Helmet visor controversy.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    TNC
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    Helmet visor controversy.

    LOL!...OK, OK not a controversy just a question, so don't anyone go getting their panties in a wad. I noticed a comment by BJ in a post here on how the poster had his helmet's visor tilted...not high enough according to BJ. I have noticed this for some time in many DH/FR pics involving pro, amateur, and everything in between...many/most of these riders have their visors tilted waaay up. Now I come from a dirt motorcycle background where traditionally the visor is mounted fairly far down over the face port of the helmet. This is done for different reasons...protection from low hanging branches when riding in woods...protection from flying dirt clods from the rider in front (you tip your head down a bit)...used as a sun visor when riding into a low sun...and if you had the visor turned up too far, it would be a big air scoop when you're doing anything over 25 mph. There may be others, but these come to mind as primary.

    Obviously not all of these apply to bicycle use...at least all the time. The higher speeds can sometimes be an issue, as even my old carcass has seen 40+ mph on a fireroad section. The flying dirt clod issue would almost never be an issue. The sun and low hanging vegetation are frequently an issue for me. Yesterday evening I wouldn't even have been able to see the trail as I was riding right before sunset. And even in west Texas, we have enough cedar, mesquite, and other trees hanging in the trail to be a problem...the visor is great protection for these small branches and twigs even when you're wearing some good shades or such.

    Is this a DH/FR style thing or is the visor tilted way up for a truly technical reason? Don't get me wrong...I thought about the visibility blockage that might be considered as you're going sharply downhill and trying to look at approaching trail, but this isn't an issue with a "down" visor...even for a stiff-necked old man like me. This ranch where we ride motorcycles and MTB has really big hills with extremely steep "ups and downs" with severe g-outs in the middle where you need to look back up quickly. "Down" tilted visors have never been a problem for visibility or neck pain, as you're really not staring in an extreme "up" attitude for long periods. I understand why this would be an issue for road riders, as I've worn a standard shell bike helmet with a visor on a couple of occasions, and it was very uncomfortable because you're really stretched out with your head in a relatively "down" position for long periods of time. On an MTB you're constantly moving and tilting your head in varying positions.

    As I said, this is just a question based on observation of differences between MTB and moto helmet use and setup that I've had for some time. People can cut a couple of eye holes in the back of their full coverage helmets and wear them backwards if they want, as far as I'm concerned ...not trying to dictate what people should do with theirs. What's your take?
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  2. #2
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    For me comming from a moto background i do run the visor down lower for sun & protection, But on a moto i tend to sit more up right & the throttle help my old neck stay in that possition.
    Riding MTB i found that i lost visability when the visor is set up in my moto possition. I was moving it up highr with each run (chair lift) untill it was almost all the way to it's stops. Granted you want to keep your head up & look where you are going not at the front tire, even with this in mind i still was lacking the visibility to ride with confidence, my slower reactions need alot more time nowdays .

  3. #3
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    I do not use them. All visors just block my vision when I am on a bicycle.
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    purely style.. i run the visor on my giro in the lowest position which isnt that low.

  5. #5
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    Visors can kill!

    I have a general dislike for visors after having to pull the shattered remains out of a friends face after a face plant, before he could take off the helmet. It was a Fox moto helmet. The visor snapped off and lodged itself inside the full face and cut through his upper lip and just about sliced his nose in half! Ugly stuff….. A trip to the hospital and many stitches later, he now rides without one.

  6. #6
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    Riding position on a mountain bike is pretty different from that of a dirt bike. You're in a more forward, bent over, aggressive position, especially DH racing that you are flying around a MX track.
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    The reason is pretty much what you assumed. MX you ride a lower visor for protection from roost and the sun, but the majority of MX riding is relatively flat. Not that there aren't big hills when riding off-road, but you go both up and down and flat. So the overall realation of your head to your shoulders is neutral.

    On a DH bike you ride downhill. Other DH bikes don't throw up much roost if any. You run your visor higher so you can both see what's under your wheel and what's off in the distance at the same time, while your head is pointed downhill. So the overall relation of your head to your shoulders is tilted up. If you run your visor low you have to tilt your head up even more which is bad balance.
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  8. #8
    TNC
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    Sitting upright.

