Is there a light, airy full-face helmet?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Is there a light, airy full-face helmet?

    Can you please help? I'd like to get the protection of a full-face helmet for general trail riding, including uphills, and I'd like a helmet that vents well. I'll also use it around town, for that time when I plant my face into side of an SUV.

    The only helmet I've heard about like that is the Giro Switchblade, but Giro stopped making it a couple of years ago. It weighed 23.5 oz. The company still makes the "Mad Max", but it's a true downhill helmet and comes in at 43 oz. for the 2004 model.

    So, do you know of something that's light and comfortable for general use?

    Thanks a bunch!

  2. #2
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    Giro Switchblade

    I am not sure if it's still made, but I ride with a Giro Switchblade. I refer to it as a semi full face helmet because the face guard is lighter and removable.

  3. #3
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    I believe...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollin' On
    Can you please help? I'd like to get the protection of a full-face helmet for general trail riding, including uphills, and I'd like a helmet that vents well. I'll also use it around town, for that time when I plant my face into side of an SUV.

    The only helmet I've heard about like that is the Giro Switchblade, but Giro stopped making it a couple of years ago. It weighed 23.5 oz. The company still makes the "Mad Max", but it's a true downhill helmet and comes in at 43 oz. for the 2004 model.

    So, do you know of something that's light and comfortable for general use?

    Thanks a bunch!
    ...you're out of luck. We were on a ride the other day and discussed this very same thing. No one makes a helmet like the Switchblade, that we could think of.

    I just checked the Supergo catalog- 3 full-faced helmets in it, all with non-removable face guards. Checked Ebay- no Switchblades to be had.

    Man, had I known, I would have bought all the rest of 'em and would now be sitting pretty.

    You'll have to find something else to wear on your commute, or strengthen your neck muscles for those 43 oz'ers.

    fp
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  4. #4
    RVM
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    Switchblade ain't airy

    Maybe more so than most full face ones, but it gets hot if you climb w/it for a long time.

    I rarely wear it nowadays...

    I think it's better to get a regular full face helmet. Cheaper and stronger than the SB.

  5. #5
    TNC
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    Why isn't a Switchblade airy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RVM
    Maybe more so than most full face ones, but it gets hot if you climb w/it for a long time.

    I rarely wear it nowadays...

    I think it's better to get a regular full face helmet. Cheaper and stronger than the SB.
    An SB is a Giro Hammerhead (a conventional MTB helmet) with a removable chinguard. It's about as airy as most standard MTB helmets. In fact the SB keeps a lot of sun off your ears and face but still lets lots of air through. It's why some complain that the SB doesn't offer any more protection than a standard MTB helmet. I've had 3 of them and broke one of them in a good head-first crash. The face guard and helmet were cracked, but I'll take that first soil sample face plant on this padded/foam chinbar any day over a face/dirt sandwich. It can't be compared to any real full-face off road helmet like my Mad Max pictured beside the SB, but it's hard to compare it to anything else out there either. It's that "middle ground" helmet for aggressive trail riding on warm days when a full-face helmet on a 3 hour ride would give you a heat stroke. If you ride in any type of woods or places where cedar bushes and tree limbs overhang the trail, it kinda nice not to get slapped across the face constantly. It's no DH helmet but it's better than just an open face XC helmet. As to my sun protection comment, I don't want to sound like a sissy, but you youngsters out there need to consider it as you look forward to a fun life outdoors riding your bike or anything else. Two months ago a 53-year old friend who was in great shape and a really stout bike rider died of melanoma. No BS--use that sunscreen, a bandana, a Coolmax DH jersey, your knee guards, and maybe even the shade coverage an SB gives you--Better shred than dead!
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  6. #6
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    Protec Pro-Carbon....the ultimate

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollin' On
    The only helmet I've heard about like that is the Giro Switchblade, but Giro stopped making it a couple of years ago. It weighed 23.5 oz. The company still makes the "Mad Max", but it's a true downhill helmet and comes in at 43 oz. for the 2004 model.

    So, do you know of something that's light and comfortable for general use?

    Thanks a bunch!
    After reading about all the folks that got lips, chins, and noses sliced off from the two piece Switchblade mouth guard, I looked around for the lightest full face high-tech fiber helmet I could find with a one piece shell. After doing my research I came up with the Protec Pro-Carbon. It uses a Carbon-Kevlar shell overlaid with multi-layers of fiberglass laid over the graphics. The inside shock absorbsion material is similiar to that in standard biking helmets and the skin of the one piece shell is very thin and light. It has a removable liner and a considerable amount of cooling holes in the shell.

