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Old helmets are fine?

Old 07-16-17, 07:14 AM
  #1  
Dirt Farmer
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Old helmets are fine?

Dang, I just bought a new helmet because my perfectly good old one was 5-6 years old.

I'll know better now, if this study is to be believed.
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Old 07-16-17, 07:26 AM
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Lol. Styrofoam will last 1,000,000 years in a landfill. But in helmet form only 2-3 years.
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Old 07-16-17, 01:41 PM
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Most cyclists that I know agree with me that you should get a new helmet every 3-5 years.
I think I've been averaging 3 years since 2005.
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Old 07-16-17, 02:22 PM
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I figure an old helmet is probably better than no helmet.
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Old 07-16-17, 02:31 PM
  #5  
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Due mostly to my "superior" riding skills, I usually manage to need to replace my helmets before old age becomes an issue.
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Old 07-16-17, 02:42 PM
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Damn. Makes me wish I'd kept my Bell V1 Pro now.
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Old 07-16-17, 02:48 PM
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Thanks for posting the article. I always was very suspicious of the manufacturers recommendations on helmets, my current helmet (a Giro) is somewhere around 8 or 9 years old. Looks like I'm good for another 10 years at a minimum!
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Old 07-16-17, 03:10 PM
  #8  
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I replace at 3-5 years just because the pads are worn out and nasty even if they've been replaced once or twice
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Old 07-16-17, 03:34 PM
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I was told by a doctor in the emergency room that he recommended replacing my helmet as he was digging the dirt and fine gravel out of my ear
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Old 07-16-17, 03:59 PM
  #10  
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Like a lot of other things in cycling, should you replace by age or miles? I replace every 2 to 3 years because either my superior riding skills have tossed me off the saddle as the previous poster mentioned or I've set off the ick factor from riding/sweating 5-6000 miles a year.
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Old 07-16-17, 04:29 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
Lol. Styrofoam will last 1,000,000 years in a landfill. But in helmet form only 2-3 years.
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Old 07-16-17, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirt Farmer View Post
Dang, I just bought a new helmet because my perfectly good old one was 5-6 years old.

I'll know better now, if this study is to be believed.
Nice. Thanks for sharing.

I have an 11-year old (never crashe) Giro Xen that I just keep buying new foam liners for because I am unable to find a new helmet that fits as well.

This article makes me feel better about that.
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Old 07-16-17, 04:50 PM
  #13  
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My Bell Image Pro Fusion was made in 1996. That is my MTB helmet. I recently replaced the foam pads with rich, thick, luxuriant ones, which, like the helmet, were made in the U.S. It's like a new helmet, now. Much better.
My road helmet, The Bell Array, I bought four years ago at The Bell Store, and it was made in 2009. It only gets about 500 miles of road use during the summer, so I don't think it will de-compose anytime soon. Four years old is a new helmet, to me.
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Old 07-16-17, 06:22 PM
  #14  
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Thanks for posting. Study looks well designed and relevant.
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Old 07-16-17, 06:43 PM
  #15  
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Anybody find a link to that article that doesn't cost more than the price of a new helmet?

I think there are several issues:
  • Age of helmet (in pristine condition)
  • General wear and tear on the helmet
  • New helmet technology (MIPS, Helmet mounted lights, ventilation, etc).
Other than MPS, I can't really see much change in helmets over the last couple of decades. Perhaps slight changes in cerebellar and brain stem protection. Going before that, one has a few different designs. The old hard shell Bell helmets, the net covered helmets, and helmets such as the Skid Lids or leather hair nets. I think there have been some notes that the mesh covered and bare foam helmets perform worse upon impacts with pavement than slick plastic covered helmets (more sticking and less sliding).

I have wondered if the forehead foam is getting waterlogged on at least one of my helmets Wear or loss of pads may be an issue, but the pads only provide minimal protection. Most of the protection is in the foam.

I wish helmet manufacturers and vendors would have a 20 year replacement policy for helmet pads, at a cheap price. $1 for a complete new pad set?
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Old 07-16-17, 07:14 PM
  #16  
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The glue holding the cover on will degrade, the straps might rot out or fray. Pads or liner if the helmet has one might degrade with age. Other than that the helmet is as good now as when you bought it.
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Old 07-16-17, 08:34 PM
  #17  
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I've had mine three years. Straps and pads are getting grungy, and the plastic cover is getting cracked. Even if the foam stays good, I can't imagine getting another season out of it, there is more to it than just styrofoam degradation. I'll probably buy a new one at an end of season clearance.
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Old 07-16-17, 09:10 PM
  #18  
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I miss my old Vetta.
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Old 07-16-17, 10:39 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Straps and pads are getting grungy

This is about the point where I get a new one. I had an older Giro helmet (can't remember the model) that smelled horrible and I'm pretty sure it was the styrofoam that actually absorbed the smell since no amount of washing seemed to help.
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Old 07-16-17, 11:38 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Anybody find a link to that article that doesn't cost more than the price of a new helmet?
The posted link provides free access to the article.
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Old 07-16-17, 11:48 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
The posted link provides free access to the article.
All I get is an abstract plus a link to pay $39.95 for the article.
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Old 07-16-17, 11:52 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
All I get is an abstract plus a link to pay $39.95 for the article.
That's odd. I'm reading from an iPad and can see the article but not download it. PM me if you're interested in the full article.
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Old 07-17-17, 03:35 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Dirt Farmer View Post
Dang, I just bought a new helmet because my perfectly good old one was 5-6 years old.

I'll know better now, if this study is to be believed.
And this one;

Cheap or Expensive Bicycle Helmets
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Old 07-17-17, 06:04 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by AlexanderLS View Post
You should replace your helmet if it breaks due to a bad crash/impact. Once I went into the LBS and the shop owner showed me a helmet that suffered exactly that fate. If your softer parts such as straps/pads get worn or lost(pads) I'd also replace it.
Outside of those situations, I'm not convinced there is any need to ever replace a helmet.
Agree. Most folks don't realize is that if they've had an accident in their car while wearing seatbelts, and the belts absorbed pretty much any energy, the belts should be replaced.

Last edited by WizardOfBoz; 07-17-17 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 07-17-17, 06:20 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
Lol. Styrofoam will last 1,000,000 years in a landfill. But in helmet form only 2-3 years.
There it is.
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