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  1. #1
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    After first enduro, wondering why no full faces?

    I just did the Oregon Enduro in Bend, my first race. I raced in a pretty minimal setup: Giro Hex with Scott moto goggles and some g form knee pads. I had a pretty good race with a few top 3's in sport, and want to improve over the next few years without getting injured.

    However, I'm starting to feel like it is pretty risky riding in an xc lid. It didn't really sink in until after the race when I realized I was basically bombing through rock gardens at 25-30 mph which have potential to cause some pretty massive damage if you go down.

    I definitely don't ride out of control, but like many I push it closer to the edge a little more in race situations, and there is always potential for something to go wrong. I fully accept that there is a large element of risk involved, but I felt pretty exposed in the xc lid going that fast.

    Bend was hot, but it seems like a full face wouldn't be that big of a liability for such short stages. I guess I'm just surprised I didn't see anyone wearing them. Any opinions on xc vs ff?

  2. #2
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    My first Enduro will be this weekend in Angelfire. I'll probably wear a full face, and I recently took a good digger on my dh bike and scraped the side of my head as I slid along the ground. Had it been my "AM" lid, my face would look like bacon still. I hope to be pushing my pace just beyond my limits, so a mistake could happen.

    I'll carry my AM lid on my pack and switch out for the climbs I think. That's the plan so far anyhow.

    Congrats on the race, btw! Looked like a blast!
    Airborne Flight Crew

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  3. #3
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    I agree with you, OP.

    I don't think making safety-gear choices based on what different riders are doing is the right approach. It's a whole different course for a pro vs sport vs beginner, for example. And I don't think skimping on gear you'd otherwise use just so you can shave a couple seconds off your time makes sense, either. No one cares if I finished 18th vs. 19th in sport, but I care if an injury costs me a couple weeks' riding and my family cares a lot if I'm getting hurt all the time.

    Someone on the internet is always ready to wag their finger at you and tell you to wear more gear, ignore peer pressure, blah blah, and that's all fine and dandy. But part of what I'm saying is, at least around here, no one is going to look at you like you're Dork Vader for racing an enduro in a fullface or wearing kneepads. Wear what makes sense to you and have fun.

  4. #4
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    Here in Europe that decision is made for us by the organizers.Full face helmets are mandatory on all timed downhill sections.And even though I'd much rather ride with an xc/all mountain helmet I have to agree this is for the best.

    Marko
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by problematiks View Post
    Here in Europe that decision is made for us by the organizers.Full face helmets are mandatory on all timed downhill sections.And even though I'd much rather ride with an xc/all mountain helmet I have to agree this is for the best.

    Marko

    I didn't know that full face is required on timed segments in Europe. Thanks, Marko.

    Osprey packs sold in the US have a great way to attach a full face or XC helmet to your pack. Are they sold in Europe, or do the other packs have helmet straps?

  6. #6
    lidless ascender
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    Osprey packs are sold here, too, but you have quite a few other good options as far as full face helmet carrying capabilities go.Camelbak, Deuter, Dakine, EVOC are a few that pop into mind.

    I usually just ride in a full face helmet for the entire race though (a helmet is mandatory for the ups, too).It certainly can get a bit tropical inside, especially for someone like me who usually climbs without a helmet, but I find it slightly counterproductive safety-wise to have a hard object (i.e. XC helmet) strapped to your backpack on the way down.I will probably have to reconsider this tactic when the summer heat comes out full force though

    Marko
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  7. #7
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    After first enduro, wondering why no full faces?

    The entire Enduro World Series including the Whistler and Colorado stops has that "European" rule in effect, FF required on timed descents.

  8. #8
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    I race the Oregon Enduro series last year and this year. Last year I wore a full face most of the time but this year I'm wearing a bell super AM lid. Wear what makes you comfortable. I hated racing in my full face compared to an open helmet but at the time I felt it was a good idea based on my skill and comfort. This year my skills are a bit better and I am more comfortable taking the risk in an open lid. If you make it to the ashland or Mt hood race I think you will see many more people in full face helmets. I think for me its course dependent. Although I wouldn't mind if they just made it mandatory for the downhill parts because full face it a bit of a disadvantage.

