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Helmet - does this defect make it unsafe?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by Marc, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. In my infinite wisdom, I have gone ahead and bought an awesome helmet off a bloke...trouble is that I come home and find a crack (little over 1cm) from the base of the neck.

    The helmet is brand-new and perfect in every other way, but for the crack.

    Would this compromise the safety if I ever come off the bike?(not a pleasant thought as I have not yet even got my 'L')

    I really like the helmet but this worries me.


  2. It will certainly be a weak point, but it MIGHT just be a crack in the outer shell, not in the foam underneath. Any chance of getting your money back ?
  3. If you have any worries, I would replace it. You don't know how the crack got to be there, nor if it is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

    Considering a simple drop is supposed to warrant replacing the helmet, are you prepared to risk one that has a visable crack? I mean, it's only your head that it's going to be protecting :p.
  4. Merely salesperson speak :)
  5. Meh, I allow myself to be easily swayed occasionally when I want something new and it suits me :p. But I will keep that in mind :).
  6. If its cracked well its crap :wink:
  7. I guess they have a vested interest in selling more helmets that way...I guess my worry must, in part, come from hearing something similar.

    Would the defect in this helmet make it unsafe, in your opinion?
  8. I read somewhere that some helmets are built with internal components that are designed specifically to destruct upon impact in order to absorb energy. Apparently these components can destruct and leave no external sign.

    Maybe do some research on the helmet brand and see what you can find ?

  9. It's a Shark...I'll see if I can find something from their website. Thanks,

    Found this interesting...


    ...it sounds like as you said, the lining etc combined with the shell create a crumple zone where the transfer of impact is distributed both in terms of area and timing so as to avoid concentration of force being applied to a specific area.

    Can someone confirm/deny/laugh-at my understanding?
  10. Some learned netrider showed me a little trick where a small crack like that can be covered with clear nail polish.
    works a treat as it acts like a sealant.
  11. I would never buy a helmet second hand and especially wouldn't if it had visible damage.
  12. The foam is meant to compress, absorbing the impact.

    If a helmet was useless after such a minor drop (off the seat) then I wouldn't wear it because if it can't handle a small drop of 2-3 fee with nothing in it to distort the foam it sure as shit would do nothing in a major crash.

    However, that being said, if the outer shell has a split in it, I would use it as a planter and not as a helmet.

    The integrity of the helmet cannot (in my opinion) be trusted in any way if the shell actually suffered a load significant in a way where it caused the shell to split.

    These comments are merely my opinion. I have slid down the road face first with a helmet and continued to wear it for years afterwards.

    I dropped my current shark in Tassie off the seat onto the ground and I still wear it today.

    Good luck with the decision you make.
  13. The fact that it's 2nd hand would be the clincher for me. I'd replace it.

    I always have a spare one with me whenever I'm at the track so I can switch straight to a new one if I slap my head against the ground. They're a one (decent) impact device. No need to be paranoid though. I've been lucky with my current helmet, 3 or 4 lowsides and one highside, haven't cracked my head against anything yet. The fact that you don't know HOW it got that crack is the dodgiest bit.
  14. A helmet is a shell that derives strength from it's shape, edge defects in such a shell are massive stress risers when under load, that helmet COULD split apart if hit in the right spot under relatively low load.
    Oh, and belt the crap out of teh guy who sold it to you.

    Regards, Andrew.
  15. Knock on the area around the crack, if it sounds hollow, toss it.
  16. is the helmet cracked or is it just the sticker. the sticker looks like its bubbling up so maybe its just the sticker
  17. If the graphics on it are still fine I'd question how it got the crack. Can you ask the seller about it? Possibly some sort of compression load on it to split at a weaker point at the base of it perhaps? In that case you wouldn't know the extent of the damage - could have a hairline split under the paint that you can't see but would compromise safety significantly.

    Purely my speculation of course! :grin:
  18. I'll take it to a bike shop and get it looked at on Thursday...I'll keep you posted.
  19. Why did the seller want to get rid of it?