Much time has been spent discussing the ability of a helmet to do its job. Its a question, that for me cant be quantified, squared away or answered. For every list of stats, for every crash test result and every anecdote, there is a counter argument. It seems there are more combinations of variables to effect the measurable outcome than there are grains of polymers in the helmet factory. My question therefore isn't about whether they work, its whether they are needed. If you look at the vast numbers or cyclists in other countries, some with vastly inferior road systems to ours we can observe that, traditionally, helmets are not worn. Look at the Netherlands, Europe, china, Asia. It seems that where cycling is a way of life, it is undertaken as such, in "normal" clothes, with no additional consideration for protection or risk. As if no additional risk exists. However, in some cultures, cycling is also seen as a sport, a fitness activity and as such is seen to present more risk of injury. In these situations protection is traditionally worn. Despite the media, in the uk the chances of having a cycle collision or fall is tiny...like almost non existent. So why do we invest so much in protecting against something statistically may never happen. Let alone debate the results of the protection if it ever did. My question is, are we wasting time talking about whether lids work or not and should we actually be asking...Do we need them at all to be safer. I wear a lid more often than not. I ride fast, I ride slow, in groups, on my own, in traffic, on empty lanes. I wear a lid on my road bike. Yet on a Boris bike, I never do, nor on my single speed. Both seem like a different type of riding, more relaxed, less serious Less risky. Sorry if this question has been raised before, its relatively fundamental but the section is so vast now, its hard to search.