Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 44
  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Reno, Nevada
    My Bikes
    2012 Masi Evoluzione, 2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 2
    Posts
    7,894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    The Lifespan of a Helmet

    Do helmets, if not involved in crashes, have a predictable lifespan? In other words, should one replace a helmet "just because" periodically even though one hasn't crashed? And if so, how often? My helmet is coming up on two years, and seems fine but what do I know?
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
    2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 2

    Proud member of the original Club Tombay

  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No knocks- No scratches and nothing nesting in it? Then it will be OK. Mind you- seeing how OCP you are- a 2 year old helmet will not be of the latest fashion.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  3. #3
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Reno, Nevada
    My Bikes
    2012 Masi Evoluzione, 2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 2
    Posts
    7,894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    No knocks- No scratches and nothing nesting in it? Then it will be OK. Mind you- seeing how OCP you are- a 2 year old helmet will not be of the latest fashion.
    Yeah, but it's black so it goes with everything.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
    2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 2

    Proud member of the original Club Tombay

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    '01 Specialized Hard Rock, '06 Specialized Sequoia
    Posts
    449
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    DeeGee, Your question got me wondering so I did a Google search and this is the first site I got a hit on: http://www.helmets.org/stats.htm . It doesn't answer your question, but I thought it was quite interesting and worth sharing. Steve

  5. #5
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Englewood,Ohio
    My Bikes
    2007 Trek Madone 5.0 WSD - 2007 Trek 4300 WSD - 2008 Trek 520
    Posts
    5,090
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by swan652
    DeeGee, Your question got me wondering so I did a Google search and this is the first site I got a hit on: http://www.helmets.org/stats.htm . It doesn't answer your question, but I thought it was quite interesting and worth sharing. Steve
    This is a good site. Gear guy suggests around 5 years.

    http://outside.away.com/outside/gear.../20060504.html
    =============================================================
    My cancer updates:
    https://www.mylifeline.org/beverlyow...=myupdates.cfm

    Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
    -- Antonio Smith

  6. #6
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Naperville, Illinois
    My Bikes
    Too Numerous (not)
    Posts
    2,444
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    But you regularly need to rinse out all the pads and straps and such or they get seriously grungy
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  7. #7
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Reno, Nevada
    My Bikes
    2012 Masi Evoluzione, 2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 2
    Posts
    7,894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dbg
    But you regularly need to rinse out all the pads and straps and such or they get seriously grungy
    Rut roh.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
    2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 2

    Proud member of the original Club Tombay

  8. #8
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    My Bikes
    Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
    Posts
    7,126
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    At one point when I was racing cars I took the time to learn from the folks at Bell some of those things that would be of importance to me with regard to my helmet.

    Aside from the importance of keeping objects from penetrating the helmet and thus the head (auto racing helmets have much thicker outer layers and more weight), the point of the helmet is to slow down the sudden stop that your head makes when it strikes something fixed in place.

    The foam inner liner in your helmet is designed to crush at a pre defined rate allowing the head to decelerate at a much slower rate then the outside of the helmet (relatively of course as all of this happens in small fractions of a second) I no longer remember the exact numbers but it on the order of hundreds of g's of deceleration reduced to mere tens of g's.

    Those things which degrade the designed in "crushness" of the foam are bad for the helmet and therefor bad for your head.

    A crash involving the helmet uses it up. The foam has crushed, replace it.
    Dropping the helmet is a mini crash.
    Abusing the helmet by throwing it into an improper storage place or storing other things in it (gloves are probably ok) degrades the foam. Carrying it hanging by the strap on the back of your bike is the same.
    Helmets age and the foam dries out. I believe that the industry thinks that a 3 year replacement term is recomended.
    The UV (ultra violet) portion of sunlight degrades the foam.

    What does all this mean. That call is up to you to make.
    I keep the helmet in a "pod" when not in use. I replace helmets every 3 years or more often if I find any symptoms of damage. Am I parinoid? Possibly my attitude is colored by a past life at 200mph but I have actually hit my head harder in a very low speed bicycle crash then I ever did while racing.

    I think its cheap insurance.

    Besides I have to color match the new helmet to the new bike!!!!!


