Full Face MTB Helmets: A Must-Have for Downhill Mountain Biking-: Complete Guide

Are you a downhill mountain biker looking for that extra layer of safety? Look no further! Full face MTB helmets are the way to go. With increasing popularity, this type of helmet gives you the maximum protection from impact, making it an essential piece of gear for those adventurous rides.

So, let’s dive in deeper and explore why having a full face MTB helmet is so important!

The sport of downhill mountain biking has exploded in popularity in the past decade, earning its place as one of the most extreme and exhilarating outdoor activities. Although it may look simple, like all extreme sports, downhill mountain biking comes with attendant risks. Whether you are an experienced rider or a complete newcomer, it is essential that you take safety seriously and invest in all the necessary gear before heading downhill. One of the most important pieces of equipment for protecting your head is a full face MTB helmet.

In this guide we will cover why full face helmets are essential for downhill riding; how to choose one to fit properly; different types of full-face helmets; how to fortify your helmet; common features to consider when shopping for a new helmet; additional safety equipment for mountain bikers; and finally, some tips on proper use and preventive maintenance. By thoroughly researching these topics and taking the necessary precautions, you will be equipped with the knowledge and gear required to stay safe while enjoying this thrilling activity.

Explanation of Downhill Mountain Biking

Downhill mountain biking (DBH) is a type of off-road cycling that’s characterized by its exhilarating and high-speed descents along steep slopes and challenging trails. This activity is also known as mountain-cross or all-mountain biking, and puts riders to the ultimate test of their technical handling skills. Although DBH can be enjoyed by adults and children alike, it is important to note that it demands great concentration, superior bike handling abilities, and protective gear tailored for this extreme sport.

Safety gear used in downhill cycling includes full face helmets with padded interior cheek pieces, gloves, knee pads and long sleeved bike jerseys which provide essential protection when tackling sharp turns through rocky terrain or flying over jumps. Full face helmets are most suitable as they offer better facial protection with minimal wear while allowing enough air circulation to prevent heat buildup during extended periods in motion. The chin guard provides an Anchorage point for a safety harness which must be hooked on before attempting a jump or landing from an aerial maneuver. Additionally, these helmets come with a visor that serves the purpose of dispersing sweat even further away from the eyes during strenuous stretches in training or competition environment.

Importance of Helmet Usage in MTB

It is essential to wear a helmet when riding on an off-road terrain or on mountainous terrains. Helmets help protect the rider from physical trauma, as it absorbs and cushions the impact of a crash. This helps to prevent serious head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and even death. Wearing a helmet is also important for visibility and visibility of other riders for other riders. A brightly colored or reflective helmet helps improve the rider’s visibility to other people nearby, mitigating any potential collisions between vehicles or obstacles.

Also, having a full-face mountainbike (MTB) helmet provides added protection when riding in difficult conditions such as cold weather, high speeds and dirt jumps/drops/obstacles on trails. These helmets are designed with thick shells which protect against shock when going over large drops on the trail, while vents reduce fogging and protect against insects flying into one’s face when traveling at high speeds. Additionally, some full-face MTB helmets come with chin bars to provide added protection from head impacts in certain crashes.

Benefits of Full Face MTB Helmets

Mountain biking is an extreme outdoor sport and requires a full face MTB helmets for optimal safety while riding. Mountain bike helmets are designed to protect the neck and head in case of an accident, providing improved safety compared to standard bike helmets.

Full face MTB helmets provide superior protection compared to open-face designs. These models are made with thicker plastic, reinforced with carbon fiber or Kevlar, and feature additional padding with extra chin and shoulder coverage. The extra coverage reduces the risk of traumatic head injuries, especially important when mountain biking on treacherous terrain. You should check your local regulations as some trails may require full face helmet.

Full face MTB helmets come in various sizes and colorful designs. Every rider should select a helmet that fits correctly for maximum safety and comfort. The best full face helmet will have adjustable straps and fit snugly, yet not be too tight—a helmet that moves around creates more chances for injury. The whole front half of your head should be surrounded by a foam liner for maximum impact absorption if you crash or fall off your bike, so make sure there is at least 1 cm of extra room inside the helmet padding before you purchase it.

Improved Protection

A full-face mountain biking helmet can provide an improved level of protection compared to standard or half-shell helmets. Full face helmets are designed to cover the entire head, including coverage of the chin and sides of the face, providing additional protection to these areas from flying debris, impacts and sudden falls. The thick plastic shell and secure harness straps offer even greater coverage than a traditional bicycle helmet.

With its stronger material and increased range of coverage, a full-face helmet is often required for downhill mountain bikers. Furthermore, it should meet safety certification standards such as CE EN 1078 or CPSC for bike riding in order to guarantee optimal impact protection in case of a crash.

Enhanced Safety Features

When searching for a full-face mountain bike helmet, look for the latest models which are designed with enhanced safety features to ensure the utmost protection. For starters, look for helmets that have a breakaway visor and full chin guard to protect you from falling debris.

