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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ask the forum with what frequency do you replace your helmets and visors? I always wear full face helmets and wonder how often do you change your helmet out, and is it true that if you drop your helmet, it's toast?

My other question is how often do you clean the inside padding, and what method do you use?

Many thanks-
 

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There is an article about this in this months City Bike magazine. Not sure if they are available online. General accepted rule of thumb is replace every five years, but the experiments they ran for the article showed good results long after five years. Some manufacturers will test a helmets shell for you if you are concerned about it after a drop.

If you can remove the padding you can hand wash them.
 

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There's a manufacturer sticker with a time stamp under the padding on DOT helmets, that time does not start when you buy the helmet, it starts when it's made. So check that sticker out, its not a surprise to find out that the helmet was sitting in a warehouse for a few years before you actually receive it and it only has a couple years left (out of the 5 year mark).

Id highly recommend the Nexx helmets though a lot of our racers use those and i've seen very good crash results with those. The feel of the helmet also gives me a lot of confidence compared to my HJC (which ive personally had bad experience with and seen other racers with very back luck with them as well). Shoei also, crash wise I'm not fan of.
 

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From what I have read most manufacturer's say to replace your helmet every three to five years. If you wear your helmet a lot and don't just store it for five years, you'd probably be ready for all new padding in five years anyways. Another problem is UV damage, adhesive drying out and component aging.

Here is a good like with helmet info., the Snell Foundation, Frequently Asked Questions about Snell and Helmets.
Snell Foundation - Helmet FAQ

Arai Helmet Warranty: Arai Support

HJC Helmet info.: Helmet Usage
warranty: Warranty

Shoei Helmet info.: SHOEI North America | Frequently Asked Questions

Bell Helmet info.: http://www.bellhelmets.com/en_ca/product-faq

Icon Helmet info.: FAQs | Ride Icon
 

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Five years is the general rule, but I also take into account the fact that mine are stored in the house in a temperature controlled environment, and not left out in the garage or elsewhere. Most of your higher quality helmets have replaceable liners/padding, so they can be removed and washed or replaced if necessary. As far as dropping a helmet, it would depend (for me) on how far it was dropped and onto what kind of surface.
 
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I pretty much ride all year around. With the heat here I've been changing helmet every 2 years or so. The helmet is still good but the smell... :( I hand clean the inner padding on occasion and I use a helmet dryer almost after each ride when I get back home.

As far as dropping your helmet, should be fine. What really protect your head is the foam inside, not the 1/8" shell. The job of the foam is to absorb impact... as long as your head is not in your helmet when you drop it your helmet will be just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There's a manufacturer sticker with a time stamp under the padding on DOT helmets, that time does not start when you buy the helmet, it starts when it's made. So check that sticker out, its not a surprise to find out that the helmet was sitting in a warehouse for a few years before you actually receive it and it only has a couple years left (out of the 5 year mark).

Id highly recommend the Nexx helmets though a lot of our racers use those and i've seen very good crash results with those. The feel of the helmet also gives me a lot of confidence compared to my HJC (which ive personally had bad experience with and seen other racers with very back luck with them as well). Shoei also, crash wise I'm not fan of.
This is interesting regarding crash test results. I'm a fan of the Shoei RF1200 and Shoei in general as it has the Dot, plus the snell rating. The other thing I like about Shoei and Arai is they offer a different shell size for every two helmet sizes to prevent the bobble head appearance (5 shell sizes in total vs 2 or 3 from most other manufacturers).

With that said, the NEXX helmets in my opinion are among the best looking helmets on the market so it's encouraging to hear positive crash test results. Now if they could increase the number of shell sizes they offer it would be a no brainer.
 

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I agree with the 5 year rule or sooner, after 5 years the helmets liner and finish are ready to be replaced anyway. Remember the helmet is the most important piece of safey gear you wear. RR :cool:
 

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This is interesting regarding crash test results. I'm a fan of the Shoei RF1200 and Shoei in general as it has the Dot, plus the snell rating. The other thing I like about Shoei and Arai is they offer a different shell size for every two helmet sizes to prevent the bobble head appearance (5 shell sizes in total vs 2 or 3 from most other manufacturers).

With that said, the NEXX helmets in my opinion are among the best looking helmets on the market so it's encouraging to hear positive crash test results. Now if they could increase the number of shell sizes they offer it would be a no brainer.
i had a small lowside, which i slid into the grass when I was wearing my shoei rf1100 on a street ride. I was able to ride back home but I had a pretty good headache and concussion. That surprised me since i only tapped the ground with my helmet, the helmet was brand new which I bought about 2 months ago at the time. Also a very good friend of mine, crashed in one of his races wearing the shoei rf1100 in a race, and he completely blacked out. he woke up in the grass but doesnt remember how he crashed or where his head hit. obviously he had a concussion as well. Now I dont know anyone else that crashed in a shoei rf1100, im sure there are but in terms of me personally knowing them and getting feedback. I havent.

HJC RPHA. I had a friend lowside on the street with his gf on the back, she had a different helmet on and she was fine. she said she didnt feel a thing. but my buddy wearing the rpha blacked out for a small moment. I also saw a nasty crash at the track, in a race with a bigger guy that hit the track pretty good, wearing a rpha. He went into a coma, he's okay now. actually still recovering. also I crashed in a HJC CL-16 (DOT/Snell), and I blacked out. I dont think i hit the pavement hard, and Ive never blacked out before and ive taken a bat to the head and probably some other dumb things. but here's a video of me hitting the pavement. another racer loaded the video from his POV. its the 1000cc class, im on the r6. never raced in that class so i had to start from the back. im the rider at the 0:12 second mark that splits between the two riders on the launch. im pretty surprised i blacked out.


