Yay for helmets.

Yesterday, I had a fall that would have hurt a lot more if I hadn’t had a helmet. As it was, I still had a bad headache for hours afterwards.
I rarely wear helmets. I wasn’t doing anything difficult at the time, just riding 1 footed.
It seems like the rare occasions when I wear a helmet I hit my head. On the rare occasion I wear elbow pads, I land hard on my elbows. And I rarely wear wristguards, and earlier this week decided to, and needed them badly during a high-speed spill.
So…either God is looking out for me and making me prepared for my upcoming crashes, or it’s a big coincidence, or wearing protection makes me much more likely to fall and land on that part of my body.

Second item: I’ve heard helmets don’t work as well after you fall on them. Why is that? I could see it if there was a crack or some damage or something, but it seems just as sturdy as before. I fell backwards and hit the back of my head to the ground, but there doesn’t seem to be any difference to the helmet.

I always wear a helmet: safety first:D
But yes, if you fall on your helmet, on that spot your helmet is damaged inside (the rubber or whatever is inside)

I like the way you worded that. After some of the recent helmet-effectiveness debates, your statement should be safe from detractors trying to tell you otherwise.

You seem to be suject to some kind of reverse Murphy’s Law. For me it was always the other way around. I first started using kneepads and gloves shortly after I started practicing for unicycle racing in 1980. It didn’t take me long to figure those out. Once I had them, it seemed I never fell on them. But when I didn’t have them, I seemed to get nailed every time.

This can be the same only worse with seat belt use in cars…

First it depends on the helmet. Was this a regular bicycle helmet or a skate helmet? Skate helmets are designed for more multiple impacts.

With a bike helmet, much of the force-absorbing part is the inner styrofoam. If you fall hard on it, the styrofoam gets deformed, or crushed, though there may be no indication of this from the outside. Another hard blow to that same part of the helmet could result in reduced shock absorbtion, which translates to the helmet not doing its job as well as intended. That’s why it is often recommended to replace a regular bike helmet after a hard impact.

You lucky equipment-wearer you.

What kind of helmet do you use? The BMX/Skate style helmets are usually multi-impact, meaning that they can handle multiple impacts without needing to be replaced after every crash. Traditional bike style helmets are single impact. One good hit and they’re done for.

Traditional bike style helmets have a lightweight hard foam (kind of like styrofoam). The foam is designed to crush to absorb the impact energy. The foam can only crush once and after that it is no good. Even if you don’t see any visible damage after a good hit the foam can still be damaged or cracked where you can’t see. That nonvisible damage will lessen the helmets ability to protect you from the next hit and will mean that the helmet is no longer going to offer the protection you’re wearing it for.

Yes, it was a normal bike helmet.
I might replace it with a skate helmet–especially if I’m going to start riding trials.
Thanks for the input.

Not my accident thank god but check this one out. This is loosemoose’s 661 mulllet after jumping up in to the corner of a window frame, just think what that would have done to an unprotected head. He’s the only one in our group who always wears a helmet, I think he may be on to something. Actually now i always wear a helmet for trials/street.

It only takes one small lack of concentration to do something stupid. In the above case I was crankgrabbing a ledge very close to a wall (facing away from it) and when I snapped up to rubber I smacked the corner of an open window with my head. Pretty surprising, and I was loathe to try anything for a while after, I know when luck is against me. I did however learn 2 things: Helmets are ALWAYS good, whatever anyone says, and to always observe all aspects of your lines, however small and inconsequential. If you can work out what can go wrong beforehand, you’re more capable of dealing with it if it does. If i’d looked at all aspects of that line, I’d have noticed the window was open & crankgrabbed 2ft further along the ledge to avoid it.

You never stop learning.