If you’re like most people, when you buy a new helmet it feels great. It fits well and has all of the features that you want. But how long will it last? How often should I replace my bike helmet?
The answer depends on many factors including your level of activity, where you live, what type of helmet is used for cycling, and the quality of materials in the helmet. Here are some tips to help determine when to replace your bike helmet!
How often do you replace a bike helmet?
When is the best time to replace your bike helmet? This question can lead to different answers depending on who you ask. Some people will tell you that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how often a helmet should be replaced, while others will claim that helmets have an expiration date of five years. So what’s the truth?
As a general rule, you should replace your bike helmet every five years. If the helmet is involved in a crash or an accident then it must be replaced immediately. The EPS liner of the helmet will crush after being struck by something hard and sharp which could leave you with serious head injuries because there isn’t much protection to absorb the impact.
It is recommended to replace your bike helmet if it has been in a crash because the EPS liner can be compromised after even one blow which means there isn’t much difference between having an old or new helmet during future crashes. However, while you should replace your helmet after any accident it doesn’t mean that you should throw away your old one immediately. You can keep it in storage just in case, or use it for rough rides on the mountain bike trails when you don’t want to risk damaging your new helmet.
Bike helmets are designed to absorb impact and protect our head so they must meet safety standards during testing which is why you should only purchase a certified bicycle helmet from your local bike shop. It should have been tested and approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Snell Memorial Foundation or another independent testing organization that has high standards for safety equipment including helmets.
Once you’ve found out when it’s best to replace your bike helmet, the next step is finding a good one. There are many brands and designs on the market so it can be confusing which ones will offer you protection while cycling or riding a motorcycle.
When choosing a new helmet look for high quality materials such as ABS hard shell plastic and polystyrene foam liners which are both durable and lightweight. You should also look for a design that will provide ventilation to prevent overheating when you’re cycling during the hot summer months, so take some time to do your research before making a purchase.
There is no hard and fast rule about how often you need to replace your bike helmet but it’s best to check the condition of your helmet every year for signs of wear and tear to be sure that it will protect you in an accident.
When Should You Replace a Bicycle Helmet?
Bicycle helmets are designed to protect your head during one fall. After that impact, the helmet may become less effective and should be replaced. It is also important to know that bicycle helmets have a shelf life of about five years from their date of manufacture as the safety standards change frequently over time. In addition, if you’ve been in a serious accident with your bicycle helmet, it should be replaced immediately.
A bicycle helmet is worn on your head and should be replaced when any of the following occur:
- The outside shell has cracks, dents or other damage. It’s been in a crash (no matter how minor).
- Its inner foam lining is no longer able to absorb shock as it once did, regardless of visible damage.
- The straps have been cut, torn or worn through from use and cannot be replaced.
Lastly, it is recommended to replace your bicycle helmet every few years because the materials in the helmet start deteriorating over time, even if you do not crash while wearing it. This means that after about five years of normal wear and tear.
The durability of your helmet will vary depending on the material it is made from. Manufacturers typically suggest replacing helmets every five years or after a significant impact .
You should also replace your helmet if you are in any way uncertain about its integrity, even if there doesn’t seem to be visible damage. A damaged bike helmet can still protect but it may not provide a rider with enough protection if they were to have an accident.
If you notice that your helmet is broken or damaged in any way, replace it immediately even if it hasn’t been involved in an accident. A simple fall from the seat of a bike can be all that’s needed to damage some parts such as the straps and face pads, which are critical to the helmet’s safety.
While it is difficult for riders themselves to carry out a comprehensive inspection of their helmets, if in doubt replace your helmet immediately after an accident. Even when you have purchased a new one, always remember that all bike helmets need regular maintenance and should be replaced every five years or after any impact.
A Damage to Helmet
The first thing to look at is your helmet. If it has taken any damage, then you should replace it immediately. Be aware of the signs of a damaged bike helmet: cracks in the foam or shell, dents on either side where the head would be pressed against hard surfaces and straps that are frayed or broken off completely. If you notice anything like this, it is time to replace your bike helmet.
Another sign would be if the age of your bike helmet has exceeded five years since its date of purchase – helmets only last for around five years before they need replacing due to degradation and wear-and-tear that can actually make them less effective at protecting you.
