bike helmet question

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    I have a Giro bicycle helmet purchased in 1996, very rarely worn and not for years. I intended to use the helmet last week only to find that the stick-on padding had completely disintegrated leaving just the adhesive strips. I ride my bike only sparingly, if that much. Considering the age of the helmet, do I need to replace it for safety purposes, or can I just get some new stick-on padding strips to replace the stuff that disintegrated?



    Just like car seats – the plastic breaks down (especially if it was moved a lot, in a hot location, dropped, etc). The rule is to replace every 2 years for a helmet (or if you wreck).

    I would replace. $60 gets you a great helmet and if worn correctly you are saving a huge potential hospital bill.

    Can you tell I am risk adverse?! :)


    2 Much Whine

    Lots of different opinions out there. It appears that (at least according to one source) helmets manufactured before 1999 should be replaced immediately.

    It’s kind of a slippery slope – of course you never plan to get in a wreck so chances are you’ll be just fine but if you do get in a wreck don’t you want the best protection you can get (within reason)?



    I am in google practically every single day and just realized that my first and only thought was to consult with the Forum contributors on this topic. (Just an interesting side note…)



    We’re waaaayyyy cooler than Google!

    And “our” ‘dood(le) is much better than any of theirs! (Even those interactive Olympics ones!) ;-)




    Here’s a tip: Last year when my wife and I were enjoying one of the Car Free Sundays on Lake Washington Blvd there was a booth, co-sponsored by the Cascade Bike Club I believe, where they sold us really nice helmets for $15. There were no age or income requirements, just an emphasis on getting new helmets onto peoples’ heads. Ours were about 15 years old, though never in an accident, thank goodness, but we took advantage. I believe the program was paid for in large part by a city, state, or federal grant, the helmets were sold to the program at cost, and the workers were volunteers so I really don’t think you could do much better. Cascade would not have been involved if these were substandard helmets. So consider participating in one of the next Car-Free Saturdays or Sundays and see if they have a similar booth.

    It appears that the helmet program is still active:

    One additional addendum: When we went last year the Cascade helmet tent was near the entrance to Seward Park.




    The Styrofoam in the helmet that protects your skull breaks down over time, replace it every 2-3 years. Period.

    The few dollars saved by using an out-dated one pales in comparison to the price you’d pay if your head should impact something harder than it is.



    And, in various studies expensive helmets have not been shown to protect your head better than inexpensive helmets. So long as they meet the safety guidelines for helmets in the US the level of protection they are giving you is pretty much the same. Buy what you like and what is comfortable of course, so you will use it and go biking more, but don’t equate high dollar helmets with better protection.




    Thanks for all of the advice. I’ll be checking out local options in the next couple of days starting w/ Big 5 and Target after work tonight.

    Special thanks to rw for the info on the $15 helmets, I’ll keep that in mind if I don’t get one before the next car-free Sunday on Aug 26.

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