Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

What to do with old helmets?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

What to do with old helmets?

Old 10-14-19, 07:40 PM
  #1  
NoWhammies
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
NoWhammies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,061

Bikes: Argon 18 Gallium, BH G7, Rocky Mountain Instinct C70

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 451 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 59 Posts
What to do with old helmets?

I have two helmets that have been replaced with new models. There is technically nothing wrong with the helmets. They have never been in a crash. I just replaced them because the helmets were five plus years old and I wanted current technology.

Any recommendations on what to do with them? Or just throw them in the garbage as they've lived a good life.

What are you doing with your old helmets?
NoWhammies is offline  
Old 10-14-19, 08:06 PM
  #2  
Wileyrat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tucson Az
Posts: 1,401

Bikes: 2015 Ridley Fenix, 1983 Team Fuji, 1985 Novara Strada, 2013 BD Motobecane 650ht, 90 Trek 850

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 259 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 45 Times in 30 Posts
I throw mine away.


Edit....I should clarify that statement. I toss them when they've done their job, and are no longer safe to use.

Last edited by Wileyrat; 10-20-19 at 03:32 PM.
Wileyrat is offline  
Old 10-14-19, 08:15 PM
  #3  
HerrKaLeun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 1,487

Bikes: Giant Toughroad SLR1 and Motobecane Sturgis NX

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 712 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 51 Times in 43 Posts
Sell them for a few bucks. It will enable someone to ride safer, and save landfill space.
HerrKaLeun is offline  
Likes For HerrKaLeun:
Old 10-14-19, 09:04 PM
  #4  
MAK
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,412

Bikes: Yes, I have bikes.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 7 Posts
I give mine to my LBS for use in test rides. They occasionally give me a $10.00 credit in appreciation.
MAK is offline  
Old 10-14-19, 10:35 PM
  #5  
Doctor Morbius
Interocitor Command
 
Doctor Morbius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: The adult video section
Posts: 3,337

Bikes: Endurance Road, Road, DS Hybrid, Hybrid, Sport MTB

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 568 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 16 Posts
Last week I gave an older helmet to one of my friends who recently got a bike. You could also give them to GoodWill and claim the donation off of your taxes.
Doctor Morbius is offline  
Likes For Doctor Morbius:
Old 10-15-19, 03:08 AM
  #6  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 9,885

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 176 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3063 Post(s)
Liked 419 Times in 298 Posts
Give to a friend or family member. Donate. If you participate in any casual group rides like the monthly Critical Mass in some cities you'll find some bareheaded folks. Maybe one of them will use it.

I'm keeping my crashed helmet for an art project. Partly a reminder of how idiotic some drivers can be, partly to remind me to always wear a helmet, partly because I enjoy kitsch art. I'm just looking for a properly damaged mannequin head to put it on. Maybe turn the whole thing into a lamp or punch bowl.
canklecat is offline  
Likes For canklecat:
Old 10-15-19, 04:53 AM
  #7  
Greenhil
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Central Vermont
Posts: 193

Bikes: 2018 Kona Rove NRB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 12 Posts
Might have been a sales pitch, but a guy at an LBS told me the materials degrade over time, making the helmet unsafe, or at least less safe. When I bought a new helmet he told me to go home and take a hammer to my old one so no one could use it (it was 20 years old - so it was an extreme example).
Greenhil is offline  
Old 10-15-19, 04:54 AM
  #8  
bobwysiwyg 
Senior Member
 
bobwysiwyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: 961' 42.28° N, 83.78° W (A2)
Posts: 1,987

Bikes: Mongoose Selous, Trek DS

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 757 Post(s)
Liked 117 Times in 77 Posts
Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
You could also give them to GoodWill and claim the donation off of your taxes.
Or just donate sans tax break.
__________________
"Skepticism is the first step in critical thinking." -- Me
bobwysiwyg is offline  
Old 10-15-19, 05:06 AM
  #9  
Unca_Sam
The dropped
 
Unca_Sam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 609

Bikes: Pake C'Mute Touring/Commuter Build, 1989 Kona Cinder Cone, 1995 Trek 5200

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 120 Times in 95 Posts
Originally Posted by Greenhil View Post
Might have been a sales pitch, but a guy at an LBS told me the materials degrade over time, making the helmet unsafe, or at least less safe. When I bought a new helmet he told me to go home and take a hammer to my old one so no one could use it (it was 20 years old - so it was an extreme example).
Child car seats are another example. Plastics degrade in the sun, though car seats see a lot more sun than a helmet. CPSC recommends a 5-10 year life, or following manufacturer guidelines.

