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Bicycle Helmet Inspection
Caring for Your Helmet

Cleaning your Bicycle Helmet:
The Plastic outer shell can be damaged by both abrasive and chemically aggressive cleaners like paint thinners and other petroleum based products. For the best end result use mild cream cleaners or dish soap. Straps can be soaked and scrubbed with a brush for effective cleaning.

Storing your bike helmet:
Heat (anything over 110 degrees) can damage the outer plastic skin so it is best not to leave your helmet on the dash of your car, or for that matter anywhere that is hot…. Think of what happened the last time you left your cooler too close to the camp fire… remember the blisters? Your cycling helmet will react the same way.

After every ride let it air out. If it has a removable liner, remove the liner and rinse with clean water and a mild soap. When you're sure it is dry replace the liner and store your helmet in a breathable container or a dedicated bicycle helmet cover, and place in a cool dry place.

Chin Buckle and Retention System:
If you notice wear on the straps of your helmet then it is time to throw them out. If the buckle is broken, replace it or it might skewer you on a crash or let the helmet fly off. Remember our earlier discussion. The helmet is only of value if it stays on your head. If the straps break on impact your helmet will do little to save your head.

Head Lice:
In the rare case your child picks up lice, do not use a spray of any type. Put their helmet into an airtight plastic bag for 48 hours, until you have basically smothered the little things. Then discard the pads and the bag, and use a soft cloth or sponge, warm water and mild soap to clean the surface. Order new replacement pads.

Bike Helmet Inspection:
Bicycle helmet inspection really only is designed to identify two things: heat damage and strap wear. As suggested earlier if you have left it in a very hot location the foam will deteriorate and lose its ability to crush on impact. If the strap is frayed it will not keep the helmet on your head, so in either case buy a new helmet.

What's important to understand is that you can't always see the damage to a helmet after a crash. The outer skin can disguise the fractures in the inner casing, thus a bicycle helmet inspection should not be used as a method to determine the viability of your helmet. If you know that the helmet has undergone significant impact don't depend on it to save you a second time.

How long do bicycle helmets last? If you never crash then the structure of the bicycle helmet has never been breached, and if visual inspection shows no sign of wear or deterioration of the foam or attachment straps then it could last for the length of your cycling career.

More Information:
Bell Bicycle Helmets
Giro Bicycle Helmets
Features of the Best Bicycle Helmet:

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copyright Jan. 2007