Three-Quarter Lids: Gimmick or Cool?

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9/27/2019 11:04 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/28/2019 5:19 PM

We used to just have two styles of helmet: half-lid and full face. My friend, Jon, would often joke about how heavy we would get on our trail bikes with so little protection. Today's riders (and brands) are wising up.

Lately, the 3/4 Lid has been on the rise. We have offerings from Fox (Dropframe), Giro (Tyrant), and possibly others in the pipe. Part of me likes the idea of more coverage/safety and part of me couldn't be bothered to spring for one.

What do you, oh insightful Vital community, think about the run of new lids? Is the coverage worth it without the chin-bar? Are these a great compromise or a great gimmick?




flashback



Where do you stand on the 3/4 Helmet?

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9/27/2019 12:03 PM

I'd likely go one of the super light full faces if i wanted more protection...

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9/27/2019 1:54 PM

It is sweet! I get the safety feeling of an full since i feel that it is covering my whole head, but the openness of a half lid. And that gives me confidence. I had similar thougts as you paint with the speed that you can get on a trailbike/enduro. Dont know the real diffenrence in protection vs a halflid, specially when i see a lot of pros running halflids at mach speed. But i do think i might need more protection than the pros.

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9/27/2019 7:23 PM

Back in the 80's BMX we had similar style helmets like ECHO, JT, and Bell ProPlus models. I had and used them only for competition and when riding vert. I can see myself wearing one of these new models, but not for DH use. Half lids seem to rotate on the noggin too much in crashes, the 3/4 appears to eliminate some of that movement with more coverage on the head.

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9/28/2019 9:25 AM

Would be a plus if they did something to combat wind noise.

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9/28/2019 10:41 AM

I rather like them. I have a Giro Switchblade that I wear as a 3/4 for when the weather is cool, but not cold. It works well for that and gives me a bit more protection. The newer helmets are built more with ventilation in mind though, so the temperature benefit/disadvantage is likely lessened.

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9/28/2019 11:29 AM

I just took a hack saw to an old full face.

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9/28/2019 3:40 PM

I love my drop frame. I've worn it all summer. A bit hotter but the added protection is worth it for me.

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9/28/2019 4:18 PM

Love the Dropframe

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9/28/2019 4:43 PM

It’s almost October and still in the low 90s in The South. No thanks.

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9/28/2019 6:21 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/28/2019 6:22 PM




If you want to look like Cousin Eddie, go ahead and get on the 3/4 bandwagon.
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9/28/2019 6:58 PM

Where's Bryceland now...

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9/28/2019 9:16 PM

Just use your motorbike helmet.

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9/29/2019 12:11 AM

I think they’re a great idea. I wear a ff almost exclusively and on the rare occasions I do go out on a trail ride putting my half lid on feels like putting a wet flannel on my head.

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9/29/2019 7:58 AM

Just go Ronny Mac style

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9/29/2019 8:44 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/29/2019 12:27 PM



More protection the better as long as my head does not get too hot.
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9/29/2019 9:49 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/29/2019 9:51 AM

The notion of "I will take the added protection"...I do not get it.
I see a lot of racers and consumers that have suffered accidents where they have hit their head, not once have I said with a half shell "Damn, if they only had their ears covered". So its 'perceived' protection IMO.
Added heat and weight, why not just wear a proper lightweight full time full face like a TLD Stage, Proframe, etc...?
I think it's pretty gimmicky, but ain't hatin' on anyone who runs one, I know a guy who loves his, he's riding more, so F it, whatever it takes to get people out on their bikes.

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9/29/2019 10:14 AM

Very few people look cool on a bike to non mountain bikers so honestly just wear what makes you feel safe

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9/29/2019 11:08 AM

I still wear my open face D2 when I’m sessioning the short little jump trail near my house, but man, I’d so much rather it were TLD Stage helmet instead.

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9/29/2019 12:42 PM

Rather have a chin bar, preferably one with an open mouth port so I can actually breathe without restriction, and one that's tougher than the Proframe and Stage's.

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9/29/2019 1:47 PM

JimEG wrote:

Where's Bryceland now...

Highland it seems. Still rockin' it.

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9/29/2019 6:51 PM

Scrub wrote:

Back in the 80's BMX we had similar style helmets like ECHO, JT, and Bell ProPlus models. I had and used them only for competition and when riding vert. I can see myself wearing one of these new models, but not for DH use. Half lids seem to rotate on the noggin too much in crashes, the 3/4 appears to eliminate some of that movement with more coverage on the head.

So you would rather have that force transferred to your neck vs the helmet moving?

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9/29/2019 8:24 PM

MarcusBrody wrote:

I rather like them. I have a Giro Switchblade that I wear as a 3/4 for when the weather is cool, but not cold. It works well for that and gives me a bit more protection. The newer helmets are built more with ventilation in mind though, so the temperature benefit/disadvantage is likely lessened.

I can imagine it being somewhat useful in the more temperate regions of the world. Out here in the hot and humid tropics, it's really more of a fashion-over-function gimmick to me.

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9/29/2019 8:28 PM

Three years ago yesterday, I was almost killed by a hit and run driver while riding home from working at the bike shop. Basically broke all the bones on the front of my head, split my face from an inch above my eyebrows to my chin.
After 8 surgeries, i wear a full face on pretty much every ride (Bell Super,) but I don’t really see the point of these 3/4 helmets.
If I wasn’t as concerned about the compromised structural integrity of my face, I would feel just fine with the occipital protection that most trail helmets offer these days.

