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  1. #1
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    full face helmet anyone?

    Anyone using a full face helmet for xc riding? I was in a bad face plant accident a few months ago and though about getting one for a while. The more time that passes the less I feel that I need one for the area I ride. I don't think I've ever passed anyone on the trail wearing a full face either , but I think about it everytime I go too fast and come close to eating it again.
    Too slow to race....too sexy to stay at home.

  2. #2
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    I use one when I night ride or if I go on a urban night ride. I've used it a few times on the trails and once at Rays. I really like the safety of it and it fits great. Also they keep your face from getting so cold.

    Got a great deal on one of the specialized full carbon helmets. The black looks great in person and it fits like a ball cap.

  3. #3
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    I'm going to be getting one as soon as the new Giro's come out.

    Love 'em.

  4. #4
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    Not for my local trails, but almost any time I head to the mountains for sure. I've got a Bell Bellistic. It's lightweight, very comfortable, and hot as Hades in the Summer. Great for winter though. It fits so much better than my Giro E2 that my next XC helmet will be a Bell.

    I'd like something like the MET Parachute for XC. A real full face is just too hot for XC trails in VA summers when you're getting a workout.

  5. #5
    Ride.Recover.Beer.
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    Rode with mine on yesterday. Kept my head warm.

  6. #6
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    Rode with mine on yesterday. Kept my head warm.

  7. #7
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    Rode with mine on yesterday. Kept my head warm.

  8. #8
    Ride.Recover.Beer.
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    Rode with mine on yesterday. Kept my head warm.

  9. #9
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    Didn't think this topic was XC application

    Quote Originally Posted by FudgeHammer
    Anyone using a full face helmet for xc riding? I was in a bad face plant accident a few months ago and though about getting one for a while. The more time that passes the less I feel that I need one for the area I ride. I don't think I've ever passed anyone on the trail wearing a full face either , but I think about it everytime I go too fast and come close to eating it again.
    I wasn't even gonna read this topic because I automatically assumed it was for a downhill application. I'll lay out all the information I know and let you make the decision.
    The advantage of full face helmet is the obvious protection from a crash...well, under certain condition. There are studies that show how you can incur more damage by wearing a heavier helmet.

    The biggest disadvantage with the full face is the weight. The weight is generally an issue where there are bumps/shocks traveling up your spine. Think of your spine as a spring. Bigger the weight=bigger the compression on the spine. Your age and condition will reveal how much of a damage you can take over time. But if you talk to someone who has some sort of a back problem, like yours truly, they will tell you to take care of it while you can. Full face helmet is a bigger issue because it is located at the highest point and is often cantilevered out and forward relative to rest of the body mass.

    Heavy helmet and XC riding is a bad combination because XC rides tend to be lot longer vs. a short burst of downhill activites. That means your spine and your back has to support your head+added mass for that much longer..ouch!! Plus the assumption of XC is that it is generally the safest among mtb activities, so the probability of a crash tends to be lot lower. Have you mastered your fall technique (tuck and roll)?? It's a very good skill to know.

    A thought of riding 2-3hr XC ride with a large added mass on my head sound so painful on my spine, I personally wouldn't do it.

    As far as keeping your head warm, try one of those baraclava(not sure of spelling) that you wear over your head. It's cheaper, lighter, and should keep you plenty warm

    If you do decide to get a full face for XC application here are some pointers:
    1. Get the lightest possible
    2. Take frequent breaks between rides
    3. Setup the bike for a more upright position because putting spine in compression/tension is certainly lot better than putting it in shear.

  10. #10
    Because I am !
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    My son and I both have full face helmets and seldom wear them for XC use. We tried it for the same reason you were thinking about it and found they restricted your air intake
    a bit and are a good bit hotter than standard helmets. I have never had a problem with
    the weight of the helmet, only the facts mentioned above. Even though the 661's we have, have good ventilation, it still restrict air some.

    We could have saved our money for other goodies, but there are times we still use
    them, so it wasn't a total waste. We'll use ours a bunch for those shorter rides on
    nasty rocky trails or fast sections where speed could kill .

    Just my point of view. Whatever you choose, just have fun and enjoy the ride.

    ODN
    Caffeine ! "Do stupid things faster and with more energy" ! !

