A lot of people don’t know when to replace their bike helmets. Not replacing your bike helmet can lead to serious injury in the event of an accident.
We’ve created a guide on how often you should replace your bike helmet, depending on how often you use it.
How often should helmets be replaced?
The useful life of a riding helmet is five (5) years from the first use. This is according to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the US government testing body. CPSC recommends replacing a bike helmet every five (5) to ten (10) years.
Do helmets actually expire?
Yes, bicycle helmets do have an expiration date. The materials in the helmet, including the foam, degrade over time. Exposure to heat, sunlight and the elements can accelerate this process.
Should you replace your helmet with no Snell, CPSC, or ASTM sticker?
The three main organizations that test and certify helmets are Snell, CPSC, and ASTM. If your helmet is certified by them, your helmet can survive harsh and bizarre accidents. You can then ride up, down, or on dirt or gravel paths.
If your helmet is not certified, it’s not necessarily a dud. It just means that it hasn’t been put through the paces of these organizations. Most likely, it will still protect you during a fall.
But if you want to make sure, just buy one with the certification mentioned above.
Should you replace your bike helmet after a crash?
Most individuals are aware that you must change a helmet following any head impact, whether it’s intentional or not. The foam portion of a helmet is designed to be used only once. After being crushed, it is no longer as protective as it was, even if it appears to be intact. And you don’t want to gamble with your safety.
Should you replace an old helmet?
According to a study funded by MEA Forensic Engineers & Scientists (2017), the foam of traditional helmets and BMX helmets do not necessarily wear out. Tested traditional helmets were up t 26 years of age and BMX helmets 13 years of age.
There’s no denying that purchasing a new helmet regularly will keep you up to date on comfort and safety features. There’s been a lot of progress with helmet lightness, ventilation, and fit. The most important improvement is the MIPS liner. This liner helps reduce the forces associated with certain types of impacts on the brain.
Should you replace your helmet if you dropped it on a hard surface?
A helmet that’s been dropped on the ground, parking lot, or any other hard surface should be replaced. The EPS foam that protects your head during an accident is designed to be used one time.
Dropping your helmet on a hard surface can damage the foam and weaken its protective ability.
Should you replace your helmet with adjustability issues?
If you have an adjustable helmet and it does not fit properly, you should replace your helmet. The straps on helmets can loosen over time.
If your helmet is too loose, it can fall off during an accident and fail to protect your head.
How to Treat Your Helmet for Maximum Lifespan and Safety
- Use a padded bag. When your helmet is not in use, padded bags protect your helmet against rain and snow, and abrasion from other objects.
- Keep it clean and dry. Dirt, oil, sweat, and other substances can degrade the materials in your helmet.
- Store in a cool and dry place. Heat and sunlight can damage your helmet’s materials.
- Replace the pads before you replace the helmet. Pads may need to be replaced as often as your helmet. Hygiene and comfort are the two main reasons to replace them.
- Keep it away from any solvent like insect repellant. Solvents can degrade the polystyrene foam over time.
- Do not remove or tamper with the MIPS liner. This liner helps to protect you during certain types of impacts. The helmet must be replaced if any part of the MIPS system fails.
It’s important to keep your helmet in good condition and replace it when necessary. A helmet can help protect you against serious injury or death during an accident.
So do not think twice about investing in a new one regularly, especially after any type of impact or crash.