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9/29/2019 11:16 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/29/2019 11:17 PM

Scrub wrote:

Back in the 80's BMX we had similar style helmets like ECHO, JT, and Bell ProPlus models. I had and used them only for competition and when riding vert. I can see myself wearing one of these new models, but not for DH use. Half lids seem to rotate on the noggin too much in crashes, the 3/4 appears to eliminate some of that movement with more coverage on the head.

mfoga wrote:

So you would rather have that force transferred to your neck vs the helmet moving?

Yup that is correct. My personal preference only, it comes from years of crashing experience. I think I know what I want my head in for whichever MTB cycling discipline I am entertaining. You can wear what you want and buy whatever technology suits your needs. I'm not selling anything to anyone nor am I sponsored by a helmet brand to give a sales pitch, I just stated what I would personally use. Having anything on your head is better than nothing when cycling and everyone has their personal preference/needs.

BTW, I do have an Elmer Fudd hat too.

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9/30/2019 12:30 AM

I think the open face versus full face debate is more complex than full face is (all other things being equal like the helmets being compared are both MIPS or not etc) always safer. Two issues here I’ve been thinking through lately.
1 - There’s an argument (made by a medical friend of mine in ICU) that you can reconstruct a face but not a brain. He sees some (not all of course) head trauma victims wearing a full face with untouched faces but brain injuries, and some wearing a half lid with smashed up faces but untouched brain. In simple terms the face is a natural and effective crumple zone, take that away by wearing a full face and you transmit more force to the brain. (I know it’s more complex than this, but brighter people than me think the argument has merit and, as a Dad of a 12 year old shredder, it makes me think about what helmet he rides and when). So maybe a 3/4 lid keeps the ‘crumple zone’ and gives extra protection to the side and back of the skull. Or maybe we need to be talking about how well chin bars ‘crumple’ on our better DH helmets.
2 - a mate of mine recently injured his neck badly going OTB and face planting hard. He was wearing a half lid. Two independent neuro surgeons first asked, on seeing his X-ray, what helmet he was wearing - full or half. Both said if he was wearing a full face he would be dead as the chinbar would have further extended his neck. The take home message from them both was that if you want to wear a full face then also wear a neck brace (I know, that’s another debate).
So for now I buy my son the best half lid I can (and this is where the 3/4 lid might come in if they start making more options), and will get him a neck brace to wear when he runs a full face.

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9/30/2019 2:24 AM

Losifer wrote:

Three years ago yesterday, I was almost killed by a hit and run driver while riding home from working at the bike shop. Basically broke all the bones on the front of my head, split my face from an inch above my eyebrows to my chin.
After 8 surgeries, i wear a full face on pretty much every ride (Bell Super,) but I don’t really see the point of these 3/4 helmets.
If I wasn’t as concerned about the compromised structural integrity of my face, I would feel just fine with the occipital protection that most trail helmets offer these days.

Really sorry to hear that bud. That's terrible, an I came to make a similar point. Riders wanna protect their brains an skull but, don't consider the half of the skull an brain that is behind their face is worth protecting................?
I have a 'trail' lid for XC but, If I'm going fast enough to feel the need for goggles then the full face comes out. My one exception is the skate park but, I've seen a lot of riders smash their faces up an get concussions even with the 'park' lids on. Scary to watch the riding that goes down in street an skate parks with no lids at all!!
but, it's their own choice so...........

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Callous Hands an Bloody Shins since 1979

9/30/2019 12:54 PM

I would like to see more breathable 3/4 helmets that have that trials motorcycle helmets style.



I cut out the chin from an old Scott Spartan helmet. It is my favorite helmet I have though I wish it was more breathable so I could run it in summer for climbing.

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10/1/2019 6:14 AM

I'll take a hard pass. Bern riding 2 wheels since I was 5. Also am an insurance broker. I backed off the really insane stuff on anything but the DH BIKE long ago. If I'm doing something that I need that much coverage for, not gonna do it unless I'm on my DH bike and warmed up & in my TLD D3.

Wrecking is still something either completely under our control or utterly unforeseen and you cannot name WHERE you take the hit.

I would much rather be aware of my surroundings in a Troy Lee A1...than dizzy, hot and fussy & maybe a bit loopy from the heat in a 3/4 lid.

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Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm.

10/2/2019 11:44 PM

It's a preference thing. I like 3/4. I like having the back of my head and ears covered. I'm an ear slapper when I crash and my switchblades (never run the chin bar on them) have saved my ears a few times. Why not feel as safe as I wanna when riding trail?

I quit wearing my full face once I got my first switch blade. It's a D3 that is hands down the comfiest helmet ever, so I said fuck it and hacked the chin guard off and now that's my favorite helmet for anything not climbing. It's big, hot, but I still have my visibility and feel safe. Why does it matter? I realize not having a chin bar has plenty of drawbacks, but I'm not a fan.

All these helmets are just more options. How is that bad? Even if 90% of people don't want a product if it helps get the other 10% on bikes what's the harm? I have been waiting since I started riding in the mid 2000s for more ear covering options so I'm ecstatic with all these new helmets. I'm glad I was able to finally upgrade from my old Protec Full Cut with ghetto mounted trail visor.

Wear what you want and ride bikes. When it comes to accessories and protection, more options are good. If you don't like it don't run it.

Final thought, I blasted my first switchblade getting blown on a windy day on a medium table. Slapped my dome hard. Rock caught and dented my switchblade on the upper forward part of the right ear flap. Checked with all the specialized/giro/fox/POC half shells my store carried at the time and from my best guessing none of those other helmets had the coverage to stop that rock.

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