So Happy That I Lost My Helmet
- I lost my helmet
- Discovered MIPS technology
- Discovered Bontrager Wave Cell technology
- Understand more about the Australian and New Zealand safety standard (AS/NZS 2063)
- Am now 48 times less likely to get a brain injury when I go riding
Is it all about the colour?
I love cycling on my Gekko HP Velotechnik recumbent trike. Thank you, Gekko! And naturally, I want to be safe when I do so. I tell you what happened after I lost my helmet the other day.
I Lost My Helmet
By law we need to wear a bicycle helmet, here in Queensand, Australia, when we go out for a cycle.
How on earth did I last week end up back home without my helmet, without my glasses, without my scarf and without my gloves? I do not know.
One moment I’m cycling wearing all of these, the next moment I’m back home with none of these.
I’m not going into detail as to why this happened because the short answer is that I do not know how this happened. Also I have spare glasses, spare scarves and even spare gloves. The only thing I don’t have is a spare helmet. All I had to do was get myself another helmet.
One of my children offered me her helmet but I was not okay with that. What would she do if she wanted to go for a ride? A helmet is mandatory.
Buying a New Seven-Dollar Helmet at Kmart For Mum
So off we went to Kmart to buy another helmet. It’s all about colour, right? To stay safe, we want a bright colour.
Kmart has nice pink helmets for seven dollars. That’ll do me.
My other daughter also needs a helmet because the straps on hers broke the other day. She wants a blue one. But not a Kmart one. She wants a fashionable one. Fair enough, she’s young. When we’re young, we want fashionable helmets. Where does she want to go for her helmet? She tells me that she has seen a nice blue one online for sixty dollars. I nearly choke. Sixty dollars for a helmet? Just because of shape and colour?
Whatever, she’s young. She can do whatever she likes. I’m happy with my pink seven-dollar Kmart helmet. That’ll do me.
Shopping Online for Crystal
When we get home, Crystal goes online and shares with me her selection of helmets. “Why blue? And why that shape,” I ask. Knowing that blue is her favourite colour. But fifty-three dollars worth of favourite colour?
“It matches her outfit,” she tells me. Her preferred shape is more fashionable.
Change Of Direction… Looking for Red Helmets
Okay, I’m thinking, why shouldn’t I get a colour that matches my outfit? So far I’ve just thrown stuff together so as not to get a chill when I’m cycling. But she’s planted the seed and all of a sudden I find myself googling red coloured helmets. My trike is red you see. Hell, I’m thinking I may even match the Gekko red with lippie.
This is fun. We’re both googling till our fingers are sore and it’s time to go to bed. Price, what price, who cares; I saw a gorgeous red coloured helmet… red is a safe colour, right? I like the colour of the Align helmet best.
I find a local retailer that stocks these helmets for fifty-nine dollars and tomorrow morning I’ll be on the phone to them.
Red It Is!
First thing in the morning I phone the cyclist shop.
“I’m after one of these red helmets, this is the code. Do you have one in store in my size please?”
For whatever reason, I cannot find their webpage back online but I had made note of the helmet code.
Bob from the cyclist shop also cannot find the page, “it’s down,” he says, “for maintenance,” so he cannot look up the code at the moment.
“What was I after again?”
I answered, “I’m a girl, it’s all about the colour and I want the helmet to match my bike which is red.”
Or Is It MIPS?
He misunderstood me and thought I said MIPS.
“Was it a MIPS helmet?” he asked.
“What’s MIPS?” I say.
“MIPS is good,” Bob says.
“Talk me into it,” I say.
And he did.
He said, “MIPS prevents you from getting a concussion when you have a fall.”
What? I thought all helmets would do that.
Well, that’s news to me. Call me naïve, but without giving it much thought, I thought all helmets would prevent me from getting a concussion.
Suddenly, colour wasn’t as much of a priority. I truly thought all helmets would prevent me from getting a serious injury in case of an accident.
My seven-dollar Kmart helmet has a label certifying that the helmet meets the Australian and New Zealand standard (AS/NZS 2063) and has passed stringent safety tests. What does that mean?
According to the ultimate bike helmet buying guide, this means, what I also thought to be true, and that price is irrelevant when it comes to safety because all helmets are approved. Below is what I copied and pasted from the Bike Exchange website on the 6th of July 2020.
You see. I had been happy with my seven-dollar Kmart helmet because, till my daughter planted other seeds, I didn’t care about colour, shape or weight. I thought that as long as a helmet was approved and had the (AS/NZS 2063) seal I was going to be safe from serious injury because my helmet would protect me. My helmet, which had come with the bike, had served me well and when I lost it I was happy to buy another one off the shelf from Kmart because it was quick, easy and affordable.
