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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you don't race but do a lot of riding and have never been in a crash, how often should you replace based on wear and tear, sunlight exposure, sweat, etc. damaging the helmet? My Giro Atmos is going on 5 years now. Helmet rarely gets bumped and I always set it down right side up...and the straps look fine. I just recently changed out the sweat pads and it feels like a new helmet.

I know some of you are already going to say, if I'm worried about it, I should just replace it..right?

But seriously, is there any data out there looking at the average life of helmets besides the manufacturers 3yr recommendation?

Thanks.
 

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Adventure Seeker
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There's been several threads about this already. To sum it up: It's foam that'll virtually last forever. The sun, sweat, and sunscreen will break it down. You need to replace it definitely. You don't need to unless you're in a crash. It's your head, so I'll keep replacing mine as suggested. Only if it fits bad/poor ventilation.
Those are the responses, for the most part, from the other threads.
 

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Just like Peanya said, some will say they have used theirs since 1995. Others will be appalled, then the debate will begin. Your life is at stake vs. the big corporation can't know when my helmet will no longer protect me.
 

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Vintage cyclist
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Considering that when I started racing ('84), the popular "helmet" of the day was a leather "hairnet", and when you trained, you didn't wear one at all.

I survived that pretty well.

I do wear a helmet nowadays 95+% of the time.

I have 2 helmets: my racing/training one; and my commuter.
The racing/training one is about a year and a half old.
My commuter is about 8 years old and is an older mountain bike helmet.
Both have excellent ventilation and are in excellent condition.

I see no reason to get a new one until one breaks, or otherwise becomes unusable.
 

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The helmet makers are in the business of selling helmets. Thus the "if your helmet is more than three years old you must replace it or you will die."

That being said, anything that starts as a liquid and becomes a solid (both the foam core and the outer shell) will continue to cure and become more brittle over time, particularly with exposure to UV and heat.

Generally, I recommend to our customers that if their helmet is more than five years old and has seen a lot of use and exposure to "consider" purchasing a new helmet. But I don't push it if their helmet appears to be in good shape.

The people that amaze me are the ones who come in with a ten to fifteen year old Bell that smells of a garbage dump and ask if we have "replacement pads" as theirs have literally rotted out.

It's sort of the same with folks who look for parts to resucitate a twenty year old floor pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was very well aware that starting this thread would cause potential debate as I recall reading threads like these years ago. That's why I was hoping that there might be some data out there on tests done on worn helmets,etc.
 

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I ride in circles..
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My next helmet will be made of unobtainium and carbon fiber so I'll never need to replace it...

I can't see why I should replace my helmet that has never been dropped or shocked in any way. I wash it regularly and the foam feels just as strong as it did 2 years ago.

I might get a new helmet in a year or 2 though... I want something the fits a little better and is smaller with more vents..
 

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"If you don't race but do a lot of riding and have never been in a crash, how often should you replace based on wear and tear, sunlight exposure, sweat, etc. damaging the helmet?"

This is baloney. The things listed above do not damage your helmet. It will provide good protection for your head indefinitely unless damaged by trauma, e.g. in a fall.

jmlapoint said it best. Aside from damage by crashing, never, unless you get tired of the color or style. Clean the straps & pads by washing them in Dawn dish washing liquid, then rinse thoroughly. The straps are made from the same material as car seat belts. I have an 9 year old car, & I've never thought of replacing them.
 

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danielc said:
But seriously, is there any data out there looking at the average life of helmets besides the manufacturers 3yr recommendation?

Thanks.
Give the man his data... seriously the lawyers for helmet manufacturer assume their average users will toss, scratch, dump, or simply don't take proper care of their helmets once it's off their head, therefore to be safe from lawsuits they recommend replacing helments every three years. They certainly don't want a lawsuit from a cyclist claiming physical damages because his 10 yr already-trashed giro helmet wasn't sufficient to protect his head on a minor crash. Also replacing them every three years is good for their sales.
 

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every two years or so

danielc said:
If you don't race but do a lot of riding and have never been in a crash, how often should you replace based on wear and tear, sunlight exposure, sweat, etc. damaging the helmet? My Giro Atmos is going on 5 years now. Helmet rarely gets bumped and I always set it down right side up...and the straps look fine. I just recently changed out the sweat pads and it feels like a new helmet.

I know some of you are already going to say, if I'm worried about it, I should just replace it..right?

But seriously, is there any data out there looking at the average life of helmets besides the manufacturers 3yr recommendation?

Thanks.
I replace mine every two or three seasons. The helmet gets skunky and the pads always fall apart. I look out for bargains and usually don't spend more than $50-60 so its no big deal
 

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The replace it every so often mantra is, I beleive, BS. My wife claims our kid's car seat has an expiration date. Yeah, set by the same people who make the car seats. Yeah, OK, I buy that.
 

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with the heat i ride in i wanted the most ventilated helmet i could find, seems to be the specialized 2D which is a preposterous price, i managed to get one second hand from a guy that didnt like the colour of his, unless it breaks i dont ever plan on replacing it!!!
 
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