• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

How often do you need to replace a helmet?

Mar 10, 2009
35
0
0
Visit site
Excuse me guys but I'm an old guy and came back to the sport 2 years ago. I'm SO old that the Cinelli hairnets were the newest thing when I quit racing around '65. Anyway, I bought one of these newfangled brainbuckets a couple years ago and I seem to remember reading somewhere that they need to be replaced every 3 years because the plastic goes bad from UV exposure or some such thing and that they should also be replaced after any crash where your head hits the pavement. I've had one such crash and even though it was only at around 25 MPH, I wonder about the integrity of the thing. So what's the reall deal? Do I need to lay out the cash for a new one now or in another year?
TIA
 
Mar 26, 2009
62
0
0
Visit site
If you fall and land on the head, even if there is no visible cracks, your helmet served it's purpose. Change it, your head has no price.

It's a good idea to change helmets after 3-5 years due to UV exposure. That being said, a customer once came in with a 10 year old helmet and I had to jump on it 3 times before it broke and I'm 175 pounds.
 
Aug 16, 2009
322
0
0
Visit site
If the helmet hit the pavement then replace it. On age, I replace probably every 5 years - but I usually either get some use out of it or drop it down stairs or some other silly thing that often leadin to the replacement. I've heard do 2 to 3 years, but I think that is based on a desire to sell more helmets rather than good scientific evidence.
 
Jul 21, 2009
2
0
0
Visit site
The SNELL Memorial Foundation, the good people that test helmets of all sorts, recommend that you replace your helmet every 5 years. They are the first to admit that replacing them in that time-span is a "judgement call" based on knowing that helmet technology can improve in the 5 year time. They aren't suggesting this to sell more helmets, they are suggesting this to save your noggin'. They do seem to have a sense of humor and recommend you replace your helmet with this statement: "The Foundation recommends that if you are participating in an activity that requires that you wear a helmet, that you avoid hitting stuff with your head. It can be difficult to readily determine if a helmet has been damaged... The Foundation recommends that if you suspect your helmet may be compromised, then replace it. If the helmet has been involved in an impact while in use, replace it."

Here is what they say about the schedule of replacement:

"The five year replacement recommendation is based on a consensus by both the helmet manufacturers and the Snell Foundation. Glues, resins and other materials used in helmet production over 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."

All of this taken from the SNELL website: http://www.smf.org
 
Aug 4, 2009
1,056
1
0
Visit site
Ok I am same but have now been back in the sport for 10 years
I change my helmet every time a new fashion comes on the market or when I get sick of the colour

When your helmet has done its job get a new one ..

By done its job I mean saved your head from them smashes we used to get when we rode into the back of the parked cars OUCH"""

The other need to change it is when a Magpie pulls the plastic top off.

Brian

grumpyphil said:
Excuse me guys but I'm an old guy and came back to the sport 2 years ago. I'm SO old that the Cinelli hairnets were the newest thing when I quit racing around '65. Anyway, I bought one of these newfangled brainbuckets a couple years ago and I seem to remember reading somewhere that they need to be replaced every 3 years because the plastic goes bad from UV exposure or some such thing and that they should also be replaced after any crash where your head hits the pavement. I've had one such crash and even though it was only at around 25 MPH, I wonder about the integrity of the thing. So what's the reall deal? Do I need to lay out the cash for a new one now or in another year?
TIA
 
Mar 10, 2009
35
0
0
Visit site
DL9999 said:
Only 25 mph?!?

Yeah, I ran over a fixter hipster's rear wheel when he decided to pull a left-hand skid just as I was passing him. I went over his rear wheel and I was haulin' *** (as best I can) on a straight flat bike path (westside highway NYC). It happened pretty fast and I went over the bars and I "thinK" I did a flip but I can't swear to it. I came down on my back first and then the back of the helmet hit the asphalt. I don't think it took much of an impact. Tore the hell outta my groin muscles though....I couldn't get on the bike for 3 weeks and even then I had to soft pedal for another 3 weeks. And the hipster? He ran like hell
 
Jun 13, 2009
68
0
0
Visit site
grumpyphil said:
Yeah, I ran over a fixter hipster's rear wheel when he decided to pull a left-hand skid just as I was passing him. I went over his rear wheel and I was haulin' *** (as best I can) on a straight flat bike path (westside highway NYC). It happened pretty fast and I went over the bars and I "thinK" I did a flip but I can't swear to it. I came down on my back first and then the back of the helmet hit the asphalt. I don't think it took much of an impact. Tore the hell outta my groin muscles though....I couldn't get on the bike for 3 weeks and even then I had to soft pedal for another 3 weeks. And the hipster? He ran like hell

If you were really doing 25mph on the bike path on the West Side Highway you were practically begging to have a crash. Those kinds of speeds are for the road.