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Aldi silver helmets ‘grow old disgracefully’

Aldi helmets Ray Schriever
Ray with the sticky helmet

Aldi claims the gear they offer in their annual motorcycle gear sale is safe, but one Sydney reader says at least silver Aldi helmets don’t age well.

Ray Schriever bought a stack of helmets from Aldi in 2015 and all the silver paint has now crazed and become sticky, despite limited use.

Ray says he bought a few spare helmets in various sizes and kept them in their bags in the garage for visiting friends.

Aldi helmetsAldi helmets Ray Schriever

He bought three silver/grey Aldi helmets – two full-faced and one open-faced — plus two black open-faced Aldi helmets.

“Having recently built a sidecar I thought I might go for a tootle with one of the open-faced helmets,” Ray says.

“To my surprise I had a devil of a time getting it out of the bag.

“The helmet was sticky all over. I took it to the sink and gave it a wash but the sticky mess just congealed or balled up.Aldi helmets Ray Schriever

“I sprayed the helmet with isopropyl alcohol and it stated to remove the sticky coating with a fair bit of elbow grease.

“I soon realised that I was also removing the outer coating of paint on the helmet. That definitely shouldn’t be happening.”

Ray then checked his other helmets and found the same issue with all those with silver paint.Aldi helmets Ray Schriever

“All of my helmets (eight in all) share the same shelf in my garage so it isn’t an environmental issue as other brands and other colours are not affected, including my ancient RJays helmet that sits there unused and uncovered,” Ray says.

“The full-face helmets are untouched but sticky on both the grey section and the patterned sections of the helmet.

“The difference between the layers of paint can be clearly seen on the open-faced grey helmet.

“The top layer dissolves in either isopropyl alcohol or methylated spirits. Both are alcohol bases and shouldn’t affect cured paint.Aldi helmets Ray Schriever

“Pretty disappointing really. Never had anything like this right back to pudding basin days.

“Would have expected these barely used helmets to last instead of self destruct.”

Aldi replies

An Aldi Australia spokesperson says:

Before 2016, a different type of paint was used on the motorcycle helmets and after listening to our customers feedback we learnt that the helmet would sometimes become sticky if stored in damp conditions for a long period of time. As a result we worked with our business partner to improve the paint and the new formula was introduced in 2016. The safety of the helmet has never been impacted, the sticky surface was an aesthetic fault only. It does not damage the shell, the EPS liner or the structure of the helmet. Our helmets come with a 12-month warranty.

Helmet safety

We do not suggest this paint issue would also affect helmet integrity in the event of a crash.

However, we do note that most helmet manufacturers recommend you replace your helmet after five years of use.

In Ray’s case, the helmets have not had regular use.

  1. It may not have been the helmet but the bag it was in.
    Some of these new environmental friendly plastics that are meant to decompose do so when you don’t want them to and take whatever is in them with them.
    For long term storage of anything you should use a suitable container with some of those desiccant packets in it.

    1. Quote: Ray says he bought a few spare helmets in various sizes and kept them in their bags in the garage for visiting friends. End Quote.

      My understanding is he stored them with the bags they came with which, one would assume would be cloth helmet bags… :/

      1. Never assume unless you’re talking about politicians then assume they are all liars you’ll be correct in both cases.
        While I was guessing that he kept them in the original packaging from how the story was worded and most packaging is supposed to be environmentally friendly these days the same can be said for the cloth bags.
        Many are made from synthetics that have come from recycled plastic or may have been treated with the same types of chemicals meant to cause them to biodegrade.
        In any case the advice about proper storage was my point not defending Aldi quality.

        1. Why do all you boomers think storing them in the original box/bag means they have eternal life?
          Do you put a steak in the fridge “in the original packaging maaaaaaaan” and expect it to last 5 months?
          No, you either cryo it, eat it, age it or thrown it out like any normal person would.
          Just because it’s in the bag it came in doesn’t mean it is invincible to the elements.
          How are you all so thick?
          These articles bring misinformation and spread garbage. Someone will read the click bait article and think “oh, I’ll skip that helmet with a higher safety rating and get this more expensive but not as safe helmet, because that article says sticky helmet bad.”
          Theres nothing to this article, no research, no fix, no solution, no advice, nothing other than “aldi sticky helmet bad for cheap hoarding boomer”.
          Whoever greenlit this and whoever wrote it at garbage at their job.
          Also, aldi passes European standards and not just DOT so their helmets are a massive step above the bell you’re rocking.
          I feel stupid for actually being irritated at some old boomers and this dumb article. But it’s so misleading and poorly written that it brings doubt when safety is involved and that’s disgusting thing to do.
          Any way, I’m off to store some clothes in the bag they come in in my shed for 10 years and then be pissed that they’re not like brand new when I put them on. Because that’s how it works right?

