Helmet Longevity

Swap notes about technical issues

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Philip Whiteman
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Helmet Longevity

Post by Philip Whiteman » 09 Apr 2013 09:38

Does anyone have any pearls of wisdom on the life expectancy of a helmet?

My current model is four years old and not suffered any collision and is visibly acceptable.

Clive
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Post by Clive » 09 Apr 2013 10:01

The Giro website recommends replacing a helmet after 3 years or after a fall or impact. Whether that is based on sound scientific evidence or is to sell more helmets, I couldn't possibly comment.

http://www.giro.com/eu_en/customer-serv ... elmet-faqs

Climbing helmets and plastic mountaineering boots usually have a 10 year lifespan unless of course they have been subject to impact or a fall. I have recently emailed Scarpa who say their boots become brittle with age and may fail during use.

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Post by jonnyri » 09 Apr 2013 10:09

I buy new when my head gets too big for my old one...


(Awaiting the onslaught)

:D

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Grogz
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Post by Grogz » 09 Apr 2013 11:39

The general consensus seems to be 3 years. The instructions with my Kask helmet says 5 years (although with caveats), so there's not much consistency.

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Andy Terry
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Post by Andy Terry » 09 Apr 2013 12:41

I can see no good reason to replace a helmet that hasn't been bashed. Are they trying to say that they 'go off' over time?

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 09 Apr 2013 13:18

Andy Terry wrote:I can see no good reason to replace a helmet that hasn't been bashed. Are they trying to say that they 'go off' over time?
I don't really have an answer to this observation by can only moot:-

1. The plastic outer shell becomes brittle with age.
2. The glues holding the various foam and shell sections deteriorate.
3. Perspiration deteriorates the materials of the helmet.

I suppose it is rather like my underpants. I don't change them until they are worn out. :shock:

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Neil Compton
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Post by Neil Compton » 09 Apr 2013 17:18

Philip Whiteman wrote:
Andy Terry wrote:I can see no good reason to replace a helmet that hasn't been bashed. Are they trying to say that they 'go off' over time?
I don't really have an answer to this observation by can only moot:-

1. The plastic outer shell becomes brittle with age.
2. The glues holding the various foam and shell sections deteriorate.
3. Perspiration deteriorates the materials of the helmet.

I suppose it is rather like my underpants. I don't change them until they are worn out. :shock:
I hope you change your underpants to wash them though. :twisted:

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Post by Dave Cox » 09 Apr 2013 20:33

I replace mine every 4 years or so (helmets!) because I commute they get quite a lot of wear from being shoved in bags etc.

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Post by Clive » 10 Apr 2013 08:33

The advice seems very inconsistent and varies widely.

Polycarbonate, the material used to make the hard shell in most cases, degrades with exposure to UV light. Some manufactures use UV inhibitors, but over time will need replacing.

Mountaineering helmets, similar cost, design and materials all seem to have a recommended 10 year life. One wonders if the "3 years" is a marketing and sales tool??

The Snell Memorial Foundation has tested motorcycle helmets (same/similar materials, different design) held in storage for more than 20 years and found that they still meet the original standard. Presumably, these were not subject to UV degradation though?

http://www.bhsi.org/replace.htm

The outdoor retailer, Go outdoors recommends replacing every 2 years.

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/expert-advi ... ng-helmets

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 10 Apr 2013 08:46

Thanks for the advice. I think a new one will be on order.

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Post by AlanW » 10 Apr 2013 12:58

Philip Whiteman wrote:Thanks for the advice. I think a new one will be on order.
Thats all well and good, but what about your pants? :shock:
"You only need two tools: WD40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD40. If it moves and it shouldn't, use duct tape"

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 10 Apr 2013 13:08

AlanW wrote:
Philip Whiteman wrote:Thanks for the advice. I think a new one will be on order.
Thats all well and good, but what about your pants? :shock:
It was my pants that I was talking about. It is about five years ago since I purchased the last pair.

