Now I ask ya … is it safe to buy /use a used helmet? What is the answer? Is it okay to go to a thrift store and get a used helmet saving big bucks? Is it alright to wear a helmet someone gave you? The answer is … maybe but maybe not. Most definitely it is risky.
Two different things come into play. First the protection that a helmet offers lessens as the helmet ages. That is because the materials the helmet is made of deteriorates over time and lose some of their protective qualities and abilities.
Secondly if the helmet has been dropped it can result in a crack in it that can’t be seen with our eyes. Again, such a crack can diminish the protection the helmet offers. The helmet might look like it is brand new but one or both of these factors may come into play. I know it is frustrating to possess a helmet that still looks like new and in looking at it one naturally thinks that it is perfectly fine and that there is certainly no reason to throw it away and replace it with a brand new one. No one in their right mind likes to throw money away. It is hard to convince ourselves that we should replace our helmets every few years even when it still looks like brand new. However, that is what we are told we should do. I doubt if many of us do this. I have to admit that I don’t. My helmet still looks like new and I am not one to spend money unless I really need to.
Here is what the industry says:
“It’s often recommended that a helmet worn frequently should be replaced every 3 years or so. The reason is that the foam degrades due to sun, heat, salty sweat and other environmental factors, added to the usual knocks of regular cycling activity.”
I have never dropped my helmet and I know that even though it may not offer as much protection as it did when it was brand new it still offers some. I don’t plan on buying a new one anytime soon. But I bought it new so I know its history.
Personally I would never buy a used helmet nor would I consider a used one someone wants to give to me. We just don’t know the history of the helmet.
BTW, I have written other articles about bicycle helmets before.
BE SAFE OUT THERE!
A FREE GIFT awaits you!