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Buying a new cycling helmet is tough. From the colors to the fit and the brand, there are so many things that you will consider before laying down cash on a new helmet. While you may be picky about the color and brand, fit is one of the most important things that you need to consider – as is the care of your newest investment. Below are the do’s and don’ts for cycling helmet care.

Do: Store It Properly

Helmets should be stored away from extreme heat, which means that keeping it in the trunk of your car is a bad idea. The temperature inside a trunk can prevent a helmet from adequately absorbing impact. Store your helmet in a cool, dry place.

Don’t: Expose It To Cleaning Chemicals

The foam and the plastic shell on a helmet can be damaged by certain cleaners. Cleaning a helmet with harsh chemicals, such as ammonia or bleach, and even decorating it with paint, can potentially degrade the materials and possibly its performance.

Do: Invest In A New One After A Crash – Even If It Is Minor

This is a helmet care must. Your helmet is designed to withstand a single impact. One. That’s it. After you’ve been in a crash, buying a new helmet and trashing the old one is mandatory. Helmets more than five years old are also candidates for replacement. Some manufacturers even recommend replacing your helmet earlier than that.

Don’t: Invest In Helmet Accessories

Think twice before mounting an action camera on your helmet. The strap and/or adhesive mounts could damage the helmet, especially if they’re installed less than perfectly. But the larger problem is the camera itself. A helmet is designed to have a surface without protrusions, and a camera represents a significant one. The American Society for Standards and Materials is developing performance requirements for helmet-mounted accessories, and the CPSC is monitoring the effect of helmet-mounted cameras. A helmet-mounted camera may become a projectile if it detaches in a crash, but a camera that remains attached could focus the forces applied to the rider’s head, increasing the risk of injury.

Don’t: Do NOT Let Anyone Else Wear Your Helmet!

This isn’t just for safety reasons, as we all have different-sized heads, but also for hygienic reasons. Remember when you were told as a kid to never share combs with anyone due to lice? Well, adults can catch lice just as easily as children, and helmets are the perfect hiding place for those little suckers if someone has been infected. If you do use a rental helmet, or if you let someone use yours, clean the side foam afterwards with hot, soapy water.