Welcome to 2020!
I know what you are thinking. I blew all my spare change on Holiday gifts and just realized my helmet rating is 10 years old! Do I need to buy a new helmet before the season starts?!
Do you have a SA2015 or M2015 helmet? Relax, you’re good for 5+ more years.
Do you have a SA2010 or M2010 helmet? Read on…
2020 is underway, SNELL is currently still in process of testing/approving helmets for the new 2020 rating. You won’t see any SNELL SA2020 helmets until October 2020 the earliest! Below is the timeline from SNELL’s own website, published May 4, 2019:
To sum it up: SA2020 helmets will not be sold until October 1, 2020 the earliest. Your SA2010 helmet is good through the 2020 season.
However, history has shown us these timelines may not be set in stone: When the 2015 standards came out there were significant delays somewhere in the process for approval, stickering, and helmet production. Helmets were late to get to retailers. As a result, many clubs delayed their updating and the SA2005’s were allowed to run for at least an extra year… You should plan to shop for a new helmet next winter, but there is a chance 2010’s will be accepted through the whole 2021 season as well.
How does all this relate those who are using SA2015 helmets? You are still good for another 5 year cycle until the SA2025 helmets are released. Note: some clubs allow older helmets for HPDE and Autocross use, your helmet may continue to be legal for another cycle. For Wheel-To-Wheel racing everyone I’ve heard of requires helmets no older than 2 ratings.
So my helmet rating is good for 10 years, is that safe? The rating is indeed good for 10 years from the date of the rating’s release, and as long as The Helmet is in obvious very good condition, it should still protect you for that time. Most likely you will be buying your helmet at some point during that 10 year window so you’ll usually get anywhere between 5-10 years of rating life. If you buy a SA2015 helmet on September 30 2020, you should get about 5 years before the useful rating “Expires” after two cycles. If you buy a SA2020 helmet on October 1, 2020 (The Day the SA2020’s get released) you should get 10 full years before the useful rating expires.
Even with the 10 year maximum rating life, the SNELL foundation recommends cycling helmets out after 5 years… or immediately if you have a serious crash.
Want to read up more about helmets and safety gear? Check out my post: The Budget Safety Gear YOU need for Track Days and Racing and OTHER POSTS by No money Motorsports.