Full Face Helmets?

Today when I was out riding on the North Shore (see seperate post) a Mtn Biker asked me why I wasn’t wearing a full face helmet. Hummm, I hadn’t really thought about it before but I must say it did come to mind later on the ride when I took a few flying dismounts face first off my MUni into some boulder fields…


Re: Full Face Helmets?

Vanity, don’t like the tan lines.

Helmet hair you can deal with but helmet face is another matter.:slight_smile:

Full face helmets can (will) restrict your vision when looking down at your wheel or down at the ground directly in front of your wheel. The mouth guard tends to stick way out which is the part that restricts your vision. Not much of an issue for bikes, but a big issue for unicyclists.

Unicycles don’t crash the way bikes do so a full face helmet isn’t as necessary for a unicyclist as it would be for a freeride bicyclist. But a full face helmet could conceivably come in handy for a unicyclist if you end up using your face as a landing point.

Those big moto-cross helmets do; however, there are a plethora of helmets designed to protect the face don’t restrict vision. I’ve used a Hang Gliding/Paragliding helmet for several years when Cokering; the chin portion is relatively thin and projects down and out, with the sides swooping back for full perifrial vision. These helmets are designed to not obstruct the vision in any way- and they don’t. They are also designed to be light, and are generaly Carbon/Kevlar. Mine weighs about as much as my regular cycling helmet, and a bit less than a skate helmet. They are also designed for air flow, and I don’t care for it (heat) one bit off road -strictly for the street.

That’s part of the reason I gave up Mountain *ikes -didn’t care for going over the handle bars down hill. Still, any UPD that you can’t walk/run out of can end on your chin, and a much greater concern for me when Cokering where speeds exceed my ability to run out. Of equal concern to chin protection is a lack of back-o-the-head coverage on most cycling helmets. The Sol Magic helmet has taken a few to what would otherwise be uncovered skull. A decent HG/PG helmet will run between $150-$200 US, but may occasionally be nicked on the cheep off E-Bay. In addition to the Sol Magic, the Charley Insider also offers unobstructed vision - there are several designs with closer/wider chin portions that partly obstruct below, which I would avoid.

I feel more secure riding in traffic, and the sparklely silver helmet seems to alert drivers that something is different, so procead with caution…

There are a few companies making full face skiing helmets- another sport where being able to see the ground right in front of you is important- that seem a bit better in the ventilation departement, less bulky, and might warrant exploration for MUni.


Don’t give in to the safety equipment fascists. Some people have “all the gear and no idea”.

Safety is an attitude of mind: an assessment of the risks, and a decision to deal with them in an appropiate way. Sometimes that means accepting the risk; sometimes rejecting the risk; sometimes modifying it. Safety isn’t about wearing the trendiest gear then riding like a nutter.

A full face helmet won’t stop a mountainbiker breaking her neck, collar bone or spine. It won’t stop her being impaled on a low branch. It might make her hotter, obscure her vision AND make her feel invulnerable enough to do that stupid jump. Her choice.

How many times have you hit your face when falling from the unicycle? How many times have you fallen without hitting your face? Are you particularly good looking anyway? (Pictures please!)

Assess the risk and make your own decision, but my contribution to the debate is that I would only consider a full face helmet for very serious speed work or racing. A normal helmet, good wrist guards or gloves, and appropriate padding for the legs is enough. Unicyclist have different falls from bicyclists.

Yes the helmet can, depending on design, restrict your vision. Yes, we don’t crash as “headlong” as bikes tend to. And yes, we don’t go as fast.

That said, if anyone’s going to benefit from a full face helmet, it’s probably someone riding in a place like the North Shore. It’s one of the most appropriate places for full face helmets to become more common.

If we ever get into technical downhill racing at our conventions, that will be a good place for full face helmets as well. So far, our cross country and/or downhill races (Monrovia, Toronto, Washington) have been kept very accessible, mostly for safety reasons.

Re: Full Face Helmets?

The Giro switchblade is an awesome, light fullface helmet that is very suitable
for unicycle riding as it doesn’t restrict vision.


perhaps we should start wearing nanotech exoskeletons that completly protect us from environmental hazzards, then we can go unicycling in volcanos.

Re: Re: Full Face Helmets?

Dylan, have you used it while MUni’ing?


Re: Full Face Helmets?

>Dylan, have you used it while MUni’ing?

I used it for a little bit, not a full ride or anything, but it seemed to work
fine. It is not a cheap helmet as I remember though.


Re: Re: Full Face Helmets?

Yeah, no kidding, it is $240 Cdn, ouch!

I might have a look at it though as it is supposed to be the lightest and best venting full face helmet out right now. Also the face peice is actually removeable and therefore the helmet could be used like a normal riding helmet when not riding the technical stuff.

Reviews of it are pretty favorable.