Do You Replace Your Helmet After an Impact? - Pinkbike Poll

Feb 12, 2016 at 1:19
by Paul Aston  
I took a decent sized spill a few weeks ago, and along with broken bones and some surgery, I also planted my brand new Xult helmet into the ground on its maiden adventure and only seventh run of its short life. I also had box-fresh downhill trousers, backplate and kneepads that were all cut off in the hospital; the morphine was well and truly in my veins and I couldn't even get the words, "Don't cut them off, they're brand new!" out of my mouth.

It should be common knowledge that after a crash or impact you need to replace your helmet, Why? Even though the helmet may look OK, the EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam liner that absorbs the impact can be compressed. If you land again on the same point, the crushed foam will have nothing left to absorb the impact, and more force will be transferred to your head.

In a dream world, you would just grab a fresh lid straight out of the box, even if you merely drop it on the floor. In reality, after exchanging $450 dollars of your hard earned on a carbon fibre shelled Troy Lee D3, you will at some point headbutt a local tree or rock. Even without a concussion, you might not fancy another trip to the shop with a wedge of cash large enough to feed a family for a couple weeks.

Damaged IXS Xult helmet
My poor Xult after a meagre seven runs, the damage doesn't look too bad as I protected the helmet by using multiple bones to absorb the bulk of the impact.


Do replace your helmet at any cost? Head to the shop when there is visible damage, or just keep on hitting and hoping?

Do you replace your helmet after an impact?




226 Comments

  • 781 6
 Just carry a sharpie and circle the area of contact after a crash (if able). Then the next time you're about to crash aim to a non-circled area and you're golden.
  • 21 2
 Winning!!!
  • 110 1
 I once met a guy who broken his helmet in two and glued it back together and used it and yes, he is a dickhead !
  • 6 4
 @Silverrider you sir deserves a medal!
  • 19 2
 Or just cut out part of an old helmet and stick it over the damaged bit
  • 21 6
 Hahaha i would never use glue to fix my helmet!!! i would use duct tape much better! its flexible too so the helmet wont brake so easy!
  • 12 5
 I crashed once after buying a new carbon helmet.
I kept it for few months without using it, because I was afraid of bad luck associated with it.
Bought another helmet, much cheaper (non carbon), and have been enjoying my rides.
The whole time at the shop looking at the carbon helmet, something was telling me not to buy it.
  • 12 1
 @bigburd he obviously wasnt concerned about protecting his dick
  • 7 31
flag bikeaddict123 (Feb 13, 2016 at 4:54) (Below Threshold)
 put a tiny crack in my d3 and can't afford another one but reckon that it still provides more protection than a budget full face helmet, even with the crack. any opinions?
  • 54 1
 @bikeaddict123 If it's cracked it's done. And no it isn't offering more protection than a cheaper lid. Even a 661 comp helmet offers substantial protection. What you pay for in an expensive helmet is lower weight, better ventilation and of course to look like a boss.
  • 2 0
 True Sh!t over there! Hahaha
  • 5 0
 A easier way next time just duck tape you're head instead. Just saying from experience Wink
  • 3 0
 are saying duct tape cant hold a broken helmet?
i think i need to re adjust my helmet or just put more duct tape then... xD
  • 1 0
 Brilliant!!!
  • 7 1
 Find the contact point and dig out the foam from the inside. Fill the cavity with Great Stuff™. Remove excess with soup spoon. Repeat as necessary.
  • 29 1
 The more cracks in your helmet the more freely your helmet can move around your head during an impact, preventing harmful rotational movement. It's basically MIPS. I always take a hammer to my new helmets.
  • 5 1
 If I get any cracks in my helmet,I'll go straight for the canestan.
  • 87 9
 For the bmx'er this poll is so useless !!
  • 162 16
 Isn't this website pretty useless too?
  • 36 6
 Website"s fine, it's us users are the useless element...
  • 25 134
flag scott-townes (Feb 13, 2016 at 0:21) (Below Threshold)
 I'm American and as an American, I can properly judge what is useless and what isn't. This is all pretty fucking useless to be honest.
  • 88 0
 Whoa! I'm Australian and I can do that too! Am I special?
  • 24 4
 You must have American blood in there somewhere...ask mom.
  • 25 1
 Your mum* or my mum?
  • 18 1
 That's 'us' users, not 'US' users as in a country on the North American continent.
  • 1 0
 Right on brah
  • 61 1
 They always told me to run what I "brung" to the parks and trails, would be nice to remember who was it that told me.

On a completely serious note, you know when you need a new helmet. That one crash that makes you say "yeah I should probably replace this"
  • 3 1
 That's a saying from my street racing days...and now I just dated myself.
  • 51 3
 New Concussion = New Helmet.
  • 13 0
 Mix in a google search on what causes a concussion. Maybe write it down so you don't forget...
  • 18 4
 currently, there's no helmet on the market used by every day MTBers (and roadies), that can prevent a concussion. In fact,i'd bet the fancypants EPS liner is still compressible (ie helmet still fully functional), even after your brain is turned into a smoothie.

Unwittingly, I think we've all drunk the kool-aid when it comes to helmets, that is, we've purchased it as a hedge against literally cracking our skulls. Meanwhile, The Real Problem is concussion, a bona fide brain injury that often occurs without any skull cracking. Unfortunately, this insidiously dangerous injury has been romanticized to the point the real danger it poses, is dismissed as a benign "thing that just happens". One more battle scar and chick magnet.
  • 12 1
 At least Mtb helmets are safer and more technologically advanced than American Football helmet...
  • 64 9
 No helmet will ever PREVENT concussion, it is impossible. It takes you several meters to accelerate your bike, body and brain to a higher speed and helmets are only around 2 inches thick, with 1,2 inch of compression zone to decelerate your brain at best. But stating it like that on it's own that helmets are not preventing concussion is extremely inconsiderate as it insinuates that helmets's are useless and protect only against abbrasion. There are some dumb people out there and they may easily misunderstand what you are saying. Children from 7 to 35 are particularly susceptible for such things.

