What you need to know about your helmet!
It is by far your most important piece of safety kit you will ever own, so here are a few facts that could save your life.
Wear one! - it’s the law.
Make sure it passes the safety standards! – check out this link for more information about approved helmets: Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP).
Don’t personalise it yourself! – however tempted you may be to jazz it up, leave it to the professionals, their specialist paint and adhesive won’t weaken the shell.
Make sure it fits!- for the best protection, making sure your helmet fits properly is vital. There should be no tightness or pressure points, try it on for a good few minutes before making any decisions!
Also, avoid second hand helmets, although externally they may appear to be fine, any internal damage may be masked.
Don’t let it get old! – even if your helmet has not been damaged, it will generally have a life of about 5 years, 3 if you use it regularly. If you can’t remember when you bought it, check the chin strap or permanent labelling – since 1974 manufactures are required to stamp the date of production on it.
With time, contact with your hair and body oils, cleaning fluids or even sweat start to deteriorate the inner liner of your helmet. The glues, resins and other materials making up your helmet can break down and then compromise the protection it offers you.
As well as this, buying a helmet at least every 5 years, means you are keeping up with any protective improvements the market may be offering.
Look after it! – always follow the manufacturers cleaning instructions. Safely store your helmet, in a helmet bag if possible, to avoid any knocks or drops and never leave it lying on its crown or near a heat source. Remember that even dropping your helmet from waist height could compromise its protective qualities.
After a crash, replace it! – it has probably absorbed some of the impact shock and the safety features will be compromised. Some manufacturers will inspect it for you and may even repair the helmet. However, don’t make this decision by yourself, if you don’t get advice, get a new one!
Armed with this knowledge, you should be on the fast track to many years of safe riding.