Enduro Full Face Helmets

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11/21/2018 9:03 AM

I'm in the market to go full on full face. Looking for some honest opinions and if anyone, unfortunately, has taken any hard hits with some of the options out there. First off, safety is key to me. I've had around 10 concussions in my short 28 years. That's why I chose the 6D half helmet earlier this year when I got back into riding and honestly, I've never really been sold on MIPS. However, as my skills and speed have progressed this year, I'm starting to feel unsafe in the half helmet. Lets hear what you run, why, and what you think so far.

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11/21/2018 10:35 AM

I'm currently running the Super 3R. I'm really enjoying it as a lid for day to day trail rides and as a full face on super hot park days where my D3 is just too much its amazing and i feel confident in it. I've taken a hit to the side with it as well.

However, I have friends with the Switch Blade and Super DH. The MIPS in the Super DH is one of the best ive seen and the mouth piece is confidence inspiring. But I do find both the Super's mouth pieces are pretty large and in charge to carry around if you're trying to ditch the backpack at all. The switchblade seems to have that solved although isn't as venty.

I haven't tried any of the newer super vented non transformable helmets yet

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11/21/2018 11:54 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/21/2018 11:55 AM

It would be nice to be able to have a quiver of helmets. I've been debating getting one of the new Troy Lee super vented full faces for some of the riding we do around here. I definitely feel more confident when wearing my D3 in enduro races and practice (in good ways, not 'let me just send everything with no regard for my body' etc...) so i think they make sense. I'm pretty sold on MIPS so maybe im just a marketeers dream.
edit: all that to say, i would steer away from the removable chin piece ones. I think they will be obsolete in a few years.

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11/21/2018 12:36 PM

Super DH here. I like have the option to remove the chin bar for more mellow rides. I am a believer is MIPS as well; especially Spherical MIPS.

That being said, I do think there is something to the dedicated full face enduro helmet. The new Leatt looks good, but sounds like it runs hotter than say, the Fox Proframe.

Plenty of choices to make that's for sure.

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11/21/2018 12:59 PM

I should retract my statement, I do believe in MIPS, however, I think helmet companies can do much better. When comparing side by side to the 6D, I don't even think it's close in terms of safety. To my untrained eye, it looks like the 6D design can take far greater impacts and still function as designed whereas the MIPS looks like the layers could sandwich the MIPS piece and render it useless. I would love to see this as a statistic, something like, "Redirects rotational energies up to "x" forces." (I'm just an accountant, don't tease my science lingo!) I think in a test like that, we would see how much better something like the 6D is.

Also, when looking at the Bell moto helmets, their most expensive helmet doesn't even offer MIPS, rather it's their own FLEX system. Seeing this also makes me think there are better options out there if Bell isn't offering it in their top of the line helmet.

The Bell Super DH does look impressive, I'm just not quite keen on a chin bar that is designed to come off. I'm sure Bell has tested this extensively but I'm just not there. Right now I'm leaning towards the Fox Proframe but want to look more into the Leatt as well and would rather support a company like this thinking outside the box. 6D just needs to come out with an enduro full face already, TAKE MY MONEY!

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11/21/2018 1:07 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/21/2018 1:16 PM

Side note, these visors look so stupid on half these helmets. But, I said safety was key, so I'll look past it. Shouldn't be hard if you know what I mean.

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11/21/2018 1:24 PM

I picked up (physically picked up, not purchased) a TLD Stage and it is insanely lightweight. That's my next helmet, period. I doubt I'll even miss the half helmet except perhaps on really hot days.

As for MIPS, I spoke to an Arai rep about that product recently. We were on the subject of motorcycle helmets, but it was a notable conversation. I was interested to hear why they haven't invested in a "next-gen" style motorcycle helmet liner, and their take on it was thought-provoking. He didn't say MIPS was a gimmick, but he did note that helmets with angular, bulky attachments are much more likely to cause rotational energies in the first place. Those energies can be transmitted to the wearer. (Arai's philosophy has always been to produce more roundly-shaped helmets.) I guess their belief is that a well-shaped shell is still a better preventative feature than a trick liner.

