1. Helmet manufacturers recommend replacing helmets every five years.And it's not so they can sell a bunch of new ones. It's because the materials in a helmet break down over that time causing the helmet to lose some of it's impact-absorbing ability, which means in a crash, you're at risk!
2. Helmets are constantly improving.Today's designs are drastically superior to those we were wearing just a few years ago. Helmet manufacturers have engineered features like better cooling vents, feathery weight, and extra protection against concussions, all of which make it worthwhile to upgrade regularly.
3. Significant Accidents or FallsEPS foam is made to compress upon heavy impact. This disperses the force of the impact sothat the helmet, not your skull, is taking the brunt of the blow. However, EPS foam does not completely regain its shape after a major impact. The bottom line from every source is that, if the helmet has been in an accident, replace it, even if it does not look damaged.
4. The outside is just foam or cloth instead of plastic, or it doesnt have a CPSC, ASTM or Snell sticker inside, or you just can't get it to fit!Obviously foam and cloth are not protective enough, but there are still some helmets floating around out there that aren't up to the safety code that manufacturers established in the 1990s. And anything that doesn't fit is probably not good for your ride.
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