As riders, we are all guilty of getting back on our horses straight after a fall. But how much is our safety compromised by doing this?
When you first buy your helmet, it offers the optimum level of protection. Due to the nature of the materials used, they naturally degrade over time of use – even if you rarely wear your helmet. Any type of impact may also affect the level of protection that the helmet gives you.
So, when is the best time to replace your helmet?
Every 3-5 years (light use)
If you are lucky enough not to have fallen off for the last five years, it’s time to replace your helmet. Over time, the materials will suffer from the wear and tear of daily use, which may compromise on your safety. When you first have your helmet fitted, it should fit snug on your head. If it begins to feel uncomfortable or too loose, it is time to replace it.
1-2 Years (Heavy use and professional riders)
If you use your helmet every day for long hours then the wear and tear will obviously be far greater, it is likely the constant donning and doffing of your helmet and the prolonged use will change the shape of your helmet because the EPS liner is relatively soft. It is the EPS and Shell which give you the protection you need on impact so the more distortion in the EPS, the less protection you will have because the air in the EPS has been compressed out to some extent.
After a fall/impact
Even the smallest impact, can damage the protective qualities of the helmet. If you can see a big crack on your helmet, then the damage is obvious. But most damage goes unseen. Your helmet might look fine from the outside, but the EPS materials inside the helmet are likely to have been compromised.
Each helmet has a layer of expanded polystyrene (EPS) inside of it, which provides much of the protection, but it can also be quite fragile. When the helmet is struck by force, the air trapped inside the EPS layer becomes compressed and is depleted. This compression means that there is a smaller, less effective layer between your head and the impact on a fall. In order to provide the best protection for your helmet, we recommend storing it in a protective bag and replacing regularly according to your use above.
For these reasons, it is always advised to purchase a new helmet after any fall or impact and excessive wear and tear evident.
What if I’ve only just bought my helmet?
Even if your helmet is brand new, you should still replace it after a fall which involves an impact to the head. The helmet has done the job which you it for and provided you with protection in this case. Here at evoke, we understand that this can be upsetting, but safety comes first and that is why we are offering a Helmet Replacement Policy. This policy means that if you suffer a fall within the first six months of purchasing your evoke helmet, we will replace it for you at 50% of the original purchase price, providing that the helmet is identical to the one purchased. We just ask that you register your hat with us upon purchase.