  9. #9
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    Course dependent and whatever makes you comfortable. Obviously, racing you are going to be pushing it a bit harder and probably taking some chances. I've worn a full face on every race I've done except one and that course was really pedally. About 6 years ago I crashed pretty innocently and ended up slicing my right cheek open on my face, narrowly missing my eye and could have fractured my skull. This was a bit of a wake up call since I hadn't had a severe crash on a bike for about 15 years. You can find a bunch of ff helmets that are super light weight and have plenty of venting. I still carry my ff on the transfer stages and switch over. Whichever you choose, be safe and have fun!

  10. #10
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    After first enduro, wondering why no full faces?

    Fullface surely has advantages when pushing downhill with the clock in the back of your mind. Just wear the kit that matches the level of risk you want to take. I ride with knee and elbow pads and backpack with protector (evoc). Mostly fullface because it is mendatory. Have used my trabec during some events.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by problematiks View Post
    Here in Europe that decision is made for us by the organizers.Full face helmets are mandatory on all timed downhill sections.
    Not all organisations/country's in Europe have a full face mandatory.
    I race a few races from the Specialized Sram Enduro Series,
    and there is no full face helmet obligation. You do have to ware a helmet all the times, but there is no rule that specifies the type.
    A smaller race in France also had no specification.

    But nevertheless i do ware a full face helmet on the stages,
    better save then sorry.

  12. #12
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    I just picked up a full face recently after doing a faceplant on to a rock (luckily it was a flat one) and splitting my cheek and chin open! The last few enduro races I have done I did with an open face helmet, looking back I would have done the same but would have pre ran them in a Full Face and made the call after that. This next race this weekend I am considering wearing the full face but I am not sure I want to carry my XC lid on my back for the descends.. I guess I will see how the course is and if I feel it is mandatory!

  13. #13
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    Enduro courses vary pretty dramatically right now. I don't think there were any FF lids at the Mag 7 enduro (which was close to an XC course) but there were a ton of FF lids used at the Angel Fire BME (which was pretty damn rough and rocky in places). The Enduro X course in Steamboat had both medium/large drops and fast air DH style jumps and tabletops.

    Courses vary. Ride what feels right to you for your confidence. Protection and perhaps a bit of sweat is probably the cheapest supplemental health insurance you can buy (and will probably use at some point).

  14. #14
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    I think it's really important to understand what you are trying to protect. A full face will definitely provide much better protection for any kind of facial injury, but it doesn't really provide any increased protection against concussions. That's because both helmets are just a plastic or carbon shell around expanded polystyrene. For me, the concussion issue is far more serious long term. I hope that helmet technology will improve on this front in the next few years.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdemars View Post
    Enduro courses vary pretty dramatically right now. I don't think there were any FF lids at the Mag 7 enduro (which was close to an XC course) but there were a ton of FF lids used at the Angel Fire BME (which was pretty damn rough and rocky in places). The Enduro X course in Steamboat had both medium/large drops and fast air DH style jumps and tabletops.

    Courses vary. Ride what feels right to you for your confidence. Protection and perhaps a bit of sweat is probably the cheapest supplemental health insurance you can buy (and will probably use at some point).
    Letting the course dictate is good place to start, but also remember, you'll be "racing" - not just riding fast. That means you might be taking more chances, more often than when you're "just riding". At the BME @ Angelfire/Taos, a buddy of mine took a digger on a relatively smooth section, where you might think you wouldn't need a helmet at all. He was wearing an open face, and ended up with 9 stitches in his chin.

    Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime.
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  16. #16
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    Agree with jhazard. The weight-weenie impulse to wear less gear for the race is not smart, at least / especially for non-pros.

  17. #17
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    Definitely wear what makes you feel more safe and comfortable. Not only will you BE more protected, but it will probably help you go faster as well. Here in So Cal I ride, what I consider CC trails with a bit of AM here and there. I see guys with full face helmets on a regular basis. I'm sure it takes just one good spill to make someone reconsider what they need/want for protection.

  18. #18
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    I just rode the CA Enduro at China Peak in 90 degree heat and there was a large contingent of riders wearing full knee protection and FF helmets including the pro's, and myself.

    For me it just gives me a more secure and confident feeling!

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