There is an ongoing debate, whether to buy an open face or full-face mountain bike helmet. Experts believe you should buy according to your style of riding.
If you’re a hardcore trail lover and fascinated by traveling downhill at speed, then a full-face helmet presents you with added protection because head injuries are often serious.
However, this is just the beginning. To consider what type of helmet is apt, you’ve to learn the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
Further, in this article, we put forth key things to consider when buying a bike helmet. So, scroll down, and let’s find out, which one is best suited for you:-
Table of Contents
- Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet: Key Advantages
- Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet: Disadvantages
- Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet: Key Advantage
- Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet: Disadvantages
- Modular Mountain Bike Helmet: Advantages
- Modular Mountain Bike Helmet: Disadvantages
- When to Wear Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet
- When to Wear Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet
- Things to Consider When Choosing a Bike Helmet?
Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet: Key Advantages
One of the most compelling perks of purchasing a full-face helmet is that it offers complete protection for the face without a dilemma. The hard shell of the helmet presents greater pierce resistance.
With a full-face helmet, your teeth and chin are entirely protected.
In addition to that, since your mouth is covered partially, nasty flies won’t get in your mouth if you’re traveling through rough trails during the odd hours of the day.
Several full-face mountain helmets are equipped with a built-in Bluetooth speaker. These helmets typically have more vents than open face types, allowing more wind to pass.
Through the hair, therefore, you feel light, without the risk associated with riding helmetless.
The fewer models of the helmet come with an optional flip or tinted inside, just like the one you might have seen in a fighter plane helmet.
So, in a nutshell, if you care about your head safety and simply don’t wish to take any chance, then a full-face mountain helmet is an apt pick.
Plus, you get the benefit of looking stylish, like a professional biker, and no bugs will enter your mouth. In the next segment, we’ll talk about the several reasons people don’t like the full-face mountain bike helmets.
Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet: Disadvantages
Now, let’s talk about the disadvantages of full-face mountain helmets. People with claustrophobic conditions find it tough to wear a full-face mountain bike helmet for a long-time.
If you have claustrophobia, then this type of helmet may not be the best pick. Also, most people fall into the trap of becoming overconfident that they have the entirely protected, but this is where most bikers commit the mistake and end up forcing themselves into unnecessary accidents and increasing their risks.
Not to mention, compared to open-face, the full-face mountain helmets are slightly on the pricier side.
Yes, you might find cheaper options, but such full-face helmets are bulky and not quite durable. So, it is highly advisable to buy quality products while watching your pocket.
Ventilation is a big problem; wearing the full-face helmet for the long-term can make you sweat, especially during the summer months.
In simple terms, you must weigh these pros and cons of a full-face helmet, then decide whether this type of helmet is well-suited for your purpose.
In the next section, we’ll discuss the many advantages of open-face helmets.
Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet: Key Advantage
Another conventional yet popular type of mountain helmets is the open-face helmets. As the name suggested, they properly cover the head while leaving the face exposed.
Also known as half-shell, cyclists who ride on-road or people who tend less aggressive trail & cross-country riding prefer this type of helmet. There are several options for open-face mountain helmets, with each one offering a different level of safety and price tag.
There are a myriad of perks associated with an open-face helmet. First, the open-face helmets are lightweight; they provide proper ventilation, so you can ride for long hours without sweating like hell.
This is perhaps, why bikers pick an open-face helmet during the summer months. They are much easier to carry along with you anywhere and easy-peasy to take off.
However, one thing to note is that not all open-face helmets are made equal. Some cheaper options in the market are quite uncomfortable and don’t provide adequate protection.
In top-selling models of open-face helmets visor is provided to shield the rider’s eyes from sun or rain.
Since the open-face helmets are more upright, vision is never a problem, no matter how rough the road ahead is. The sides of the open-face mountain bikes are somewhat flatter or rougher; therefore, when the rider falls on the pavement, the helmet will slide, reducing the risk of a severe injury.
Next, we’ll be putting forth reasons which make an open-face mountain bike helmet not the right choice.
Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet: Disadvantages
The biggest drawback of buying an open-faced helmet is that it doesn’t protect your face; therefore, it should not be most preferred for any hardcore cyclist.
Plus, the rider’s teeth and chin are highly exposed; if you might have an accident, be ready to pay a hefty bill for your dentist. It is important to know your purpose of riding a bike; if it is for recreation, to hit some of the toughest trails, you must not go with an open-face mountain bike helmet.
You can always speak to your biker friend; they’ll provide you with the most appropriate advice.
Even if you consider an open-faced helmet, it is imperative to do comprehensive research to purchase a quality helmet with high-grade protection.
In the next section, we’ll highlight the advantages of a modular mountain bike helmet.
Modular Mountain Bike Helmet: Advantages
The modular mountain bike helmets have gained immense popularity in recent years. Some riders love to wear a full-face mountain helmet for complete head, face, and dental protection while being fans of traditional open-face helmets, as they are light in weight and quite ventilated.
Now, there is one category of people who wear helmets according to the conditions; therefore, they opt for the modular mountain helmet.
So, to boil down, a modular mountain helmet combines the perks of both open and full-face helmets.
A modular helmet feels much safer, yet they have greater freedom, no matter if you are riding on a plain road or rugged trail. It is simply a mountain helmet on which you legally use the chin bar in the open position.
