Helmet Failure

No, I didn’t crash but my helmet failed anyway. We talk about replacing helmets, even those that haven’t been in a crash, after some time. The normal time that people talk about is three to five years.

Normally we talk about degradation of the Styrofoam due to heat and sunlight. That may have occurred in this helmet as well but what failed was the adjusting mechanism which makes the helmet pretty useless.

Broken adjustment strap on a bicycle helmet
Helmet adjustment strap snapped cleanly.

I am not sure when this happened. When I picked up my helmet to go riding it was like this so I assume it happened the last time I rode. I haven’t crashed in years so that wasn’t the cause of the failure. Maybe old age.

The sticker inside the helmet says that manufacture date was Apr 2008 and the helmet is a Trek Sonic, a mid-price-range helmet. So I got at least 4 years out of the helmet before failure. That works out to about $15 a year for insurance against TBI if I do fall. I can afford that…in fact I can’t afford not to do that.

I think I will send helmet back to Trek and see if they have seen other failures like this or they can get an idea of what happened.

Got a new helmet at Bicycle Sport Shop (Research) and I’m back on the road. Got in 22 miles before the rain this morning. I just had to get the part in about the rain…LOL

I’ve looked at the old helmet and have found at least three cracks in the Styrofoam. I have never crashed so I think the cracks must come from packing the helmet in my suitcase with my folding bike. When the baggage handlers toss the suitcase around it must torque the helmet. Maybe that is what happened to the strap as well.

Here are some photos of the cracks.

About Vintagengine

Long history in the bicycle safety world. League Cycling Instructor and expert witness in human behavior in traffic.
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1 Response to Helmet Failure

  1. Tim says:

    don’t worry about missing the rain…I caught all of it riding to my meeting downtown

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