How long should a helmet last

Yes Yes Yes - I know - let's not make this about whether or not to have a helmet


I wear a helmet because
1) my wife feels happier about me wandering around roads on a bike if I wear a helmet - hence when the doorbell goes and I come back in with a parcel - when she asks what it is and I comment "something for my bike" then this is not an issue
2) other stuff

so that's that sorted

Now - the point (I always get to it eventually)
I bought a new helmet probably about 3 years ago after finding a big dent in my old one after I fell off while doing about 1 mph and broke my arm

Today was riding along a canal and stopped for a drink. WHile I was sitting there I noticed that my helmet is getting mucky and could do with a wipe down.
Looking closer I noticed that the foam/crushable stuff at the back of teh helmet is cracked into several pieces - held together by a few bits and the internal straps and stuff
clearly only fit for the bin

SO - how long do they normally last??
I haven;t banged my head at all and I haven't dropped it - it looks like it has just deteriorated and cracked.
Is this normal???

Of course, I have not idea how long ago it was manufactured - it could have been sitting in its box in the LBS for years - or could have come in the days before I bought it

Any ideas/experiences




Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
How long is some string ? Varies. You'll find some of the plastics in the strapping/adjustment start to go brittle over time.


Legendary Member
I've read conflicting info on this. I've read that the important part is made of the same stuff that will remain in landfills for the rest of all time, and I've read equally that it degrades the second you sweat on it (OK, so I exaggerate, but for effect) So somewhere between the two?

Manufacturers will say x years but I'm sure, if we ignore understandable bias, that pertains to straps, buckles and other such helmet fittings. So fair enough.

I'd say that if you have any concerns over its state then change it.


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
Depends on use, where stored etc etc. My fancy lid wasn't used for 5 years (in a box under my bed) and I've just starting using it since getting back on the road. The MTB ones are relatively cheap, and get used and abused, so when tatty, they will get binned.


Legendary Member
I only found out about the life of helmets last month.Mine is a disgrace it's grubby and manky,a Planet x one is on my radar,3-5 years is a good score.
I wear them until they break or something happens to the strapping/mounting system.
I'd need pretty damn serious scientific proof that there is anything wrong with this before changing my approach.

Oh - I'd also retire after any sort of head impact, but I've never had one in 25 years of serious cycling.
I could do with a new one, just looked at the prices :ohmy: I'll have to raid the coin jar :sad:
I'm sure something from Planet X will do you.
That's where my next one will most probably come from.
My current one cost £25 from wiggle (strangely discounted because of the colour) and is I think better than the spesh one priced £80 to £100 which it replaced.


Flouncing Nobber
No more than 3 years and replace immediately if dropped
Or 5 years for spesh lids.

See, this is the thing. If one believes that lids work (lets assume they do and pass by that discussion) then why risk negating the safety benefit by not following your advice?

I do chuckle when people claim to believe the manifacturers guff about the efficiacy of MIPS, progressive density construction, etc, but then choose not to believe the manufacturers after 3 (or 5, or whatever) and replace them as advised. It seems the strength of their belief in helmet manufacturers claims does not quite extend as far as having to spend money. A strangely conditional belief. Funny that.
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cougie uk

Über Member
My mojito is still going strong. I wash it after sweaty rides and it's in very good nick. Obviously if your foam is cracked then get a new helmet. And probably not that make again. Three years doesn't seem very long.
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