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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
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.