Full face helmet

I have been searching the forum to find information on full face helmets to use for muni. I have found a lot of information but most models referenced are no longer available. When buying one i am concerned with the field of vision which is apperantly limited for some models.

Any tips on current models which are good for unicycling would be appreciated…

My opinion comes more from many years of freeride and downhill mountain biking, but in my experience there is virtually no concern for field of vision when riding off-road. The main field of vision is very large and the peripherial vision is just not a factor in off-road riding: you are concentrating on the trail and obstacles in front of you (it doesn’t matter if you don’t see a bird 170 degrees off to your left).

The only time it should even be a concern is when riding in the city in traffic. In traffic it can be important to not limit the peripherial vision at all, as moving obstacles from the side can be dangerous (cars).

As to specific models, it’s mostly personal preference. The biggest problem riding with a full face helmet is overheating. Also consider that the lower speeds of muni compared to mountain biking make the ventilation systems less effective. And slogging uphill is hot in almost any full face helmet.

That said, I do use my full face helmet for downhill muni (either uphill via lift or I take the helmet off uphill and put it on just for the descent).

The most important factors are fit, comfort and heat dissapation (don’t get black if you ride in the summer sun). Factors like removable liner or washability may be important if you sweat a lot. Weight is generally but not always a factor of what you pay (the $350 carbon helmet will be lighter than you $80 basic). Side note: I have preferred most of my not-so-expensive helmets to the one super expensive one I bought, simple because they fit better.

There aren’t many bad helmets and it’s mostly trial: as each persons head shape is different, one person’s favorite may be horrible for someone else. YOU NEED TO TRY THE HELMET ON, or at least have the oppotunity to send it back if you mail-order it. If you’re ordering online without trying on first, I would plan on ordering 3 helmets and trying them all and sending 2-3 back. A helmet that too big sucks and is unsafe, too small or wrong shape is uncomfortable and you’ll hate it.

Looking through the tunnel…

When I started riding with full face I immediately noticed the difference. You may want to try different ones in the your LBS first. If you use the visor it will limit looking down the trail while studying the trail near you. The chin/face guard will obstruct vision for things you may be use to “seeing”. Side peripheral vision should not be an issue.

If you use your (vertical) peripheral vision riding skinnies the wheel and things close to the wheel track will “disappear” (obstructed by the chin/face gaurd). Also rocks and roots may “disappear” just as you ride over them. When your attention is distracted by looking at signs and features some distance away or down the trail you may have things in the immediate vicinity of your wheel “disappear”.

I also juggle while riding and needed to make adjustments in which “zone” I look through and how high I throw.

My wife was more than glad to spend the extra cash necessary for the carbon, good ventilation, and good fit. I spend a couple hundred hours each year muni in a TLD D3 Carbon full face.



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