According to World Health Organization, cyclists who don't wear helmets suffer more severe head injuries than those who do. Helmets that are worn correctly have an estimated 85% and 88% effectiveness in protecting your head. But while mountain bike (MTB) helmets are designed to protect your head in the event of an accident, they do not, however, provide full protection for your face.
Fortunately, face shields can be used with a conventional bike helmet to protect the user's face. These shields come in different shapes and sizes and attach easily to most helmets by clamping onto the front or back. Additionally, many full-face biking helmets are equipped with a shield fit for your face and jaw protection at the bottom of the helmet.
This article discusses when to use a bike helmet with a face shield and its difference from the half-face helmet.
Full Face MTB Helmet Vs. Half Face MTB Helmet
Full-face helmets are designed to protect your entire head and face from any impact they sustain during a biking accident. They also provide additional protection for the back of your neck, ears, and chin areas with their integrated helmet visor or extension that covers these parts of your body. If you wear glasses, don't worry—there is a space available in front of them so they won't be smashed by a shield that extends over this area. This type of helmet is best used in cold climates, as they also provide a little heat and insulation to your head.
On the other hand, half-face mountain bike helmets are often used for trail biking. They can be paired with glasses or protective goggles for debris, dust, bugs, and other elements that could impair their vision. This type of helmet is better in a hot climate or for people who sweat more than usual. Granted, they provide less protection; however, they are more preferred for long biking rides since riders can breathe and feel cooler with the ventilation.
When to Use a Bike Helmet With Full Face Protection
One reason to consider using a full-face MTB helmet is during races, where speed becomes more important than safety when descending at high speeds through tight trails. It can be difficult to make emergency maneuvers through these terrain features when wearing a regular bike helmet. The additional protection provided by this type of shield could mean saving your life in certain circumstances. Additionally, most downhill races do require a full-face helmet for the contestants.
Another reason is to do more downhill biking than uphill or flat-land riding, as these helmets provide excellent support for your neck muscles, which would otherwise get very tired from holding up your head at high speeds on bumpy descents.
A bike helmet face protection is good for downhill biking but may accumulate heat if used for trail biking. They provide adequate protection to the whole head, face, and jaw. However, they might be heavier for your everyday use than with a regular mountain bike helmet and goggles combination. Whether you decide to use one or the other (or both, depending on the biking experience you want), remember that safety is only assured when the helmets are fitted and placed properly.
In addition, make sure that it doesn't rest too high on your forehead. Also, check if the straps are snug and fit around your face and head. And lastly, check if the helmet moves excessively or if it even is a little bit loose.
It also helps to determine if the helmet model you are eyeing is a Snell-certified helmet. You may read about bike helmet reviews to give you more information on what type of biking helmets suit you.