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  1. #1
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    Helmet investment and longevity

    Just invested in a new helmet (Specialized Echelon). Although for some, $70 may not be big bucks for a helmet, but for my budget it's up there. So I'm wondering about the best ways to keep it in good condition over many future years.

    What concerns me most is the forehead sweat that inevitably occurs on long rides or cycling events. Do people wear some kind of head band inside the helmet to prevent the helmet support material from constantly getting soggy from sweat? Or are these supports washable or replacebable?

    Or is this all a non-issue? Any thoughts appreciated.
    Last edited by Richard8655; 05-20-13 at 07:13 PM.

  2. #2
    apocryphal sobriquet J.C. Koto's Avatar
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    I rinse out my helmet, foam, support, straps and all with cool water every now and again to get out the funk. Every few days if it's cool out, after every ride if I'm sweating, but that's just me. They get this nasty, salty-vinegar crap and pointy salt crystals, the straps get stiff and it's just gross...

    Please realize any kind of damage to the helmet will reduce the rated safety factor, so periodically look for any cracks, pits, delamination, etc. and replace as necessary. Also, helmets have a shelf-life that expires after a certain length of time (like three years of use or something, check with Specialized for specifics) and replacement is suggested after that period.

    If you ever do fall and hit your head the helmet is done, finito, used-up, whatever you want to say. Time to get a new one no matter now little damage you think you did to the helmet. Thank the now-useless lid for it's service and consider yourself lucky you avoided further injury. Here's to never having that happen though Hopefully it will have an uneventful life doing nothing more than messing up your hair if you still have it, or giving you a weird tan if you're bald.

  3. #3
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    Very thoughtful and informative reply.... thanks much. Didn't realize a shelf life existed for helmets. Just got rid of a 20 year old Giro (replaced by the Echelon), only because the support material was falling apart from age. The occasional cold water rinse makes sense and glad to know it works well.
    Last edited by Richard8655; 05-20-13 at 07:10 PM.

  4. #4
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    One of the hardest things I have seen my friends do is use a helmet after a crash. Even if money is tight buy a new one afterward. How much is your head worth?

    As for cleaning it. I also rinse it out but not as much as I should. I do not have any care tips to share, but am interested in learning.

  5. #5
    apocryphal sobriquet J.C. Koto's Avatar
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    I almost forgot, I think Specialized has a program where if (BIG IF HERE) you're in an accident they'll give a discount on a replacement helmet. You really might want to look into this, especially if you have a minor fall and think "Ehhh, the helmet looks fine. Too expensive to have to get a new one for such a little fall"...

    Although I'm not positive about this, and I've never met anyone who has broken a helmet and had it replaced with such a program, save your sales receipt in a safe place if you still have it just in case.
    Last edited by J.C. Koto; 05-20-13 at 07:05 PM. Reason: broken not "broned"

  6. #6
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Helmets aren't an investment - they're an expense. So's a bicycle, bicycle clothing and the food you'll need to eat to keep your energy up. Helmets and bicycle clothing all comes with washing and care instructions. Follow them and you'll minimize the cost per year. Higher end helmets have replacable liners and interiors made with bacteria inhibiting materials.

    But in the long run getting exercise and having fun should be the priority.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    When to replace a helmet: http://www.bhsi.org/replace.htm

  8. #8
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    Investment in the sense that one would invest in one's health. Call that an expense, but I think of it as investment.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    If you hope to be able to later sell it for more than you paid, then it is an investment.

  10. #10
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    Regular sweat bands are too thick to be comfortable under a helmet. I use HALO brand sweat bands which are made for use under helmets. They are thin, but block sweat from coming down into your eyes. Very effective. I have worn aviation and motorcycle helmets which were very effective and comfortable, but I find bicycle helmets not so good. I still wear one, but I don't like it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    If you hope to be able to later sell it for more than you paid, then it is an investment.
    I don't think investments in health are like commodities to be bought and sold. And the terminology I used isn't the point of my post.

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    You should change the helmet before the pads wear out.

    Having said that if you want to run the helmet for a second set of pads then buy the spare set now. It is certain that Specialised (or any manufacturer) will change them every few models and by the time the first ones are worn out matching spares will no longer be available.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    I have a helmet which came with a second set of pads. I wore out the first set, installed the second set, and it is still in use.

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    You can take a loss on an investment but in this case the resulting health improvements are a net gain. I'm with Richard8655.
    I change out my helmet when either of the following are true: A few years old or I am bored of it. I just changed to a Specialized S4 from a Sweep.
    I do like to keep the old helmet around as a backup. I figure an old helmet is better than no helmet should I destroy my current brain bucket or a part breaks on it.
    Ex: my sweep had the retention system break so I switched to my Furio while I was waiting for the part.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard8655 View Post
    Investment in the sense that one would invest in one's health. Call that an expense, but I think of it as investment.
    What "invest" used to mean was to put money to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering potential profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.

    Marketers coopted the term to describe whatever it is they happen to be selling. Now anything and everything is an investment.

  16. #16
    ouate de phoque dramiscram's Avatar
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    When my helmet stink too much I put it in the dishwasher on the top rack.

    It's a trick I picked here on BF and it works great. I washed my helmet two times so far since I bought it 18 month or so ago. Never broke anything.
    Originally Posted by Leebo

    Headwind is like a hill without a soul. Just gear down and suffer.
    Quote Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
    Headwinds are hills dipped in evil!

  17. #17
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    What "invest" used to mean was to put money to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering potential profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.

    Marketers coopted the term to describe whatever it is they happen to be selling. Now anything and everything is an investment.
    Good point. Much like the catch word 'upgrade' is used to justify the purchase of a more expensive component when there's really nothing wrong with the the performance of the one currently in use!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    You can take a loss on an investment but in this case the resulting health improvements are a net gain. I'm with Richard8655.
    I change out my helmet when either of the following are true: A few years old or I am bored of it. I just changed to a Specialized S4 from a Sweep.
    I do like to keep the old helmet around as a backup. I figure an old helmet is better than no helmet should I destroy my current brain bucket or a part breaks on it.
    Ex: my sweep had the retention system break so I switched to my Furio while I was waiting for the part.

    +1 DJ.

    Specialized helmet crash replacement Policy:
    If a helmet is damaged during a crash within 2 years after the purchase date, the Specialized dealer will replace this helmet for 50% of the original purchase price. Therefore, the dealer needs an original proof of purchase and the damaged helmet.

    Not bad. This is why I like this company. The Echelon was rated best bike helmet in crash testing by Consumer Reports.
    Last edited by Richard8655; 05-21-13 at 08:17 PM.

  19. #19
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    There is no shelf-life for a modern helmet, per the safety institute (bhsi.org) link above, despite what many people believe. Of course, some sellers would like you to think there is.

  20. #20
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard8655 View Post
    +1 DJ.

    Specialized helmet crash replacement Policy:
    If a helmet is damaged during a crash within 2 years after the purchase date, the Specialized dealer will replace this helmet for 50% of the original purchase price. Therefore, the dealer needs an original proof of purchase and the damaged helmet.

    Not bad. This is why I like this company. The Echelon was rated best bike helmet in crash testing by Consumer Reports.
    Most shops now have computerized sales records, so if you go back to the same shop, they should have a record of the transaction.

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