Full face helmets for natural trail and trail centres. Thoughts…

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  • Full face helmets for natural trail and trail centres. Thoughts…
  • Looking at helmets to offer more protection that the usual fodder that we wear in the UK. This is motivated by the amount of smashed noses, jaws and teeth from accidents at those slightly riskier (but not actual DH) trail features.
    I’ve been riding with a 661 recon stealth up until now with no issues but I simply don’t want to require facial reconstruction should I come off and smack against a tree or rock.
    I’m looking for something that is lightweight, comfy and vented enough for riding uphill as well as down.
    Any thoughts or recommendations?

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    If you are that worried, go slower.

    yacoby
    Member

    If you want to go this route get a bag that can carry a full face imho. Climbing in a full face is horrible where as climbing without a helmet on is actually quite nice.

    If you are that worried, go slower.

    Or just stop caring what other people think, get a FF and ride faster.

    How is “go slower” helpful? Maybe I should just get stablisers or just drink a healthy mug of MTFU?

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear, I want advice on protection vs useability over the trail not predictable rhetoric that I could get from the government’s HSE. Thanks for calling..

    Thanks Yacoby πŸ™‚ Good advice.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Ok. They aren’t usable anywhere you have to pedal.

    So mtfu or slow down. πŸ˜‰

    yacoby
    Member

    Agree about them being horrible when pedaling is involved but as Enduro shows there are ways around it:

    Note the XC lid on the bag. Depending on the climbing involved I wouldn’t bother but it seems to be required for races.

    phatstanley
    Member

    How is “go slower” helpful?

    ummmm…greater allowance for reaction times.

    Premier Icon mactheknife
    Subscriber

    collinstiffee – think about why you think you need full face protection. Seriously. Have you ever taken a tumble that you feel would have smashed your teeth out or left you with a broken nose. The more obvious injuries are – broken collarbone, wrist sprains, bashed knee etc etc. And getting better on your bike is what stops you getting those serious injuries as much. Not having michelin man protection.

    Also have you any idea how much you will sweat riding with a full face on, or do you intend to carry 2 helmets and swap.

    I know its your choice but if you are that scared of hurting yourself its not a full face helmet you need.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    I used to have a giro switchblade helmet which I think was ahead of its time. I think the time is right for a helmet that offers more, without being a classic hot/sweaty full face. The problem is, the support of a full face comes from close fitting cheek pads. That makes it hot and sweaty. Without that, anything with a chin guard but without the pads seems a bit rattly and could just be extra leverage on the neck.

    I’d like a well ventilated full face I could climb in. I hear the MET parachute is coming back soon.

    Premier Icon wiggles
    Subscriber

    I’ve used a full face on trail centre blue runs… Don’t really care what people think. Did have to rip it off at the top of climbs when I felt like I had a bag over my head at times though.

    buzz1024
    Member

    Maybe it’s an age thing but I’ve been thinking about this a lot more recently – I’m not exactly a fast rider but the thoughts of injuries taking longer to heal/supporting 4 kids and a mrs do stop me taking risks like I used to. Sometimes if I’m out on my own I’ll wear my ff and to be honest it has actually saved my teeth a few times.
    I’ll definitely be doing the xc lid for up and ff for down a lot more this year as I don’t want to slow down, I just want to feel more protected.
    The next question is – whats the best pack to carry a ff securely?

    They’re absolutely fine for pedalling in as long as it’s cold enough – just wear less elsewhere. That only works to a point though!

    Premier Icon jonnyseven
    Subscriber

    Casco viper for a trail helmet with a removable chin guard. Saw a few of these on Passportes a few years ago. Wife was impressed enough to buy one.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    As I’m recovering from a (much more common, biking related) fractured humerus and realising the impact it has on the rest of the family, I’m also giving injury reduction strategies some thought.

    While it may not look like the most helpful advice, I’m tending towards jam bo’s “just slow down” approach. The problem with adding more protection is the old one of risk compensation. You’ll feel safer, so you’ll push harder to get the same adrenaline rush, which means that the consequences of the crashes you do have will be higher. OK, your head may be safe, but you can’t protect everything so you are just increasing the risk of more serious fractures (including spine) etc.

    The best way to get the thrills while reducing the risk is probably to remove all safety gear and ride an old, steep, rigid bike with canto brakes. Even riding down a tame trail slowly will feel like a challenge, but you wont do any serious damage when you crash.