It is important to look at these signs because a damaged helmet can no longer protect you from the type of accident that it was designed for. If your bike helmet has been through an impact, then there is a chance that its protective capabilities have been diminished and need replacing as soon as possible – this goes for any damage caused by accidents with other objects such as skateboards or accidentally dropping the helmet.
If the helmet is too loose or too tight, it’s not providing proper protection. If you can move your head around with no resistance and if there are gaps between your forehead and the front of the helmet, then it doesn’t fit properly. Helmets should also sit one to two finger widths above your eyebrow line for a secure fit.
Helmet preventative care
First, get a good wash. Wipe your helmet with warm water and mild soap to remove any dirt or sweat. After that, dry the inside of it using paper towels to prevent bacteria growth. If you’re satisfied with how clean it is, use something like rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball in order to sanitize the inside of it.
After this, inspect your helmet to see if there are any cracks or holes that need fixing and buy new pads and straps as necessary. If you’re not an expert at sewing, we suggest having a professional do the work for you since they usually know how to fix up helmets so they don’t lose their safety features.
After you’ve properly taken care of your helmet, make sure to put it away correctly. A good way to store a bike helmet is in an open-rack so the air can get around it and help dry out any sweat or moisture that might have built up during a ride. Also, avoid leaving helmets stored for long periods of time in a hot garage, as heat can damage the material inside.
Do bike helmets degrade?
Yes, bike helmets do degrade over time! It’s important that you replace your helmet every three to five years if you ride regularly. If not, the materials inside will start to break down and lose their protective properties which render them useless in an accident.
Avoid buying a used or secondhand helmet since it may have been passed around already and the inside might not be in good condition.
Do bike helmets need to fit correctly?
Yes, it’s important that your helmet fits you well! Make sure that when it’s propped on top of your head, two inches above your eyebrows, it doesn’t rock back-and-forth or side-to-side. Also, when you shake your head back and forth it shouldn’t move too much either.
Another way to ensure a good fit is by putting on the helmet and making sure there are no pressure points so it won’t be uncomfortable during a ride. It might take some time for you to find one that fits perfectly but it’s well worth the effort.
Do bike helmets expire?
Yes, bike helmets expire! The materials inside degrade over time so it’s important to replace your helmet after three-to-five years. If you ride regularly the padding and straps will wear out as well which is a good sign that you need a new one.
It might be tempting to buy a used or second hand helmet since the price of new ones can be pretty steep, but make sure you inspect it first to see if there are any cracks or holes. A helmet with a hole is useless since the material inside won’t offer adequate protection in an accident.
Another way to tell if your old bike helmet has expired is by looking at its color which will likely start to fade.
How long do bicycle helmets last?
Bicycle helmets last about three to five years. Regular bike riders should replace their helmet every three-to-five years since the inside materials will start to break down and lose their protective properties. Keep in mind that if you ride regularly, your padding and straps might need replacement as well which is a good sign it’s time for a new one.
It’s also important to inspect your old helmet for any cracks or holes and avoid buying a used helmet since it might not offer adequate protection in an accident. If you’re looking at the color of the shell, you will notice that it starts to fade as well which is another sign that your bike helmet has expired.
What are signs my bike helmet is compromised?
Bicycle helmets are designed to absorb the force of an impact, protecting your head during a fall. When you wear out this protection by wearing through it or compromising its integrity with exposure to intense heat then any hits will damage your scalp and skull. Signs that indicate when it is time for a new helmet include: cracks in the foam lining after a fall, the outer shell being damaged from a crash or impact and any visible tears in the straps.
Useful Video: How often should you replace your helmet?
Your bike helmet is a crucial part of your safety equipment. For this reason, you want to make sure that it fits properly and works as intended. Replacing your current bicycle helmet has many benefits: It will work for you even better than before with the new shape design. Moreover, it also meets all necessary standards and is perfectly safe on your head.
It is recommended that you replace your helmet every three to five years in order for it to work in its full capacity and keep you safe in case of an accident. After this period, the protection has not significantly deteriorated yet but there are some signs showing that it’s time for a replacement: The material starts deteriorating (e.g. the shell of your helmet loses its rigidity), the padding becomes dirty or damaged, you are not able to adjust it properly anymore.
Most importantly, after five years of use your bike helmet is most likely outgrown by an adult and thus can no longer protect you adequately. As a result, there’s every reason for concern that if you don’t replace it immediately you might sustain some head injuries in case of an accident.