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10 per cent discount off brands stocked by sports goods retailer

Barclays Bank, sponsors of London’s Cycle Superhighways and Cycle Hire scheme, has launched a national campaign offering cyclists a 10 per cent discount on helmets bought through the UK’s biggest sporting goods retailer, Sportsdirect.com.

The bank says it “wants to encourage more cyclists to consider wearing a helmet,” and adds that with more people cycling, whether for leisure or commuting, it wants “to make it as affordable and easy as possible for all cyclists to access a helmet, should they wish to wear one.”

The issue of cycle helmets is of course an emotive one and while Barclays is recommending that cyclists wear protective headgear rather than insisting they should be compulsory, and emphasises that it is the rider's personal decision, any campaign that focuses on helmets does carry with it a risk of a backlash from parts of the cycling community. 

The 10 per cent discount is available on a range of helmets stocked at Sportsdirect.com’s 400-plus stores throughout the UK, as well as on its website.

Brands include Muddyfox and its sub-brand MFX, whose products tend to be sold through big-box retailers including Sportsdirect, as well as in-house brand, Dunlop.

The latter’s tennis racquets were once used by stars including Steffi Graf and John McEnroe, but owned by Sportsdirect since 2004, the brand has been diluted well beyond its historical focus on racquet sports and golf into areas including cycling accessories. Dunlop Tyres is a separate business, now owned by Goodyear.

Barclays cycling ambassador, the TV presenter Christine Bleakley, commented: “I wouldn’t feel comfortable cycling without a helmet and hope the offer will encourage more cyclists to consider wearing a helmet when on the roads.”

The helmet Bleakley herself is sporting in the picture Barclays supplied isn’t likely to be one of those available in the promotion, however – it isn’t stocked by Sports Direct.

Bleakley was shown trying on the helmet, made by Bern, in one of the videos she hosted for Barclays last year, aimed at encouraging female non-cyclists to take to two wheels.

Given the fact the helmet promotion is being run in conjunction with a retailer that isn’t top of mind when thinking of cycling specialists, it seems fair to say that it is likewise aimed at consumers who are new to cycling.

According to the 2012 annual report and accounts of Sports Direct International plc, the parent company of Sportsdirect.com, Barclays is the group’s principal bankers.

Last month, we reported that a Freedom of Information request had revealed that the bank had clawed back more than £1.5 million of its £50 million funding for the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme from TfL, apparently due to missed targets during the scheme’s initial phase following its launch in summer 2010.

Currently, Barclays is offering free bike clinics in London in partnership with Bikeworks.

 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

34 comments

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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Here we go.......

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giff77 [1191 posts] 2 years ago
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And remember the rules guys. Play nice.

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 2 years ago
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Without going over old ground or whether to wear or not and NOT trying to sound like a snob, looking at both their sites, Sports Direct and http://www.bigbikechain.com/

I wouldn't really use any of these brands for a helmet, apart from maybe No Fear

Cosmic Dunlop MFX A Pure Muddyfox Nerf Silverfox Spiderman Universal Airwalk BigFoot Disney No Fear Raleigh

Maybe this one..... http://www.sportsdirect.com/no-fear-skate-helmet-752036?colcode=75203606

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Gashead [31 posts] 2 years ago
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The economics of this are all wrong. Barclays get some goodwill but won't be subsidising the 10% I suspect, Sports Direct get more people going into their shops...except they won't get many for a mere 10% discount. If they were serious it would be more like 40% off, as it is all it will achieve will be the forthcoming comments below about the pros and cons of head protection.

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stumps [3186 posts] 2 years ago
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The quote:

The bank says it “wants to encourage more cyclists to consider wearing a helmet,” and adds that with more people cycling, whether for leisure or commuting, it wants “to make it as affordable and easy as possible for all cyclists to access a helmet, should they wish to wear one.”

I like the wording, it doesn't mention they should or its safer or it will save your life.

But it should still be down to personal choice.

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alronald [58 posts] 2 years ago
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That "bigbikechain" website looks a bit like Halfords one. Wonder if that's deliberate.

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j1mmy76 [66 posts] 2 years ago
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Here's how Christine Bleakley actually gets about London.

http://mevio.co.uk/2011/12/1921/

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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Listen up SD and Barclays, no one wants helmets shoved down their throat, you're just hurting your "brand" short and long term.

