When to change your helmet
Q. My wife has recently completed her CBT course and was told that “cheap helmets have a shelf life of around two years, with more expensive ones having a shelf life of around five years, after which they should be replaced regardless of whether they have been dropped.” Is this right?
Richard Lloyd, email
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A. Helmet manufacturers give their helmets a “life” of about five years with “average” use, so that advice was essentially correct.
But I don't think that “cheap” helmets have a life 60% shorter as all helmets use broadly the same materials in their construction to comply with the relevant safety standards like EC2205.
The term “shelf life” is also misleading, as a helmet’s life is deemed to start when it is first used, so you can buy a helmet that has been manufactured a few years before as the clock doesn't start ticking properly while the lid is stored in a cool, dark place at a steady temperature.