    Of course, that’s no help if you want to follow a bunch of mates on their modern bikes, but hopefully you can see what I’m trying to say.

    limkilde
    Member

    Cratoni Shakedown

    buzz1024
    Member

    Roverpig – I agree to a certain extent. I had a 29r tallboy and yes it rolled over everything and was very capable but I felt that I had to go faster to get the buzz so back to hardtail and although I’m slower I get a bigger rush without the higher speed and am riding within my capabilities – I just don’t want to be riding any slower but want to feel more protected.
    Having said that, I’m thinking about building a klunker so that will slow my down a bit more (or will it?)
    Maybe we should all go retro rigid when we get to a certain age πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Simon
    Subscriber

    Last time I used a full face helmet I broke my thumb.
    FF helmets and body armour can make you feel invincible.

    Premier Icon flapjackboy
    Subscriber

    Have ridden with met parachute for half a dozen years, took a while to get used to. Now though wouldn’t ride without it.

    chip
    Member

    I recently bought two ff lids.
    A 661 comp shifted and an ixs phobus.

    The phobus was more expensive had more (removable) padding and felt like it would hold up better in a serious crash.
    But just felt too heavy, too bulky and just not very nice to wear on the off chance.

    The comp shifted was a different kettle of fish, it looked and felt like a lessor helmet protection wise, more of a ff lite helmet.
    It felt much more comfortable, lighter, less cumbersome and a lot cooler.

    If I was a big balled freerider I would definitely go for the phobus as it was very similar to my old mx helmet I had for my kmx.
    But I am not, I am an over cautious middle aged numpty who crashes a lot, mainly because I let my speed get away from my competence and then my bike and I are parted.
    So the 661 seemed the perfect choice and the ixs went back.

    andyrm
    Member

    plenty of European riders go out with 2 helmets. It only seems to be a problem for UK riders to do this.

    The new 661 carbon full face is light and not too dear – couple it with an Evoc Enduro 16 backpack to make carrying it easier.

    Premier Icon BaronVonP7
    Subscriber

    ^– wot Simon said. For S&Gs try a trail centre red fully padded up, full face, plus any other bits you have like neck brace etc. Then do it just wearing a “normal” lid. Maybe some shorts, too. Any difference?… πŸ™‚

    I use the 661 comp when its Autumn/Winter/All of 2012 as it’s light and reasonably well ventilated. The main reasons are not very gnar- it keeps my ears & cheeks warm, reduces the amount of cack that gets in the mouth (gasping for air) and reduces the attack area available to midges. I think it looks a bit silly but I’m not looking at it. πŸ˜€

    On the rare days it’s too warm for the 661 I use a Met – it keeps the cack out and I have seen one save my friend from some dental work.

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    Having ridden all sorts of stuff over last 20 years I had an off chance faceplant OTB at Cathkin in December. If I’d had a full face helmet I might not have been knocked out and concussed. I would most likely not have broken my nose in 4 places, degloved my chin and been left with facial scarring and a strange feeling mouth.

    I have bought another xc lid though, as just hate idea of a full face helmet

    gaz552
    Member

    One thing I’ve learned from years of racing motocross is that when it comes to protection, don’t skimp on what you want and make sure it fits (and is comfortable, if it isn’t comfortable you won’t like wearing it).

    If you’re doing more aggressive riding and you feel you might want a bit more protection/a full face, go for it but make sure you get one that fits well and is comfortable. Having a light vented xc type helmet for long climbs is probably a good idea too. (All depends on your type of riding I think)

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    If you are serious about protection then get an Evoc back protector backpack as that will keep you safer and some of them have a good lid carrying bit on the back.

    It’s your ride so please yourself πŸ˜‰

    chrisdiesel
    Member

    I’ve had a few close calls when riding stiniog and when on a riding holiday in Spain, I think the new met parachute looks about what I’m after and chain reaction so In stock in April I think.
    Don’t want to go full face but it’s still a lot cheaper that the dentist bill to fix smashed up teeth

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    If there was a proper full-face that was genuinely good for pedalling in, I’d probably wear it- h8ers gonna h8 but I don’t see why not. Buuut, they don’t seem to exist- I already have one of the best vented full faces, and it is horrendous for allround riding, the risk of crashing goes through the roof as your head burns.

    Done the 2-helmets thing for racing, it’s a bit of a sorry substitute, it’s a hassle to swap, breaks up your riding irritatingly and even then there’ll probably still be a short climb or a short techy descent that you don’t bother changing it for.

    There’s half-and-half options like Parachutes etc which reduce the drawbacks along with the benefits. New Parachute looks really interesting to me actually.

    torihada
    Member

    a MET parachute saved me a broken jaw and losing all my teeth – it was replaced under crash replacement. That said I’ve been wearing a Urge Endur-o-matic for the last 12 months. The MET parachute is possibly going to get used for the Alps this summer as we’ll be pedalling between lifts and vans/buses.

    Wear as much protection that you can without hampering your riding. On uplifts I get fully kitted out as it seems stupid not to, everything else is risk vs comfort.

    mtbtom
    Member

    Be a little bit wary about the ‘light’ full faces like the Urge Archi Enduro or the Met Parachute as they may not offer the protection that you think they will.

    I’m sure in some cases they’ll help, but there have been reports of the lighter weight chin-guards bending or acting as a scoop and pulling the helmet back on impact. The Met design in particular doesn’t cradle the head like a full face, so there’s less (asides from the strap) to stop it moving in an impact.

    Worth considering anyway. Definitely not saying they won’t help in some situations, just don’t expect the protection of a real full-face.

    Responses have all been helpful, even the the MTFU ones :)However those saying wear what you want to wear are aprticularly useful.

    I know pads were mocked mercilessly only a couple of years ago and now it’s very unusual to see someone without at least a helmet of some description and knee guards. Of accidents at trails in Scotland, I’m very aware of Cathkin (yes Iain I saw the pictures on web and MBR), Glentress and Carron Valley. Friend broke his hip at Cathkin last June on a section I have never worried about. I came off at a very easy section the same day and landed full weight a modest speed on my right knee cracking the outer shell of my 661 knee/shin guards and walking away with only a grazed the knee. Would have been hospital and a few weeks off work without the pads. I’m going to be trying out the Urge Archi-Enduro Airlines helmet for anything that gives me the fear.

    I should say I don’t do anything particularly epic, so it should be ok.

    cheers

    handyandy
    Member

    If you feel happier wearing a full face, then go for it. As a poster above mentioned, wear a xc lid for the climbs and bung on a full face for the fun stuff.

    Does it really matter what anybody else thinks?

    chip
    Member

    The new parachute looks excellent, looks like an xc ff’er you could pedal in with chin protection that actually looks fit for purpose. I have a cratoni c maniac that I bought for peanuts, where the chin guards looks to provide not much more than token protection .

    And seriously, have you seen the way the sort of people who may mock you dress, they are either under nourished justin bieber hairstyled sisters jean wearing or baggy jeans with a baseball cap at a jaunty angle.

    I read recently somewhere that someone worked for 6 years at a bike park where first aid was constantly required either by the walking wounded or other less fortunate souls who were stretchered out to an awaiting ambulance.
    And of these people suprisingly few were the proverbial storm trooper types.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    +1 for Casco Viper, full face lid (ok, not full on DH style) but at 600g it’s very light, keeps air flowing over your head nicely, you can hear things when wearing it too.

    It’s more of an XC lid with added chin protection and it would certainly lessen any dentistry bills in a face plant situation.

    Also, to hell with what people think. I’d rather folk laugh at my full face lid than my battered face with no teeth in it

    hora
    Member

    WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT. Dickhwads wont pay your mortgage or spoonfeed you.

    Pisses me off that we have to worry about strangers opinions.

    I wouldnt wear one round standard trail centres though. Itll boil/distract you for minimal returns.

    chip
    Member

    The internet is a joyous thing.

    GolfChick
    Member

    In summer months I wear an urge archi enduro everywhere I go following a broken jaw in three places and three missing teeth, undergoing implant replacement. I wear an xc lid in winter as I go much slower then. It is warm yep but atleast its fairly open at the front so I get fresh air, I just make sure to take it off once in a while to get some air to my head. id rather sweat a bit more and be protected now.

    ram13man
    Member

    Mate ive rode at places like Cannock with a full face plenty of times, it gives more confidence to me on the Black sections … Well all the descents actually , yes it can get warm but its worth it IMO .. Yes there are dickheads there with there opinions etc but there are a lot at Cannock and everywhere else lol πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    I really can’t see how you can ride up any type of a climb with a FF lid on.

    The sensation of lack of air/re breathing your own reflected air from the chin guard is just unbearable.

    FF are fine for uplifted or even fireroad self climbing rides with it on your pack but the idea of trying to ride an XC trail in one is just daft.

    I really can’t see how you can ride up any type of a climb with a FF lid on.
    The sensation of lack of air/re breathing your own reflected air from the chin guard is just unbearable.

    My mouth is pretty big and it’s still a lot smaller than the hole in the front of my fullface! I can understand why someone would have a problem with it but it’s almost entirely psychological – if it wasn’t, how would MX riders and DHers cope?

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    They don’t pedal uphill.

    Stu.
    Ex MX rider. πŸ˜‰

    eulach
    Member

    Google image search for the viper helmet brings up this:
    Could be ketchup though.

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