Every helmet decreases concussion to a certain small degree, with MIPS and 6D doing it better. I can't tell you to what point but anyways it is simple physics once you can understand vectors and forces. It is not just about EPS foam, it is about helmet sliding on your head redirecting part of the force in other direction. If you have no helmet your brain will move inside the skull and smash it from the inside in exactly same point where the force was applied during the crash. Therefore the only thing decreasing that force is resistance caused by fluid between brain and skull.

Finally skull fracture is an important factor in head injury and helmets totaly help with that, by distributing impact area to a wider surface on skull.

While I am not sure if riding in crashed helmet is thaaat bad, riding without one, definitely is Very bad mmmmkay? Same goes to people who ride regular DH park and Enduro competitions in Enduro or pisspots helmets since Enduro and Slope Style became popular. Protecting chin and against skull fracture matters. It does.
  • 14 2
 @wakidesigns Someone give this man a cookie. Preferably chocolate chip. Everyone likes chocolate chip. He deserves it.
  • 4 0
 Preventing concussions is important but a helmet will never be able to do it absolutely, you don't actually have to hit your head to get a concussion. Cracking your skull open is probably more serious and like waki said helmets do a good job preventing that. You never catch me riding without a helmet or riding with anyone who isn't wearing one.
  • 2 1
 I hear what your saying, since a helmet is a rigid structure and it doesn't allow for movement, therefore it doesn't do much in preventing concussions (shakes to the brain). But foams do absorb some of the impact energy and do lessen the blow, thereby potentially lessen the severity of a impacts.

From what i've read every time there is an impact to a helmet the effectiveness of the foams compressive protection at the location goes down significantly (I want to say 75%, but idk where I'm getting that from). Therefore when I crash, normally fall on my right side and will impact the same relative location, reducing the general effectiveness of my helmet.

There are so many variables to how someone may react to an impact to the head generally a new concussion = new helmet is not always a truth. Although I don't replace my helmet after each impact/concussion(yearly, I get one or I see a friend gets one, mid normally); regardless if there is a crack I call it.

Certainly the MIPS and 6D thing is a good idea and all, they allow for some movement, but they make a more expensive hemet easier break. From what i've seen more development is needed and yes is always needed (Saw someone just fall over during a demo in a gravel lot and break the MIPS, 150 out the window). Sure I do not enjoy spending the money on a new helmet its how it is.
  • 3 2
 Ummm, MIPS helmet is not easier to get damaged since it is a liner that allows the helmet to freely slide within a limited range of rotation. POC did make helmets Which hard hells were cracking easily as some form of protection, but they just made some new kind of foam replacing EPS that comes back to orginal form after medium sized impacts so theoretically they are actually going to last longer.
  • 2 2
 I gave myself my first concussion this week wearing the helmet I've been wearing for two seasons. Had a few crashes in it over that time but never given myself a concussion. There is no visible damage to the helmet, it's not cracked, not scratched or dented, the only thing was the vents were full of grass! I'm thinking I'll probably still wear it for the rest of the season but then again, it is on my mind that if I crash and hit the same point again, the shell won't be as strong and that would be a lot worse for me.
  • 3 1
 I've had my share of mild crashing in my D2. I changed it after I crashed hard for the second time, hitting ground in the same way in more or less same area on the helmet. Also the whole EPS got loose.

There was some interesting article I read somewhere, few years ago , stating that pisspots are generally worse for crashing in the woods than regular XC/Enduro lids, since the shell is too hard and doesn't allow EPS to crack and deform. Then there is this can of worms debate on MX vs DH helmets...
  • 2 1
 Head and brain safety is extremely important to me, and I replace my helmets after their first crash big crash. Although I probably don't "need" to replace them so often, and I'm sure only a handful of people are more paranoid than I am about it, I'd much rather spend the money and make it through each season safely.

Also, MIPS is a wonderful technology that will hopefully trickle down to all price points within the next few years. I had it on my Rampage Pro Carbon and it seems great. Can't beat added safety.
  • 1 0
 Mine the FLY Racing Default full face helmet. Pretty sure it's a MX design and it's done the job so far. The EPS is still solid and the shell has no real marks other than the odd scuff so I'm pretty sure it's fine. To be honest I'll probably change it mid-season or if I crash hard on that spot again.
  • 1 2
 WAKI@ I think one big difference between MX helmets an DH is that MX helmets got to take a 250 pound bike squishing it. Liners are the same, shells are thicker.
  • 3 0
 Jesus Christ WAKI, you went all out there? Who put 50 pence in this c***?
  • 2 0
 Whoa that's a fucking waki novel you wrote there guy
  • 35 1
 This is rubbish! I've had the same helmet since Octember 1872, crashed in it loads of time and never had an octopus.
  • 28 0
 I duhnt no if ise neeed too
  • 22 1
 Shet,, I didn repplas min an I cras all th Tim! Nue hellmuts ar an scam brohs,
  • 22 0
 I think I should probably replace mine. Ive been wearing the same one that I over shot a jump and lost my memory for a day. doesn't have any cracks but probably buggered. I don't even know if I hit my helmet, just remember pedaling into the jump then telling the doctor I'm awake now and he said I'd been saying that every hour for the last day but I remember that last time Smile
  • 14 1
 Holy shit.
  • 39 3
 Same thing happens to me when I gobble xanax and chug vodka! lol
  • 7 2
 just ordered a new bell super 2 after reading this. We have public health care which was great so after the ct scan and hospital stay just walked out with a couple pieces of paper and no bill, and I got out of an accounting exam which I was super stoked on lol
  • 1 1
 Same here, lost my memory of the day I crashed (concussion) , then crashed again a week ago and passed out. No visible wear but idk if I should replace it.
  • 1 1
 That's fucking scary. I once crashed really hard, when I was blackout drunk and riding a beach cruiser home. Still have a good sized scar on my face. I hit my head so hard it actually knocked me OUT of my blackout. I don't remember wrecking, but I remember getting up. The brain is a crazy thing!
  • 7 1
 Once I lost consciousness and had a head ache for a werk with first three days being horrible. There was no problem according to the scan. Then last year I fell from a meter on my forehead. Broken visor and a tiny scratch were the only signs of it. I saw stars and a bit of head spin for a moment. Not much pain. Next day I was sitting at work and suddenly had a feeling of like I just woke up, disoriented WTF am I doing at the office? aaa I did come to work today, ate breakfast, yea alright, it makes sense... I had a few moments like that through the following week. On the third day I became extremely weak, I had problems biking to work. Occasionally I was having sudden urges to fall asleep in the midst of doing anything. I was literally collapsing.

