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Helmet Replacement - how often>

Old 01-30-18, 08:39 AM
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Helmet Replacement - how often>

My Specialized road helmet is 7 years old and looks to be in great shape. How often should they be replaced?
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Old 01-30-18, 08:45 AM
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As soon as you start to show signs of not hitting the correct keys on the keyboard, as this indicates the old Specialized road helmet is shrinking and creating traumatic brain injuries.
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Old 01-30-18, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
As soon as you start to show signs of not hitting the correct keys on the keyboard, as this indicates the old Specialized road helmet is shrinking and creating traumatic brain injuries.
You win!
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Old 01-30-18, 10:38 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by OldFartCyclist View Post
My Specialized road helmet is 7 years old and looks to be in great shape. How often should they be replaced?
The studies I've seen on testing old, well-used helmets haven't shown any significant deterioration with age. But they've only tested helmets up to about 26 years old. So you might wait another 20 years and then reconsider in light of any new studies done in the interim.
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Old 01-30-18, 10:54 AM
  #5  
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i refuse to rid with a heknet, or any other kind of net. You won't every find me rekacing a heknet. Leave 'em in the case, I say.
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Old 01-30-18, 11:37 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
As soon as you start to show signs of not hitting the correct keys on the keyboard, as this indicates the old Specialized road helmet is shrinking and creating traumatic brain injuries.
Points for funniest
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Old 01-30-18, 03:25 PM
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I replace mine when the pads start dissolving. I suppose I could probably find more pads, but by then it's old and out-of-style, wrong color, etc. And them things are a fashion statement as much as anything else!

The selling point on my newest one is that it's easy to attach a flasher to the back. I used to worry about being invisible from behind when I was riding in deep shade. Now I'm VERY visible. My helmet is a better mounting spot than anyplace on my bike!
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Old 01-30-18, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
As soon as you start to show signs of not hitting the correct keys on the keyboard, as this indicates the old Specialized road helmet is shrinking and creating traumatic brain injuries.
I guess I asked for that! The helmet is in great shape, I won't vouch for the contents. Thanks for the serious answers and the humorous ones too.
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Old 01-31-18, 12:39 AM
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I see no signs of dain brammage. What was the question?
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Old 01-31-18, 08:37 PM
  #10  
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Wow, you can't even blame that on auto-correct.

I find it's a good idea to replace them after they crack in your latest cycling faux pas.
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Old 02-01-18, 04:18 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Wileyrat View Post
Wow, you can't even blame that on auto-correct.

I find it's a good idea to replace them after they crack in your latest cycling faux pas.
That's what duct tape is for, isn't it?
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Old 02-01-18, 05:12 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
The studies I've seen on testing old, well-used helmets haven't shown any significant deterioration with age. But they've only tested helmets up to about 26 years old. So you might wait another 20 years and then reconsider in light of any new studies done in the interim.
Boy is this interesting.

I replaced a 7 year old helmet when the top plastic started to crack. My theory, unsubstantiated by any testing mind, was that if the top plastic, exposed to sun, had started to crack, then the styrofoam liner, also exposed somewhat to the sun (since the top plastic had been cracking in places for awhile) would have tiny degradations in it not apparent to me.

But now you tell me testing reveals that helmets don't deteriorate significantly, emphasis on the last word.

All I know is that the manufacturer recommendation to replace every year strikes me as well, just possibly motivated by interests of the manufacturer beyond my well being...
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Old 02-01-18, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
That's what duct tape is for, isn't it?
No, that's for the head. Apply sticky side out.
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Old 02-01-18, 01:06 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by moth54 View Post
Boy is this interesting.

I replaced a 7 year old helmet when the top plastic started to crack. My theory, unsubstantiated by any testing mind, was that if the top plastic, exposed to sun, had started to crack, then the styrofoam liner, also exposed somewhat to the sun (since the top plastic had been cracking in places for awhile) would have tiny degradations in it not apparent to me.

But now you tell me testing reveals that helmets don't deteriorate significantly, emphasis on the last word.

