There are plenty of great reasons to hop on a bike, whether you are training for a race, trying to make your commute to work healthier, or just trying to get out for some fresh air. No matter why you are riding, you should always be wearing a helmet.
So, to answer the question about how often replace bike helmet, BSXInsight will dive deep into different aspects that will encounter.
When Do You Really Need to Replace Your Bike Helmet?
If you’ve been in a serious crash or if you were hit in the head during a bicycle accident, it’s probably time to get a new helmet. It’s important to check for cracks before deciding whether or not to replace it; if there aren’t any, there’s no need to do so.
Despite being intended for single usage only, repeated blows to the head often ruined the helmet’s protective component. Therefore, after being in an accident, it loses some of its former resilience and protection.
Considerable Environmental Exposure
It’s unclear if helmets manufactured in the 1990s and after need to be replaced or not. Let’s check the internal sticker to determine what criteria it adheres to first.
The helmet is built to current impact protection standards if it is ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)or Snell certified, and you may even learn that Consumer Reports evaluated it for you.
Many companies now advise replacing helmets every five years, while this may be a marketing ploy.
The regulations prohibit perspiration-degrading helmets, and neither EPS nor EPP nor EPU foam is impacted by salt water.
At the very end of its life, your helmet will be covered in sweat and grime. Nonetheless, exposure to sunshine can reduce the case’s longevity.
Manufacturers commonly include UV inhibitors in plastic to manage UV attenuation in helmets because of the time spent outdoors wearing them.
Your helmet’s UV inhibitor may have failed if you see discoloration or minor cracks around the vents.
If your helmet does not fit properly on your head any longer, you will need to get a new one. To be effective, a helmet needs to fit properly on your head where it will be worn.
If your helmet is either too wide or too small for your head, it will not protect you in the event of a collision. Because of this, we strongly advise using separate helmets for individuals with large and small skulls respectively.
Don’t use a helmet from the ’70s that doesn’t have a foam liner; get a new one immediately. All the leather “hair bands,” the Skidlid (foam), the Pro-tec (foam) of the 1970s, the Brancale (no foam), etc.
Helmets made before 1984, when the ANSI standard was implemented, simply do not provide the same level of protection as those made subsequently.
In retrospect, the 1970s had some decent helmets, however, they pale in comparison to the modern offerings. Bell Bikers, Bailens, MSRs, Supergos, and other comparable models from the ’70s and ’80s may need to be updated.
While the outer shell is excellent, the inner foam does not measure up to current ASTM or Snell criteria.
In case you’re still using an all-foam helmet from the ’80s (with a cloth cover), we advise you to get a new one. A few years ago, lab testing demonstrated that bare foam does not slide well on pavement and can cause a startle reaction in an accident.
How Often Replace Bike Helmet
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, you should replace your helmet every 3 to 5 years unless manufacturers indicate differently. Helmet technology is constantly improving, so even if your helmet is only a few years old, it may not provide as much protection as a newer model. If you are involved in a crash, replace your helmet even if it does not appear to be damaged.
How To Take Care Of Your Bike Helmet?
This is super simple. Just gently wash your helmet with mild soap and water. Any sink or bathtub will do, but we’ve even heard stories of riders taking their helmets into the shower with them!
It’s very simple. Just use water and mild soap to wash it gently. You can use any sink or bathtub, but we’ve heard of riders who took their helmets into the shower with them.
We recommend that you wash your helmet’s pads by hand in cold water with mild soap. You can wash them in the washing machine (cold water, gentle cycle), but they might start to fall apart. Don’t put pads in the dryer. Let them dry by air. If they are too broken, you might want to buy new ones.
Wet the straps with water and a little mild soap. Give the straps a light rub to clean them. Dirt and sweat show up more on light-colored straps, so you should scrub them harder when you wash them.
Keep your helmet out of the sun and in a dry, cool place. On a sunny day, stay away from places like parked cars so you don’t get too hot. If it gets too hot, the liner could melt or the shell could crack.
To do this, you should also stay away from chemicals. Insect repellents like DEET could damage the helmet and make it useless in ways that the wearer might not notice immediately.
What Should You Be Aware of When Looking For a Bike Helmet?
Selecting a helmet becomes less of a chore when you narrow your options down by category (but a road helmet can be worn on a dirt trail and a mountain bike helmet can still be worn on the road). Bike helmets can be roughly divided into three categories:
- Road bike helmets:
Helmets designed specifically for road cycling are often low in weight, have plenty of vents, and have a sleek profile to reduce wind resistance.
