As we all know, biking is an excellent activity for an individual’s physical and mental well-being. But similar to other outdoor activities, bikers can get accidents while on the road, which means they need to protect themselves at all times. One bike accessory which plays an essential role in protecting the biker is the bike helmet. This bike accessory can help in reducing the risk of any head injury when a biker gets into accidents during their biking activity.
But the question when using this accessory is how long do bike helmets last? Is there an expiration of its usage and lifespan? These questions and other related queries will be answered as our team tries to provide information about using the bike helmet.
We hope that it can help many bikers in wearing high-quality helmets to protect themselves while on the road.
How Long are Bike Helmets Good For
When wearing a bike helmet, you need to make sure that it is in good condition to protect you. Since helmets are made to absorb impact similar to that of the car’s airbag, once it is compromised, I suggest, based on expert advice, replacing it immediately because it may not provide the same complete protection the way it was designed.
There is no definite timetable of how long to use your bike helmet but consider changing it when having the following situations below:
Replacing It After You Crash
There is an unofficial rule that most bikers follow when it comes to wearing bike helmets: replace it once you crash with it. Yes, this rule should be followed regardless of the wear status or how long you are wearing the helmet. The main reason is that bike helmets are generally single-used devices that, once you compromised the foam underneath the bike accessory, it can no longer provide the protection you need.
However, the issue in knowing the integrity of the foam is the difficulty of determining its status. Since it is covered with the helmet’s shell, there is a slim chance of knowing the extent of the damage once you crash. There are times that the bike’s helmet is still intact after a crash, only to find out underneath that the foam is already crumpled or damaged. And there is definitely no way to tell if the foam is compromised not unless you open or break it.
Please keep in mind that even if the helmet is not damaged after the crash, there is a chance that it hits the head and absorbs the impact during the accident. And once it happened, the bike accessory has already done its part in protecting the biker, and the need to replace it is a must. So, if you crashed wearing your most precious helmet, my advice is to let it go and get rid of it because it can no longer protect you.
Helmet Can Degrade Overtime
The foam located underneath the helmet’s shell is one of the most durable materials found on the bike accessory. Its durability is comparable to plastics and will not wear out over time. Also, similar to plastics, the foam has a lifespan that will last hundreds of years. The only problem with the foam is when it is already compromised after absorbing the impact that it becomes useless of protecting you.
Even if the foam does not wear out, other helmet parts can deteriorate or degrade over time. The bike shell is responsible for protecting the foam underneath, but this part can degrade as time goes by. This part of the bike is also the one covering the biker’s head from the sun’s scorching heat, making it fragile and breakable. So, if you see some degradation such as discoloration or fading with your helmet, my advice is not to use it anymore.
Another part of the helmet that can degrade over time or wear out is the chin straps. Sometimes, there will be instances that you can no longer tighten the straps because the slide adjusters are already damaged. Or you can no longer adjust the tightness because that blade has broken the buckle of the helmet. These situations are signs that the helmet is already old and will not protect you, which means it is time to throw it into the garbage can.
Do Bicycle Helmets Expire
If we will be technical about it, the bicycle does not come with an expiration date. But, you also need to consider so many factors that can influence your bike helmet’s replacement. Even the official governing and testing agency in the U.S., the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), recommends replacing the bike helmet every five to ten years of usage.
However, other biking organizations around the world offer different take when it comes to the expiration date. The Snell Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to provide a high-quality standard of safety for helmets, said that five years is enough time to let go of your bike helmet and replace it with a new one. Also, several bike helmet manufacturers are encouraging their customers to get rid of the bike accessory after three years of usage.
I guess the difference between different helmet brands which contribute to its longevity is the quality of the manufacturing and material’s used. Many helmets look similar, but it all boils down to their quality that differs in their longevity and expiration. The higher the quality is, the longer and the lifespan or the expiry of the bike helmet.
The bike helmet is an essential bike accessory that a biker must-have when hitting on the road. It will make you safe during the ride by protecting your head from further damage if you crash when biking. But learning how long do bike helmets last is essential for a biker to be updated on the integrity and the capability of the bike helmet from protecting you during any biking activities. Also, it is all about knowing when is the best time to replace your helmet so as not to compromise your safety when biking on the road.