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Old 07-16-2008, 12:00 AM   #1
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You only got One Noggin **When & why you should replace your Helmet **

mcfc posted this link that is very informative as it talks about helmet condition and how vital it is get educated right here and thank mcfc later thanks man

When Should I Replace My Helmet?



Summary:
  • Did you crash it? Replace!
  • Did you drop it hard enough to crack the foam? Replace.
  • Is it from the 1970's? Replace.
  • Is the outside just foam or cloth instead of plastic? Replace.
  • Does it lack a CPSC, ASTM or Snell sticker? Replace.
  • Can you not adjust it to fit correctly? Replace!!
  • Do you hate it? Replace.



Did you crash in it?

For starters, most people are aware that you must replace a helmet after any crash where your head hit. The foam part of a helmet is made for one-time use, and after crushing once it is no longer as protective as it was, even if it still looks intact. Bear in mind that if the helmet did its job most people would tell you that they did not even hit their head, or did not hit their head that hard. And the thin shells on most helmets now tend to hide any dents in the foam. But if you can see marks on the shell or measure any foam crush at all, replace the helmet. (Helmets made of EPP foam do recover, but there are few EPP helmets on the market. Yours is EPS or EPU unless otherwise labeled.) You can also crack the helmet foam or damage it by dropping the helmet on a hard surface. The cracks may be small and hard to see, so you need to look carefully. Cracks in the foam always require replacement of the helmet.
You may be reluctant to replace a helmet that looks almost as good as new, but if you did hit, you don't want to take chances on where you will hit next time. If the foam is cracked under the thin shell, it will be more likely to fly apart in your next crash. Many manufacturers will replace crashed helmets for a nominal fee, and most will also inspect crashed helmets to see if they need replacement. Call them if you are in doubt. For contact info check our list of manufacturers. (You can also ask them if they think the advice on this page is valid!}



Is it from the 70's?

If you still have a helmet from the 70's without a styrofoam liner, replace it immediately. That would include the Skidlid (with spongy foam), 1970's Pro-tec (spongy foam), Brancale (no foam) and all leather "hairnets." They just did not have the protection of helmets made after 1984 when the ANSI standard swept the junk off the market. The better 1970's helmets were reasonably good ones, but were not quite up to current standards. It is probably time to replace that old Bell Biker, Bailen, MSR, Supergo or similar model from the 70's or early 80's. (We have a page up on replacing the Bell Biker.) The hard shells were great, but the foam liners were not thick enough to meet today's ASTM or Snell standard. The Bell V-1 Pro was designed to today's standards, but the foam is very stiff, and if you are over 65 you probably should replace that too. If you have one of the 1980's all-foam helmets with perhaps a cloth cover, we would recommend replacing that one. Lab tests showed some years ago that bare foam doesn't skid well on pavement, and could jerk your neck in a crash. The cloth doesn't help much. In addition, some of them had no internal reinforcing, and they tend to break up in a crash. That's not serious if you just fall, but if you are hit by a car the helmet can fly apart in the initial contact and leave you bare-headed for the crack on the pavement.



Is it newer? With what standards sticker inside?

Newer helmets from the late 1980's and the 90's may or may not need replacement. First look to see what standards sticker is inside. If it's ASTM or Snell, the helmet was designed to meet today's standards for impact protection, and you may even find that Consumer Reports tested it in one of their articles. Most manufacturers now recommend that helmets be replaced after five years, but some of that may be just marketing. (Bell now recommends every three years, which seems to us too short. They base it partially on updating your helmet technology, but they have not been improving their helmets that much over three year periods, and we consider some of their helmets since the late 1990's to be a step backwards, so we would take that with a grain of salt.) Deterioration depends on usage, care, and abuse. But if you ride thousands of miles every year, five years may be a realistic estimate of helmet life. And helmets have actually been improving enough over time to make it a reasonable bet that you can find a better one than you did five years ago. It may fit better, look better, and in some cases may even be more protective. For an alternate view that agrees with the manufacturers, check out the helmet FAQ of the Snell Foundation. Snell knows a lot about helmets and their views on this subject should not be dismissed lightly, even though we disagree with them. Occasionally somebody spreads rumors that sweat and ultraviolet (UV) exposure will cause your helmet to degrade. Sweat will not do that. The standards do not permit manufacturers to make a helmet that degrades from sweat, and the EPS, EPP or EPU foam is remarkably unaffected by salt water. Your helmet will get a terminal case of grunge before it dies of sweat. UV can affect the strength of the shell material, though. Since helmets spend a lot of time in the sun, manufacturers usually put UV inhibitors in the plastic for their shells that control UV degradation. If your helmet is fading, maybe the UV inhibitors are failing, so you probably should replace it. Chances are it has seen an awful lot of sun to have that happen. Otherwise, try another brand next time and let us know what brand faded on you.
At least one shop told a customer that the EPS in his three year old helmet was now "dried out." That is highly unlikely, unless the EPS is placed in an oven for some period of time and baked. The interior of your car, for example, will not do that, based on helmets we have seen and at least one lab crash test of a helmet always kept in a car in Virginia over many summers. EPS is a long-lived material little affected by normal environmental factors. Unless you mistreat it we would not expect it to "dry out" enough to alter its performance for many years.
In sum, we don't find the case for replacing a helmet that meets the ASTM or Snell standards that compelling if the helmet is still in good shape and fits you well.



