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50

Some bicyclists do wear full-face helmets; in particular, downhill mountain bikers and BMXers will frequently wear full-face helmets, as the chance of a crash causing you to land on your face is greater. The problem with full-face helmets is that they're hotter; your head is great for getting rid of excess heat, and the full-face helmet helps trap more of ...


39

Helmets should be replaced roughly every 5 years and after any crash where your head makes contact with the ground. Helmets will crumble, compress or otherwise deform in sometimes hard to see ways when you hit the deck. The structural integrity of the thing will be massively diminished after even a relatively tame fall. This is one area where you don't want ...


32

It is possible, but only in certain conditions. I live in a tropical country, so, 20 degrees centigrade is considered cold here. My conmute to work is almost flat, with only one climb, something a very steep 300 meters. If it were not for that, I'd be able to get to the office almost completely dry. What's the trick? I use a hardtail mountain bike with a ...


28

No, usually expensive helmets are lighter and more comfortable because have more ventilation. So, if you plan to ride for long hours it's better to buy the more expensive helmet that you can afford, otherwise - for short rides - a cheap helmet will do the job.


27

Bicycle helmets contain crushable foam that works to extend the duration of impact by about 6 ms (milliseconds). This doesn't make the impact force disappear, instead it extends the duration of force experienced by the brain. By extending the duration, you reduce the peak force. The brain can withstand impacts to some degree, however if the impact is too ...


24

They're designed to take the impact of the fall, once they've done the job they can't be used again and you must buy another. It's not safe to attempt to repair a helmet with glue.


24

The Bicycle Safety Institute disagrees with the 2-3 year rule. They have a good page on replacing helmets. I usually replace one when the foam rubber gets old and crumbly, when the adjustments quit working, or when I damage it. UV can deteriorate the plastic if you leave it outside a lot. And, if you ever "use" a helmet, i.e., crash and save your skull with ...


22

For: If you fall on top of your head, it will protect it (also side impacts if wearing a full-face helmet while riding downhill mountain bike) No, this is not an overly simple reply. It's what it's designed for, it's what it does well and it's why you should wear one. Feel free to edit with documentation about head protection, but I think the number of ...


20

Even a short sprint or uphill effort can make a big difference in how sweaty I am when I get to the office. Maintain a consistently low effort, using low gears for any uphills. Panniers are good, since backpacks and messenger bags not only insulate, but also hold your shirt directly against your sweaty back. Often I'll put my shirt in my pannier and just ...


19

The Snell Foundation says to replace after 5 years. The five-year replacement recommendation is based on a consensus by both helmet manufacturers and the Snell Foundation. Glues, resins and other materials used in helmet production can affect liner materials. Hair oils, body fluids and cosmetics, as well as normal "wear and tear" all contribute ...


18

This image has kicked around the net for a while - IDK what the original source was: Otherwise, I second the guidance and link provided by @fady.


17

When to replace a bicycle helmet: Any fall that impacted the helmet. There can easily be hard to see cracks, crumbling or compression of the foam; and all of those will make the helmet less effective. If you dropped it pretty hard and there's any likelihood of damage. If the outer shell is separating from the foam. The shell helps protect your neck. ...


15

I wear a Bern Brentwood with a winter liner in cold weather. It's a certified bike helmet, but designed more like a ski helmet. The winter liner does a great job of keeping my ears warm without wearing any other protection, but doesn't block traffic noise. It is vented, but not well enough that it makes my head cold. It also has a clip in the back for ski ...


15

Against compulsory: where it is compulsory it discourages people from cycling -> they drive instead -> more cars+fewer cyclists make it more dangerous for cyclists. Personally I wear one, but this is the main argument against compulsory helmet.


15

Snug! It wont work if the helmet is not securely strapped to your head. Here is a good article/post about wearing helmets. You want the helmet to be comfortably touching the head all the way around, level and stable enough to resist even violent shakes or hard blows and stay in place. It should be as low on the head as possible to maximize side ...


15

The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute did a impact test of two sets of helmets. One of them cheap (US$20.00) the other expensive (US$200.00). The results are clear: there's no difference. Buy from a reputable brand. Just check: If it has the U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION (CPSC) label If it is confortable in your head (you'll use it more) BTW, ...


