The biking helmet is probably the first accessory we buy when it comes to cycling safety. In fact, its highly recommended you get yourself on before you even attempt your first ride. But have you ever wondered if your new helmet has an expiration date?
It’s a question that has puzzled cyclists for years – do bike helmets expire? And if they do, how long do they last? A lot of people would like to know the answer, especially since a good helmet can be expensive. But unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question.
Helmet manufacturers have been making helmets for decades now, so we should expect them to last at least a few years. However, some people claim that their helmets don’t seem to hold up well when exposed to certain conditions.
For example, some people say that their helmets get damaged after being left out in the rain for several days. Others report that their helmets start getting loose after riding over rough roads. Still others say that their helmets lose their shape after being stored inside a bag for a while.
So what does all this mean? Well, it depends on the type of helmet you own. Some helmets will be more prone than others to these types of problems. Helmets are designed to last up to 10 years, but some manufacturers recommend replacing them after three years. If you’ve had a helmet for more than five years, it may be time to replace it.
How Long Do Bike Helmets Last?
A lot of people think they don’t need to replace their bike helmets because they’re still safe. While that may be true, if you’ve had a crash and your head hit something, you’ll want to change out your helmet anyway.
A bicycle helmet should last at least 5 years if used properly. If you’re unsure about its condition, take it to a professional who will inspect it for damage and replace it if necessary.
How do Helmets Degrade?
There are two main ways that helmets degrade. First, the foam inside the helmet will break down over time due to exposure to sunlight and moisture. Second, the outer shell may become brittle and crack, exposing the inner foam padding.
There are three basic types of materials used in making bike helmets: fiberglass, foam, and polystyrene. The older helmets usually contain polystyrene or even some of the old fiberglass, and may not be as good for the head.
The current trend is to have helmets with fiberglass and foam and to have the material be as close to what you’d find in a new car. The newer materials and methods of construction make the helmet last longer. They are generally more expensive, but they may be more comfortable and durable.
Most helmets will last a long time and work well. However, over time the padding and lining will wear, and some materials may not be as durable as the old equipment. Some of the materials can be replaced, but if the helmet becomes too soft, the helmet may no longer fit.
UV Rays Harm the Bike Helmet
The sun can cause damage to bike helmets. UV radiation penetrates through the plastic and glass parts of a helmet and into the interior foam liners. This causes the foam to darken and discolor, which makes the helmet look less attractive. Over time, the foam will also begin to lose its ability to absorb impact energy.
Sweat also degrades the helmet
Body fluids are absorbed by the liner and then seep into the foam. If you’re riding in hot weather, it’s important to keep your helmet clean so that bacteria doesn’t grow inside. This could lead to serious infections. Hair oils and dirt can also affect the performance of the helmet.
If you ride in wet or humid conditions, you may notice your helmet becoming damp. This water can cause mold growth inside the helmet. Mold can cause respiratory issues, skin irritation, headaches, and other health concerns.
Even though most bike helmets will pass the test of time, they can become damaged from normal use over time. Obvious signs of damage include cracks or holes in the shell.
How to Tell if Your Cycling Helmets Needs Replacing?
First you need to check for any expiration dates on the helmet or its packaging.
If your current helmet has a warning label indicating that it should be replaced after three years, then it probably needs replacing. But what if you don’t see any warnings on your helmet? That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe to ride without a replacement.
If you’ve ever had a crash while wearing the helmet, it’s time to replace your helmet. Helmets can become loose in an impact, causing them to offer less protection than they did when you first bought them. Make sure that the straps are secure and that there are no tears or any other damage. You may also want to bring it to a professional so they can inspect it.
Some helmets may not be flat when you buy them, but most will flatten over time. The biggest indicator of whether or not your helmet is still good is if it’s cool enough to touch on the inside. If it’s starting to get soft and pliable, then it’s probably no longer good.
What to Look for When Shopping for a New Helmet?
When changing out your helmet, you must look at the safety standards of the new one. The current standard is called CPSC 1203 and requires all helmets to meet specific criteria. They must be used on all types of bikes regardless of the type or size, they must have a label indicating they meet the safety standards, and they should be free from defects. If your helmet doesn’t meet these standards, you should replace it.
With proper care, your helmet can last for many years. Pick a product from reputable helmet brands like Bell, Giro, or Schuberth. These companies are known for their high quality products.