Are you using it for non-bicycle activities?

Since 2003 helmets have been available that are actually certified to skateboard or ski standards as well as the CPSC bicycle helmet standard. If you are using a bicycle helmet for skateboarding or any other sport where you crash regularly, see our writeup on helmets for the current season for more info on that. Otherwise, we would recommend buying another helmet designed for the activity you are pursuing, whether or not you replace your bike helmet. We have more on that subject on our page on other helmets. Note that most "skate-style" helmets currently on the market are actually bicycle helmets certified only to the CPSC bicycle helmet standard. They have CPSC stickers inside, but no ASTM Skateboard standard sticker.


Do you still like wearing it?

Your helmet is of course a piece of wearing apparel as well as a safety appliance. If you consider yourself a stylish rider and your helmet is not as spiffy as the new ones, go for it. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, and if you do, fashion is a valid reason to replace a helmet.


Is it a better helmet than the ones available today?

As new styles have become more "squared-off" and designers have begun adding unnecessary ridges and projections that may increase the sliding resistance of a helmet shell, there is good reason to stay with one of the more rounded designs of the early to mid 90's. Those round, smooth shells like the original Bell Image that Consumer Reports rated highly in 1993 are more optimal for crashing than some of the newer designs. So think twice about "moving up," and look for a rounded, smooth-shelled design when you do. We have a lot of info on the new ones up on our page on helmets for the current season.
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:12 AM   #2
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Anybody know how true it is about the foam deteriorating after a certain number of years?
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:29 AM   #3
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^ if i remember correctly .. youre suppose to replace the helmet every 4-5 years ... maybe thats how long it takes for the foam to deteriorate

btw .. i really like this thread moeman =)
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:47 AM   #4
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Great info! Thank you for the thread, Moe!!
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by '03 Double_R View Post
Anybody know how true it is about the foam deteriorating after a certain number of years?
I've sent a message to Sharp (http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/) about this very question; I'll post up the response as soon as I get it.

I think it's better to get an answer from an independent source rather than the helmet manufacturers themselves.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:24 AM   #6
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Nice post Moe... We had a guy ride in the other day with a helmet 3 sizes to big and 20 years old.. His MSF instructor told him to get a new one or he wouldn't be allowed to do the riding section of the class..

He Really didn't want to buy a new helmet.. Thought that crap helmet was going to work for him..

Lets face it.. If you go down hard..... You Damage your head. thats it.. You could be sucking on a tube for life...
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:38 AM   #7
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Thumbs up How good is your helmet? Will it actually protect your brain in your next crash?

sorry if this is a repost or something...just thought about sharing this...
http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ge...iew/index.html
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:04 AM   #8
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Interesting read. My favorite quote "Your brain basically floats inside your skull, within a bath of cervical-spinal fluid and a protective cocoon"
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:34 PM   #9
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Good stuff:01_thumbu Thanks for the post.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:34 PM   #10
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sticky?..moeman...
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
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sticky?..moeman...
Awesome find man thanks for sharing i edited the title to
make this a reader grabber thread
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:15 PM   #12
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Thanks for posting - excellent info!
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:16 PM   #13
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Thanks a lot ...
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:35 PM   #14
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Nice find, very good read :)
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:15 PM   #15
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THIS IS THE ARTICLE!!! i have been looking for this since it was released a while back... it lost the Mag some serious vendors... and to top it off they had VER.2 of this pulling in more brands (i guess they figured they lost all the good vendors, might as well test all the otheres)
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:13 PM   #16
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So i bought a brand new suomy helmet from my local honda dealer, i knew it was an older styled Spec1r but i took a look at it the other day and noticed the batch number from when it was made was 02/2002!! Should I take it back to them and ask for a replace or something?..
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:43 AM   #17
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So i bought a brand new suomy helmet from my local honda dealer, i knew it was an older styled Spec1r but i took a look at it the other day and noticed the batch number from when it was made was 02/2002!! Should I take it back to them and ask for a replace or something?..

