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I noticed in the news today that as "It reflects the growing popularity of cycling", Cycle helmets have been added to the 2017 UK Basket of Goods and sevices by the ONS.

This struck me as a little odd, for two main reasons:

Firstly, there is no mention of the purchase or rental of a bike in the typical example of British household spend, in either recreation categories, or personal transport. Presumably the ONS expects us to don cycle helmets to ride childrens scooters or visit the stables to which we pay our Livery charges, or else just to steal a bike.

Secondly, although I appreciate that visitors to this site as a demographic will spend more than the average on cycling kit, I would have thought that a helmet is far from representative of bike related spend (not to mention contentious, supporting the misconception that helmets are/should-be mandatory) [I'd like to avoid a re-run on that debate, but am aknowledging its existence]

With bargain-bucket helmets available for £20 ranging up to specialist race lids for ~£350, I'd expect the ONS to mark up around £40 for a helmet per household per annum on cycling related spend. Given that the Mrs and I spent a total of £600 on new brakes for the mtbs in January (shiny, shiny Hope kit [supporting UK business too]), and that's hardly going to be the last of the year's purchases, what would you guys consider to be a more realistic value and associated item for the ONS to put in the nations' basket?

6 comments

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Boatsie [230 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Nice helmets in Aldi tomorrow morning.
$20 Aud with inbuilt rear light.
Reads like a bargin.

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Paul_C [560 posts] 4 months ago
4 likes

more relevant item? Tyres and puncture repair kit...

 

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Boatsie [230 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Not sure if relevant.
In Australia we get about $3500 tax rebate to drive to work if we carry work related tools. So although cycling cheaper and more fun, with regards to cost it is very near driving.
I support cycling because of what great fun with non exercised people we would have if conflict envelopes our society. Like trying to protect a monster (multiplied).
Presuming the British ONS is a tax break, here in Aus. I guess using panniers and backpacks to carry tools might lead to a tax break on chain, cogs, tyres, tubes, etc. The wear of cycling. Better than nothing I suppose.

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simon59 [11 posts] 4 months ago
4 likes

I think the items in the basket represent and track the inflation of related goods. So cycling helmets would represent cycling related products. The basket is used to track inflation and thus increase in cycling helmet prices would represent increase in cycling related products.

I think it is great that enough people are cycling to cause this to happen.

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matthewn5 [1201 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

It's actually so typical that they thought 'cycling' and then 'helmets'...

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FluffyKittenofT... [2130 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

Good 'catch'.  It says something about the overpromotion of helmets that that's what the civil servents see as paradigmatic 'cycling equipment'.  Seems silly to use for inflation measurement when one buys them so rarely (and some don't buy them at all) - I've bought exactly two helmets, ever, owing to leaving the first one on  a train.

I'd vote for 'inner tubes' as a better choice - spent a lot of time trying to find affordable-but-reliable sources for them.  Or, you know, just 'bikes'?

 

Simon59 - is there any reason to believe that the cost of  'helmets' is especially connected to the cost of other cycle-related stuff (that one might buy far more often)?