Full face helmet

Is It Worth Using Full-Face Bicycle Helmets For Urban Riding?

As technology evolves, we as people get more “sophisticated” or distracted. A taxi driver going down a lane, that for a brief second, looks down at his phone and accidentally hits a cyclist or pedestrian.

Yes, as a cyclist, the last thing you’d ever want to wear is a bike helmet because it feels off but face it, it’s always when you least expect it that accidents happen.

Listen, let me share with you a true personal story. When I was 9 years old, I had just gotten my very first bicycle.

It took me over an hour to learn how to balance myself but I got it. And over the next 3 months, I would do mini-tricks, going up ramps, jump over potholes, and go as fast as I could.

Until one day, there was this tiny pothole, smaller than my palm, I was confident that if I drive over it fast enough, nothing would happen.

I was stupid. My brilliant plan threw me or tossed me about 10 feet, along with a dislocated shoulder and a cut on my nape that resulted in 4-7 stitches. I still ride to this day, I love it.

It’s fun. dislocated shoulder but I wish I had a bike helmet so that I wouldn’t have 4-7 stitches on my nape.

The great news, bicycle helmet technology has never been this good. It’s more comfortable, breathable, and 5x safer.

The bad news, most states require that you wear one even in urban areas but this article isn’t about that as, ultimately, they just want you to wear a helmet for your safety. We will discuss in concise detail, all about bicycle helmets.

Bicycle Helmet – Full Face:

A bicycle helmet provides the most coverage around the cyclist’s head and neck, to protect the rider from potential impact.

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The rear covers the base of the rider’s skull. A key feature is the chin bar, a protective section covering the front of the chin.

A bicycle helmet differs from an open-face helmet, which covers a rider’s head but leaves his face exposed.

Bicycle Helmets – Quick History: 

  • In 1975, the first bicycle helmet for cyclists was invented, a hard plastic shell padded with foam-like material; the start of the modern helmet.
  • In 1984, standards were introduced to raise the quality of all helmets And a foam liner of polystyrene was invented.
  • By 1990, the polystyrene foam helmet was given a thin hard shell to make it durable. The bike helmet continues to be developed, into lighter, easier to wear, more comfortable helmets with vents, more secure with adjustable straps.

Bicycle Helmet vs Motorcycle Helmet

Bicycle Helmets: 

  • generally light in weight, with less cushion, have built-in vents to provide sufficient ventilation. Cycling raises body temperature. The head must be able to regulate its temperature because biking is an intense aerobic activity, and breathing comfort is essential.
  • meet the bicycle safety standards of the Consumer’s Product Safety Commission

Motorcycle helmets:

  • heavier, larger, more durable than bicycle helmets, and have a more snug fit
  • meet the safety standards of the CPSC and the Department of Transportation

Bicycle Helmet:

Pros

  • Because of the momentum of bike riding, the cyclist falls in the direction of the bike motion. The cyclist lands on his/her face. Regular bicycle helmets do not fully protect the head.
  • A cyclist is guaranteed a higher level of protection than with open-face helmets. The hard shell has a better pierce resistance that protects a rider’s brain, face, chin, teeth from major injuries, in case of an accident.
  • A bicycle helmet is capable of protecting your head-on impact. A bicycle helmet protects the largest area of your head and neck. The reason why some cyclists choose lighter helmets is for ventilation and they feel the type of their riding has a lower risk of injury
  • Statistics show that bicycle helmets are safer than other bicycle helmets. In case of an accident, the risk of death is decreased by 37%; a traumatic brain injury is lessened by 69%
  • a bicycle helmet also protects your mouth from swallowing flies or insects while riding.
  • The reason that cyclists choose a bicycle helmet that’s not a bicycle helmet, is they put more weight on comfort, convenience, and appearance than on safety
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Bicycle Helmet:

Cons

  • Heat management: The bicycle helmets trap more heat; the cyclist needs cool air, and less excess heat; compared to motorcycle riders who are not pedaling vigorously.
  • The bicycle helmet is heavier, compared to the lighter open-face helmets, which are less tiring to wear. With your face visible in an open bicycle helmet, it is easier to fill up at service stations, that require cyclists to remove their helmets.
  • Limiting a cyclist’s peripheral vision is a disadvantage. For urban riding, the main danger comes from cars. A full-face helmet limits what you see in your peripheral vision. For instance, when you change lanes. Some say a bicycle helmet is heavier and will affect your mobility, as you turn your head to assess the city road driving conditions. With an open helmet, the cyclist can have a wider range of views for urban riding.

Testimonial from a Cyclist who wears a Bicycle Helmet:

I never had any visibility problems out of a full-face helmet, since the early ’80s. Those early Bell helmets from the ’70s and before didn’t have much of a face hole. In my current helmets, I can see to the limit of my peripheral vision even with my eyes turned full to either side. I can see out of the helmet just fine. Modern full-face helmets are very light. Most weigh around 3 to 4 pounds.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve reached the conclusion, you should be very well-informed about this but if you’re still a bit confused if it’s really worth wearing one. Short answer, yes. Long answer, remember that story I shared with you? It happened when we were living in an urban area where there are many cars, ambulances, motorbikes, and lots of honking. Accidents are random and they’re always unexpected. A bicycle helmet goes a long way in preventing injuries and the expense of those injuries.

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