Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB general

How often should you replace your helmet?

Ho humHo hum Posts: 236
edited March 2010 in MTB general
I seem to recall reading somewhere that you should replace your MTB helmet every 3 years because the UV light will weaken the structure over time.

This of course could well be marketing BS distributed to make us buy a replacement helmet every so often, but it does worry me slightly that the protection around my head is slowly decreasing over time.

Any thoughts?
«1

Posts

  • jay12jay12 Posts: 6,306
    i replace mine if it brakes or if i grow out of it
  • yes every 3 years and replace if theres any damage :)


    Cannondale F6

    'Ow that hurt'
  • Ho humHo hum Posts: 236
    jay12 wrote:
    i replace mine if it brakes or if i grow out of it

    So you reckon it is marketing BS then?

    Luckily I have never broken mine and my head is already XL so I don't want it to grow any more thank you lol!

    Just stick with what I have then.
  • TorresTorres Posts: 1,266
    mtbrambo wrote:
    yes every 3 years and replace if theres any damage :)
    Is right.
    No marketing about it, helmets start to degrade from the day they are made; and for the sake of 35 quid every 3 years i think it's worth it... seems cheap when you think about what it's protecting.
    What We Achieve In Life, Echoes In Eternity
  • Aldo001Aldo001 Posts: 251
    ^ This
    Off topic... where abouts are you inn West Lothian? I'm in linlithgow
    do u know of any good places around here to ride?
    :)
  • JamesBrckmnJamesBrckmn Posts: 1,360
    when ever a manufacturer tells me to
  • lawmanlawman Posts: 6,868
    god jay get the english sorted breaks not brakes :roll: :P i think my zen is coming up for three years old, but im not going to replace it as new versions cost 125 quid :shock: ive got mates that have helmets for over 5 years and they still work, my dad hit a tree at full pelt face first, his helmet is seven years old and it it is still intact and working fine. luckily i wont grow of it. well my head wont, but my hair will :lol:

  • @lawman - might be time to head to your local branch of Evans - if you've got one - very quickly!

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/giro/xen-helmet-ec022287?query=Giro%20Xen%20helmet

    If your Dad hit the tree face first, I'm not surprised that his helmet wasn't damaged - how's his nose?

    If you didn't learn anything today, you weren't paying attention!
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    Why bother buying a new helmet when CRC are selling new brains so cheap
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • Yeah 3 year rule, but probably longer it is only to protect themselves by saying if it doesn't work to well. I generally crash enough to have to replace miine every 3 or so years.
  • Cadence35Cadence35 Posts: 13
    Mine usually don't last 3 years as above :D
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    i had a similar conversation with my mate the other day cos i went out and bought a new helmet and he said there was nothing wrong with my old one. i said about the helmet degrading etc and he said that it was a load of b.s. he works with polymers, foam, polystyrene etc and thinks it's all manufacturers/marketing!
  • Mc SmileyMc Smiley Posts: 252
    For the price of a helmet, it is worth it, my uni friend would be dead if it wasn't for his on saturday. I'd like to know that mine still has enough strength to pass me hitting something with just my head.
    Also he may work with polymers but I very much doubt whether it is complete Bs, everything wears out. I reckon it is more health and safety covering their backs, after that incident with fox forks and the disc brake a while back, companies can't be too careful
  • slimboyjimslimboyjim Posts: 367
    I've just replaced mine through accident, although I was under the understanding you should replace after 3 years. I don't know about you lot but my helmets pick up little knocks and scuffs from being dropped/rolling around in the back of the car/etc. All this generally weakens the helmet (yes - minutely I know) and was, IMHO, the reason why you should replace relatively often.

    I'd say if you are confident that the helmet is in an *as new* condition you are probably alright but I'll be changing mine within guidelines thank you! Not that I'll have to make a concious decision to do so of course - I keep crashing :roll:
  • chris_swchris_sw Posts: 100
    My 8 year old helmet has plenty of scratches, dents, and a couple of cracks in the outer shell. Still holding up fine though, it had a test a couple weeks ago against a rock and passed with flying colours, I'll get a new one when I break it :p
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    chris_sw wrote:
    My 8 year old helmet has plenty of scratches, dents, and a couple of cracks in the outer shell. Still holding up fine though, it had a test a couple weeks ago against a rock and passed with flying colours, I'll get a new one when I break it :p

    How do you know it isnt already broken. What are you going to do if it fails next time you headbutt something hard. Would you ride a bike with cracks in the frame. :?
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    Ho hum wrote:
    I seem to recall reading somewhere that you should replace your MTB helmet every 3 years because the UV light will weaken the structure over time.
    3 years? Seems like a random number pulled from a helmet manufacturer's censored .

