Helmets anyone?

I was driving down town one day and saw a unicyclist with out a helmet, now im sort of new to unicycling but is it normal to not where a helmet? i always where one when i ride

Re: Helmets anyone?

Oooowww boy, don’t get us started… This subject has been slashed to death. Let’s just say there are two schools on this. :slight_smile:

Klaas Bil

Depends on what you’re doing eh? If you’re just riding around I don’t see a reason why you should wear a helmet…

It depends on many variables including the size of the unicycle, the style of riding, and the context.

I wear a full face helmet for MUni, after needing 7 stitches in my chin and repairs to a tooth following a face-plant on a rock.

I wear a conventional cycle helmet for normal riding, including road ridng and cross country. This helmet has never hit the floor, but has hit overhead obstacles.

I wear wrist guards for all riding except parades and performances, after chipping a bone in my hand in a low speed Coker fall onto grass.

I wear no helmet or guards for performances and parades, and have never had a fall.

The likelihood of your head hitting the floor in a unicycling accident is very slight. You are more likely to injure your hands, wrists or knees. However, the consequences of a head injury are potentially very severe: brain injury, paralysis, epilepsy, death. Or just a painful bump. You must also consider the possibility that your head may be hit by a car or cycle if you are in a collision.

Helmets only protect you against certain types of impact, and the protection is far from perfect - but if you need it, you’ll be glad you have it.

It is a judgement we all have to make. In a society that is becoming more and more afraid of everything (except the insidious health problems of poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, drinking, recreational drug use, and, of course, bad driving) it’s easy to feel pressured or bullied into wearing a helmet.

Wear one because you think it’s the right thing to do, or don’t wear one but accept that the risk is there, and the responsibility is yours.

As a topical example of our attitude to risk: the number of people killed and injured in the London bombings of 7/7 is slightly lower than a typical week on the roads in this country. An injury or death is an injury or death, however caused. Which worries us most? I’ve had friends saying they wouldn’t possibly go to London, yet they think nothing of driving to the coast on a hot afternoon. I am not in any way belittling the severity or barbarity of the attacks - just pointing out how irrationally we assess risks.

Okay yes there are fights on both sides, but lets be reasonable, there is a happy medium. You don’t need a helmet to do everything, you dont wear a helmet when you run, or cross the street, so lets be realistic. If your dooing freestyle, you don’t need a helmet, if you fall in freestyle chances are you know it and have plenty of time to catch yourself, begginer, and low level trials, you doon’t need a helmet, if your getting high up on palets, and other objects, put a fricking helmet on. Muni, you should wear a helmet when you muni on a 24" or larger wheel, 20" your going to slow to have very hard impacts. Distance ridding, you should wear a helmet if your on a 29" or larger, if yoru just pedaling through town on your 24" you fine.

This is my opinion ^^ What you guys think? Personaly when i fall on my uni, I generaly know i’m going to fall way before it actually happens, and have plenty of time to catch myself.

I agree, I sometimes wear my helmet when I’m riding thru the forrest though, so I dont have to duck all the branches, when I ride a proffesional mtb track I leave it at home though, no branches there (I’m doing a 20" atm, havnt decided if I want a coker or a decent muni first) I’d suggest wearing it with trials though, when me 'n my brother were EVEN CRAPPIER :stuck_out_tongue: he once nearly broke his skull on a tile that was standing horizontally (he missed it with an inch)…

Unless of course you fall near to a wall or railing, or at the top of some steps.

It’s a question of assessing the risks, and accepting a given level of risk. That’s what life was about for every generation in history until about 20 years ago. Now it’s becoming more to do with following prescriptive rules - delegated thinking.

Better to die than never to live. If we wanted to be completely safe, we wouldn’t unicycle. If we wanted to follow conventions and rules, we wouldn’t unicycle. Each of us is free to make a decision, based on his or her own priorities. All the rest of us should do is present the evidence and the arguments.

The arguments against wearing helmets are discomfort, inconvenience and image. The arguments for are less trivial. However, the risks are not great for the vast majority of riders.

I wear a helmet whenever I am cycling (on however many wheels) if my son is watching because I want him to wear his helmet when he is cycling. (He’s 6).
I also wear a helmet anywhere near a road or when I’m doing something out of my comfort range (eg uni’ing down a grassy slope - I wont say MUni yet).
I always wear wrist guards when uni’ing outside.
I don’t wear wrist guards or a helmet when I’m uni’ing in the gym (although I did when I was beginning - wristguards and knee pads, not a helmet).
I though I would put my bit in cos I haven’t contributed to any of the previous debates on the subject, I don’t think.