          1. Deeply sorry. Us boomers can no way be as elite, privileged and enlightened as yourself.
            Im so unenlightened I dont even understand how this is generational. But you and yours will fix all the wrongs wont you?

  2. I have extensively used two Aldi full face helmets (wife bought the first one; no choice but try it). They are not long lasting (eg the drop down visor mechanism is fragile). The paint seems to have improved a lot since Ray’s 2015 purchases. These helmets have been fit for purpose, but not wonderful.
    I use one for short commutes since I often need to leave the helmet in a common room out of my control. Car driving staff don’t hesitate to treat a helmet roughly, picking up and moving the helmet by the visor and dumping it down sideways but the Aldi helmet is cheaply replaced (and comes with a spare visor). A visor for my Bell and Shark helmets costs more than the entire Aldi helmet.

  3. Some vinyls can do this also, apparently it’s caused by being ‘sealed up’’ and/or being in close proximity to a different type of plastic.

  4. You & friends have only one head each, personally I only buy the best quality for mine, those lids are cheap for a reason because they’re cheap quality ….bin them

  5. Moans a $50 helmet that’s 5 years old is no good yeah great article

  6. click bait title with a buzzfeed article.
    Oh, after 5 years of sitting on a shelve with no care or after thought, a product has gone slightly askew? Imagine that! Who do aldi think they are, not maintaining the same level of care for this mans helmets as they do from the point of manufacturing. How dare they not come to his house regularly and rotate these FIVE YEAR OLD helmets carefully like a fine red wine in a cellar?!
    With or without regular use you should replace your helmet at a mac of 5 years. The materials inside can dry and Crack and degrade over time.
    Awesome little side note that the paint doesn’t effect the reliability of the helmet or its safety rating.
    I am dumber for reading this article.

  7. Tip; many plastics and foam deteriorate over time, especially cheap Chinese ones.
    To hoard, choose toilet paper over helmets.
    Why even write about this? If you find a cheaper product of this quality in a local shop, tell me.

  8. I’ve got 4 aldi helmets bought for much the same reasons stated.
    They are around 5/6 years old.
    One saw regular use for a couple of years, no issues.
    The cloth internal liner, is not of the same quality or as long lasting as the inside of a Shoe or an AGV but this is perfectly reasonable, if necessary it could be replaced 3 times a year with a still generous cost saving.
    None of mine are silver, none of them have had any issues with paint, all are stored in their bags in a standard metal shed in Sth East Qld, probably reach temperatures pushing 50c throughout each summer.
    Not one single issue with any of them.
    Are they as good as a top of the the line or possibly even mid range helmet from a premium manufacturer, no probably not.
    Are they better than a helmet bought at the flea market, or off Gumtree or FB marketplace with absolutely no knowledge of its history?
    Without a single disclaimer, yes no doubt at all.

  9. Beyond belief that anyone could put his or her own safety into the hands of a helmet bought in a supermarket, and then go on to complain about the poor quality.

  10. Chinese rubbish. Don’t understand why would you buy cheap something that is designed to protect your head. I replace my helmets every five years. My current one cost 700. I like my head.

  11. Isn’t the bag – just went and checked one that has been stored in the cardboard box it came in – no bag at all – and yes it has gone ” sticky ” . It hasn’t been used in over 4 years so would be interesting to see what the cause is . I have some work torches where the ” plastic / rubber” coating has suffered the same degeneration? ??

  12. You get what you pay for. I’m glad here in the UK we have laws about helmet regulations.
    Personally, wherever in the world you are, you should always research the brand and what testing they have had. You only get one head. As the poster was buying helmets for friends, he should be more responsible as it’s their lives at risk too.

    1. We have some of the world’s most stringent helmet standards in Australia – which the ALDI helmets meet.

    2. Aldi helmets pass European standards, they’re higher than the DOT standards that Australian helmets have to pass, they’re actually safer than most helmets on the Australian market. It’s just that the boomer here thought he could horde helmets (that go on sale yearly) in his shed and expect nothing to age in 5 years.
      Aldi make quality bike gear, that’s safe and wears well, if it isn’t left in a shed and not looked after.
      Why this is even an article other than for click bait and misinformation I have no idea.

      1. DOT helmets do not meet Australian standards. We have only recently relaxed our standards to allow European standards. The only reason this was done was to allow Australians access to a larger, cheaper market – it absolutely was not because Australian standards were inferior.