I was simply stupid enough not to go to the doctor, thinking that no loss of consciousness- no problem. I will do it now every time I bin it harder, and have any slightest symptoms.
  • 25 1
 he'll no that's like 200$ a ride!
  • 20 1
 When I say visible damage I mean a crater big enough to wipe out all the germ dinosaurs crawling around on my helmet
  • 9 0
 I'm sure I'm doing the wrong thing but it depends on the impact . Makes me think it may be a better idea to buy a cheaper priced lid rather than a flash Carson lid . But I suppose it comes down to what price do you put on your life.
  • 8 0
 At a certain point, increased price will not increase protection. Also, the more expensive helmets save a few grams by using carbon, or for providing more vent holes but don't provide more protection.
  • 3 1
 Have (had) a troy Lee a1. Took a big hit yesterday, pretty sure I found out why I paid so much for it the first day. Pretty sure that if I had a helmet with more vents I wouldn't have the brain power to be looking at this today. I'll be going into the shop to grab another a1 as soon as I can afford it and not riding until then. In my opinion, you get what you pay for. Had a 661 evo carbon that I bought at 70% discount, thought it was the best thing ever. Tried on my mates d3. My 661 felt like a frail little matchbox compared so I saved up and bought the first d3 I could afford. I know troy Lee helmets are kind of a fashion statement but they do offer far superior protection to other brands regardless of price in my opinion
  • 9 0
 Something I have noticed living in a large city is commuter cyclists wearing badly fitting helmets, or helmets that are not strapped correctly.(Especially women) This makes me cringe every time, as they have a false sense of security.
  • 15 4
 There is a reason I have had six TLD D3's....my head is worth more than $500.
  • 6 1
 There is a reason I don't...even if my head is worth it I simply don't have the money.....broke college kid $60 full faces for me.
  • 11 0
 OK, I'll be the 1st to say it:

Heal up.
  • 1 0
 Bah, I feel like an ass now! Healing vibes to ya, Paul!
  • 5 0
 I had to throw my helmet away after the very first ride last year too. I can't remember the crash or my way home. My body and brain still automatically managed to ride me home on my bike. Went to the hospital and stayed for almost 2 weeks. When I checked my helmet afterwards, the inner foam was compressed to half the thickness on one side even though it had only a few scratches on the outside.
  • 6 1
 You sir... Are a bad ass. You crash out on the trail to the point where you're that badly concussed and can still "automatically" dish out all the technical skill to get out of the woods and back home safely before a 2 week hospital stay??!! That's pure badass in my book!
  • 7 0
 I did not want it to sound that way. I stayed that long because of something the doctors found while checking me after the crash. Not crash related. I felt really stupid afterwards. I was not in pain. Neither did i brake any bones. I have no idea how my decision process was right after the crash, because i can not remeber. And it is like a 2 minute ride out of the forest on gravelroads and 10 minutes ride through the city.
  • 11 8
 If manufacturers would have free crash replacement for 5 years then I would buy a $200 helmet and get it replaced after every crash. But when manufacturers offer $50 crash replacement they are revealing the actual price of their $200 retail helmet. The $30 helmets at Walmart are required to pass the same certifications as the ridiculously priced helmets. and often made in the same factory.

The "replace a helmet after every crash" policy is made up by the same criminal marketing bastards that invented St Valentines Day.
  • 2 0
 You should replace you girlfriend friend's/fiance'/wife's helmet once a year also.
  • 9 1
 Carted a few boys off a hill with "wallmart" type helmets. 1 cross country guy where the peak came forward, did not detach then skewered him in the head, with lots of blood loss and stitches. Another where poor quality and flex on the chin piece left him with a 7" laceration to his cheek needing plastic surgery.
You only get 1 life... don't risk it!
  • 5 0
 ChampionP@ it took me a couple of minutes to figure out your joking. . . . . It would be funny to buy a $5000 bike then use a $30 Walmart helmet. You had me for a minute. . . . . .
  • 1 0
 On occasion the local health network gives away the Wal-Mart type helmets for free, which just about reveals their actual price. Not saying one option is better than the other, but fear not, Wal-Mart is turning a profit as well as POC and Troy Lee.
  • 5 0
 Champion- so if I get this right, you want the manufacturer to replace your helmet at no cost when the helmet does its job when you screw up riding your bike? Stunning...
  • 1 0
 as long as it is certified you are ok, but 30-50 dollars for a non certified helmet is stupid.
  • 1 2
 Bicycle helmet certification is quite antiquated!
  • 1 0
 Smith's crash replacement is 30% OFF MSRP. Gone are the days of the deeply discounted crash replacements.
  • 3 0
 FYI, simply dropping a helmet does not require replacement. If there is nothing in the helmet, like your 12 lb head, for the EPS to react against, the liner will not compress so it's okay. It would have to be a very significant impact in this case for the EPS to affected.
  • 3 1
 This is why I spend money cheaper price lids. My Spyder Sigma helmet costs almost 1/8 the price of a similar Fox or TLD helmet and it weighs roughly the same. I've been in a few crashes and It protected me well from all of them and I only replaced 2 in the past 5 years of riding without even breaking the bank.
  • 2 0
 My current lid has taken 3 or 4 impacts, one was decent enough to be emotional, was going to pick up a new one tomorrow when this poll came up, agree on the good timing more motivation when one reads the words compressed and transferred to your head.
  • 2 0
 Emotional? Not poking fun, genuinely curious whatcha mean there?
  • 9 0
 just means it scared me a lot and had to battle some dirt demons to hit the same trail.
  • 2 1
 Ah, f*ck. How ya doin now? Back on your game?
  • 2 0
 I've taken many a crash wearing my current helmet, but I've never hit my head in any of those crashes so I haven't been too worried about it. Last time I replaced my bike helmet was just because the lid was too old and well loved to be fully trusted anymore. You have to find a balance between buying a new helmet after every little crash, and buying one helmet that you run for life. I go for replacement after a substantial head impact, or old age, whichever comes first.
  • 2 0
 Rode to college during the week. My Cratoni AllTrack helmet caused quite a stir in the maths class. Although non are serious riders, one student is a roadie and my teacher cycles to college. When I told them the price (£120), they lost their shit, saying stuff like "my helmet only costs £8" , "waste of money"

