retro bike ... non-retro helmet


Senior Retro Guru
Sorry to hear of that. Sounds worse than my facial and maxillary injuries in 2019.

Re insurance, a lot of people don’t know that when you have multiple injuries, only the worst carries full compensation, then each lesser injury (even though it can be serious too) carries declining rates. I understand that this is true of servicemen, and included a case of a soldier with four amputations and head injuries due to an IED. When my back was broken and I had a grade 3 shoulder separation I got 11,000gbp - for the shoulder, since that was the worse injury. The figure was lower than I could have got since I went back to work after two weeks (was one-handed for six months) and the lawyer said - you should have just stayed off work and then I could have got a lot more for you. Grief - work hard, get penalised.

I hope that your friend received what she felt was felt was right....


Senior Retro Guru
She looked shocking next day at Hospital.
Face bruised, broken jaw, unable to talk.
She needed stitches also on her face.

She had lost several front teeth.
Her actual body was ok.

Won't go into too many details on compensation but she bought a new (new to her) BMW 1 series coupe.

Doesn't sound fair your situation, get back to work and get penalised.
Lots of these injuries come back to haunt you as you get older.
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Senior Retro Guru
KI - awful story. I have mentioned elsewhere that I now wear my enduro full face when riding, even in town. Get strange looks, but the surgeon who did my teeth said ‘don’t do it again or I won’t be able to repair things again...’. The thing for me is residual nerve damage in my upper lip - often feels very weird and changed my speech, which slowly is getting back to normal after two years.
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Manitou Fan
Maxillo-facial injuries can be pretty life changing( I spent the first 5 years of my practising career working in Max-Fac) Nerves are finicky buggers and can take years to recover. 2MO if you get shooting pains or pins and needle sensations in the lip occasionally that is a good sign that further recovery is to come.


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I have a couple of the mtb Enduro & Road helmets from On-One/Planet-X. To my untrained eye they look very similar to my previous Fox Flux mtb & Kask road helmets. Fortunately in many years of riding bikes I've not yet had to call on a helmet to protect my brain case.
To be honest it was advertising and seeing Pros wearing them in the early 90's (Tomac and the Bell Image helmet, the cool Troy Lee Designs etc) that got me into wearing a helmet all the time, at that age I was more interested in looking like a pro mtb'er than the actual safety aspect 😄.

mk one

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Helmet or no helmet has been discussed in depth a few times on here but the mention and meaning of MIPS by the OP has interested me.

I choose to not wear a helmet, from my early days in bmx through to the present day, whether ramp riding, street riding, dirt jumping, dh or xc. Thats not to say i have never wore one, if the event or course requires one i will and have wore them, i actually own a few. I would like to say though at the start, that i do not wish to influence anyones decision to wear a helmet or not, that i feel is a purely personal choice and should not be affected by peer pressure etc. I do wish though to point out a few things, some already lightly touched upon here, that are not often disclosed, for obvious reasons, by the companies selling the products.

I learnt a bit about helmets through work, that at the time was climbing and the testing of safety equipment, though the construction, testing and design principles are the same, which led me onto cycle helmets too. As i said above, i have no issue with a person choosing to wear a helmet, of course if someone hit me on the head with a hammer i would feel it more than if i had a helmet on (thought i would get that in before someone else), and i have seen a few people gain massive confidence after putting a helmet on. I believe confidence is one of the most important things while riding a bike, along with other sports and life in general, so if that is what they gain then thats great, i for one would never suggest they dont wear it.

Now i would like to say first that my research was only up to a few years ago, things may have changed but i honestly can not see that, and if history is anything to go by, in fact got worse.

There have been many many trials and hearings over the years for claims and libel where the helmet was, or became, the defining topic. Not one accident/injury has been proved to have been preventable if the user had been wearing a helmet, despite the best testing and experts. Of course the only way to know for sure would be a time machine and to re-live the event with a helmet to compare. So a bit of a mute discussion really.

As far as the helmet itself, you need to first understand that 90+% of companies make helmets first and foremost for profit, a business, and not for your safety. Let me expand on that a little. A company aims to sell helmets, by making them 'fashionable', appealing to the consumer, through looks and comfort, and of course meeting safety regulations for your peace of mind. Now, there are numerous safety ratings a helmet can achieve, and most helmets do just meet them, the lowest one that is. Cycling companies, and other sectors, spend a vast amount of money campaigning to lower safety standards, to aid in their attempt to make the product more appealing. If the helmet met the highest safety standard then it would be really heavy, have no vents and not look appealing in the slightest, not good business sense. Now on to the ratings themselves, the impact force tested on the lowest standard, the one most helmets just scrape over, is the equivalent of a person falling over from a standing stationary position, so dropping the helmet from around 5.5ft. If you add any momentum into that the forces rise considerably and would not meet the standard. Another rating is for penetration, branches, sharp rocks, debris etc. Cycling helmets, along with climbing helmets, can not be entered for testing as they have gaps in the shell, the vents. A common helmet for climbing did overcome this by starting to make plugs for the vents, though to meet the higher standard needed for rope access, which is actually concerned with a persons safety, it had to make a version without vents. It must also be stressed that the above impact rating is only for impacts directly from above, at the time of research no helmet was able to be tested/rated due to design, again, an aesthetic choice by the companies, for side impacts. The only climbing helmet that was is the one already mentioned above, that is not contoured and shaped like all other climbing and cycling helmets, it extends down at the sides and back for protection and therefore can be submitted for side impact testing and certification. Companies spend a lot of money designing helmets to be light, cool, as in well ventilated, and aesthetically pleasing so as to appeal to more people. So... as long as when you crash, you land square on top of your head, not traveling at any speed and dont land on any thing pointy, you should be fine :) sorry, back to the issue.

