Helmets do need to be replaced. Know when to replace your helmet so you have the confidence that your Bike Helmet is going to keep you safe if you have a fall / an impact when riding.

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When it does not Fit.

You cannot compromise on fit of a Bike Helmet. The Helmet needs to fit – right now and you must have the confidence that it will stay on and over your head in an impact.

Needing a new helmet due to fit is most relevant to kids who ride as their head size is changing. Don’t be too alarmed though our heads do not grow like our feet, you do not go through helmet sizes like shoe sizes. We are born with quite big heads and it is probably the part of our body that grows the least. From a sizing point of view your child will only likely need 3 at most 4 different helmet sizes in their time of biking from a toddler through to an adult.

See out Size and Fit Guides for understanding the correct fit of a bike helmet and how to adjust the helmet to your head. If your helmet is unable to be adjusted so that it is LOW,( less than 2 fingers above your eyebrows)  LEVEL ( sits level all the way around your head) , SNUG and STABLE ( do the wriggle test – make sure the helmet will remain over your head in an impact) tehn you need to replace your bike helmet.

After a crash or Impact

After any type of crash or impact the foam liner can become damaged. The challenge with impacts to your helmet is that it is very hard to determine whether the integrity of the foam has been damaged and so the rule is

After any type of crash or impact = Replace your Helmet. See below for more information on how to check your foam liner.

Deterioration of the components of a Bike Helmet

Shell –  Look for cracks or abrasions.  Are there any cracked edges. Check for fading, UV exposure can make the shell brittle.  Any compromise to the integrity of the shell will mean it may not hold together in an impact.

Liner – The foam. Press carefully over the shell of the helmet to see if there is any movement. Some helmets there will be no movement others a little movement, you are looking for any area that there is a variation in movement compared to the rest of the helmet. An area of greater movement indicates damage to the foam under the shell. Turn over the helmet and check the liner for cracks or compressed foam. If you suspect any area of compression check and measure the thickness of the foam at the same spot on the other side of the helmet.

Straps/buckles/clips and fasteners –  check for wear and tear. Any loose stitching or fraying. Check buckles/clips and fasteners do they work and hold – buckle or fasten and then give them good forceful tugs and twists to check they don’t come apart. Think about the force they would be under during an impact or multiple impacts eg car and road. You want to  mimic that force, you need to know that they will work to keep that helmet securely on your head in an impact.

After a certain time

If the above 3 reasons have not resulted in you replacing your helmet for a while ..then it might be just time. There is no golden rule here…because how regularly we use our helmets and what we expose them to is different for everyone. Just be aware that the components will deteriorate with time and sometimes you may not be able to see the damage…so if you feel like you haven’t replaced your helmet in quite a while then it might be time. As a guideline we say every 3-4 years for regular riders.

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