The fact is it's a well designed piece of kit, that meets the standards and passes them by a country mile. Where as the cheaper ones don't. I've learnt my lesson from my last helmet (didn't check it for awhile and found 3 cracks inside!) and I'm also aware that Cratoni offer CRASH REPLACEMENT, at about 50%, so it's stupid not to replace the helmet. I've had a few offs wearing it, but my head never made contact with the ground so I'm all good at the moment!
  • 2 0
 Ok here's my helmet story. I've gone through several. All have been high quality helmets which I think helps. I've only every replaced them after they finally crack on a rock or something. My last helmet had so many debts and divits it looked like it had been through a battle. Finally cracked after falling backwards into a rock. Replaced it with a Bell Super 2R MIPS. No concussions so far. But that's just pure dumb luck.
  • 2 0
 I've taken probably at least 20 really hard headers over the last 20 years of riding bikes, Like splatting tree's at over 20mph, endoing to flat from 10' in the air, and bouncing my bare head off concrete while showing off, separating my shoulders, breaking wrist etc.

I started off in a skate lid, then giro mad max II's, then giro remedies, then kali's lightweight bike fullfaces, now i run Kali protectives Prana Helmet's ( i think i'm on my 4th) in total i've condemmed at least 16 helmets from hard hits. they hurt more than they used too, and i try hard to stay off my head nowndays, but yaknow they say, shit happens when you party naked.

In my experience I've found Kali's Composite fusion plus Absorptive technology and helmets to be the most comfortable, lightweight, luxurious and protective helmet that i've worn. i've had all sorts of f*cked up stuff happen while wearing them; such as hitting a tree head on at 10 mph whilst simultaniously being hit in the back of my head by my cr250r dirtbike...
Kali protectives is a great company, I highly recommend their products, beyond any ol helmet i give some credit to my lack of constant drool to their superior quality. In addition to that Kali protectives DOES offer crash replacment's for their helmets, cause they really care about us riders! AND you can find this high performance helmet for the great price of $250 new, or even $125 on closeout, that's a helmet i can afford to be protected by!

I'd Also like to add to this conversation what i believe to be the importance of Visors. I used to be a guy rocking the cannon ball look on a regular basis. in recent years i've fully realized the importance of visors; they can be used to sweep branches over the top of your helmet instead of gettign smacked in the face, but most importantly a good flexible visor provides MANY extra inches of absorptive deceleration from frontal impacts. Shitty helmets visors may end up collapsing and the tabs may stab you in the face (my friend has a wound from a TLD visor right now)

Stay safe!
  • 1 0
 i face planted in my 661 and flexed the chin guard so that the plastic black front vent piece sat at a jaunty angle.....some body weight and a firm floor managed to allow me to flex it enough again to be able to realign it but as this bit is purely fiberglass i thought it will be fine to keep using.....never heard any crunching or cracking noises on impact so i trust its ok.....its not an expensive helmet by any measure but i would only replace it if i thought i had squashed any polystyrene or heard something crack on impact.
  • 28 27
 Replacing helmets is liability protection and profit-gouging by manufactures. Helmets mainly protect against skull fractures and flesh wounds. They are limited in their capacity to protect the brain from sudden stops and impacts. It's your brain hitting the inside of your skull that messes you up, not your brain hitting the ground. We truly need improved technology to protect our brains, not cheap overpriced over-styled plastic buckets, that only absorb a small fraction of the energy that is transferred to our heads during a crash.
  • 11 0
 Tell that the NFL.
  • 35 3
 Err doesn't the the helmet slow down the deceleration of your head, meaning your peanut sized brain doesn't slap against your skull with the same speed as your helmet hits the ground?
  • 20 3
 "Cheap overpriced over-styled plastic buckets, that only absorb a small fraction of the energy that is transferred to our heads during a crash"

Completely disagree. Not sure how you came to the conclusion that helmets only absorb a "small fraction of energy", whatever that means, but I'd recommend you look into how they actually work before you speculate and jump to conclusions. Criticizing how manufacturers price them is fair, but saying their products hardly do anything isn't.
  • 4 0
 This is what MIPS is attempting to do accomplish, albeit with mixed results, but unfortunately the overwhelming answer is no. There was a somewhat biased article written in Bicycle Magazine a few years ago here:

www.bicycling.com/sites/default/files/uploads/BI-June-13-Helmet.pdf

And a rebuttal here: www.bhsi.org/bicyclingmag1305.htm

Interesting stuff...
  • 52 0
 New quiz: You are sitting in a mob boss meeting and one of the dons is walking around with a baseball bat and talking about the importance of teamwork. He stops behind you. Do you a) wish you were wearing a helmet, or b) thinking "Helmets are limited in their capacity to absorb impacts, I'll be fine."
  • 20 1
 So what do you think happens when a helmet breaks, exactly? That's dispersing most of the impact hitting your noggin, which is why the helmet splits and not your skull. I wouldn't call that only dispersing a small fraction of the impact. Yeah helmets are not advanced enough to make a brutal, sudden deceleration safe on your brain but then again, that's like saying you're pissed off they don't have body armor that's intelligent enough to protect from internal injuries resulting from blunt force crashing into something big. There's always going to be a limitation at how much protective gear actually protects you because at the end of the day, your body is one giant mush of liquids and soft tissue.

