Hello and welcome to Alex's Blog. I hope you all had a lovely Easter and are now all sufficiently full of chocolate and ready for the biking season ahead of us. As the weather is getting nicer a lot of bikers are dusting off their bikes and their kit and starting to get out on the roads again. (I'm not going to pretend that every one of you is an all-season biker - I fully realise that a lot of you are fair-weather bikers)
On this subject I thought I would give you 10 really easy tips on when its time to change your lid, so here they are:
1 ) Look at the outside of your helmet - is it faded? If you're not sure just look up a picture of your helmet online and see if you can see a significant colour difference. If it is really faded then it may be time for a change. There is no law about when you need to change your helmet but it is recommended that once your helmet has been exposed to sunlight for five years then its time to change your helmet. So maybe think about when you actually bought and started using your lid?
2 ) What safety standards are on your helmet? If its a British Kite Mark then you definitely need an upgrade. All helmets legal on UK roads carry an ECE 22.05 mark on the back and an "E" label on the strap. ECE 22.05 superceded the British Kite Mark around ten years ago!
3 ) Check the seals around your visor, are they hard? These seals should be soft and pliable. If they are hard then you may be able to restore them with silicon lubricant, if you can't restore them then it may be time for a new lid.
4 ) Is your visor scratched? You can replace your visor to help visibility which adds longevity to your lid. Nikwax Visor Proof is also a fantastic product to help water bead and to keep your visor clear - this also prevents you from wiping your visor with your gloves and maybe scratching the visor, making your visor last longer. Also do NOT wash with any abrasive soaps etc. Use water only. A good tip is to soak kitchen roll in water and put this on your visor to clean all the flies off and leave on for a bit. Abrasive soaps like washing up liquid or sponges with scouring pads etc can all lead to ether scratching your visor or harming protective layers on visors.
5 ) Is the lining inside the helmet worn or so shiny that the material has worn away? Sweat, hair products and even petrol fumes can all add to the deterioration of your lining. The lining isn't only there to look nice and to feel comfy - this all adds to your safety.
6 ) Surprisingly having your hair cut can affect the way your helmet fits. To test, put your helmet on, hold each side with the flat of your hands and then try to turn your head from side to side. It is not good if your head moves but the helmet doesn't. You don't want too much "give" in your helmet, you want a good tight fit. You don;t want your head rattling around in the helmet or there really isn't much point in wearing one in the event of a crash.
7 ) Are your cheek pads detachable? Remove them, give them a quick wash and they could bounce back in to shape giving your lid a new flourish of life! If not then you may want to replace the cheek pads or even the lid.
8 ) If you remove your helmet and you keep getting black bits in your hair....then thats a sure sign that the liner is past its best and you definitely need a new helmet.
9 ) How is your strap? Is it worn? If there is some wear or fraying then you need to replace the helmet. The strap is an integral part of the helmet (even though it may seem like a small part) and for it to be doing its job properly it needs to be in tip top condition, as there is a lot of weight and pressure upon a strap in the event of a crash.
10 ) Beware of fake helmets - make sure you buy from an official and reputable dealer and sometimes some deals can be too good to be true, that £1000 lid for £100 will most likely be fake if its being bought from Bob down the pub.
If you do need to replace your helmet after looking at the guide above then worry not as we have a LOT to choose from in our 29 stores nationwide and also online - we have some fantastic deals and lets be honest, even our most expensive helmet is cheaper than your what head is worth...........surely?
Until next time, stay safe!