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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At what point should I think about getting a full face helmet or a BMX type helmet instead of your standard MTB helmet.

I already ride fairly aggressively. I feel like the BMX type helmets offer more protection for jumping and some aggressive single track, and the full face seems to be best suited for DH and FR ONLY.

Thoughts?
 

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I will define BMX helmet as the hard shell with the soft foam inner designed for multiple strikes at a slower speed just so we don't confuse design intent with style. There are plenty of helmets out there that look similar to a BMX helmet that have crash protection rating.

Anyway, BMX helmets are not designed nor are they safety rated for bicycle speed collisions. They are frequently used as such, and are certainly better than no helmet, but I would personally stick with a helmet made for a bicycle while riding a bicycle just to be safer. BMX helmets are hot, but usually comfortable. I wear one when I'm at the skate park, but I'm a total hack who hardly leaves the ground and rarely moves quickly.

Full face helmets come in to play when you're worried about crashing so hard that you'd break your jaw or remove your face. They're hot, they're expensive, and sometimes they really make sense for the way people ride. I do only recommend them for DH and the definition of FR that includes ladder drops and big jumps. Other reasons would be protection for prior or existing facial injuries (like if you have a broken jaw and don't want to hurt it worse in case you fall).

I say it's best to get a good mountain bike helmet with a bit of extra back of the head protection and wear it unless you're doing something like DH or FR. Great choices are the Giro Xen and the Fox Flux.

I guess it doesn't matter what you wear as long as it's a helmet, but there are better choices than others depending on exactly what you're doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alright... Well, I should be siting pretty good with a MTB helmet then. I guess ill look for one with a bit more coverage. I do intend on doing some minor FR/DH stuff so the extra protection would be nice. I dont think anything ill be doing for now will necessitate a full face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That hybrid helmet is sweet. Though I think personally Id rather have 2 different helmets. Id rather reap the full benefits of one or the other and have to periodically change then make a compromise. Thanks for posting.
 

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Calles said:
That hybrid helmet is sweet. Though I think personally Id rather have 2 different helmets. Id rather reap the full benefits of one or the other and have to periodically change then make a compromise. Thanks for posting.
I agree with you Calles, but I know a few people who used to swear by their Giro Switchblades. It always seemed to open and fragile to really make much of a difference, but I never crashed one, so I can't say for sure.
 

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A lot of mountain bike helmets offer the same coverage as BMX, which is lower on the back of the head. The extra venting is extremely important for the big climbs, whereas BMX riders won't get the airflow in park/dirt riding.

But as for full-face helmets, if you can handle the extra weight and the mouth guard, you are safer than anything else.

I know people who ride on the road with full-face helmets. I heard one story about a tv newscaster that always wore a full-face because he had to protect his face for his job.
 

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bclagge said:
I don't want to start a **** storm, but I've been looking at the MET Parachute. A buddy of mine nearly lost his teeth on a rock garden so I want a little better protection. A true full face helmet is just too stifling. Take a peek:
https://www.mtbr.com/cat/mtb-apparel-and-protection/full-face/met/parachute/PRD_413925_6705crx.aspx

It seems like a fine compromise between the lightness of XC and the protection of full face. Plus I'm not bombing down hills or taking 15' drops.
I call that helmet the Megatron Head, because it reminds me of him... it looks kind of cool. I think chain reaction has those on sale.



 
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