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11/21/2018 1:41 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/21/2018 1:43 PM

I am a similar situation as you (minus the number of concussions... probably) and I am also having second/third/fourth thoughts about the different helmets.
One thing that I think is key in the Fox and Bell helmets is the multiple foam densities being used, as I think that will really help with those small impacts. As much as we wear helmets to save us from that major bail, a heavy angular DH full face can really whip your head around and maybe cause even more trauma than a half-shell. Note: I have nothing solid to back that up on, but it would be similar reasoning as to why you wouldn't wear a full on motorcycle helmet for DH: it's designed for a different kind of impact and the extra weight is just asking to rattle your brain and neck.
As for removable vs non-removable chin bar, I don't know which is better. The Bell and Giro convertible helmets have a more solid appearance with the chin bar on, but they just can't physically be as solid as an integrated one (I assume). However, is the Fox Proframe's massive holes really any better?
MIPS spherical does seem to be the best way to integrate MIPS, but I don't know many companies using it in a full face other than Bell at the moment. There are other constructions out there that may provide better protection under certain scenarios, but it's hard to tell without a rigorous independent test and I don't think our current standards do enough for this.
I think I may pick up a Proframe because my local 'mountain' basically requires you to race enduro (not really, but it's a significant pedal from the chair to anything fun). I really like the MIPS spherical that is integrated into the Bell Super DH and would like being able to have one helmet, but I am unsure about the removable chin bar and if you crash you would need to replace one (or both) part(s) of a very expensive helmet. Every week or so I flip between thinking one is better and then the other!
Edit: Also, make sure you try them on! I know a few people who can't work with the Bell Super 3R because the chin bar was too short for their face. In that sense, helmets like the TLD Stage and Fox Proframe would fit more like a 'true' DH helmet.

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11/21/2018 4:21 PM

I've been using a Proframe for about 15 months now and it's become the helmet I wear most often. Most of my riding is dirt road up and aggressive trail down without much traversing. I also have a TLD A1 for mellower trails and just general bike use, and a TLD D3 for bike parks, DH racing, shuttling, etc. Some random thoughts on the Proframe:

- Ventilation is great and the liner feels more like a half shell with cheekpads than a typical fullface. I rarely take it off on climbs anymore (Washington weather) and have used it on huge rides with no issues.
- It feels very sturdy all around and has plenty of crush zone. I haven't had any serious head hits in it but feel safe wearing it.
- If I don't have to do significant pedaling or I'm racing I'd still rather wear the D3. It just feels more solid (I think largely because it muffles noise better) and I think the hard shell will withstand minor damage better than the Proframe.
- I'm not sold on MIPS and the Proframe's implementation is particularly bad. The brow pads tend to shift around and expose a sharp edge of the MIPS liner that can range from annoying to painful
- Without goggles in place MIPS lets the helmet shift around a lot

I'm completely sold on the idea of well vented, fixed chinbar, DH certified helmets. The safest helmet is the one you're willing to wear, and the Proframe got me wearing a fullface more often. I'm happy with it but when it needs replacing I'll be shopping around some of the newer options like the Leatt DBX 4.0, TLD Stage, Bell Super DH (not a fan of removable chinbars but this one seems ok), or even something like the POC Coron Air Spin that seems to have pretty good ventilation for a full on DH helmet.

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11/21/2018 6:17 PM

Eben wrote:

I've been using a Proframe for about 15 months now and it's become the helmet I wear most often. Most of my riding is dirt road up and aggressive trail down without much traversing. I also have a TLD A1 for mellower trails and just general bike use, and a TLD D3 for bike parks, DH racing, shuttling, etc. Some random thoughts on the Proframe:

- Ventilation is great and the liner feels more like a half shell with cheekpads than a typical fullface. I rarely take it off on climbs anymore (Washington weather) and have used it on huge rides with no issues.
- It feels very sturdy all around and has plenty of crush zone. I haven't had any serious head hits in it but feel safe wearing it.
- If I don't have to do significant pedaling or I'm racing I'd still rather wear the D3. It just feels more solid (I think largely because it muffles noise better) and I think the hard shell will withstand minor damage better than the Proframe.
- I'm not sold on MIPS and the Proframe's implementation is particularly bad. The brow pads tend to shift around and expose a sharp edge of the MIPS liner that can range from annoying to painful
- Without goggles in place MIPS lets the helmet shift around a lot

I'm completely sold on the idea of well vented, fixed chinbar, DH certified helmets. The safest helmet is the one you're willing to wear, and the Proframe got me wearing a fullface more often. I'm happy with it but when it needs replacing I'll be shopping around some of the newer options like the Leatt DBX 4.0, TLD Stage, Bell Super DH (not a fan of removable chinbars but this one seems ok), or even something like the POC Coron Air Spin that seems to have pretty good ventilation for a full on DH helmet.

