If you have experienced a fall or a crash on your mountain bike, you may wonder if it is time to replace the helmet that was damaged. The answer depends on whether the helmet is worth repairing versus how extended a warranty for repairs lasts. There are other factors as well, such as whether your crash left any other injuries requiring attention. Before making any decision about replacing your helmet, consult with an expert in the field to evaluate the risks and benefits of repairing or replacing it.
Things to Know About When Replacing a Helmet
If your helmet fits properly, has the proper straps, and was worn adequately before the accident, you should carefully consider repairing it. You can ask your local bike dealer or one specializing in bike helmets to repair the helmet. Ensure they will include an evaluation of whether one wore it correctly at the time of the crash. Otherwise, you could end up with a helmet that is no better than what you started.
If the helmet has significant damage, it is better to replace it. But, if it is in good shape, you should take the time to assess the risks versus the benefits of repairing it versus buying a new one. There can be other issues too. For example, some styles of helmets are used only in certain conditions or activities. The same helmet may offer two different protection levels for two activities (competition vs. recreation) if they are not correctly matched. You can research the helmet you have or are thinking of buying to make sure it is the right one for the activities in which you will be participating. You can also check with your family doctor or chiropractor to get their opinion on whether your helmet needs to be replaced.
Even if your helmet does not need any repairs, there are some things you need to check for yourself. We must make it our priority to protect ourselves from additional injury. Check for concussion symptoms such as confusion, headache, amnesia, memory loss, or light sensitivity. If one has a concussion, one must see a doctor or chiropractor.
Most of the time, helmets are not damaged from crashes. It is an effective form of protection. Helmets can reduce your risks of brain damage versus a direct impact on the head alone. Most often, the most significant damage comes when the helmet is not used correctly. One must never forget to wear it.
Reasons to Replace the Helmet
EPS foam is damaged
One can replace the helmet if the EPS foam is still soft. If the foam is rigid, then it cannot be replaced. It can also be replaced if it is cracked or scratched. You can replace it with a new shell.
The outer casing is damaged.
The outer casing is made of a range of materials. It is either thick or thin. The helmet must be of the accurate size so that it fits well. Your helmet may not function as well if the outside is damaged. However, if the shell is scratched or cracked, you can replace it with a new outer casing as long as the EPS foam remains intact.
The liner is displaced.
The liner is usually made of thin material. If the liner is dislodged or has cracks, then you can replace it. Many helmets come with replacement liners. It depends on the helmet and the company that makes it.
You may experience a shock injury if the EPS foam is too soft. Shock injuries usually occur when you fall from a height of three meters or more. If shock injury does occur, your helmet should be replaced immediately as the shock levels may break your skull, as well as your helmet’s protective measures. Some helmets might not effectively protect you from face and head injuries if they are not properly made and fitted.
Should I Replace the Helmet After a Minor Crash or Fall Without Any Damage?
Most people believe that they should replace their helmets when they feel old or feel that their helmets do not fit well anymore after an accident. There are two different opinions on this subject. One thinks that it is beneficial to make the helmet stronger by replacing it. The other believes that it is better to keep the original one intact. The latter position assumes no damage to the helmet’s interior and damages the shell, straps, buckles, visors, etc.
Other Indicators to Replace Your Helmet
Your helmet should be replaced after a certain period. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that one should replace the helmet every 3 to 5 years. However, this measurement assumes that your bike is kept outside without any sun damage, crash damage, or other damage at all. If you crash your bike often, the life of your helmet could be reduced significantly.
The helmet no longer looks good.
The helmet may look good at the time of the purchase, but it will sooner or later become a nuisance after a couple of years. So, it is wise to replace your helmet as soon as you feel that it does not look good anymore.
Injury to your neck or shoulders
You have an injury to your neck or shoulders now and then. If you’re experiencing frequent injuries from crashes, you should consider replacing your helmet, as these two areas could break down if not replaced carefully.
Bad chin strap
Your chin strap might have slipped off your chin because it is defective. This means it needs immediate replacement.
The inside is deteriorating.
You may notice that the inside of your helmet is deteriorating. The inner shell could be made from various materials such as expanded polystyrene foam or similar materials. There could be a slow but steady disintegration of the inner shell. If you see any signs of deterioration in the inner shell, it is wise to replace your helmet. If you still feel comfortable, though, there is no need to replace it immediately.
Making the right decision when buying a replica of the motorcycle helmet is essential. You have to consider your projected riding time, frequency, etc., before actually making a purchase. Often, research is key to making informed decisions in selecting your motorcycle helmet vs. anything else. Luckily, several sources of information will help you make an educated decision when it comes to buying one. Always remember that safety is your number one priority when you are riding your bike.