you can see cracks or dents in the outer shell or inner foam structure of
your helmet, then its ability to protect your head is definitely
compromised. Do not use it and replace it immediately.
2.If it received
an impact due to a crash or severe accidental drop
to the air bags in your car, bicycle helmets are designed to be "one
and done" when it comes to protecting you in the event of a crash.
Once it has done its job to absorb the force of one impact, it should be
replaced. Even if you can't see any damage to it, there may be cracks in
the internal structure.
3.If it's a few
if it has not had an impact, your helmet's protective ability diminishes
over time due to sweat, heat, and ultraviolet light. Opinions vary on the
length of time. Consumer Reports recommends every five years; the US
Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends every 5 to 10 years. Most
helmet manufacturers recommend every 3 years.
4.If you can't
even remember how old it is
looking at your helmet puts in mind of one of those cycling movies from
the 80's (like American Flyers),
then it's definitely beyond its life span, no matter whose replacement
time frame recommendation you believe!
5.To upgrade to
the latest technology
modern helmets incorporate a new feature called MIPS, which stands for
Multidirectional Impact Protection System. It helps to absorb rotational
forces on impact, and studies have shown that it can reduce the
likelihood of concussions.
Clean off any dust or mud with a damp cloth. Do not use any cleaners or
solvents, as these may degrade the outer shell or inner foam layer. Store
your helmet indoors away from extreme heat or cold.
How do I select the correct size of helmet?
Some helmets are "one size fits most" while others come in
Small, Medium, Large, etc. The sizes have a recommended range based on
the circumference of your head, as measured just above your ears and
eyebrows, but these ranges vary from one brand to another. The best way
to find the correct fit is to try them on in person in our stores and see
what feels best for you!
Do more expensive helmets provide better protection?
In general, no. Bike helmets sold in the United States must all meet the
same standard of protection as tested by the Consumer Product Safety
Commission. What you get when you pay more is lighter weight, better
ventilation, better fit, more features, and better style (and of course,
style is all a matter of preference).
What's the difference between a road bike helmet and a mountain bike
Most road bike helmets do not have the sun visor, as it tends to block
your view somewhat when riding in the more aggressive position of a road
bike. Helmets with a sun visor provide some shade when riding in the more
upright position of a mountain bike or hybrid bike. Mountain bike
specific helmets extend lower on the back of your head, to provide more
protection for this area, as it tends to be impacted more in mountain
biking crashes. For extreme mountain biking, you can get helmets with
full face protection. Generally, though, road and mountain biking helmet
styles are a matter of tradition, and you can wear whatever helmet you
want for either type of riding. Any protection is better than none!