Even if your Bike Helmet looks fine after a crash, you need to give it a thorough check to make sure it’ll protect you on your next ride. Whether it’s your trusty old road bike helmet or the latest BMX helmet, not all damage is obvious and all it takes is one more knock to risk a much more serious injury.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll be riding safely again in no time!
Run your hands over the plastic exterior of your bike helmet to feel for cracks or scuffs – pay extra attention to the edges where small dents can be harder to spot.
Look closely at the helmet too. If the color on your helmet is fading – perhaps due to long periods in the sun or a scrape – it should be replaced. A discolored lid doesn’t look great, but more importantly it’s likely to be brittle and break.
The Coke Can Trick
With two fingers and a little force, press down on the helmet. Do this all over the exterior and if it pops back (like a coke can would), the foam inside could be damaged, meaning it won’t be able to protect your head in another accident. Some more expensive helmets are molded, so this trick won’t work for them. Instead, check that all the curved edges are intact as a flattened area means you’ve taken a hit and will need to invest in a new one.
Feel the foam
It can be tricky to tell if there’s damage inside your helmet because foam is designed to spring back into place. In more severe accidents the fitting pads may come loose and the foam liners might get crushed, in which case you should look for a new helmet immediately, but usually there will just be a slight change in size. To check this,measure a section of the foam lining and compare it to its equivalent on the other side of the helmet – they should be the same. Alternatively, pop into one of our stores with a tape measure and compare the measurements of your own helmet to the measurements of the same (brand new) helmet. If there’s a difference in your results, our friendly team will be more than happy to help you find a replacement.
It should be obvious if your strap and buckle are on their way out. A crash may have caused some of the stitching to fray or weaken, and the plastic buckle blades might have cracked or broken entirely. Even if only one buckle blade is damaged, you should replace the whole thing as one isn’t enough to keep the helmet securely fastened to your head.
Stretch the stabilizer
The rear stabilizer is quite sturdy but should be checked after a crash to make sure it’s still in place. Test the adjustment by gently stretching it away from the helmet and if it feels secure, you’re good to go.
Need a new helmet?
If your inspection has proved that you’re in need of a new mountain bike helmet, road bike helmet, or BMX helmet, we’ve picked our favorites to get your search started. It’s also worth remembering that even if you haven’t crashed, it’s smart to check your helmet regularly. After a couple of years all cycling helmets will need replacing due to general wear and tear.
Ticking off comfort and coverage all in one, the 500 Mountain Bike Helmet by B’Twin promises protection when you’re riding the roughest routes. It boasts ‘in mold’ technology, which makes it really light too.
Looking for a Road Bike Helmet? The B’Twin 500 Road Cycling Helmet is always a good road-going companion. It was rated 4/5 by road.cc in 2016, who say there’s little difference between it and helmets that are four times the price. Lightweight, adjustable, secure, and well ventilated – what more could you want?
A BMX helmet? The B’Twin 320 BMX Helmet is crafted with a sturdy ABS outer shell, while the inner shell is polystyrene to reduce impact. It comes in sleek black and has 12 ventilation holes to help keep you cool whether you’re bunny hopping at the skate park or cycling the city streets.
For More Information
If you like Cycling in Winter, have a look at our tips on How To Keep Your Fingers, Toes and Nose Warm while Cycling in Winter!