I’m with ya on that. I have a d3 and an a1 and I am looking to add an enduro full face. I tried on the proframe and I like the fit and weight. I do wonder about the light half shell type padding in it. For that reason I was considering the tld stage. No that I see the Leatt review , posted today , I think I may prefer that. It looks like it has the improvements I’d want. I like the idea of thicker more comfortable pads and it looks a little more sturdy than both the stage and proframe. Lots of features on it. Close enough in weight as well as air flow, it sounds . I hear different negative reports on the removable chin bar helmets from giro and bell. Not sure I trust the chin bar on those

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11/22/2018 1:41 AM

I have a proframe, a rampage pro for dh with a giro montaro trail.
The proframe is pretty good at heat management, if it’s really hot I pull out the cheek pads for the ups. I have no issues with the mips personaly but it’s a little annoying that the visor is fixed position sometimes ie running your goggles backwards. Would be very interested in a stage tho.

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11/22/2018 6:39 AM

I have the proframe and really like it for the weight, you can wear it for ages without issue. I had to wear a full face for extended periods in enduro races previously, and I always ended up with neck pain and cramps, dont think this would happen with the proframe.

As others have said, I --personally/subjectively-- can't see how the MIPS would help anything in a crash, and the forehead padding can be incredibly uncomfortable if it folds the wrong way when you put it on due to the MIPS layer digging into your skull (it just takes a quick readjustment to solve).

I would try a proframe or TLD stage to see which fits you better and go with that. I tried a few detachable chin helmets in shops and found them very flimsy with the exception of the giro switchblade, but the giro didn't fit my head at all.

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11/22/2018 8:34 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/22/2018 9:08 AM

My local trails are mostly hard XC but there are sections on every trail that pass over jagged rocks and serious drops. If I land on my face there it’s not going to be pretty. I’ve considered buying a removable chin bar helmet but am I really going to ride around with it in my pack and put it on during the rowdy parts? Most folks Ive asked said no, they never bring the chin bar unless they’re riding enduro etc. Then there’s the stigma of wearing a full face on regular trails. If I’m the only person on the trail with a full face helmet I’m going to feel pretty squidly. I think everyone knows that they would be safer with a full face helmet but it’s going to take some improved designs and opinion leaders in the industry to drive the movement to light weight, full face trail helmets. As consumers get used to seeing Pro riders in the media wearing full face trail helmets they will begin to adopt the new standard.




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11/22/2018 12:05 PM

For me, the fact I have to go to work on Monday and I'm going to need my head means I love the added protection of the Fox Proframe. It's very comfortable minus the MIPS comments mentioned already. Its also lightweight and breathes well. Almost all of my friends now have them and none of us give a moment's consideration to how we may look to other harder riders going half shell.

I've about 3 other half shell helmets but the Proframe is what I go to 8/10, especially to new or less frequently ridden locations.

The new Leatt looks great and I'll probably consider that or another just incase but I'm avoiding the detachable chinbar ones. I've heard and seen enough to put me off.

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11/22/2018 12:38 PM

I've had/have the following helmets in this category over the past few years:

MET Parachute
Bell Super 2R
Bell Super 3R
Giro Switchblade
Bell Super DH
Fox Proframe


Also a Giro disciple (regular DH full face). Thoughts on each:

MET Parachute: very comfortable, light weight, very goofy looking. Poor chin/jaw coverage, still got face rash when crashing with it twice before I totaled it.

