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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read somewhere that, if you don't crash, you should be changing your helmet every 2-3 years, if you ride 3-4 times a week in the summer. Does this sound right? And, what do people do with their old helmets?
 

· Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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No. It's styrofoam #6 plastic Polystyrene

Plastic doesn't go bad. There's a reason styrofoam doesn't degrade. Whoever told you that wants to increase their helmet sales.

Replace after a crash or for fashion sake.
 

· Potatoes
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I change my helmet every 3-4 years because:

  1. I ride a lot: commuting almost every day, road rides and MTB rides. This exposes the helmet to UV rays, sweat and whatever crap I put in my hair; which over time make the foam harder and less absorbent. I don't believe that it's just marketing 'hype.'
  2. I already have to change pads every year, straps start wearing out, the in-moulding starts coming away from the foam and the helmet has a special stink that no washing can get rid of.
  3. Part technological, new helmets are often made lighter with more ventilation. Although I would probably never notice it (since I'm used to using these type of helmets).
  4. I sometimes may not be aware after a crash if I've hit my head, so it's just part insurance
  5. I get bored of the same design after a while (read: fashion wh*re)

The way I see it, is that spending $250 per 3/4 years on a helmet that's light, cool and comfy is far better than ending up in hospital for all the wrong reasons. Just look at Masi Guy. You are more likely to recover from a hit to the head with a good and recent helmet.
 

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The styrofoam liner that is used in helmets to absorb any impact breaks down over a period of time. Thus you should replace your helmet eventually. What the general timeframe should be based on average use is probably a question that should be asked of the particular helmet manufacturers. I do know that being exposed to excessive heat such as being stored in a hot garage over the summer months speeds up the degradation process. I am not sure about bicycle helmets but there has been quite a bit of research put out by motorcycle helmet manufacuturers that indicate that they should be replaced about every 5 years or so. Bicycle helmets may have different recommendations. Also the safety standards that helmets must meet and pass for certification (Snell, DOT) are updated about every 5 years . You can read what you want into the helmet manufacturers recommendations but personally I don't want to be involved in a crash with a helmet that is not going to give you the maximum protection due to degradation over time. Helmets are relatively cheap to replace when compared to hospital stays.
 

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shinsplints said:
I've read somewhere that, if you don't crash, you should be changing your helmet every 2-3 years, if you ride 3-4 times a week in the summer. Does this sound right? And, what do people do with their old helmets?
i don't know how often to replace, but there are date stamps in the new helmets
for some reason.
 

· Shirtcocker
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shinsplints said:
I've read somewhere that, if you don't crash, you should be changing your helmet every 2-3 years, if you ride 3-4 times a week in the summer. Does this sound right? And, what do people do with their old helmets?
Every 5 years or so...I still use my old helmet for mountain biking.
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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"What the general timeframe should be based on average use is probably a question that should be asked of the particular helmet manufacturers."

LOL! That's like asking a barber if you need a hair cut. Well, of COURSE you do!
 

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majura said:
I change my helmet every 3-4 years because:
The way I see it, is that spending $250 per 3/4 years on a helmet that's light, cool and comfy is far better than ending up in hospital for all the wrong reasons. Just look at Masi Guy. You are more likely to recover from a hit to the head with a good and recent helmet.

$250? I just ordered one for $30, and it was the model highest rated by Consumer Reports.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
jhamlin38 said:
every other year. but the bell furio is pretty comfy and the fit dials perfectly. may by two and just sit on them.
Buying more than one and then sitting on them until one wears out sounds like a good idea. But will the one that you sit on also degrade somewhat due to time? Should I be looking at brand-new helmets from 2005 (great prices at Performance!) or should I stick to the newest models? I've had my current helmet since 2005 and I didn't ride all that much last summer -- I use my previous helmet for just riding around the neighbourhood so this one is strictly for road riding. But I'd like to change it because even though I've changed the pads, it really stinks.

Oh, that's another question... how do people keep their helmets from stinking? I used to just run the helmet under water and squeeze out the excess and let the helmet air dry inside the house, but recently, the stink has gotten so bad that I've taken to washing it under warm water and anti-bacterial soap which helps but it still doesn't fully remove the stink. I've now changed the pads and it still stinks but only when I'm really givn' 'er and my head is down.
 
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