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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm beginning a new thread because I don't want to take away from Flook's discussion on his particular helmet. But his discussion has brought up a few things in my own mind.

When do I replace my helmet?
If I drop it and send it in for inspection/repair what do they do?
Is new better than old?

So on my last trip, I started thinking about replacing my current Shoei Neotec. It's probably at least at the five year mark, since I bought it when the Neotec II was just coming out, but wasn't on the shelves. It wasn't any deterioration in the helmet I was noticing, just the weight after riding for hours. So weight became a criteria for the next helmet, as well as quietness and ventilation. Since the helmet currently looks virtually like new, there's no rush to go buy something.

One of the reasons the helmet looks like new, and feels like new, is that I remove and wash my padding occasionally. I probably wasted my money, because I also bought new cheekpads a couple years ago that I just took out of the packaging and installed. They don't look or feel any different than the old pads, FWIW. Anyway, when you do this, you're down to just two layers on the helmet. The outer shell that you can see all the time, and the styrofoam on the inside. So what would the people at Shoei look at to evaluate if my helmet is still serviceable after dropping it? My guess is the same thing I can see.

Styrofoam is supposed to deteriorate after exposure to UV rays. Not much of that really when I'm riding down the road. And the feeling of the styrofoam is like it is new. It's not crumbling. It is firm. It isn't deformed. It just looks like it did when I bought the helmet. So do I really need to replace this helmet?

Lastly, is new really better than old? If I stayed with the Shoei Neotec line, I find it interesting that the Neotec II weighs more than my original Neotec. More. I'm trying to lessen the weight, not increase it. One review says the weight is placed such that you don't feel it once you're underway. Humph. That's like saying a Goldwing feels like a GT once underway.
Also, I checked out the Sharp's safety ratings on both helmets...and the original Neotec is better for impacts using their colour code than the new improved Neotec II. And the number of times the chin bar failed is better on the original Neotec.

This is not nearly as simple as it may seem. And the old adage of my brain is worth more than an old helmet, is just that...an old adage. Facts and data make me want to question that adage a bit. Not entirely...but I'm not going to drop a small fortune to buy a new helmet...when the new one doesn't seem to be as good as the old one. And I'm not finding a new helmet that makes me feel like I just gotta have it.

What do you think?

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's a couple quick shots of the helmet.

Vehicle Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire


This is the only "damage". The rest are all reflections.

Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Audio equipment Electrical wiring



Bag Sports gear Automotive tire Luggage and bags Automotive design
 

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Shoei Helmets (and others?) have the manufacture date on a label inside the lining, check it out. Warranty is 5 years from purchase / 7 years from manufacture. If its age doesn't concern you, consider the use its had (5000 miles or 50000) & how well you've looked after it. Still happy, keep wearing it O, I bought a Neotec 2 in the summer & took it back, very heavy. Now have a HJC RPHA90 Carbon. Light & comfortable, mists in wet weather. Doesnt have the "quality" feel of Shoei's I've had previously
 

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Plenty of old axioms used in biking circles Chris, most for good reason.

Pretty good article written for one of the major UK insurance companies on the subject in question, well worth a read :-


Have a read, you never know, you may find that you can teach an old dog a new trick.




Sent from my motorola edge 20 using Tapatalk
 

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...Pretty good article written for one of the major UK insurance companies on the subject in question, well worth a read :-
Interesting to see how little external marking there was to the shell of the helmet.

I've got 2 years left on the current helmet, I'll swap at 5 years because everything degrades over time, I don't believe it's a simple binary state, under 5 years safe/over 5 years unsafe but a time limit has to be place on the helmet and 5 years is what the manufacture prescribes.

As to the next lid, no idea all I can say is it will comply with ECE 22.06 and have SHARP 5 star rating, currently only one Shoei passes the criteria, hopefully, by the time I come to replacement there will be greater choice.
 
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I'd lay odds that Shoei Glamster was defective from manufacture, not related to any user damage. But there isn't really any way to determine after the fact. There is no outside sign of application of force that would delaminate the shell unless the shell was never laminated.
 
