My Lazer Genesis: it’s my only helmet, the single piece of cycling paraphernalia that I wear every time I ride. There isn’t a spare one that I use when its wet, a brightly coloured one for racing, or an old one for commuting – it’s one helmet for everything. I bought it in February 2009 – I remember because I had gone to the Tour Down Under in January and while I didn’t care that I had a basic bike, I desperately wanted a better helmet. Just a little thing that made me feel much more the part.
As is inevitable in cycling, I’ve had my share of crashes – only one has been what I’d describe as ‘serious’ – but after each time my helmet emerged un-cracked and undamaged. “An invincible helmet!” I thought…until this week.
While washing my bike, I inspected my helmet to find a crack running over the top of the helmet on the right-hand side. “No drama, not that big.” Yep. Well seeing the crack widen when I applied even the lightest force and realising that the integrity of the helmet was totally compromised, I have ordered a new one. But this was the first time I had found a crack in my helmet, or seen one in a helmet at all. So here is what you should look for.
You can see that a small crack like this is hardly noticable. Once you put the helmet in your hands and start to manipulate it though, you can see the damage. As soon as you notice this, you need to get a new helmet right away – a cracked helmet offers no protection.
Since I haven’t had a crash recently, I imagine that the helmet got damaged when I chained it up with my commuting bike at the shops or one night at the pub. It was an expensive lesson but a good one nonetheless – probably time for a trashy, commuter helmet.
John is the Office Assistant in the RIDE office. Follow him on Twitter @dawson_ja
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