Your post is useless, I guess is the short version.
  • 4 2
 Has someone been watching the latest Will Smith movie? This isn't American football and we don't have the same repetitive impacts (or helmets) as they do. As a taller than average guy I have suffered multiple concussions from banging my head on low doorways, and only one or two due to mtb crashes. (with a full-face helmet) Anyway, I digress, it is possible with many helmets to remove the inner lining and inspect the EPS for areas of compaction, post impact. I have also found over my 25 or so years riding experience that helmets which crack on impact tend to offer more protection against concussion than those that don't. (I don't know if there is researched evidence to back this up, its just my experience)
  • 5 1
 The truth is the helmets of any kind whether it be bike, Moto, football etc, don't very much to prevent concussions. Current helmet designs (hard foam covered by hard shell) are meant mostly to prevent traumatic injuries like skull fractures by spreading out the forces of a direct impact. They don't however do a great job of slowing down the deceleration of the brain (which is what causes concussions)

It's obviously better to wear a helmet than to not wear one as the helmet will certainly reduce the severity of any impacts to the head and any possible concussion. But the reality is the in any decent crash, most helmets won't come close to reducing in impact to sub-concussive levels.
  • 4 0
 I think designing functional (i.e. capable of reducing brain deceleration) is possible, but to design it such that anyone would actually buy and wear it is nigh impossible. Companies are trying, but when limited to the aforementioned two inches of space there's only so much they can do.
  • 2 0
 @ecologist - For sure. They could design a helmet to effectively prevent concessions but like you pointed out, it would have to rather large. Its a simple matter of physics. If you want to decrease the rate of deceleration you need more distance over which to do so.
  • 2 0
 All we need is 6 foot diameter crash helmets, imagine how many brains could be saved if every crash to your head is 3 foot less of an impact.
  • 4 2
 For those of you with reading comprehension challenges, go back and read it again. Small fraction means what is stated. It does not mean helmets do nothing. Indeed the help prevent serious head injuries such as flesh wounds and fractures. The current helmets are indeed better than nothing, but you are fooling yourselves if you think they protect against concussions.There is simply no way for a 2-inch layer of plastic and foam made under current design configurations to disperse the energy of hitting a tree or hardpack at 60kph. I sense more denial here about dealing with the reality of concussions, than any educated consideration of the issue. I have (rightly and accurately) pointed out that current helmet technology does a piss-poor job of protecting against a specific type of brain injury. I am not an engineer but I do work in medicine. We have made all sorts of radical products that few could envision even ten years ago. Why is everyone so skeptical about the challenge of making better head and brain protection? Are you afraid it will interfere with your enduro look? Unfortunately, public understanding of brain injuries still lags far behind medical knowledge. Product manufacturers are somewhere in the middle, doing only what they can make money on. Until they find a way to profitably manufacture proper brain buckets, they will encourage you to speed along under the illusion of protection from their fancy flame-painted and stylishly vented glorified ice-cream buckets. None of the manufacturers want to openly discuss the true limits of their products with relation to concussions, because of the damage that may do to their sales and participation numbers.
  • 2 0
 cerealkilla - "We truly need improved technology to protect our brains, not cheap overpriced over-styled plastic buckets, that only absorb a small fraction of the energy that is transferred to our heads"

No, I think we understood your post just fine. Its useless to point out something obvious while making an incredibly false statement such as helmets only disperse (that's the term you're looking for, not absorb), a small fraction of the impact or are over-glorified plastic buckets. Relax, we all post stupid crap from time to time.
  • 6 2
 Um, sorry buddy but you're wrong. Bicycling Canada, Science Base Medicine, and numerous other sporting bodies have openly acknowledged the inadequacy of helmets in preventing concussions. I actually deal in research and have read the articles...not just the Pink Bike articles, but he actual scientific articles. I won't go bragging credentials and letters after my name, but the fact is you are absolutely wrong. It seems you're awfully eager to protect the industry. I'm betting you don't work in medicine.
  • 1 2
 From Dr. Tator at U of T: "However, as the understanding of concussions has advanced significantly in recent years, basic helmet design has not, and the standard that North American helmet manufacturers follow has not changed since 1999."
  • 2 2
 ^ No shit, bud. No one is saying helmets are adequate at preventing concussions. That whole reading comprehension thing... yeah, try it out sometime. For someone who wants to brag about what "letters" they have after their name, you sure have a hard time telling the difference between dispersing energy from an impact, vs. sudden deceleration.
  • 2 1
 @cerealkilla You say they don't prevent concussions, but they prevent "flesh wounds and fractures". Helmets are meant to prevent against traumatic brain injury first and foremost. If you've actually looked into the literature, like you say you have, you'd know that.

Helmets don't prevent all concussions, that's true. The force required for the helmet to start compressing/slowing down the impact on the head, and consequently the brain, is higher than the minimum amount of force required for the brain to run into the skull and cause a concussion. The thing is, a bit after that minimum amount of force that the helmet doesn't work, it does start to compress and slow down the impact, preventing a more serious TBI, which is with out a doubt much more important than preventing a minor concussion. You seem to not believe in any of that and think they're hard pieces of plastic meant to only prevent against cuts and fractures to the skull.

"There is simply no way for a 2-inch layer of plastic and foam made under current design configurations to disperse the energy of hitting a tree or hardpack at 60kph". Again, complete speculation. Of course there are limits for some designs, but you should really look into what they are.

"Why is everyone so skeptical about the challenge of making better head and brain protection?"
You really think that's where the criticism towards your comment comes from? What were you saying about reading comprehension challenges? Helmet's technology needs to improve to be able to prevent concussions, I agree with that. What I don't agree with is you're failure to acknowledge that helmets prevent any degree of brain injury.


