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I am sure this question of when one should replace helmet comes every now and then, but I couldn't find any definitive answer nor a study.

If a helmet has never been dropped nor crashed, when it should be replaced?

I have an Arai helmet, which I bought 4 years ago. I wore it for 2 seasons or about 7K miles, then stored away in two duffel bags form 2 1/2 years. I got another bike, and I want to use my helmet again. It still feels tight, and looks good except for some minor cosmetic stuff -some of the outside rubber pieces need to be re-glued. The manufacturer date is August, 2002.

Should I replace it?

Thanks
 

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Ideally, if there is no other damage, you should replace it when the styrofoam padding inside the helmet becomes completely out-gassed and hard. Helmet manufacturers use the styrofoam like the bumper on modern cars, and over time it contracts and hardens.

Once the foam has hardened, there is less protection available to your head upon impact.

Around 4-5 years is what I've heard.
 

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The manufacturer's all say five years. I wear a two year old X11...but also regularly wear a ten year old RX7, so...I'd wear it, but have buying a new lid on the long list.
 

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Five years from manufacture date due to ozone depleting the styrofoam. Doesn't matter if it has never been out of the box. This is what Shoei in So. Cal. told me after I had them inspect a helmet after a crash.

This is why you can pick up some great deals on "old stock" helmets if they still have some time left. I've seen $400 helmets sell for $50 with a couple years left on 'em. Be cautious of "great deals" that you cannot inspect
 

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I am sure this question of when one should replace helmet comes every now and then, but I couldn't find any definitive answer nor a study.

If a helmet has never been dropped nor crashed, when it should be replaced?

I have an Arai helmet, which I bought 4 years ago. I wore it for 2 seasons or about 7K miles, then stored away in two duffel bags form 2 1/2 years. I got another bike, and I want to use my helmet again. It still feels tight, and looks good except for some minor cosmetic stuff -some of the outside rubber pieces need to be re-glued. The manufacturer date is August, 2002.

Should I replace it?

Thanks

Hey all, I work for a helmet manufacturer, we always recommend 3-5 years depending on use. As J9 said, ozone, haircare products, sweat, and the natural oils and acids in your skin deplete the EPS liner that protects your head. NOS helmets are a great deal but realistically the time on the shelf has depleted their effective useful life.
Hope this helps
Marco
 

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Are there any unbiased studies that have been done to support this claim of 5 year life of helmets by the manufacturers? Or is this a semi-collusion by all the helmet companies to make us buy helmets every few years?

I have a hard time believing that the ozone depletes the styrofoam that lives underneath a hard shell in only a few years. I have 3 helmets(7 year old Dainese, 5 year old Shoei, & 3 year old Arai) and they are all in basically mint condition. The foam on my oldest helmet still looks and feels brand new.

For anyone that works in the helmet industry, please don't take this as an insult. Every industry basically has some form of "collusion" like this going on. They all sort of stretch the truth somewhat to sell more products and also to cover their a$$.

IMO, if a helmet is well taken care of and maintained and the foam looks and feels like new as my 7 year old Dainese does, I don't see why it needs to be tossed. Heck, I have seen 6 month old helmet that looks far worse than my 7 year old Dainese.

Am I wrong?
 

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Are there any unbiased studies that have been done to support this claim of 5 year life of helmets by the manufacturers? Or is this a semi-collusion by all the helmet companies to make us buy helmets every few years?

I have a hard time believing that the ozone depletes the styrofoam that lives underneath a hard shell in only a few years. I have 3 helmets(7 year old Dainese, 5 year old Shoei, & 3 year old Arai) and they are all in basically mint condition. The foam on my oldest helmet still looks and feels brand new.

For anyone that works in the helmet industry, please don't take this as an insult. Every industry basically has some form of "collusion" like this going on. They all sort of stretch the truth somewhat to sell more products and also to cover their a$$.

IMO, if a helmet is well taken care of and maintained and the foam looks and feels like new as my 7 year old Dainese does, I don't see why it needs to be tossed. Heck, I have seen 6 month old helmet that looks far worse than my 7 year old Dainese.

Am I wrong?
There are all kinds of conspirecy theorys out there. I think there is some basis for the 5 yr suggestion. I will talk to the tech guys in the office tomorrow and report back with hopefully more concrete answers.

Besides the saftey of the helmet, remember the technology improves every year. New shell materials, lighter weight, and better venting are just a few of the things that improve from year to year.
 

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There are all kinds of conspirecy theorys out there. I think there is some basis for the 5 yr suggestion. I will talk to the tech guys in the office tomorrow and report back with hopefully more concrete answers.
Thank you. I for one would be very interested to hear what they have to say.....on and off the record. :)
 

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helmet life.

A second hand view through Arai, use the five years of use rule as long as it is stored correctly; out of heat, sunlight, and especially gasoline fumes. This means you dont leave your helmet sitting on the tank. Or on a mirror.

A long time riding gear salesman at a BMW shop told me this recently. He got it from Arai engineering. YOMV.
 
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