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10 tips for a long-lasting helmet

Helmet maintenace is important to ensure that your lid remains in top condition so that your head is kept safe. Here are 10 steps for great helmet care

One.

Carry your helmet correctly, do up the chinstrap and carry it like a handbag, or better still carry it in the bag it was in when you took it out of the box. Don’t carry it by the chin bar. If you've ever owned an old lid, you'll know that the chin bar does get worn inside from finger pressure and in the event of an accident, you want the foam interior to be strong and uncompressed so it absorbs any forces in the way it was designed to.

Two.

Don’t store your gloves in your helmet, this is a major factor in reducing the life span of your helmet lining. The sweat from your hands can eat into the stitching in your gloves and this sweat, coupled with dirt can also eat into your helmet's lining.

Three.

Use cleaning products as intended, if in doubt read the instructions. Some cleaning products are far too abrasive on the shell and can make it weaker through corrosion. Cleaners such as kitchen sprays, alloy wheel cleaners and bleach may get even the most stubborn bugs off your nice helmet, but they will make it structurally weaker.

Four.

Never balance your helmet on the mirrors of your bike; there's one place it'll always end up - on the floor. So put it there. Also hanging it on a mirror can damage the lining and could render your helmet as good as useless.

Five.

Clean your helmet properly at least once a year, don’t rush the job, take your time. Most helmets these days have a removable lining, so you can take this out and wash it properly, removing dirt, grease and build up that can cause it to wear faster than it should.

Six.

Never put a wet helmet back in the cupboard, always dry it out first. But drying it can damage it too. It may be tempting to use a hair dryer or to place your helmet on a boiler or hot radiator, but this can cause the glue used in the helmet's consruction to weaken. You don't want the foam interior coming away from the outer shell - your helmet won't protect your head as it should if it does.

Dry it naturally or using a gentle heat source. A wet lid stashed in a cupboard will deteriorate through mould and start a slow rotting process. Nasty!

Seven.

Don’t assume your helmet is knackered because you have dropped it or it has rolled down a couple of steps in the house. Send it back to the manufacturer for an inspection, they will let you know if your helmet is still useable. Arai, for example, will X-ray your helmet to check it's fit for purpose.

Eight.

Helmets are a lot more robust than you think, they are designed to be stripped and re-assembled for cleaning as well as to keep your head safe. Don’t be scared to get stuck in, but on the same note don’t force something that doesn’t feel like it wants to be forced.

Nine.

A five pound cleaning product can inflict £100 worth of damage to your helmet and render it useless. Consult the helmet manufacturer and find out what the best products to use are, don’t be tempted to use the same stuff you would use to clean your bike. Or your oven!

Ten.

Your helmet is the most important piece of equipment you own, buy the very best one you can afford and never compromise yourself, change it every five years, maximum. Heads don’t fix well, bones do!