Hey and not to brag but I work in medicine and have tons of letters after my name and degrees too, so trust me I'm right. I too like reading scientific articles and not to brag but you wouldn't know what you're talking about because you don't work in medicine (only people who work in medicine are capable of doing any kind of research).
  • 4 2
 Nothing you have said actually contradicts the points I made. I never at any point said that helmets fail to prevent any degree of brain injury. I instead indicated that they provide marginal protection against concussions. Big difference, and you are bending my words to prop up yourself, instead of reading things properly. As for speculation on design, I have pointed towards EXISTING research pointing at shortcomings of current design standards. You have pointed to design POTENTIALS that do not exist yet. You, sir, are speculating. I am criticizing what is real and known. Actually I do work in medicine. You'll have to take my word at that as I take yours. I have not said that they do no good, only that the amount of good they do is grossly overstated by industry, that their limitations are not clearly communicated by marketing teams, and the level of protection they provide and the true nature of concussions is poorly understood among riders.
  • 2 1
 ^ No one cares, just stop pointing out the obvious.
  • 3 2
 helmets cause autism
  • 2 1
 @ecologist finally some sense, you can't prevent brain deceleration in a crash, unless you stop dead and your brain carries on down down the trail. THAT would be VoD for me, but not sure where the gopro mount would go haha.
  • 1 0
 cerealkilla and ecologist are right. Helmets don't really prevent concussion. The analogy is that your head is like a jar (the skull) of water with an onion (the brain) floating in it. If you shake it the onion will hit the sides, regardless of what you wrap around the jar. I hope that helps those who still don't get what is trying to be conveyed here.
  • 1 0
 ^ Sure, but if I wrap the jar with a layer of foam the onion is going to be better off than if I didn't. Plus I can throw a rock at the jar with confidence. There's no way a helmet could ever prevent the deceleration or rotation that causes concussion. Not with only an inch of real estate to work with. They are great for what they are, but anyone who thinks they'll prevent all injuries is deluded. Better off sticking to wrapping oneself in cotton wool and avoiding the world of fun.
  • 1 0
 Sorry djm35, you were just trying to explain a concept. I'd delete my post if I knew how by phone.
  • 1 0
 I see pros in slope style take a big crash and use the same lid for there next run.. it may not have been a huge head impact but it sure hit the ground and rocked them a little ... are they really fuct after a small impact of is it all red tape
  • 1 0
 The buckle on my Kali was getting very rusty, (from sweat) it was still operational but getting very difficult to unclip, it was 12
mths old, I was planning on replacing it but since the clip was holding .. Last week I had a superman style high speed crash landing on a timber down ramp, broke my left hand and right forearm and dislocated my right shoulder. I can still hear my chin guard grinding along the boarding. Laying there and apart from being dazed I was ok. ..feeling like i was about to black out, I needed some fresh air, guess what ..because of the sticky clip and injuries ..I couldn't get my helmet off!
  • 1 0
 Having had a reasonable off two days ago, I have looked pretty hard multiple times at my Bell Super for any signs of damage, if I found any I would definitely replace it. But I managed not to hit my head in my 40 kph otb and my camelback + left thumb took the brunt of the fall.
  • 2 0
 "Always, even after a small impact"
Its made from Carbon Fiber, its got to be good for a few impacts, I spend a pretty penny on it!
Besides if I can remember to replace it after a crash I figure its still good.
  • 1 0
 CF is stiff and light, but it does NOT like impact, esp from sharp oblects such as rocks. Check for soft spots (delamination).
  • 1 0
 I heard the EPF can harden over time an helmets should be replaced every two years, though my last TLD air was warrantied for 3.

Thing is

A lot of shops stock helmets that are years old.when looking for my new lid this Xmas I was seeing lids as old as 2012!
I bought another TLD, 2014 model on about 70% price reduction. So if I get a year before I retire it , I'm happy with that

My question is
Should helmets come with expiry dates?
  • 1 0
 They often do. A lot of them have manufacturing dates on them somewhere and in the guidelines it says something like "buy a new helmet every 5 years, even if it only lay in your living room".
  • 3 0
 A recent study found no evidence of performance degradation on even 25 years old helmets. Google it you'll find it
  • 1 0
 And you believe that a helmet that is 25 years old won't have degraded at all? Haha
  • 1 0
 That website also has a page on how to tell which is the front of the helmet.........
  • 1 0
 For motorcycle competition helmets, your helmet can not be older than 2 - 3 years old from the date of manufacture.
  • 1 0
 Just broke my Oneal Skad before winter after a crash. Fell 4m and tumbled like laundry and my bike hit me a couple of times in the head, with the rear axle. I have a Glory DH Big Grin Stood up, gash on the left side. I am SO happy I had a helmet that day!
P.S. As a replacement I went for the Fury Fidlock EVO, as I do not ride hard enough to need full DH spec protection and I know that after the next amble crash, it would also need replacement. Replace your helmets, please, we've only got one head, and no matter if pro or not, we are all mortal. Hint: Maddog.
  • 4 0
 If a crash is too gnarly to laugh it off afterwards, it was too gnarly to keep the helmet afterwards.
  • 3 0
 Surely if U drop the helmet on a floor there is no head inside to compress the impact absorbing materialas, so if the shell doesn't crack there is no changes in the helmet.
  • 1 0
 From POC's website: "Most helmets today have liners made of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene), a great shock absorbing material, but it will be permanently compressed when absorbing an impact, even a minor one. Using multi-impact EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) as core material creates a helmet that will protect your head over and over again."

Some other brands use the same technology. Like Smith: www.smithoptics.com/us/Root/Men%27s/Helmets/Cycle/Axle/p/HB15-AXFMSM/sizeVariants
  • 1 0
 Hucked a 4 foot drop to my head yesterday. My head is still spinning but I'm not sure if its from looking at the price of a new troy Lee a1 or the impact. Either way, the helmet is screwed and I'll need a new one. It did an awesome job and I'm pretty sure there are very few lids that would have taken the same smack and still left me in a reasonable state of mind to finish the race.
  • 2 0
 After a couple really bad concussions I don't mess around with helmets. If I have a shred of doubt, I replace it. Its just not worth the the potential injury. I'd rather be broke than brain dead!
  • 1 0
 Wrecked a few years back...broken ribs/collarbone, a punctured lung and a really nice concussion. I replaced my giro carbon after I noticed the whole impact area had delaminated. I still have a replacement visor that I never got to use....tragic.
  • 2 1
 I find it strange how guys are riding around with GoPros and mounts on their helmets. I wonder how many times that thing catching on the ground or a tree has significantly increased the damage done by a crash. I've heard the story of the Specialized helmet that was made from a material that would kind of grab the asphalt and cause neck trauma; sometime in the early 90's I think. Anyone know anything about that?
  • 1 0
 I broke my C1 verta this fall. I was wearing my D3 Carbon helmet on its 5th ride wearing it! There are no scratches on it. I bruised my top of my head. But was not not knocked out. Do I replace the helmet? And yes I know aim fourtunate to be still walking. I still look forward to riding my bike.
  • 2 0
 Glad you're ok man!
  • 1 0
 Did you replace it? Same story here, broke my elbow in sept2017 (Big otb and frontal helmet impact but even with crashes still looks solid and safe to Wear) and Since then kept wearing my D3 carbon (non Mios)without crashes fortunately. Now i hesitate to switch for a New Mips, what do you think !
  • 1 0
 The last full face I owned when I was a teenager was pretty battered, but the shell still seemed hard, it just looked shitty. Personally my friend would never even wear a helmet half the time when we rode, so it's all personal preference.
  • 1 0
 I guess most people don't replace there helmets after reading these comments XD Saying that tho...I still rode my piss pot even after the foam had split apart from the shell for a few years possibly it's only when I got my new one I decided I'd stop landing on it and crushed my leg instead and now I don't even need the thing...
  • 1 0
 I knocked myself out riding once, in Bootleg Canyon, about 5 years ago. I replaced my helmet after that. I just replaced that helmet based on age (although I kept it in case I need a spare/something happens to my new one)

