i run water over the outside and get road dirt off, then flip it over and get the inside wet, take a little soap on my finger and rub it on the pads, then rinse. then i press a handtowel in to the pads to dry them out. leave the helmet to dry overnight.
when my brother was in school for mechanical engineering he did research on helmets,he actually got to buy several and test them by impacting them somehow. i emailed him to see how long you can keep them. i know for sure after a crash you need to replace.
i wash mine in the sink, i rinse it with water and sometimes i gently use mild soap on the pads.i dont sbmerge it. i wash it every 4-5 rides, especaily if there is road dirt or mud on it. i am pretty random about it.
After this conversation I will be replacing my helmet. It's 10 years old, has been stored in the garage (Florida summers!), and has been in one crash where the back of my head (helmet) hit the ground, not to mention the couple of times I didn't see those low hanging branches while mountain biking.
Thanks for the asking the question.
"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
Sun deteriorates the plastic making it ineffective, depending on how much you use it, I replace mine every 2-3 years and ABSOLUTELY if I crash....
GET A NEW HELMET....before your next ride!!
Check this out for more info... http://www.bhsi.org/replace.htm
January goal: fit into ski pants by months end! Ack!
MILEAGE GOAL 2011: 1500 miles
“There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.” ------Kenneth Blanchard
There are 2 reasons for replacing a helmet (the way I see it).
First, if the pads are warning out, falling out, etc., or the strap has issues, or the rear retention system (most newer helmets have them) is faltering in some way... and the whole thing looks like it has seen better days... (note that if the helmet model isn't too old, you can sometimes find replacement pads for the inside).
The second reason is because, well, it's old. Before you think "hey I don't need the latest model and style" - remember that the styrofoam inside the helmet changes over time. When you first buy it, the material is actually softer... and it hardens a little more every year. If you leave it out in the sun for long periods of time (like women in their 40s on the Cote d'Azur) it will accelerate the aging process. The worst situation is to leave it in the back of your car while exposed to the sun.
When the styrofoam becomes brittle over the years, it will not protect you as well as a newer helmet. When you crash, the helmet is suppose to crack and dent and basically distribute the impact, ruining itself while your head stays in tact. A helmet that is baked with age will not crack in multiple places as easily and will have no "give" on impact.
I've had some collisions with cars when I was riding at 30mph plus (why can't they cut me off when I'm climbing at 6mph? :) and done acrobatics into windshields and over hoods on numerous occasions. I've also hit quite a few trees etc when I did a lot of mountain biking. I think I've gone through about 8 helmets in 15 years.. usually because it did it's job once and it was time for a new one. If you see any cracks on the inside of your current helmet and its been 2-3 years, its probably time for a new one. It is recommended a new helmet every 3 years or so for maximum safety even if you never crash it (though I think you could stretch this to 5 years if you don't ride that much and store your helmet in a dark cool place).
Actually I think there is a more technical term than styrofoam as I doubt that is actually what they call it these days.
Funny you ask this question... my new helmet arrived in the mail a few hours ago! Have fun! -S
If the pads are worn out and the plastic is becoming brittle then it's a no brainer to replace it. Even if it's not been in a crash.
I replace my helmets after 5 years or if they've hit the ground in a crash, whichever comes sooner. In my opinion, it's your head we're talking about and I'd much rather pay for a new lid then take the chance with an older one.
In God we trust, all others bring data. - W. Edwards Demings
If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise. -P.Z. Pearce
How long do you usually use your helmet before you ditch it?
I have a Bell Paradox helmet dated September 03 that's starting to look a little rough. The pads are pretty much worn out and the plastic on the the top is a little brittle in spots. I has never been in a crash.
Would you replace it?
"John" or "JoPa" if John only makes things confusing. Pittsburgh, PA
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