Full face mountain bike helmets are the highest level of protection a mountain bike rider can have. These helmets come with a jaw protector and are stronger than any other helmet on the market. There are three types of helmets with full face mountain bike helmets being one. The other two are open face helmets, the cross-country and the skateboarder half-shell.
The weight and the temperature of wearing one of these full face helmets are the main issues with these types of helmets. Today, these helmets tend to be made from carbon fiber (polycarbonate) which makes them extremely strong and relatively light, and have modern designs to ensure maximum ventilation is achieved by circulating air through specially designed channels throughout the helmet.
The type of helmet a rider chooses is usually dependent upon what type of activity they are participating in as well as the material they are most likely to come into contact with. In addition, some riders are more prone to accidents than others due to experience or physical limitations.
Wearing a helmet reduces head injury risk by 85% and is the driving force behind current helmet laws. Even though these laws are usually geared toward children, 89% of bicycle deaths involve people 16 years of age and older with the average age of a bicyclist killed in the US at 41 years of age. In 2010 of the 429 bicycle deaths in the US 91% were not wearing a helmet (Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, 2011).
Due to mandatory helmet laws; helmets must meet minimum standards in order to gain a foothold in the bike helmet market today. Currently Canada, the United States, Australia, Finland, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Iceland, and Sweden and have implemented mandatory laws.
Currently Bell Sports dominates the bike helmet market. Other manufacturers include 3B-Helme, Answer, Atlas, Bike Tech, Briko, Mongoose, C-Tel, Canstar, Casco, Diamondback, Ecko, Edge, Giro (Bell), GT, Headlight, headlights, Helmets R US, Hermes, Kent, Lazer, Limar, Louis Garneau, MV Sports and Leisure, Mango, Motorika, Netti, TSG, Park View, Performance, Polybid, Pro-Tec, PTI, QRANC-OGK, Razorback, Ritchley, Roar, Rosebank, Ross, Royse, Schwinn, Seven Stars, Specialized, Sportscope, Superior, Sunbeam, Trek, Troxel, Uvex, Veltec-Boyer, Vetta, Vigor, Wolf-pro, and Wolvenberg with many more entering the market every year.
Chinese manufacturers are trying to enter the market with inexpensive, low quality helmets by finding customers that dont live by the ethos, buy a $10 bike helmet if you have a $10 head. If you can’t afford to buy new quality products a better alternative would be to buy a used full face helmet as there are many used full face helmets for sale just as there are many used Trikkes for sale on the Internet today.
Even though you would expect to see full face helmets in BMXing, go karting, skiing and Trikking, you should expect to see a full face mountain bike helmets more frequently as helmet technologies and prices continue to get better.
Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. (2011, January 1). Helmet Related Statistics From many Sources. Retrieved July 17, 2012, from Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute: http://www.bhsi.org/stats.htm