Do bike helmets expire? And how do you know if your helmet is expired? How long should these helmets take before they expire?
But, the definite answer for you is no. Bike helmets don’t come with expiration dates – although you are not going to spend your whole life with the same helmet.
I am dipping my research skills to reveal a few things about helmet longevity. Fingers crossed, you will probably find a content answer to the question.
How Long Do Bike Helmets Last
According to most manufacturers, and the Snell Memorial Foundation – a standards and certification company for the safety of protective gear – a helmet should last about 5 years before buying a new one.
However, if the helmet crashes or it’s damaged by a chemical or UV light, it guarantees replacement. Within that 5-year timeframe, it will be vital that you check your accessory to ensure that familiar signs like cracks and fades on the outer hard shell are seen.
That notwithstanding, not every helmet would last 5 years actually. I would say the time range lies between 3-5 years, in general.
Some helmets, therefore, would last less than five years, others four or three depending on the quality of the materials used to make it. Other extraneous factors such as accidents or unexpected damages can also accelerate the expiration of a helmet.
How Safe is Your Helmet
The safest bike helmet should have gone through certain checks and balances by the Safety Standards Organizations. The helmets should be tested and tried to be allowed for usage.
The Organizations mandated with the task of ensuring that helmets have high safety standards look at things like whether the helmet fits snugly, how much protection it offers, the management of the impact energy, the ease of being damaged, etc.
Usually, the Snell Memorial Foundation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Society for Testing and Materials are just but a few of the organizations that provide stamps for the helmets.
You will need to switch your helmet for a new one if it doesn’t have this stamp from any of the organizations mentioned. Such a helmet is not safe and ideal for a professional cyclist.
When to Replace Bike Helmet
There are various instances when to replace bike helmet. Here are some of those instances.
1. If You Have an Accident
In case you encounter an accident and the helmet takes a knock, it is the time to consider a new helmet. Because cracks may be seen on the outer shell and that’s not a good sign.
Sometimes there may never be a crack. Don’t be deceived by that state – it might happen that the inside part of the helmet has been compromised and may not be as safe.
In other words, there is a line of weakness developed. Which is a long-term threat to the rider’s cranium in case they experienced another falling incident sooner than later, God forbid!
2. The Helmet Drops on the Concrete Floor
The helmet dropping on a hard floor or asphalt or a tarmac road is something which normally happens time and again. If this occurs on a regular basis, your helmet is not in good condition.
Therefore, you need to do something and replace it. Sometimes, the cracks will be very small and even invisible but as I said before, you don’t want to risk your valuable life.
Usually, you don’t see any impact with the eye, but the damage occurs on the protectiveness of the inside of that helmet. The safety standards organizations recommend for a quick replacement with the accessory dropping just for the first time.
3. You Lose Interest in the Current Helmet
Men are naturally curious blokes who want to try new things as they come. Which is why a cyclist may see no justification in changing the current helmet; but because it just bored them, they decide to buy a new one.
Sometimes you just want to make your life better. You want a new style, a fresh feeling on your head or perhaps a new brand has entered the market with a boom.
So you want to try new things. This is a great time to replace the helmet too.
What is the Actual Expiration Date for a Bike Helmet?
Back to our question, do bike helmets expire?
Different manufacturers provide their own dates which vary from company to company. Others indicate that their helmets would be good for 3 years, some 5 years and others even 8 years.
To that end, how often should you replace your helmet?
Well. This will depend on your capacity to afford a new helmet. The vital thing to do is to care for the helmet always.
Some timeframe recommendations are genuine to guide you on the usage of the helmets. However, other manufacturers don’t want to be honest.
Instead, they want to ensure that as many of their products are sold within a certain period of time. And the aim is to make the maximum profits.
Care and Maintenance of Helmets
Care of the helmet begins by your keenness. You have got to check your helmet always to see any potential of cracks or wear and tear.
Regularly, even if the helmet has never knocked the ground or a wall, just check for tears, splits, and breaks. You never know.
The shell should be checked closely for fades by UV light. It is important that you look for these things.
It is time to replace them if you see any.
So do bike helmets expire? Well, somehow they do.
Even though most manufacturers will not indicate the expiration date on the helmet, it is obvious that at some point the helmet performance would plummet.
Check with the manufacturer specifications to find out this information.
Remember you need to keep safe. And safety begins with protecting your head which is the most important part of the body.
It is easy to die or sustain a lifetime head damage without a helmet. Therefore, consider knowing when your helmet will be out.