If a helmet's crashed, cut the straps so it can't be used after you throw it away.
Unca_Sam is offline  
Old 10-15-19, 05:16 AM
  #10  
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,067
Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 727 Post(s)
Liked 97 Times in 80 Posts
I once put costume antennae on a headband and poked the antennae through the helmet vents and affixed two plastic eyeballs at the tips.

I then painted my face and exposed skin green, put on those slinky-loaded goo-goo eyeball eyeglasses, and went out for Halloween as a four-eyed space alien. (Doesn’t even have to be a used helmet.)

I wear both left and right Take-a-Look rearview mirrors (link), and once even put plastic eyeballs on them.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 10-15-19 at 05:27 AM.
Jim from Boston is online now  
Old 10-15-19, 05:58 AM
  #11  
honcho
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 14 Posts
EPS used in bicycle helmets remains effective for a very long time. Of course, plastics age, styles change and--hopefully--more current designs and construction make safer helmets. However, if I had to choose between no helmet and a 20 year old helmet in reasonably good condition, I'll take the old helmet.

Manufacturers and retailers, due to both liability concerns and the desire to sell new product, don't want their products to last forever lest they forgo the revenue of selling new helmets.

At the link below is a summary of testing of older helmet.

https://helmets.org/helmetlineraging.htm
honcho is offline  
Likes For honcho:
Old 10-15-19, 07:11 AM
  #12  
wipekitty
vespertine member
 
wipekitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: from sea to shining sea!
Posts: 2,258

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 618 Post(s)
Liked 118 Times in 90 Posts
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post

I'm keeping my crashed helmet for an art project.
I've also saved my two crashed helmets - not sure what I'll do yet, maybe something like a helmet wall of fame.

The other ones hung around the basement for a while then eventually got tossed, as they were pretty worn and starting to fall apart. Donation will probably be a good idea in the future, now that I'm replacing (upgrading) helmets a bit more regularly.
wipekitty is offline  
Old 10-15-19, 08:31 AM
  #13  
rseeker
Senior Member
 
rseeker's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Southeast US
Posts: 752
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 256 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 56 Posts
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I'm keeping my crashed helmet for an art project. Partly a reminder of how idiotic some drivers can be, partly to remind me to always wear a helmet, partly because I enjoy kitsch art. I'm just looking for a properly damaged mannequin head to put it on. Maybe turn the whole thing into a lamp or punch bowl.
That's cool. A bike-specific memento mori.
rseeker is offline  
Likes For rseeker:
Old 10-15-19, 08:37 AM
  #14  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 9,885

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 176 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3063 Post(s)
Liked 419 Times in 298 Posts
I might put my mom's ashes inside the mannequin head. She never liked me riding bikes anyway.
canklecat is offline  
Likes For canklecat:
Old 10-15-19, 09:11 AM
  #15  
NoWhammies
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
NoWhammies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,061

Bikes: Argon 18 Gallium, BH G7, Rocky Mountain Instinct C70

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 451 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 59 Posts
Donate seems to be the best route. I do the same with my running shoes. While the shoes have no life left in them for a runner, they still have plenty of life left in them for day-to-day activities.
NoWhammies is offline  
Old 10-16-19, 10:16 AM
  #16  
Cheseldine
Senior Member
 
Cheseldine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 6 Posts
I've been getting into road biking recently, but have only been using my 12 year old mountain bike helmet as money is a bit tight lately (I like working on and cleaning up bikes about as much as riding them, and this is where my free money has been going).

