>Finding a cycling crash helmet that fits comfortably can take some time. My big head means some models don’t fit at all. Its potato-oid shape means that some only fit where they touch. So I was delighted, after a couple of years of trial and error, to find that the Bell Sweep does the job for me.

My first Sweep did sterling service until it incurred crash damage from the baggage handlers at Heathrow Airport (despite being inside a case). The second model has lasted just over a year (i.e. just beyond its warranty) before deciding to fail.

You can see where the plastic has broken

The plastic framework at the rear of the lid has just come apart. The helmet has not been in a crash, not has it been dropped. It has not been near a sharp object, subjected to chemical attack, been mauled by wild animals or tested with high temperatures. It has bost of its own accord.

The retailer (Ribble) says it is out of warranty and that I should contact the distributor. The distributor has yet to reply to my email. Bell do offer a reduced price replacement service for crash damaged lids, which is a great scheme, but this is not crash damage.

I’ve ordered a new Sweep from Chain Reaction Cycles. Seven days after the order it still hasn’t been dispatched. Getting a bit annoyed now.

UPDATE: After 10 days and several emails and phone calls Chain Reaction Cycles admitted that the helmet wasn’t in stock and never had been. They eventually refunded my money. When things go well they’re good value and efficient. But this is the second issue I’ve had with them – they don’t handle things well when an order is not straightforward.