When Do You Need A Full-Face Mountain Biking Helmet?

Are you a mountain cyclist seeking the most excellent possible protection? Have you ever questioned when and why you should wear a full-face helmet when hiking?

It’s no surprise; mountain biking is an inherently dangerous activity requiring adequate safety equipment. A full-face helmet may be the ultimate safety precaution.

However, given that most individuals are not wearing full-face helmets, one would ask if they should consider purchasing one.

After all, it’s not uncommon to see riders flying downhill with standard mtb helmets rather than full-face helmets on local trails.

Those wearing full-face helmets, on the other hand, are few. One cannot help but wonder if the need for full-face helmets is overstated in the cycling scene.

In this blog article, we’ll examine what scenarios require a full-face helmet, examine its features and benefits, and compare it to standard bike helmets.

Whether you’re an experienced rider or just starting, keep reading to find out if it’s time to invest in a full-face helmet!

Are Full-Face Helmets More Secure?

Full-face helmets, without a doubt, offer unrivaled safety, protecting the skull and jaw, which is essential for individuals who prefer high-speed bicycling experiences.

These helmets are developed explicitly for downhill riders and are inspired by motocross helmets, which provide robust protection to bikers zooming by at incredible speeds.

A full-face helmet becomes essential because downhill biking includes more dangers and faster speeds. Here are four reasons why full-face helmets are safer:

1. Expanded Coverage

The significance of wearing a full-face helmet when participating in high-risk activities such as mountain biking or extreme sports cannot be emphasized.

These helmets are mainly built with a chin bar and extra protection around the back of the helmet and above the ears to assure the wearer’s utmost safety.

A face-first slide or impact with rocks or a track can cause significant facial injuries that could have been avoided by wearing a full-face helmet.

Numerous riders have regretted not taking the required steps to protect their faces from potential damage.

Furthermore, the extra covering given by a full-face helmet protects the head from blows and sharp objects, dramatically decreasing the probability of a concussion or brain injury.

Research published in Damage Epidemiology backs up the idea that full-face helmets reduce the incidence of facial damage by two-thirds, indicating that they provide superior protection against accidents and injuries.

2. Foam with Dual Density

When protecting oneself when riding a mountain bike downhill at high speeds, the value of a quality full-face helmet cannot be stressed.

Introducing Dual Density Foam, a relatively new technology providing superior impact protection, is crucial to ensure optimal safety.

This revolutionary foam comprises two separate layers, each with its function.

The outer layer, which is made of a more rigid material, prevents sharp items from penetrating the helmet and efficiently dissipates energy during high-speed collisions.

Meanwhile, the inner foam layer has a softer foam covering, which is necessary for providing a more cushioned fall for the user.

This clever combination has been shown to lower the chance of head injuries by up to 60%, making Dual Density Foam an essential component in any full-face helmet worth considering.

3. More stringent testing and standards

While all helmets in the United States must meet CPSC requirements, downhill helmets must also pass an additional certification procedure known as ASTM F1952-15 to assure maximum protection.

This implies that while not all full-face helmets require downhill certification, the vast majority must. Surprisingly, full-face helmets are optional to satisfy the downhill certification standards.

One of the primary tests in the ASTM F1952-15 standard evaluates the efficiency of the chin guard, deciding whether the helmet passes or fails.

4. Additional Safety Concerns

Innovative developments in full-face helmets have indeed transformed mountain biker safety standards.

Anti-rotational technology in modern helmet liners is critical in limiting the potentially devastating effects of rotational energy during an angled accident.

To accomplish this, designs frequently include an outer shell that rotates relative to the rider’s head, reducing impact and increasing protection.

MIPS, SPIN, Koroyd, and Turbine 360 are a few examples of cutting-edge anti-rotational systems.

Additional safety features in current helmets include detachable pad parts under the chin guard to remove an injured rider in an emergency easily.

Furthermore, using adjustable or breakaway visors reduces the risk of neck injuries since they detach from the helmet after an accident.

The Benefits of a Full-Face Helmet Over an Open-Face Helmet

Although full-face helmets aren’t required for riding XC or trail, they have several advantages worth considering.

Discover the advantages of investing in one now, from more excellent safety and comfort to improved aerodynamics and superior ventilation!

  • Full-face helmets offer more protection since they cover the entire head and face. This implies that less direct force is applied to the skull and other crucial parts of your head in the case of an accident. The chin guard also protects the below.
  • Most full-face types include built-in visors or goggles that provide extra protection from the weather, dust, and flying debris.
  • Full-face helmets are more aerodynamic, minimizing wind resistance and allowing for faster speeds.
  • Because the visor helps to divert noise away from the rider’s ears, full-face helmets are generally quieter than open-face ones. This allows you to concentrate on the voyage without being distracted.
  • When you wear a full-face helmet, your teeth and chin are entirely protected if you crash face-first. The helmet’s strong shell provides improved pierce resistance.
  • Finally, certain full-face helmets have anti-rotation mechanisms that keep the head from jerking or turning in any direction after a crash. (It’s just making them safer!)

Why aren’t more people wearing full-face helmets if it’s safer?

Now, let’s discuss why individuals still don’t like to wear full-face helmets, even if they have more safety reasons, and are even recommended to wear them on rugged terrain.

While safety should be everyone’s priority in motorcycling, many riders prefer the conventional open-face helmet for practical and personal reasons.

Climbing with a full face is considerably more complicated since it may be pretty hot and challenging to obtain enough oxygen; additionally, the extra weight of a full face can severely slow someone down.

Open-face helmets are substantially lighter than full-face variants, weighing 350g against 800g on average. A noticeable distinction that encourages motorcyclists to wear open-face helmets.

