Do Bike Helmets Expire?

The purpose of a bike helmet is to protect the rider’s head in the event of an accident in which the rider’s head impacts a solid object such as a road, car, tree, or any other solid object.

In such an instance, we want to be sure that our bicycle helmet can protect our head.

If you’ve been sporting the same helmet for several years, the question of ‘do bike helmets expire‘, is a reasonable question to ponder, along with considerations of bike helmet expiration dates.


  • Bicycle helmets do not have an expiry date.
  • Bike helmet manufacturers recommend updating helmets after 3 to 5 years.
  • The CPSC suggests replacing helmets within 5 to 10 years.


Do bike helmets expire? These three old bike helmets covered in dust and cobwebs sure look expired.

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Do Bike Helmets Expire?

There is no firm bike helmet expiration date or sticker with a ‘Use-by’ or ‘Best Before’ date. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is tasked with certifying bicycle helmet safety standards in the United States, suggests that bike helmets be replaced within 5 to 10 years or as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Bike helmet manufacturers, on the other hand, recommend replacing helmets after as little as 3 to 5 years or up to 7 years.

So, we now have a suggested bike helmet lifespan ranging from three to ten years. How can we know for sure whether to replace our bicycle helmets after 3 years, 10 years, or even longer?

RELATED: What To Do With Expired Helmets

If there is no fixed bike helmet expiry date, perhaps a better question would be, ‘How long are bike helmets good for?’ They can’t last forever, surely.

The thing is, neither the CPSC nor the manufacturers have any way of knowing how individuals use their bicycle helmets, how often the helmet is used, or how well people take care of their helmets.

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Two teenagers riding bikes wearing helmets. How long will their helmets last?

How Long Do Bike Helmets Last?

As mentioned, the lifespan of a bicycle helmet can only be determined by the way in which the helmet is treated by its owner. Not all helmets experience the same usage, handling, or storage conditions.

Some people use their bike helmets every day of the week. Others may only use their helmet on weekends, while others may use it as little as once or twice a month, or even less.

SUGGESTED: Affordable MIPS Cycling Helmets

For many people, cycling is a recreational activity, but there are some people whose employment involves riding a bike and wearing a helmet every day as part of their job, and that doesn’t include professional sports cyclists.

An inner-city bicycle courier who wears a helmet all day every working day can’t really be compared to someone who only wears their helmet once a week for a short Sunday afternoon cycle.

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When To Replace A Bike Helmet

As a general guideline, the Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that bike helmets should be replaced within 5 to 10 years. However, there are several factors to consider before replacing a perfectly good bicycle helmet, and 5 to 10 years is quite a lengthy time span.

There are situations in which a helmet must be replaced immediately, and there are other times when replacing your helmet isn’t totally necessary but would be strongly encouraged. You can learn more about this in our article “How Often Should Bike Helmets Be Replaced“.

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New Bicycle Helmets on display shelf, but how often should they be replaced?


In conclusion, bicycle helmets don’t have a predefined expiration date. The answer to our question of ‘do bicycle helmets expire‘ can depend on a lot of different things that can’t be determined with numbers suggested by the CPSC or bike helmet manufacturers.

If you want to extend your bike helmet’s lifespan, take good care of it and protect it so that it can protect you.

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I hope we have covered the subject of ‘do bike helmets expire’ to your satisfaction. If you enjoyed this article, take a look at the related reads below for some more interesting reads!

Ken Barclay

Ken Barclay is the owner and founder of Ken's first foray into writing was in 2000 when he had his first article published on, this was during an eight year period working abroad as an English teacher. More recently, Ken spent 12 years as an IT Manager for a telecom and ISP. Married with 4 kids, Ken has had extensive experience with many sporting and recreational pursuits with his family over the decades, including cycling, kayaking, snowsports, motorcycles, skateboards, and scooters. There was even a horse.

The Helmet Expires, Then What?