The name of this thread should be “Helmets Everyone”. You can crash doing anything, wearing a helmet is just common sense.

That cuts two ways though, in that there’s at least as much peer pressure to not wear a helmet. For example, look at how few skateboarders wear a helmet- IMO, that’s more to do with peer pressure (pads/helmets being regarded as ‘wussy’) than people actually making an educated choice not to wear protection.

My view is that head impacts are rare, but, if you ride a lot, they could well happen, and, personally, when they do, I’d prefer to have a helmet between my head and the concrete.

The two common negatives on helmets-

  1. they look stupid
  2. they’re uncomfortable

are relative to whether you’ve worn them for any length of time; as a non-wearer, the first few times I used one I pretty much agreed with 1 & 2; within a few weeks of using one for every ride, the helmet was not only comfortable, but I actually felt uncomfortable without it on- the same kind of vulnerable feeling you get when you forget to do up your car seat belt.

As for looks, again, after getting used to the helmet, when I see a cyclist not wearing one, they actually look a bit stupid to me now, or at least they look like someone who perhaps doesn’t value themselves as much as they could.

There was a cool report (I can’t find a link to it at the moment) which determined that if all car drivers were made to wear helmets when driving, it would save more lives and reduce injuries than if all cyclists had to wear helmets.

Weigh up the risk yourself and take advice from people you respect, but a helmet won’t make you invincible.



So you wear a helmet when out walking? Statistically it’s more dangerous than biking, so presumably unicycling too.

I wear a helmet when off-roading, because brushing past branches gets tedious after a while, and the lights mount on it. Other than that I can’t see much use for putting some misshapen polystyrene cups on my head.


You only need a helmet if you’re going to hit you’re head. If you’re positive you won’t hit your head on anything, then there’s no point in wearing a helmet.

Me? I’m never sure about anything.

If all steering wheels had 6 inch metal spikes in the middle, facing towards the driver’s chest, and no cars had seat belts, there would be almost no accidents at all.

If all young men under 30 were only allowed to drive pink cars with a cute teddy bear on the bonnet, there would be fewer accidents too.

Road users look at the immediate risk to themselves, not to others. The risk of being flattened by a lorry is immediate. the risk of litigation after injuring a cyclist is less immediate. Thus, motorist swerves to avoid lorry, hits cyclist.

Interesting point, and probably true: if all cyclists were attractive naked women, male motorists would never fail to see them, and would always give way to them.

when I’m just riding around on my muni or trials, i don’t wear one. For xc muni and trials above 2 feet, I wear one. And for DH/ northshore muni, I wear a fullface (most of the time) and light body armour

Personally, i own a helmet, but don’t use it, except if i’m trying something new that involves a high impact (high drop, hard landing, hight speed and sudden stop). Thus, i’ve used it about 3 times in the last year, despite jumping 4 sets, grinding ledges, and doing 1-meter drops regularly. On the other hand, i wear gloves and leg armour any time that i plan to jump or take my feet off the pedals while riding, because i bash my legs with the pinned pedals too often to count.

In addition to wearing leg and hand protection, one of my most important safety measures is knowledge. The most important lesson that i learned from skateboarding is to roll out of falls. Next time you have a hard fall, try to roll as much as possible, exaggerate it, even. Throw a couple extra rolls in just for fun. You’ll notice that your body takes way less damage. If you get good at it, you can absorb hard impacts without even getting a scratch. It’s amazing. Most of the time it’ll save you from head impacts too.

Re: Helmets anyone?

Mikefule wrote:
> Interesting point, and probably true: if all cyclists were attractive
> naked women, male motorists would never fail to see them, and would
> always give way to them.

They would also sit behind for quite a while before overtaking. Just to
make sure it’s completely safe to pass, of course.

Riding naked scores 5 BIG points (I usually score 9 on my bike, if I
rode naked I’d increase that to 12):

Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” - Thomas Paine

Re: Re: Helmets anyone?

From nine to twelve huh, so ridding naked makes your penis 25% bigger? Sounds like someone is an exhobitionist.

wear most time

I wear my helmet when riding for speed(averaging 10mph) or when “attempting” to MUni. Always wear my knee, elbow, and wrist guards. But my elbow pad does not have the hard plastic. After hearding your story, I may start wearing elbow pads with the plastic.

As for the helmet, I don’t wear it as much.
My body gets burning hot after riding hard for 30min. I luv my uni cause I burn lots of calories when riding my Coker.
After riding for about 30min the heat from my head causes me to slow down and tire. So I have been experimenting with no helment when casual riding and freestyling. I do wear the helment when it gets dark cause of my cool halogen headlight mounted on my helmet. :smiley:

if you wanna be safe, get a motocross helmet.