    I've got some extensive helmet experience after racing motorcross, 250cc quads, AMA Superbike 750CC Supersports, and 24 Hour Endurance MTB events. This is the lightest full face helmet I've ever used that has a one piece shell. I don't know exactly what it weighs, but it is a lot lighter than a full face fiberglass BMX/motocross helmet. I'll weigh it next time I'm at my LBS and report back. The helmet is a bit toastier on the head than a standard mtb open face helmet, but I've gotten accustomed to it. I don't really think about the extra heat it holds in anymore. It actually cools your head pretty well when you are moving along at a good clip.

    I've yard saled a few times with it on and twice that I can think of I would have been looking at dental surgery without it. It's a priceless piece of equipment that I would have easily paid 2X it's $150 pricetag for the protection.

    http://www.pro-tec.net/ and you'll find it under BMX helmets.
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    Last edited by El Beastro; 06-14-2004 at 11:12 AM.

  7. #7
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    MET. picked up where Giro. left off. This is MET's Para-chute

    Neat huh?...
    Giro Switchblade
    https://www.met-helmets.com/Prodotti...ub=42&idcat=7# , link directly to the Para-chute.
    Para-chute= 490g, 1.08lbs, 17.28oz (if you need to know)
    Last edited by jonowee; 06-14-2004 at 11:20 AM.

  8. #8
    DOH!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonowee
    MET. picked up where Giro. left off. This is MET's Para-chute
    Looks cool (both in terms of design and ventilation) but I'd venture to guess that you'd be picking plastic and foam out of your gumline after the mouth guard shatters in a crash.

    I run an Odyssey Apache (http://www.danscomp.com/cgi-bin/haze...IL&item=601063) for both DH racing, heavy-duty freeride and dirt jumping. It fits me better than any full face I've worn previously, is fairly well vented (compared to, say, an Azonic AZX), and protects well. I'de venture to say I like its protection better than the moto-inspired AZX, as under the fiberglass shell it has pretty standard-type MTB helmet high-impact absorption foam. I've head-planted with the AZX and come away with a bit of a headache. The foam in the Apache seems to do a better job of absorbing impacts, though like any other MTB helmet, the helmet usually sacrifices itself (foam cracks) in order to save your brain matter. But the Apache is very reasonably priced, and thus you can buy several for the price of a single helmet from some other brands.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SprungShoulders
    Looks cool (both in terms of design and ventilation) but I'd venture to guess that you'd be picking plastic and foam out of your gumline after the mouth guard shatters in a crash.
    Personally if I was going the buy the Para-chute, I would use it for 'general riding' where I know there are lots of rocks (like in Switzerland). MET. may class the Para as a 'freeride' helmet, but for FR I would get SixSixOne's Full Bravo Carbon in black, it's so pimping! And a MET. Anaxagore II for 'normal' riding.

  10. #10
    RVM
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    Well, the SB is indeed airy

    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    An SB is a Giro Hammerhead (a conventional MTB helmet) with a removable chinguard. It's about as airy as most standard MTB helmets. In fact the SB keeps a lot of sun off your ears and face but still lets lots of air through. It's why some complain that the SB doesn't offer any more protection than a standard MTB helmet. I've had 3 of them and broke one of them in a good head-first crash. The face guard and helmet were cracked, but I'll take that first soil sample face plant on this padded/foam chinbar any day over a face/dirt sandwich. It can't be compared to any real full-face off road helmet like my Mad Max pictured beside the SB, but it's hard to compare it to anything else out there either. It's that "middle ground" helmet for aggressive trail riding on warm days when a full-face helmet on a 3 hour ride would give you a heat stroke. If you ride in any type of woods or places where cedar bushes and tree limbs overhang the trail, it kinda nice not to get slapped across the face constantly. It's no DH helmet but it's better than just an open face XC helmet. As to my sun protection comment, I don't want to sound like a sissy, but you youngsters out there need to consider it as you look forward to a fun life outdoors riding your bike or anything else. Two months ago a 53-year old friend who was in great shape and a really stout bike rider died of melanoma. No BS--use that sunscreen, a bandana, a Coolmax DH jersey, your knee guards, and maybe even the shade coverage an SB gives you--Better shred than dead!
    But I found that it made me sweat like crazy on climbs versus a regular helmet without a face guard. I'd be just venting off the warm air right back to myself with that guard in front of me.

    Yes, the beauty of an SB is that you can add that faceguard later on and covers a great middle ground between XC and freeride lid. But I'm a lazy bum...

  11. #11
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    airy fullface helmet

    hi,
    i've had the same problem and just bought a pryme al fullface helmet. its pretty airy it has 26 vents and weights 1000 grams. as far as the switch blade i heard that "the path" bike shop in tustin calif. still had one.

    philip

  12. #12

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    Where to find a MET Par -chute

    Looks like the MET is in Europe. Their website says do to safety regulations they do not export to North America..any idea where to get one stateside?

  13. #13
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    Check out the Vigor Vamoose 2 Carbon

    I've got a Vigor Vamoose 2 carbon helmet. It's pretty darn light for a real full-face helmet, and one of the best ventilated out there. Go-ride has them. I usually throw mine on my pack for the climb and on my head for the descent.

