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When Is The Best Time To Replace A Bike Helmet?

Everything has a lifespan, especially the bicycle helmet that protects people's lives.

So, how often do you guys change your bike helmet? How bad is the helmet before you replace it?

1. The surface of the bicycle helmet is cracked, can it still protect the head?

Generally speaking, the helmets we wear are often rubbed and collided by objects. It is normal for the shell to have cracks, so not all cracked helmets can no longer be used.

Bike helmets have a hard shell on the surface whose main purpose is to protect the polystyrene foam underneath the helmet during everyday use. While the hard shell helps spread the force over a larger area in the event of an impact, it's the styrofoam that really absorbs the impact. Therefore, according to this principle, the tiny cracks that appear near the vents will not seriously affect the protective effect of the helmet in essence.

It is worth noting that if there are large cracks on the helmet, such as the cracks on the edge of the helmet shell or connecting two vents, it is a reminder that you need to replace the helmet with a new one.

2. Are bike helmet straps optional?

Obviously not. In addition to the surface of the helmet, another place that needs to be checked is the strap of the helmet.

The first thing to check is the buckle and the small parts that the strap passes through. Depending on how the helmet is made, seams may come apart, and the material may lose its strength from long-term use, friction, or soaking in sweat.

Then be sure to check where the straps insert into the helmet (hidden hazard). Also because of the different manufacturing methods of the helmet, the strap may be fixed around the inner foam or the outer plastic shell, especially the cheap helmets need to pay special attention. Sometimes the rubbing action of the strap against the foam can affect the inner foam, but this is not a common problem.

It's best to check and make sure the straps are still strong and securely seated in the helmet before the final ride.

3. How to tell if the shell foam is still useful?

The foam part inside the bicycle helmet is the most important part of protecting the head in the event of a crash. A bike helmet will have a hard plastic outer shell and a polystyrene foam inner layer. These foams can absorb impact and withstand external forces through their own fragmentation, thereby reducing the force on the head and playing a protective role.

How to check whether the foam is intact? The foam inner layer of the helmet should not be soft or brittle to the touch.

Long-term exposure to chemicals can cause the foam to break down, meaning the helmet is no longer protective in the event of an accident. If the foam feels solid, look for cracks, which could indicate it's time to replace it.

4. What is the reason why the shell becomes soft?

Soft spots on the hard shell of a bike helmet, especially if it is discolored, may indicate that the shell has been exposed to certain chemicals that soften the plastic. That's when the helmet needs to be replaced, as the foam beneath the hard shell has definitely deteriorated and lost or at least reduced its ability to protect the head.

5. When should I replace my bike helmet?

(1) When encountering the above 4 situations, even if there is no problem on the surface of the helmet, it must be replaced in time!

(2) Under normal use, a new bike helmet needs to be replaced every 5 years. Because irreversible factors such as pollution, ultraviolet rays and climate will subtly weaken the function of the helmet.

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