  9. #9
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Reno, Nevada
    My Bikes
    2012 Masi Evoluzione, 2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 2
    Posts
    7,894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by swan652
    DeeGee, Your question got me wondering so I did a Google search and this is the first site I got a hit on: http://www.helmets.org/stats.htm . It doesn't answer your question, but I thought it was quite interesting and worth sharing. Steve
    Fascinating site. Thanks!
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
    2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 2

    Proud member of the original Club Tombay

  10. #10
    Yen
    Yen is offline
    Surly Girly Yen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    4,105
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx
    A crash involving the helmet uses it up. The foam has crushed, replace it.
    Dropping the helmet is a mini crash.
    Uh oh... we hang our our new helmets by the straps on the bars of our new bikes. Last week I accidently bumped Hubby's helmet onto the tile floor, about 2 feet down. I told him and he didn't seem phased. I can't imagine replacing it just for that???

    I have a background in rehab nursing and I take head injuries very seriously. They are very recoverable, but many times it takes many long years of patient, hard work and even then things aren't quite the same. In some cases, young lives are ruined. Protecting our brain isn't something to take lightly. Yesterday I saw a kid wearing his helmet with the straps unhooked and hanging down to the sides. What's the point???

    I hope they continue making my pink helmet for many years to come.
    Specialized Roubaix Expert
    Surly Long Haul Trucker

  11. #11
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    My Bikes
    Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
    Posts
    7,126
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    You probably don't have to be completely parinoid about your helmet. The point is not to take it for granted and throw it around.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    '01 Specialized Hard Rock, '06 Specialized Sequoia
    Posts
    449
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dbg
    But you regularly need to rinse out all the pads and straps and such or they get seriously grungy
    That may explain the bathtub ring on my forehead...

  13. #13
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2,984
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dbg
    But you regularly need to rinse out all the pads and straps and such or they get seriously grungy
    Seriously grungy
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  14. #14
    Streetfire HopedaleHills's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Slightly Off Center
    My Bikes
    Trek 1200c, BMC Streetfire, Gary Fisher Wahoo
    Posts
    723
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Gary,

    Let's see, you don't ride hills, don't ride in the dirt, and the most dangerous thing around you are young ladies riding in bikinis. I guess I wouldn't worry about helmets.
    Tim
    Singing Do Wah Ditty, Ditty Dum Ditty Do

  15. #15
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Reno, Nevada
    My Bikes
    2012 Masi Evoluzione, 2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 2
    Posts
    7,894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HopedaleHills
    Gary,

    Let's see, you don't ride hills, don't ride in the dirt, and the most dangerous thing around you are young ladies riding in bikinis. I guess I wouldn't worry about helmets.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
    2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 2

    Proud member of the original Club Tombay

  16. #16
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    My Bikes
    Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
    Posts
    7,126
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Young ladies riding in bikinis could cause a crash?

  17. #17
    Old Enough to Know Better WalterMitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    OK
    Posts
    415
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HopedaleHills
    Gary,

    Let's see, you don't ride hills, don't ride in the dirt, and the most dangerous thing around you are young ladies riding in bikinis. I guess I wouldn't worry about helmets.
    PYT's in bikinis create a real risk of crashing if you ask me.
    Youth we got, what we need is a fountain of Smart!

    "Does it ever occur to you that I am sometimes thinking?"

  18. #18
    Senior Member George's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Katy Texas
    My Bikes
    Specialized Roubaix
    Posts
    5,293
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I wear mine to bed now.
    George

  19. #19
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SWMO
    Posts
    3,177
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dbg
    But you regularly need to rinse out all the pads and straps and such or they get seriously grungy
    I admit that I had a mental block about wearing my helmet because it fit the profile. I've got a thing about putting dirty sweaty stuff on. To the point that I was going helmetless and wearing a hat and throwing it in the washing machine after every ride or two. Somehow I finally saw the light emenating from those odd looking little skull caps and realized it was flashing "Hey! YOU! If you wore one of us under your helmet, you could wash us just like a ball cap!" And so now I do. They help with the sweat from my bald head running across my forehead and into my eyes too. They are not even hot, at least so far into the year.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  20. #20
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    My Bikes
    2003 Specialized Rockhopper FSR Comp, 1999 Specialized Hardrock Comp FS, 1971 Schwinn Varsity
    Posts
    15,071
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Giro suggests 3 years.

  21. #21
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Villa Incognito
    My Bikes
    1983 Trek 720; 1983 Trek 620; 1989 Gi Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra; LeMond Victoire; Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro
    Posts
    2,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by George
    I wear mine to bed now.
    Hmmm. Do I detect the presence of young women in bikinis somewhere nearby?
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  22. #22
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Paoli, Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    RANS Stratus, Bridgestone CB-1, Trek 7600, Sun EZ-Rider AX, Fuji Absolute 1.0, Cayne Rambler 3
    Posts
    9,980
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Helmet manufacturers & bike shops have been pushing a theory that the foam outgasses and becomes more brittle & less shock absorbent after about 3 years.

