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question on helmets

ozgti's picture

By ozgti - Posted on 19 March 2011

Hi all,

question on helmets. was told by a guy at the LBS that helmets should be replaced every 5 years or so as the foam in the helmet degrades over time. therefore it's ability to absorb impacts reduce. Is that the case or are they just trying to sell me stuff?


kazam's picture

Five years? and no crashes on the stack hat?
I'd buy a new one just because I'd be sick of the same colors Smiling

shrek's picture

pretty common knowledge that they should be replaced due to perish from sweat and sun.....

as to the time frame, wether its two years or five years....different answer from different folk...

generally every two years tend to replace.....

haydos's picture

Something a lot of people never think to do after a stack is to inspect there helmet for damage, often it will hit the ground but due to the magnitude of other injurys riders often dont even notice there helmet took a hit! Unfortunately, especially in cheaper lids, hairline fractures can appear in the foam and these can be hard to see.

If for no other reason consider all the time you drop it/bump it over the course of a year, not to mention the sweat and sun as shrek mentioned. Of all things to skimp on a helmet is not one of them Smiling i would be looking at annually if you ride more than a couple of times per week and otherwise two years at the outside. think of it as health insurance Eye-wink

Winco's picture

Think of it like this.

$125 helmet over 2years or 104 week = $1.20 per week. $2.40 if you doubled the purchase price. Not much is it for protecting your noggin and cheaper than a cup of coffee?

danielschipper's picture

Figure I'd replace my bike more regularly than 5 years so may as well do the helmet at the same time

delicious's picture

I find questions like this plain bizarre. Would you keep anything else that they had only one of, that's used on a regular basis, for such a long time? Five years is ages.
I have a lot of helmets. I replace them whenever I feel they need to be relevant to sweat, bumps and scrapes etc and I'd say each helmet lasts about two years of actual use.
Don't even get me started about the safety aspects of replacing a helmet regularly or after a stack.
However, for those with no pride or concern about themselves in regards to safety, comfort and performance, then just keep on wearing that same old shitty helmet.

Scottboy's picture

I am in the same frame of mind as you , some people don't realize once that helmet has been dropped or had a stack how easy it is too get a hairline fracture in there helmet , especially just chucking it in the back seat or the boot will not harm it . People have too start treating there helmet like a baby , or a crystal vase if you drop it or stack it is garbage bin material straight away , it wont do much too protect your noggin anymore

ozgti's picture

well looks like a new helmet for me. just to be clear the helmet has only seen about 2 years of actual use, the rest of the time in a cupboard. i had not considered sweat as a possible cause of degradation so point taken. i do treat my helmet well but it has had a few bumps from over hanging branches. haven't had a stack yet that actually hit the helmet. anyway has anyone got recommendations on a good helmet. i'm looking at the 661 recon.

hawkeye's picture

The ReCon is quite a nice-looking helmet, but it struck me that the ventilation around the forehead is limited by the thickness of the material back of the visor. The Fox Flux has much better ventilation.



jonob's picture

I have the recon at the moment. I have to agree with you hawkeye there isn't enough vents around the front. It fits my head perfectly and the adjustments are easy. All the straps and visor are solid and don't vibrate or bang around on some of the rough stuff. Try them both before you buy because every head is different.

Floydo's picture

I have a Fox Flux for the last couple of years, love the extra protection. But the air flow and vents aren't that great.
Fox has a new helmet coming out soon, same protection but with better vents (2more) and air flow, more designed for x country rather than all mountain. 100grams lighter as well.

......'s picture

flux is ordinary. To heavy and to hot. Also visor is very poorly placed. My flux has been relogated to commuter duties or when no1 helmet needs replacing.

ae93gti's picture

begs the question, what is no1 helmet?

Christoffa's picture

Having ridden Bikes, Motor Bikes, Kayaked and Rock climb for over 30years the best helmet is the one that fits you best not the one that looks the coolest, go into the shop and try them on lots of them you will know which one fits your head the best, then it is matter of can the lining be removed for washing or replaced


Flynny's picture

Got a Flux and love it for my general purpose trail riding.

and a lighter weight Limar 910 for commuting and XC racing.

hawkeye's picture

Less weight is good. Will have hit 2 years old with my Flux in December, hopefully the new model will have come to market by then.

haydos's picture

My personal recommendation, use it and love it, so light and comfortable, i will be buying another when my current one dies Smiling

Hop fiend's picture

sometime this year will buy another one

leopafe's picture

This was taken from MET's catalog:

"We are often asked 'For how long is a helmet safe?', or 'how often should I replace my helmet?”' Until now it has been difficult to find any reliable figures to help answer these queries. MET have now developed a series of tests which are conducted on aged helmets to determine a 'best before' date (unless the helmet is involved in an accident. In that case it should be replaced immediately.). The results indicate that, if used properly accordingly to our owner manual, our helmets will still do their job up to eight years after they have been made. Not only is that good news for the customer, it’s great news for the environment!"


craked's picture

MET for me too although I also have a Limar and I use both (not at same time) but like the MET best.

ozgti's picture

Thanks for the info guys. the new Fox Striker look good. I thought about the Flux but was put off a bit by the weight. If the new one is 100g lighter then i might hold off and wait til May. will check out the Met in the mean time.

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