Furthermore, motorcyclists’ peripheral vision is hampered by the increased covering around the sides of their faces, reducing visibility.

All-mountain riders must be able to take in their surroundings quickly and maintain a steady speed, which makes an open-faced helmet more appealing.

It’s the age-old balance of risk vs profit. To get the benefits of less weight, all-around visibility, better breathing, and excellent ventilation, you must be willing to risk banging your face on the ground or rock with no protection. Some will think the danger is worthwhile, while others will not.

When Should You Wear a Full-Face Mountain Bike Helmet?

If you frequently ride on rugged trails, shuttles, or downhill, a full-face helmet is ideal. Even though it’s hot inside, don’t be afraid to wear a full-face helmet.

Wear a full-face mountain bike helmet if you are afraid of striking your face and inflicting severe harm.

If you have a history of dental issues or do not want to waste your funds on a dentist or hospital bill, invest in a full-face mountain bike helmet.

If there will be much speed and downhill riding, riders should consider wearing a full-face helmet. Instead of an open-face helmet, use a full-face helmet.

It will give additional protection, especially if this is your first trail ride. A full-face helmet will protect your jaw from catastrophic injury if you crash at high speeds.

If you are a clumsy rider, and the chances of a bike collision are high, wear a full-face helmet. Even the smallest pebble on the road might send you flying and crashing into the road.

It’s OK to be a clumsy rider or simply too concerned about your safety to forgo wearing a full-face helmet that can protect you from scrapes, injuries, and bruises.

Don’t succumb to peer pressure; do what’s best for you!

When Should You Wear an Open-Face Mountain Bike Helmet?

Choose an open-faced mountain helmet; if you’re a casual rider, go to accessible routes that aren’t too rough and have a low danger of being involved in an accident.

Wear an open-faced helmet if you live in a hotter climate with long summers.

Otherwise, you’ll be perspiring profusely. Because they include venting holes, open-faced helmets are more incredible and better suited for hot settings.

Because open-face helmets are minimal in weight, they are ideal for extended travel. They are considerably easier to carry around, put on, and take off in a fraction of a second.

These helmets are inherently lighter and give better sight; you can even communicate with the pillion riders when you come to a halt. You should also get an open-face helmet if you have a restricted budget.

Although open-face helmets rank lower in safety than full-face helmets, purchasing a quality helmet will still provide excellent protection.

What Should You Look for in a Mountain Bike Helmet?

Let’s have a look at the most crucial factors to consider while purchasing a bike helmet:

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Several types of helmets are available on the market depending on their intended use; what sort of riding you perform. City, all-terrain, downhill, and light trails all have unique helmets.

Wear an open-face helmet for extended rides on cross-country mountain bike tracks with fewer odds of an accident.

On the other hand, if you plan to ride on rugged terrain, go downhill, ride at a faster pace, or ride technical routes with lots of climbing, consider getting a full-face mountain bike helmet.

Know Your Helmet Size

In the case of an accident, your helmet should be the proper size for both efficacy and comfort. There’s no need for rocket science; measure your head size before purchasing a helmet.

Numerous choices are available, such as longer, round, or more curved; select based on your head type and comfort.

Purchase a helmet with an adjustable wheel located on the rear to rapidly adjust the helmet. If you do not get the correct size helmet, it may fall off in the event of an accident.

Concerns for Safety

In terms of safety, full-face helmets provide more coverage around the neck and face. The full-face helmet shields the rider from the elements, such as bugs on the visor, rain, and debris.

When purchasing a helmet, choose a shell-built design; it is the first line of defense, shielding you from direct contact with the road.

Anti-rotational technology in modern helmet liners is critical in limiting the potentially devastating effects of rotational energy during an angled accident.

Another feature to look for in a helmet is an impact-absorbing liner, which prevents catastrophic damage to the top of the head by absorbing stress. When the helmet is correctly fitted, it will perform well.

Check to see if the helmet complies with the state’s safety laws.

Important Points

If you’re going downhill, be sure your full-face helmet is downhill-approved!

Regarding eyewear compatibility, whether it’s glasses or goggles, ensure the helmet fits properly on your head without impairing your eyesight.

Comfort and fit are critical, especially when it comes to cheek pads. Pads that are excessively tight or compress your face throughout your bike can be highly distracting and painful.

Also, ensure the chin strap is adjustable, as a loose helmet might be dangerous on the route.

Finally, consider the visor’s design, as some are set in place and might obscure your view, especially while riding uphill. Finding a helmet that checks all these boxes may take some time and work, but a safe and comfortable ride will be well worth it.

Choose one that works well for you.

Rather than just choosing anyone, choose a bike helmet that works well for you. The design of the helmet must be carefully examined.

The best bike helmets are spherical, with no snag spots that might damage your head if you fall. The vents on bike helmets help keep your head cool, but more vents equal less protection because there is less foam.

If you frequently ride on remote terrain, choose a brightly colored helmet so that you are immediately visible to rescuers and other riders in the case of an accident.

The Bottom Line

Wearing a full-face helmet to overcome a challenging terrain or a daring barrier might be a good move. Accept the additional safety, especially on more accessible routes, and remember that everyone’s skill level varies, and there’s no shame in being cautious.

Ignore any anxieties about looking too careful; maintaining your well-being outweighs any passing judgment from others.

Finally, putting safety first and avoiding the devastating effects of inadequate protection, such as facial reconstructive surgery, should take precedence over transient aesthetics.

One unplanned disaster can quickly demonstrate the value of taking extra measures. So arm yourself, brave the trails, and remember that being ‘too safe’ is never wrong.

Ride safely and have fun!

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