MIPS Reduces Traumatic Brain Injuries
What I discovered by listening to Bob from the Adrenaline Bike shop is that the MIPS helmets came about when a scientist and neurosurgeon collaborated to reduce traumatic brain injuries caused by bike accidents.
The MIPS design was patented in 2002.
In a nutshell, MIPS is designed to soak up some of the energy from oblique impacts to protect the brain.
Sounds good to me.
Wow! Thank you, Bob, for explaining all this to me.
We’ve clearly come a long way from when I was riding a bicycle as a child without a helmet and got concussed quite a few times when I tumbled off my bike without a helmet.
I thought that the Australian and New Zealand standard stringent safety test (AS/NZS 2063) were sufficient protection when buying a helmet.
After talking to Bob, I understand that there is more to it than that. And that technology has come a long way in the last few years.
The good news is that the MIPS is available for around $60. So now we can have fashion and safety rolled into one.
However, this is not all that Bob had to share.
But Wait, There’s More
“Better still,” he said.
“Yes, what?” I asked.
“There is even more advanced technology,” he said.
“Okay,” I said. “Talk me into it.”
By now I understood that the precious grey matter between my ears could be protected better than I thought, and I wanted to know all there was to know about it.
Particularly because only a month ago my goofy big Dane cross had pulled me over which had caused me a rib dislocation. This had happened at near-enough standstill speed. Because of this I had decided not to take Layla, or Blondie as her nickname goes, on rides with me any longer.
I was happy at the time that I was wearing a helmet because with the fall, I banged my head and ribs against rocks and that could have ended quite differently if it had been just my skull without the protection.
This fall alerted me to the need for good protection.
It’s just that at the time I thought I had the best possible protection available for seven dollars.
I know, silly me. I don’t always think everything out. Maybe I should share Layla’s nickname.
“Six months ago I was riding with ten mates on the Sunshine Coast and we all went down. It was a bad crash and I was the only guy in the team that went home without a concussion.”
“Why was that?”
Bontrager WaveCel technology
Bob grinned, “I was the only rider wearing a Bontrager WaveCel helmet.”
“Okay, you talked me into it. Tell me more.”
“Not so long ago, in March 2019, a new system was patented by Bontrager, the WaveCel Technology.”
Below I’ve copied and pasted from www.prnewswire.com on July 6th, 2020.
It sounds like WaveCel technology is better than MIPS but is this true?
Once I got home I did more research online.
Outside Online tells us the following copied and pasted on the 5th of July 2020.
How did the team come to that conclusion?
Science Direct gives more detail about Evaluation of a novel bicycle helmet concept in oblique impact testing.
Summing up the Research
Foam-only helmets, and this includes helmets which meet the Australian and New Zealand standard (AS/NZS 2063) have the highest brain-injury risk at 50 percent.
Followed by the MIPS with a brain-injury risk of 34%.
And the clear winner is the WaveCel technology helmet which has a brain injury risk of just 1.2 percent.
When we read, ‘Australian and New Zealand standard (AS/NZS 2063)’ we should understand that this is ‘a minimum requirement’ and not necessarily ‘the best available’ or ‘adequate protection’ given the circumstances.
Do your research. Be Safe!
It took me 15 minutes to become more educated about safe bicycle helmets. If you are like me and thought that the Australian and New Zealand standard (AS/NZS 2063) label will keep you and yours safe… think again.
You’ll be safer than riding without a helmet, that’s for sure. But not as safe as you can be, once you are aware of today’s technology.
Ecstatically Happy that I Lost My Helmet
You understand that I am ecstatically happy that I lost my helmet the other day.
Had I not lost my helmet, it could have been years before I discovered the new WaveCel technology.
Without a doubt this is the helmet of the future and for those of us lucky enough to have discovered it, we can wear this helmet today when we go for a ride.
I soon hope to be picking up my red helmet that could be up to 48 times more effective at preventing concussions. I’ll be fashionable as well as safer.
And I like you to be safe as well and that’s why I’m sharing. So you know about this new technology and have a choice when you go cycling.
All I need to do now is plead with Bontrager to make a helmet that fits my puppy Mellow for when she rides with me in her fast-kart behind my trike.
Thank You. I Appreciate You!
Thank you to Bob the bikeman for alerting me to this new technology and to orthopedic surgeon Dr Steve Madey, Biomechanical engineer Dr Michael Bottlang and Bontrager. I appreciate you!
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