  11. #11
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    I don't really think the weight is an issue, at least not for the average, healthy rider. My E2 weighs 300g vs the 900g of my FF, but I have spent entire seasons riding with 1-2 halogen lights on my XC helmet and never been bothered by it. Likewise, I have ridden XC for five hours straight using a FF and not noticed the added weight. There are much lighter options out there. The Casco Viper and MET Parachute are both under 600g, and offer at least some face protection.

    There are studies that show how you can incur more damage by wearing a helmet than none at all. No joke. But I still like to wear one, even though I have yet to need it (for my skull anyways).

    While XC can be safe, it can also be significantly more dangerous than DH. It's far too broad and general a term, encompassing many terrain types and riding styles. If I'm in the middle of an eight mile, several thousand foot descent on a rock strewn trail, but on my XC bike, then I guess I'm riding XC. If I was on a bike with 50% more travel and weight, it would be a lot safer IMO. But because I had to climb for six miles to get to that downhill, it's an XC ride.

    Frankly, any form of riding is dangerous. You're not in a natural position no matter the niche. On my local trails, I don't often wear the FF, unless I know I'll be trying some TTFs that will probably have me bailing. But as I said above, when I ride 100% rock ridgeline trails, even if my average speed is 10mph or less most of the time, you better believe I'll be sporting a FF. Had I been wearing one last year on an XC ride at Sherando, it would have saved me nearly $3,000 in dental work and weeks of pain. It was a low speed fall in a rock garden that had me spitting blood and bits of teeth. You don't need to be going fast or doing anything remotely crazy to faceplant. Most of my falls are probably from going too slow.

    I'll gladly take the weight penalty and heat for the added protection when I feel it's warranted.

    Oh, and I find a headsweats cap paired with a neck warmer to be a much better solution than a balaclava, the latter being tight and uncomfortable. You can push the neck warmer off your face if you get too warm.
    Last edited by fonseca; 12-15-2007 at 10:48 PM.

  12. #12
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    Seems like there are some good options to check out. I would like to see one of the MET helmets in person , but they don't seem to be sold in the U.S.A. Like I said; most of the time I probably don't need one , but on some fast down hill sections or on some of the man made stunts, it would be nice to have the added protection.Don't really want to spend another day with the plastic surgeon.Thanks for the response.
    Too slow to race....too sexy to stay at home.

  13. #13
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    depending on where I ride, ill still wear a full face and body armor. I really think it is up to the rider and what they feel safe in.
    How's that dirt taste?

  14. #14
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    Hey Brian, what day exactly was it that you rode with yours on?
    #1 NORBA elite singlespeed toolbag 30-34 age group

  15. #15
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    I used to ride motorcycles exclusively...2 kids later and 2 near misses on motorcycles and I was done. However, I would have never, ever thought about getting on a motorcycle without my full face Arai.

    However, I find myself happily putting on a bike helmet which would be considered an extreme "shorty" helmet in the moto world and tooling along the same streets during my commute as I did on my motos.

    Funny thing is that I've had more low-speed falls on my bicycle near curbs and other right angle objects thand I ever did on my motorcycles. With all that you'd think I would have the same considerations for my bicycle helemts as I did my motorcycles.

    My biggest fear in going down tangled up in a bicycle with clipless pedals is face planting along a pole, guardrail, curb or barrier and knocking out all of my teeth.

    Living on a military base, I can and often exceed the speed in which cars and motorcycles are allowed to travel all this while hopping curbs, cutting through parking lots, fields, and crusing down gravel pathways. Again, you'd think I'd err on the side of safety and get a full face...hell I know for sure that I wouldn't even ride a scooter around base without a full face helmet.

    The more I think about it, the more I'm likely to make the switch, but I'll admit that it's still a bit away. I think some folks just see bicycles as "toys", and just can't make the mental leap that they are high performance vehicles. Ironically here in Japan, I see a lot of guys wearing full face helmets on 50cc scooters (there is a helmet law, but even the novelty baseball style batters helmets are legal), but short of the Americans in town, I've never seen a Japanese local wearing any kind of helmet on bicycle.

  16. #16
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    Just picked up a FF helmet last week and have been wearing them on every ride.

    I bought the 07 Giro Remedy, lightweight and well-ventilated.
    -ROXY

  17. #17
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    My brother-in-law uses a full face helmet for XC riding. Many of the same reasons as you -- took a header to his mouth/face and was done with a regular helmet. He uses a Vigor, which seems to have a bigger front opening than most and he angled the visor as far up as possible. He enjoys the piece of mind.

    http://www.vigorhelmets.com/vamoose.html

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