Order of importance to me:

  1. Shinpads I use soccer ones that have ankle protectors. They guard against both pedal pins and KH nubs.

  2. Gloves I wear callices instead of gloves because they’re lighter and cheaper.

  3. Helmet I don’t want braindamage any more than the next guy but I really think that wearing a helmet would increase my chances of getting hurt coz I’d probably take on that much more risk.

The only times I really sense that a helmet might come in handy are either when I’m doing muni with a steep cliff on one side or else when I’m doing freestyle or hopping with sharp objects nearby, keeping these in mind help me to avoid them.

Interesting to see Kris Holm wearing a helmet while riding along where a parachute would have been more appropriate… would he have done it without a helmet on? (see what I’m sayin about helmets makin u take risks?) Haha, seriously though, that guy is amazing.

Has anyone tried the suicide dismount? I mean, has extreme unicycling claimed any fatalities yet?

It sounds like the general consensus is it’s best to wear a helmet all of the time, even if some don’t always follow that advice. I’ve ridden a bike for many years and was a licensed racer years ago, and several times I’ve hard that hollow CLUNK as a helmet gave up its life to save my head. Guess I’ll keep mine on. The most used safety gear for me is the wrist guards / gloves. They’ve taken so much pavement for me, I will barely take the uni off of the stand without them.

I wear gloves all the time…
I wear shinguards all the time on my mUni b/c it has big nasty traction pins on the pedals…but never wear them on my Stealth20"
I wear a helmet all the time on trails, but rarely wear a helmet when riding urban…

much as i agree with the sentiments expressed, i’ve always been under the impression that the glue on the back of stickers can weaken the structure of a helmet

can anyone confirm/refute this?

I seriously doubt that the back side of a sticker will weaken a helmet, plastic is an impermiable(sp?) substance. Sticker it up!!

The “No War” sticker might weaken it though :smiley:

I wear a helmet for MUni and trials and sometimes indoors when I am working on a new trick.

I wear the helmet for two reasons:

  1. From the typical height of your head when siting on a uni (about 5 feet?), a fall to the ground (even just falling over) creates enough force to be life threatening if you hit your head first on the ground. I believe riding is more fun alive than dead. It’s a slim chance of getting that direct impact to the head…but definitely possible.

  2. As an example to other less experienced and younger riders. I am encouraging others to ride a uni and would feel responsible if they had a serious head injury and my influence encouraged them to ride helmetless. Death or serious injury by uni is bad press for the sport!

Helmets are minor inconvenience and major protection! Just because you’ve never NEEDED a helmet, doesn’t mean it’s unnecessary. It just means you’ve been lucky. Lucky and safe are not the same things in my book.


I always use a helmet for Muni, dont tend to ride trials at the moment. If im trying something new like wheel walking or one footed, i probably put a helmet on for it. Not all the time tho.

I’m similar to Nathan. Always for MUni and road riding, which includes Trials, and usually not for other forms of riding, though I don’t do those as much. When learning new tricks, especially with your feet up such as on the tire, a helmet is a good idea too.

Fortunately for you, that was just a scalp injury. I had a similar one in a show once, in front of 400 kids, and a video camera. Nothing like bleeding profusely from your forehead while onstage! :slight_smile:

But the major reason for the helmet is to protect you against a brain injury. That’s the veggie stuff. Sure it still would have helped to protect you from that doorframe, or me from a switchplate at the 2002 NAUCC (more bleeding). But the really hard hits are what you have to be prepared for.

George still doesn’t like helmets, and hated putting one on at Northstar, for example, when he was required to for MUni Weekend. However I think I am being accurate when I say that he doesn’t recommend non-use of helmets for others.

Good question! It depends on the country, I guess. The two main pressures are legal, and cultural. For example, in the United States there is much legal pressure to make people wear helmets, due to lawsuits. It’s too easy to sue people for one’s own carelessness. So places like the Northstar ski resort have to make you wear helmets to protect themselves.

At the same time, as helmets become more commonplace, they become more socially acceptable to wear. So people are less likely to avoid them because they think they’ll look silly. And, as helmets become more popular, this means more helmets are being manufactured, which brings the price down while the quality and style tend to go up.

What’s the main difference, in the US, between a $25 helmet and a $125 helmet? For the most part, they offer equal protection. For the extra $100, you’re getting the latest style, possibly lower weight, and more holes!

So the question will always remain of when to protect your head and when to let the wind blow through your hair. You could get injured from even the simplest riding, even learning the basics. But the same can be said for walking out your front door, or taking a shower. You can’t wear one all the time.

So we each individually weigh the risks we’re willing to take. The better informed we are, the more accurately we can judge those risks. For example, there are some who believe a helmet can cause more damage than not wearing one. These people are either reading very slanted studies, or not looking at the overall picture. Similar is true for seatbelts. In some accidents, the seat belt can hold you in your seat while the part of the car you’re in gets crushed. Bad seat belt. But in about 99% of accidents, the seat belt protects you, in many cases from the same brain injuries we’re talking about. So what’re you going to do?

For me, I use a helmet when the terrain is rough, and when the speed is higher than normal. Or when I’m riding on the road with cars. Any Trials riders who wear helmets for other things but not Trials are apparently already missing a few screws. Depending on the obstacles you practice on, there are lots of ways to lose your footing in a dismount and fall badly. The same is true on rough or rocky ground (as I found out the other day; ouch but not to my head). My Coker goes fast, so the helmet’s there in case I can’t keep my footing in a dismount. Also because I’m on the road with cars. Can’t trust those cars.

For unicycle competition, we have argued about helmet use since the early 1990s. The argument to make racers in USA competitions wear helmets was lost, and people are free to make their own choices. But some unicycle clubs, such as Panther Pride, have their own helmet rules. Meanwhile, we do require all riders to wear hand and knee protection for all races, and helmets also for MUni and a few other events.