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Helmets seem to be the forgotten side of biking, we all have them, and we are all told they need to be replaced when they are dropped, we are never actually told why! Except for they may be damaged, note the may be.

Many years ago I worked for a company that made Ultrasonic testing equipment. Ultrasonics are used nowadays for checking pregnancy etc. I reckon the same equipment or similar can be used for testing helmets. In my day we used a 'Techtronix' or a 'Dawe' oscilloscope to check out the measurements also 'Sona Test' equipment. Nowadays this has been removed by a screen which is better to see what has happened or happening.
With the use of a small transducer and using an app on a phone I am sure there is something around that can be made available to all Helmet suppliers/manufacturers.

As alway's open for discussion.
 
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i generally replace mine every 3 years. I do about 10k per year in all weathers, and usually out on the bike once a week so it gets well used. I look after them (although don't baby them), and obviously try to avoid dropping them! My main area of concern of degradation is the potential UV effect on the external shell and the EPS liner degrading (due to UV rays, humidity, water ingress etc).

I always try and go for a new/different helmet when i change too. whilst it's a bit of a risk with wind noise & comfort i then (man maths) feel its worth the expense. This year i moved from my GT Air 2 (which i've never like a lot since i got it about 2 years ago) to a Schuberth C5. Whilst i initially was concerned about the weight, i needn't have worried. It feels no heavier once on and for me, is a far better helmet overall. I've yet to find a negative about it in the 3 months or so i've owned it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Helmets seem to be the forgotten side of biking, we all have them, and we are all told they need to be replaced when they are dropped, we are never actually told why! Except for they may be damaged, note the may be.
That's the thing, the helmet "may be" damaged. Is it? Or is it not. The people who originate the advice are also the ones who stand to profit by having me buy a new helmet, preferably one of theirs. And they probably have the same lawyers who told McDonalds to put a label on the coffee cups saying the liquid is hot and might burn you.

A little story comes to mind. In my earlier years, I was an aircraft maintenance officer in SAC. As such, one of the things I did was to downgrade "Red X"s ...safety of flight discrepancies to allow the B-52s to fly. There were two categories of "downgrades". One was for EWO or war. Almost anything could be downgraded then. The logic was that in a war, would you rather have the plane and crew sitting on the ground when the bombs came and killed everyone? Or would you rather have them in the air to at least have a fighting chance.

The other category was for peacetime flying and that took a lot more thought and consideration. One of the Red Xs I downgraded for a peacetime flight was for a radome that was delaminated. The test was what was called a "quarter tap test". Not very sophisticated, but it worked. The technician actually would use a quarter and tap all over the radome to find out if a hollow sound was produced. If it was, over what amount was the delamination? I believe the acceptable amount was only an inch or two, if even that. So one day we had a plane that needed to fly from Griffiss AFB to another SAC base on a one-time basis. I downgraded the Red X to allow it to fly after a lot of consulting with my experts. BTW, the plane had an uneventful flight.

Months later, we had a B-52 that hit a flock of Canadian Geese on take-off. The geese totally destroyed the radome. Because the B-52 has no capability to dump fuel in flight like a commercial airplane can, the plane had to continue to fly for the next 9 hrs with a totally destroyed radome till the fuel burned off enough to land the plane. The plane didn't crash and burn. It just kept flying with considerably more than an inch or two of "delamination". ;)

So I tend to use some of the things I learned in those years on Active Duty in everyday life. If the coffee cup from McDonalds says to be careful that the contents may be hot...I can probably use my head to figure that out. I don't need a warning label to tell me that. Likewise, if I drop my $800-900 helmet a week after buying it, do I replace it? If I'm a week away from home, do I fly or somehow get to a city where I might find a helmet in my size? Or do I continue my trip and put the helmet on?

The HJC RPHA 90S looks interesting. The Nexx X.WED2 Purist Helmet also looks interesting. It is 3.5 lbs in a normal build and even less in carbon. It combines much of the benefits you find in modular helmets like a drop down sun visor with a removable sun shield that is aerodynamic enough that it doesn't (supposedly) grab your head when you ride at freeway speeds. It's quiet. Has outstanding ventilation. You can remove the "peak" and it has covers at the attachment points to make it look like a regular helmet. I was all set to order one...but it isn't modular. Ugh.

