Full Face Helmets

How to choose a mountain bike full-face helmet: Full-face helmets incorporate a chin piece to provide total security and increased safety for your head and face. Not only a practical piece of equipment, helmets are a great place to add some style to your riding gear. There are many styles, designs and colors available to suit every rider's taste.

Full Face Helmets

Types

Mountain bikers use two types of full-face helmets, differentiated by the safety standard they are built to satisfy. Some riders choose to wear helmets designed for motocross rather than a mountain bike specific model. Motocross helmets are heavier, meet Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, and provide better protection at very high speeds. Full-faces built specifically for mountain biking are lighter, more ventilated, and best suited for typical mountain bike speeds.

Sizes

Helmets are sized based on the circumference of a riders head. Companies generally classify their sizes as Small, Medium and Large, with a measurement in inches or centimeters indicating the appropriate head circumference for each size. For example, a size Medium helmet is usually for riders with a head circumference of 55-59cm, or 21 3/4"-23 1/4". However, not all heads are shaped the same, nor are all helmets built on the same mold, so trying a helmet on in person is the best way to guarantee adequate fit.

Materials

Helmets are available with plastic, composite or carbon fiber outer shells. Most models use at least two different foam densities inside to absorb and disperse impacts.

Things To Look For

The most important thing in a full-face helmet is proper fit. Most helmet manufacturers use a different mold when making their helmets, so some models may fit some heads better than others. Physically trying on a helmet is the best way to ensure optimum fit, however, most online retailers provide detailed sizing information to help find the model best suited to a rider's head.

Next, look at the available safety features. Helmet technology has come a long way recently, and many helmets use cutting edge safety technology.

Other features, such as easy pad removal for simplified washing, headphone compatibility and replacement visors are all things to keep in mind.

Finally, choosing a model that you find visually appealing will make every ride more enjoyable.

How Much To Spend

Full-face helmets range in price from $100 to $450.

In the $100-$200 range there are many models available in both motocross and mountain bike specific designs. These helmets use either plastic or composite shells and generally have two types of foam inside.

Moving up to helmets in the $200-$300 range, many composite models become available from most brands. This range incorporates superior safety and comfort technologies, as well as more refined paint schemes and shell designs making them well worth the extra money.

The $300-$450 range of helmets mostly use carbon fiber shells to reduce weight. They also include the most cutting edge safety features such as multiple densities of foam and practical features like headphone compatibility and easily removable liners.

Product Reviews

Before buying, be sure to do your research and read product reviews. Reviews are a great way to find out specifics about a particular model, user impressions, and things to watch out for. After you've purchased a product and had enough time to thoroughly test it, we encourage you to leave a review for other people to see when they are researching bikes and parts on the web.

We hope you've found this information to be helpful. If you have a question that isn't answered in this guide, our mountain bike forums are a great place to get advice from knowledgeable riders. Your local bike shop is also a great resource.

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