SAN ANTONIO – In the past year, the number of people getting back on the bike for exercise or fresh air is up. Unfortunately, so are falls, crashes and injuries. So, will your bike helmet protect you? Or, is it time for a replacement?
“Bike helmets aren’t indestructible,” said Consumer Reports’ Kevin Loria. “If you’ve been in a crash you need to replace your helmet as soon as possible.”
Wearing a helmet that fits well and is not damaged is key to protecting riders from serious head injuries.
A helmet can look fine after a crash, but there could still be damage that’s not easily seen. Accidents or not, experts recommend riders replace their helmets every five years or so because the protective foam and plastic can break down over time, especially if it’s stored in a hot garage.
“One obvious sign is if you see any cracks in the foam,” Loria said. “A more subtle sign you may need a new helmet is if the colors have started to fade. It’s likely a sign that the helmet could have been weakened by the heat and sun exposure over time.”
Riders should also check the chin straps to be sure they’re still secure.
Two helmets that scored well in Consumer Reports rigorous tests are the Giro Register MIPS and the LEM Boulevard.
For children, they recommend the Bontrager Tyro and the Garneau Nino.
A Texas company has recalled some of its bike helmets for toddlers because they don’t meet standards and pose a risk of head injury.
Ske Outdoors of Katy recalled the Turboske Kids toddler helmets, model FX010, in size small. They were sold on Amazon and online for about the past year. Owners can return them for a refund or a new helmet.