A full face helmet review!
Author: Bruce at LUXBMX Date Posted:29 July 2021
BMX Racing Full Face Helmet Guide 2021
Without doubt, BMX racing in 2021 is fast, hectic and at any time you’re milliseconds from disaster with 7 other riders all vying for the same few inches of track in the first turn. Over the 50 years of BMX racing, we’ve seen BMX go from flat tracks to the start hills reaching 8m in height and reaching speeds of nearly 60kp/h on the first straight. For this reason, full face helmets are mandatory in Australia if you want to participate in any formal BMX racing event, from coaching, gate nights to racing.
So with the speeds and jumps involved in modern BMX racing, it makes total sense to wear a full face helmet right? With tracks becoming ever more slick and curated with concrete like rendered surfaces, even your neighbourhood track is faster than ever before and a full face helmet not only protects the face, it covers the important areas like the temporal lobe from direct impacts. From coaching sessions, to world cup SX racing, we've witnessed just about every way of crashing a BMX bike on a race track and you definitely want to get a decent helmet on your melon whether you’re just on a casual ride with your mates, or dropping in off the 8m ramp. BMX full face helmets we sell here at LUX have met the Australian standard and are distributed through Australian suppliers.
In this article, we breakdown the features that you need to look for in a helmet, the brands and models we sell and match them to the type of racing and riding that you might be doing out there.
Entry Level Full Face BMX Race Helmets
For the club level rider that is just starting out with some riding at the local BMX race track or pump track and looking to comply with the regulations, the helmets at this level meet both the minimum protection standards, as well as fitting into the family budget. Though one thing we advise you never do is scrimp on the dollars when it comes to helmets and source a second hand helmet as it may have already taken a hit, compromising its integrity as a safety cell that is there to protect your most vital organ, your brain.
Bell Sanction -
At just 850 grams, the Bell Sanction is a low-profile full-face helmet that runs a slightly smaller shell than other helmets we offer. This shell though is still manufactured from tough ABS (which stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and is a common thermoplastic polymer) which is known for its impact resistance as well as the aforementioned structural strength and stiffness. This helmet is perfect for pump track duties where (unfortunately) head-on collisions are not uncommon, with kids going in all directions. For race duties, as this helmet is on the smaller and lighter end of the spectrum, it’s well suited for the beginner rider 12 years and young who aren’t likely to be traveling too fast yet on tracks, or boosting the bigger jumps.
100% Status -
The 100% range of helmets have been offered by LUXBMX since we got super serious about racing back in 2016, appreciating the features, style and colours on offer from the San Diego company. These guys have a solid history in the MTB and BMX scene and their range of Status helmets reflect their experience.This level of helmet is a step up from the Bell Sanction and is suitable for any riding racing up to national level rounds. One of the main features found in the Status range is that the youth sized helmets run a smaller shell size, and aren’t just the standard “one size fits all” shell that manufactures at the more budget end of the full face spectrum offer.
With the youth sizes in the Status helmet range having this smaller shell size, it helps keep the weight down without compromising the safety features. One of the main advantages of a low weight in the helmet is the fact that it helps young riders keep their head stable as they race around the track as they don’t yet have the necessary neck strength to maintain a level eye line.
We see really young riders in MX helmets which are perfectly suitable for moto-cross which involves higher speeds, though they are generally 1.5x the weight of a helmet like the 100% Status. While arguably a little more safe in regards to impact resistance, the bigger issue is that a rider with an unstable head and eye line is more prone to crashing.
The 100% status range is manufactured from ABS plastic and as mentioned, this engineered material is super strong, with high impact resistance. 100% has also managed to produce the adult helmets in the weight range not too much higher than the Status youth sizes, which again is an advantage out on the track on a machine that is usually weighing in less than 10kg. It also contributes to being able to run longer practice sessions without inducing neck fatigue from using a heavier MX helmet.
Some of the features of the 100% Status helmet include
- Ultra-light design featuring a composite fiberglass shell
- Active cooling system maximizes airflow offering maximum ventilation while riding and also while rider is stationary
- Removable comfort liner, cheek pads and chin strap covers for easy washing
- Engineered with 2 shell sizes and 2 EPS sizes to achieve the perfect fit
- Compatible with inflatable emergency helmet release systems
- Padded PU chinbar interior for enhanced impact protection
- Adjustable visor with light-weight screws
Mid-Level Full Face BMX Race Helmets
At this level, these helmets are running the MIPS systems which greatly contributes to the reduction of head injuries by utilising a helmet liner that is engineered to slip (or rotate) in all axes. An important safety feature as BMX accidents are far from uniform falls where the rider can strike the ground from any angle and often at high velocity. The MIPS system is a world recognised safety technology that is licensed to helmet manufacturers in a global effort to reduce severe brain injuries from bicycle accidents. Having a helmet with this safety system incorporated in its design decreases the chances of an injury from head impact.
Here’s our pick of MIPS helmets for 2021
Fox Rampage Helmet - Youth and Adult
Like the 100% Status range, the Fox Rampage helmet is offered in youth and adult sizes, with the youth range sporting a dedicated shell which is smaller than the adult helmet’s shell. Again this brings with it the advantages of a lighter weight helmet for these smaller riders,aiding in maintaining control with a level head and eye line.
Both the youth and adult helmets feature the exact same lightweight, injection molded ABS shell and mesh vent screens providing extra ventilation, meaning that your head will stay cooler during those longer track sessions, or if you find yourself in the warmer parts of Australia, which face it, is all of Australia in summer.
One of the cons of this helmet is that it is slightly heavier than the 100% Status by 100-200grams (size for size), though with the extra protective layer of MIPS this is, we think, an acceptable trade off for the added safety afforded by a helmet in the same pricing strata. In the youth sized Fox Rampage helmets, there is very little difference in the weights comparatively.
We also love the bright colour options in the Fox Rampage range, especially the white and red options. They will help you identify your racer out there on the track easily amongst the darker, multli-coloured helmets we see on a lot of riders.
Fox Rampage Comp Helmet
The Fox Rampage Comp incorporates MIPS technology, super sleek styling and attention to detail, along with added features such as a removable, washable moisture wicking liner. A step up from the Rampage helmet, the Ramage Comp is offered in adult sizes only and is definitely suited to the biggest tracks out there in the race world for those riders pushing the limits.
A premium offering from the company well known for MX and BMX race gear, the Fox Rampage is just one level below their carbon shelled Comp helmet, but retains all of the same features. This helmet is our pick for the rider coming in off the 8m hill, or racing seriously at national level events. It also is perfect for the rider looking to protect themselves from the “big one”