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When should I change my helmet?

25 mayo, 2021
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Helmets with expiration date

This is one of the main factors that can make us change helmet sooner than we thought, unless when we buy it we already know what we are buying. This expiration date of a helmet is marked by the material with which it is made.

In this way, we must pay special attention to helmets made of polycarbonate or thermoplastic resin. At first, if they are approved, they are perfectly safe, but these compounds lose properties over time and must be renewed after five years. These materials tend to degrade with use, small bumps and the elements.

Fiber hulls don’t expire that soon, but that doesn’t mean they last forever. They can be made of carbon fiber, glass, composite … and generally they are granted a life of between eight and ten years. They take longer to break down, but only if they are kept in good condition.

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Damage from bumps, impacts and accidents

Sometimes, no matter how careful we are and although it hurts us to admit it, our helmet may take a fortuitous blow. Any kind of impact may compromise the materials of our helmet and therefore reduce your safety, and an unsafe helmet is not something we should trust our head to.

Blows as silly as the helmet falling off when hanging it from the motorcycle handlebar, or when putting it on the seat, can damage the internal structure of the helmet, even though we don’t see it, so be careful with this. However, the loss of a little paint does not mean that the helmet is to be thrown away.

In case of accident or fall, and after the intervention of the helmet to protect our head on the asphalt, it is undoubtedly a more than justified reason to relegate it to the shelf as the faithful friend who saved our lives, and time to find a replacement.

The heat, the sun and the weather

High temperatures can also influence the state of materials, and therefore the safety of a helmet. The long exposures to the sun or heat sources such as stoves or the motorcycle’s own engine can cause the helmet to lose its properties, both the shell and the expanded polystyrene (EPS) interior can be affected by high temperatures.

Leave the helmet away from the engine, the manifolds and the exhaust of the motorcycle. If you wash it let it dry at room temperature, not using heat sources, and when storing it also keep it away from moisture, this could also affect its interior and its own durability. If the helmet shows cracks, damage or materials degraded by heat … it’s time to seek retirement.

Solvents, gasoline, fuels and other chemicals are not good friends of our helmet either, so the further you keep it from them the better the better.

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The state of expanded polystyrene

The outer shell receives the impact, the padded interior supports us and offers comfort, and among them, the expanded polystyrene, or EPS, is the layer in charge of absorbing the energy of the blow and neutralize it as much as possible.

This section of EPS, or white cork for friends, can also suffer alterations over time. And not just because over the years lose absorption properties, but because slack can be generated that compromises our security.

If you notice that the helmet loses its grip and moves due to the deterioration of the EPS, then there will be no going back. If what deteriorates is the soft interior, since it can sometimes become undone over time, it can always be replaced with a new one in order to prolong the life of the helmet, if the rest of the materials are still in good condition.

The fasteners of modular helmets

The good condition of the strap is basic in any helmet, but in the modular ones, the closure of the mobile chin guard also comes into play. Prolonged use can cause fasteners to lose precision, gain slack, or even grip problems, and those are more than enough reasons to change helmets. If in a flip-up helmet you notice symptoms of lack of security in the closure of the chin guard … don’t even think about it. Find him a substitute as soon as possible.

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