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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can somebody convince me that it is necessary to replace a perfectly fine $1,000 helmet every few years, because:

...I am not convinced that a quality helmet , built with carbon fiber or fiberglass with resin shell, with as they claim a UV inhibitor paint, with antimicrobial lining, well cared for, never dropped or damaged in any way, needs to be replaced after a few years of being worn on your head....hmmm sounds a bit like a marketing to increase sales 馃

I sport Schuberth C3 and don't see anything wrong after 5yrs of normal usage.
 

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The foamcore absorption material inside gets brittle with age, same as rubber. It breaks instead of flexes. So recomendation of swapping out every 5-8 years is standard.

 

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Can somebody convince me that it is necessary to replace a perfectly fine $1,000 helmet every few years, because:

...I am not convinced that a quality helmet , built with carbon fiber or fiberglass with resin shell, with as they claim a UV inhibitor paint, with antimicrobial lining, well cared for, never dropped or damaged in any way, needs to be replaced after a few years of being worn on your head....hmmm sounds a bit like a marketing to increase sales 馃

I sport Schuberth C3 and don't see anything wrong after 5yrs of normal usage.
I don't believe that anyone who isn't privy to the chemical makeup of the resin can convince you one way or the other.
In the circumstance that you describe: Interior pads can be replaced. It won't be the carbon fiber which fails from age. It could be that some types of glass fiber could give up after time. Most helmets use woven material which has a blend of fiber types. You would need a disgruntled ex-employee to find out which models of the same brand has what. The more definitive aspect to longevity rests in the resin makeup. Keep in mind that helmets have designed-in flexibility and impact distortion for a reason. That happens in the weave, fabric directional layout and the resin. If max longevity was the main goal ... we'd go back and make them from steel.

Me personally, I'm not neurotic about expiration dates on high-end helmets.
 
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It would certainly be great if Fortnine tested some 8 year old helmets. I have a super low mile 20 year old Arai Signet I'd donate for a test.
 
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Jerry the Motorman who does all the training classes is wearing a 20 year old helmet. He says that it still feels quality.

Mine is probably 10 years and I can't see any deterioration; some lining and vinyl bits show wear and I am in the market for a new one. I still think it would protect in a crash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah the padding can be easily replaced (proly not cheap), and as far as outer shell;

My fiberglass with resin made Schuberth compared to:

How Long Do Fiberglass Boats Typically last? Fiberglass boats can be sound and seaworthy for up to fifty years or more. Fiberglass is very durable, and with proper maintenance and care, fiberglass boats can last for many decades. Fiberglass itself will not break down but instead will break down due to outside factors.

But I am sure if we would wear fiberglass boats as a safety equipment, they would recommend to replace it every 5-10yrs
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
read on some forums where riders that work for Arai and Shoei report and claim their helmets are good for 20+yrs easy, and one would think; "they know"
 

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The genie is out of the bottle and there will be no putting it back. Way back when, expiry dates became a thing. Marketing?Safety? Who knows? One thing for certain though, no helmet manufacturer would dare not put an expiry date on now for fear of being sued.

Also, the cynic in me says that no manufacturer is going to test for more longevity. There is nothing in it for them.

Not unlike child car seats having an expiry date.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Marketing is a nasty thing... like most appliances we buy come with "lifetime warranty" but upon closer examination it's actually "lifetime of the product" which is usually only a few years, depending on "estimated life expectancy" for that particular product...I.e. microwaves, dishwashers 9yrs, washing machines 10yrs, freezers 11yrs etc

I also like: "we will beat our competitors price by 10% of the difference" 馃檪
 

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The video from Fortnine covers the topic well (thanks Tigress). I would only add to check the helmet straps carefully. It's surprising how frayed they become over time.
 

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Yeah the padding can be easily replaced (proly not cheap), and as far as outer shell;

My fiberglass with resin made Schuberth compared to:

How Long Do Fiberglass Boats Typically last? Fiberglass boats can be sound and seaworthy for up to fifty years or more. Fiberglass is very durable, and with proper maintenance and care, fiberglass boats can last for many decades. Fiberglass itself will not break down but instead will break down due to outside factors.

But I am sure if we would wear fiberglass boats as a safety equipment, they would recommend to replace it every 5-10yrs
I often drive a 62 year old fibreglass boat. A Larson All American with the million bubble ride.
 

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I replace a helmet when I can no longer buy face shields for it or I get bored with the features/color; about 7-8 years. I had a Bell Star open face I bought back in the late seventies and wore it until shortly after I bought my '80 KZ when I bought a Bell full face. I had a high side crash in 1984 where I landed head first in a rocky ditch. That helmet got pretty scraped up but otherwise looked ok, but I threw it out not trusting it anymore and went back to the now 7-8 year-old open face Bell, until I bought an AGV. The Bell went back on "standby," until one day in the spring of 2002 I gave my son a ride on my shiny new '01 ZX11 and he donned the heirloom Bell. After the ride, he had dozens of white Styrofoam particles in his hair, because the crash padding was severely broken down. My current Bell Race Star is five years old this season and I'm looking around.
 

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Had a cool Bell 500 3/4 helmet with artwork. The inside started falling apart in about 2 years with very little use.
My HJC holding strong at 10 years and tons of wear. Not sure I would buy another Bell.
 

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...
One thing for certain though, no helmet manufacturer would dare not put an expiry date on now for fear of being sued.
Also, the cynic in me says that no manufacturer is going to test for more longevity. There is nothing in it for them.
...
Helmets are required to have a manufacturing date but they don't have an expiration date marked on them. Manufacturers say that a helmet sitting in a warehouse/dealer shelf hasn't started it's life cycle.

Seems like improvements in helmet construction would extend the safe life span though.

I commute on my bike so wear a helmet most everyday. I replace helmets before they "expire" usually because materials get worn (liners, shield mechanisms, plastic bits, etc.) and start to annoy me.
 

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Helmets are required to have a manufacturing date but they don't have an expiration date marked on them. Manufacturers say that a helmet sitting in a warehouse/dealer shelf hasn't started it's life cycle.

Seems like improvements in helmet construction would extend the safe life span though.

I commute on my bike so wear a helmet most everyday. I replace helmets before they "expire" usually because materials get worn (liners, shield mechanisms, plastic bits, etc.) and start to annoy me.
You are quite correct. I got lost in the discussion about "expiry dates". So, all this got me wondering about when my helmets were built. I have a Shoei Neotec that is a few years old, a Scorpion AT950, and I just got a Nexx helmet. I looked at all 3 and none has a build date that I can find. Never looked for it before. Have they stopped putting it on them or is it hidden under the liners somewhere (I didn't bother taking them apart to look)?
 

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My shark had a tag for the build date but they didn't mark the year. I have had it since 2017 so i am about to get a new helmet myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hard hats have something like this:
285746
285747
 

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... I looked at all 3 and none has a build date that I can find. Never looked for it before. Have they stopped putting it on them or is it hidden under the liners somewhere (I didn't bother taking them apart to look)?
Yea there should be a sticker under the liner.
If the helmet is SNELL certified there will be a sticker for that too.
 
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