a few years, meaning it may not provide sufficient protection in an impact. Consumer Reports recommends replacing a helmet that’s more than 5 years old.


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