So it's not that I "never" replace my helmet, but I don't do it very often, frankly. That Xult? I'd probably keep using it, if I'm being honest. My Remedy is beat up that bad, maybe worse. Thanks Highland/Diablo (at the time)!
  • 1 0
 I am not bicycle helmet engineer, but if they work and constructed in the same way as Motor Bike helmets, you have a hard outer shell and then a dense form of polystyrene, under that and then the foam padding which goes next to your hair/scalp. In an impact, the hard outer shell flexes and then the polystyrene absorbs the impact forces, or as as much as they can. Unlike the hard shell which can flex back to its original shape (depending on how big the impact is), the polystyrene stays dented and so there is another impact in the same area, it will not be effective at absorbing impact forces. In other words, you get a weak spot in your helmet, but you may not see it the dent to the foam if the shell is undamaged. Helmets are a one time impact safety device and essentially disposable.
  • 1 0
 For me this poll needs more options. For the options above type/force of impact and visible condition. Not even included is age of the helmet. A helmet, being they are well known to be a one shot/hit item are stupid things to spend more than you have to on. The major brands all exceed the requirements so its easier to chuck an intermediate or NOS model as recommended than it is a really expensive top end model. Yes my brain is worth more than the cost of any helmet. My fresh sub 100 open or 200 full face protects better than your multi hit military grade carbon wonder lid.
  • 1 0
 In motorcycle Grand Prix racing we have to bring the helmet to along with our gear to the head referee for inspection after each crash. If the helmet has any damage at all we must replace the helmet before we are allowed to continue. Same for the rest of our gear. Often these helmets are worth over $1000 but there is no way to tell if the EPS inner liner has been compromised so replacement is required. We must also be cleared by the medical Center before we are allowed to re-enter the event. I use the same standards for my bicycle helmet, it's not designed to take multiple hits over a long period. One hit, so sad but I buy a new helmet rather than risk a head injury.
  • 1 0
 A new helmet is cheaper then paying for someone to feed me apple sauce. Plus I get a cool new helmet, not much has changed since I was younger. The only changes are the bikes got better, more expensive, and a wife to complain about my hobby. I work just down the hall from a rehab unit, neurological injuries suck. Plus multiple concussions are not good for your health long term. Helmet technology has improved though. I love my Rampage pro carbon, the giro cipher is pretty nice too (great budget helmet with tons of features).
  • 1 0
 This is exactly why we offer out new T3 helmets for a fraction of the price of the competition!We bet that if you could spend a fraction of the price upfront for a helmet, then you may be more inclined to replace it after a crash.

Our carbon T3 helmet sells for $250 in the states with CPSC and ASTM 1952 cert. You could buy 2 for the price of the other guys.

vsiproducts.com/collections/the-industries/products/t3-carbon-full-face-bmx-and-mtb-helmet


Guys over at PSBMX.com gave it a top rating as well. have a look: psbmx.com/2016/02/13/product-the-industries-t3-helmet-carbon

"The T3 also tips the scales at just 37.8 oz according to our Park Tools digital scale. That’s about 2.3lbs or 1.04kg. Which is actually a little less weight than the much more expensive TLD D3 Carbon."

"Simply put the THE Industries T3 helmet Carbon is a killer deal for you to really protect your head. After all you are only given one head in this life and it is definitely worth $250 to keep it protected so you can keep riding. After a bunch of testing and poking and prodding we are giving the THE Industries T3 helmet Carbon a full 4 gold sprocket review. If you are looking for a new lid for the upcoming season make sure to check out the T3 carbon from THE Industries."

-PSBMX
  • 3 0
 At least you got a sponge bath. I laid in my soiled kit until I was released.
  • 3 0
 Broken femur, ACL, ACseperation, and still have my same lucky helmet. My helmet matches my shins
  • 3 0
 "Lucky helmet"???? You do know what the word means?
  • 1 0
 Ha ha, yes sir. If you saw those diggers you would agree. We don't know how fast and sketchy we are until we do a little slip and slide.
  • 3 0
 Most brands offer crash replacement. Giro swapped my cypher after a spill for £60. Cheaper than a new brain.
  • 3 0
 I feel like I'd replace a helmet much more often if I could actually afford to do so Frown which is actually awful
  • 2 0
 I've never head my hit. So replace helmet no on every time. Just go again concussssssssssion is a promise. It's a catch 23 situation, money or memory. Replace yes idea good.
  • 4 0
 MTB helmets really aren't that special anyway, very low standards.
  • 1 0
 Can't put a price on your head folks, just scrap crashed helmets cos it isn't worth the risk. Anyone who thinks no helmet or damaged helmets cool to ride with needs their heads checked Wink
  • 3 0
 I only one helmet owned ever und crished in it muny times biking while 20years , nowt brain wrong whith me Why new buy ?
  • 3 0
 I don't crash. I'm 45 and have a really expensive enduro bike, so I get off and push 'round the gnarly sections.
  • 2 0
 Are you a debmntist
  • 1 0
 Hate mobile browsers.
Are you a dentist?
  • 1 0
 No. After paying for the bike I can't afford a dentist, another reason to get off and push - besides, it keeps the bike looking good when I ride to the coffee shop in all my gear on the North Shore on a sunday morning !
  • 1 0
 You look like à boss with à carbon helmet but If you keep it even If its crack because you cant afford à new one better using à cheap helmet. Not breaking your head is even more boss
  • 1 1
 Last year after I bought a brand new helmet, on the first ride after the purchase, I decided to rather wear my old one instead. Luckely, because I just speeded up on the first off road descent when my front tyre popped out of the rim, instantly blocking my front wheel and sending me straight over the bars with 32km/h (according to strava). Even though my head didn't hit the ground hard, I was happy I wore my old helmet because I always replace it when I hit the ground with my head. Luckely I only hit my head to the ground twice in 12 years of cycling.
  • 2 0
 On my dirt bike i do but i'm a little less strict with mtb helmets because of the lower speeds.
  • 3 1
 I mainly try to avoid falling on my head if I can. That worked out pretty good so far.
  • 1 0
 That's why decent brands offer crash replacement schemes for a lot less than retail. I paid about half retail for my last crash replacement from specialized
  • 1 0
 I wear a beer helmet when I ride. I replace the beers as soon as they're empty. But the helmet itself? Should be good for life.
  • 1 0
 Replacement when visible damage or concussion?