- Mountain bike helmets:
Since mountain cyclists are more prone to fall backward than road bikers, most mountain bike helmets provide extra protection to the rear of the head.
- Recreational bike helmets:
When riding a bike for leisure, it’s worth investing in an inexpensive helmet for protection against minor crashes.
Related Article: Road Bike vs. Moutain Bike: Which One Should You Choose In 2023?
Fit and Comfort
When selecting a bike helmet, the fit is critical because a helmet that doesn’t fit properly can actually make it less safe in a crash. Because you’ll be wearing it for every mile of every ride, it should be comfortable.
Measure the circumference of your head to determine the proper size bike helmet. Helmet sizes are determined by the circumference of the head.
To find your head circumference, wrap a flexible tape measure around the widest portion of your head, about an inch above your brows. Alternatively, wrap a thread around your head and measure the length with a yardstick.
Bike helmet sizing parameters:
- Extra small: below 20″ (51cm)
- Small: 20″–21.75″ (51cm–55cm)
- Medium: 21.75″–23.25″ (55cm–59cm)
- Large: 23.25″–24.75″ (59cm–63cm)
- Extra large: above 24.75″ (63cm)
- One size fits all: has a highly adjustable fit system
Both an exterior shell and an interior lining are fitted into the helmet to provide protection:
- The plastic helmet shell is tough enough to withstand punctures and provides sliding protection for the head and neck in the event of an impact.
- High-density Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam is commonly used for helmet linings because of its protective properties against head injuries caused by sudden movement or impact.
We also know that even a little torsion injury can have serious consequences on the brain.
Because of this, helmet companies have investigated and created numerous technologies, each with its own unique name and set of technical jargon, to mitigate the effects of torsional force in the event of an accident.
Investing in these specialized technologies is a good idea if you cycle frequently or if you just want to ride in quietly.
- Shearing Pads (SPIN)
Inside technology puts silicone pads inside the cone that have a special texture that allows them to move and stop the cone from twisting when it hits something.
This is a technology that is in some Bontrager helmets. A stack-like lining inside the helmet is meant to absorb both the force of the initial impact and the torsion force that is put on the head during the stroke.
The Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) is a technology that can be found in some bicycle helmets, like those made by Bell and Giro.
It uses a layer of low-friction material to redirect torsional forces that hit the head by letting the helmet’s inner lining move a little bit when it hits something.
Styling and Looks
Bicyclists who opt to wear helmets do so for both safety and fashion. The user can customize the hat’s color and pattern to reflect his or her interests and sense of style.
Put your own personal stamp on the cap by adding stickers, decals, etc.
The aesthetics of the hat should be considered only after the aforementioned conditions have been met. Bicycle helmets are required by law on all roads, so it’s important to pick a style that will make riders feel safe and secure.
Because hats so prominently confirm the wearer’s personal style and high-class fashion sense, it is imperative that helmets ensure aesthetic value.
Which Bike Helmets Provide Maximum Safety?
Lazer G1 Mips is the Bike Helmet that provides maximum safety, and it is the safest road cycling helmet.
Is a better helmet available today?
We are leaving behind a time when helmets were longer and more “squared off.”
Designers added unnecessary ridges and projections that may make it harder for a helmet shell to slide. But around 2015, things started to change, and the “compact” road helmet started to become more popular.
Now, designers are making the shells more rounded and putting more focus on concussions and rotational energy. This is to make it less likely that the shell will catch on something when it hits you and jerk your head.
If you are looking for a new helmet, we suggest getting one with a smooth, rounded shell. We have a lot of information about the new helmets on our page about the current season.
Do bike helmets degrade?
Yes. Bike helmets are made of plastic; like other plastics, they degrade over time. Bicycle helmets do eventually wear out, but the process is so gradual that you probably won’t even notice.
It’s a common misconception that perspiration will melt your helmet’s plastic, but that won’t happen. The only effect is a foul odor.
Do bike helmets expire?
Even though there is no set time limit on the life of a bike helmet, it is recommended that you get a new one every decade.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an American government agency, advises that bicycle helmets be replaced every five to ten years.
Safety helmet certification organization Snell Memorial Foundation recommends a minimum of five years.
So, there you have it! Here are a few great reasons to hop on a bike and always remember to wear a helmet. Now get out there and enjoy the fresh air!
Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out our website for more information about tech fitness, bikes, and healthy lifestyles.