31 October 2016

After You Make Your Pie...

When should you replace your helmet?

Giro, the manufacturer of the helmets I currently ride, recommends getting a new helmet every three years.    MET, an Italian constructor of cranial caskets, says that a helmet should be good for eight years after the date it's manufactured.  The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, on the other hand,says that while the rumors about sweat and sunlight degrading helmets aren't true (in the case of sweat) or exaggerated (in the case of sunlight), five years is a "reasonable" lifespan for the helmet of a cyclist who rides thousands of miles a year.

So, according to Giro, both of my helmets should be replaced (coincidence?) and the folks at BHSI would tell me that replacing mine would be a good idea.  According to MET's recommendations, one of my helmets should be retired, while the other has a year and a half or so left.

Giro, MET, BHSI and every other helmet-maker and safety organization of which I'm aware say that you if you crash your helmet, it should be replaced.  Some say that dropping it onto a hard surface is reason enough to consign it to the scrap heap.

I actually had planned to replace my helmets in the spring. About two weeks ago, I bought two new helmets, both Giros, that were on sale.  (This, it seems, is the best time of year to buy a helmet, as retailers are clearing out this year's stock to make room for wares from the new model year.)  Soon, I'm going to toss the older of my current helmets.  I'll replace the fitting pads in the other with thinner ones so I can ride it with winter headgear underneath.

I got a really good deal on the new helmets.  Still, before I bought them, I wish I'd known about this:

From Alienation Bicycle Components

I would love to read the report if Snell or the American Society for Testing and Materials did a crash test on pumpkins.  Do the kinds of patterns you carve in them affect their structural integrity?

Happy Halloween!