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Helmet life expectancy?

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  • Helmet life expectancy?

    I have this Troxel schooling helmet (cost around $90, I got it when I first started riding). Its about 6 or 7 years old. I'm wondering is it safe to keep using the same helmet for that amount of time? I've fallen off twice in all of my riding. The helmet seems to have some wear to it, so I'm wondering if I should get a better quality helmet like a GPA or a Charles Owen...what do you think?
    Last edited by sfreshoff; Jan. 25, 2008, 11:40 AM.

  • #2
    helmet life expectancy

    I remember hearing to get a new helmet every 3 years, or after it takes a hit. Whichever comes first. Hopefully the 3 years will. You could call Troxel to be sure.

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    • #3
      I try to follow the Pony Club rule which is every 5 years, or after a fall where the helmet hits the ground (even if it hits after another body part).

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      • #4
        I've heard every 3-5 years, but is this just so the manufacturers can get more $$$?? I don't know. I replaced mine last year just because the old one was ugly and out dated. The way I go through tack, my new one won't last more than a couple of years before I'm bored with it.

        It's far better to be safe than sorry, especially when your head is concerned. I'd rather pay the money and buy a new one just to be sure I'm up to date on protection. Materials are constantly evolving and getting better. And if the helmet has been exposed to extreme heat and cold, the materials can break down. The helmet is one thing I just wouldn't skimp on.

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        • #5
          When I was trying to figure out what new helmet to buy (after a fall in which I hit my head so I knew that I had to replace that helmet) I was thinking that the expensive helmets like the Chas. Owens or the GPA must be a lot safer than the Troxels. I was looking at a new, expensive helmet advertised online at a fairly reasonable price since it had been won by the seller in a raffle and it didn't fit her. Turns out she had worked at a large and well known tack shop and she told me that the expensive helmets are no safer than the inexpensive ones as long as they were ASTM/SEI approved and that (most important) they fit the rider well. She talked herself right out of a sale! Also, I figured that my (spooky) youngster may well dump me again and it would really hurt (the pocketbook) to throw out an expensive helmet. So I went with another Troxel and I'm happy with it. I think most of the manufacturers suggest replacing a helmet that is more than 5 years old - perhaps the styrofoam lining starts to deteriorate and doesn't provide as much safety (or they want to make more money!!!)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by cdalt View Post
            When I was trying to figure out what new helmet to buy (after a fall in which I hit my head so I knew that I had to replace that helmet) I was thinking that the expensive helmets like the Chas. Owens or the GPA must be a lot safer than the Troxels. I was looking at a new, expensive helmet advertised online at a fairly reasonable price since it had been won by the seller in a raffle and it didn't fit her. Turns out she had worked at a large and well known tack shop and she told me that the expensive helmets are no safer than the inexpensive ones as long as they were ASTM/SEI approved and that (most important) they fit the rider well. She talked herself right out of a sale! Also, I figured that my (spooky) youngster may well dump me again and it would really hurt (the pocketbook) to throw out an expensive helmet. So I went with another Troxel and I'm happy with it. I think most of the manufacturers suggest replacing a helmet that is more than 5 years old - perhaps the styrofoam lining starts to deteriorate and doesn't provide as much safety (or they want to make more money!!!)
            Ditto! No need to spend mega bucks on a helmet. From the $50 ones to the ...gulp... $500 helmets, they ALL must meet the same ASTM/SEI standards.

            I replace my helmet every 3-4 years because mine see lots of outdoor time. I'd also replace it instantly if I ate dirt.

            For me, I LOVE the IRH skull caps because I can get the cool helmet covers from www.helmetcovers.com WITH a soft but stiff brim already sewn in free of charge. Jeffers had them on sale last year, so keep your eyes peeled.
            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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            • #7
              well, but sometimes the more expensive ones FIT better, and that DOES make them safer, in some respect.

              They've added freaking dial-fit to all the Troxels now except the Grand Prix Gold, and the very cheapest one. SUCK. Sorry, but c'mon.