Happened to me years back suffered mild concussion after a fall using g 661, checked and found damage on helmet.
  • 1 0
 In two years i have cracked 2 carbon helmets and one fiberglass one... Im working on the 4th fiberglass one! Probably get a new one when the lifts start turning again.
  • 2 0
 Helmets are like condoms, just cause it busts doesn't mean your done... finish up the ride then toss it !
  • 1 0
 Just had a sexy OTB with my new helmet, article couldn't have come at a better time!
  • 1 0
 I crashed real heard and dented the shit out of super2R mIPS. I replaced it. Oh yes I had concussion I hit so hard...
  • 2 0
 Only after hitting it on the bed head
  • 1 0
 Get a load of electric lettuce and hey presto your concussion is gone. If it's good for nfl then smoke weed erry day.
  • 1 0
 But seriously, if the helmet takes a big stack, fm get a new one. My eyes are on the new Leatt helmet, it's a boss!
  • 1 0
 Get a new helmet, go bigger next time. Don't get a new helmet, go bigger next time.
  • 1 0
 if i were to hit my head then yes i'd replace it! i value my skull and brain
  • 2 4
 Does everyone use their head as a battering ram in the event of a collision? Do you tuck your arms back to reduce air resistance as your head slams into a tree? I just don't understand. 5.5 years and dozens upon dozens upon dozens of crashes. Never hit my head.

I think helmets are trying to prevent natural selection, which is a good and necessary process for the betterment of the human race.
  • 2 0
 Try riding faster. $h!t happens faster leaving no time to tuck and roll. I have often been a human spear
  • 3 0
 I am among the fastest(downhill anyway) in my area. I practice the requisite skills first and then push the pace. Riding outside of one's ability and out of control is how you get hurt; not how you get better.
  • 2 0
 At least we know the Xult works as well as it looks
  • 1 0
 On my 4th hlmet now. 2 times in the hospital, and the lid saved me both times. Cant afford to not have a good helmet.
  • 1 0
 If I hit my head hard would. But since im so rad at mountain biking I dont ever crash.. I pretty much float above the nar.
  • 1 0
 I prefer no helmet especially when I race dh because I get a ton of airflow to my face and it is super light
  • 1 0
 Leatt made their neck brace and roost molded together...maybe they will turn it into helmet+neckbrace+roost...
  • 1 0
 to save on the extortionate cost of a replacement helmet, one simply rides helmetless
  • 1 0
 a week ago I had to replace my D3 pinstripe Frown but my D3 steve peat was happy to assist Smile
  • 1 0
 It's pretty obvious that a few people here haven't replaced their helmet often enough :haha:
  • 1 0
 This one is iffy for me. Unless there is visible damage I don't plan on replacing my $600 CAD D3 helmet!
  • 1 0
 Change. My insurance takes care of cut clothes and smashed helmet. Crash replacement program helps as well.
  • 1 0
 no i actually keep a tally of how many big crashes its been through. so far 9.
  • 1 0
 That's a really good looking helmet.
  • 1 1
 I said if you are ugly then don't replace it. You stand a chance of replacing your whole head!
  • 2 2
 Hell no I don't replace my helmet after a small impact that shits expensive
  • 8 1
 you certainly lived to your name....
  • 1 0
 No.....not by a fall/ wipeout
  • 1 1
 I use the same helmet when I ski until it doesn't fit me, no matter how many times I've crashed with it
  • 1 0
 if I can remember to replace it after a crash I figure its still good.
  • 2 0
 I can't remember.
  • 2 1
 We need the poll option: "Only when it's cracked in half" !
  • 1 0
 if the foam is damaged, CHANGE IT!!
  • 1 0
 only if they were less expensive to replace... 3D printed lids anyone?
  • 1 0
 Well, how much is your head worth?
  • 2 1
 I always sell them after harder impacts ;-)
  • 1 0
 never ever talk about having a bad crash....bad karma..
  • 1 0
 @OllieGiles probs shouldve done this after my goose crash
  • 1 0
 Poc with EPP, not one and done
  • 1 0
 whos got that kinda money
  • 1 0
 How to avoid ww3, study mountain biking forums. Teach your kids.
  • 1 0
 I'm too poor to be safe Frown
  • 1 0
 NO!!
  • 1 1
 Place it back on my head, yes!
  • 1 1
 But seriously; when is a crash hard enough for replacing your helmet?
  • 2 0
 If your head is still spinning the day after a crash your heet probably felt it too
  • 1 0
 *helmet*
  • 3 6
 Or buy a helmet with multi-impact foam liner. Like the POC helmets that have EPP liners
  • 11 1
 I'm.... not sure that's what they mean by multi impact...
  • 5 0
 The Poc helmet uses a foam which gets back into the old position. As long as its not broken you can use it. Had to buy 2 Rampage Pro Carbon last year, that hurts, but the poc is just ugly :-(
  • 1 0
 I find them quite nice, but my problem with them is the fit. It so uncomfortable for me. Best fitting (for my head) is the Rampage Pro, close second the TLD's and the normal rampage.
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