The flip-up chin bar presents great convenience, as you can hold a conversation with people.
Especially when stopping when you see a friend or take a selfie without the need to completely remove the helmet off the head.
They offer more protection than an open-face helmet and better ventilation compared to a full-face helmet.
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Modular Mountain Bike Helmet: Disadvantages
Let’sLet’s talk about the disadvantages of going with a modular mountain bike is the extra weight the chin bar puts on the helmet. Generally, the modular helmets are around 1.5kg in weight.
This is the price you’ll have to pay for the perks of added protection.
If you don’t want to wear the burden on your head, then a modular mountain bike helmet is not the best buy, next to the chain bar mechanism’s maintenance.
With time, the chain bar shows signs of wear and tear and puts your life at stake.
Another trouble associated with modular mountain bike helmets is soundproofing. There are slits in the chin bar opening that present lower aerodynamic efficiency, therefore causing noise in the interior.
Yes, the brands have made significant efforts to solve this problem as much, but the sound levels are still on the higher side, even if you are ready to burn a hole in your pocket.
The modular bike helmets tend to be more expensive than open-face and full-0face helmets.
When to Wear Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet
If you often ride on tough trails, shuttles, or downhill riding, a full-face helmet is the best to wear. Don’t hesitate to wear a full-face helmet, even if it feels hot inside.
Wear a full-face mountain bike helmet; you have a fear of hitting your face and causing severe injury.
If you early have dental problems or just don’t want to spend savings for a dental bill, get a full-face mountain bike helmet.
Riders should consider wearing a full-face helmet if there is lots of speed and downhill riding to do. Instead of grabbing an open-face helmet, pick the closed-face helmet.
It will provide extra protection, especially if you are heading out for your first trail ride. If you crash at high speed, a full-face helmet will better protect your jaw from getting seriously injured.
Wear a full-face helmet if you are a clumsy rider, and the odds of bike wrecks are no exception here. Sometimes, even the minutest rock on the road can send you flying and hitting the road. While, it’s ok to be a clumsy rider and not avoid a full-face helmet that can keep you free from scratches, injuries, and bruises.
When to Wear Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet
Go for an open-faced mountain helmet; if you’re a casual rider, take easy rails and nothing too gnarly with limited risk of getting involved in an accident.
If you live in a warmer region, where the summers are extreme, wear an open face helmet.
Otherwise, you’ll sweat a lot. The open-faced helmets are way cooler because they are venting holes and most suitable for hot environments.
The open-face helmets are light in weight, so if you take long trips, get this type of helmet. They can be easily carried around anywhere and much easier to put-on and take-off in a fraction of a second.
These helmets are naturally quite airer and provide better visibility; you can even talk to the pillion riders when you stop. If you have a limited budget, then also purchase an open-face helmet.
Although the open-face helmets score less than the full-face helmets in terms of safety, buying a quality helmet, you’ll still enjoy great safety.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Bike Helmet?
Here are the important things to consider when buying a bike helmet, let’s check out:-
What Kind of Cycling Do You Do?
There are several types of helmets available in the market based on the usage; what kind of cycling you do. Whether it is city, all-terrain, or road, each type has its type of helmet.
For smooth city roads, where there are fewer chances of getting involved in an accident, wear an open–face helmet, providing proper ventilation for long rides.
On the other hand, if you want to ride on roads, consider going for a modular mountain bike helmet, as it presents an extra layer of protection thanks to the chin bar. However, at the same, the modular helmets are airer. If you are an all-terrain rider, then a full-face helmet will offer you greater protection.
Know Your Helmet Size
Your helmet needs to be of appropriate size for both effectiveness and comfort in the event of an accident. There’sThere’s no rocket science; just measure your head size before you head on buying a helmet.
There are several options available, such as longer, round, or more curved, choose according to your head type, and so that it feels comfy.
Buy a helmet that comes with an adjustment wheel, which is at the helmet’s back to adjust the helmet quickly. If you don’t purchase a helmet that is of the right size, it comes off in case of an accident.
In terms of safety, the full-face helmets present better coverage surrounding the neck and face. The full-face helmet protects the rider from the rider when riding in, whether it bugs hitting your visor, rain, or debris.
Whenever you purchase a helmet, opt for a shell-built design, it is the first line of defense as it shields you during direct contact with the road.
Another gesture to look in a helmet is the impact-absorbing liner, which saves the top of the head from severe injuries by absorbing shock. The helmet will do the job efficiently when it is properly strapped. Check if the helmet adheres to the state safety regulations.
Go With One That Works Great for You
Opt for a bike helmet that works fine for you, rather than just picking anyone. You must carefully take a look at the design of the helmet.
The safest bike helmets are rounded, and no snag points are sticking out that could hurt your head when you fall. The vents in the bike helmets are good for keeping your head cool, but more number of vents would mean lesser protection as there is less foam.
If you generally ride around the traffic, then opt for a brightly colored helmet as then you’ll be easily visible for drivers. Choose the style of the helmet according to your personality.
In the end, it is highly advisable to weigh-in the pros & cons of each type of mountain helmet explained above and finalize based on your specific requirement.
To sum up, the full-face mountain bike protects your face and teeth from serious injuries but feels hot, especially in summers. The open-faced helmets are light in weight but provide less protection.
Finally, there is the modular mountain helmet, which combines the advantages of both helmet types.
Happy riding, be safe!