              I also got a new International, same model as my old one, but they've changed sizing. It's too big. Grrrr.
              InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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              • #8
                I wonder if the foam begins to break down after the 5 years and the integrity of the helmet would be compromised should you take a fall on it?

                I have a Grand Prix Gold long oval from years ago. It is in perfect condition, only used it for a few shows. For schooling I had a Dublin, but it gave up the ghost this past year it was really showing it's age.
                So, I got a new helmet....
                I recently bought a JR8 and LOVE it. It fit the best, the Troxels no longer fit me and forget the dial fit system on my head.
                Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
                Takaupas Top Gold
                Gifts Black Gold Knight

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                • #9
                  Troxel's information in with the helmet basically says the helmet has a life of 3-7 years depending upon care (handling) and exposure to sunlight.

                  However IF you take a fall or a good crack to the head by a low hanging branch or a mis-swung horse's head then it should be replaced sooner rather than later.

                  Even the IRHs and the Charles Owen show helmets only have a head life of 5- 9 years before needing to be replaced.
                  Check out our horses at http://community.webshots.com/user/dalriadadm

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                  • #10
                    Charles Owen

                    I have two cheap dial fit Troxels, after a very short time they both start to loose bits and pieces off them (padding parts and such). They are still serviceable so my daughter uses them. I found I couldn't get a good fit with them and bought a Charles Owen for me. Yes it was expensive but it fits my head really well. I wasn't sure if I wanted to ever show again so I got one that would be good for anything from hunting to the show ring. It is very well made and super comfortable. When I'm riding I don't even think about it and that means its one less thing for me to worry about. Before helmet was slipping no matter how much I cranked the dial. But you have to get equipment that works for you that you can trust completely and that is priceless.

                    I will never buy another dial fit helmet again!

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Yeah I'm thinking I should get another one...My helmet has seen a lot of wear n' tear from me yanking it around or bumping my head almost everywhere I go...But I still don't know which one to get. My horse trainer and coach has many of those Troxel helmets with the dial up system, which is good for her because she teaches so many kids or adults with different head profiles. But I fear that the dial will just start to loosen over time or something will happen and the helmet will not be as good of a fit. I really do like the look of the GPA's but I could use that money to save up for another saddle, and I'm not going to do any showing with my mare any time soon. So I guess it's between the IRH's or maybe even the Tipperary one's considering I have a Tipperary riding vest...oh I don't know. I heard from some people that with helmets that have ventilation holes in them, It can be a hazard if you fall and a branch or something goes through it Has anyone else heard of that? Should it be a concern or something that is rare but a possibility?

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                      • #12
                        Ugh! I probably am doint the wrong thing, but....

                        I am mostly a lesson rider, and am lucky if I get to ride twice a week.
                        So I figure my old Lexington helmet should last a lot longer than one that gets more use.

                        I also can't stand the dial S M L system. I need a size 7 1/4 !

                        So last time I replaced my helmet, I found a Lexington velvet helmet that had been used only for a couple of shows, and had been in storage. It looked brand new, and fits my head great.

                        Is this wrong?

                        I can't stand GPA, Lidlocker, Troxel, most of them.

                        Whatever happened to Lexington Safety Products anyway?

                        I Know I'm probably living life dangerously by going for comfort.... but.... so be it.
                        What's the scoop?

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                        • #13
                          I didn't realize how badly the Troxel fit until I crashed and went to replace it. Yuck, it was so uncomfortable, I never wanted to wear it. Glad I did, it saved my head. Still, after that crash I looked for a helmet that really fit. Surprisingly Tipperary has inexpensive helmets that fit my head shape. It is so comfortable that I don't "grouse" about putting it on!

                          If it's 5 or more years, or if you've taken a fall, I'd replace the helmet. Go try different brands on. I think you'll find one that feels good and doesn't kill the pocketbook.
                          Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks so much for all of the comments and help. Yesturday I went to my local tack shop and bought a Tipperary sportage helmet. Now my helmet will match my safety vest AND it didn't overkill my wallet

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