If any of you have a nice shape, good quality, medium size road helmet I'd be happy to send a few dollars your way for it if it is destined for the trash anyway.
Cheseldine is offline  
Old 10-16-19, 02:49 PM
  #17  
tkamd73 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Menomonee Falls, WI
Posts: 553

Bikes: 1984 Schwinn Supersport, 1988 Trek 400t, 1977 Trek TX900, 1982 Bianchi Champione del Mondo, 1988 Trek 400 Elance, 1978 Raleigh Supercourse, 1991 PDG Paramount OS

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 175 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 33 Posts
Landfill, we need more hills!
Tim
tkamd73 is offline  
Likes For tkamd73:
Old 10-16-19, 03:31 PM
  #18  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 5,751

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1479 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 143 Times in 89 Posts
Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post

What are you doing with your old helmets?
Continue to use them...I've been using the same helmet since 2007.
wolfchild is offline  
Old 10-16-19, 03:49 PM
  #19  
tagaproject6
Senior Member
 
tagaproject6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 8,441

Bikes: Wilier Izoard XP (Record);Cinelli Xperience (Force);Specialized Allez (Rival);Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (Centaur); Colnago AC-R Disc;Colnago V1r Limited Edition;De Rosa King 3 Limited(Force 22);DeRosa Merak(Red):Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Hydro(Di2)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 516 Post(s)
Liked 176 Times in 96 Posts
Styrofoam, polystyrene, PET, different plastics...all materials that will not decompose for a few millions years need to be replaced every 5 years (at least according to helmet sellers)
tagaproject6 is offline  
Old 10-16-19, 04:14 PM
  #20  
Ogsarg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Hollister, CA (not the surf town)
Posts: 725

Bikes: 2009 Specialized Roubaix, early 90's Giant Iguana

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 282 Post(s)
Liked 86 Times in 50 Posts
Not sure if bike helmets would be of interest but old motorcycle helmets are sometimes donated to local fire departments for EMT trainees to practice how to remove a helmet from a crash victim.
Ogsarg is online now  
Old 10-16-19, 05:22 PM
  #21  
Vintage Schwinn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 144
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 52 Times in 31 Posts
Give them away - Donate them - encourage someone that has no helmet to consider wearing one.

IF THE HELMET IS UNDAMAGED & IN OTHERWISE DECENT SHAPE, IT IS JUST ABSOLUTELY STUPID TO TOSS IT IN THE TRASH CAN!

I do understand that some of you may be proprietors of bicycle store(s) or perhaps you are an employee of such a local bike shop, so you might feel that it is best to have them tossed so it doesn't impact potential sales. Look at it this way, anyone getting excited about riding a bicycle or someone returning to casual riding of a bicycle for exercise/recreation is always a great thing, even if those folks revive a 45 year old garage sale bike, or purchase a $150 Wal-Mart/Target special, because the more folks rollin, rollin, rolin........will always inspire other doofusses, because naturally some folks wait for others to do it and they gauge whether it is an "approved behavior that "other folks" see as acceptable. Yeah, you have plenty of people that are afraid to do something because the need to be sure that it is something that............well they just have to have to have confirmation from their neighbors/friends/relatives/peers that it is "approved behavior". These were the people that you remember as kids that were hesitant to get into the pool..............they would check the water with their toes to see if the temperature was acceptable, and they would wait for hours watching others have fun in the pool, because they were still somewhat unsure. Those people eventually do dive in and enjoy it such that they don't want to get out of the pool at closing time. I imagine that there are some folks like that when it comes to considering getting on a bike for the first time since they last rode one at age 14, some fifty years ago. There are always some of them, no matter the age, that have that 'Oh, I dunnnO , its been so long, I dunno, I don't have any sunglasses, I don't have a helmet, I don't have the time, I am too outta shape to ride, I don't have a pump to air up the tires,..............just negative, excuses for not trying to do it...........................It isn't really those, it boils down to they don't want to appear stupid and get laughed at, although nobody will, in their minds, they believe that might be the case, so they miss out on fun that might also do them some good.
This is where giving away an old rebuilt Schwinn/Raleigh/Columbia/Peugeot/Huffy/Murray...whatever it might be, to a neighbor, friend, relative, etc with a decent functional Helmet could be just the jumpstart that this person might need. Obviously, you'd have to help them get started, riding slow with them, at an area that is perfect for those no automobile traffic, slow rides, without hills, enjoying the scenery and nice weather------------if you get them moving and they enjoy such an experience, well, there is a chance that they might continue to do the short, slow-ride thing, when the weather is nice.
You have to be realistic, and be careful not to overestimate what someone may be able to do because you're a fit triathlete that can do anything...............you may just have to do the 8mph ride thing with them in the park on flat roads.


