Full Face Helmet Argument- here's an ear full!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    midnight skulker
    Reputation: Prof. Chaos's Avatar
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    Full Face Helmet Argument- here's an ear full!

    Last week i was out riding one of my favorite trails. I was alone, as usual, grinding up a slight grade when i tried to cross a damp rock at a little washout in the trail. It wasn't technically difficult but my back tire spun and stopped me. While making my second attempt, I started tipping to the downslope side. It was a slow enough process that after i unclipped my foot and turned to realize there was nowhere to plant it, I got a good look at where i was headed. The gaping hole where a foot placement would have been perfect was only interrupted by a few raspberry leaves and a fallen tree trunk. I'm not sure what exactly happened, because i must have turned my head and i think i closed my eyes. I clocked the fallen tree with the side of my head, just below my helmet, and continued to fall. I ended up about 10 feet directly below the trail with my bike on top of me. When i reached up to feel the side of my head for damage, my hand was covered in red. I could feel some pretty good carnage, but not exactly what was going on.

    Ok, so long story short, I made the 8 mile ride home with a piece of ear flapping against my cheek. Dropped off my bike and took a couple pics (wanna see um?) before heading to the Urgent Care around the corner. The RN on duty took one look at my ear, and sent me to the ER (which I had passed on my ride home). The doctor on duty took one look and called the on staff surgeon. The staff surgeon looked at it and called a plastic surgeon. 35 stitches later i walked out of the ER with a huge bandage and a white fishnet stocking on my head like some rejected character from a Monty Python skit.

    I got the headsock off yesterday, and it looks like i am going to get too keep the whole ear. So i got that goin' for me, which is nice. But it looks like the headlock system gave me a second cut that itself would have needed stitches, but went unnoticed.

    So, i guess this is my 2 cents worth. I wasn't trying anything crazy. I wasn't even going down hill. I just fell at an unfortunate place on the trail with bigger repercussions than i expected. It could have been a boatload worse too, if I hadn't turned my head... well, I don't really want to think about that one. I am NOT saying everyone should wear full face helmets, but just offering a situation where the safety gear i did wear wasn't enough. Just something to consider.

    I am no longer worried about how much a full face helmet will cost (the ER visit STARTED at $150, probably ended up at over $1000) , whether i catch $#!t for it, or if i am considered a tool. The only question now is which on is the best vented/coolest. (any recommendations?)
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  2. #2
    Double-metric mtb man
    Reputation: Psycho Mike's Avatar
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    I`ve heard good things about the Specialized Deviant and Pryme A1 in terms of vented full face helmets

    Hope you heal up quick, man.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: California L33's Avatar
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    I just tried the Vigor Contender, and the ventilation in it is not good enough for cross country. It gets hot around here, but I went out on a cool evening, and my head was pretty hot after the first hill. I don't think the trouble is vent size so much as not paying enough attention to air flow. It fits tight around the face, which means no air blows through the face opening, over the head, and out the top. The small mouth hole is another matter. Even though it's a good distance from your mouth you get hot air blow back as you exhale, causing condensation everywhere- glasses, face, helmet. Drinking isn't the bad, though. You do have to stop, but even with the chin strap snug you can tilt your head back and lift it just enough to get some water in your mouth.

    That said, I may use it on unfamiliar territory on cool days- on a hot day it would be so uncomfortable that you'd have to weigh the risk of a heat induced accident. We've had a couple of people posting with injuries similar to yours recently- just below the helmet. On the other hand if you never ride you'll never get cut up and you can just sit around and wait for the heart attack

    When looking at full face helmets it looked like Specialized's version had the biggest vents, but I didn't bother to check airflow within the helmet- it never occurred to me that it might be a problem.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  4. #4
    I dig trails!
    Reputation: Mr.P's Avatar
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    Specialized Deviant. And you can remove the cheek pads for greater ventilation.

    Mr. P

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    I agree on the full face helmet. I found out the need for it on a nasty face plant while getting a little air. Busted my nose and suffered abrasions down my nose and face. That clay was hard, dude! After recovering from that and a busted hand I went out on the trail for the first time with the full face. Wow, ate it again broke my clavicle, but the full face helmet only got scratched on the side, face and head were fine.

    Glad to see your recovering well. It sucks to learn how much this sport can mess you up, but wearing protection helps out. Now I need some shoulder pad protection... Good luck!

  6. #6
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    yeah i wear my Specialized deviant carbon full face on every ride now. doesnt matter if its easy XC or DH because you never know when you need it. I can defanitly say wearing it has saved me on at least one occasion. Its an amazing helmet

  7. #7
    Derailleurless
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    Old thread, I know, but Chaos, your fall sounds a lot like a fall that killed a rider on a local trail. He was just starting a climb after a rest break, dabbed air, tumbled and, unlike you, was no longer breathing just moments after. I'm not sure any helmet would have saved him in that situation.

    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=170665

    Everything is a measured risk. I know the last time I fell hard, I'd wished for wrist guards and elbow pads, but I still don't wear them. Looking at your photo, I wonder if an ear pad (similar to a ski helmet) wouldn't have helped prevent your injury.

    That said, if you find something that fits your needs, please share.
    speedub.nate
    MTBR Hiatus UFN

  8. #8
    squish is good
    Reputation: Clutchman83's Avatar
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    Check this out, your head is probably going to bake with this puppy on but at least you could breath. It's a Troy Lee Designs D2 helmet, looks like msrp is $225


  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff193
    yeah i wear my Specialized deviant carbon full face on every ride now. doesnt matter if its easy XC or DH because you never know when you need it. I can defanitly say wearing it has saved me on at least one occasion. Its an amazing helmet
    How's the ventilation on hot rides?
    To the troll mobile, away...

  10. #10
    Double-metric mtb man
    Reputation: Psycho Mike's Avatar
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    Deviants are very highly rated for ventilation.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  11. #11
    Bodhisattva
    Reputation: The Squeaky Wheel's Avatar
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    I have a Deviant. Ventilation is as good as can be expected for a FF, but it's still brutal - even with the cheek pads removed.

    I'd like to see something like the MET here in the states.

  12. #12
    Dirt Abuser
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    I haven't had head injuries yet,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,but I may start looking for a full face shield. (Nor Cal trails) It would be worth every penny when you need it...

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