    I think this claim is a good subject for a Penn & Teller B*llsh*t program. I've seen studies that showed no significant degradation in tests conducted on 7 year old helmets. I wouldn't be surprised if they were still just fine after 10 or more years. As long as they have no significant damage.

    I'm sure everyone would love to sell you a new bike helmet every 3 years. And why not one shaped like curved lightning bolts for $150?
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  23. #23
    Old Enough to Know Better WalterMitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    OK
    Posts
    415
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by George
    I wear mine to bed now.
    Tell her not to be so dern rough!
    Youth we got, what we need is a fountain of Smart!

    "Does it ever occur to you that I am sometimes thinking?"

  24. #24
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Penniless Park, Fla.
    My Bikes
    Merlin Fortius, Specialized Crossroads & Rockhopper, Serotta Fierte, Pedal Force RS2
    Posts
    2,760
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman
    I admit that I had a mental block about wearing my helmet because it fit the profile. I've got a thing about putting dirty sweaty stuff on. To the point that I was going helmetless and wearing a hat and throwing it in the washing machine after every ride or two. Somehow I finally saw the light emenating from those odd looking little skull caps and realized it was flashing "Hey! YOU! If you wore one of us under your helmet, you could wash us just like a ball cap!" And so now I do. They help with the sweat from my bald head running across my forehead and into my eyes too. They are not even hot, at least so far into the year.
    +1 here...

    - head smegma killed my next to last helmet, but now my helmets will last a *LOT* longer...

    - i slip a cycling cap underneath and the pads stay nice and clean! if i wear my Giro Atmos i wear the cap forward... if i wear my Bell Metropolis (which has a bill), i wear the cap backwards and have built-in neck sun protection!

    :-)

  25. #25
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    20,924
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    REQUIRED READING! - MOST OF WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD OR READ ABOUT HELMETS IS STRAIGHT BS

    http://www.helmets.org/replace.htm

    Newer helmets from the late 1980's and the 90's may or may not need replacement. First look to see what standards sticker is inside. If it's ASTM or Snell, the helmet was designed to meet today's standards for impact protection, and you may even find that Consumer Reports tested it in one of their articles. Most manufacturers now recommend that helmets be replaced after five years, but some of that may be just marketing. (Bell now recommends every three years, which seems to us too short. They base it partially on updating your helmet technology, but they have not been improving their helmets that much over three year periods, and we consider some of their helmets since the late 1990's to be a step backwards, so we would take that with a grain of salt.)

    Deterioration depends on usage, care, and abuse. But if you ride thousands of miles every year, five years may be a realistic estimate of helmet life. And helmets have actually been improving enough over time to make it a reasonable bet that you can find a better one than you did five years ago. It may fit better, look better, and in some cases may even be more protective. For an alternate view that agrees with the manufacturers, check out the helmet FAQ of the Snell Foundation. Snell knows a lot about helmets and their views on this subject should not be dismissed lightly, even though we disagree with them. Occasionally somebody spreads rumors that sweat and ultraviolet (UV) exposure will cause your helmet to degrade. Sweat will not do that. The standards do not permit manufacturers to make a helmet that degrades from sweat, and the EPS, EPP or EPU foam is remarkably unaffected by salt water. Your helmet will get a terminal case of grunge before it dies of sweat. UV can affect the strength of the shell material, though. Since helmets spend a lot of time in the sun, manufacturers usually put UV inhibitors in the plastic for their shells that control UV degradation. If your helmet is fading, maybe the UV inhibitors are failing, so you probably should replace it. Chances are it has seen an awful lot of sun to have that happen. Otherwise, try another brand next time and let us know what brand faded on you.

    At least one shop told a customer that the EPS in his three year old helmet was now "dried out." That is highly unlikely, unless the EPS is placed in an oven for some period of time and baked. The interior of your car, for example, will not do that, based on helmets we have seen and at least one lab crash test of a helmet always kept in a car in Virginia over many summers. EPS is a long-lived material little affected by normal environmental factors. Unless you mistreat it we would not expect it to "dry out" enough to alter its performance for many years.

    In sum, we don't find the case for replacing a helmet that meets the ASTM or Snell standards that compelling if the helmet is still in good shape and fits you well.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 04-20-07 at 05:26 PM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •