7 Reasons Why You Should Replace Your Helmet
Protecting your head is pretty important and the best way to do this on a bike ride is with a good helmet! However, just like any other piece of equipment, helmets age and experience wear and tear over time. To ensure your head stays adequately protected, it's essential to know when it's time to bid farewell to your current helmet and welcome a new one. In this blog, we'll explore how to tell when it's time to replace your bike helmet.
While there is no fixed expiration date for helmets, age is an important factor to consider. Helmet technology continually evolves, and newer models often feature improved safety features and materials. As a general guideline, manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every five years, regardless of its visible condition or frequency of use. If your helmet is older than that, it's a good idea to invest in a new one.
2. Visible Damage:
Examine your helmet closely for any visible signs of damage. Look for cracks, dents, or any compromised areas on the outer shell. If you notice any such damage, no matter how minor, it's time to replace your helmet. Even small cracks can significantly reduce the helmet's ability to absorb impact and protect your head during a collision.
3. Impact or Accident:
If you've been involved in a crash or accident, whether it was a minor fall or a more significant collision, your helmet has likely absorbed the impact. Helmets are designed to protect your head in a single crash, and their ability to do so diminishes with each subsequent impact. Even if there are no visible signs of damage, it's crucial to replace your helmet after an accident to ensure it provides optimal protection.
4. Loose or Damaged Retention System:
The retention system, typically consisting of straps and adjustable mechanisms, plays a vital role in keeping your helmet securely in place. Over time, these components can become worn, loose, or damaged. If you find that the straps no longer hold their tension or the retention system fails to keep the helmet snug on your head, it's a clear indication that it's time for a replacement.
5. Faded or Discolored Shell:
The sun's ultraviolet rays can degrade the materials of your helmet's outer shell over time. If you notice significant fading, discoloration, or the shell appears brittle or cracked, it's time to retire your helmet. A compromised outer shell may indicate a loss of structural integrity, making it less effective in protecting your head.
6. Missing Shell:
It’s important as the smooth, plastic outer shell allows your head to safely skid across the surface of impact without jerking your neck.
7. Foam Compression:
The inner foam lining of your helmet is designed to absorb impact energy. With regular use, this foam can become compressed, losing its ability to provide optimal protection. Check for any areas where the foam feels excessively soft, compressed, or crumbles easily. If you notice such issues, it's best to replace your helmet.
Your bike helmet is a critical piece of safety equipment, and knowing when to replace it is essential. By considering factors such as age, visible damage, accidents, retention system functionality, shell condition, and foam compression, you can determine when it's time to bid farewell to your old helmet and invest in a new one. Remember, you only get one head and ensuring your helmet is safe is vital if you want to protect it!
So, the next time you embark on two wheels, make sure your helmet is in top-notch condition. And if you're not sure about your helmet, bring it into store and we can give it a look over and let you know.