  13. Buying a helmet from Aldi will carry the approvals but you will not get the same quality as the more expensive ones. I replace mine at least every 2 years

  14. They used to sell these in UK Aldi stores. In about 2014/2015, there was lots of takeup of Aldi cheap flip helmets, probably because the market wasn’t awash with cheap helmets. I was tempted, but a helmet is something critically important, and I’d rather trust Aldi for cabbages than bike helmets. If they are safe and really do meet national and international safety standards, then all well and good. You can’t complain too much about bad paint finishes.

    On the other hand, I bought Lidl gloves and under-helmet sunglasses many years ago, and they served me well and have held up well with lots of use. Aldi and Lidl both seem to have would down their motorcycle lines as of the past few years, which is a shame. Their armored trousers also seemed good (didn’t buy them though). Not everything they sold was junk. Armored gloves, for example, are still unjustifiably expensive from motorcycle shops, in my view, so such stores should probably concentrate on those sorts of items.

  15. I also have black full face helmet from Aldi which has become sticky and is dis-colouring. Not sure how long ago I purchased it but it started going that way within a couple of months.

  16. Patina.
    I have an old open face helmet. Its been through the wars, but its comfortable. No cracks or physical damage. Id rather not wear a helmet at all, and yes I know the risks, but have you seen reral life accidents (ie not on track) and seen the damage? Ive seen heads swell in helmets, and injuries so bad that no helmet would make a difference. Its like the soldiers helmets. Aside from a modern anti-balistic material, they wont stop a bullet. Yes they might help with shrapnel, but there is a huge psycologial component to wearing them. When Im on the road I just presume that every car is going to hit me and I ride accordingly. I dont need to ride fast and I try to stay away from capital cities etc. Yes Ive been hit before, once at a red light and once at roadworks. Both times from behind. Keep the helmets and ride around looking like you use them, or take the opportunity to paint them a new colour.

    1. Having been catapulted down the bitumen (RGV 250, sorry Geoff) on my face, I can vouch for full face helmets, 1990 and a Lazer LSX, which had a bad name but that could have come from a few established companies not wanting cheaper offerings in the market. In the bush a full face saves your pretty skin every minute or three. I have many helmet saved my life tales, but then you all think I have two left feet! Aldi ‘sticky’, helmets are a thing, also another brand does the same, wash with light brush and soapy warm water. The build quality of Aldi helmets is top notch, the weight is right up there with solid bricks, comfort no worries for my noggin. $500 seems to be sweet spot for all round quality helmet.

  17. Ok, so I’m a retiree boomer. Sunny day here and just returned from a nice ride and coffee stop on the Guzzi wearing my 2 YO, $80 Aldi full face with ear plugs but without the Hi Vis over-jacket. Helmet all good – nothing sticky and no embedded insects. So good in fact I’m also a hoarder having brought another identical one at Aldi bike week last year which has been left in the bike room indoors. Yes, bike room, I’m single. With all this chatter I had to get it out of its original box and inspect. No problem, even still smells new. Really guys and girls, for serious long trips grab your Shoei GT Air.

  18. Fascinating responses… Of course I was born in 1958 though. I would never contemplate buying a helmet from Aldi, but I did buy some gloves for my daughter once. They are fine, thanks for asking! I buy Shoei because they are good quality and they fit my head shape properly. The price of these beauties does seem to have rocketed in the last few years though.

    The issue here is the paint… It simply shouldn’t go off like that, regardless of where Mr Boomer stores it – unless he lives in a very fumey chemistry lab… or is manufacturing amphetamines in his spare time.

    I think it isn’t fit for purpose and Aldi may eventually compensate him in some way. If they don’t, a lesson should be learned from the experience and he hasn’t lost that much as a result.

    Mark, I don’t think it is a rubbish story – or click-bait. It is interesting to get some idea of the quality of Aldi stuff… some of it is good and some not so. I’m not surprised Ray tried the Aldi alternative with Shoei GT Air II’s now at $1099 retail…

  19. My Boomer memory just recalled something else from the late 70’s … Honda Civics with silver paint from that era regularly had no paint after a few years because it disintegrated. Maybe Aldi bought up Honda’s excess paint…

  20. I have a $1000 Nexx carbon fibre helmet from 2015. It’s not had extensive use and always been stored in its bag, in a dark cupboard in mt air conditioned house. When I took it out of the bag in Spring, it too was sticky as described in the article. The lacquer had turned to gel. Not at all impressed on what is supposedly a quality helmet.

  21. I had the same problem with my silver Aldi full face helmet which was in daily use. Metho and elbow grease would remove the tacky layer but it would return.

  22. Same issues with my black open face. Sticky, and turps didn’t work. I need help. Why do people need to write a book about it as above? Lockdown I suppose or dementia from concussion maybe!!

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