14

Against: There has been some research that showed: Car drivers tend to think that a cyclist that is wearing a helmet is a safer cyclist. Car driver tend to give “safer cyclists” less space. So by wearing a helmet you may increase the risk from car drivers not giving you enough space!


14

You also have to consider that a motorcycle has no trouble accelerating to and maintaining traffic speeds. In short, a motorcycle really doesn't need to look backward with anywhere near the frequency that a cyclist does. They also have mirrors mounted on their bikes which most cyclists don't have. For example. Coming off a red light, anyone on a ...


14

BHSI.org says the following: Did you drop it hard enough to crack the foam? Replace. For starters, most people are aware that you must replace a helmet after any crash where your head hit. The foam part of a helmet is made for one-time use, and after crushing once it is no longer as protective as it was, even if it still looks intact. Bear in mind ...


13

As mentioned in this answer to another question, I commute all winter in central Vermont with a Giro 9 ski helmet and goggles. The winter weather here has lots of sleet and snow with temperatures mostly in the 5*F-20*F range with sub-zero temps at times. This Giro helmet [and apparently many recent ski helmets] conform to the ASTM 2040 safety standard. ...


13

Because there is an optimum placement position for the helmet on the head, having padding that helps keep the helmet in place, or makes the helmet more comfortable to wear, indirectly contributes to the safety of the helmet. But aside from a very minor absorption of force during the moment of impact the padding really has no direct impact on the safety a ...


13

Everyone else has offered good advice, but let me point out one simple thing for you: Almost no matter how hot it is or how hard I'm riding, I'm not really sweaty until I stop moving. That's because 1) I'm wearing bike clothes designed to wick moisture and evaporate it quickly, and 2) almost no matter what the weather is doing, while I'm moving I'm headed ...


12

Against legal requirement: In many countries that have made it a legal requirement to wear a bicycle helmet, the number of people cycling has reduced. Given that the risk of death due to poor health as a result of lack of exercise is a lot greater than the risk of death due to cycling without a helmet; it never makes sense to require people to use a bicycle ...


12

For: Often your friends or family will think are you safer when you wear a helmet; wearing a helmet placates your dearest-and-nearest. Therefore: Wearing a helmet may benefit their health by reducing their stress. You may get nagged less if you wear a helmet It might make sense to wear a helmet if it's not a discussion one cares that passionately about ...


12

Summary: a helmet that meets the new standard is going to protect your head better than one that just barely meets the old standard. Old Law: AS/NZS 2063:1996 (PDF); unfortunately just the start, the actual full text of the law is behind paywalls. New Law: AZ/NZS 2063:2008 (PDF); also need to pay to get full text some stuff about US rules for comparison: ...


12

Summary: Did you crash it? Replace immediately. Did you drop it hard enough to crack the foam? Replace. Is it from the 1970's? Replace. Is the outside just foam or cloth instead of plastic? Replace. Does it lack a CPSC, ASTM or Snell sticker inside? Replace. Can you not adjust it to fit correctly? Replace!! (source: Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute)


12

Testing of helmets shows that there is little difference in impact protection. A better quality helmet, defined in this case as one that fits your head, is well ventilated, and looks good. A well ventilated helmet prevents you from overheating while riding, especially at high speeds. A helmet that fits stays put on your head during a crash. And one that is ...


12

While you can certainly wear BMX armour, or possibly even use motorbike armour and wear full face helmets, I would put much more emphasis on changing the way you cycle to reduce the risk from cars. You say cars turn without seeing cyclists- well, you have two options: become more visible. It isn't high fashion, but wear colours and lights, flashing and ...


12

A lot will depend on the construction of the helmet. For example the basic material in the helmet will be some sort of sponge or foam which relies on its texture to absorb sudden impacts; does this degrade over time? For example, a loaf of bread gets its texture from the tiny air bubbles formed while rising and proving, but if left to prove too long, the ...


11

The general rule is every 3-4 years or after a crash. Some people say that excessive sweat or UV exposure can also degrade your helmet, but no one has proven that so far.



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