Is a full-face DH helmet for certain e-bike riding activities overkill or a good idea?

PDoz

Well-Known Member
#61
I searched amazon 3 months before I broke my chin for a jaw protecting bike helmet and amazon could NOT find this for me. Note there is no description: MTB adult bike MIPS helmet, all of which which I don't care about. Amazon showed me a lot of 80 mph rated motorcycle helmets with no ventilation, and a visor that would fog up totally in humidity like today. I could have eaten solid food Thanksgiving Christmas & New Year's 2017 if Amazon's search engine was smart enough to key in to "bike helmet chin guard". Stupid computers. Stupid description from bell, too.
Google doesn't seem to have any issues with " bike helmet chin guard" , although you'd have better luck with " full face bicycle helmet" - admittedly my google search results might be more selective than yours because google has already stalked my mountain bike shopping addiction.....

The bell description makes more sense when you look at their entire range
 
#62
I hear what he's saying though - you often need to have a very specific 'magic phrase' to unlock a search and really find what you're after. The more technical the thing is, the more specific the phrase. As a software engineer, I've learned to get really good at finding those phrases - we call it 'search literacy'. Not everyone has it, and it honestly is kind of frustrating, given the massive amount of money Google pours into AI, specifically for search. That was their original selling point for the brand. Unfortunately, they no longer care much about you finding stuff, only serving ads. Although, in this case, those interests were aligned. That's why it often makes more sense to ask people on a forum first (who sometimes will unfortunately tell you to Google it - which you did, and ended up on the forum). So I can understand the pain. That said, there's just so much data out there now I think it also may be an issue of just not being able to optimize everything. The sorts of ML networks you need to train for a search like that require a lot of human-labeled data and need to be frequently re-trained on large data sets as the data gets updated. Another alternative is reinforcement learning, but that is more compute intensive and still requires a human to specify what to train on. You can mine for things to train on with another ML network using a clustering algorithm tied to maybe some sort of NLP, but that's generally going to be pretty imprecise with the current state of the art.

The magic phrase in this case seems to be "Full face downhill mtb helmet". I didn't know about the major helmet types and regulations before this journey of safety discovery myself. Funnily enough, everyone I talk to on the street refers to it as a 'BMX' helmet. And it's similar, but DH, Enduro and BMX helmets are technically different as they conform to different standards. No one so far seems to understand what downhill is. I tried belaboring it the first couple of times and then gave up. I do get a lot of chuckles with the new helmet, btw, but it's mixed in with comments of approval because it looks so cool. Even if it were all chuckles though, I'll take that over a broken jaw, shattered teeth or cheese grater face. That knock to my head was a message that I intend to fully heed. The other common misconception is that it's a dirt bike helmet - and I do now notice that a surprising number of city motorcyclists wear moto helmets for some reason.

I've discovered one other unexpected benefit to the helmet, btw. I tend to have a bit of a temper - I'm not proud of it - but I'm honestly a bit thin-skinned when people troll me on the street. This happens a lot in San Francisco, surprisingly. The DH helmet muffles my hearing enough that I can't hear these stupid comments anymore, so I tend to be a bit calmer. I read an article recently regarding the fact that apparently a lot of women nowadays wear Airbuds to screen out skeevy dudes cat calling them on the street. So a full face helmet is sort of like Airbuds for dudes... or ladies, I know it's not technically gendered, but I mostly see men wearing them. It does have the same effect though - in the case of most women, they are attempting to avoid fear or anxiety, in my case it's helping me avoid anger. Different emotions, same outcome.

One last thing, I noticed something descending Portola the other day... on fast descents, the wind seems to lift the visor and buffet your head. It sort of acted as an unintentional safety feature, as I couldn't go much faster than 30-35 mph. Is this typical? My bike encourages an upright posture, I guess most people racing downhill have their head down in an attack posture. I was surprised how pronounced the effect was though. A bit of an annoyance, but not a deal breaker; thought that might be a useful detail to other people reading the thread.
 
#63
Oh yeah, that's our 'cat wall'. We had 'too many cats' as well - 2 - until one passed recently, so our other cat has it all to herself now. I've got three of them on that wall, staggered, mounted on L-brackets. Gotta say, a cat's natural death - not pretty. I've never seen a cat pass naturally before and it was pretty brutal. I'm now not especially looking forward to our other cat's passing, nor that of our ACD. Never seen a dog pass naturally either, but I'm sure it's not any more fun to watch.
So sorry about your cat. Some of them do go in their sleep. But not usually. The one I have left is 20 now, and I’m keeping a close eye on his quality of life.. He still enjoys his food, and cuddles.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
#64
I hear what he's saying though - you often need to have a very specific 'magic phrase' to unlock a search and really find what you're after. The more technical the thing is, the more specific the phrase. As a software engineer, I've learned to get really good at finding those phrases - we call it 'search literacy'. Not everyone has it, and it honestly is kind of frustrating, given the massive amount of money Google pours into AI, specifically for search. That was their original selling point for the brand. Unfortunately, they no longer care much about you finding stuff, only serving ads. Although, in this case, those interests were aligned. That's why it often makes more sense to ask people on a forum first (who sometimes will unfortunately tell you to Google it - which you did, and ended up on the forum). So I can understand the pain. That said, there's just so much data out there now I think it also may be an issue of just not being able to optimize everything. The sorts of ML networks you need to train for a search like that require a lot of human-labeled data and need to be frequently re-trained on large data sets as the data gets updated. Another alternative is reinforcement learning, but that is more compute intensive and still requires a human to specify what to train on. You can mine for things to train on with another ML network using a clustering algorithm tied to maybe some sort of NLP, but that's generally going to be pretty imprecise with the current state of the art.