In Japan this summer, UNICON XII looks like it will have optional safety equipment use for track racing. The Japanese do the most track racing of any country, and they have neither the legal, nor the cultural imperatives to make thousands of active racers wear safety gear. But full gear will be required for all off road events, unlimited marathon, and a few other races.

As a motorcyclist, bicyclist, tandemist, unicyclist, one time rock climber, white water canoeist, I have never yet hit the ground with a conventional helmet. But I still wear one most of the time when unicycling.

It’s not the fall which puts your head on the ground that’s the problem. It’s the fall that strikes a glancing blow against a tree, gate post, fence or wall, the fall where you roll and your head clunks a rock, or the accident where a car or van clips your head as you go down. It could happen to you.

And see my report on my recent MUni accident. A moment’s careless ness and complacency, and I was in hospital having my chin stritched up and then spending the price of anew wheel on a new tooth! So now I have a full face helmet for MUni, fast riding and night riding.

And I do think the costume thing matters: look responsible, be treated as if you should be there.

I strongly recommend that you wear a helmet most of the time when you unicycle.

i usually wear my helmet whenever i’m gonna ride for more than about 10 minutes. I know i should wear it more though.

a story about a helmet: so, when i was younger, i was riding in one of bike car seat thing-a-jings, and my crazy father decided he wanted to do a wheelie. Can you guess what happens next? if you cant, i will tell you. I fell off the back and landed ON MY HEAD. Luckily, even at the age of about 2 i was wearing my helmet. If not, i know i would not be here today.

OW, your father must have felt like the lowest creature on earth at that point Bonduranto…

I wear a helmet in all situations except:

I don’t wear it while Cokering to school ( I ride on the sidewalks, and ride at a VERY casual pace as to not get to school sweatty or wipeout with my laptop)

In the HOT southern Ontario summers, out on the MUni, once I feel that having the helmet on is going to mean overheating, dehydrating, and possible premature bonking, I’ll remove my helmet and adjust my riding style, and pick my lines accordingly. Sure I could still wipe out, but the chances of a wipeout are super low, and that my head would hit on impact even lower. (It still feels creepy though)

All London Unicycling Club rides and meetings have mandatory helmet wearing.

I wear a helmet most but not all of the time. Only on casual, slow, easy, not near cars rides will I go bareheaded. If I will be anywhere near traffic, I have less anxiety (of getting creamed by a 4000 pound vehicle operated by a distracted or careless driver) if I wear one. I’m much more timid without it, so I have more fun with the helmet on MUni, or road riding the Niner. We’ve started playing Uni-basketball. One should be helmeted for that.

But just putzing around out of the danger zone, or casual riding close to home, probably not.

I guess I’ve been wearing a helmet for 99% of rides for close on two years now.

As others have mentioned it sets a good example to youngsters as they get to see that someone who’s doing something different and cool, like unicycling, also has enough respect for themselves that they take the trouble to maximise safety.

For a straightforward street ride I occasionaly don’t use the helmet, but for roads and anything where I’m going to be pushing my limits I insist on head protection.

We live in times where helmets have become the norm for cyclists, if you use one for any length of time you’ll feel as naked without as you would if in a car with no seat belt.

Re: Helmets

On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 09:18:07 -0600, GILD
<GILD@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> wrote:

>i’ve always been under
>the impression that the glue on the back of stickers can weaken the
>structure of a helmet
>can anyone confirm/refute this?

I’ve read that too. Maybe it depends on the type of sticker / glue /
helmet material?

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I have a feeling you might need two points of contact with the ground for such a thing to work? Or at least training wheels on the front and rear. - John Foss commenting on a picture of a one-wheeled vehicle he saw on RSU.

helmet prices

If bicycle/skate helmets follow the trend of motorcycle helmets we’re doomed. They used to be reasonably priced, as well. Due to the lawsuits of stupid people who crashed and wanted to blame their helmet on their condition, companies have had to shell out millions and millions defending themselves against liability lawsuits. Any decent (motorcycle) helmet will now cost you several hundred dollars, and most of them are quite a lot more than that! My guess is it’s just a matter of time. But, we can hope not, and in the meantime put our lids on. The principle of “Most accidents happen close to home.” can certainly be applied here, I think. I remember doing a simple “graceful” dismount in my driveway when my pant leg or shoelace or something got stuck on the pedal and I came down hard flat on my back. I didn’t hit my head, and only my pride was injured, but it doesn’t require much imagination to picture it a little differently. Besides, when I put on my high-tech safety gear and helmet, all the kids assume I’m doing something really insane and thus grant me much more respect than usual :sunglasses:

i always wear a helemt went i ride outside but i only wear it in the club when i’m playing gladiators

I always wear a helmet for Muni mainly due to branches and road / Coker as it only requires a single car driver to cause you serious damage.

I don’t think I have ever seen someone wear a helmet playing hockey in the UK, yet collisions happen. I wonder why this is?

I wear a helmet on .0001% of my Unicycle rides. In fact, only once have I worn a helmet while unicycle riding. This was on my Muni ride in Nashville, TN, with Tommy and the guys from the Memphis Unicycle Club.

But I shoud wear a helmet. On my bike, I almost always wear a helmet.

I just bought my first piece of unicycle specific protective equipment. A pair of wrist braces! With all three of my daughters now riding unicycle, I guess I need to start wearing my helmet. It would be good for “do as I do” teaching. --chirokid–

I always wear a helmet when doing trials or MUni, though I don’t really need it that much. But if I’m just riding around I don’t bother.
I also use ankle protection, because the cranks keep poking holes in my skin and it hurts. And I ought to think about getting wrist guards, but I don’t think I will. Those don’t hurt too often.