It’s not hard to find people cruising on their bikes around the desert, even in the heat of the summer, but you could be taking a risky ride if your helmet is more than a few years old.
Helmets have a shelf life.
The Snell Foundation, a non-profit group that works to improve the design and safety of helmets, recommends the 5 year rule.
Normal wear and tear, sweat and hair oil, can slowly lead to degradation. The heat can also be a big problem, especially here in the desert.
“Sometimes with the sun damage that we get out here, you’ll leave it in your car, it could be a brand new helmet, you leave it in the car on a hot day, it warps,” said Scott Mckelvey.
Mckelvey works at Palm Springs Cyclery and has been selling bikes for 17 years.
He said people are often surprised to find out they need to replace their helmets every few years.
The biggest problem: you cant always see the damage.
The best way to gauge it, is time.
Most manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every 3 to 5 years.
There have also been a lot of design advances in the last five years.
New helmets are not only lighter but they are safer.
A lot of new helmets have a feature inside the helmet to keep it from rocking back and forth on your head, in addition to the chin strap.
If you don’t know how old your helmet is, there should be a manufacturing date printed on the inside.