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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read somewhere, don't recall where, that you should replace your helmet every 3-4 years. Can someone give me a good reason why I should replace my nice and expensive Giro helmet that is now 6 years old? I've thankfully, knock on wood, not been in an accident, in fact the helmet has not even been dropped from anything more than 2 feet. Can't find a scratch on it.

Thank you.
 

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( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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my bike helmet is pushing 7 years old...my skate helmet, though, needs replacing.
 

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Roadie with unshaven legs
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It's your head. If you feel that your gazillion year old helmet will protect your head as well as a new one then knock yourself out. The only thing bad about a head injury is that sometimes you don't get a second chance and that's why I will be replacing my helmets every five years.
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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Dude, it's styrofoam. From a tree hugger standpoint, that stuff never biodegrades, I mean c'mon, it's a 6 plastic! You can't even recycle that in 99% of the places in the USA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not sure that was a very informative reply. Theoretically if you want to go down that road, the newer helmets are lighter and lighter, does lighter equal less protection? Would you be safer in a 1974 Chevy Malibu or a 2009 Chevy Malibu? Maybe they'll add airbags to our helmets someday, until then I need a more technical reason why my old helmet will not protect me as well as a new one.
 

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I didn't even own a cat..
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The best thing I would say is to test an old helmet and a new helmet. Styrofoam does not biodegrade in our lifetime so it lasts longer than we do. The question we have to ask does helmet still have the same elasticity years from now than a new helmet. I say that unless there are dents and some structural damage then replace it. You can read from this website: http://www.bhsi.org/faq.htm
 

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They try to say that about my $500 motorcycle helmet too. Until you crush the styrofoam it's good until the helmet goes out of style. That is my rule.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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I'm surprised the helmet manufacturers don't recommend replacing them every season. There's absolutely no valid safety reason to replace an undamaged helmet for many years.
 

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Last November I went down hard and broke my collarbone which needed to have surgery. In the accident, I also cracked my helmet, but thankfully my head was fine.

My helmet: A SEVEN year old Giro Pneumo, that without a doubt, saved my life.
 

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brentster said:
Last November I went down hard and broke my collarbone which needed to have surgery. In the accident, I also cracked my helmet, but thankfully my head was fine.

My helmet: A SEVEN year old Giro Pneumo, that without a doubt, saved my life.
Hmm... According to the "rules", you SHOULD HAVE died...:rolleyes:
Seriously, the reasons to replace: It doesn't match with your kit/bike, it was wrecked, you really like the looks of a new helmet that just came out, that's about it I think!
 

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eRacer
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My GIRO is 7 years old and fits great.
I wear it on my ride every day.
It shows no indication of breakdown, and except for a little salt in the straps looks the same as the day I bought it.
I don't plan on changing it.
 

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It does seem like a bit of an old-wives tale designed to increase helmet maker revenue.

But, on the other side of it, paranoia is gonna prompt some to obey 'the rule'. Maybe even me. Maybe not.

It'd be nice to see Consumer Reports or somebody run some tests and find out what's really what.
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Use my Apps :)
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Yeah, I hear Styrofoam doesn't degrade. Sure. Right. Maybe not to the point we want it to in a land fill but:
  1. How many POC "few summers old" kick boards have you seen just crumble and crack at the pool. True, they haven "biodegraded" but they sure aren't very structurally sound anymore. They "look fine" right up until they disintegrate.
  2. All those cups and containers that you see on the side of the road look really in tact to me. Not. Surely the elements have had their effect. After some time out there all it takes is a strong wind to break them up.
  3. Sweat, sun, time won't "biodegrade" it but they sure can compromise it's strength.
  4. The BIG one. Just about any solvent will kill it. That includes many of the things in sun lotion, hair gels and the BIGGIE is bug spray. So if you use any of those it adds up. Just get a little deet on your shorts or helmet and you will see.
So, 3 years ? for me that's probably a bit short for me since my bald, dew wrapped, dome is probably "lite" on it but those straps peter out in 4 to 5 years. Seriously most of us here put down $100 on crap regularly. Make just one of those times a new helmet every 3-5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
MisterMike makes the first good point including examples. If I saw even a small crack or chip in the styrofoam in my helmet I'd replace it. Not sure I can argue a counterpoint other than the amount of effect from elements on my helmet compared to a a wake board or coffee cup is minute. I've yet to see a real life picture of a helmet that did degrade or crumble.

Normally yes I do spend on frivolous bike products, but in today's world I cannot afford to spend like I have in the past and I'm sure I can get a decent esthetically pleasing helmet for under $50, I would prefer not to spend even that at his time.

Good conversation though, thank you.
 

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Lemur-ing
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My current Atmos harness has started to wear out a fair bit and looks like it might snap at some points. I use a band aid to tape over those parts.

It's been about 3 years.

That said, I want a new helmet just because I want to get a new one. That way, I can rotate each and use them less.

I don't think you need to get a new one in 3 or 5 years even if the harness, straps and shell are all in good condition.
 

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The shampoo bottle says "shampoo. rinse. repeat." If the stuff works so well, why do you need to repeat? No reason, except that you use it up twice as fast, and then you have to buy more.

Replacing a helmet every three years is pure marketing.
 

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I replace mine about every 4-5 years. By that time I've replaced the pads about three times and I just get tired of looking at it. Another factor is it's often hard to find replacement pads for a 5 year old helmet. The newer helmets are lighter, have more vents and a better fitting system. However, I usually buy something on sale, usually an older model. I just bought a new Rudy Preject Kontact for $49.95 from Biketiresdirect.com.

Prob the main reason is I just want something new...
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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People got to realize just like everything else in cycling, at lot is about your own personal "risk assessment".

Some people refuse to use helmets over X years old, some people refuse to ride carbon due to EXPLODE, some refuse to ride steel since it's "old", some refuse to race because it's not why they like cycling, some refuse to buy at their LBS because of PBK, some refuse to buy at PBK because of their LBS, some refuse to visit podium girls because we're all pervs, some refuse to use Shimano because of Campy, the list goes on forever..........
 
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