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Old May 25th, 2020, 10:26 PM   #1
Artruck
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Helmet Retirement Age?

How long does everyone keep their helmets in active rotation. I know the recommendation is 3 to 5 years, and when I used to race cars they enforced a 2 year rule.

I retired one of my favorites tonight after I cleaned it and noticed itís age. Anyone have any other rules of thumb about helmet age?
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Old May 26th, 2020, 04:50 AM   #2
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Until it smells, fits too loose from foam compression inside or has a dent from a crash. (mild rash or scuffs don't count)

Any other replacement rule is BS propagated by the helmet companies to sell more helmets.
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Old May 26th, 2020, 07:07 AM   #3
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Personally I replace my helmet every 5 years and replace the liner and check pads every year.
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Old May 26th, 2020, 07:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artruck View Post
How long does everyone keep their helmets in active rotation. I know the recommendation is 3 to 5 years, and when I used to race cars they enforced a 2 year rule.

I retired one of my favorites tonight after I cleaned it and noticed itís age. Anyone have any other rules of thumb about helmet age?

As long as it hasnít suffered any damage I just sort of keep them until the lining wears out or you canít get a replacement visor anymore!
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Old May 26th, 2020, 09:47 AM   #5
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I've had one of my Bell Stars since 2012. It's in perfect shape, no way I'm throwing it out. When not riding it stays inside where it's out of sunlight and A/C controlled.
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Old May 26th, 2020, 10:09 AM   #6
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I have a few helmets but I'm still using my AGV helmet I purchased 5 years ago. My 5 year old helmet hasn't been dropped or damaged but the inside liners have been replaced and visor as well. It's no longer my everyday head protector but I still wear it at least a couple of times a year.

Competition is a totally different story I wouldn't know the latest R&R. I remember when I was taking my cars for HPDE the track organization required SA 2010 minimum so maybe now they require SA 2015 who knows.
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Old May 26th, 2020, 11:01 AM   #7
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Well, I have spent a load of money on my head before, so I know I might be more anal about my helmets. I also tend to buy HJC and that level of helmet so once you start looking at new visors and padding, you come close to replacement cost for the helmet.

Don’t get me wrong I like the fit and feel of them, and have yet to retire one from a crash, but I just sort of list a mid level helmet on clearance somewhere as the cost of doing business every year or two. I also ride every day. Rain, shine, heat, frost, or even snow on the ground, so I tend to have to wash the padding several times a year.

Maybe I just need to invest in a higher end helmet? But every time I look at them I just see the price of another ex250.... maybe I have two problems...
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Old May 26th, 2020, 11:03 AM   #8
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I replaced one because it was really old. I replaced the next one because I crashed wearing it. Current helmet is 3 years old and I keep an eye on its condition and will replace it if it looks like it needs it.
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Old May 26th, 2020, 11:46 AM   #9
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Artruck, if you ride everyday then you're definitely going to spend extra on paddings compared to the average rider who only rides on the weekends. I used to live in a place where it hits triple digits in the summer and I would have to wash helmet pads every week when I used to ride everyday, I'm glad I moved.

Maybe wearing a face mask will help reduce the wear and tear on your helmet. When I was a kid I would go through nike running shoes every couple months since I jogged a lot.
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Old May 28th, 2020, 12:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaph42 View Post
Any other replacement rule is BS propagated by the helmet companies to sell more helmets.
Yup. Although they would be opening themselves up to lots of liabilities if they admitted that helmets last a really, really long time. Age doesn't affect impact-absorbing abilities of EPS foam. However, more years can tend to accumulate more damage from all sorts of abuse, dropping, kicking, etc. Some actual studies:

https://link.springer.com/article/10...ticle-renderer
https://www.researchgate.net/publica..._Safety_Helmet
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26902784/
https://helmets.org/helmetlineraging.htm
https://www.helmets.org/replace.htm

When I was car-racing, I'd go by whatever rules governing body used. It typically ranged between 5-10yrs. For moto-helmets, I get bored and get new ones around 10-yr mark.
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Old May 28th, 2020, 12:49 AM   #11
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Danno, I often wondered about the degradation of the closed cell foam, thanks for the studies. Most of my retirements go to wear and tear on the consumable parts that end up exceeding the replacement costs. I’m going to try rotation this year and see if that helps, and I’m stepping up the quality. Although I have found a lot of places are making good stuff now that used to make so so quality.

I’m just a bit over sensitive about knocks to the head. I’ve had too many and would like to limit the chance of even one more concussion. I hear you only get 7 freebies before they start giving you brain damagamgamagamagamgamage.
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Old May 31st, 2020, 03:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Artruck View Post
I’m just a bit over sensitive about knocks to the head. I’ve had too many and would like to limit the chance of even one more concussion. I hear you only get 7 freebies before they start giving you brain damagamgamagamagamgamage.
You know... now that you mentione it.. I've gotten more injured in my +10yrs of bicycle-racing than any car-racing or moto activities combined. My wife mentioned she's seen studies where head-injuries make you more cranky and mean. And I thought that was just from getting old!!!

Last futzed with by DannoXYZ; May 31st, 2020 at 06:03 PM.
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Old May 31st, 2020, 03:56 PM   #13
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You know... now that you mentione it.. I've gotten more injured in my +10yrs of bicycle-racing than any car-racing or moto activities combined. My wife mentioned she's seen studies where head-injuries make you more cranky and mean. And I thought that was just getting old!!!
Mine were wrestling/football... then car wreck. The car wreck one made me a little mean and impulsive for a few years. Way more mellow now. But, I figure if I dent my plate, the repair cost will be HUGE....
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Old June 1st, 2020, 08:58 AM   #14
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I ride 12,000-15,000 miles a year and commute on the bike if it's not raining or snowing. So my helmets get worn a lot.

After about 4 years the lining starts to get worn and frayed, the helmet is scratched up, and I just want a new helmet. So the ole helmet becomes my spare and I get a new one. The previous spare helmet gets sent to the trash man.

I generally wear Bell helmets in the $175-$200 range.
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