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I'm upgrading my EUC to a 30+ mph model soon. I also need to upgrade my current cheap-o bike helmet to something that will protect my face. Not that I have a modeling career, but I'd simply prefer to not have my jaw wired shut due to a face plant at 20-30 mph. So, in the interest of safety, I'm planning on getting fully geared up. Unlike some of you that are able to drop $300+ on a sweet, glossy, carbon fiber brain bucket, I'm looking for something to get started keeping a budget in mind, but still being safe (read value here). After reviewing existing threads on this, I haven't found the information I'm looking for. I'm interested in paved trail riding with some off road. I'm not sure if the open face (downhill mountain bike style) or the modular fully enclosed helmet (motorcycle with flip up front) would be better. Here are a couple options I'm looking at that would be an improvement over the basic bike helmet I have now. Since I live in Southern California, rain and cold are not really an issue. The ability to stay cool with good airflow is more important. Bell Servo Adult BMX Helmet 1Storm Motorcycle Modular Helmet Pros - Light weight, can easily talk to other riders, pedestrians, etc. Visor, (52) 4 star rating on Amazon, easier to mount rear view mirror. Cons - Only CPSC bike compliant, would need to wear sunglasses or googles for higher speeds, noise Pros - Quieter, built in optional shaded visor, ability to lift front to talk to other riders when stopped, DOT Approved (safer), (804) 4.5 star rating on Amazon. Cons - Heavier, not as easy to engage with others, maybe harder to mount the mirror (?). $55.29 on Amazon $58.95 on Amazon If the bike helmet looks too cheap, I also looked at the Bell Sanction Helmet. It seems like many EUC riders like @Flyboy10 use the BMX style open full face helmet. However, other riders like @Marty Backe go with the full motorcycle helmet. I'd really love to hear about the pros and cons from actual riding with the various options and I'm interested in helmets that can be purchased right now on Amazon rather than a special one that is available in Europe only. Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions you have. I really value all the experience and positive support this group provides.
Full face helmets have been a topic of discussion here of late and for good reason given the increased risk of a full on face-plant that riding an EUC presents above and beyond that of almost any other mode of transportation. As part of buying protective gear for my new EUC I ordered two different full face MIPS enhanced bicycle helmets made by reputable brands; the Bell Super 3R and the Giro Switchblade. Over the course of a week or so I have been gathering my thoughts on them. I wanted to share what I have learnt and felt over that time in the hope it helps others when making this expensive purchase. To be clear this is not a review or recommendation of either helmet. I am not a specialist in bike helmets nor do I have the resources to test them properly. This is just my stream of consciousness/thoughts/feelings/ramblings. Both helmets came from Amazon. The Bell Super 3R cost $230 and the Giro Switchblade $250 which matched the manufacturer RRP. Both were ordered in medium size and have similar sizing charts. I will break my text into separate posts, each containing their own related material and images. This will help keep everything organized. Please don't post in the next 5 minutes while I add them all. Finally, this was not sponsored in any way. I purchased both these helmets from Amazon and will be keeping just one of them. This is why I could not road test them. P.S. Sorry about the ugly dude in the pics. My head model canceled so I had to drag this sorry creature in off the street in exchange for a six pack and some pocket change. Bell Super 3R It comes with a padded cover. Giro Switchblade Packaging Also comes with a soft cover as well as second camera visor and thinner cheek pads
Inspired by the full face helmet comparison between the Bell Super 3R and the Giro Switchblade, I almost bought the Switchblade. That was until I found a report from a downhill MTB rider in the UK who had a fall and a pretty bad face impact with a rock that caused the chin guard to separate from the helmet. That was my major concern about helmets with detachable chin guards. I don't see a reason why I would ever consider taking the chin guard off anyway but it leaves a systemic vulnerability to the helmet. So I went on trying to find something that was airy as the Bell Super 3R (I am riding in Southern Arizona and in the summer you need every bit of cooling you can get!) but had a solid chin guard and possibly an MTB downhill certification. And I found it. It's the Proframe from Fox Racing. At $250 in the same price range as the Switchblade and the Super 3R, features an integrated chin guard in a skeleton configuration that allows for lots of air to come through and the whole helmet is designed to funnel air through the skull cap and keep you cool. Oh, and it has MIPS. The size adjustments happen by replacing the liner pads in the cap and with 3 sizes of cheek pads. The strap locks with a glove-friendly magnet-assisted locking mechanism. Pretty cool and easy to use. I spent around 5 hours in the helmet on Saturday's ride and am really happy with it. The weight is so low that you hardly feel you are wearing a helmet (the shell is Polycarbonate) and the visibility is excellent. I had no issues with wind noises up to my KS14's max. speed of 30 km/h. Hearing was not impaired while wearing the helmet. I could easily hear everything around me and detect the direction of sounds as if I wasn't wearing the helmet. This thing gets a big thumbs-up from me!