Secondhand Helmets

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
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Mick F
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Secondhand Helmets

Postby Mick F » 11 Apr 2018, 4:12pm

Do people buy/sell them?

I have a very nice Specialized S3 helmet not used since summer 2015.
Not specifically wanting to sell it, but I do wonder if there's a market for good quality secondhand - or is it secondhead? - helmets.

If the helmet debate is still "undecided" with respect to the efficacy or otherwise, does it actually matter if the helmet is brand new off the self ............... or pre-worn?

If it does matter, and secondhead helmets are verboten, it must suggest .................... what?
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby mjr » 11 Apr 2018, 4:30pm

I think to use any safety equipment secondhand, I'd need to either be able to inspect and test it non-destructively or really really trust the person I'm getting it from. Helmet tests are destructive, so I think that leaves "really really trust".

But I know people who have bought used helmets or even rented them with bikes. I suspect some users don't believe in helmet protection and are only using them to comply with event rules or laws (some events even offer to lend non-users random discarded/donated helmets for the event), but I also suspect such helmets could be causing a few injuries because they've suffered previous crash damage.

Rented helmets seem an especially bad idea: if they've smacked the helmet and there's no visible damage, how many people would admit it and lose their deposit or pay a damage charge?

I believe the secondhand and rental helmet market is currently too small to show up in the stats over more widespread drawbacks of helmets, though.
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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby Wanlock Dod » 11 Apr 2018, 4:48pm

Surely it depends upon whether or not you believe that the principal effects of helmets are physical or psychological in their nature, and whether or not you consider cycle helmets to be safety equipment. These considerations lead me to believe that those that do not wear helmets are more likely to trade in second hand helmets than those that do wear helmets, this effect might suppress such trade even further.

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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby dobbo800 » 11 Apr 2018, 5:55pm

Speaking as someone who rides a motorcycle, I would never buy a second-hand helmet. You don't know its history. I don't wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. Cheers

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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby Tangled Metal » 11 Apr 2018, 7:32pm

The advice is to replace helmets every 3 years or so because of degradation of the materials used in them. That's from safety experts and helmet brands. So perhaps not true.

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Mick F
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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby Mick F » 12 Apr 2018, 2:47pm

My question ............ and I'm not really sure what my question is or should be ................

If helmets are a fashion thing, and people feel "safer" wearing one, do they really know that the one they're wearing is good enough?
We can only rely on the manufacturers and the shops selling them .......... especially the shops.

How do people actually know if the helmet hasn't been dropped, or pre-worn by a prospective purchaser riding round the block for a trial ............ etc etc etc even if it is brand new?

Should helmets come in a sealed bag with a test date and an in-date certificate?
Should helmets have a regular MOT?
If not, does it matter if it's a secondhead helmet ........ providing it's in good condition?

Does any of this matter at all?
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 12 Apr 2018, 8:56pm

Hi,
No no no and no, but mine catches flies well 8)
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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby Wanlock Dod » 12 Apr 2018, 10:20pm

Just before your original post somebody bought an old helmet from my wife. They had just got a new bike, but presumably felt that wearing a helmet would be necessary to provide sufficient confidence for a ride. I'm sure she would have been old enough to have learnt to ride without a helmet.

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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby Cunobelin » 13 Apr 2018, 6:35am

The general advice on motorcycle forums and in most cases for cyclists as well is that a second hand helmet is a bit NO

As above you do not know whose ether it has been dropped, bashed, damaged or otherwise weakened in use.

If you have decided that you need one, why compromises that decision with one that may not function?

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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby pjclinch » 13 Apr 2018, 7:54am

Various issues raised above...

The replacement time frame is one I've most often seen quoted at 4-5 years. Brian Walker's Heads Up article, originally written for Cycle is a good source of factual info from someone who tests them for a living, and concurs with 5.

I would only use safety-critical second hand stuff from a source I really trust, but I don't regard a cycle helmet as safety-critical. Mine is used for coaching basic MTB to juniors, mostly to fulfil BC's insurance requirements but partly because it's sometimes handy MTBing through the woods at speed to bash low branches out of the way that would otherwise knock my cap off or graze my (bald) head. At the start of every session there's a mandatory helmet check, and they're pretty easy to do. Check the integrity of the liner by a gentle squeeze and pull sideways and fore-aft, check visually for cracks and other damage to liner and shell, check the straps are adjusted. That's all you need to be reasonably sure that if push comes to crash your helmet may save you a bump and a graze and a very nasty headache. If you thought it was going to save your life you'd just better hope your lucky rabbit's foot or St. Christopher medallion are properly charged...

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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 14 Apr 2018, 12:50am

Hi,
Motorcycle helmets, it was recommended to replace polycarb one's every two years 30 years ago.

Bicycle helmets wear out quick, the outer falls apart and the foam inserts disintegrate.

I would never sell a helmet, just smash it up before you bin it.
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Mick F
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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby Mick F » 14 Apr 2018, 7:13am

There's nothing wrong with my helmet.
If I never use it again, surely someone else could use it.

Why smash it up and bin it?
It's a perfectly good helmet, and I wouldn't hesitate to wear it .......... if I wanted to.

I don't want it, so why shouldn't someone else use it?
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby Vorpal » 19 Apr 2018, 4:28pm

MEA Forensics recieved helmets donated to them by people who had bought new ones. They subjected them to the same sorts of tests required for certification and found that age does not cause a reduction in test performance. So, if a helmet has not been dropped or crashed, age probably does not make much difference.

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Mick F
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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby Mick F » 19 Apr 2018, 4:39pm

Excellent!

If my helmet is worn by me without a second thought, why shouldn't someone else use it instead of me?
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Secondhand Helmets

Postby TrevA » 19 Apr 2018, 6:43pm

I've sold a couple of time trial helmets but didn't get much for them. £15 each for helmets that cost over £100 when new. They were hardly used.

Not worth selling the helmet unless it's a premium one. One that would cost £200-£300 when new. Or if it's brand new and hardly used because someone bought the wrong size or design.

I'd be tempted to give it away if you no longer want it.