When To Replace Your MTB Helmet?
Not as exciting as getting new suspension for your bike but, a new mountain bike helmet can be so much more important. Often over looked it should be considered the most important part of your mountain bike setup. Worn every time you go for a ride you put some serious mileage into your helmet and need to make sure it's working correctly in the unfortunate event of a crash. So, when is it time to replace your helmet?
Do helmets Degrade Over Time?
If you keep your helmet in it's box and never take it out for a ride you could say that the EPS foam will be un-compromised over time. However, that's just not what we do with helmets! We sweat in them, ride under the harsh Australian sun, in the rain, give it a little knock as we put it away for storage, etc. So even without crashing your helmet is going through a lot. As a result, based on the available evidence and how much you use your helmet we recommend replacing your helmet every three to five years even when no crash impacts have occurred.
But it was only a little crash
Crashes happen, it's mountain biking. Not all of them are big, fast dramatic crashes that are bound to make you go viral on Youtube. The EPS foam used in helmets is designed to protect you from one impact, compressing without the ability to rebound. Even when you can't see damage it can be lurking beneath the surface un detectable by looking at it. Regardless if it's a small or big crash, when your helmet suffers an impact it's always safest and recommended to replace it. You've only got one brain!
How to get the most life out of your helmet
Look after it! Store it in a cool dry spot away from direct sunlight. When it comes time to give it a wash only use water and very mild detergents. When washing your helmet pads always be very gentle and let them dry away from direct sunlight, not in the dryer! Follow these small little steps along with taking care when transporting your helmet and you'll maximise the life and safety of your helmet.
If after reading this you're thinking you may be due for a new helmet and want to get your head around the latest helmet design and safety trends be sure to read about them here.