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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
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  #1  
Old 27 Jun 2002
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How long between helmets?

I have an Arai full-face and my girlfriend has a Suomy of the same style...if the helmets are not being dropped or otherwise abused but used a lot, how long should you go before investing in a new helmet? Is there deterioration from everyday use?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 28 Jun 2002
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The helmet shell and shock absorbing liner are good for many years.

"Popular wisdom" says 5 years is time, but if in excellent condition and looked after well, longer is reasonable.

"Time to sell" hints are the lining is ratty and the fit is getting loose.

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[This message has been edited by Grant Johnson (edited 27 June 2002).]
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  #3  
Old 28 Jun 2002
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Thanks Grant...I think we can hang on to ours for a few more kms then.
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  #4  
Old 28 Jun 2002
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Hi Tracy

The advice you'll get from most manufacturers is dependent on the materials your helmets are made of....

The rule used to be 2 years for a polycarbonate lid as exposure to sunlight (in particular UV)degrades weakens the material over time but modern polycarb helmets can probably stand longer, (helps to store the lid in a helmet bag or similar)

For composite fibre lids such as fibreglass or carbon fibre, I would agree with Grant... 5 years minimum if looked after. (But again, store them in a helmet bag if possible)

Hope this helps
Paul
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  #5  
Old 28 Jun 2002
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Thanks Paul for the additional input.

My Arai I bought in '99, it says Complex Laminate Construction on the side and Grid at center on the back. The Suomy has Carbon and Kevlar Technology printed at center on the back and was bought in 2000.

We take resonable care of them and ride 40,000km/year but upon close inspection of my helmet I am noticing two places that look to have scratched through the paint, probably against the pannier when locked onto the bike. Would that weaken the shell?
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  #6  
Old 28 Jun 2002
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ANY minor scratch will weaken any surface - but given manufacturers liability concerns and safety concerns, I PERSONALLY doubt that a MINOR scratch IN THE PAINT will have any significant effect, and I wouldn't replace a helmet on that basis.

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  #7  
Old 25 Feb 2007
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When you think

If you are thinking that the helmet is looking and little ropey and may need changing...CHANGE IT.

Ask professional advice, ask at the local MC club, ask anyone you can find but DO NOT skip it just for the case of a few pounds. Buy the best you can afford. If you have a 5 pound head then buy a 5 pound helmet. Mine saved my life, it was not cheap but 15 years later, having survived 2 compound fractures of both arms and a broken right leg I am here to tell you DO NOT just think your helmet is ok...find out.
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  #8  
Old 25 Feb 2007
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I don't think you'll find any helmet "experts" at the local MC club!

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 02:46.
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  #9  
Old 25 Feb 2007
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The most commonly used figure is 5 years for a typical rider covering average miles. The problem with this type of age related wear and tear is there can be few visual clues - how do you know if the liner or shell have become brittle until you actually need it, by which time it's too late.
For my own peace of mind I keep my helmets for 5 years before scrapping them - I wouldn't feel comfortable using one which was 7 or 8 years old.
For the last few years I've been running 2 lids - an Arai Quantum F which I use for winter and commuting, and an Arai Astro R which I use for summer and holiday touring. The Quantum is now approaching 5 years, so at the end of the winter I'll stop using it, even though it looks fine. I picked up an Arai TourX in the winter sales which will be my new summer lid.
It's true that quality helmets are expensive things, but if you spread the cost over 5 years it's not so bad - it's just another running cost to consider, along with tyres, servicing and fuel.
I keep my eyes open during the sales, and if I see a nice helmet in my size at a good price I'll buy it and leave it in the box until I need it. The Astro R cost me £150, instead of £400, just because it was a discontinued colour scheme, the TourX was £230 instead of £350 for the same reason!!
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  #10  
Old 25 Feb 2007
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Arai will check ANY Arai helmet of any age free of charge, very worthwhile if the helmet has some external damage. They will either give it a clean bill of health or suggest that the helmet is replaced if there is structural damage.

Either send the lid to them Phoenix distribution (Preston I think) or visit the 'service tent' at a bike event like the BMF rally, again free of charge. They will also adapt the lining/padding for a perfect fit. Again free of charge.

My Arai (an Import from Japan) is a '98 and has some external paint chips, the service team said that it's fine & maybe think about replacement in a few in a few years time.

If only there were more companies that offer service like Arai, the world would be a much better place!

Phil
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  #11  
Old 25 Feb 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shandydrinker View Post

If only there were more companies that offer service like Arai, the world would be a much better place!

Phil
Agreed.
My sister dropped hers on the floor and took a load of the paint off it. She sent it off to Arai who examined it and gave it a clean bill of health. The only charge was for the postage.
Next time I see one of their vans at a meeting I'll have a word and try and get a definitive answer for the lifespan question.
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  #12  
Old 27 Feb 2007
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5 years? Wow... I've never had a helmet last that long. I always take good care of my helmets, but I find after say 3 yearsor so they start to get a bit tatty from daily usage.
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  #13  
Old 27 Feb 2007
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You should always replace your helmet when models with cooler graphics come out.

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