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I rode down Chaparral trail in Joaquin Miller Park for the first time. It's the most challenging trail I've been on so far, lots of fun. There were parts of the trail that made me feel like a full face helmet would be a good idea. What are your thoughts? Is a full face helmet for this trail overkill?
 

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I rode down Chaparral trail in Joaquin Miller Park for the first time. It's the most challenging trail I've been on so far, lots of fun. There were parts of the trail that made me feel like a full face helmet would be a good idea. What are your thoughts? Is a full face helmet for this trail overkill?
Safety is never overkill. If you feel safer, more comfortable, and confident (not OVER confident), then do it!
 

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Full face is good for all tech descents. The problem is the weight and ventilation. They usually weigh 3x a much and have minimal ventilation for the slow, hot climbs.

Now, options are coming up so it's becoming feasible.

How much climbing on this ride when you do Chaparral?
 

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Safety is never overkill. If you feel safer, more comfortable, and confident (not OVER confident), then do it!
This.

I would wear full face all the time, even on my road bike, if the helmets weren't so hot and uncomfortable.
 

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^^ Have you tried the Bell Super 2R? It's the one where the chinguard detaches. I usually only put it on for tech descents or jumping, but I've worn it a few times for miles of pedaling, and it was cool and comfy. It's not cheap, but it's good insurance.

And you can opt for the flamingo color for some glow-in-the-dark fun.
 

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These are two next gen full face. Both weigh exactly 700 grams in medium.

The Met Parachute (in black) is fully ASTM certified and is legal for downhill and Enduro World Series racing. The Bell Super 2R (in orange) didn't quite pass the test because of cracks in the vents (rumored during testing) but the chin guard is solid and it removable for long climbs.

Both are expensivo.
 

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Just bought a Parachute, to appease my wife and support my inner badass.

I figured as open as it was, it wouldn't be too hot. Wrong. I felt like I was suffocating, the way it holds in the heat around the front of my face. Removing the cheek pads helped.

Three rides in, I'm getting used to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Francois, not much climbing really. I start on the sequoia bayview trail to chaparral and cinderella. After riding down chaparral, I push the bike up it and then ride down cinderella. The only slightly annoying climb would be sunset trail back to sequoia bayview.

Both the Bell Super 2R and Parachute look great, but they're out of my budget. If they ever go down in price, I'll definitely consider them. For now, I'm thinking of going with either a 661 comp (12 vents, 960g) or THE point 5 (15 vents, 923g).

I appreciate all of the advice everyone. Thanks.
 

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It's not expensive when you compare it to the dentist.
 

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You will seldom feel so stupid that after you crashed and needed the helmet you talk about. You might get lucky and get away with a low harm crash that tells you that you should have spent the money but I wouldn't hold my breath. Relying on luck in this sport is simply foolish.

Spend the money.
 

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Agree with everyone here... you can't be armored up enough. As someone still tuning your bike skills, just be cognizant of your trail and surroundings. Chaparral has some somewhat blind corners and there are usually hikers on that trail. Just make sure you have a clear sight line with no pedestrians before unleashing your inner Gwin. =)

I ride there Tuesdays and some Saturdays (like tomorrow) if you'd like a riding buddy. I actually think Castle Park is a more techy descent (off camber, pretty lethal in the wet) compared to Cindy. My opinion. =)
 

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Just bought a Parachute, to appease my wife and support my inner badass.

I figured as open as it was, it wouldn't be too hot. Wrong. I felt like I was suffocating, the way it holds in the heat around the front of my face. Removing the cheek pads helped.

Three rides in, I'm getting used to it.
Nice. That's the key is you gotta get used to it. Forever, I hated full face helmets cause I would ride them once every two years and they would not feel normal. I couldn't get my bearings and see perfectly.

So part of it is familiarity. The other part of it is they're lighter now and have a big opening. Always look for a good helmet with a big opening so it doesn't block your peripheral vision.

fc
 

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After a face-first crash, and an OTB after that, went to the LBS to check things out. They had a $80 DH helmet, couldn't imagine riding with one of those. No joke about the peripheral vision, and I'm sure they're hot as blazes.

A buddy of mine convinced me to go for the parachute. Vision and weight-wise, it feels like a regular halfshell.

The big difference is airflow when huffing and puffing. Oh yeah, the garbageman noseblow is a toughie too.

Warming up today, think I'll see how I'm getting used to things. Feeling short of breath just thinking about it. Damn psychology.
 

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PRs up and down. Still had a little claustrophobic freakout as I got started, then it was game on.

That's a pretty reasonable learning curve.

Oh yeah, I'm also getting better at the over-helmet loogie and noseblow.
 

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Full face is good for all tech descents. The problem is the weight and ventilation. They usually weigh 3x a much and have minimal ventilation for the slow, hot climbs.

Now, options are coming up so it's becoming feasible.

How much climbing on this ride when you do Chaparral?
@FC: Joaquin Miller rides typically have 150-200 ft of climbing per mile. Here's a pretty typical ride:

https://www.strava.com/activities/243888538


@OP: The Bell Super2R may be your jam. It's a nice full-coverage half-lid with a removable chin bar. I know Mike's Bikes has them; there's one in Berkeley. As others have said, safety is never overkill.

Also, be careful on Chaparrel. Lots of hikers and terrible sight lines. I almost ran over a 6 year old kid and I have not ridden the trail since. That event put the fear into me; I'd rather not be that guy.

Side note: I've found the best times to ride JMP are weekday mornings between 8:30 and 10:30, and Sunday afternoons an hour before sunset. At that point all the weekenders have gone home. Cheers!
 

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Totally backing the use of knee pads, took a minor digger in Downieville on my right knee 5 weeks ago, got better, then slammed the crap out of my left knee a week and a half ago. This is my view for the weekend.... swollenknee.jpg
I have some new Alpinestars pads in the garage, once my swelling goes down they will be a part of my daily kit.
 
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