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Helmet Replacement - how often>

Old 02-02-18, 04:28 PM
  #26  
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A long time ago somebody suggested that bicycle helmets should be replaced every 5 years. I kind of subscribe to that time frame. My problem is that I neither record or remember when I buy things like bicycle helmets so I never really know when 5 years is up.
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Old 02-02-18, 05:18 PM
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I replace my helmets, I alternate two, when the guts wear out or the shells crack or I just plain get sick of them. I ride 6,000 miles a year so 2-3 years is normal before I get sick of them or they're worn out.
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Old 02-02-18, 05:31 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
First helmet, inner pads wore out, mfr. completely unhelpful and pads absolutely unavailable, so helmet was replaced. Lasted about 18 months.
Second helmet was some kind of bee magnet, so it was prematurely retired and given away. Wore for maybe 6 months.
Third helmet (bee proof!) bounced off the ground with my head in it, replaced. Just under 8 months.
Current helmet offers no bee protection, but fits better than any I've worn before. It should remain in service until the next catastrophe.

I will never, ever get to the point where I wonder if I should replace a helmet because it's getting old. Would be nice to get the average lifespan up over a year, though.

You old enough to post here? LOL


I just replaced my Giro Synthe (non MIPS) that was 3 yrs old and had a dent of some sort on it likely from me being careless with it with the BEE PROOF helmet Smith Overtake MIPS. I look forward to my first ride with it tomorrow.
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Old 02-02-18, 07:13 PM
  #29  
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Re. those never wearing a helmet...
Try this experiment. Take a mini watermelon, about the size of your head. Hold it head high and drop it on pavement, or, better, the edge of a curb. Note that you're not even moving.
If you're still unconvinced, ride your bike at a typical speed. Now drop the watermelon.
Still no? Do it again at your fastest comfortable downhill speed.
Step one was enough to convince a troop of boy scouts to wear helmets. Me, I feel naked and vulnerable without one.

And by the way, I've destroyed 3 helmets over about 50 years riding. Last time (at age 61) was trying to double up a jump on a BMX bike. Out cold for 3 to 5 minutes, waking up with an ambulance attendant over me. MRI showed no brain trauma, but helmet was TOAST!! Probably would be dead, or worse, without the brain bucket.

Cheers!

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Old 02-02-18, 08:20 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by GAJett View Post
Re. those never wearing a helmet...
Try this experiment. Take a mini watermelon, about the size of your head. Hold it head high and drop it on pavement, or, better, the edge of a curb. Note that you're not even moving.
If you're still unconvinced, ride your bike at a typical speed. Now drop the watermelon.
Still no? Do it again at your fastest comfortable downhill speed.
Yup, should be about as effective as those old 'eggs in a frying pan and this is your brain on drugs' ads. At least for those who think that human skulls and watermelons are similar in structural strength and that neurons are affected by drugs the same way eggs are by heat.
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Old 02-03-18, 12:49 PM
  #31  
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I wear Rudy project helmet for years and they are always on sale at the end of the season . I replaced it every 3 years .
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Old 02-03-18, 08:13 PM
  #32  
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I have a Trek helmet that’s 8yrs old. Still using it.
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Old 02-03-18, 10:04 PM
  #33  
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I replaced one after 9 years, some of the plastic was delaminating and getting gooey.
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Old 02-04-18, 11:06 AM
  #34  
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Years ago, my Motorcycle Safety Course instructor told me that if I dropped my motorcycle helmet on the pavement, it was no longer safe to use and should be replaced. From that, I always assumed the same was true for bicycle helmets.

Having said that, I have never dropped a MC or bicycle helmet on the pavement. I just replace them when they get too funky.
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Old 02-05-18, 01:19 AM
  #35  
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I've never owned a helmet. I wore one playing football.
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Old 02-07-18, 02:14 PM
  #36  
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Replace it every three years... don't be cheapskate. You'll wish you did when your thrown off your bike and are hurling head first into a parked car / hydrant / park bench / fence / small iron statue.

When I was young (12) I broke my neck in two places (from racing dirt bikes). My mom and dad could have saved a few bucks and bought me a cheap crappy helmet... but they went all out and I had a full faced Bell helmet... which at the time was a pretty Boss helmet. I do remember it saying on the box that it could withstand two tonnes of pressure... well I cracked that bad boy pretty good. Thinking back at it now, that helmet most likely saved my life...
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Old 02-07-18, 03:54 PM
  #37  
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I bought my current helmet (Giro Aeon) a couple years ago. Before ordering I checked online to see that replacement pads were available. I'm on my third or fourth set of pads, helmet looks brand new.
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Old 02-11-18, 08:49 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Replace? There's nae wrong with the one Ah have!

Attachment 597726
My wife and I had those when they first came out! The cool frat guys in Breaking Away wore them. Keep up to date with the information posted on this site and you're doing as good as you can. https://helmets.org/
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Old 02-11-18, 11:31 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by GAJett View Post
Re. those never wearing a helmet...
Try this experiment. Take a mini watermelon, about the size of your head. Hold it head high and drop it on pavement, or, better, the edge of a curb. Note that you're not even moving.
If you're still unconvinced, ride your bike at a typical speed. Now drop the watermelon.
Still no? Do it again at your fastest comfortable downhill speed.
Step one was enough to convince a troop of boy scouts to wear helmets. Me, I feel naked and vulnerable without one.
I suppose that might be convincing for those who are concerned that they might inexplicably fall down and go boom. How about the real crash issue, motor vehicles attempting or successfully occupying the same space as a cyclist. Here's the experiment for that scenario:

Take a new computer in its Styrofoam-padded box. Drop it five feet. Is it still okay? Sure, that's what Styrofoam is designed for. Now drop it in front of a pick-up and run over it. How is it now? Still think a magic Styrofoam hat does much of anything in a crash involving a motor vehicle?