    The Switchblade scares me. I think it's worse than an XC helmet, because you think it will help in a crash but then it breaks off and slashes your face open and you lose teeth .... this has happened to a couple people I know, and they all required stitches.

  14. #14

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    I've been using a Switchblade for a couple of years (yellow variety). I've read where a lot of people dont like them because after they face plant, the helmet breaks. Actually, that is what most bike helmets are designed to do. The helmet breaks instead of what is contained inside. Most (if not all) bike helmets are designed for only one serious crash. In most cases, if you DO break it in a crash, the manufacturer will send you a replacement helmet for free...a guaranttee of sorts. Anyway, I use the Switchblade for the trail and a Vega motocross helmet (DOT) for DH/FR. Cant be too safe.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonowee
    MET. picked up where Giro. left off. This is MET's Para-chute

    Neat huh?...
    Giro Switchblade
    https://www.met-helmets.com/Prodotti...ub=42&idcat=7# , link directly to the Para-chute.
    Para-chute= 490g, 1.08lbs, 17.28oz (if you need to know)
    Appearantly we wont be seeing them over here in the states, off the MET site:

    "Madam, Sir,

    we have to inform you that MET S.p.A., producer of the MET helmets, have decided not to export their helmets to North-America (Canada and United States of America). As a supplier of helmets throughout the world, MET have to ensure that their products pass the different safety standards that apply in the countries in which they are sold. MET helmets do not meet just one of these standards but all of them, whether it is Europe, Japan, or Australia, for instance. Nevertheless, we have noted that some court decisions about product liability in some countries, especially USA and Canada penalize manufacturers for damages that may be suffered by a consumer involved in an accident. This, sometimes, occurs regardless of the quality of the product, and the safety it actually provides. Moreover, judicial costs and attorney's fees are very burdensome in North America. It being confirmed that MET products are fully UE regulations, safety standards and state of the art compliant, MET S.p.A., as a family business, not run yan obscure international financial conglomerate but by people, individuals working together, side by side, each and every day, have decided to keep their products out of the North-American market, and to spend time, money and energy in product research and development, not lawyers and trails. Anyone who would violate MET S.p.A above decision, and would import Met helmet in North-America will be exclusively responsible for any legal consequence involving MET helmets. We thank you for your interest and for taking the time to contact us. We are confident that you will find a suitable helmet among the products available on your home market. "
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayneosdias
    Appearantly we wont be seeing them over here in the states, off the MET site:

    "Madam, Sir,

    we have to inform you that MET S.p.A., producer of the MET helmets, have decided not to export their helmets to North-America (Canada and United States of America). As a supplier of helmets throughout the world, MET have to ensure that their products pass the different safety standards that apply in the countries in which they are sold. MET helmets do not meet just one of these standards but all of them, whether it is Europe, Japan, or Australia, for instance. Nevertheless, we have noted that some court decisions about product liability in some countries, especially USA and Canada penalize manufacturers for damages that may be suffered by a consumer involved in an accident. This, sometimes, occurs regardless of the quality of the product, and the safety it actually provides. Moreover, judicial costs and attorney's fees are very burdensome in North America. It being confirmed that MET products are fully UE regulations, safety standards and state of the art compliant, MET S.p.A., as a family business, not run yan obscure international financial conglomerate but by people, individuals working together, side by side, each and every day, have decided to keep their products out of the North-American market, and to spend time, money and energy in product research and development, not lawyers and trails. Anyone who would violate MET S.p.A above decision, and would import Met helmet in North-America will be exclusively responsible for any legal consequence involving MET helmets. We thank you for your interest and for taking the time to contact us. We are confident that you will find a suitable helmet among the products available on your home market. "
    Bugger, I didn't know that cos we (in Australia) get MET. helmets here. Sorry about that Rollin' On, I don't of any other over-ventilated full face helmets.

  17. #17
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    Awesome

    I guess its true. When someone does get a few million for a 7up bottle lid in the eye we all lose out.

  18. #18
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    Its not that the helmet broke, they are supposed to do that....they are not supposed to impale your cheek, or rip your lip apart though. That is what most people up here have against them....one really bad crash on your face and it does more damage than it should.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pyro
    I've been using a Switchblade for a couple of years (yellow variety). I've read where a lot of people dont like them because after they face plant, the helmet breaks. Actually, that is what most bike helmets are designed to do. The helmet breaks instead of what is contained inside. Most (if not all) bike helmets are designed for only one serious crash. In most cases, if you DO break it in a crash, the manufacturer will send you a replacement helmet for free...a guaranttee of sorts. Anyway, I use the Switchblade for the trail and a Vega motocross helmet (DOT) for DH/FR. Cant be too safe.

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