Furthermore, choose helmets that come with a removable and adjustable neck brace along with proper padding as they provide extra support and protection against impacts. Additionally, it is advisable to go for helmets with vent holes and proper ventilation systems that allow air to circulate inside while also providing fog-free coverage when riding down hills.

Most safety features must be certified by the standards organization ASTM International or the equivalent European standard CE EN 1078. Make sure your chosen helmet complies with the applicable safety standards before making your purchase.


When shopping for a full-face mountain bike helmet, comfort is an essential factor to consider. You will be wearing your helmet for extended periods of time and need to make sure that it fits properly. Improperly fitting helmets can cause extreme discomfort, leading to headaches and other ailments.

Full face MTB helmets are comprised of EPS foam liners with shells made of either polycarbonate or carbon fiber. The outer shells are designed to be quite stiff, providing the stability needed for protection against impacts. The inner liners, however, provide the necessary cushioning to ensure comfort when worn for extended periods. It is important to choose a helmet liner with sufficient softness that provides a snug fit without being too constricting. The liner should also be treated with special antimicrobial agents which help prevent the growth of bacteria and odors that can accumulate from sweat and body oils that accumulate over time from everyday use.

The straps used to secure the full face mountain bike helmet should also provide enough firmness so that the helmet doesn’t move around while still remaining comfortable around your chin and cheeks. Velcro straps are commonly used here due to their simplicity and versatility but some models may feature adjustable buckles instead for a tighter fitment if desired. No matter what type of straps you choose, they must be able to adjust so that you have no gaps between your face and the inner foam layers when it’s worn properly secured in place on your head.


When riding down a mountain trail, every second counts, and clear visibility is a must. Downhill riders should strive for full peripheral vision as this can be the key to spotting hidden obstacles. Looking up at the sky or specific landmarks can also help keep you heading in the right direction.

Full face MTB helmets provide improved visibility with their extended chin manes which offer both a panoramic view and extra protection from branches and other foliage. Many brands feature open vent molds to increase air circulation and reduce fogging, plus their thicker foam layer helps to reduce noise levels for increased clarity. Some models also come with tinted visors which allow riders to see clearly even if it’s bright outside.

Additional features such as adjustable straps, removable padding and integrated visors mean there are different helmets available to suit every riders needs and preferences – you just need to ensure your helmet complies with relevant safety standards before you buy one.

Choosing the Right Full Face MTB Helmet

It is essential to choose the right full face MTB helmet in order to maximize your safety and feel comfortable when riding. When shopping for a full face MTB helmet, consider the following factors.

Size: Different brands have different sizing measurements, so be sure to take your measurements and order accordingly. Consider helmets with adjustable sizing features to ensure a perfect fit.

Construction: Quality construction is paramount when it comes to helmets. Look for helmets that have superior impact-resistant materials such as lightweight composites, carbon fiber or Kevlar. Check the level of protection and coverage that each of these materials provide — some offer more protection than others. Make sure that all parts are securely attached and won’t easily break apart in case of an accident or crash.

Ventilation: Proper ventilation helps keep you cool when riding at high speeds on hot days or over long distances. Look for helmets with multiple vents throughout the construction that allow air to circulate inside the helmet while blocking out debris, dust, insects and wind noise.

Weight: Full face MTB helmets generally weigh more than other styles because they offer more padding and protection than open facial designs do. But try not to sacrifice quality just for a light weight—go for something with great coverage but doesn’t add too much bulk and encumbrance on your head during rides.

Suspension System: Choose a full face MTB helmet with either multiple straps or an internal suspension system which can provide greater comfort during rides or extensive downhill terrains by evenly distributing the pressure around your head.

Sizing and fit

Choosing the right MTB helmet size is of utmost importance as it needs to fit correctly and snugly all round your head. Most manufacturers produce helmets within a range of sizes, so it’s important that you measure beforehand to find the correct size for you. The best way to do this is by using a tailor’s measuring tape and running it around the circumference of your head at its widest point, usually 1″ (2.5 cm) above your eyebrows. Once you’ve obtained the correct measurement (in inches or centimeters), simply compare it with the actual helmet sizing guide to determine which size helmet will provide a snug and comfortable fit.

In addition to determining your correct size, it’s important to consider how various features on full face MTB helmets are positioned on your head. This includes things like straps, visors, ear pockets, and goggle retention systems that allow fine-tuning after adjustments have been made with chin straps — all components that must be in a specific spot ‘to achieve optimal comfort and protection.’ If helmets don’t feel secure when worn or lacks protection due to improper fitment, then worrying years of downhill mountain biking may cause inadequate protection against head trauma in the event of crash or fall.

Maintenance and Care for Full Face MTB Helmets

A full-face mountain bike helmet is essential for riders who partake in downhill mountain biking, as they provide far more protection than other kinds of helmets. As with any piece of protective gear, it’s important to take proper care and maintenance measures to extend the life and effectiveness of a full-face MTB helmet. Below are some key ways to keep a full-face helmet in good working condition.

