Safety is always an issue when you do any kind of extreme sport. To be honest, even sports that seem rather tame do have equipment such as neck, elbow and knee pads, so taking care of one’s body is essential when doing any activity. But if you are going to engage in things that are clearly dangerous and require skill and agility, taking precautions by wearing protective gear is critical to avoid concussions and fatal injuries. In fact, in many areas, it is the law that children wear a proper helmet for bicycle riding. You’ll often see little ones riding down the sidewalk with their training wheels attached to their bicycle, a brightly colored helmet on their head, and matching elbow and knee pads. Some might wear gloves, too, depending on how cool they want to look.
All terrain bicycling is a major step forward, though, from riding on the sidewalk. You are up and down and all round with many obstacles in your path. Tree branches, rocks, dirt ruts, muddy puddles, and other cyclers all create an environment of uncertainty. And since many accidents cause brain damage, you should never see these trail riders without their lightweight full face mountain bike helmet.
I think most people understand the benefits of wearing head protection. We’ve seen all too clearly the potential for real damage from professional sports accidents. It has even come to the point where athletes are donating their brains to science so that researchers can uncover the extent of the impairments due to excessive hits.
I know another group of people say well when they were young they never wear any kind of protection and they turned out just fine. That may be true, but I think most people want the best for their kids and if investing in proper gear is available, I think most will get what they need.
In case you are not sure what to look for when choosing a head and face protector, here is a quick list of three points to help you.
Full face headgear can be pretty hot when riding if not made with breathable fabrics. Not only should the construction adhere to safety regulations, but it needs to be comfortable, too. I’ve read where a lot of people have said they prefer the full face configuration when they are doing downhill riding. I guess the idea is it would be easier to fall and hit a rock or tree. The other thing trail riders mentioned is when they were completely outfitted, they felt more reassured to challenge themselves and try out more difficult terrains.
The main reason for the head armor to be lighter is the fact that even experienced riders become fatigued from having something so heavy on the head. The farther you ride, the more difficult it may be to endure.
#3 Size Matters
First of all, you want something that is not too loose so that it wobbles while riding. Likewise, if it is too tight, you are not going to be comfortable and it actually can’t do its purpose effectively. One thing you should be aware of is often the least expensive models are one size fits all. Basically, there is a strap to tighten and loosen. If are going to be riding on a regular basis, you need a better model that comes in actual sizes. This way you can get something that is molded for your own head.
One final thought I had after reading negative comments around the internet, and that goes to how you look. Don’t worry about what other people say. There is always one in every crowd who will think wearing a lightweight full face mountain bike helmet is stupid.
Just know the majority of people view wearing protection as being responsible and taking your brain seriously. They’re clapping good job for you!