How To Tell If You Need a New Bike Helmet After a Crash

We might have heard from many people that we should replace our bike helmet after a crash. But there are very few riders who follow this advice. Because most of the time, only minor damages occur after the crash. There might be some scratches on the shell side.

Overall, no cracks appear on the inside and outside of the helmet. In this scenario, the riders think that it's ok to go on with the same helmet. But outer appearances might be deceptive. The bike helmet might look ok from the outside, but internally it might have wholly deteriorated. In this situation, the question arises, how to tell if you need a new bike helmet after a crash.

People don't change their helmets after the crash due to their high prices, especially the mountain bike helmets, which are extraordinarily pricy. Although some best budget MTB helmets are also now coming into the market. Overall, we can say the people are generally confused after the crash about whether they should replace the helmet or not. In this scenario, there are certain things that you must check in your helmet to assess its further feasibility.

What should you do with the bike helmet after the crash?

General check

First of all, you must have a general look at the helmet after the crash to assess the extent of the damage. 

Close inspections

Usually, the helmets are designed in such a way that they can easily withstand the first crash. To check this damage, you need to inspect the helmet and all of its components closely. 

Double-check

There are three components in the helmet which provide you protection: the lining, shell, and straps or buckles. The takes the first impact and protects the interior lining and we call it the first line of defense. After that, check its indentations, cracks, bumps, and separation from the liner. You can check the integrity of the helmet by looking at these components. 

Next in line are the foam liners which face the impact of the crash. These liners are compressed upon collision and keep our skull safer. The liner might not get its original shape, and there might be cracks in the crumbling, flaking, foam, and thinning spots. It will not protect you from any crash. 

Lastly, you must check the straps and buckles which keep your helmet secured by acting as a buffer between head and ground. But it is also an important component, and you cannot let it go while checking. Check it if any crash occurs in the straps or buckles. 

Helmet foam 

Two significant types of foam used in the helmet are EPP and EPS. Most of the helmets are EPS or Styrofoam made. This material is not durable enough and easily cracks just after a few hits. In this case, you need to replace your helmet immediately. But if there is EPP type foam in the helmet, this material is indestructible to wear and tear and regain its shape after some time. In this case, you might need to replace it immediately. 

Many new helmets coming in the market have been designed with this kind of foam. Like hockey helmets, mountain bike helmets, and road bike helmets, many helmets have been designed using this kind of foam. 

General maintenance

Without crash, you must also check the helmet periodically in your garage. Because of exposure to temperature change and body oil, the lining and shell of the helmet might be detrimental over time. It is usually recommended that you change the helmet after every five years and protect yourself from the potential crash. 

What if I drop the bike helmet-Do I need to replace it?

What if I drop the bike helmet-Do I need to replace it?

There is no one answer to this question. If the helmet has been hit with hard surfaces like asphalt, then a close inspection is necessary. Check the dents, crack, and separation in the foam. You must check the scrapes, bumps, or any other signs of damage on the exterior side. If you still want to use it despite hitting hard surfaces, you should check the damage professionally. If you cannot check it, then it is better to replace it. 

Is it safe to use a second-hand helmet?

It is recommended by most users that you must not use the second-hand helmet as the helmet protects your brain, which is a very critical part of the body. That's why you must not take the risk of the helmet. You cannot inspect the form internally if you are not professional. So, it is better to buy a new helmet rather than a second-hand helmet.

When to replace a helmet - Helmet Crash Damage

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Do I need to replace my bike helmet after a crash

If your helmet has been damaged in a crash, it's a good idea to replace it. While helmet damage may not always be visible, any impact to your helmet can reduce its ability to absorb impact energy and protect your head.

2. How do I know if my helmet is damaged?

Check the inside of the helmet for cracks or a crushed shell. Check the outside of the helmet for cracked or missing straps. Check the chin strap for fraying, wear, or damage.

To test a helmet, drop it on a hard surface, such as concrete. If it bounces, it is still safe to use. If not, it is time to buy a new helmet.

3. When should you throw out your bike helmet?

You should throw out a bike helmet after it has sustained an impact or been involved in an accident. These helmets should be thrown out for your safety. You should throw out your bike helmet if it is more than 5 years old too.

4. Do crash helmets go out of date?

Yes, helmet manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every three to five years. That's why it's important to replace your helmet if it's been involved in a crash or if you've dropped it.

Conclusion

The helmet has become a vital component among the list of personal protection equipment as it protects the most critical part of your body. The injuries like traumatic brain injury during a crash might change your whole life. Usage of the helmets is also acknowledged repeatedly, as it saves you from severe injuries. Thus, if you don't know how safe it is to use your old or accidental helmet, you must buy the new helmet and keep yourself from any untoward incident.

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