Clean Regularly – Helmets should be cleaned with warm water and mild detergent, taking care not to scrub or damage any of the straps or padding inside the helmet. If possible, use a soft brush to help remove dirt from crevices without damaging the paint or shell. Once finished cleaning, be sure to dry thoroughly as dampness can lead to helmet breakdown.

Replace Helmet Padding – A full-face mountain bike helmet’s padding should be replaced every six months or so (or earlier if needed). A set of new pads will help maintain fit and protect against bacteria buildup that could lead to premature breakdown.

Check Straps – Be sure that strap fasteners are always functioning properly and the straps themselves remain free of debris and wear signs such as stretching or fraying. It’s also important that straps stay adjusted according to manufacturers instructions and are snug enough so that they won’t move during dynamic riding conditions involving sharp turns or bumps in terrain.

Store Properly – Make sure your helmet is stored away from direct sunlight (UV rays can damage it) and at room temperature in an open space where air circulates freely. It’s also not recommended that helmets are packed away tightly as this could change their shape over time, reducing functionality and compromising fit on a subsequent ride session.

Cleaning and Washing

Proper cleaning and washing of full-face MTB helmets is essential for keeping them in top condition for many years. For helmets made of plastic or composite material, a mild soap – such as a dishwashing liquid – should be used to clean away dirt, mud and other debris. For more thorough cleaning such as removing sweat stains and oils, specific helmet cleaning products are recommended. If a mild detergent is used, the helmet must be rinsed thoroughly with clear water to ensure that no residue remains on the surface.

After cleaning the inside of the helmet, it should then be wiped dry with a soft cloth or a small brush if necessary. Similarly, for full-face MTB helmets made from leather or fabric materials, a general cleaning product should be used carefully on all areas of the helmet in order to remove any dirt and debris that has become lodged in its crevices or padding. As with plastic helmets, all parts must then be dried using either a soft cloth or small brush before being stored away in its original box or protective carrying case.


When storing your full face MTB helmet, it is important to keep it out of direct sunlight and away from high temperatures. Extreme heat can cause the helmet shell and liner to degrade over time, reducing its effectiveness in a crash.

Avoid storing your helmet next to solvents such as paints, fuel, lubricants and cleaning products; these chemicals can also damage the exterior of the helmet.

When traveling with your full face MTB helmet, make sure it fits in an approved storage case or bag designed for transporting helmets. This will ensure that the foam padding will not get crushed and that no dust or debris build up in the vents or other openings.

Keeping your full face MTB helmet clean is key to maintaining its performance and protection capabilities; check for dents, scratches or signs of wear on the exterior before each ride.


In conclusion, while many mountain bikers may be tempted to ride downhill with just a standard helmet, it is important to make sure you have the necessary protection. Choosing the right full-face MTB helmet is essential for ensuring your safety and comfort.

Consider carefully all of the factors mentioned in this guide before making a purchase and remember that no amount of money can buy you safety. If you follow some simple steps and choose wisely, you can be sure that your full-face MTB helmet will provide solid protection so that you can enjoy your downhill mountain biking experience without worrying about any potential accidents or injuries.


Do you need a full-face helmet for downhill MTB? 

Yes, a full-face helmet is recommended for downhill MTB as it provides greater protection to the face and head during high-speed descents and jumps.

Is full-face helmet needed for MTB? 

It depends on the type of MTB activity. Full-face helmets are recommended for downhill and freeride MTB, but for cross-country or trail riding, an open-face helmet may be sufficient.

What are full face MTB helmets for? 

Full-face MTB helmets are designed to provide greater protection to the face and head during high-speed descents and jumps, particularly for downhill and freeride MTB.

Should you wear full-face helmet on enduro? 

It is recommended to wear a full-face helmet for enduro racing or riding that involves high-speed descents and technical terrain.

What do I need for downhill MTB? 

For downhill MTB, you will need a suitable bike, full-face helmet, gloves, knee and elbow pads, and appropriate clothing and shoes.

What do I need for downhill mountain biking? 

For downhill mountain biking, you will need a suitable bike, full-face helmet, gloves, knee and elbow pads, and appropriate clothing and shoes.

Which helmet is better open face or full-face? 

The choice between open-face and full-face helmets depends on the type of MTB activity. Full-face helmets offer greater protection for high-speed and technical riding, while open-face helmets provide greater ventilation and are more suitable for cross-country or trail riding.

What is the advantage of full-face helmet? 

The advantage of a full-face helmet is that it provides greater protection to the face and head during high-speed descents and jumps, reducing the risk of injury.

Is a full-face helmet safer? 

Yes, a full-face helmet is generally safer for high-speed and technical riding as it provides greater protection to the face and head.

What is the difference between enduro and downhill helmet? 

Enduro helmets are generally lighter and more ventilated than downhill helmets, but still provide adequate protection for technical riding. Downhill helmets are heavier and offer more comprehensive protection to the face and head for high-speed descents and jumps.

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