    Quote Originally Posted by dogonfr
    For me comming from a moto background i do run the visor down lower for sun & protection, But on a moto i tend to sit more up right & the throttle help my old neck stay in that possition.
    Riding MTB i found that i lost visability when the visor is set up in my moto possition. I was moving it up highr with each run (chair lift) untill it was almost all the way to it's stops. Granted you want to keep your head up & look where you are going not at the front tire, even with this in mind i still was lacking the visibility to ride with confidence, my slower reactions need alot more time nowdays .
    Yeah, the body position makes a ton of difference as far as head/visor positioning goes...as I mentioned about the road bike scenario. I guess my big hit bikes are setting me in a more upright position along the lines of moto riding. Hey dog...aren't you a good deal younger than me? Sounds like osteoporosis may be setting in...LOL! I notice you mention chairlift, and indeed that may be more a more extended and exteme downhill angle that the visor would be an issue. I haven't had the pleasure of doing a chairlifted DH place. I've done some of the Mammoth and Big Bear areas in the past, but the lift was closed, and I just got my wife to haul me up the mountain as high as I could get. The gnarly place we ride at that ranch that I mentioned has lots of trail in the cedars and woods where the visor really keeps crap from slapping your face. From some of the posts already mentioned here, it appears to be an issue of preference and/or location that has the biggest impact on visor position.
    Last edited by TNC; 01-25-2006 at 11:28 AM. Reason: text

  9. #9

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    Honestly, it looks better. And I have never had a problem with sun so why not run it up? And, if your going fast enough to have it catch, you wont be standing straight up, you will be crouched and hot wide open and up.

  10. #10
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    MX references.

    Quote Originally Posted by coma13
    Riding position on a mountain bike is pretty different from that of a dirt bike. You're in a more forward, bent over, aggressive position, especially DH racing that you are flying around a MX track.
    Hey coma, I noticed from yours and other posts here on the forum that most people seem to think about moto riding or moto gear as always being associated with MX...generally speaking. My experience has almost always been in other off road venues like enduros and desert and woods riding where it is more akin to aggressive MTB trail riding. No flame, just an observation. The kind of dirt moto and MTB riding I've always enjoyed are much more alike than different. Even positioning on the bike gets fairly similar...body English and the other techniques used. This brings up another thought...I wonder if my riding style on the bicycle is more affected by moto experience or is it a natural similarity between trail riding both motos and bicycles? Sounds like a whole other can of worms, anyway.

  11. #11

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    I ride with mine all the way down to block the sun. Doesnt obstruct my vision either way. I mean come on if I have to look that far up I can raise my chin a little bit, Im not that lazy.

  12. #12
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    Try a higher end Giro helmet that has POV. It allows you to tilt the visor up. I didn't know I had a problem until I bought the helmet with this feature.

    It helps both ups and downs.

    Ups: When tired and the head is hanging low, while the hill is steep I can still see ahead to plot my path.

    Downs: Great for quick glances far down the trail to map out that line.

    All while keeping the sun out of my eyes.

    A great compromise IMHO.

    It just looks dorky with the visor up on a standard cycling helmet. So I have to pull the visor down and suck in the belly when the chicks walk by.

    Mr. P

  13. #13
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    Ahaaah! I knew it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P
    Try a higher end Giro helmet that has POV. It allows you to tilt the visor up. I didn't know I had a problem until I bought the helmet with this feature.

    It helps both ups and downs.

    Ups: When tired and the head is hanging low, while the hill is steep I can still see ahead to plot my path.

    Downs: Great for quick glances far down the trail to map out that line.

    All while keeping the sun out of my eyes.

    A great compromise IMHO.

    It just looks dorky with the visor up on a standard cycling helmet. So I have to pull the visor down and suck in the belly when the chicks walk by.

    Mr. P
    It is all about style. The part about sucking in the gut gave it away... You realize that's what those neat moto kidney belts are for, don't you?...better than having to suck it in.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    Hey coma, I noticed from yours and other posts here on the forum that most people seem to think about moto riding or moto gear as always being associated with MX...generally speaking. My experience has almost always been in other off road venues like enduros and desert and woods riding where it is more akin to aggressive MTB trail riding. No flame, just an observation. The kind of dirt moto and MTB riding I've always enjoyed are much more alike than different. Even positioning on the bike gets fairly similar...body English and the other techniques used. This brings up another thought...I wonder if my riding style on the bicycle is more affected by moto experience or is it a natural similarity between trail riding both motos and bicycles? Sounds like a whole other can of worms, anyway.
    I agree and a large portion, if not the majority, of my moto experience is technical singletrack riding or cross grain desert riding. I think the difference mostly for me is the angle at which the riding occurs. My statement on the visor height for MTB's was in reference to DH riding/racing where you're going at a pronounced downward angle as opposed to the dirt bike riding I've done which generally encompasses every up and down angle you could imagine.
    cycle tracks will abound in utopia.

