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Old 09-04-02, 01:47 AM   #1
Hants Commuter
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Time to replace helmet?

I've got a Specialized Air Cut helmet which is about 4 1/2 years old and in near daily use. Nothing untoward has happened to it, but I heard recently that you should change a helmet every couple of years as the materials degrade over time.

Anybody any idea on what the suggested time to replace a helmet actually is?
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Old 09-04-02, 02:55 AM   #2
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I have a policy of replacing mine every three years or so. Having said that, my last helmet didn't last that long (I wrecked it in a crash), and out here magpies like to attack helmets (I have a cut on my right ear from where one missed a few days ago).
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Old 09-04-02, 03:03 AM   #3
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You raised my curiosity here. I have a Giro lid, but a while back the yellow 'skin' if that's the way to describe it separated from the helmet. I used a liberal amount of glue around the edge and it's stuck on now.

I did notice the glue began to 'bubble' when I put it around the lid which looks like it is made from polystyrene or something like it?

What do you think? Has the glue perhaps weakened the helmet structurally?
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Old 09-04-02, 03:26 AM   #4
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out here magpies like to attack helmets
Are these the same Genus as Magpies everywhere - black and white, possibly with some blue/green iridescence? The ones that like shiny baubles? I ask because we have tons here in NL, and I have never been attacked by one. Yet.

BTW - I think they are one of the most beautiful birds we have here

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Old 09-04-02, 05:32 AM   #5
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You should replace your helmet every five years, at least.
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Old 09-04-02, 08:11 AM   #6
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Some manufacturers put date on their helmets so you know when the helmet was made. Usualy a good quality helmet should be replaced every 4 to 5 yrs as long as it has not taken any abuse.
Slainte
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Old 09-04-02, 09:30 AM   #7
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The bubling that you saw on your helmet was probably the glue eating away at the foam part of the helmet. It is recremended to not use detergents or the like in cleaning helmets due to this weakening of the foam. Just use water and a mild soap mixture when cleaning. NO chemicals!
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Old 09-04-02, 09:46 AM   #8
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How much dropping and bashing can a helmet take.
Mine is fairly cheap, with fewer, larger holes, and a moulded-in outer, so its quite strong, but I tend to abuse it a lot. Can this cause any reduction in crash performance ?
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Old 09-04-02, 09:46 AM   #9
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Gawd 'elp me!

I'm in big trouble, big, big trouble. So big, you guys had better get your ear plugs inserted.

I have to go my wife, and say "Babe! I just went and screwed up my helmet, and it was about four years old anyway, and the guys at Bike Forums say I need to replace it."
She'll say, "But sweetie, you just spent 'a' on a new bike, 'b' on new shoes, 'c' on new pedals," rising crescendo "'d' on a Camelbak, 'e' on a bike lock, 'f' on tools" now increasing in volume "'g' on maps, 'h' on a bike rack, 'i' on mtb shorts, and now," screaming "you now want to spend 'j' on a new helmet. Did I actually hear you correctly or do I have wood chippings in my ears?"
To that I'll meekly reply "Yes. It was the Bike Forums guys. They're the ones who suggested it."
"What is this?" she'll spit, "a charity or something?"

So what do I do? Buy a new helmet of the same shape, size, and colour, and hope she does not spot it?
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Old 09-04-02, 09:49 AM   #10
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gmason,

No, the Australian Magpies are quite different. I was suprised in North America as the birds they call "magpies" here are completely different to the Australian version.

Check out

http://home.mira.net/~areadman/magpie.htm

Australian magpies get quite aggressive in the nesting season and will attack anything that gets too close to the nest. One trick is to wear sunglasses on the back of your head so the bird still thinks you're "looking" at it!
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Old 09-04-02, 11:07 AM   #11
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Sounds like your stuck in a grind Bokkie!
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Old 09-04-02, 11:19 AM   #12
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Tell her about the injury factor. Or better yet. Hit it with a hammer and claim you wiped out...then you have to replace it and you may get some sympathy love.
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Old 09-04-02, 12:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by dirtbikedude
Some manufacturers put date on their helmets so you know when the helmet was made. Usualy a good quality helmet should be replaced every 4 to 5 yrs as long as it has not taken any abuse.
Slainte
I expect I would see a helmet that I liked better or simply wanted more than the one I wear now before that time limit ran out. Yet, absent any abuse, why would a helmet need replacement at all?

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Old 09-04-02, 12:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bokkie
It was the Bike Forums guys. They're the ones who suggested it."
Most of the purchases I make for my cycling hobby are attributed to the above reason. Somehow if I attribute my purchase to "expert advice" rather than my own wants and desires, I can get away with more

A lot of my conversations with my wife regarding cycling start out with, "I was reading on the bike forum today..........." It doesn't have to be true even. My wife knows that "Bike Forum" is a synonym for "American Express."

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Old 09-04-02, 12:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by MichaelW
How much dropping and bashing can a helmet take.
Mine is fairly cheap, with fewer, larger holes, and a moulded-in outer, so its quite strong, but I tend to abuse it a lot. Can this cause any reduction in crash performance ?
Yes
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Old 09-04-02, 01:31 PM   #16
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Old Bell ad:

"If you've got a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet"

not verbatim!

General rule of thumb is every 3 - 5 years depending on use.

I live in Florida, and if you leave a helmet in your car for extended periods of time, count on 3 year cycle. I don't know about you guys, but I do fall when I'm mtn biking. Most of the time there is no noticeable damage to my helmet, but who wants to take that chance? Not me, I'll spend $75 every 3 -5 years for a new one!

L8R
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Old 09-04-02, 03:13 PM   #17
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Thanks for the advice everyone. Time for a trip to the bike shop.

I think I'll adopt the approach my wife uses for her purchases. Buy first get asked questions second.

Who's doing the good helmets at the moment (sub 50 or $75)?

I seem to remember Specialized used to do a very cheap replacement scheme for damaged helmets. Is anyone else got a replacement scheme?
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Old 09-04-02, 04:57 PM   #18
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I think most major companies have replacement plans for damaged helmets, especially if you send along a written decription of how it got damaged. There are a lot of good helmets out there for $75 and under. Different people have different shape heads and the main thing is to find a brand of helmet that fits your head. Your local bike shop can give good advice on what brand is good for you and also help adjust the straps so it fits well.
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Old 09-04-02, 04:57 PM   #19
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I have one word for you, EBAY!!! I got a Giro E2 which retails for $159 for $50! Brand new and I couldn't ask for more. Turns out this guy has more and heres the link:

http://www.stores.ebay.com/ediscount...pt9/index.html
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Old 09-05-02, 01:48 AM   #20
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Sounds like your stuck in a grind Bokkie!
Nah, not really. I was just taking a bit of literary licence. In the the undercurrent there is a thread of truth in it, one where she does not understand why I have to buy these things!

I'll spend $100 on 'x' that she says I'll never use, maybe once. She'll spend $100 on novels that she'll read only once and throw away. Tricky path to ride on, that's for sure.
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Old 09-05-02, 07:54 PM   #21
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Maelstrom, like she'd fall for that... if you're gonna try that one Bokkie, you will have to supply an equally impressive strawberry on your knee or something... faking a neck injury is to hard to fake...

Chris, havent you good people civilized that place yet?
Awful frightening isnt it? or are you attempting to scare away the tourists?
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