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pjclinch [85 posts] 2 years ago
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They could promote, and subsidise copies of, Cyclecraft, which might actually address actual safety rather than the usual FUD based nonsense.

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jdstrachan@yaho... [52 posts] 2 years ago
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I don't understand why any cyclist would ride WITHOUT a helmet. Helmet's saved my life - twice. Once, it split in half like a nut, but at least it wasn't my skull.

What reason do riders have for not wearing them?!

In my opinion, (and it is only my opinion and no abuse will change it, just harden it)...

In my opinion, any cyclist without a helmet IS a helmet  14

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burtthebike [169 posts] 2 years ago
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Utterly misinformed nonsense from a bank, and I'm very glad I don't have any money with them, and I hope that anyone who does will be putting it with a bank which has at least the faintest idea what it's doing.

Given that they sponsor the cycle hire scheme it might have been hoped that they would actually look at the results before promoting their ignorance to all and sundry. The hire scheme is incredibly safe, and almost no-one riding the bikes wears a helmet. I almost wish that I had an account with them so that I could close it.

If they are this misinformed about something they are so tightly involved with, how could they possibly be trusted with your money?

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stumps [3186 posts] 2 years ago
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If people read the article they are not saying you should wear a helmet, quite the contrary, they are saying if people want to then they are recommending you buy one whilst offering a cheaper way of doing it but they confirm it should be the riders decision.

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 2 years ago
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jdstrachan [at] yahoo.co.uk wrote:

Helmet's saved my life - twice. Once, it split in half like a nut, but at least it wasn't my skull.

So your helmet FAILED then, even at high impacts, helmets should NEVER split, they are designed to take and impact and through the way they are put together, dispence said impact through their design.

Your helmet splitting is half like a nut, means it failed because it did not actually do what it was supposed to.

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joules1975 [313 posts] 2 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:
jdstrachan [at] yahoo.co.uk wrote:

Helmet's saved my life - twice. Once, it split in half like a nut, but at least it wasn't my skull.

So your helmet FAILED then, even at high impacts, helmets should NEVER split, they are designed to take and impact and through the way they are put together, dispence said impact through their design.

Your helmet splitting is half like a nut, means it failed because it did not actually do what it was supposed to.

Sorry gkam, but isn't a helmet splitting in a crash a helmet doing exactly what it SHOULD DO.

I'm not a helmet manufactruring expert, but i am an engineer, with a reasonable understanding of energy transfer and g-forces. Surely a helmet Is like a crumple zone on a car. They are designed to deform and break in order to dissipate the energy in the crash. For a helmet, staying in one piece transfers more of the crash energy to the head, thus increasing likelihood/seriousness of injury.

If a helmet is already cracked(from dropping it) it should be replaced because some of its energy dissipating capabilities have already been lost. A helmet should only break up with an impact over a certain level - breaking up too easily would limit its ability to deal with heavier crashes, while breaking up too hard would result in the energy transfer to head issue already described. Hence why a helmet doesn't always break up, but could still be cracked internally from the energy it has absorbed.

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velophilia [39 posts] 2 years ago
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Take look at Copenhagan Cycle Chic blog. Are all these people reckless idiots?

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zanf [759 posts] 2 years ago
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velophilia wrote:

Take look at Copenhagan Cycle Chic blog. Are all these people reckless idiots?

Yes. How dare they wear normal clothes and make it look like they are safe and enjoying themselves.

Those reckless Danish with their complete lack of helmets, hiviz clothing and appropriate footwear are a danger to us all.

Even their pastries will kill you, if you eat enough of them.

Damn them. Damn them all to hell!

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Paul99 [25 posts] 2 years ago
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joules1975 wrote:

Sorry gkam, but isn't a helmet splitting in a crash a helmet doing exactly what it SHOULD DO.

Correct. Simple physics.

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pmanc [194 posts] 2 years ago
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And so it begins!

jdstrachan [at] yahoo.co.uk wrote:

What reason do riders have for not wearing them?!

@jdstrachan, if this is a genuine question, then I would point you towards this site: http://www.cyclehelmets.org/

But I think, given a lack of hard evidence either way and so many confounding factors, most reasonable people feel it's a decision best left to the individual. To be fair, the announcement of this discount seems worded with this in mind.

So compulsion is not helpful, and neither is patronising people who make a decision which differs from one's own. So no abuse from me - the name calling seems to be more your forte.

Although I might just ask, out of interest, if you are as forthright about wearing a helmet when walking or travelling in a car?

Of course many cyclists will feel different about sports cycling (of whichever discipline) and popping to the shops, etc.

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thebungle [103 posts] 2 years ago
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If it weren't for the fact that it is a legal requirement would you wear a seatbelt in a car?

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pmanc [194 posts] 2 years ago
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thebungle wrote:

If it weren't for the fact that it is a legal requirement would you wear a seatbelt in a car?

Personally, of course I would. To do so hardly inconveniences me at all (apart from seatbelts making cars a little more expensive in the first place), and unlike cycle helmets, as I understand it there is clear evidence that seatbelts save lives. And I have read up on both measures.

Not sure how it's relevant though.

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joemmo [1146 posts] 2 years ago
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The Helmet Debate Rules clearly state that the discussion is declared null and void as soon as a participant plays either 'The Helmet Saved My Life' maneuver (AKA 'The Cracknell Hypothesis'), 'The Seatbelt Analogy' or "The Danish Comparison'. Thus we are all freed from the need to continue to play the Debate to its illogical and often violent conclusion and go and troll about Rapha instead.

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Paul J [839 posts] 2 years ago
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Seatbelts in cars are legal requirements. Unlike bicycles, there are no health benefits to using a car - there are only health disadvantages (to the occupants and to everyone else). Further, head injuries are a significant risk to car occupants, despite air bags (which are extremely violent when they go off). Helmet use in cars could further reduce these head injuries. Why don't we make car occupants wear helmets?

Unlike driving, cycling has significant health benefits. Thus, any reduced injury or deaths from wearing helmets must be balanced against the effect on cycling rates. There is little benefit to the general public in saving 1 head by requiring bicycle helmets, if it costs 1000 hearts due to people being put off cycling. All the evidence suggests that cycling is relatively safe. Certainly, it's not significantly more dangerous than walking or driving. Further, the evidence strongly suggests mandatory helmets greatly impacts on cycling rates - utility cycling particularly.

All in all, statistically you likely will be much better off cycling a bicycle all your life without a helmet, than not cycling at all.

Next, if you truly care about safe, mass cycling, look to the Netherlands. They achieve even *safer* cycling than the UK, and in much higher numbers, and with *very low* helmet usage. It is the countries with high helmet usage that seem to have the worst cycling safety, and helmet wearing cyclists in the Netherlands are significantly over-represented amongst cyclists who are injured or killed.

It is thus an undeniable fact that helmets are NOT a prerequisite for safe, mass cycling. Indeed, there appears to be a strong negative correlation between cultures of helmet use and cycling safety. It might be worth looking into why that is.

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Gizmo_ [1333 posts] 2 years ago
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joemmo wrote:

The Helmet Debate Rules clearly state that the discussion is declared null and void as soon as a participant plays either 'The Helmet Saved My Life' maneuver (AKA 'The Cracknell Hypothesis'), 'The Seatbelt Analogy' or "The Danish Comparison'. Thus we are all freed from the need to continue to play the Debate to its illogical and often violent conclusion and go and troll about Rapha instead.

I would like to enquire what level of helmet use was prevalent during the second world war, and whether this might be tied to a conclusion related to the German leader of the time?

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 2 years ago
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joules1975 wrote:

Sorry gkam, but isn't a helmet splitting in a crash a helmet doing exactly what it SHOULD DO.

I'm not a helmet manufactruring expert, but i am an engineer, with a reasonable understanding of energy transfer and g-forces. Surely a helmet Is like a crumple zone on a car. They are designed to deform and break in order to dissipate the energy in the crash. For a helmet, staying in one piece transfers more of the crash energy to the head, thus increasing likelihood/seriousness of injury.

If a helmet is already cracked(from dropping it) it should be replaced because some of its energy dissipating capabilities have already been lost. A helmet should only break up with an impact over a certain level - breaking up too easily would limit its ability to deal with heavier crashes, while breaking up too hard would result in the energy transfer to head issue already described. Hence why a helmet doesn't always break up, but could still be cracked internally from the energy it has absorbed.

Nope, totally wrong, if it breaks, it dissipates much less, sometimes nothing of the impact.

Have a read here http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1209.html

If someone's helmet breaks....its FAILED to do anything  3

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 2 years ago
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Gizmo_ wrote:
joemmo wrote:

The Helmet Debate Rules clearly state that the discussion is declared null and void as soon as a participant plays either 'The Helmet Saved My Life' maneuver (AKA 'The Cracknell Hypothesis'), 'The Seatbelt Analogy' or "The Danish Comparison'. Thus we are all freed from the need to continue to play the Debate to its illogical and often violent conclusion and go and troll about Rapha instead.

I would like to enquire what level of helmet use was prevalent during the second world war, and whether this might be tied to a conclusion related to the German leader of the time?

 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24

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Paul J [839 posts] 2 years ago
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The polystyrene in a helmet absorbs the most energy when it deforms through crushing. It absorbs significantly less energy if it cracks and splits - the cracking of itself absorbs much less than crushing, plus the loss of structural integrity adversely affects further crush deformation.

Good helmets, like certified motorcycle helmets and some of the better hard-shell bicycle helmets, have a hard, smooth outer shell, with as few discontinuities as possible (e.g. for ventilation). This hard shell resists cracking/splitting and helps spread the force away from the impact point, and across as much of the polystyrene as possible. This increases the level of impact at which the helmet will fail and crack at the impact point, and it maximises the energy absorption through crushing.

Many cycling helmets however lack a hard shell. They are able to pass only a very low standard - EN1078:1997. If your helmet split apart in a crash, it absorbed much less energy than it could have if it hadn't.

The above is fairly obvious, but I should be able to dig up references in the scientific literature if needed.

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jdstrachan@yaho... [52 posts] 2 years ago
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pmanc wrote:

And so it begins!

jdstrachan [at] yahoo.co.uk wrote:

What reason do riders have for not wearing them?!

@jdstrachan, if this is a genuine question, then I would point you towards this site: http://www.cyclehelmets.org/

But I think, given a lack of hard evidence either way and so many confounding factors, most reasonable people feel it's a decision best left to the individual. To be fair, the announcement of this discount seems worded with this in mind.

So compulsion is not helpful, and neither is patronising people who make a decision which differs from one's own. So no abuse from me - the name calling seems to be more your forte.

Although I might just ask, out of interest, if you are as forthright about wearing a helmet when walking or travelling in a car?

Of course many cyclists will feel different about sports cycling (of whichever discipline) and popping to the shops, etc.

Perhaps name calling is unhelpful, and immature, but I don't understand why people would choose not to. And yes, whenever I have travelled on our roads, on a vehicle that provides no other protection (i.e. bicycle or motorbike) I have always worn a helmet. I have not ridden on occasion when I did not have my helmet with me.

A car driving too fast, too close, too aggresively, or distracted doesn't discern between 'popping to the shops' and 'racing'. Therefore, for me, in my opinion, a helmet should always be worn.

Obviously, people can choose not to, I just don't get it.

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jdstrachan@yaho... [52 posts] 2 years ago
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Paul99 wrote:
joules1975 wrote:

Sorry gkam, but isn't a helmet splitting in a crash a helmet doing exactly what it SHOULD DO.

Correct. Simple physics.

Thank you Paul and Joules, and Gkam, quite simply it saved my life. Whether it remained in one piece or not (the second time that helmet dented but I replaced it) it did the job - protecting my head and keeping me alive.

I'd rather it split (even if as you say [wrongly] that it shouldn't do) if it means its not my head splitting and my brain and blood on the road instead of compact polystyrene.

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Simon E [2542 posts] 2 years ago
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Most people can afford a helmet, it's only the more racy ones that might be considered expensive. And you can get discounts in loads of shops and online already.

This promo appears to be a way for Barclays and SportsDirect to look like they're doing something positive for cyclists while really just getting some publicity for themselves. There are much better ways to get more people cycling but they're not interested in doing that. Flappy hi-viz giveaway next?

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Paul J [839 posts] 2 years ago
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jdstrachan: I don't wear a helmet on a bicycle for the exact same reason you don't when walking, jogging or driving a car during everyday business.

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