For Endurists: Massive Half-Shell or Full-Face – and Space for Goggles
The MTB discipline Enduro combines extremes: sprints like in cross-country with long days in the saddle like on tour and with technically-demanding passages of a downhill course. Whether you go for a full-face helmet like those used in downhill or a stable half-shell like the ones used in all-mountain riding depends on many factors. Are you racing? What are the requirements set out by the race’s organizer? What are the routes and temperatures like? What about your personal safety needs? Basically, the more protection, the heavier and the worse the ventilation – not only around the head, but often also while breathing. If you opt for a half-shell, make sure you have as much side and rear coverage as possible. The Troy Lee Designs A3, for instance, has an extremely low back. Taking it another step further , such as the Fox HeadDropframe or Giro Tyrant: both also extend over the cheeks at the sides and thus protect the jaw, without using a chin bar. A full-face helmet offers even more protection. Some race organisers even demand it for special stages in Enduro races. No other helmet category offers so much safety. However, you should be aware that this kind of helmet is heavier, you sweat more under it and it makes breathing significantly more difficult. If you're going for full-face for an enduro race, choose one with a chin bar and side vents that sits relatively far from your face. Alternatively, you can go for a full-face helmet with removable chin bar. They offer a little less protection than a full-face helmet with a fixed chin bar, but significantly more than a pure half-shell: on the transfer, you ride without it and at the beginning of the stage, you simply attach the chin bar. The only disadvantage: you definitely need a backpack or a hip bag to carry the bar with you. Total enduro style is out. Speaking of enduro style: like in downhill, technical off-road terrain is often ridden while wearing goggles. Dedicated enduro helmets often offer an attachment for this, and allow you to slide the visor up with a flick of the wrist and stow the goggles there when they’re not needed for going uphill.