All I know is that the manufacturer recommendation to replace every year strikes me as well, just possibly motivated by interests of the manufacturer beyond my well being...
I can narrow that down some for you. The UV deterioration is due to the helmet not being as thick as it was - nothing else, no hidden damage under that layer. The amount that they deteriorate is the thickness which that layer of yellow dust that forms on the outside represents, compared to the thickness of the helmet underneath it. So the emphasis shouldn't really be on the word "significant". The only reason it's not disregarded completely is that there IS a tiny degradation, but it's too INsignificant to be a valid concern.

To get to that point, where the outside styrofoam turns yellow and a thin layer then turns to dust, you'd really have to take the covering off and leave it out in the sun all summer.
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Old 02-01-18, 01:15 PM
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I stopped using a perfectly good helmet a couple of years ago. The manufacture date on it was a couple of years before I bought it - cheap, online - and then I used it for more than a few years.
Had to get a new one so that my stoker and I would have matching helmets. It's a tandem thing.
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Old 02-01-18, 01:26 PM
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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.
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Old 02-01-18, 02:01 PM
  #17  
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For some snooty roadies maybe when the straps get salt stains on them?
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Old 02-01-18, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
I stopped using a perfectly good helmet a couple of years ago. The manufacture date on it was a couple of years before I bought it - cheap, online - and then I used it for more than a few years.
Had to get a new one so that my stoker and I would have matching helmets. It's a tandem thing.
Nothing wrong with paying attention to aesthetic aspects of our sport. Though it seems trivial, I find I feel better about riding when my kit looks sharp. And that includes not wearing an old, shabby helmet whose colors have faded due to age, or exposure to UV radiation. If you are OK with a previous year's model, you can often get helmets at deeply discounted prices.

Because of my tendency to overbuy cycling gear, I always have at least 4 helmets in rotation. I keep three helmets in different color schemes for warm weather use, and a fourth for cold weather use because it is a bit bigger and can accommodate a variety of hats underneath.

As I acquire new helmets, I give the old ones away to family or friends. Because of this, to date, few helmets have stuck around my house long enough to deteriorate or get too shabby to wear.
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Old 02-01-18, 03:59 PM
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Here in the Florida sun I replace my helmet about every 3 years. Works for me.
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Old 02-01-18, 06:06 PM
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For what it's worth...

As someone above said, studies have shown that older helmets do not deteriorate as we once thought (or were led to believe). However, last May I went down doing 18 mph when I hit a crack in the road. My Bell Ghisallo helmet was about eight years old and I thought in great shape. I don't remember hitting my head, nor did I lose consciousness. I rode about five miles home with no problem other than embarrassing and bloody road rash.

Later that night I lost consciousness twice and was dizzy when I stood up too quickly. Obviously a concussion. I looked at my helmet and there wasn't a scratch, mark or other type of imperfection on the side that would have hit the road. I had a newer second helmet, same make and model, and noticed that the foam on the inside of the "crash" helmet simply looked more dried out and just looked older.

I'm now going to replace helmets every three years. Understanding that there are no guarantees, I reason that $100 - $120 every three years ($33 - $40 a year) is worth it to me. I don't want to relearn the alphabet.
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Old 02-01-18, 10:33 PM
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Bought a used bike that came with a helmet
After a couple years found one I liked
New, More visible, on sale
#1.....matches the bike
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Old 02-02-18, 09:44 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by OldFartCyclist View Post
My Specialized road helmet is 7 years old and looks to be in great shape. How often should they be replaced?
According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute the foam typically used in helmets does not deteriorate or harden over time. So I tend to keep a helmet for a good number of years. With that in mind I buy replacement pads with my helmet purchase. If new pads aren't available I won't buy that particular helmet. Seven years down the road you could be hard pressed to find replacement pads, what with all the style and "latest and greatest" changes manufacturer keep coming up with.
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Old 02-02-18, 10:03 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
For some snooty roadies maybe when the straps get salt stains on them?


After every summer ride? Heck, no!!
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Old 02-02-18, 10:03 AM
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Replace? There's nae wrong with the one Ah haff!

Bell Biker.jpg

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Old 02-02-18, 10:05 AM
  #25  
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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.
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