I would simply cause it doesn't have the current Snell Cert and some track orgs won't let you on the track with out Snell 2005... More and more orgs are enforcing this rule......
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:02 AM   #18
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Lets face it.. If you go down hard..... You Damage your head. thats it.. You could be sucking on a tube for life...
I agree 100%. I reckon you should never be a cheap-skate and buy the BEST you can afford. Of course, most people interpret that as the most expensive helmet they can get and end up buying something that looks good and may not perform as well as a similarly priced "boring-looking" lid. Who cares if you have to put up with, at worst, a ugly, heavy, noisy helmet for a few years? At least you have a greater opportunity to replace the lid later than if you binned it with the equivalent of a cap protecting your noggin.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:38 AM   #19
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I would simply cause it doesn't have the current Snell Cert and some track orgs won't let you on the track with out Snell 2005... More and more orgs are enforcing this rule......
Thanks Scott, I appreciate it!

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Old 08-12-2008, 09:49 AM   #20
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Moe good info, but your post seems to be geared for BICYCLE helmets not motorcycle helmets! I followed this link:
http://helmets.org/manulist.htm ......And it goes to bicycle helmet manufacturers (no Arai, no Shoei, no Suomy :P).

Also further reading shows...

Quote:
Originally Posted by moe's post

Are you using it for non-bicycle activities?

Since 2003 helmets have been available that are actually certified to skateboard or ski standards as well as the CPSC bicycle helmet standard. If you are using a bicycle helmet for skateboarding or any other sport where you crash regularly, see our writeup on helmets for the current season for more info on that. Otherwise, we would recommend buying another helmet designed for the activity you are pursuing, whether or not you replace your bike helmet. We have more on that subject on our page on other helmets. Note that most "skate-style" helmets currently on the market are actually bicycle helmets certified only to the CPSC bicycle helmet standard. They have CPSC stickers inside, but no ASTM Skateboard standard sticker.
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:07 PM   #21
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it's good that other group of people are doing this...to let the public be aware of what they are getting from the product they are buying..
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:47 PM   #22
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It's amazing how our perception of paying little for a helmet means we don't value our life. I just finished that article and was actually thinking of getting a new helmet. I have it in my mind that I'm seriously going to reevaluate the old stigma that a low priced helmet is useless, but I still can't bring myself to not spend as much as I possibly can...
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:18 PM   #23
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makes me glad i bought a Shark helmet.
crazy how they praise the $75 Z1R helmet.
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:51 AM   #24
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You are all ignoring the most important thing that comes up from this Article:
SNELL2005 standard IS DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEAD in 99% of the crash types!

I will not buy any SNELL rated lid, at least until the 2010 will come out (they have reduced the minimum amount of G from 300G to 275G).

The European ECE-022-05 is the way to go for me from now on.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:18 PM   #25
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I dunno. I bought an HJC Snell-approved helmet. I was hit by a car at 35 mph, and put my head through their windshield (among other things, like slamming my knee and flipping over the car). My helmet was useless after that, but it not only saved my life, but I never blacked out, never had a concussion. Just was bruised and REALLY angry. I went out and bought another HJC helmet. Tried and true, in my opinion...
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:15 PM   #26
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Helmets? Who needs them? j/k -- I have a snell approved Shoei RF1000. It replaced one that I was wearing when I went over a car at 65. It did the trick quite well.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:22 PM   #27
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thanks for the article, I feel a lot smarter now
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:25 PM   #28
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"The Snell sticker," continued Newman, "has become a marketing gimmick

I just bought a shoei x eleven, and I just came across this article in the motorcyclist magazine??
http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ge...iew/index.html
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:28 PM   #29
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Great article man thanks for sharing it
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:32 PM   #30
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and? whats the point you want to make? that the shoei you just got was overpriced coz they have the snell sticker on it?

thats not it at all. at this day and age, you just paid for the name itself, not because of the snell sticker

good article either way. and i read it 2 years ago on the magazine itself
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