icon When to change bike helmet?

When to change your bicycle helmet?

Whatever the type of cycling practice (sporty, occasional, in town or in the countryside, etc.), wearing a helmet is essential to protect against the risk of injury when cycling. For the helmet to provide really effective protection, it will be necessary to think of changing it in the event of shocks, signs of wear, and after a certain period of use.

Max And The City explains when to replace your bike helmet to ensure optimal safety during your urban travels.

→ Good to know : wearing a helmet is compulsory for children under twelve. Parents who do not respect this rule are liable to a fixed fine of 135 €. Beyond the age of twelve, it is no longer compulsory to wear a bicycle helmet, but it is still strongly recommended by road safety to reduce the risk of accidents.

How do you know when it's time to change your bike helmet?

It will be necessary to change your bicycle helmet:

  • From the first shock
  • If the helmet is cracked or broken
  • If the straps are frayed or torn
  • If the clamping system is defective
  • After using an unsuitable cleaning product
  • If the bicycle helmet is too old 

Change your bike helmet from the first shock

One of the golden rules for safe cycling is to change your bike helmet in the event of falls, shocks or collisions of any kind (this is true regardless of the type of helmet: mountain bike helmet, bicycle road, urban bike…).

Indeed, the inner shell of the helmet can be damaged after an accident, even if the outer surface does not appear to be impacted to the naked eye. However, when a cyclist wears a helmet with a compromised internal or external structure, he is no longer as well protected in the event of a second impact. This is why it is essential to buy a new bicycle helmet from the first shock or the first fall.

If the bicycle helmet is cracked or broken

Wearing a bicycle helmet is considered to reduce the risk of head trauma by 80% . However, a cracked or visibly broken helmet will no longer be able to guarantee optimal protection. It will therefore have to be replaced at the first signs of cracks or breakage.

If the straps are frayed or torn

A bicycle helmet should always have chin straps in good condition . These ensure that the helmet is held securely on the head. Torn or frayed straps may yield in the event of an impact, putting the cyclist in danger .

If the clamping system is defective

The adjustment wheel (or any other tightening system) is essential to ensure that the helmet is held on the head. An ill-fitting helmet will therefore no longer fulfill its function and will leave the cyclist vulnerable to accidents. Therefore, if the adjustment system of your bicycle helmet is broken or damaged in any way, it will be necessary to have it repaired or to buy a new helmet.

After using an unsuitable cleaning product

You should also know that the use of certain cleaning products can damage the outer shell and weaken the bicycle helmet. To preserve the quality and resistance of the bicycle helmet , it is therefore necessary to favor soft products, or simply use a soft sponge and soapy water, without adding chemicals or detergents. If a bicycle helmet shows signs of deterioration after being cleaned in the wrong way, it must be changed, for more safety on the bike.

If the bicycle helmet is too old

Remember also that bicycle helmets have a limited lifespan. After a few years of use, it will therefore be necessary to replace your used helmet with a new one. To keep your bike helmet as long as possible, it is advisable to store it in a dry, temperate place away from direct sunlight. This is because UV rays can have a harmful effect on the outer surface of helmets.

What is the lifespan of a bicycle helmet?

The average lifespan of a bicycle helmet is 3 to 5 years , but this also varies depending on the models chosen. Indeed, high-end helmets will be much more resistant over time. It is therefore important to choose the right bike helmet, taking into account the quality of the materials and the resistance of the helmet over time.

How to properly maintain your bicycle helmet to optimize its lifespan?

To optimize the lifespan of your bicycle helmet , you must first keep it clean and maintain it regularly. To clean it, it is best to use lukewarm water (30°C or less) and soap, or a cleaning spray provided for this purpose. The outer part as well as the inner shell of the helmet must be dried in the open air, and not in the dryer, which could damage the foam and the shell.

What criteria should be taken into account when choosing a bicycle helmet?

In order to benefit from a durable and resistant bicycle helmet, it is important to take into account several criteria, including:

  • CE (European Conformity) EN1078 certification , guaranteeing a certain level of protection;
  • The type of cycling practiced (all terrain, city bike, electric bike , road cycling, etc.);
  • The size of the bicycle helmet (size S, M or L, or even one size). To buy a helmet in the right size, remember to measure your head circumference using a tape measure (be careful, a helmet that is too big can be dangerous because it will not effectively protect the skull in the event of a fall or crashes);
  • The quality of the materials , the interior foams, the type of padding, the method of manufacture of the shell (polycarbonate, carbon reinforcements, etc.);
  • The level of comfort of the helmet : the weight (a light helmet will be more comfortable); the ventilation system (remember to check the number of vents present on the outer shell to allow the helmet to be ventilated during exercise);
  • The accessories and features of the helmet (removable visor; chin strap; chin strap closure system; anti-theft system; adjustment wheel at the back, etc.); Equip yourself with a helmet with visor .
  • The design (colors, shape, urban style, vintage, etc.);
  • The price of the bicycle helmet : for a quality, durable and robust helmet, count a hundred euros at least. Beware of products that are too “low-cost”, with a limited level of protection and comfort, and which will risk deteriorating quickly.
Discover our collection of bicycle helmets .

To find out more on the subject, see our article “ How to choose the right bike helmet? All our tips »