There’s a lot of advice and opinions on when you should change your helmet. There’s loads of information out there, sometimes it even contradicts itself, and I’m no expert or claim to be. However, one thing we can all be sure of and agree upon (I hope), if you have had an off and hit the helmet on the floor, or any other hard surface, it’s toast. Also, if the interior is worn out, or the helmet no longer fits, it’s time for a new one.
A basic rule of thumb or so they say is change your helmet every 5 years. Which may be fine if you do loads of miles and wear the same helmet, it’s like anything, the more you wear it the more it wears out, deteriorates. But say you I only do a few thousand miles a year, maybe wear the helmet 52 days a year (once a week), surely that wouldn’t deteriorate as much as a helmet which is worn virtually everyday? Also a lot of people have 2 helmets, one for summer, one for winter, so in theory should these helmets be replaced in the 5 year time frame, I’d say no.
Do we ever know how old our helmet is when we brought it? Some helmets do have a build date hidden inside, but even if it was brought by you new, but was made 2 years previous, have you got to change it after just 3 years?
Then you have different constructions, does carbon fibre have a longer or shorter life expectancy? There’s also different liners, different materials. Then let’s not forget cost. Hold on a minute you say, it doesn’t matter what it costs as it’s got to pass strict safety laws, and yes indeed it does, but these measures are only used on new helmets, not ones 4 or so years old. In general The dearer the helmet the better the quality of parts used, which in turn would last longer.
Case in point, you’ve never expect jeans from Primark to fit and last as well as say Levi’s (other manufacturers are available 😂). Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with Primark, like there’s nothing wrong with the cheaper helmets. My first helmet when I was learning was from Aldi for £50, it served its purpose, but there’s no way I’d be using it after 5 years.
So what am I saying, well for me I use the 5 year as a guide, and from when I brought it, especially as you can get last year’s helmet for quite a bit cheaper than the current model or even get a better helmet for your budget. But do regularly check its condition, not just the shell, but the interior, the fasteners the visor etc, if in any doubt change it, you only have one head, protect it. Please share with us your views, opinions and advice and experience.