New Helmet every couple of years?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New Helmet every couple of years?

    I had not heard this idea until I moved to CO, does your helmet really become less effective over time? I think my current one is about 3 years old and luckily has not been impacted as of yet....Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Never have heard of a "life" for a helmet, I would think it would be mentioned in the owners manual. However, if you fall and hit your head you technically should replace the helmet since it could be compromised in a way that can't be seen. I usually replace mine when there are dents or marks, but thankfully that does not happen often, only once this season.

  3. #3
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    check inside

    every helmet should have a date of manufacture; three years is what i've heard for replacement (UV rays and the like...).

    as mentioned, if you crash, get a new one (better safe than sorry).
    -
    .And following our will and wind . . .
    . . .We'll ride the spiral to the end
    and may just go where no one's been.

  4. #4
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    Most if not all helmets have plastic shells, and plastic will degrade in strength over time with exposure to UV rays. Does this mean there is a defined useful life for a helmet? Don't know. Hope that helps.

  5. #5
    Not just famous; infamous
    Reputation: coolhandluchs's Avatar
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    3 Years

    From Giro's website:
    HOW OFTEN SHOULD A HELMET BE REPLACED?
    Giro has a general recommendation of replacing your helmet every three (3) years. If you are unsure of the condition of your helmet, or whether it should be replaced, call us at (800) 456-2355 or e-mail us at [email protected] for information on a free inspection.

    From Bell's website (who I think is owned be Giro anyway):
    WHEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY HELMET?
    How often should a helmet be replaced under normal wear and tear?
    Bell has a general recommendation of replacing a helmet every three (3) years. If you have any questions as to the condition of your helmet please call us for information or to set up a free inspection.

  6. #6
    Your bike is incorrigible
    Reputation: Guyechka's Avatar
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    If you aren't needing to replace your helmet every year, then you aren't riding hard enough. Smash it, man!

    Seriously, though. I replace every three to four years, and that's why I never spend more than $50. Same (if not more) protection and I don't feel bad when I bin it.

  7. #7
    I heart the drops
    Reputation: giantsaam's Avatar
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    I go through at least 1 if not 2 helmets a season but I ride like a maniac sometimes.
    "its not how slack your head angle is, its how you ride the bike"

  8. #8
    $!/#%&!!!
    Reputation: Slasa E's Avatar
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    My helmets have lasted forever. They're made of this high tech foam stuff and they are really protective and comfortable. I can even switch out the meshy cover thingys between blue and grey to match my spandex and fanny pack!
    Do you really think I should get rid of them? I would hate to throw them away.
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    I'm gone, Mangk!

  9. #9
    Your bike is incorrigible
    Reputation: Guyechka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slasa E
    My helmets have lasted forever. They're made of this high tech foam stuff and they are really protective and comfortable. I can even switch out the meshy cover thingys between blue and grey to match my spandex and fanny pack!
    Do you really think I should get rid of them? I would hate to throw them away.
    I heard those mesh covers burn well. That would look cool riding down Hall. You should try it!

  10. #10
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    I seem to whack them out of commission way before the UV rays can get to them; I'm on my second one this season and the first one was only 6 months old when I whacked it). However, if UV rays really do cause them to break down, I wouldn't want to wait much longer than the 3 year recommendation out here in sunny CO.

  11. #11
    slack jawed
    Reputation: Cletus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IttyBittyBetty
    I seem to whack them out of commission way before the UV rays can get to them.
    +1


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    I've got nothing witty to say....

  12. #12
    $!/#%&!!!
    Reputation: Slasa E's Avatar
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    I heard those mesh covers burn well. That would look cool riding down Hall. You should try it!

    Have you seen me at Hall w/ my fanny pack and my sweet blue and silver Magna?

    In all helmet seriousness - definitely replace them if you've crashed and whacked your head or if it is getting old. Good ol' Hall Ranch (you have seen me, haven't you?) has me replacing my Giro Xen this year. The sad thing is it wasn't like I was ripping down through the rock garden and went down in a blaze of glory. I stopped to yield to uphill riders above a small rock feature that I have easily rolled over 100 times. Somehow on restarting I crushed my wheel into a crevice, compressed the fork and super-manned over the handlebars at 2 mph. Of course, I let go of the bars and put my hands out to catch myself. Despite the slo-mo endo and hands out in front I still managed to drive my face into the gravel and rock below. (Tuck n roll became impossible with my bike still firmly attached to the soles of my feet by my friend SPeeDy.) Go ahead - yuck it up. It was darn funny - once I brushed myself off, wiped the blood out of my eyes and said a few choice curse words.
    Gravel embedded into the plastic shell and head on crash = replace helmet.
    I'm gone, Mangk!

  13. #13
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    TLD recommends a new helmet every two years. Mine are run pretty ragged by then, so I generally do a new one every two years. Last season was a 3 helmet year. New XC lid every two seasons, new DJ lid every year.

  14. #14
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that UV thing is nonsense. That plastic shell over the foam might fade due to UV, but that shell does jack squat anyways...

  15. #15
    Living the High Life
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    Its the foam not the plastic that wears out. It drys out over time and becomes more brittle and will not absorb impacts as well.

    My Dad always replaced his motorcycle helmets every 4 years. 3 on a mt bike helmet sounds reasonable.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  16. #16
    Moosehead
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    funk determines turnover, if not the cracked lid

  17. #17
    Stand back
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    And if the UV rays don't get it, the heat from leaving the helmet in your car during the day will...

    I generally replace mine every year and a half.
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  18. #18
    Rolling
    Reputation: lidarman's Avatar
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    Science says plastic degrades over time due to heat, UV and such chemical processes.

    Marketing and the companies lawyers say it degrades even faster.

    IMO, Helmets, without impact, stored in a house can last 10 years or more before needing replacement. A decade is a good rule-of-thumb. This goes for your mp3s on CDs too.

    But if a manufacturer limits their liability with a date and some fine print, don't rely on a lawyer if you happen to push on what they define as a "good helmet" by testing it on a hard tree after the expiration date.

    Heck, the enviro-freaks will say they last forever if you dump them in a landfill....so maybe you should bury the thing every night.
    Last edited by lidarman; 10-22-2009 at 09:25 PM.

  19. #19
    loco
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    My foam doesn't dry out because I sweat so much in it.
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." (Ferris Bueller)

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