New helmet time?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by johnr, 17 Aug 2007.

  1. johnr

    johnr Über Member

    I pickedup somewhere that you should get a new helmet every 2 years. Is this right? Why? What risks etc?

  2. col

    col Veteran

    I thought this applied to motorcycle helmets where the shell could degrade over time,something to do with the chemistry of the shell i think,but for cycling,other than the shell being for looking nice,i would have thought the polistyrene would still be ok?im probably wrong,but just my thoughts.
  3. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    I think it probably applies to any safety helmet - it's recommended to replace horseriding helmets every 5 years or so. Partly down to possible degredation of the materials, and partly perhaps because of the inevitable build up of small bumps and knocks. It's obvious when a helmet has been in a big accident, because it's dented or cracked or whatever, but there can be lots of little stresses and strains that don't show, but could in the event of a big knock, mean the helmet fails to protect so well.

    Having said that, I kept my last helmet for ooh, must have been 5 or 6 years, and only changed it because I wanted one that fitted the helmet cam better!

    If you take care of it, avoid banging it about too much, don't expose it to bright sunlight too much (except when you're wearing it of course!), I think you'll be ok for more than a couple of years. But it's worth inspecting it everyso often, maybe replacing the little pads inside as they get lose their bounce, and checking the strap is tightened etc so that it continues to fit properly.
  4. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    two years is probably overzealous. you need to keep it away from things like paint thinner and other chemicals (which, like bikes, get stored in the shed/garage), but if it's looked after it should last a few years more (as per arch's advice), unless you crash (in which case replace it immediately).
  5. simon_adams_uk

    simon_adams_uk Veteran

    SW London
    There was a guy I was following on Tuesday in SW London who definitely needed a new helmet - there was a chunk about 4" long missing out the rear 3/4 section of his Giro lid!

    Should I have told him though (without coming across as patronising)?
    Saying that he did RLJ so in many ways a cracked helmet was the least of his worries...

  6. Blue

    Blue Legendary Member

    N Ireland
    The part of a helmet that protects is the inner softish foam which, I think I read, degrades with exposure to sunlight etc. The outer coloured shell is there to protect the foam from this degradation.

    If a helmet suffers an impact it should be replaced and I understand that you should also think of replacing every few years due to loss of protection due to normal use. I have never seen 2 years suggested though I have seen 3 years suggested.

    Wearing an old or damaged helmet is worse than useless. There is much debate about the effectivness of any helmet and much suggestion that the simple wearing of a helmet increases risk taking by the wearer and drivers etc around him/her. Obvoiusly an old/damaged helmet won't get rid of the adverse aspects while not even giving any protection at all - if it ever did!!

    I'm not trying to open a debate about compulsory helmet use in giving this reply :ohmy:
  7. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    I suppose a good way 'in' would be to say "blimey, what happened to you?" in an impressed way and then if he seemed chatty, ask tactfully if he thought
    maybe in that case a new one would be a good idea..

    But if he was RLJing, he might not have been open to conversation...
  8. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    The Snell Foundation say you should change every five years. As they are pro helmet and not trying to sell you anything I think they can be trusted on this one.

    As you are not trying to open a debate about compulsory helmet use, I will keep my usual comments about helmet and fashion to my self, wouldn't want to go up setting any more people just at the present;)
  9. OP

    johnr Über Member

    thanks all, especially Hairy Jock for his self-restraint
  10. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    5 years sounds about right if used daily !
  11. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    I think that if it's worn daily or almost, then the straps etc. would be quite worn in five years or less, so that would also be a sign to get a new one!!!!!!!!
  12. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Miserable Old Bar Steward

    Slightly O/T but..
    Many years ago, I was 19, after coming off my motorbike, my mate came to visit me. Sitting on the back door step he says there's a party in Moseley tonight (15 miles away) wanna go ? I'll take you on the pillion.
    Well, says I, would love to but I aint got a helmet. So we sit there and ponder over a bottle of beer and a couple of tabs about what to do.
    I then spot my younger brothers football on the grass, I look at me mate, he looks at me, we run into the shed, out with the stanley knife and voila! No more football but a very trendy black and white patterned crash helmet !
    Totally stupid, totally irresponsible and if my son had done the same I'd have caved his skull in for him myself.
    It was a good party though !! :ohmy: :ohmy: :biggrin: :biggrin:
  13. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
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