Helmets aren't useless, but they do have some serious constraints on what they can do. Oddly, I meet very few people who wear approved motoring helmets when they are in motor vehicles, in spite of the fact that those helmets do actually work in car crashes and motorists are 12% more likely, per hour, of suffering traumatic brain injury.
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Old 02-15-18, 10:44 AM
  #40  
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The Snell Foundation recommendation for motorcycle helmets (I guess it could apply to bike helmets as well):

Why should you replace your helmet every five years?
The five-year replacement recommendation is based on a consensus by both helmet manufacturers and the Snell Foundation. Glues, resins and other materials used in helmet production can affect liner materials. Hair oils, body fluids and cosmetics, as well as normal "wear and tear" all contribute to helmet degradation. Petroleum based products present in cleaners, paints, fuels and other commonly encountered materials may also degrade materials used in many helmets possibly degrading performance. Additionally, experience indicates there will be a noticeable improvement in the protective characteristic of helmets over a five-year period due to advances in materials, designs, production methods and the standards. Thus, the recommendation for five-year helmet replacement is a judgment call stemming from a prudent safety philosophy.
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Old 02-15-18, 10:59 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
The Snell Foundation recommendation for motorcycle helmets (I guess it could apply to bike helmets as well):

Why should you replace your helmet every five years?
The five-year replacement recommendation is based on a consensus by both helmet manufacturers and the Snell Foundation. Glues, resins and other materials used in helmet production can affect liner materials. Hair oils, body fluids and cosmetics, as well as normal "wear and tear" all contribute to helmet degradation. Petroleum based products present in cleaners, paints, fuels and other commonly encountered materials may also degrade materials used in many helmets possibly degrading performance. Additionally, experience indicates there will be a noticeable improvement in the protective characteristic of helmets over a five-year period due to advances in materials, designs, production methods and the standards. Thus, the recommendation for five-year helmet replacement is a judgment call stemming from a prudent safety philosophy.
I was with you until the last line (bolded). The bicycle "helmet" is surely degraded. Liners, straps, cosmetically. Safety, no with even a little bit of repair of those issues there's no reason to expect a performance degradation.
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Old 03-06-18, 02:00 PM
  #42  
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I replace mine every three to four years. Better safe than sorry. And I buy them on sale, so don't spend tons of money.
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Old 03-09-18, 12:40 PM
  #43  
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The three tell-tale signs that you need a new helmet:
Crumbly or brittle foam bits.
Cracked plastic shell bits.
Frayed straps.

I rotate down, so when my commuter helmet needs to be replaced, I get a new "best" helmet and use my old "best" helmet as my new commuter helmet.

The commuter helmet gets banged around a lot, tossed into lockers, etc.

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Old 03-09-18, 01:44 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Put me in the camp to upgrade for:
  • Pads wearing out, or falling off... maybe.
  • New technology such as lights.
  • Still considering new technology such as MIPS (although I haven't made that leap yet).
I do have a couple of helmets, so I don't always grab the same one as I head out the door. Some have better ventilation than others. Others have more of a "commuting" design.


Two of my helmets have integrated taillights, but none are rechargeable, so they're a pain to use with the amount of night riding I do.

I think most of the hype about replacing helmets frequently is a lot of nonsense. But then again, I'm also not one of those that spend $200 or more on a helmet when one much less costly works just fine.

I check them out occasionally for any apparent structural deterioration, and if I see none, it's all good. The pads do wear out, though ... and at that point, I'll replace it.

If the hype is to be believed, MIPS is a significant improvement. Bike Tires Direct has some pretty cool MIPS helmets for under $50. I got one.
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Old 03-09-18, 06:15 PM
  #45  
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If a helmet has the certification and in good shape, I see no need to replace based on age. Why spend money when it is not necessary?
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Old 03-10-18, 08:27 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
I've never owned a helmet. I wore one playing football.
So that's where I went wrong. Shoulda worn a helmet.
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Old 03-20-18, 01:00 AM
  #47  
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Upon learning about MIPS my 18 month old helmet was replaced with an advanced technology model, $75. I’ve spent as much for a bike jersey.
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Old 03-21-18, 05:57 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Baldy1953 View Post
If a helmet has the certification and in good shape, I see no need to replace based on age. Why spend money when it is not necessary?
I don't even care if you wear a helmet - entirely your business. But, I do care if someone hasn't properly prepared financially for whatever risk you take and the rest of us wind up paying for it.

Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I replace mine every three to four years. Better safe than sorry. And I buy them on sale, so don't spend tons of money.
Smart - at our age, the brain plasticity is not nearly as good as someone much younger. Hence we get damaged easier in an incident and have a much harder time recovering. As far as that goes, I hope to die at a very old age, be in good health and being very clear of mind. That's only going to happen if I take good preventative care and do my best to eliminate risks in my control. Not having an aged helmet is one of those controllable risks.

Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Yup, should be about as effective as those old 'eggs in a frying pan and this is your brain on drugs' ads. At least for those who think that human skulls and watermelons are similar in structural strength and that neurons are affected by drugs the same way eggs are by heat.
Agreed. But go ask a neurologist or a rehab specialist how well 50+ year olds do in brain injury rehab compared to 25 year olds. The answer is sobering and will make you want to be really careful. We've had, unfortunately, far too much experience with severe TBI (traumatic brain injury) in my family and believe me when I tell you that any level of TBI something you want to avoid at all costs. Took my 19 year old son 3 years to recover and he still has deficits. A 50+ year old would probably not recover well at all.

J.

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