bike safety

Consumer Reports: Is It Time to Replace Your Bike Helmet?

NBCUniversal, Inc.

If you can’t afford a Peloton, you’re not alone! So maybe it’s the old-school way of riding your actual bicycle outside that works for you. Before you hit the streets or trails, you’ll need a good helmet. And you might be surprised to learn that bike helmets don’t last forever and need to be replaced. That’s where expert testing from Consumer Reports comes in to help you find and fit the right helmet.

Consumer Reports says bike helmets are most effective at preventing injury when fitted and adjusted correctly, and the helmet itself hasn’t been injured. And a helmet can look fine after a crash, but there could be damage to it that you can’t see.

Even if you’ve never been in a crash, you may still need to replace your helmet. CR’s experts say you should replace your helmet every five years or so, because the protective foam and plastic materials can break down over time.

Another way to tell whether it’s time to replace: Give the helmet a good, thorough examination inside and out. One obvious sign is if you see any cracks in the foam. A more subtle sign you may need a new helmet is if the colors have started to fade. It’s probably a sign that the helmet could have been weakened by heat and sun exposure over time. And check the chin straps too, to make sure they’re in good shape.

If you’re ready for an upgrade, two helmets that scored well in CR’s rigorous tests are the Giro Register MIPS and the LEM Boulevard. And for kids, two helmets CR recommends are the Bontrager Tyro and the Garneau Nino.

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