  15. #15
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    basically TNC the theory on why you where the visor tilted up, is so you can see further up the trail....therefore you are able to ride faster because you see things further in advance
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

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    I think for most people it's purely aesthetic reasons...

    Do people not realize that a visor tilted up has the same effect as a parachute? Certainly doesn't help your aerodynamics... If you really want to be cool/fast then you don't even use a visor!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by WheelieMan
    I think for most people it's purely aesthetic reasons...

    Do people not realize that a visor tilted up has the same effect as a parachute? Certainly doesn't help your aerodynamics... If you really want to be cool/fast then you don't even use a visor!
    Wrong, if you want to be REALLY fast, you have to put the visor on backwards and pedal the whole time so it acts like a spoiler keeping you glued to the ground!
    cycle tracks will abound in utopia.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    Yeah, the body position makes a ton of difference as far as head/visor positioning goes...as I mentioned about the road bike scenario. I guess my big hit bikes are setting me in a more upright position along the lines of moto riding. Hey dog...aren't you a good deal younger than me? Sounds like osteoporosis may be setting in...LOL! I notice you mention chairlift, and indeed that may be more a more extended and exteme downhill angle that the visor would be an issue. I haven't had the pleasure of doing a chairlifted DH place. I've done some of the Mammoth and Big Bear areas in the past, but the lift was closed, and I just got my wife to haul me up the mountain as high as I could get. The gnarly place we ride at that ranch that I mentioned has lots of trail in the cedars and woods where the visor really keeps crap from slapping your face. From some of the posts already mentioned here, it appears to be an issue of preference and/or location that has the biggest impact on visor position.
    Dont know about a great deal younger but i am a youthfull 48. I mainly notice the visor when standing, your more crouched over instead of sitting upright. I do belive visor possition is a indivdual preferance as it is showing. The chair lifting i do has mainly been at Northstar then their is the shuttle riding at Downieville. This kind of stuff is really a spoiler, makes you want to give up pedaling up hill . It's a shame you didnt get to lift ride at Mammoth Mtn. some really nice trails. Did you get to ride the Town trail from the parking lot to the edge of town?

  19. #19
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    Town Trail for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by dogonfr
    Dont know about a great deal younger but i am a youthfull 48. I mainly notice the visor when standing, your more crouched over instead of sitting upright. I do belive visor possition is a indivdual preferance as it is showing. The chair lifting i do has mainly been at Northstar then their is the shuttle riding at Downieville. This kind of stuff is really a spoiler, makes you want to give up pedaling up hill . It's a shame you didnt get to lift ride at Mammoth Mtn. some really nice trails. Did you get to ride the Town trail from the parking lot to the edge of town?
    I rode that one several times, as were in staying in the area for about 5 days. Not really technical or long but it was a hoot. That was the only trail I rode that I remembered the name.

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  21. #21
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    I just think it looks dorky to be tilted way up, like the people that tilt non-full face helmets way up...
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  22. #22
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    interesting that youd bring this up, from what ive seen it comes down to experience. the newer riders who are less experienced tend to wear there helmets higher up on there faces (becasue it feels safer) and therefore tend to wear there visors down. when the correct way to wear a DH helmet is down enough that the tip of your eyebrows are just exposed and therefore your visor up to see and ballance the helmet out.

    the TLD helmet manual actually has some of this in it. if your wearing your helmet up to compensate for your low visor and hit something head on your helmet will naturally roll backwards and wont evenly take the impact.

    at the start of last year while here in australia i made a big mistake while DH and ended up hitting a tree. i was going around 40km/ph and unfortunatly for me my head was the only thing that took the impact. the chin peace and the area where the visor sits both took the impact and ended up splitting the helmet. from the force, the helmet rolled backwards off my head and i was left lying on the ground with nothing but my head of hair. it saved my face and life to some extent, minus the broken nose and minor concussion i suffered.

    helmets do look better when down with the visors up but there is a little purpoce behind it. heres the thread that started this thread, http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=160291.

  23. #23
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    I have two Giro Helmets. A Switchblade and an E 2. The E 2 has the POV which allows me to position the visor upward. The Switchblade does not. I found with the Switchblade my vision was just not as open as with the E 2. I removed the visor, after 3 mo. of use, and can definitly tell my feild of vision is better. I don't worry about the fashion police but personally I think my green Switchblade looked better with the visor.