Bell Super 2R: loved the removable chinbar, great helmet. Needed to pull these plastic pads out of the inside to make it fit. No huge crashes, wanted a more secure feeling helmet for Enduro racing so got a:

Giro Switchblade: this helmet sucked. Very uncomfortable to get on, heavy, hot. Took a digger wearing it at a bike park and the chin bar came off (on review the plastic clips on the upper shell where the metal arms of the chinbar clip into bent and broke) allowing my face to drag on the ground and get some good rash. Guess it saved me from a broken jaw though. My least favorite of all those I've tried.

Bell Super 3R: got after my foray with the Giro. No huge difference from the 2R. Good helmet overall, got dinged up from low hanging branches, etc. over a year of ownership so replaced it with the:

Bell Super DH: noticeably larger and slightly heavier than my 2R/3R. Much more secure feeling with the chinbar on but also rather uncomfortable. Chin bar noticeably more difficult to attach than with the 2R/3R. Use this mostly for my halfshell now but still bring the chinbar along if doing a big climb/big descent type ride. But uncomfortable to wear in full face mode for prolonged periods so got the:

Fox Proframe: favorite of the enduro/light full face helmets so far. Honestly I notice very little difference in ventilation compared to the Super DH in halfshell mode, and it's loads lighter/more comfortable/better ventilated than the Super DH in full face mode. Not as secure feeling overall as the Super DH, so I use my Giro true full face for bike parks or more gnarly enduro races.


Hope this helps. For what it's worth all helmets have done a good job saving my noggin when crashing in them.

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11/22/2018 7:37 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/22/2018 7:38 PM

My main lids now, are A1, Stage and D3 for when i've got the V10 on DH trails. Yeah, I work for TLD and worked on the development of all the said helmets. But, speaking honestly, I thought the Stage would be something i'd use rarely...I figured i'd go open face, or my D3, didnt think id need an in between helmet. So, as we got to testing the STAGE I needed to get some miles in it....actually liked it and used it for more rides than I thought. The weight (light) is what got me hooked, I have a weak ass pencil neck, anything over 700 grams was the limit...then we got to testing in the lab and it was impressive.
Anyway, if you have any questions about the Stage, holler....otherwise, hit them down votes, its my thing around here.

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11/22/2018 11:54 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/22/2018 11:54 PM

Just some random thoughts to highlight that helmet are half (or less) safety and half fashion.
I ride the same trails with my DH bike and my trail bike. I wear half lid on trail bike and full face on DH. Hell, I don't even wear a helmet when I'm riding around the neighborhood. The safest is probably to be on the DH bike but I feel compelled to wear the GEARZZZ.. If I wear a half lid on dh bike or full face on a trail bike it doesn't feel right.
Racing Enduro (and climbing) with a full face on any hot day is torture, I got that but i can't get behind wearing these lightweight full face on regular trail (not racing). It just looks stupid.
From the bystander:
- it looks like you re a kook and don't know what you are doing if you need this level of protection.
- it looks aggressive, intimidating and unfriendly to the other trail users, what kind of speed and what kind of control do you have on public traisl if you need this kind of equipment.
- We could man-up and assume a little bit of risk in our life, wtf, if we really don't want to be hurt maybe we should not ride in the first place

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11/23/2018 6:50 AM

Victorise wrote:

Just some random thoughts to highlight that helmet are half (or less) safety and half fashion.
I ride the same trails with my DH bike and my trail bike. I wear half lid on trail bike and full face on DH. Hell, I don't even wear a helmet when I'm riding around the neighborhood. The safest is probably to be on the DH bike but I feel compelled to wear the GEARZZZ.. If I wear a half lid on dh bike or full face on a trail bike it doesn't feel right.
Racing Enduro (and climbing) with a full face on any hot day is torture, I got that but i can't get behind wearing these lightweight full face on regular trail (not racing). It just looks stupid.
From the bystander:
- it looks like you re a kook and don't know what you are doing if you need this level of protection.
- it looks aggressive, intimidating and unfriendly to the other trail users, what kind of speed and what kind of control do you have on public traisl if you need this kind of equipment.
- We could man-up and assume a little bit of risk in our life, wtf, if we really don't want to be hurt maybe we should not ride in the first place

I agree, I ride in some pretty tech and rocky terrain with some lines that are fairly high consequence, yet I see almost no one wearing a full face (of any sort). I would argue that if any place calls for an enduro full face it is Grand Junction but I don't think I will be getting one any time soon.

