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13 year old Bike Helmets

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13 year old Bike Helmets

Old 07-27-20, 03:13 PM
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Senior Vagabond
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13 year old Bike Helmets

I am still using my 13 year Bell and 12 year-old Giro bike helmet. They still fit and look good. If you read info from the helmet manufacturers and safety standards group I need to replace them with a MIPS helmet. What do there's use and think about the longevity of your lids?
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Old 07-27-20, 04:29 PM
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I think that helmet technology has improved dramatically in the last 12 years. If you are doing fast rides, fast descents, or riding in heavy traffic, I suggest that you buy one of the models that is rated most highly by the Virginia Tech testing lab. They are the only unbiased source of helmet safety data that I am aware of. Even just looking at the models they test, there is a huge difference in the injury prevention qualities of helmets.
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Old 07-27-20, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
I think that helmet technology has improved dramatically in the last 12 years. If you are doing fast rides, fast descents, or riding in heavy traffic, I suggest that you buy one of the models that is rated most highly by the Virginia Tech testing lab. They are the only unbiased source of helmet safety data that I am aware of. Even just looking at the models they test, there is a huge difference in the injury prevention qualities of helmets.
This ^^^
Even if all you do is fall over occasionally. Vintage bikes are one thing.. helmets, not so much.
​​​​​
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Old 07-27-20, 05:24 PM
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I crashed in a 10 year old Giro Interceptor helmet last year. Only cracked my skull in three places.

So it worked and saved me. Would I have fared better in a new one? Who knows? But since I now know that I'm not indestructible as I thought for over 60 years, I'm going to replace my helmets every few years.

Hopefully it'll be another 60 years till my next helmet test. <grin>
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Old 07-27-20, 05:33 PM
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This isn't about Bell Bikers or Skid Lids. Most helmet tech was already around 13 years ago... good adjusting buckles and straps, materials, shapes... not MIPS of course.

Here's me in 2007... I still have that helmet as a loaner, though I also have two newer ones. As long as the foam isn't crumbly it's probably fine.
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Old 07-27-20, 06:10 PM
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My understanding is the foam ages and after 5 or so years its recommended to replace it. UV is increase the aging process.

4 years ago I bought a new Giro Synthe MIPS, it just cam out. 2 weeks later I crashed and cracked the helmet. I compare the impact to getting hit in the head with a basket ball rather than a baseball. I replaced it with the same, since it worked so well and maybe after next year i'll replace it.

As we all know, we don't heal as fast as we used to so for an average of $50/year not to have a helmet over 5 years old, it's cheap insurance for me.
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Old 07-27-20, 11:53 PM
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The most recent testing shows helmets don't really deteriorate much, if at all. Polycarbonate shells and EPS foam are pretty durable and long lasting.

I replaced my 2014 Bell helmet a couple of years ago mostly because the newer Bell was better made overall, more comfortable, better vented and handled sweat better with a nifty drip channel/liner doodad. Last year I added a POC helmet which seems a little overpriced but is even better vented and cooler than the Bell.

The only longevity issue POC mentioned is that some paint will fade because they use the most environmentally friendly paint they can find, which they say may fade in sunlight over time.

I'm more concerned about the straps and plastic buckles. I've found most plastic snap buckles used on bags -- camera bags, luggage, hiking waist packs, etc. -- break after several years, usually at the plastic spring clip. Same problem with every plastic buckle from LowePro to no-name stuff. If that happens I suppose a favorite helmet could be salvaged by switching to old school metal D-rings or similar buckles. Or Velcro could be sewn into the straps after removing the plastic buckles. But I'd probably just buy a new helmet.
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Old 07-28-20, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Senior Vagabond View Post
I am still using my 13 year Bell and 12 year-old Giro bike helmet. They still fit and look good. If you read info from the helmet manufacturers and safety standards group I need to replace them with a MIPS helmet. What do there's use and think about the longevity of your lids?
Manufacturers are doing their job of providing adequate warnings. I’ve crashed twice and cracked two helmets using the technology you are currently wearing. Both times the helmet did a marvelous job and I limped away with no head injuries. If your helmet is still structurally sound my opinion is you’re good with what you have. If you have a history of concussions I’d think about replacing it with new the technology. The additional cost of the new helmets is just not a show stopper.

Now if you’re constantly racing down Caesars Head, Paris Mountain, Callahan Mtn Road etc. you probably want to get all the additional protection you can get!!!
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Last edited by jppe; 07-28-20 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 07-28-20, 05:07 AM
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Good discussion on the changes in helmet technology here: https://cyclingtips.com/2020/04/nerd...nd-chain-lube/
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Old 07-28-20, 02:07 PM
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OP, you need to ride more.

I wear out the pads, suspension, and/or attach points on my helmets in 6-8 years. Or they start stinking. But the polystyrene foam is shielded by the outer shell, so it'll last approximately forever or until the helmet is in a crash, whichever comes first.
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Old 07-28-20, 09:57 PM
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Helmets.org seems to have a lot and up to date info on bike helmets. It seems almost unintentionally ironic (and I stress that it is not their intent; they are very serious and thorough) because the "known and unknown unknowns" of helmet science are so vast. Apparently, there is a shortage of experimental volunteers.
But it does seem to be the case that most modern helmet foams have a very long life.
YMMV.
For example, I decided my wife deserved a new helmet for our new ebike when I saw that the mfg date on her old one was 2000. She is kinda special to me, even though she hasn't ridden much in the last 10 years or so.
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Old 07-31-20, 08:14 AM
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Go to the Va Tech site, buy one of the top rated ones. You have gotten your money's worth out of what you have. There is little question current helmets with MIPS etc are safer and you don't need to be going 60 mph to destroy your brain.

Why the lecture ? I've gotten wacked in the head hard enough to be knocked out 3 times: once soccer (no helmet) once motocross ( helmet), once skiing (helmet) . The last left me with a concussion that lasted for months...it was really scary (ski helmets are mostly garbage) Helmets are not a fashion statement. It won't look cool at all when you can no longer think
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Old 08-01-20, 07:46 AM
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I was in the middle of a crash replacement process 12 or so years ago and a large helmet manufacturing company rep informed me that their 10 year old helmets pass their tests. I haven't hit my head in a crash since and I'm wearing that replacement helmet.
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Old 08-01-20, 10:14 AM
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Relative to other parts of the bike that need replacement, helmets are cheap. If the age of your current helmet is a concern - whether or not they appear worn or new - buy a new one.
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Old 08-01-20, 11:56 AM
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With the money most of us seem very willing to spend on bikes, I cant see an issue spending a sliver of that on replacing your helmet ? A set of GP5000s cost more than many helmets and folks change tires pretty frequently from what I can see here.
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Old 08-05-20, 02:40 PM
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Lemme see
over 50
prolly on aspirin or maybe blood thinner, statisticly as a group.
Helmet with impaired shock absorption from age
Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

it's not like TBI, CTE, or SDH ever happens to older riders.
or drivers never fail to see you.

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Old 08-06-20, 10:02 AM
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I still use a 10yr old Trek helmet.
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Old 08-07-20, 04:46 PM
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Mine's 13 yrs old. I have no plans to replace.
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Old 08-07-20, 08:29 PM
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GP 5000s are top of the line clinchers. The equivalent in helmets is $300+. I think my Giro Attack remains fashionable--so there is that. When I first got it, I was the guy in the skater helmet.
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