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Helmet life?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
After some activity in another thread concerning someone who altered their helmet, these questions came to mind......

What is the rule of thumb for replacing a ski helmet after impact?
My bicycle helmet and snowmobile helmet both say to replace after One significant impact.

Do Ski helmets have a shelf life?
My snowmobile helmet says to replace after 5 years even if no impact because age breaks down the integrity of the lining.

Does anyone remember the Bell Helmet ads from the 80's?
Slogan: If you've got a $10 head, go ahead and buy a $10 helmet:
post #2 of 9
Speaking from experience with motorcylce helmets, one significant impact ends the life of a helmet, even high end ones. The inner material that absorbs the impact does not recover and therefore a new impact on the same general area will have much less energy absorbtion afterwards.

Furthermore, sun and temperature differences wear down the plastics and fibres that make up the helmet and so lead to a shorter lifespan than mere cosmetics suggest.

There was a discussion about helmets being sold second hand on Ebay etc. The advice is: never buy a used helmet.

I guess the above goes for ski helmets as well.

I do my skiing in Europe where almost no one wears a helmet; I don't either but I really should.....
post #3 of 9
The same holds true for ski helmets. One impact & replace it. My kid races & I keep a spare helmet in the closet. I'm told the inpact can also include dropping the helmet on a hard surface.

I'm not sure about a life span for weather. 5 yrs sounds reasonable though.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Both replies re-assure me that my thoughts are correct.

I don't believe that I would ever buy a second hand helmet.

If you are competing, a spare helmet is almost necessary.
My husband keeps an extra Motorcycle Helmet in the closet, because he races Enduro's. One impact and out comes the new helmet. No reason to take a risk on a head injury.

If he's gonna get a head injury it will be from me hitting him in the head with my ski pole when he looks at the snow bunnies.
post #5 of 9
I dropped my Brand new giro fuse 1.5 ft onto a wood floor, does it need to be replaced?
post #6 of 9
I don't think a drop of the hemet does anything at all to it. If the helmet is like most, with a crushable liner, it is not the impact on the outside that damages the helmet, it is the impact on the INSIDE with your skull that deforms and weakens the ability of the helmet to protect you again. That is how they work- the shell protects agains penetration and minor impacts (and should not require replacement). The crushable inner part is what absorbs the energy of a major impact, and what requires the helmet to be replaced.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I think the impact that the manufacturer is talking about is a significant impact.

I would think, that generally dropping it on the floor from an average height wouldn't damage the core, but If I were to drop my helmet on a concrete floor, I'd think twice about the integrity of it.
post #8 of 9
I know a guy who hung his Boeri helmet on the hook in the bathroom stall. It fell off of the hook and cracked!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by CalvaryMike
I know a guy who hung his Boeri helmet on the hook in the bathroom stall. It fell off of the hook and cracked!
So by that, am I to assume that one impact means replacement?
I think I will play it safe with my melon.
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