    My helmet is kept in complete darkness except for when it is on my head. This makes the UV argument go out of the water because other riders may keep theirs on a window sill for example.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • Richie63Richie63 Posts: 2,132
    When the missus goes quiet :wink:
    I'm going to blow the bank on a new build ( within reason ) NOW DONE!!
    http://i570.photobucket.com/albums/ss14 ... 010362.jpg
  • chris_swchris_sw Posts: 100
    stubs wrote:
    chris_sw wrote:
    My 8 year old helmet has plenty of scratches, dents, and a couple of cracks in the outer shell. Still holding up fine though, it had a test a couple weeks ago against a rock and passed with flying colours, I'll get a new one when I break it :p

    How do you know it isnt already broken. What are you going to do if it fails next time you headbutt something hard. Would you ride a bike with cracks in the frame. :?
    The cracks weren't in the helmet itself, they were in the plastic cover.

    Anyway, as it happens I will be buying a a new helmet! The day after writing on here how awesome my helmet was I crashed and broke it :oops: My head is fine though so it's done it's job, can't say so much about my shoulder though :(

    brokenhelmet1.jpg
    brokenhelmet2.jpg
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    I didn't know it was every three years, I've got a full face I've kept in the garage for about 3 years, I've only worn it about twice, surely that will still be ok if it's away from UV?
  • eltonionieltonioni Posts: 82
    That last photo is a good wake up call for those who don't see the point in a helmet. I wonder how many busted helmets there are to each 'rotation injury' or whatever it is that they talk about?

    Mind you, I've only just stopped using a Tioga aero lid that I bought in 92. :)
  • Shouldn't you replace your helmet every time it takes a big hit? Because even if superficially the helmet looks fine if the structure is damaged then its not going to be nearly nearly as protective next hit.
    After all, the idea is that the helmet takes the impact and breaks instead of your head!
    This is my bike, there are many like it but this one is mine
  • rudedogrudedog Posts: 523
    Its perpetuated nonsense that UV light degrades helmets - you should definately replace your helmet if it gets damaged but otherwise replace it whenever you fancy a new one.
  • Dirtydog11Dirtydog11 Posts: 1,621
    welshkev wrote:
    i had a similar conversation with my mate the other day cos i went out and bought a new helmet and he said there was nothing wrong with my old one. i said about the helmet degrading etc and he said that it was a load of b.s. he works with polymers, foam, polystyrene etc and thinks it's all manufacturers/marketing!

    Then he should know better. UV stabilisers are widely used throughout the plastics industry.

    Who does he work for?
  • nickfrognickfrog Posts: 610
    What a lot of BS.
    I am just saying that because I love my 98 Giro Exodus RL...
    It fits like an old pair of Churchs shoes (on my feet).
  • nikstar1nikstar1 Posts: 103
    I would definitely recommend every 3-4 years or so! It may not look damaged but the only way to find out is to crash and have to use it! I wouldn't like to find out that it didn't work if that happened to me!

    To be honest my head is worth the £40 every 4 years to keep it intact! I would much rather this then a painful crack in my scull!
  • CowboyBobCowboyBob Posts: 977
    Ever two or three years. Manly due to getting knocked of my bike or taking a big spill every 2 or 3 years. :lol:
    Cowboy by name, Cowboy by nature ...... and sick \'n\' twisted to boot!!!

    http://www.wetshovel.vox.com

    http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/1081352/
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    The 3 year thing is very questionable and has to be a H&S cover-their-ars* thing.

    If the polymers degrade regardless of wear and tear then we would need to know the date on which the helmet was manufactured - god knows how long a helmet sits on a shelf before its bought.

    If it degrades because of exposure to the elements, sweat, etc then this is going to be very variable depending on how often someone rides, how they store the helmet, the weather and places they ride in. In this context, presumably the 3 years has to be a very conservative estimate of the life of a helmet.

    Mind you, after 3 years mine normally smells bad enough that anyone I ride with insists I bin it!
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    I'll bet that either in the box, or the helmet itself, is a sticker with the date of manufacture.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • largephillargephil Posts: 358
    I had my helmet about 8 years and only replaced it due to advice on here that it might be well past its best. Bought a Xen in the Evans sale. Next ride out, I hit a low branch of a tree on a night ride. Put a nice big scratch accross my new Xen and knocked me for 6. However I cant help but wonder what that bash would have done to my old helmet. I'm guessing the damage would have been more than just a scratch. :?
Sign In or Register to comment.