Now those are just personal experiences with myself and close friends/racers that I know. If i knew anyone with a positive experience crashing with those helmets, I would list it or update it when I personally meet them lol. also i agree the helmets did their jobs by saving our lives but you dont want a concussion, I think a helmet should be able to help avoid concussions to a certain degree.

Also, I have not looked into the shell sizing for nexx helmets. But I have tried my size on, and its amazingly comfortable. Also i didnt see it being one of those bobble head helmets, but i know what you mean. One of the race/nexx helmet reps came out to a race weekend of ours and had some demos. I tried their helmet on man and it was amazing. way better than any helmet ive ever tried on period. super light and the vision is great. also just holding the helmet, i have a lot of confidence/feeling that it would do really well in a crash. I have not crashed in it. But a lot of the racers here have and some of them crash a lot since they race AMA as well. They have said nothing but great things about them.
 

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Actually only helmets made of thermoplastic are limited to around 5 years. carbon helmets and composite are ok to use for 10 years! if you drop it, inspect it..if the shell gets damaged, it could collapse earlier on impact...
 

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Not sure I believe the longer replacement cycle for carbon helmets and couldn't find anything about that on the web - do you have a link?

This is direct from snells website about helmet replacement:

Why should you replace your helmet every five years?

The five-year replacement recommendation is based on a consensus by both helmet manufacturers and the Snell Foundation. Glues, resins and other materials used in helmet production can affect liner materials. Hair oils, body fluids and cosmetics, as well as normal "wear and tear" all contribute to helmet degradation. Petroleum based products present in cleaners, paints, fuels and other commonly encountered materials may also degrade materials used in many helmets possibly degrading performance. Additionally, experience indicates there will be a noticeable improvement in the protective characteristic of helmets over a five-year period due to advances in materials, designs, production methods and the standards. Thus, the recommendation for five-year helmet replacement is a judgment call stemming from a prudent safety philosophy.
 

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Four years max on helmet life here. Aside from safety, technology improvements in noise, aerodynamics, and comfort make it worthwhile for me. I have never dropped a helmet, but would replace mine if I did.
 

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i had a small lowside, which i slid into the grass when I was wearing my shoei rf1100 on a street ride. I was able to ride back home but I had a pretty good headache and concussion. That surprised me since i only tapped the ground with my helmet, the helmet was brand new which I bought about 2 months ago at the time. Also a very good friend of mine, crashed in one of his races wearing the shoei rf1100 in a race, and he completely blacked out. he woke up in the grass but doesnt remember how he crashed or where his head hit. obviously he had a concussion as well. Now I dont know anyone else that crashed in a shoei rf1100, im sure there are but in terms of me personally knowing them and getting feedback. I havent.

HJC RPHA. I had a friend lowside on the street with his gf on the back, she had a different helmet on and she was fine. she said she didnt feel a thing. but my buddy wearing the rpha blacked out for a small moment. I also saw a nasty crash at the track, in a race with a bigger guy that hit the track pretty good, wearing a rpha. He went into a coma, he's okay now. actually still recovering. also I crashed in a HJC CL-16 (DOT/Snell), and I blacked out. I dont think i hit the pavement hard, and Ive never blacked out before and ive taken a bat to the head and probably some other dumb things. but here's a video of me hitting the pavement. another racer loaded the video from his POV. its the 1000cc class, im on the r6. never raced in that class so i had to start from the back. im the rider at the 0:12 second mark that splits between the two riders on the launch. im pretty surprised i blacked out.


Now those are just personal experiences with myself and close friends/racers that I know. If i knew anyone with a positive experience crashing with those helmets, I would list it or update it when I personally meet them lol. also i agree the helmets did their jobs by saving our lives but you dont want a concussion, I think a helmet should be able to help avoid concussions to a certain degree.

Also, I have not looked into the shell sizing for nexx helmets. But I have tried my size on, and its amazingly comfortable. Also i didnt see it being one of those bobble head helmets, but i know what you mean. One of the race/nexx helmet reps came out to a race weekend of ours and had some demos. I tried their helmet on man and it was amazing. way better than any helmet ive ever tried on period. super light and the vision is great. also just holding the helmet, i have a lot of confidence/feeling that it would do really well in a crash. I have not crashed in it. But a lot of the racers here have and some of them crash a lot since they race AMA as well. They have said nothing but great things about them.
Wow that was nasty. What happened to the guy who hit the concrete barrier on the left?

Look like the guy who caused it was trying to stuff himself into a hole that was too small. Reminds me of Nascar driver Brad Keselowski. He is always trying to stuff himself where he won't fit. He did get a couple of knuckle sandwich's for his efforts though.
 

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Im usually looking for a helmet within the 5 year period. That being said, cycling helmets give the same time frame and they are apt to be much more vulnerable to sweating, heat , cold etc. So, I don't see how they have the same expiration date. I also don't believe a helmet sitting in a box wrapped in plastic for 5 years is ready for the trash. I have a hard time believing the expiration date is totally linked to the "born on" date. Just not logical. Glues, materials of a plastic nature, styrofoam have a half life of many years. I don't think too many manufacturers are testing their helmets 10 years out to see the true lifespan of its helmets. As said earlier every individual wears his helmet under totally unique conditions. A helmet in Florida gets a much different exposure than one in NH. Lets not forget the economic side of this. Manufacturers make money when you buy a helmet. I don't think they are oblivious to the fact that the longer the recommended time frame, the fewer helmets they sell. I know I'm being very skeptical here but its ridiculous to make a blanket statement that 5 years is the lifespan of a well made helmet. Just sayin.
 
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