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Do You Bin Your Helemets after 5 Years?

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  • Do You Bin Your Helemets after 5 Years?

    The so called 5 year rule - seems crazy to me. My Nolan will be 5 years old in May 2022. No intention of binning it though. Some of my helmets were very expensive so they will be staying beyond 5 years too.

  • #2
    Nonsense. 5 years from when? Plenty helmets on shelves not yet sold for that long!!

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    • #3
      5 years from when it goes on your head!

      I did a fair amount of reading on this a while ago, and the only concrete information I could find was from helmet manufacturers....and of course they want you to buy new kit. there were a few youtube videos from fortnine and bikesocial I think. There is some logic to it....the idea being that oils from your hair/sweat/pushing, pulling and deformation when putting it on and off all cause the foam to degrade very slowly over time. The foam is what absorbs forces in an impact so you really want that to be working correctly.

      I did all that reading because I had an old lid that was really comfortable but had sat on a shelf for most of a decade. In the end, I replaced it and donated it to the fire service to use for drills. I guess if you have multiple lids it gets expensive, but I don't get why someone would have more than a couple really, it's a bit of a waste. Each to their own of course.

      You only get one head, I'll shell out a few hundred every 5 years because even if there is only 10% truth to what they say I would hate that to be the reason between a crash and a fatality.

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      • #4
        But sure then it has to relate to usage frequency. Lads riding every day in hour sweaty weather or lads riding every other weekend? What about lads trying on the helmet on the shelf in the shop?
        I don't see how can possibly put a blanket 5 years on it. And that "you only get one head" is the greatest marketing line ever written. Justifying the 699 euro top of the line helmet every 5 years. Like making you change your seat belt or something.

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        • #5
          I can't buy it.. I would have to think that if head oil did damage to the helmet they would anticipate that and put an anti head oil membrane in.
          the only reason that they would degrade is by taking knocks and the padding getting loose over time but you know when that's happened because you can turn it around on your head.

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          • #6
            Isn't the foam in the helmets is pretty much Styrofoam? I took down styrofoam sheets from my attic that are 30 years old and then put them back up as apart from dirt, they are 100% perfect. I don't styrofoam degrades, hense it knocking around the sea for decades.

            This is a hard one alright as you do only have one head, but yet the logic of a undropped, uncrashed helmet degrading does not makes sense.
            We all stood around in a circle naked, thrusting our clinched fists in the air screaming "Jap Power!!"

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            • #7
              I think there is a UV degradation element to the outside as well is there not?

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              • #8
                I do recall the day I had to collect my new Triumph T120 back in 2017 having not owned or ridden a personal motorbike since 2001 and having to get a helmet to get the bike from the garage - a local Tralee garage arranged everything so I only had to do about 4km on it. Not to worry I thought sure I still had the helmet I bought in 1990 on a shelf in the garage. But when I dusted it down and put it on all the interior "foam" (looked more like a cork like substance) just crumbled and came off in almost powder like form.
                I put that down to being stored in a cold garage for 27 years. I now keep my 7/8 helmets on a shelf in the house - each one kept in a plastic bag to keep the dust off.

                I am assuming the foam is made of a more durable material these days so perhaps the 5 year thing related to that old style cork type foam in the older helmets?

                Edit: Can one of the mods correct the Helmets spelling in the heading please.
                Last edited by Alfaguy; 26-11-2021, 12:03 AM.

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                • #9
                  The foam does degrade with time, but that is just comfort foam. I have a 1980s lid that I had to pull the lining out as the foam had turned to dust and would leave my head looking filthy. So I ripped it out and put in a new cloth lining.

                  The same happened to the foam in my Triumph seats.
                  Last edited by markcro; 26-11-2021, 11:04 AM.
                  We all stood around in a circle naked, thrusting our clinched fists in the air screaming "Jap Power!!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gn3dr View Post
                    I think there is a UV degradation element to the outside as well is there not?
                    The shell is painted so no UV will see the fiber glass/ shell material. And the polystrene is inside and covered with foam backed cloth, so again will never see any light. So logic would say that the only question is does the shell material and inner polystrene degrade purely with age?
                    I doubt that they will ever tell you one way or another. So the question is upon yourself to make that judgement yourself, or take that risk as the marketing department would say.
                    Are there any tests online of a new lid versus a similar new old stock lid?

                    But then also the advancements in helmet technology every 5 years could be another consideration. But in reality, is there that much advancement with the level that they are at now?
                    Last edited by markcro; 26-11-2021, 11:06 AM.
                    We all stood around in a circle naked, thrusting our clinched fists in the air screaming "Jap Power!!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Fortnine has a video on this with a handy recommendation, think its 5yr on head and 7yr from date of manufacturer.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by markcro View Post
                        But then also the advancements in helmet technology every 5 years could be another consideration. But in reality, is there that much advancement with the level that they are at now?
                        IMO - That's about the best argument for buying a new lid if the old one hasn't been dropped or banged - changes in material technology, and a greater understanding of how your head, helmet and the ground interact during a rider-ground/solid object 'interface incident'.

                        I know Arai do/did a fair amount of research into understanding what kind of impacts a rider's head experiences in an off, looking at not only the magnitude and direction of typical impact(s) but also the rotational forces generated and the effects they have on your spine. Rightly or wrongly, I've always assumed that the design and technology used in the higher-end stuff benefits from whatever the current level of knowledge in the area is. Having said that. my current Arai's about 6 years old (I think) - and it's hard to think abut forking out another 500-600 quid for a new lid, when the old one looks and feels perfect.


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                        • #13
                          i worked in a motorbike shop years ago, and got to visit the Nolan factory where they did a drop crash test demo. It showed showed the deceleration of a dummies head hitting a kerb at a simulated 30mph, and mapped that on a graph to show the foam absorbing the impact. They repeated the test, and the absorbotion was about 50% of the initial test due to the foam deforming and not absorbing the impact. The foam is the thing that protects your brain, and my understanding is that this hardens over time, reducing the impact absorbtion rate. Personally, I replace my helemt every few years, and use something like https://sharp.dft.gov.uk/ to get independent ratings on helmets. I dont buy into the 700 quid helemt, as in my research, they dont appear to give any extra over a 200 quid well designed helemt.

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                          • #14
                            ^ Interesting, I wonder if the foam compress in normal use - simply putting the lid on and wearing it for x hours a week/year ? If it did, that might be the strongest argument for 'lifing' a helmet.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by -alan- View Post
                              ^ Interesting, I wonder if the foam compress in normal use - simply putting the lid on and wearing it for x hours a week/year ? If it did, that might be the strongest argument for 'lifing' a helmet.
                              i would imagine it would. gravity pushing it down ever so slightly each time you wear it is bound to have a cumulative effect.

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