Hot answers tagged

95

No. It is safety gear – buy a new one. The old helmet might make a good pot for a hanging plant but it is more likely to fail dramatically in your moment of need. The straps would probably come right with a soak in water, but the polystychrene is the functional part and it has failed with age. It might fill a legal requirement if your location mandates ...


57

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 ...


54

The problems you describe absolutely disqualify it from being used (as a bike helmet). I would not use a 15 year old helmet in any case, even if it did not exhibit any evidence of damage.


52

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 ...


42

Generally helmets are recommended for carrier usage by manufacturers and governing bodies, although local cultural practices may vary depending on perceived risks. Helmets are recommended because it is still possible to crash or even roll a trailer, just as it is possible to crash on a bicycle, even if you are riding slowly and in quiet areas. While ...


40

The foam protects the head from impacts by deforming. The plastic cover obviously protects the foam from wear and aging. However it also serves safety aspects in most helmets: A good helmet has a smooth outer shape, preferably close to a ball, to allow it to slide over tarmac or other hard surfaces in an accident. The hard and smooth plastic outer shell ...


40

It's worthless. The many issues you cite would be reason enough to trash a 5 minute old helmet. Many manufacturers also put expiration dates on their helmets, claiming the foam gets too hard or soft or some such and it can't do its job. While that very well might just be a cash grab, it might not be, and so that coupled with the fact that it isn't in ...


36

One thing the plastic is designed to do (and for which it doesn't need to be thick) is to have low friction with the road. So if you come off your head slides rather than snagging. The friction that the plastic stops would injure your neck, and also lead to very fast abrasion of the foam,perhaps just in time for it to be destroyed before you hit something ...


35

The helmet you've been offered sounds like it's in terrible condition. Frankly, any fifteen-year-old helmet has probably degraded far enough that it's not going to protect you properly, but this one is clear junk. It's not "gently used": it's wrecked. However, it's condition is largely irrelevant. Don't buy any second-hand helmet. It's as simple as that. A ...


34

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 ...


28

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 ...


26

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 ...


24

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, they ...


20

Bike helmets are a one-use item- the foam crushes to absorb the impact, and then is useless after. Because of this, most helmet manufacturers recommend replacing helmets once ever 3 years, due to a combination of crushing from day-to-day usage (all those times you crammed it into a backpack or had it slightly bounce off a wall while walking with it), and ...


20

Try searching for the term "ear band". They tend to be thin enough to comfortably wear under a helmet, and the good ones are fully wind-resistant, yet breathable. If you have an open ventilation-style helmet, I recommend a helmet cover as well, which is a fabric sleeve that stretches over the top of the helmet which also significantly cuts wind passing ...


19

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 ...


19

I put some "scuffs" on my spare helmet the other day. It's a couple of years old, and I'm not that careful with my gear, but despite being clipped to the outside of a backpack on a train floor every day it looked no more than grubby. How did it get scuffed? It was on my head bouncing on the tarmac as I slid across the road when I came off the bike. Nearly ...


18

That's the inflatable "airbag" helmet. It's main claim to fame is that it isn't really a helmet, but sits in a (dorky looking) collar around your neck until needed. First off, I'm skeptical that the helmet could be tested to most bike helmet standards at all, since the test procedures would not be designed for such a helmet. So it's pretty much impossible ...


18

I found something on the homepage of the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. They have an article about bicycle helmet lights, listing the pros and cons of them: Summary: Lights on bicycle helmets can be useful, but must have a breakaway mount. Especially about the breakaway mount: The importance of breakaway mounts The first and most important rule for ...


18

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 ...


18

They are designed for different things: climbing helmets have more protection against sharp object penetrating the shell from directly above, while bicycle helmets have more protection for a high force hit with a blunt object (the ground, car bonnets etc) from the sides, front and back. If helmets are required where you live, unless the climbing helmet ...


18

There is a common "fact" out there that you should replace a helmet after 5 years, regardless of use or crashes as there is concern that the crush properties of the foam may have changed (e.g., hardening) which could provide less protection. However the data doesn't seem to bare this out. A recent study did extensive testing of hundreds of used helmets ...


18

We opted for helmeting our kid whenever we use the trailer in bicycle mode (i.e. not as a pram). This is why: Our neighbours managed to flip over their trailer once. Kid got a nasty bump on the head, despite having been strapped in. Establish from the start that bicycles and helmets go together, no discussion.


17

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 ...


17

"Women's" helmet is a pure marketing feature. All helmets have to pass the same safety standards and if it fits wear it. Most helmet models come in at least 2 or 3 sizes. You should be able to find a helmet in the size that fits your head diameter. All the major manufacturers make helmets for every head size from 2 year olds to XL for adults. Every helmet ...


17

Helmets have advanced a lot in the last 15 years. Safety reasons aside from the helmet falling apart (which is more than enough reason not to buy it) modern helmets are night and day more comfortable to wear. Not worth it.


16

Frankly, what you want is impossible. A good bicycle helmet provides substantial protection from head-impacts-pavement and head-impacts-vehicle events, but basically only those where the velocities involved are small. The helmet functions by slowing the skull down slowly, avoiding the skull-brain impact which often does the most damage. But, where the ...


15

Summary Research into brain injuries has been ongoing, but tended to focus more on direct impacts. In the last 70 years there has been more research into rotational brain injuries, and in the 1990s and 2000s scientific, evidence based proposals were made to reduce these. The Multi-Directional Impact ­Protection System is an implementation of these, and it's ...


14

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. And then 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 (...


14

What worked for me in an admittedly flat terrain - I used a heartrate monitor. In my spare time I calibrated it a bit - at which heartrate do I get sweaty? Then on the trip to work, I make sure that I stay about 5% below that rate. At 45, my sweat heartrate was about 110, so I stayed below 105. My trip is 21 km in each direction.


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