Both of my helmets are old enough to need replacing. I currently have a Bell open-face and a Bell full-face . I hardly ever wear the full-face, because I like the increased visibility the open-face affords, and I like to be able to hear better and feel some breeze. What are your opinions as to type and brand?
I take it from the description you are referring to motorcycle helmets. Sorry, if it were bicycle helmets I could venture an opinion, but I don’t know anything about motorcycle helmets. Surely one of the many motorcycle denizens that haunt this board will show up soon!
If you can afford it, get an Arai or Shoei, definitely. They are superbly constructed, very light, and cut down on wind noise dramatically. Any DOT/SNELL rated full-face helmet should do the job, but the cheaper they are, the heavier and noisier they get. I’d definitely recommend a full-face over an open face, for the safety factor alone.
You might also consider getting a modular flip-up style helmet. They offer most of the protection of a full-face helmet, but you can flip up the front whenever you want. One example would be the Shoei SYNCROTEC.
This would be the third class of endless thread on the MC related boards. Right after oil and tire threads.
Try them on, buy what you like. Remember that the foam will compress a little with wear, so a new helmet should fit very snug. Buy a helmet that you will wear every time you ride…that is the only way to make sure you are wearing it if/when you crash. A full face is NO safer if you hate wearing it so much you only wear it 1/3 of the time for long trips, etc.
My $.02 is that if you wear glasses, a flip front helmet is about 100X more convienient than a full-face. I use the sun visor on my Schuberth a lot too.
Speaking of Schuberth, they are in the same league as shoei and arai, and are the source of the BMW branded helmets.
The flip ups face the same snell test as a full face, so NONE are snell approved. A 3/4 wouldn’t pass that test either, but snell doesn’t require it for a 3/4.
Downside of flip-ups is that they are likely noisier than a true full face. I understand my Schuberth is among the worst, I hate to think anything is noisier.
If you find a good deal on a closeout, make sure it uses the same face-shield as the current model, so you can replace it when it gets too scratched up.
Kevbo is right, it’s all about the fit.
If you have the correct shaped head there is a Nolan open face helmet N41 with a shield that slides under the visor so the visor stays in place when you want the shield up. It’s pretty air tight on the sides when the shield is down.
I have a full face because I wear contacts but I like a visor and got one that glues on the shield from Aerostitch
Unfortunately I have a freakishly oval head and can only wear HJC’s comfortably.
If anyone knows of any other brands that are extremely oval I would like to know.
No advice on oval heads - sorry.
But have worn many helmets over the last 15 years. Thoughts as follows:
get tightish fit
snell excellent rating but expensive and if you trust manufacturer not necessary
field of vision varies by helmet and very important
depending on climate you ride in, venting clutch
my friends like flip open helmets. I don’t trust them - but no real readon for that…
I like bells but found them heavy and inconvienent
I loved my shoei
Just bought a top of line arai rx7. A little noisy but in all other respects AMAZING. (and as for noise - this is a motorbike we’re talking about and I always ride distances with earplugs anyway). Anyway - this is the most comfortable (for me), best ventilated, most convenient helmet I’ve ever had and has by far the best field of peripheral vision
I’ve got a fairly oval head and I wear a Fulmer AF-400. Now that it needs replacing (3 years or so old), they’ve been discontinued! Bastards!!
Different models within the same brand fit differently, so shop around for the best fitting helmet you can afford. Having injured my chin in a fall once, I prefer full-face helmets, they keep the bugs and rain off my face better, too.
Just make sure you wear your helmet every time you ride. Roads hurt.
Noise is funny, it depends on the bike. I finally had an aha! moment on a friend’s BMW. It was so quiet behind a taller screen. What bliss, what joy, what a huge freakin bike.
I digress, I love my Shoei’s. I’ve got a long thin head with a big nose and chin, Shoei is the only comfortable fit. My friend with a Charlie Brown looking basketball head swears by his Arai’s.
Go fish on what types fits who, others I know can into fit anything.
My Shoei is vented front and back, weighs next to nothing compaired to a few I handled and I don’t mind wearing it for hours on end. Another huge plus is the idiot proof three second shield swap. No tools no fumbling around I can switch from the clear to the iridium to the shooters yellow visor for hazy days in a snap.
IIRC, Shoei makes the helmets for US Navy pilots. Knowing how tough mil-spec standards are, you have to give them points for this.