is this a myth or fact do helmets have a shelf life of 5 years, and if you do actualy drop one does that automatically kill it,my grandson wanted to try and bounce my 7 year old exlite down a couple of stairs,thanks for any advice
Helmet shelf life
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First off, I hope the grandson got a good slap.
There is no shelf life for helmets. It depends on how often they've been used, and how they are stored.
You CAN drop a lid and not damage it. The problem arises when there is a head in it, which then compresses the polystyrene inside.
I am not sure what the latest recommendations are but I generally replace a helmet at between 3-5 years. But I do not ride daily. Your sweat will gradually degrade the interior padding to the point where it becomes ineffective. Of course some helmets have an easier life than others and any that have been 'well used' should be replaced sooner rather than later. Either way I personally would not rely on a 7-year old helmet.
As for dropping it - if my lid fell off the sofa onto the carpet in my lounge I doubt that I would replace it. If it fell of the seat of my bike onto a concrete surface and bounced around I probably would. To be honest, its a judgement call as you can never tell how much damage a helmet has sustained after a fall but when your life could depend on it why take a risk?
After 7 years i would replace it (give it the little terrier),also after every use dry the sweat out (aired).
I use a cotton balaclava which means less airing.
With regular use i replaced mine every 3 years max,
now it`s every 5 years.
I'm not sure of the current recommendations but I still work on the approx 3 yr cycle, but then I don't buy top of the range pricey lids, I tend to go for middle of the road ones and if I'm lucky an end of line one in clearance to save a few pennies, (hey i'm from yorkshire and live in scotland!)
Theoretically modern materials if stored well should last much much longer than older helmets.
It's when they're used and exposed to UV rays and general outside-iness that the wear really occurs, most now have removable linings making cleaning easierI certainly wouldn't use one for longer than 5 years, as for dropping one, as said, it depnds from what, how far and onto what.
If you're in ANY doubt, remind yourself how many heads you have!
When it's taken out of the box for the First time. The degredation of a helmet is mainly down to; amount of use, UV light exposure & manner of care. The polystyrene can be compressed Without a head in it but would need to be quite a drop, without it being x-rayed afterward though there's never a guarantee it's ok!
Light use (weekends & couple of evenings) and you could get 10 years before it has given up the ghost, heavy use (I'm using mine virtually every day) and that lifetime is halved (possibly less!)
Depends on the make of helmet too, this is one of the reasons there's such a variation in price, longevity costs money both in manufacturing costs & the fact they last longer so they don't sell as many!
7 years old + being dropped = time to go shopping!
If History has taught us One thing....
It's We've learnt None of Histories Lessons!
thanks to all those who posted a reply, it looks like im gonna have to dig deep and bite the bullet, now im wondering roof or new xlite