Helmet integrity testing

In January I will have been using my Arai RX-7V for six years. I haven’t dropped it or had any sort of crash so it’s largely in good condition barring a few minor scratches. The prevailing wisdom is to replace a helmet five years after firsst use or seven years after manufacture. So in theory mine is due for retirement. Or is it?

I came across The Helmet Inspection Company today who can scan a helmet for damage and degradation. They say some helmets are still ok after five years and they’re too damn expensive to be checked in the skip when they’re still perfectly servicable.

With winter approaching it may be a good time to send off that old lid to see whether it’s got another summer left in it. I’m probably going to do that with mine.

Will have owned my Schuberth C3 Pro for 5 years come February.
Not really keen on shelling out a big chunk of money on another :frowning_face:

1 Like

My limited understanding is that it isn’t necessarily the outer shell that is the issue - I mean, yes, it could be (and picked up via this test perhaps); but the “other” issue is the sweat and moisture degrading the effectiveness of the inside of the helmet…will the soft and absorbent inner layer have lost some of that absorbency and started to harden - for example? Because of moisture, hair gel, fumes, etc…

Don’t shoot the messenger, I have enough lack of faith in the system to believe it is all a ploy to make us buy new helmets…but, just in case it IS true…I think the time period for helmet renewal is not solely based on the external integrity, but the internal one too…

(It is another reason why I would not spend “a lot” on a helmet…)

I’m only the messenger too. :slight_smile: There’s a section on their main web page about the testing they do. The laser testing just looks at the outer shell integrity.

The shell spreads the energy from the point of impact. The problem is, how do we know if the shell is compromised? Even the cheaper ones are still expensive enough that we don’t want to be replacing it if, say, it got dropped in the first year.

The expanded polystrene (EPS) inner absorbs some of the impact as a soft layer, (along with the soft linings that are removable/washable/replaceable) and can degrade over time as well. I’m not sure if this is replaceable on some helmets. I had a quick scout around the internet for my Arai but didn’t find anything about it. If the EPS is glued to the shell then I presume it’s not replaceable, or would have to be done by some sort of specialist.

Which leaves us with the questions; how critical if the EPS degradation to overall safety and can it be replaced on a perfectly good helmet? If I remember I’ll see if anyone at the bike show can give us an answer.

It will be good to find out…then we could legitimately have a helmet for 10years!

“it’s only had 3 new shells and 2 new inners…” :rofl:

Thanks for this. I have a Hedon GDR 2019 prize helmet that’s been consigned to the loft as I was wearing it when I had my recent off. For £45 I’d rather check to see if it’s actually still usable, so will be sending it off for testing next week.

Let us know how you get on. I’m still planning to send mine off.

Will do :+1:t3:

1 Like

@learningtofly Did you ever try out the integrity testing service? Must admit I’d forgotten about it until today.

No - I forgot too, but I’ve been pretty ill and had major surgery (so not a priority).

1 Like

Bigger thngs to think about, certainly. I hope you’re on the road to recovery!