A good enduro full face will help in the event of a crash but it won't 100% save your jaw or your head just like MIPS won't prevent you from getting a concussion. It will help in a certain percentage of possible crash scenarios yes, but the odds that you will experience one of these crash scenarios is always changing and never predictable. So why always prepare for the worst just in case? After all, how high can your confidence be as a rider if you have a ton of gear on??

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11/23/2018 7:47 AM

Ah yes, the classic "plastic courage" argument. While I can certainly understand a newer rider getting psyched out from "having to" wear the full Ninja turtle suit to ride park, I personally feel more confident riding gnarly stuff with kneepads, elbow pads, full face on. For the record, I'm not trying to launch a discussion on when it's appropriate to wear full face or not. Wear what makes you comfortable. OP just asked for opinions on the different lighter duty full faces available

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11/23/2018 7:47 AM

Victorise wrote:

Just some random thoughts to highlight that helmet are half (or less) safety and half fashion.
I ride the same trails with my DH bike and my trail bike. I wear half lid on trail bike and full face on DH. Hell, I don't even wear a helmet when I'm riding around the neighborhood. The safest is probably to be on the DH bike but I feel compelled to wear the GEARZZZ.. If I wear a half lid on dh bike or full face on a trail bike it doesn't feel right.
Racing Enduro (and climbing) with a full face on any hot day is torture, I got that but i can't get behind wearing these lightweight full face on regular trail (not racing). It just looks stupid.
From the bystander:
- it looks like you re a kook and don't know what you are doing if you need this level of protection.
- it looks aggressive, intimidating and unfriendly to the other trail users, what kind of speed and what kind of control do you have on public traisl if you need this kind of equipment.
- We could man-up and assume a little bit of risk in our life, wtf, if we really don't want to be hurt maybe we should not ride in the first place

I don't think wearing a full face makes you any less of a man than the next. Getting stitches on your face from a low speed fall is not only annoying but is expensive. The same could be said for those who wear eye protection or not. It baffles me that so many people ride trails and road without wearing something to protect their eyes. I don't know about you, but I need both my eyes to function proper in order to make a living.

I'd rather not risk my eyes or my face to a fall. I risk enough as it is just driving to the park. I mean look around; everyone is distracted while driving.

I can sort of understand the bystander aspect, but that is small potatoes. Just say hello or hi and be friendly, no intimidation there.

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11/23/2018 8:16 AM

Thank you all for the great info. After reading through the comments, I'm definitely leaning towards the TLD Stage helmet. I looked into Leatt's turbine tech and from my web research, wasn't terribly impressed. It looks similar to 6D, but instead of the turbines being between two layers of foam, it sits directly on your head. Comparing that to MIPS, I would feel more confident with MIPS. The comfort issues with the Proframe were a deal killer for me. I was leaning towards the Super DH as well because I liked that fact it has a dial system for that perfect fit. That is one feature I have really enjoyed with the 6D, loosen the dial for air flow on the way up, dial it in for the ride down. But after reading rpearce1475's post and even though it was a different brand, I will not be buying a helmet where the chinbar is designed to detach. Also, I'm a fanny pack bro, so I'd be keeping the chinbar on at all times and Super DH looked to be the worst for breathing. Lastly, I dropped 6D an email asking if they had anything in the works. Highly doubt they would tell me but hey, why not try? The fact that they're dropping prices on all their ATB-1T helmets gives me a sliver of hope that something may be dropping in the future.

Victorise, you're just in a different place in life than me, man. I've been chasing adrenaline rush's since my first memories, it's embedded in me and will not be going away anytime soon. But I also have a 2 year old to provide for and yes, I'm taking risks as it is riding bikes, but I'd also become a shitty dad if I didn't get out and recharge my soul. Last time I checked, top level pros get hurt too, and they have way more control than I do. One millisecond in lapse of concentration can mean the difference between riding 100% in control, and going face first into a jagged rock. Not to mention mechanicals that can be out of your control. As far as looking like a kook, I already said in this thread that I am accepting that as it's my opinion that the visors on half these helmets look ridiculous, including the TLD Stage (sorry Stickman, I will graciously accept your down vote for that one). Safety is the concern, not looks. I also go out of my way to give a friendly, "Hi, how are you?" to EVERYONE I pass on the trail. Common courtesy and just being a descent human being is what will keep our trails open to bikes, not what you're wearing.