Give the Helmet away, or donate it to Salvation Army or Goodwill. Sure, you might have somebody that is a professional-shopper, FLIPPER, that goes to the Goodwill/Salvation Army daily to find merchandise to re-sell on their EBAY store or Craigs' listings. In that case, well at least, GOODWILL, & SALV ARMY received some cash to continue their good works. The flipping thing happens mostly with nearly new, top-quality name brand items, and it could happen with $2 Salvation Army helmet sale if that helmet is a high-end one that the Flipper recognizes as such, otherwise no body is likely to attempt to flip a $2 helmet unless they have a weekend booth at a local flea mkt and regularly sell used bicycles and such.


Don't toss an otherwise decent, useable Helmet into the trash can.
Someone may benefit from wearing it.
There are never enough folks using helmets, as the belief that well, you know I just don't need one because I have never needed one and I'm only riding safely and slowly. Let us hope that no one finds out the hard-way that oops, oh shoot, you know what, I should have worn a helmet. Let's hope that no one ever has their relatives and friends gathered together saying "oh dang, I just can't believe Chuck is gone, I saw him on Tuesday and he appeared to be as fit as Chuck Norris, wow, its so sad that he's dead because of falling off a bicycle, we're gonna miss ya Chuck, sure wish you were wearing a helmet!"
Vintage Schwinn is offline  
Old 10-16-19, 06:17 PM
  #22  
August West
Senior Member
 
August West's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumble down shack in Bigfoot County
Posts: 146

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 15 Posts
I keep my prior helmet in a one of my bike parts storage totes just in case something happens to my current helmet. Being I wear an XL helmet finding one locally on short notice in a small town is impossible so I can always use the backup until I can order new one.
August West is offline  
Old 10-16-19, 10:33 PM
  #23  
MikeyMK
Cycleway town
 
MikeyMK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Milton Keynes, England
Posts: 1,374

Bikes: 2.6kw GT LTS e-tandem, 250w Voodoo, 250w solar recumbent trike, 3-speed shopper, Merlin ol/skl mtb, 80cc Ellswick

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 541 Post(s)
Liked 148 Times in 109 Posts
Our 'Walmart' sells helmets for less than an hour's minimum wage.

I find it very hard to believe the non-wearing of helmets to be an issue related to poverty.

I wouldn't wear one if I was paid. So their use is very much subject to opinion.

It'd be interesting to see what charity shops think. I wonder if they're even allowed to issue them out past a certain vintage.

The foam goes hard and brittle, it's weird how people will attack cheap Chinese helmets, yet endorse an expired one that'd probably fail tests the Chinese ones pass...
MikeyMK is offline  
Old 10-16-19, 11:43 PM
  #24  
Metieval
Senior Member
 
Metieval's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,345

Bikes: Road bike, Hybrid, Gravel, Drop bar SS, hard tail MTB

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 952 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 75 Posts
I think we should promote less trash, bicycle helmetless friendly riding.

It works for Copenhagen.

I'll never see helmet wearing bicycle riders as Earth friendly people again.
Metieval is offline  
Old 10-17-19, 12:32 AM
  #25  
TheDudeIsHere
Senior Member
 
TheDudeIsHere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 149
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 91 Times in 51 Posts
I carved mine into a lightweight set of wheels.
TheDudeIsHere is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.