Mountain biking is one of the extreme sports, and a quite dangerous one too. Strangely, most of the bikers do not think twice before choosing one of the full face mountain bike helmets from the market shelves. The trauma of a head injury during mountain biking is not something to take lightly. Thus, it becomes imperative to choose the best full face helmet for your next adventure.
Why choose full face mountain bike helmets?
There are numerous styles of helmets in the market, and yet, experts recommend choosing full face mountain bike helmets. The chin bar of the helmet gives 360-degree protection to the head. Thus, beyond safety from the crash, any contact will the terrain would be null. Compared to other models, the full face helmets come with extra shock-absorbing padding.
Why bikers overlook full face mountain bike helmets?
Although there are several advantages of choosing full face mountain bike helmets, the bikers prefer traditional cross-country helmets or half-shell helmets. The main reason is the weight, as a full face helmet weighs considerably higher than any other model in this genre. The second issue is ventilation. Bikers find full face helmets to be comfortable only for a short duration. For longer rides, they prefer half shell.
However, today, we have hybrid helmets that transform between half-shell and full-face, and the ergonomic full face helmets weigh less due to modern material blends.
Perfect material for the full face mountain bike helmets
Unidirectional carbon material or aviation-grade Kevlar is the trending material for both lightweight and safety factors. There are numerous grades of polymer material-based helmet in the market. Although polymer is not as lightweight as Kevlar, it is better than the traditional models. Moreover, the polymer is cost-effective too.
Hybrid full face mountain bike helmets
Hybrid mountain bike helmets might look like an easy option to choose. But, it is important to check the locking mechanism of the chin bar. It should not go loose during impact. Moreover, it should be easier to detach and attach without too many mechanisms.
Protection for the eyes
The protection for the eyes is something that most people overlook while buying a mountain bike helmet. It is common for bikers to wear goggles during the mountain bike ride. Thus, the helmet should have enough space to accommodate the goggles without congestion. The helmet should have a grip pad, groove, or at least a clip to hold the goggles in place during extreme rugged terrain travel.
Mountain bike helmet with ancillary protection
One should, indeed, be optimistic while taking up a mountain biking adventure. However, it does not hurt to be a little realistic. What happens when an accident occurs? Medics will first remove the helmet to check for a concussion or first aid. In such cases, the helmet’s chin bar should be easier to remove. The modern helmets come with an inflation system, which protects the neck during such injury. If you are a downhill rider, it is very essential to pick a helmet with neck braces, even though they are quite heavier than the other options.
The ventilation feature of the helmet
While picking a helmet, ventilation might not seem important. However, if the rider gets uncomfortable during the drive, he is more likely to remove the helmet. Thus, ventilation is quite essential. It is also not a healthy option for your hair or skin to be in a sweaty enclosed space for an extended period. So, it seems advantageous to choose a helmet with very high ventilation features.
But, vents can allow debris to enter the helmet, which could be irritating or even make the user lose concentration on the road. The second factor to consider is the weather. A summer-time biking experience would be better with a highly-ventilated helmet, but it could be harsh during a winter adventure.
The full face helmet with a perfect fit
Beyond perfect fit, the helmet needs straps to keep the helmet in place during a rugged terrain trip. It should not be extremely tight and must have padding for shock absorption and moisture absorption. The straps should have fit adjusters to tighten the shell. The helmet comes in different styles and shapes, and it is important to choose the one that fits your head perfectly.
The brand of the helmet
There are numerous brands in the market, and it is wise to choose a reliable one. The top brands are indeed expensive than generic ones. Since it is literally a matter of life or death, it is better to choose one with a good grade and quality, even if you need to shell a few extra bucks. Check for helmets with accreditation and certifications. Read through the reviews from avid bikers to learn about the helmets they use.
When is it time to buy a new helmet?
How long should one use a helmet before replacing it? In general, a helmet’s life is just five years. However, this is for standard usage. A helmet’s life could drastically decrease with wear and tear, damage, and quality of the strap. It is best to replace your mountain biking helmet at the first sign of wear and tear in the straps. Avid bikers tend to replace the helmets every three years. If you are a vacation biker (bikes once in a while), the helmet is effective for up to seven years.
If the padding inside the helmet is dirty beyond cleaning, damaged, or worn off, it is best to change the helmet. The same goes for goggle grips too.
Is guarantee or warranty worth the price?
Most of the warranty expires even if you drop the helmet once. Even the tiniest crack in the plastic would render the warranty null. A guarantee for a reliable manufacturer would be a good criterion for choosing a helmet, but in most cases, a warranty is just a marketing word.