Do helmet liners "pack out" (break in?) permanently?
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Thread: Do helmet liners "pack out" (break in?) permanently?

  1. #1

    Do helmet liners "pack out" (break in?) permanently?

    Late last summer, *someone* with a larger head than I decided to borrow my helmet without asking and when I got it back, it felt different. It felt BIG. I put it on, shook my head, and was kind of upset to find that it slid around fairly easily. I thought that maybe the foam lining would puff back up and it would be fine, but every time I've tried it on since, it's been the same.

    Does that even make sense? Could it really be that the foam is permanently broken in for someone else's head now? Or maybe it never fit correctly in the first place and I'm just imagining things? Maybe my head shrank? Anyway, it's pretty annoying because it was a bulky helmet in the first place (KBC Wolf, with the big chin bar), now it really feels like it wants to fly off my head at speed. Has this happened to anyone else? Can I "re-puff" the liner so it fits me again? I'm thinking that if it comes down to having to replace the entire liner, I might as well shell out for a higher quality helmet.

    Yeah, I know it's a dumb topic, but it's been bugging me, so thanks for any tips ya'll have.

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  3. #2
    contradiction incarnate Array slam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    well, as long as the hard-foam (not the liner foam) part hasn't compressed it shouldn't be an issue.
    try washing the liner to get it to "perk up" again.
    nobody gets out alive

  4. #3
    replace the liner and cheek pads. try the next size up to what's in it now.

  5. #4
    Registered User Array J1k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    ya guve it a wash,it will puff out a little,did ya lose weight since it was last worn?that'll do it to.

  6. #5
    Registered User Array SpideRider's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
    Fraser Valley
    Definitely wash the liner first and see if it helps enough. If not, purchase some new pads.
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  7. #6
    Dont be a dick Array Driftland's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    This is just me but if i got on a helmet that doesnt fit quite right, i just toss on a sort of bandana. Its the same thing you stick under a kendo helmet if anyone knows what that is.

  8. #7
    Happy Camper Array BlackScorpion's Avatar
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  9. #8
    slower than ... Array FLAX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    pedal commuter & gixxer
    The answer to you original question is "Yes, the styrofoam in a helmet does compress under pressure and no, it will not return to its original shape"
    New helmets with snug spots will become fairly comfortable quickly for the same reason. Loose helmets never get tighter without adding/changing padding. Helmets that have been crashed are usually looser; the job of the foam is to compress as your head decelerates as it approaches the shell.

    The foam also compresses just from daily use: every time you turn your head, ride fast enough to create wind pressure, bonk you head on a beam, whatever. I find that every 30k kms, I am looking for a snugger fit. Better to buy a helmet twice as often, always last year's on sale, than to fork out the big bucks on new graphics and expect it to last forever.

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