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100 votes

Should I buy this (gently) used, 15 year old, helmet?

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 ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 121k
56 votes

Should I buy this (gently) used, 15 year old, helmet?

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.
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
46 votes
Accepted

Does toddler need a helmet inside a bicycle trailer?

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 ...
Rider_X's user avatar
  • 30.5k
41 votes

Should I buy this (gently) used, 15 year old, helmet?

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 ...
whatsisname's user avatar
  • 12.1k
41 votes
Accepted

How can I tell if my helmet is still safe after I fell?

If your head didn't hit the road, the helmet absorbed no impact so it will be as good as before the event. You're not sure whether the helmet did take an impact - which is reasonable. A lot happens ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 121k
40 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to wear a helmet without a plastic covering?

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 ...
gschenk's user avatar
  • 9,610
37 votes

Is it safe to wear a helmet without a plastic covering?

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 ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 57.3k
37 votes

Should I buy this (gently) used, 15 year old, helmet?

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 ...
David Richerby's user avatar
21 votes

Should I buy this (gently) used, 15 year old, helmet?

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 ...
ClimbsRocks's user avatar
20 votes

Should I buy this (gently) used, 15 year old, helmet?

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 ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 57.3k
20 votes

Does toddler need a helmet inside a bicycle trailer?

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, ...
user38391's user avatar
  • 209
20 votes

Keeping my ears warm while biking in the cold with a helmet

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-...
sidewaysdesign's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

How long does an unused helmet keep for?

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., ...
Rider_X's user avatar
  • 30.5k
18 votes
Accepted

Can a climbing helmet be used for biking safely?

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 ...
mattnz's user avatar
  • 49.1k
18 votes

Should I buy this (gently) used, 15 year old, helmet?

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 ...
Kai Dijon's user avatar
  • 374
17 votes

Does toddler need a helmet inside a bicycle trailer?

No, your kid does not need a helmet, if you have a proper trailer. Proper trailers do have belts and rollover protection. If you don't wear a helmet in your car, you don't need one in a trailer. ...
Leonidas's user avatar
  • 287
17 votes
Accepted

Recently had a slow-speed crash - wondering if I should replace my helmet

It is generally recommended to inspect a helmet and replace if necessary after an impact. Inspection involves pressing on the outside shell looking for areas where the foam is compressed and taking ...
Andy P's user avatar
  • 18.3k
14 votes

How long does an unused helmet keep for?

A scientific study has found age makes not difference to the protection provided by a bicycle helmet. The study took 63 used and unused, but not crashed, helmets and tested them. Ultimately it ...
mattnz's user avatar
  • 49.1k
14 votes

Is it safe to cut off from the inside of my helmet?

Unbeknownst to many consumers, different helmet manufacturers use different molds for their helmets. Just like some shoe brands are known to be thinner or wider than other brands, some helmets are ...
RoboKaren's user avatar
  • 29.1k
14 votes

Keeping my ears warm while biking in the cold with a helmet

I have a thin material tube that can be used for a lot of things. Also called a headsock or necksock or a buff. I wear mine around my neck, with the top edge at my mouth/nose, and up over my ears ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 121k
14 votes

How important is the MIPS safety system for a bicycle helmet?

All bicycle helmets are subject to the same standardized set of impact tests during the certification process. If the helmet product passes, it meets the minimum criteria for protection, regardless of ...
Grigory Rechistov's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Bike helmet expiration

The top-voted answer on Do I really need to replace my helmet every 2-3 years if it hasn't been in a crash? (not the accepted answer), points to the "Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute" ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 5,043
13 votes
Accepted

Are convertible full face helmets as safe as regular ones?

Yes, some convertible helmets can be as safe as Full Face Helmets. The safety standard for the protection of a full face mountain bike helmet is ASTM F1952 - Standard Specification for Helmets Used ...
DWGKNZ's user avatar
  • 8,827
13 votes

How can I tell if my helmet is still safe after I fell?

This answer covers an assessing and visually undamaged helmet, the answer by @Craggie that covers how to inspect for damage. This study indicates that the helmet is almost certainly safe to use. MEA ...
mattnz's user avatar
  • 49.1k
13 votes

Is my helmet/camera/light setup dangerous?

If we check the helmet's documentation, there's guaranteed to be some legalese text in there similar to: modifications to the helmet will void warranty, and may decrease the effectiveness of the ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 121k
12 votes

Can you get your cycling helmet wet?

Of course no, it doesn't do any harm that the helmet gets wet in WATER. It is made of various plastics, which per se are insensitive to water, and also it is supposed to be worn even though the ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 7,081
12 votes

Keeping my ears warm while biking in the cold with a helmet

This is an unconventional answer but it works for me. I have an aero TT helmet that has fairings over the ears. The reason the fairings exist is to reduce my head's aerodynamic drag, but in doing so,...
Bill's user avatar
  • 165
11 votes

How can I tell if my helmet is still safe after I fell?

Although it is definitely a good idea to err on the side of caution when it comes to head protection, and a seriously crashed helmet will not give full protection anymore, there's no need to replace ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
10 votes

Keeping my ears warm while biking in the cold with a helmet

Living in Sweden, I know what you're talking about. Because I like wearing a hat for any temperature below 10°C (50°F) and it can be -20°C (-4°F) in the winter, I have a special hat ...
Johan's user avatar
  • 201
10 votes

Is going without a helmet more aerodynamic?

I did not do exhaustive literature review, but the first hit, Aerodynamics of ribbed bicycle racing helmets has wind resistance measurements for several different aero helmets with vented helmet and ...
ojs's user avatar
  • 21.8k

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