Cycle helmets on handlebars

This has been baffling me for some time, at least once a day I see someone cycling along with their helmet dangling from their bars. Why? Who are these people that leave the house with a helmet and at some point, decide that it's no longer required.. "actually, the tarmac is looking quite bouncy today, I won't bother.." Apart from the safety issues, surely it's more annoying to have it dangling there than on your head.

I've always worn a helmet and have recently become quite fanatical about helmet use, as I hit some oil at quite some speed and smacked my head on the edge of a kerb with enough force to crack my helmet, god only knows what sort of state I'd be in had it been dangling from my bars. 

Anyone else got anything that baffles them about other cyclists?


You should visit the Netherlands, where you'll see almost no helmets at all, dangling from handlebars or otherwise

And the Dutch have the safest streets for cycling in the world, thus demonstrating that the connection between safety and helmet use is extremely tenuous

  • By gegi at 5:42am 3 April 2012
Maybe ey set off using a helmet following some social pressure and then discovered that the ride is nicer with the wind in their hair.

I think the link is as tenuous as the dent in my skull, which along with the concussion would have been avoided if I had been wearing a helmet at the time. I wear one now as someone who has suffered from not wearing one.

Coming back to the original post, maybe it is a fashion statement of some sort.

I too am baffled by the helmet on the handlebar thing. If you have gone to the trouble of buying one, you obviously think it is sensible & safe - so why not put it on your head. Alongside this, the other thing I find odd is the people who get as far as putting the helmets on their heads - but not doing them up?!

Having said this - I am on the cover of the latest issue of the mag, with my helmet on my handlebars - but I am not actually cycling & have (apparently) just stopped for a breather, so am enjoying the wind in my hair!

perhaps it's not their bike or their helmet? 

perhaps they took it off because it was a warm day?

perhaps the helmet is damaged?

perhaps they're on their way back from a bike race or an off-road adventure?

perhaps they're taking the helmet to lend to someone else

perhaps they only wear it at night or in the rain when they perceive the risk to be higher

perhaps they had it for a photoshoot?

great cover BTW :-)

In terms of baffling behaviour, I see the related one of wearing a helmet but leaving the strap undone (so that it leaves your head as soon as you fall off, but before you hit the ground) very often.

One that still surprises me despite seeing it several times every morning is when a cyclist edges up the left-hand side of some stationary traffic and then stops in the left side blind-spot of a vehicle that is indicating left (rather than in front, behind, or on the vehicle's right). Astoundingly risky behaviour for the cyclist, and inconsiderate to the traffic queue which now has to wait until the cyclist gets out of the way. I could sort of understand it for a vehicle that is not indicating (it's still risky behaviour that counters the highway code and all cycle training I've seen, but at least you tell yourself that the vehicle is likely to be going forwards), but who stops on the left, alongside a van or lorry that is actually indicating left?! More precisely, "what are they thinking?", as this behaviour is very common, so it's not as if it's a few unusual people doing something stupid.

  • By A-C at 7:53pm 3 April 2012

I sometimes hang my helmet on my handle bars, for example if I stop off at M&S to buy lunch on my way back to the office. It's such a short distance I don't bother putting my helmet back on, and if you saw me at this point you might think me odd for doing this.


I also find that drivers treat me better without a helmet, I'm not saying that's a reason to not wear one, but it is noticable that when I don't look like a cyclist I get a lot more smiles and nods and people letting me in.

  • By paul at 9:14am 18 April 2012

I think that the last comment applies equally to pedestrians on shared use paths. Helmets (plus shades) look inhuman and threatening.

Post a reply

Sign in to post a reply.