I’ve had my trusty Specialized Propero II helmet for quite some time. Looking at the date on the sticker, it reads January 2013 manufacture. That’s five years of heavy use. It’s seen many hot and sweaty Aussie summer rides, countless soggy English commuting miles and a couple of crashes (no head/helmet contact luckily). Definitely overdue for replacement!
I’m not going to get into the helmet vs no helmet debate, that’s an entirely different argument. As I live in a country where the government dictates that I must wear one or cop a fine, it’s a moot point anyway. Each to their own.
Farewell old Propero helmet, we’ve seen many miles together.
While there is no hard and fast rule on when you should replace your helmet, the “general internet consensus” is that you should replace your lid every two to three years. The booklet that came with my new Kask helmet states that it should be replaced three years from date of purchase. Taking into account the amount of use that that an enthusiastic cyclist spends with their sweaty head stuffed into that foam hat, it sounds about right to me.
I almost bought another Propero II, but the Kask Vertigo 2.0 was on sale.
The materials can degrade over time making the helmet less effective in the event of an impact. Sunscreen, sweat and exposure to UV will increase that degradation rate. Of course if you have an accident where the helmet takes an impact or you clumsily drop it off the cafe table, you should replace it straight away.
A good rule of thumb is; If you’re asking yourself “should I replace my helmet?” then now is probably about the right time!