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11/24/2018 8:48 AM

Hit and run driver destroyed my face 2 years ago, so almost all of my off road riding is done with a full face (Bell Super 2R.) Since its been 2 years, it’s time to replace the Bell, so I appreciate the feedback from those who have tried other light FF.
As to the impression given while wearing a FF on trails that I have ridden multiple times on a singlespeed CX bike, I would rather not risk the compromised structural integrity of the front of my head, but that’s just me. I do feel like a doofus sometimes, but the nice thing about being in your late 40s is that you realize that adults riding bikes in dirt are kinda silly anyway, so what’s another layer of dorkiness?
As the ED of our local trail advocacy group, I go out of my way to yield and be friendly to other trail users, but I do think that the impression that hikers/dog walkers/trail runners have is that I’m going to blow right by them with the FF.

Los

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11/24/2018 3:40 PM

Victorise wrote:

Just some random thoughts to highlight that helmet are half (or less) safety and half fashion.
I ride the same trails with my DH bike and my trail bike. I wear half lid on trail bike and full face on DH. Hell, I don't even wear a helmet when I'm riding around the neighborhood. The safest is probably to be on the DH bike but I feel compelled to wear the GEARZZZ.. If I wear a half lid on dh bike or full face on a trail bike it doesn't feel right.
Racing Enduro (and climbing) with a full face on any hot day is torture, I got that but i can't get behind wearing these lightweight full face on regular trail (not racing). It just looks stupid.
From the bystander:
- it looks like you re a kook and don't know what you are doing if you need this level of protection.
- it looks aggressive, intimidating and unfriendly to the other trail users, what kind of speed and what kind of control do you have on public traisl if you need this kind of equipment.
- We could man-up and assume a little bit of risk in our life, wtf, if we really don't want to be hurt maybe we should not ride in the first place

I'm not cool and I do not know what I'm doing.
I might as well wear the uniform with my Met Parachute.

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11/26/2018 7:20 AM

Losifer wrote:

Hit and run driver destroyed my face 2 years ago, so almost all of my off road riding is done with a full face (Bell Super 2R.) Since its been 2 years, it’s time to replace the Bell, so I appreciate the feedback from those who have tried other light FF.
As to the impression given while wearing a FF on trails that I have ridden multiple times on a singlespeed CX bike, I would rather not risk the compromised structural integrity of the front of my head, but that’s just me. I do feel like a doofus sometimes, but the nice thing about being in your late 40s is that you realize that adults riding bikes in dirt are kinda silly anyway, so what’s another layer of dorkiness?
As the ED of our local trail advocacy group, I go out of my way to yield and be friendly to other trail users, but I do think that the impression that hikers/dog walkers/trail runners have is that I’m going to blow right by them with the FF.

Los

Hey guy, Also broke the crap out of my face in a car accident. Im almost 10 years past my last surgery and my face has hardened up considerably, feel like I could get punched in the face and shrug it off lol.

Takes a long time, but it'll get stronger/less sensitive.

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11/27/2018 10:40 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/27/2018 10:41 AM

I've been running the Proframe for the 2018 year. Previously, I've only used heavier DH-specific helmets. I've never tried the convertible ones because I really don't like gizmotronic stuff.

You would find the Proframe significantly lighter and airier than a full face normally feels. The modular pad sizes that come with it are very nice as we have differently proportioned features.

I would never consider the proframe for a climb in hot weather. When we have to climb in freezing weather, it's actually nice to have it on. If you can handle it on a legitimate hot summer day, you're a massochist.

The downsides are its loud, really loud. Every branch you tap with it is a snare drum in your ear. Also, if you wear it with glasses vs goggles (we have 30+ min gravity runs and the goggles get irritating) it has ram-air intake along your temples and into your ear. If you are riding through "buggy" areas with glasses on the bugs will get in your ears very frequently.

That new Stage looks pretty sweet, and the modular pad scheme comes with those as far as I've read. Might try it next.

cheers

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