So, I’m going to guess that everyone that this newsletter goes out to wears a helmet while they ride. There are lots of good reasons to wear a helmet, even if the jury is still out on how much protection from concussion they provide. The new Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) helmets are supposed to be better in that regard. Even if it doesn’t protect you from a concussion at all, can you imagine road rash on your head? Or a cracked skull?
Anyway, how much thought have you given to how you pack your helmet when you travel? It seems most people pack their helmets in with their bike when they travel. I used to do this myself. Our travel tandem only has one set of couplers and it goes into a large soft sided case that was originally meant for a single mountain bike. I would place my helmet in the case in an open space in the frame. Then one day I was looking at my helmet and noticed a crack in the foam. A friend and Adventures In Tandem customer was putting his and his wife’s helmets into their S&S hard cases thinking they were protected there. Then he noticed a crack in one of their helmets. The helmet sat between the frame and the side of the case. An impact to the side of the case stressed the helmet against the frame and cracked it. Another friend packed his helmet in his S&S case and when he got to his destination, one of his spokes was broken and while his helmet wasn’t cracked, it did have an indent in it where it was pressing against the spoke that it broke as it was banged around by the baggage handlers.
While your helmet may seem tough given its intended use, it is really just meant to protect your head, and even then, it is only meant for one actual collision, and then you need a new helmet. A lot of people abuse their helmets without even realizing it, and are potentially reducing its ability to protect them, should they fall. I was one of these people…
But now, we always take our helmets in our carry-on luggage and generally treat them with more respect.
Here are a few articles you can read if you want more info on helmets: