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Full face helmet material???

captainflycaptainfly Posts: 1,001
edited September 2009 in MTB buying advice
After my first proper off since getting back into mountain bikes, the thought of a full face rather than my peepot has become justifiable, and as such am trying to decide if there is a major advantage of carbon fibre over fibreglass construction, Is the 10 to 15 percent weight saying a a massive deal and the longevity if it doesn't get hit? Any opinions, I was thinking either a THE or 661.
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Mongoose Teocali
Giant STP0

Why are MTB economics; spend twice as much as you intended, but only half as much as you wish you could afford? :roll:
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  • Mr WuMr Wu Posts: 1,238
    If you can afford a carbon helmet then opt for it. Depends on how long you ride for and to a certain extent your build.

    You'll know after two/three hours of riding the weight difference! I've got a thick neck from propping in rugby so you would naturally think weight wouldn't matter but it does.

    I personally spend the extra and get the lighter when it comes to lids.
  • Mr WuMr Wu Posts: 1,238
    If you can afford a carbon helmet then opt for it. Depends on how long you ride for and to a certain extent your build.

    You'll know after two/three hours of riding the weight difference! I've got a thick neck from propping in rugby so you would naturally think weight wouldn't matter but it does.

    I personally spend the extra and get the lighter when it comes to lids.
  • bomberesquebomberesque Posts: 1,701
    hmm, perhaps borrow one and see first? Full faces are (almost by definition) less well ventilated than normal lids (not to mention heavier) and can be very uncomfortable on trail rides. Depends what you're doing though. The other thing I've found with FF is the restriction in vision ... especially if you add goggles. This can be a good thing (focusses you; less distractions) or a bad thing (where the censored did that tree dome from?); depends on you.

    Me; I wear a DOT FF (MX helmet) for DH along with full kit but an XC helm for everything else. Considering a lighter/better vented FF though as the MX helm is designed to vent at 40mph and so is hideously hot when not hooning downwards.

    and I have a sweaty head :roll:
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
  • SiggiSiggi Posts: 8
    Keep in mind captain that it has been stated by many that a full face can be dangerous if it is used without a neck brace. That is if you faceplant the fullface's jaw can push your head back and break your neck. That's why I use a xc lid. I'd rather scrape my face and be ugly than break my neck and be paralyzed (and I now about that stuff since I have a spinal cord injury already and spent weeks thinking I'd be paralyzed for the rest of my days)

    My opinion, I fullface is not a magical solution for beeing safe. Riding within ones ability is a better solution and that's what I am trying to do (although I'm not always successful :wink: )
  • xtreemxtreem Posts: 2,965
    Keep in mind captain that it has been stated by many that a full face can be dangerous if it is used without a neck brace.
    What are the chances of happening that. One in a million.
    I'm not saying that it's impossible, but still highly unlikely.

    It's like you're riding with your XC lid, fall onto your face on a pointing rock.
    The rock catches your chin while you're dragging, and rips it off your head.
    Nasty, don't want to think about it.
  • SiggiSiggi Posts: 8
    Xtreem wrote:
    What are the chances of happening that. One in a million.

    Very true Xtreem, it is unlikely. But xtreemly severe if it does happen. I am just saying it's a factor in the pros and cons of fullface vs lids and for my riding I prefer a lid. In the end this depends on the rider, his style, the terrain etc.

    My point was for Captainfly's pros and cons list and maybe he thinks its a factor and maybe not. Its his choice...

    Be careful out there! :D
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    With carbon fibre it's all down to the lay-up of the sheeting.

    Carbon fibre sheet is woven, and depending upon how it is done it can be made stronger in one direction that the other. A good designer will use these strengths and weaknes to their advantage, as the helmet shell can be made stronger is some areas and lighter in others.

    With glass fibre matting, it is a random mix of short fibres and therefore to gain strength you have to make it thicker all over.

    This is where the weight thing comes in - it's not all down to the actual weight of the material. A glass-fibre shell will tend to be of uniform thickness where a carbon fibre sheel may be thin is some less critical areas and thicker in others.

    Whether it is of any benefit though is a moot point. You pays your money and makes your choice.
    Give a home to a retired Greyhound. Tia Greyhound Rescue
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  • Will SnowWill Snow Posts: 1,154
    if you crash every day i would bother spending loads on a helmet, youll have to bin it not long after getting it, that might be worth considering. chain reaction often has fairly cheap (£40) full facers.
    i ride a hardtail
  • tom34tom34 Posts: 24
    [quote="Siggi"That is if you faceplant the fullface's jaw can push your head back and break your neck. [/quote]

    Interesting point but just wondering has that ever happened?

    I don't have a full face mountain bike helmet but have crashed in my full face motorcycle helmet. My forehead was pushed forwards and compressed the foam and my face was just slammed into the mouthguard.
  • I have a Fox Rampage fibreglass lid and it's fine for all day use.
    I've worn it for 8 hours in Morzine and there's been no problems with my neck, it felt fine.
    Yes, carbon is a ball hair lighter, but there's not really much in it IMO.

    Carbon fibre?
    Yes, if you can afford it, but it's no big deal if you can't. Fibreglass is just fine.

    PS - I've seen the aftermath of a faceplant in a p*sspot lid and my Fox Flux has lain unused from that day on. Full Face for me every time.
  • Mr WuMr Wu Posts: 1,238
    I think youll probably find that full face's will actually stop the amount of movement and travel, rather than say a normal lid, if you think about the way people tend to come off and land, in order for a FF to snap your neck or indeed damage it you would have to be going at a considerable pace, in which case neither a FF or a normal lid would help you much. Dare i say that the majority of people wont be doing break neck speeds, sure theyll be tanking it, but for average joe, i.e me, who most common falls usually end up belly first or rolling onto the shoulder, a ff will stop you losing teeth and the bottom half of your face.

    again, its all down to how you ride and where etc. I personally wear mine anytime i get on my bike. Ive been off on trails, roads and allsorts of places, mostly my own fault for being a nob, but nonetheless, its saved my face and head from injury. Id never wear anything else.
  • captainflycaptainfly Posts: 1,001
    Siggi wrote:
    Keep in mind captain that it has been stated by many that a full face can be dangerous if it is used without a neck brace. That is if you faceplant the fullface's jaw can push your head back and break your neck. That's why I use a xc lid. I'd rather scrape my face and be ugly than break my neck and be paralyzed (and I now about that stuff since I have a spinal cord injury already and spent weeks thinking I'd be paralyzed for the rest of my days)

    My opinion, I fullface is not a magical solution for beeing safe. Riding within ones ability is a better solution and that's what I am trying to do (although I'm not always successful :wink: )

    Am I used to ride a motorcycle with a full face helmet and no nect protection :o

    I always intended to go full face it was just the justifying the cost when I had never crashed under pedal power, but a face full of mud get you thinking. I just wondered if going superlight is worth it, I generally do all mountain and dirt(mud) track stuff, fast and quick, enough for dislocated jaw or losing teeth while rolling off. It was just with the increased physical exertion of cycling does the weight make that much difference, and is there a major difference in life expectancy if you don't wreck it,
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    Mongoose Teocali
    Giant STP0

    Why are MTB economics; spend twice as much as you intended, but only half as much as you wish you could afford? :roll:
  • Lets take the THE One helmet for example:

    Composite - 1.16kg
    Carbon - 1.04kg

    It's hardly going to be the difference between feeling fresh as a daisy and feeling like youve done ten laps in an F1 car.

    Carbon is lovely, I drool over the stuff, but it's not a necessity in a FF helmet IMO, it's a luxury.
  • SDK2007SDK2007 Posts: 782
    My composite 661 Evo Legend only weighs 900g for £75 (RRP £110)

    661-evo-legend_03.jpg

    Full face helmets are designed for DH riding, so you’re only to be wearing it for 3 minutes at a time. Even a long course will only be a massive 6 minutes ;)
    So weight isn’t really an issue.


    If you’re planning to wear it around trail centers then please reconsider; it’s looks ridiculous.
  • xtreemxtreem Posts: 2,965
    Hey that's nice.
    A local guy has the Red version and it was roughly the same weight with my Strike, by feel.
  • This is why you wear full face.
    DSCF0329.jpg

    This is my mate's Bell lid after he ran out of talent at Glentress last year.
    He hobbled away with "just" a broken collar bone, but you could easily have added a broken jaw and concussion to that if he'd not been wearing a FF lid.
  • captainflycaptainfly Posts: 1,001
    Lets take the THE One helmet for example:

    Composite - 1.16kg
    Carbon - 1.04kg

    It's hardly going to be the difference between feeling fresh as a daisy and feeling like youve done ten laps in an F1 car.

    Carbon is lovely, I drool over the stuff, but it's not a necessity in a FF helmet IMO, it's a luxury.

    Cheers, this is the sort of thing I was wanting, or someone to say they have gone from one to the other,
    The 661 evo composite 900g? I couldn't find the weight of them online (doesn't mean it isn't there I know).
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    Mongoose Teocali
    Giant STP0

    Why are MTB economics; spend twice as much as you intended, but only half as much as you wish you could afford? :roll:
  • FF helmet = hot. no matter what the material, weight or ventilation.

    I wouldn't be using mine for anything other than DH or FR.... uphill would suck a big one.
  • FlenserFlenser Posts: 372
    Xtreem wrote:
    Keep in mind captain that it has been stated by many that a full face can be dangerous if it is used without a neck brace.
    What are the chances of happening that. One in a million.
    I'm not saying that it's impossible, but still highly unlikely.

    In my experience million to one chances happen nine times out of ten...
    Claud Bulter Cape Wrath D27 (2009)
    Raleigh MaxLite FS1 (2001)
  • Mr WuMr Wu Posts: 1,238
    If you’re planning to wear it around trail centers then please reconsider; it’s looks ridiculous.

    What a moronic responce, your the type of idiot that really pisses me off. Why don't you concentrate on your own riding rather than what people look like. Safety is the important thing I believe, surely a ff is better than some twunts that don't wear one at all.

    Rant over, at ease private... :-)
  • Think of your happy place, think of your happy place . . . :lol:
  • SDK2007SDK2007 Posts: 782
    captainfly wrote:
    The 661 evo composite 900g? I couldn't find the weight of them online (doesn't mean it isn't there I know).
    I've just weighed mine and it was 965g
  • SDK2007 wrote:
    captainfly wrote:
    The 661 evo composite 900g? I couldn't find the weight of them online (doesn't mean it isn't there I know).
    I've just weighed mine and it was 965g

    You must have heavy sweat.
  • SDK2007SDK2007 Posts: 782
    Mr Wu wrote:
    If you’re planning to wear it around trail centers then please reconsider; it’s looks ridiculous.

    What a moronic responce, your the type of idiot that really pisses me off. Why don't you concentrate on your own riding rather than what people look like. Safety is the important thing I believe, surely a ff is better than some twunts that don't wear one at all.

    Rant over, at ease private... :-)
    Chill dude :)

    I just find it amusing with the current trend of Trail Center FF helmet wearers.
    Just this Saturday at Coed y Brenin a guy on Scott Gambler DH bike, FF and goggles was holding me up and riding like he had never rode a bike before.

    All show and no go.

    For sure a FF is better than nothing.
  • Mr WuMr Wu Posts: 1,238
    Perhaps he hadn't? May of been his first time there? Could be one of msny things, just get on with your own ride and leave him be, he's happy how he is.

    I've been out today and I'm a little wound up, only been local ish, with a mate from work, the amount of families we spotted, on roads n not one of them had a helmet on.

    I wear a ff wherever I go, i couldn't give a shite what I look like, I'm happy and to a point safe. I was once stopped in the city center by a woman, who, let's say, had been unfortunate, I got a little defensive with her as I thought she was going to moan about me pushing my bike through her path, she actually wanted to know where I brought my helmet from as she'd recently fell off her bike and face planted onto the kerb, she looked a right mess, and fir that reason.... I'm out... Erm I mean I always wear mine.
  • I have tried using my D2 as a trail helmet but it's just too hot going uphill. I use a met parachute for trail riding now, it's like a skeleton FF and has saved me from dentistry when I've gone censored over censored . They seem to be gaining popularity, I've seen a few over the last year or so. The jaw guard looks like it won't work, but it does.

    Now if TLD could bring out a skeletal D2 or D3, I'm sure there would be a market for it.
  • captainflycaptainfly Posts: 1,001
    I have tried using my D2 as a trail helmet but it's just too hot going uphill. I use a met parachute for trail riding now, it's like a skeleton FF and has saved me from dentistry when I've gone ars* over censored . They seem to be gaining popularity, I've seen a few over the last year or so. The jaw guard looks like it won't work, but it does.

    Now if TLD could bring out a skeletal D2 or D3, I'm sure there would be a market for it.

    Yeah I was thinking the dental work to helmet cost calculation, but the MET parachute does nothing for me :roll:
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    Mongoose Teocali
    Giant STP0

    Why are MTB economics; spend twice as much as you intended, but only half as much as you wish you could afford? :roll:
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    There's better research for motorbike helmets than pushbike, for obvious reasons... But, weight's been shown to be pretty important as lighter helmets (and heads!) lead to reduced dwell time, as the complete head/helmet body has less momentum. There's basically 2 things that cause concussion and soft brain tissue damage other than penetration- the amount of acceleration/deceleration the brain suffers, and how long it suffers it for. (think of your brain as a jelly inside a saucepan, you don't need to dent the saucepan to squish the jelly)

    You can survive amazingly high acceleration for very short intervals, or lower acceleration for longer periods (still talking small fractions of a second here) but the ideal is to reduce both, and that's where a lighter helmet can help. Some tests in America showed that some helmets that transmit more force into the head (ie, are less protective) are still less likely to cause brain trauma, because they transmit that higher force for a shorter time. So, it's very complicated. But lighter = better in all cases where protection is the same, not just for comfort, and sometimes even when overall energy transmission is worse.

    Oh, heavier helmets also increase the risk of whiplash and similiar spinal trauma, though I'm told that's less of a consideration at lower speeds- that's more a motorbike thing.

    Lastly- what's the best shell, fibreglass or carbon? Neither! Believe it or not, cheap plastic shells routinely test better than fibreglass for structural integrity and impact protection. Fibreglass and carbon helmets tend to be built better otherwise, but the move to fibreglass was mainly fashion led not tech led (and also, being more cynical, because it's easier to build a "test-passing" helmet from fibreglass than plastic, if you choose to design your helmet just to test well for SNELL and SHARP, rather than to actually protect better)
    Uncompromising extremist
  • Arai, manufacturer of arguably the best motorcycle helmets on planet Earth don't make their flagship RX-7 GP from carbon, Shoei manufacturers of arguably the second best motorcycle helmets on planet Earth make their flagship X-Spirit from a mix of fibreglass and carbon.

    Horses for courses, but I still reckon there's censored all wrong with good old fashioned fibreglass. If Lotus can build an Elise body out of it then I'm happy with a helmet made of it.
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