Bicycle Helmets

I’m not happy with the standards for bicycle helmets, having had an accident which resulted in 5 skull fractures (completely missed by the hospital doctor in the CT scan, picked up by my doctor a week later, but thats a different story!).
The pathetically thin bits of foam in the helmet offer no protection, so I have modifed my current helmet with by replacing them with some thicker closed cell foam, which clearly spreads any impact loads over a much greater area, and IMHO, offers much more protection, even if it no longer meets any AU/NZ standard due to my mods.

However, I wont be offering my head for any extreme testing :grinning:


Having seen some of the mountain bike tracks around here with a veritable plethora of sharp rocks I think I’d be wearing a motocross helmet, much like BMX riders do … the testing of helmets even with some of the ‘more respected’ bodies overseas seems very light - speeds and impacts are hard to imagine as real world …it makes one wonder whether anything is really capable of protecting someone in a bad accident, or whether it’s all designed just for that trip to the shop to buy some milk …


In Vic if you don’t have the standards sticker in your bike helmet you are not wearing it by definition, and subject to fines. Precious. If helmets are tested the quality of the standards sticker and glue should be included. ( / :-J )

Careful, you might get bicycle air bags!


It’s the same in NSW. I rinse my helmet off after each ride, and the sticker fell off long ago, so I guess that makes me some sort of extreme outlaw! :wink:

If you buy a helmet from OS, identical in every respect to the same helmet bought in Oz (other than it being 1/2 the cost due to the Oz tax), then it wont have the sticker, so it is illegal to use.

Many cyclists find this sticker rule to be completely ridiculous


European ECE 22.05 motorcycle helmets are approved in most places in Australia - this is relatively recent - I’d have thought similar rules for pushbikes would be the case?

The helmets I have would have cost me around 1000 combined had I bought them from Europe, even with shipping/etc. The Australian Standards sticker doubled that. It’s not clear to me whether that means they are tested to Australian conditions, whether our heads are different, roads and rocks are harder, etc.

I reckon there are some worthwhile ‘extreme tests’, burnouts on a mobile probably not one - at least it was only an iPhone :wink:


As of last year I’m pretty sure you had to have the Oz sticker, and I’m not aware of any changes since then.
The stupid thing is that essentially the same testing is used in US and EU.

… at least it was only an iPhone :wink:

Indeed… no great loss there! :grin:

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The ACCC discussion paper enumerates the differences in the testing regimes on p4.

But did it go anywhere except to endorse the status quo? No evidence it has.


Slightly different tests, yes. However, I’m fairly sure that a Giro model XYZ sold in EU and US is identical to the same model sold in Australia, apart from the sticker. They certainly appear identical, and I can’t imagine any manufacturer producing a particular model with 10% less dense foam (for example) than the rest of a production run for a particular market.


In all probability that is the case, but stickers cost. Especially stickers with glue suited to our conditions. :smiley:


@gordon, this wouldn’t by chance be a photo of your improved bike helmet?

My understanding of the Australian Standard is not to prevent injury, but to reduce the level of injury should a knock to the head occur. A helmet would be like PPE (personal protection equipment), it is not relied on solely to prevent injury, but is the last form of protection should every other safety measure fail.


:rofl: no, I think that is the new improved version of the tin foil hat :wink:

Not all that long after my bad crash UNSW (I think) was doing a study of bike helmets involved in crashes, and I sent it off to them for analysis. My helmet just had one crack in it, my head had 5, so it didn’t offer as much protection as I would have liked!


That is a photo of Sean, a follower of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. His partly redacted DL is in the link


Have you been touched by his noodly appendage? :wink:

I’ve got an FSM badge somewhere…


Why don’t you just use a motorcycle helmet instead? Cyclists ride in the traffic often doing speeds of 40-50km/h, and face the same hazards as motorcyclists.

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A cyclist riding at 40-50km/hr on the flat is putting in a huge amount of effort cf a motorcyclist, wearing a heavy, minimally vented motorcycle helmet would result in overheating pretty quickly! It would also be rather uncomforable and neck straining, due to the different postures when riding.
Some cyclists do wear full-face helmets, particularly in downhill type events which are over fairly quickly, and those helmets do offer more protection, but are significantly lighter weight than motorcycle helmets.


It is fascinating that motorcycle helmet laws seem to have lightened up in the name of sanity,

but bicycle riders remain bound to be wearing helmets having AS/NZS 2063:2008 certification AND even more importantly, The Sticker. Those choosing to flaunt the law by wearing a motorcycle helmet without The AS/NZ 2063:2008 Sticker risk run-ins with the ‘bicycle police’! Built to a higher standard? The law requires The Certification! Comfort is another topic :wink:

Guilty! Not wearing a helmet as the law says. George Orwell would be amused.


I’ve found anything over 60 m/s is neck straining on a motorcycle as well, over 80 m/s positively painful :wink: I don’t know how TT riders do it … necks of steel!


Gordon, sorry to hear about your injury. I too had a head injury (not related to bike rides thou), so I have to be careful. Did you just glue a piece of closed cell foam to the existing foam? I think I have this stuff from packaging coming with parcels.

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Yes Tanya, it’s a medium density grey coloured foam, glued along the ridges, and I have a couple of squares of slightly higher density foam at the back.

I know from my accident that the polystyrene material that the helmet is made of does not compress enough to prevent skull fractures, but rather transmits most of the force of impact to the head. Just pressing an unmodified helmet hard against my head gives an indication of that- the impact force is concentrated in a small area. The foam I’ve added spreads the load significantly.
I am thinking of purchasing some more of the grey foam and adding it to a few more places, to spread the loads even more, thus reducing impact force even further.

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:thumbsup: :biking_man: