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When is it time to get a new helmet?(8 posts)

When is it time to get a new helmet?Ken56
Sep 5, 2002 3:48 PM
All of these discussions about helmets has gotten me to thinking about the life of the average helmet. Of course, all of us know, or should anyway, that we need to replace the helmet after a crash. But what if we have never crashed? I read somewhere (probably from some mfg literature), that you should replace your helmet every 3 years. Well, that doesn't sound very rational to me. The person riding a few hundred miles a year wouldn't put any wear on the helmet compared to the person riding 4 or 5000 miles per year. So is there any rule of thumb for replacing your helmet? Or do you just change it when you see one that looks a lot cooler (in both senses of the word), than your current one? Just wondering.
re: When is it time to get a new helmet?Tenny24
Sep 5, 2002 4:36 PM
I have never had to worrya bout that, this past year on my mountain bike I have gone through 4 of them lol. The last one I bought is a Giro, not sure what model, a cheap one and its to small for me, if anyone wants it they can have it pretty cheap, I am not asking much for it. I paid 39.99 cdn, used it once and then went back to my old one thats all beat up. The stupid guy at the bike store never gave me a receipt and they wont return it because of that! Whoever wants it can have it for $20 plus they pay shipping.
re: When is it time to get a new helmet?legs
Sep 5, 2002 5:12 PM
typically the manufacturer suggests that the foam starts to break down after three years. i replace mine every two unless i have a heavy incident.
30,000 miles or 5 yearsLC
Sep 5, 2002 5:11 PM
and not a day or mile over that!
she rotates hers everydayakatdog
Sep 5, 2002 5:38 PM
Sep 5, 2002 6:31 PM
Coach Fred Matheny saysTig
Sep 5, 2002 7:19 PM
From this week's newsletter:

QUESTION: I have not had a serious crash involving my helmet but it's six years old. Are helmets good till they break, or do they age and become weaker? How often should they be replaced? -- Greg R.

COACH FRED: Although you can still see people riding around in 25-year-old Bell Bikers, it's recommended that helmets be replaced about every three years in normal use.

You may find advice along this line if you saved the paperwork that came with your last helmet. The reason is that the foam gradually degrades due to sun, heat, salty sweat and other environmental factors, plus the bangs and knocks of normal activity.

All of these things are said to reduce the foam's protective ability in the event of a head impact. If your helmet is six years old, you're definitely overdue.

Another advantage of a new helmet is that it's likely to be considerably better ventilated and lighter than a 1996 model. It's also likely to have a "cradle" for the lower rear of your head. This improves the fit and makes the helmet more stable on rough roads.

Helmet companies come out with new models all the time. You'll often see big savings on discontinued models, particularly at this time of year as the summer cycling season winds down. Find the price and style you like, then make the investment in your safety by replacing your old lid.

Remember, the price of a good new helmet is a lot less than it costs to get you through the front door of an ER.
The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute says 5 yrs...PdxMark
Sep 5, 2002 11:53 PM
depending on usage and other factors. They also note that Bell suggests every three yrs, but say that every 3 yrs seems too often (unless you've found a prettier helmet). BHSI has been suggesting 5 yrs for awhile now, even when most manufacturers were still suggesting every 3 yrs.