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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 ...


38

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 ...


29

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 ...


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 ...


22

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 ...


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 ...


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. ...


17

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 ...


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, ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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

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

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

Helmet manufacturers recommend replacing helmets after the crash, even if there are no visible cracks, just to be sure. If you see a crack, the helmet cannot do its purpose anymore. You might want to replace the helmet if it is getting old (a few years or so) even if there has been no crash. Remember, most of us are making money with our brain, so we need ...


11

There is a lot of good information about this here. One paragraph from the article outlines the basic idea of this: Crushing the cell walls destroys the impact management ability for most stiff foams, so the helmet has to be replaced after a single impact. The crushing is not always visible and can be hidden by the outer shell. The foam can also recover ...


11

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 ...


11

Oftentimes, you sweat the most just when you finish the ride, as you've just been pedaling at full effort, but you don't get the wind generated by the moving bike. Oftentimes you need to stand around in a warm space, like I need to wait in the very warm freight elevator lobby. Try to take it easy especially for the end of the ride, and hold something cold ...


10

In the US you need to look for one of three certifications: CPSC sticker for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission standard American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has a F1447 standard that is is identical and may be more common internationally Snell B-95 used to be more common, but as a higher, more rigorous standard I don't think you see ...


10

I agree with the others, it doesn't seem like stickers should be a problem. My helmet has stickers on the shell added by the manufacturer - clearly they were added make me ride faster. Paint is a different story... Polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) and certain other plastics can be damaged by the solvents used in paints, like some spray paints. I believe ...


9

Why are you using a helmet? If you're using it because you're doing something which involves a decent probability of you falling and hitting your head, then you should probably replace it after every serious incident. Some companies (e.g. Giro) will give you a discount if you trade in a damaged lid, so that they can learn from its demise. If you're ...


9

The cold won't hurt it -- foam is used to line refrigerators. And certainly if the temp is going "all the way down" to 40F (shudder!) that's not even close to a problem -- around here it isn't even "cold" unless the temp is below zero F. (In general, solid objects are not damaged by cold, though they do often become more brittle while cold and hence more ...


9

Im not an expert, but i would say probably not safe. Things that are good at deflecting small fast moving objects arent always good at absorbing crushing force. Bike helmets are designed to absorb most of the force from the impact as to protect your dome from it. I am not sure how well an army helmet will do in this regard. A good analogy might be using a ...


9

The helmet itself is (probably) polysterene foam inner and a harder plastic shell, it's fine to wash this in water and some mild detergent (eg dish soap) You can try and wash the straps in hot soapy water. The problem is the pads. Usually washing the pads means that they come unglued, the surface layers separate from the inner cushion part. All you can do ...



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