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Helmets - When to replace?


Maciek
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I know that when there are cracks and it was smashed or abused. However, if not for this reason (or fashion) I would ask how often would you change helmet to have safety on your side. We know that material ages and so it does not provide protection as new helmet would. So after how many years would you replace helmet? Any ideas?

Now this is not a teaser, really. I have a an old helmet (no I am not going to sell it in other part of this web site unless someone needs it as collectible), but feel it may need to go out of service... if of course I would restart snowboarding this year after two years break ;)

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<TABLE class=tborder cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=4 width="100%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR title="Post 113970" vAlign=top><TD class=alt1 align=middle width=125>bobdea</TD><TD class=alt2>...as well as I try to have one for colder weather and one with removable ear peices</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

I like this idea Bob... I have hats for variable weather... why not helmets too?

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i agree 5 yrs or when there is visible wear. when looking for visible wear make sure to look at the foam inside the helmet, not just on the outer plastic shell. the foam inside will start to pack out like boot liners. in a helmet there should be a small amount of give in the inner foam, when you crash this foam compacts instead of your skull, so if it's all ready compressed-which will happen over time, it wont really do too much good.

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Hey Maciek,

As any helmut manufacturer, or ex-motocrosser, will tell you, a helmet is designed to save your noggin once, and therefore should be replaced after any significant impact. Other than that it's common sense with regard to deteriation of the materials, or the ripeness of the lining, unless you're chasing the latest fashion statement or advancing technology, then by all means support the industry. :D

Personally I think if you aren't replacing them at least once per season, your not trying hard enough!

Ride hard,

Alg

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I have a burton "red" helmet that I got the first year they were produced...( late 90's maybe?) The styrofoam inner shell did get separated from the outer hard shell once but I just glued it back. I figure the styroform is not going to degrade, ( no sunlight hits it ) and I'm not planning on replacing it until I have a significant impact that damages or distorts the styrofoam, or gashes the outer shell.

I think some of you guys are either paraniod or helmet salesmen...I've never heard of anyone getting injured more by wearing an "old" undamaged helmet vs. a new one... Me thinks it's all in your head, unless you know for sure your helmut is made of some biodegradeable foam. but if it makes you feel better to keep buying helmets, go for it.

What's next, replacing the undamaged styrofoam bumper inserts on your car every 5 years?

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Never take off your helmet-you can't be too careful. :biggthump

http://www.comedycentral.com/motherload/player.jhtml?ml_video=12010&ml_collection=&ml_gateway=&ml_gateway_id=&ml_comedian=&ml_runtime=&ml_context=show&ml_origin_url=%2Fshows%2Fcrank_yankers%2Fvideos%2Fseason_3%2Findex.jhtml&ml_playlist=&lnk=&is_large=true

helmet ed: the foam gets packed out just like boot bladders.Will that mean the difference between serious impact or minor impact ? I doubt it.

The new Berns come with a doo rag. why ? to give you a headache ? no idea.

Now, if I could just get the bluetooth to work ....YAY !

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I have a burton "red" helmet that I got the first year they were produced...( late 90's maybe?) The styrofoam inner shell did get separated from the outer hard shell once but I just glued it back. I figure the styroform is not going to degrade, ( no sunlight hits it ) and I'm not planning on replacing it until I have a significant impact that damages or distorts the styrofoam, or gashes the outer shell.

I think some of you guys are either paraniod or helmet salesmen...I've never heard of anyone getting injured more by wearing an "old" undamaged helmet vs. a new one... Me thinks it's all in your head, unless you know for sure your helmut is made of some biodegradeable foam. but if it makes you feel better to keep buying helmets, go for it.

What's next, replacing the undamaged styrofoam bumper inserts on your car every 5 years?

Styrofoam, being an organic material and subject to degradation from being exposed to oxygen, is good for about 5 years in a helmet....head more important than car!!!!

Maybe I'm a bit jaded from taking care of brain injured people over the last 20 some odd years but $100 is not too expensive for a little safety. The bike manufacturers recommend a new brain bucket for every spill or every 5 years, which ever comes first...that's a good rule of thumb for riding as well

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Hey Maciek,

As any helmut manufacturer, or ex-motocrosser, will tell you, a helmet is designed to save your noggin once, and therefore should be replaced after any significant impact. Other than that it's common sense with regard to deteriation of the materials, or the ripeness of the lining, unless you're chasing the latest fashion statement or advancing technology, then by all means support the industry. :D

Personally I think if you aren't replacing them at least once per season, your not trying hard enough!

Ride hard,

Alg

I think mine is out of fashion and that is why I need to replace it. It is eight years old and it is that red marble Boeri Myto :D I think I would be only one around to ride in such model by now. As far as falling apart and smelling... I did not hit hard enough, the foam is not deteriorating. I keep washing it inside and outside every some time (yes I do that to avoid smell and keep my hair on my head away from crabs that tend to like "human flakes" accumalated over time ;)

More seriously, if I do not see foam chipping away or plastic breaking it does not mean it still has the same abilty to protect as when it was new. Only impact could show, but Ia mnot willing to test it with my head... especially when I am thinking about coming back to the sport after long break, if you know what I mean.

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I'd like to reemphasize what others have said here so far... replace a helmet about every 5 yrs regardless. The EPS ( Expanded PolyStyrene) DOES change properties with age and exposure to all sorts of things like exhaust fumes in a garage, moderatly elevated heat, and just plain old time. Just because the material has not turned yucky yellow or crumbling out does not mean it hasn't become too hard and/or brittle to do the BEST job of protecting. Sure, an old helmet is better than none, but you may as well do the whole job right. Materials researchers have done a great job at extending the usefull lifetime of these shell and liner materials, but why risk it?

Anybody want to buy a 'first model year' Giro FUSE helmet? Lotsa slope time. last year a little old lady got really angry after I ran over her baby at Heavenly and wacked me repeatedly with her ski poles. Helmet now has some extra, custom 'venting':freak3: If I see her there this year... anybody at Tahoe got a chainsaw I can borrow?

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Folks,

Thanks for your advice. I considered all your approaches and even googled for Snell "book" (although as new to car racing I had to buy Snell SA2005 helmet which would not be the best for snowboarding and I never bothered with details of sanctioning bodies).

So I ordered new skiing/snowboarding helmet. Since I liked racing "full" helmet I managed to go online (they are not so popular in local stores now) and order Marker Cheetah from www.relaibleracing.com

I think I am set up for next seasons :)

Thanks again.

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Styrofoam, being an organic material and subject to degradation from being exposed to oxygen, is good for about 5 years in a helmet....head more important than car!!!!

Maybe I'm a bit jaded from taking care of brain injured people over the last 20 some odd years but $100 is not too expensive for a little safety. The bike manufacturers recommend a new brain bucket for every spill or every 5 years, which ever comes first...that's a good rule of thumb for riding as well

I'm pretty sure the styrofoam inserts under our car's bumper covers are to protect the people inside the car, not the car itself.:)

I would say if the styrofoam in your safety device is not as "good" as it was when new, then to be "safe" or maintain that illusion, you need to replace your helmet AND ALSO your car due to aging styrofoam every 5 years.You drive a hell of a lot more than you snowboard. Chances of a car wreck are probably better than a snowboard head injury with a helmet on.

I fully aggree that helmets are cheap for what they could end up providing though...(And it must be awful to work with brain damaged people) ( no comment on my co-workers) Only a meat-head rides with no helmet with all the idiots I see at resorts.

I just feel more than safe enough in my 5+ year old undamaged helmet, and the risk of old styrofoam is overblown.

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