  24. #24
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    Sorry to Thread Jack but.........

    What do you think of that Pryme Full Face Helmet. I'm hoping to do a little more chairlift stuff this year and I though that I should maybe pick on up. I can get it cheap and wouldn't use it that often.
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    Quote Originally Posted by giverpig
    What do you think of that Pryme Full Face Helmet...
    The Pryme helmet fits me very poorly. Poor fit = uncomfortable and reduced protection.
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  26. #26
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    i think it is gay/stupid when people do not wear their visor. Basically you are using an unsportsmanlike advantage over your peers who are wearing it.

    Its quite sad, because then we all look gay.

    this is what happened at worlds(ithink? 03), all the pros made a pact to race with them, and gay-frenchie fabian barel took his off at the last second.

    i didnt take time to read all these posts, but in my opinion, please wear them at races, so we dont all start taking them off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by j6105
    i think it is gay/stupid when people do not wear their visor. Basically you are using an unsportsmanlike advantage over your peers who are wearing it.

    Its quite sad, because then we all look gay.

    this is what happened at worlds(ithink? 03), all the pros made a pact to race with them, and gay-frenchie fabian barel took his off at the last second.

    i didnt take time to read all these posts, but in my opinion, please wear them at races, so we dont all start taking them off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MC9.5
    I have a general dislike for visors after having to pull the shattered remains out of a friends face after a face plant, before he could take off the helmet. It was a Fox moto helmet. The visor snapped off and lodged itself inside the full face and cut through his upper lip and just about sliced his nose in half! Ugly stuff….. A trip to the hospital and many stitches later, he now rides without one.
    The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute doesn't like them either. ANY visor should come off easily in a crash, if it doesn't it could do the above, or many other things of ugliness.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by j6105
    this is what happened at worlds(ithink? 03), all the pros made a pact to race with them, and gay-frenchie fabian barel took his off at the last second.
    all the pros probably had contractual obligations to display stickers on their visors.

  30. #30
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    BJ's got it right...

    TLD - visor up. Good looks, good visibility.
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  31. #31
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    Love the helmet.

    Quote Originally Posted by giverpig
    What do you think of that Pryme Full Face Helmet. I'm hoping to do a little more chairlift stuff this year and I though that I should maybe pick on up. I can get it cheap and wouldn't use it that often.
    The Pryme Al is also about the most vented true full coverage helmet I've seen. I also have a Mad Max and a Bell Moto 7, but they're just too hot to wear in most conditions for me.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by j6105
    i think it is gay/stupid when people do not wear their visor. Basically you are using an unsportsmanlike advantage over your peers who are wearing it.

    Its quite sad, because then we all look gay.

    this is what happened at worlds(ithink? 03), all the pros made a pact to race with them, and gay-frenchie fabian barel took his off at the last second.

    i didnt take time to read all these posts, but in my opinion, please wear them at races, so we dont all start taking them off.
    That "agreement" was for style reasons (and probably sponsor contracts). It is stupid for a racer to use something that detracts from their performance. There are no time bonus for being stylish.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    The Pryme Al is also about the most vented true full coverage helmet I've seen. I also have a Mad Max and a Bell Moto 7, but they're just too hot to wear in most conditions for me.
    what about that jock strap helmet you were sporting last week
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  34. #34
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    What's the problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    what about that jock strap helmet you were sporting last week
    After all, it was my jock strap! You back from Austin yet?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    I rode that one several times, as were in staying in the area for about 5 days. Not really technical or long but it was a hoot. That was the only trail I rode that I remembered the name.
    Thats a great end of day last ride, like you said not diffricult just a awsome last hoot for the day

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    After all, it was my jock strap! You back from Austin yet?
    still in hell........I mean Texas
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  37. #37
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    on our trails, we have many stunts right at the bottom of steep chutes. if your visor were to be worn in a downward position, you would not be able to spot the stunt until you were flailing wildly thru the air.....

    also as others have pointed out, on a dirtbike you are almost always in a seated upright position. try riding a dh trail like that and watch how man times you go flying over the bar.....


  38. #38
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    I wear the visor on my full face upwards.

    Its for sure style, and blocks out the sun I guess...
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  39. #39
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    Idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by coma13
    Wrong, if you want to be REALLY fast, you have to put the visor on backwards and pedal the whole time so it acts like a spoiler keeping you glued to the ground!

    Great ... thanx for broadcasting my secret racer steez for 06.. now all the haters will be running spoliers and spandex...

    damn it.

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