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Helmets - "used by" date?

Discussion in 'Scooters' started by scottsworld, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. I was recently shopping for a helmet with a friend, and mentioned to the salesman (Sunshine Coast, Qld) that I had a helmet at home; that was 9yrs old.
    He proceeded to tell me that it was past its used by date, and was dangerous, and I definitely needed to buy a new one!

    • Helmet is full-face
      bought in UK for £150 ($380)
      worn 3 times
      never crashed, dropped etc.

    Is the salesman telling me a load of crap to get me to buy a new helmet?? Do they really 'go off' with time, and 'need replacing every 5yrs'?! :?


    (newbie, about to get bike licence, then scooter).
  2. If it's a polycarbonate, then definitely. Other construction would be debatable.

    I wore one of my old ones for longer, but I was aware it was getting dodgy towards the end. When I started riding more often again I went and got a new one.
  3. EXTREMELY doubtful it has AS1689 certification due to beingbought overseas. This would make it ilegal to wear onthe road in australia regardless of age.
  4. Yes the salesman is telling you a load of crap, and yes the advice from ibast and drew is correct.
    A helmet must be certified to the Australian Standard AS1689, there will be a sticker on the outside or a visible tag on the inside. And plastic ages with time and may not perform as expected.

    So enjoy shopping for a new helmet, maybe try a different shop!
  5. I spent $550 on a Shoei TZR today (rrp $650. I got mine from BikeBiz in Parramatta but Action Bikes and the 3rd bike shop on Church St, Parra all had this special. However, Bike Biz had the best range of designs and sizes).

    The salesman said I will have to replace the helmet eventually but I will get away with more by buying the Shoei. His estimate was 2-5 years.

    The only way to find out if your helmet is sufficient in a crash is to actually be in a crash and if you head blows up like a melon then you probably should have bought a new one.

    Those Australian standard stickers could be bought off eBay or other places. Or you could buy a cheap stack hat and carefully peal the sticker and stick it on your helmet. This method works best with older stickers because newer stickers are more tamper prove with a "VOID" hologram appearing after tamper.
  6. Its true helmets have a used by date. The foam becomes hard and the helmet becomes useless. My dads shoei helmet is a prime example. Bought new in the 70's the inside foam has shrunk and is hard like a rock. I personally would be getting a new helmet at least every 5 years.
  7. the one i have from UK is a Shoei too (spelling?). Hmmm, oh well, i suppose 3 uses isn't too bad.

    Needless to say that the really cool WWII style helmets on sale in Bali for about $10, probably don't come with an Aust Standard sticker on them either?! :shock:

    but hey, I'm never going to crash
  8. Every 4 - 5 years, depending on use.
  9. Ahem, fibreglass is a plastic too, it ages nearly as quickly as polycarbonate (in teh thicknesses used in a helmet), and in some respects faster, depending on the laminate and resin used.
    I like the sales guys in bke shops..."you should replace a helmet every 3-4 years", then try to sell you a helmet made 18 months ago!

    Regards, Andrew.
  10. Err I think you mean polymer not plastic ;) - fibreglass is usually made from a thermosetting resin. It does certainly age though this depends a lot on how the resin was cured - so some helmets may last longer than others.
  11. Wel, if we are to get technical.....
    Fibreglass is technically a laminate. The term can also be used to describe the glassfibre mat that is used in this laminate.
    Other fibres can be used (such as E glass, S glass, carbon, kevlar, graphite)
    Polyester resin (definitely a plastic, a thermosetting one at that) or epoxy resins (another plastic) are used in the laminating process to encapsulate said fibres. The resins cure by chemical reaction, which may be speeded up by heat and pressure forming. The strength coming from the fibres being bonded together, the resin merely being there to maintain teh desired shape and position of the fibres.

    Regards, Andrew.
  12. If you want to get technical there's really no such thing as "plastic" - it's a term used to describe a materials behavior during deformation. Thermoplastic polymers are what are commonly referred to as "plastic", these are the type that will soften and plastically deform with heating. But as pointed out the resin used for fibreglass is a thermoset polymer - which once set can't be softened and deformed with heat (burns instead). It's a polymer but it is not by any definition "plastic" - have a look at a stress/strain curve for fibreglass and you'll see that the range of plastic deformation is extremely small especially when compared to thermoplastic polymers.
  13. Another thing to remember is that you only need a $10 helmet if you have a $10 head............

    It's not much good if you're thinking as you're sailing through the air is "Gee I wish I'd brought a better helmet and full leathers"
  14. then you dont need a helmet at all.

    get one of these;

  15. What brand of helmet would you recommend??
  16. Whichever brand best fits your nut. You need to go to the shop and try them on. When you find one you like, wear it in the shop for 20-30 minutes and see if it is still comfortable.
  17. Definately try on the styles you like. Just like when you buy a scooter or bike you test ride them then you need to try on different helmets to see what fits best.
  18. In terms of protection there is NO correlation between helmet price and how well they will protect you - providing they genuinely meet the standards. The price difference is in style, colour, comfort and features - and last but not least - brand image. :wink:

    In terms of helmet life - the lining will deteriorate long before the outer shell and it's that foam lining that protects your head. Longevity is also not necessarily related to price.

    There's a really good article on helmets here. It's American but the principles still hold.

    Finally - a good comment from that article - a crash violent enough to overwhelm any decent helmet will usually destroy the rest of the body as well.