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Post by AlanW » 10 Apr 2013 13:17

Philip Whiteman wrote:
AlanW wrote:
Philip Whiteman wrote:Thanks for the advice. I think a new one will be on order.
Thats all well and good, but what about your pants? :shock:
It was my pants that I was talking about. It is about five years ago since I purchased the last pair.
Just turn them around and you'll have another five years at least?
"You only need two tools: WD40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD40. If it moves and it shouldn't, use duct tape"

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Kermit
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Post by Kermit » 10 Apr 2013 13:32

Just turn them around and you'll have another five years at least?
Allright till he wants to go to the gents, then some rather dextrous manipulation could be called for.

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Post by rdleaper » 10 Apr 2013 22:33

jonnyri wrote:I buy new when my head gets too big for my old one...


(Awaiting the onslaught)

:D
I wonder how big Lance's got then? :roll: And yes, I'm talking bike helmet too.

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John Sanderson
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Post by John Sanderson » 16 Apr 2013 08:57

Clive wrote:The advice seems very inconsistent and varies widely.

Polycarbonate, the material used to make the hard shell in most cases, degrades with exposure to UV light. Some manufactures use UV inhibitors, but over time will need replacing.

Mountaineering helmets, similar cost, design and materials all seem to have a recommended 10 year life. One wonders if the "3 years" is a marketing and sales tool??

The Snell Memorial Foundation has tested motorcycle helmets (same/similar materials, different design) held in storage for more than 20 years and found that they still meet the original standard. Presumably, these were not subject to UV degradation though?

http://www.bhsi.org/replace.htm

The outdoor retailer, Go outdoors recommends replacing every 2 years.

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/expert-advi ... ng-helmets
When I took my CBT for motorbike use I was told that motorcycle helmets have different colour stickers on the rear to indicate their lifespan - and that it is sun exposure that degrades the material.

We can only be cynical about the motivation around the timescales specified by manufacturers but it's evident that plastics deterioate eventually...
It's all about the bike.

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Post by David Cole » 16 Apr 2013 12:25

Having read through this thread I heave thrown away my 12 yer old helmet
Dave
David Cole

Beacon Roads Cycling Club

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dweben
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Post by dweben » 16 Apr 2013 14:58

A friend of mine did have a cratoni helmet for a number of years... then he dropped it on the floor. It was so brittle from exposure that the casing shattered.

My giro helmet isn't quite brittle yet, but then I tend to break mine every year or two anyway! That's using your head!

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Post by keith » 18 Apr 2013 18:06

While discussing this at work today , I did inspect said head gear and noticed that mine did in fact have a crack right through the inner foam, so new helmet needed before Sundays audax .Last one was a Giro Monza.
I have noticed that some helmets don’t look as much like a mutant mushrooms as others . Is it the shape of the helmet or the head that gives this affect?

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Post by Grogz » 18 Apr 2013 19:39

keith wrote:While discussing this at work today , I did inspect said head gear and noticed that mine did in fact have a crack right through the inner foam, so new helmet needed before Sundays audax .Last one was a Giro Monza.
I have noticed that some helmets don’t look as much like a mutant mushrooms as others . Is it the shape of the helmet or the head that gives this affect?
Yes. :wink:

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 23 Apr 2013 18:34

I have just purchased a new 'Beacon coloured' helmet manufactured by the cycle helmet maker, Salice vedi italiano.

The manufacturer's recommendation on replacement is as follows:

"Since the sun action weakens all plastic materials after some time, we recommend you to buy a helmet at least every three years. If you use it quite often, you might need to change it more frequently".

Image


Plus a new pair of underpants:
Image

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Si_Walker
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Post by Si_Walker » 23 Apr 2013 20:55

Phil, you could always wear the underpants as overpants, Batman style on your next club run?

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PatBoySlim
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Post by PatBoySlim » 25 Apr 2013 14:57

Same Helmet I have Phil , very light and comfortable.
Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard

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