The magic phrase in this case seems to be "Full face downhill mtb helmet". I didn't know about the major helmet types and regulations before this journey of safety discovery myself. Funnily enough, everyone I talk to on the street refers to it as a 'BMX' helmet. And it's similar, but DH, Enduro and BMX helmets are technically different as they conform to different standards. No one so far seems to understand what downhill is. I tried belaboring it the first couple of times and then gave up. I do get a lot of chuckles with the new helmet, btw, but it's mixed in with comments of approval because it looks so cool. Even if it were all chuckles though, I'll take that over a broken jaw, shattered teeth or cheese grater face. That knock to my head was a message that I intend to fully heed. The other common misconception is that it's a dirt bike helmet - and I do now notice that a surprising number of city motorcyclists wear moto helmets for some reason.

I've discovered one other unexpected benefit to the helmet, btw. I tend to have a bit of a temper - I'm not proud of it - but I'm honestly a bit thin-skinned when people troll me on the street. This happens a lot in San Francisco, surprisingly. The DH helmet muffles my hearing enough that I can't hear these stupid comments anymore, so I tend to be a bit calmer. I read an article recently regarding the fact that apparently a lot of women nowadays wear Airbuds to screen out skeevy dudes cat calling them on the street. So a full face helmet is sort of like Airbuds for dudes... or ladies, I know it's not technically gendered, but I mostly see men wearing them. It does have the same effect though - in the case of most women, they are attempting to avoid fear or anxiety, in my case it's helping me avoid anger. Different emotions, same outcome.

One last thing, I noticed something descending Portola the other day... on fast descents, the wind seems to lift the visor and buffet your head. It sort of acted as an unintentional safety feature, as I couldn't go much faster than 30-35 mph. Is this typical? My bike encourages an upright posture, I guess most people racing downhill have their head down in an attack posture. I was surprised how pronounced the effect was though. A bit of an annoyance, but not a deal breaker; thought that might be a useful detail to other people reading the thread.
The peak should be adjustable to suit your posture - most of the down hill guys set it very high to improve visibility , but us mortals tilt it down for aerodynamics / to block the sun.

Interesting discussion about search engines serving the advertisers - technically that particular bell shouldn't come up on a search for downhill helmet because it's not certified for downhill racing ! If anything, excluding the " downhill" part of the search should come up with lids more suitable for general use - presumably " enduro" should work, but that might confuse the computers ( enduro is also a dirt motorbike speciality) . I guess my initial anti amazon bias came from a naive Australian perspective ( a year ago amazon would flood us with adverts for us products they would refuse to post to oz....) .
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
#65
That's why it often makes more sense to ask people on a forum first (who sometimes will unfortunately tell you to Google it - which you did, and ended up on the forum).

The magic phrase in this case seems to be "Full face downhill mtb helmet". I didn't know about the major helmet types and regulations before this journey of safety discovery myself.
I was posting on roadbikereview.com forum in August 2017. and their answer to the problem of the handlebars jerking out of my hands on obstructions, the wheel whipping sideways, and the bike throwing me on my chin, was "man up, hold on to the handlebars". Yeah, great. Glad they are all 25 year olds of European ancestry. I've ripped 2 shoulder tendons off the bone bringing in the mail 2016, one in the 11/17 bike accident.
After some kind person on this forum told me the magic phrase was "downhill mountain bike racing helmet" in January 2018, I found one on competitivecyclist.com, which I had searched four pages of helmets previously without finding one. Amazon warehouse is closer, I could have had the Bell in a week. Although amazon are on my backpedal list after they jacked up their freight prices higher than UPS so you'll buy their television service subscription. Not on your life.
I tried taking the over eye visor off originally, but the sun in my eyes was a huge problem. I could tip the half helmet to the sun side before. So I wear it. There is one benefit of the visor: when I'm on a sidewalk and a tree or bush is in my face, I can plow through it wearing sunglasses.
 
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#66
@PDoz it's down all the way, that was one of the first things I did, but it still whips my head around a bit. We also have strong winds here, especially when the fog is in (called "Karl" by most locals, but my spouse and I call him Carlos). Anyway, even on level ground if the winds are around 20 mph it seems to buffet me quite a bit. I may remove it and grab some tear off films for my goggles from the 100% website.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
#67
@PDoz it's down all the way, that was one of the first things I did, but it still whips my head around a bit. We also have strong winds here, especially when the fog is in (called "Karl" by most locals, but my spouse and I call him Carlos). Anyway, even on level ground if the winds are around 20 mph it seems to buffet me quite a bit. I may remove it and grab some tear off films for my goggles from the 100% website.
I had to look back at your previous posts - you bought a fox proframe? I think they are down hill oriented with no adjustment to the peak? Can it be cut back / removed ?

I know the bell has a tiny and very adjustable peak, the leatt peak is larger but still very adjstable.

On my motorbikes, a very minor change to peak length or airflow can make a huge difference - my adv lids have removable peaks but I can usually manage to get a workable compromise. Good luck.