Many of the premium helmets from companies like Arai and Shoei have designs that are years old. I'm wondering if they will come out with new designs to compete with competition like the HJC and NEXX ...right after I buy one of the older designs. Those older designs are really showing their age.

So...still searching and thinking.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
...Many years ago I worked for a company that made Ultrasonic testing equipment.
Yeah, it's a shame I don't know someone who runs an NDI lab. We used many different non-destructive inspection techniques on the aircraft to see if things were safe, or not.

Chris
 

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That's the thing, the helmet "may be" damaged. Is it? Or is it not. The people who originate the advice are also the ones who stand to profit by having me buy a new helmet, preferably one of theirs.......
Is it reasonable for a helmet manufacture to issue any other advice though? They can hardly start giving guidance to the effect if it didn't seem like such a bad drop then you are safe to use. Issue the advice and leave it to the individual to assess his/her own risk.

Many of the premium helmets from companies like Arai and Shoei have designs that are years old. I'm wondering if they will come out with new designs to compete with competition like the HJC and NEXX ...right after I buy one of the older designs. Those older designs are really showing their age.
All helmet manufactures will be coming out with new models to comply with ECE 22.06 (unless they can get their old helmets to pass)
 
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I replace my helmets about every four years based on the miles (used to) do. I factor in perspiration and the like as usually there is a lot of humid NJ involved with ATGATT.

The question is I have a couple helmets which I picked up at sale, kinda liked, so use infrequently. They sit in a closet in the bedroom on an upper shelf. So, no UV exposure or climate exposure issues. They are older than 5 years old and I still use from time to time, such as when I am washing my primary helmet liner and it is still drying should I want to air my primary helmet out the day after a ride. I presume those helmets are still safe due to climate-controlled storage, little use, no drops or strikes. But I do wonder about whether they are still safe and, after how much clock time, given those conditions, does a helmet warrant disposal? Should I dispose of them after 5-7 years regardless of whether used and stored as described?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You have a good point. They should be safe to use.

Depending on your needs and budget, you might want to spring for newer helmets. The technology is changing and more companies are making advances in comfort, airflow and quietness.

One of the things I like about the NEXX. X. WED2 helmet is I can have the adventure bike peak on...or off. It's made to remove the peak and it has covers to make it the same as the NEXX WST2. So you get a wildly versatile helmet for a decent price. Unfortunately, while you can go from the adventure WED2 helmet to the WST2 helmet...you can't buy a WST2 helmet and add on the visor.

Chris
 

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I replaced my Nolan with a European Schubert C4Pro which didn't fit well so I bought another one but US model. Both small. Neither fit well so I bought a Shoei Neotec II & love love this thing. Been trying to sell Schuberths with advanced radio comm to no avail. My aftermarket radio for Shoei works very well too.
 

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The Schuberts do not fit my head shape well either. I really liked the Neotec II as well and will likely purchase one come spring.
 

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Years ago…. We would have a X-Ray taken of our Helmets .
I buy a New Helmet every five years, what is my Head worth? Good fit, removable liner to wash.
All are things I look for when buying a Helmet.
And I don’t always wear the same Helmet when riding, I switch them out.
Kind of like wearing the same shoes every day. The inner soles wear out faster!
Style? Is not first on my list when buying a Helmet, fit is important, liner, then I look at cost.
 

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I have a Shoei Neotec 2 with coms its heavy but a great helmet
Shoei will replace to meet the new EU regs probably by the end of 2023
I tried a Schuberth C5 with meets the new regs and will possibly get one if they can find the colour I want which is on back order
The Schuberth has anti roll off straps which I've not seen in other makes
It also has a Mesh Sena coms system
 
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I see that Shoei's current helmets are currently being sold at a 15% discount at most U.S. retailers. Perhaps that reduction in price is due to the introduction of their new range of helmets meeting EU regs next year. But even at 15% off they are still too pricy for me, even though I have an original Neotec helmet and do like it a lot. But that helmet cost a lot less when I bought it on sale a few years ago right before the 2 model came out.
 
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