When to replace a helmet- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. When to replace a helmet

    I had a little unplanned (and stupid) run in w/ a tree today. Rolling through some tighter stuff around 8mph I leaned the bike an inch or so to the left to get my bar ends clear of a 7-8" thick tree on my right and lead w/ my head while trying to counter weight the bike. Smacked it pretty well, but it wound up a glancing blow off the front right quarter near the strap stay. It didn't knock me off the bike or cause me to see stars. I do have a tiny bit of a headache, but no bruising, dizzyness, or nausea, so I think I'm clear on the concussion front.

    I've been pulling double duty w/ my Specialized Propero road helmet since I bought it last year and it's worked pretty well. Aside from clipping a few low hanging stick when I didn't quite duck low enough, it hasn't seen any impacts prior to today. It's got some pretty minor scuffing to the finish w/ no penetration to the foam in the area of impact (and picked up a little bit of bark under the strap stay) and I can't find any cracking.

    I've heard varying guide lines on when to replace a helmet, from don't replace unless it's cracked to replace any time it takes an impact of any sort. Do you think I need to replace this helmet?

    If so is there any benefit to getting a MTB specific model to wear on the trails? Most I've looked at didn't seem to be all that different in design other than aesthetics but I may not have been paying enough attention. Any recommendations model-wise? I'm generally on trails bordering aggressive XC and light AM.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    AZ
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    If the foam is compressed , misshapen , or cracked , you should replace it .

  3. #3
    PVR
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    The more recent MTB helmets are quite different than the road variety. Occipital protection is much better. Specialized makes a couple of good ones (Vice and Tactic) as does Giro (Xen) and Fox (Flux).

  4. #4
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    You're good to go as long as the foam isn't deformed in anyway

  5. #5
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    check the manufacturers website. Or the paperwork that came with it.
    My Specialized helmet came with a bright yellow card that said to replace it after any major impact. Hell actually I remember it said to send it to them, and they would replace it. Not free of charge, but for a fee smaller than the price of a new one.

  6. #6
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    when it starts to stink
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  7. #7
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    I think if you get to the point where you are asking if you should replace it, you probably should.

    Sounds like you took a whack that is making you question the integrity of the helmet, so go ahead and get a new one so you don't have to wonder about it as you are strapping it on before every ride.
    Some days you eat the bar, some days the bar eats you.

  8. #8
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    manuals say to replace after any accident where the helmet comes in contact with the ground or another object. this is simply because you can not always see the damage to the helmet. beyonnd that any visiable damage to the helmet and it should be replaced and i also replace mine once the coloring on the outer shell starts to sunfade.

  9. #9
    Semi-Hairless Sasquatch
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    It's kinda hard to tell if it wound up deforming the foam or not. Right around the impact area there a bit of a dip in where the foam meets the shell, but the shell isn't dented or separated from the foam so I can't really say if this was a manufacturing oddity or a result of the impact.

    Guess I'll contact Specialized and see what they say. I'm thinking I'm also going to check out the Vice and the Tactic for fit. They do look like they provide a bit more coverage around the temple and cover a good deal more of the back of the head than my Propero.

    Thanks again.

  10. #10
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    1) You hit your head hard enough to cause a headache
    2) There is a dent

    You need to replace your helmet if you want to be on the safe side. You should replace a helmet after any significant impact or approximately every 4 years due to foam breakdown. The whole point of a helmet is to deform when struck to soak up the force; if you strike a helmet that has already deformed, then it can't absorb impact and directs it to your head. You can use some judgement, but I would replace the helmet. You can't see if there are cracks or dents on the shell side.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  11. #11
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    Yeah, I'm definitely going to contact Specialized and see if I can get a discount crash replacement for the Propero. Also going to get a dedicated "AM" style helmet in the meantime if I can find one that fits and breathes well.

  12. #12
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    Similar to what 'highdelll' recommends...when it crawls out of the garage on it's own I know I need to get a new one.
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  13. #13
    Semi-Hairless Sasquatch
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturge
    Similar to what 'highdelll' recommends...when it crawls out of the garage on it's own I know I need to get a new one.
    Hmm, every one I have looked at has removable/washable pads. Usually do mine once a week along w/ a wipe down of the straps to remove any salt crystal build up. Definitely helps keep the funk factor down significantly.

    I was mainly asking about what criteria you would use to determine if you need to replace a helmet after an impact though.

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