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When To Replace Mountain Bike Helmet

Regardless of the type of bike you ride, whether it’s a mountain bike, a gravel bike or a road bike - a bike helmet is one of the most important pieces of kit you can buy. As well as protecting your head in the event of a collision, bike helmets also help regulate the temperature of your head, provide increased aerodynamic performance and some helmets - in bright colours and with reflective surfaces - also increase safety through increased visibility. 

How long should you keep a bike helmet?

The cycling helmet industry recommends that a cycling helmet is good for up to five years. At the five year point, the foam that fills the helmet will degrade - usually as a result of exposure to weather and sunlight. On the inside of the helmet, oils from our hair and sweat also degrade some of the materials, lessening the protective performance of the helmet. 

Should you replace your bike helmet after a small crash?

If you have had an ‘off’ from your bike and hit your head on the ground - even if it wasn't hard - it’s still recommended that you change your helmet. Although you may not notice any external damage, the materials, foam and parts inside the helmet will be compromised - and unable to absorb the energy it needs to in the case of a future crash.  

As well as the foam in the helmet being damaged in the event of a small impact, the straps and fittings of the helmet can also be damaged,  which means an insecure fit and subsequently poor performance when it’s needed. 

How to inspect Bike Helmet?

It’s important to regularly inspect your helmet for damage. Look for dents, dings and scrapes on the helmet which will suggest internal damage. If there are chips or sections missing from the helmet, if it has been dropped - this also suggests that the structure of the helmet is compromised and would need replacing. If you think your helmet is damaged, it’s a good idea to take it to a bike shop, or a helmet dealer for a more thorough inspection. 

How to protect a bike helmet?

Luckily, there are many things you can do to maximise the safe service life of your helmet. The first and most important, is to keep it safe and secure when not in use. We recommend using a padded bike helmet bag which keeps your helmet protected from accidental knocks. As well as using a helmet bag, don’t just chuck your helmet in the back of the van/boot with the rest of your gear, keep it separate. 

It’s also a good idea to keep your helmet clean and in good condition, store it in a dry cool place and avoid using any harsh chemicals that may degrade the materials. If you feel your helmet no longer fits as well, as or is not as comfortable as it once was - try replacing the foam pads in the helmets to bring it to a newer feeling fit. 

Note, if you wear a MIPS helmet - do not attempt to adjust the liner and the MIPS itself. 

Bike Helmets Online

At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply an excellent range of bike helmets that we supply online. You can find the complete range here, and get in touch if you have any questions about the collection.