Now, as i said above, what interested me about the OP's post is MIPS. i have seen it mentioned on helmets but have never looked at it, i actually thought it was something to do with the fit. This brings me to another important aspect of helmets. Again, already mentioned by the OP, rotational forces and more importantly injuries. A great deal of research has been carried out regarding the subject, it is agreed that a helmet, any helmet, greatly increases the rotational forces in a crash, obviously with the area around the head being enlarged by the helmet the forces will be greater, and a lot of injuries are found to be from the result of the helmet itself. That is not to say without the helmet you do not get the rotational force, of course you do, it is just amplified by the helmet often resulting in more severe versions of the injury. This aspect i found interesting, the protective item actually resulting in harm not present without. Full face helmets for example, in quite a few instances have caused injuries from the bottom of the helmet striking the collarbone during an accident, obviously not evident without a full face helmet. This applies to all protective equipment, pads etc, and most controversial among others are neck braces, they were banned by Motorcross associations due to the injuries directly caused by them. I have seen races since that a couple of riders have started wearing them again, whether that is through relaxing of the rules or they are medically exempt im not sure.

Off on a tangent, a lack of safety certification does not mean the item is unsafe or does not meet safety requirements, Dainese for example, a highly respected manufacturer of safety equipment in both cycling and motorsports did for a long time not carry any certification on their protective items, purely because the fees for certification are very high/extortionate, so they opted out, which is another point maybe to consider regarding the companies just trying to meet the lowest certification.

Back to rotational forces, peaks, now a lot of companies do make peaks that attach, designed to break away in an accident, to stop further injury, but i see a lot of helmets with fixed visors, built into the design, again for aesthetics etc. Now, the rotational forces created by a visor catching on the ground during an accident are again, as you can imagine, greatly amplified,and again found to be the cause of some horrific injuries. Which brings me to MIPS, i think it is great that companies are trying to design features that help limit injuries, it is definitely an area which needs attention, though it does highlight the issue i was trying to raise, the lack of information/disclosure regarding the hazards and risks of wearing a helmet, or any protective equipment while cycling or climbing etc and, the fact it is a very real issue.

I would like to again make clear, i am not trying to put any one off wearing a helmet or other forms of protection, i do, as previously mentioned, support anyone that decides to, for whatever reason, i merely wish people could make these decisions armed with information regarding all aspects of the said items, and not just with 'a company told me it will protect me', or 'you would have been a lot worse off without one' type reasons.

Sorry for the long post.

Ride long and prosper 🖖
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Old School Hero
I have two modern GIRO helmets that I usually wear, but also I have an old HEADWAY helmet that I have had since 92. It is solid black with yellow straps. It doesn't look that retro, kinda looks like a bmx helmet.


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I'm one of those who don't wear a helmet and never have. Been riding bikes since I was 5 years old, on roads and trails, down rocky inclines, bunny hopping at speed over tree roots with a sheer drop less than a metre to my right etc etc, had plenty of tumbles and crashes over the years but never seriously injured myself. Perhaps there's a bit of luck involved, but I'm also very careful and I think some people are just more comfortable with falling than others, I'm one of those who seems to be able to fall without tensing up and injuring myself, as an ex skateboarder I guess I mastered the art of colliding with the earth and other immovable objects.

The thing is I love riding bikes because of the feeling of complete unencumbered freedom, the sight of the ground rushing past beneath my feet, brushing past foliage as it blurs into my peripheral vision, the wind in my hair, and yes, the sense that there is an element of danger to what I'm doing. Don't get me wrong, people who wear helmets are being very sensible, there's no doubt that a helmet can save your life, or at least limit the potential for serious head injury, but for me life has always been about taking risks, that doesn't mean I'm reckless or foolhardy, I know my limitations and I'm always careful around other people, especially old folks, kids and of course dogs, I pay absolute attention to everything when out on the roads, for a while I was a courier in London and rode a fixie with no brakes, after a couple of years doing that you kind of learn to ride around or away from trouble, you also become hyper aware of potential hazards and often see them developing before they manifest themselves.

It's a matter of personal choice, life is full of dangers, we're all going to die some day and in between now and then all manner of harm from things beyond our control could come our way, but we can't mitigate against them all, I think young kids and anyone with a nervous disposition, or anyone who perhaps lacks confidence or is liable to panic in moments of crisis should wear a helmet, for me though I trust in my experience and ability to react calmly and controllably in the moment enough to do without the polystyrene hat.
Have you got kids?
Just wondering....


Retro Guru
I have two lads, both young adults, what does that have to do with not wearing PPE when bimbling about on my bike?