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Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: moomba32 ()
Date: February 07, 2018 02:28PM

I have a reasonably current Snell M helmet and have been thinking of buying a new helmet but would prefer open face, my current one is full. I don't really see anything beyond autocross in my near future, is there any reason I should buy a full helmet rather than the open face? After countless runs in autocross I finally 'used' my helmet a little over a year ago. While driving the Vair in an autocross I lost my grip on the steering wheel and it started spinning fast, when I grabbed at it, it hurt my hand so I let it have it's way and the result hooked the car so hard to the right it pushed me against the door hard enough to actually get a little blood out of my elbow along with banging my helmet on the roof, not sure if I would have hit my head because I think it would have been low enough to miss the roof without a helmet. I see the wisdom in wearing a helmet, I've been in events that I had well enough speed to do some real damage if something failed and my car decided not to turn this time but I feel like even at those speeds I would be ok with an open face. The next safety device I'd like to have in the car is a harness bar and four point harness, I think this would be way more protection than the lap belt.

Don Marlowe
66 Monza 2Dr 140/pg
64 Spyder convertible now, 110/pg
Eutawville SC

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: Melb-Mike ()
Date: February 07, 2018 04:19PM

Personally I prefer a full face helmet but some people get claustrophobic in a full face helmet. The newer carbon fiber helmets are 30% lighter than their fiberglass counterparts. I would also recommend racing gloves. It will improve your grip on the steering wheel and reduce fatigue. However keep in mind most of my racing is road racing vs autoX. Also if you want to stay well planted in your car, consider a race harness. I use a 6 point harness and never worry about getting thrown around out of position. That might be a real challenge with the standard Corvair seats. A Sparco or Cobra race seat solves that problem.

64 Greenbrier
64 Spyder (needs restoration)
65 Corsa 140, restored
66 Corsa turbo, restoring now
66 Corsa 140 "RR" code coupe fully restored
67 Pontiac GTO restored
69 Corvette 427 convertible restored
2004 Caterham R400 (Lotus super7)my race car
2015 Porsche Panamera S
2015 Corvette Z06
1965 AC Cobra (Factory Five)

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: jcorvair ()
Date: February 07, 2018 04:45PM

If using stock seat belt the full-face helmet will help prevent steering wheel impact damage. After getting smacked in the face many years ago I will only use full-face.

James
Maple Ridge, BC

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Turbo
2013 Hyundai Elantra (daughter's future car)
2009 Silverado HD Crew Cab 4x4 (for haulin cars, trailers, fifth wheels, quads, etc.)
2013 Victory Car Hauler (enclosed)
2015 Polaris 570 EPS
2016 Polaris 570 SP

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: moomba32 ()
Date: February 07, 2018 04:46PM

I may look into gloves, never had too much trouble but that hard wheel is a bit slick.
I have newer seats, not racing but from a Mercedes, that in itself was a great improvement.
I don't have the claustrophobia issue, for me it's hot inside the helmet and the open face would be cooler and possibly offer better visibility.

Don Marlowe
66 Monza 2Dr 140/pg
64 Spyder convertible now, 110/pg
Eutawville SC

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Date: February 07, 2018 05:23PM

Check to see that the sanctioning agency of your event accepts Snell M helmets, which are rated for motorcycles and have greater abrasion resistance and less fire resistance than Snell SA (special application) helmets. Whether M or SA, full face is the way to go.

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: February 07, 2018 07:16PM

Yes a full face can be hot but wait until you have to also wear long underwear in 90 degree temps! As you already know anything can and will happen, what is your face worth? Is a little sweat worth it? In order to keep the inside of the helmet clean also get a balaclava. That is washable and just might psyc out your competition!

The new full face SA helmets have a good size viewing area and you really should be looking the direction you want to go anyway!

With my full face I can see a car nose out the right side window without turning my head. Go watch a few in car camera accidents and see what happens to the driver! Your description of what happened is actually watered down, if there would have been a camera on you it would scare you.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: Pacerace ()
Date: February 07, 2018 07:52PM

I originally wanted an open face helmets because most of what I do is in hot weather. I decided on the full face, so if I do hit something in the Corvair my jaw won't slam the steering wheel. I will usually remove the visor for a bit more ventilation. Not sure of the actual safety of that however, and I haven't tested if my face can contact the wheel through the missing visor.

Visibility isn't an issue in mine, an SA2010 Bell Sport. If you can, find a local shop that stocks many, and try them on. The G-Force open face I originally bought sat high on my head. After trying on the Bell I made the decision and exchanged the G-Force. It fit me much better and is more comfortable.

I do wear gloves when I autocross. Helps with the clammy hands in the summer, and the wood wheel is hard on the hands in an autocross.

________________________________________________________

Chandler
Powder Springs, GA.



1965 Corvair Monza 110/4sp Coupe

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: Seth Emerson ()
Date: February 07, 2018 08:35PM

The last 5 or 6 helmets I have worn have been full face coverage. I haven't ridden a Motorcycle in a decade. If you are considering ever driving an open car, a full face is a must. If you will always be driving a closed car, an open face is safe enough if you will always be wearing a full harness. Personally, in a closed autocross car, I do not wear the shoulder belts, just the lap belt. So I use a full face coverage. Faster course, wear the harness. I second the suggestion of trying them on if you can. It should be a tight fit, but not headache inducing.

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: moomba32 ()
Date: February 08, 2018 01:55AM

Excellent thought producing answers, I've always had full face, I may be staying that way, thanks.

Don Marlowe
66 Monza 2Dr 140/pg
64 Spyder convertible now, 110/pg
Eutawville SC

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: corventure Dave ()
Date: February 08, 2018 07:33AM

The standard procedure for fitting a helmet to your melon.....

Put the helmet on your head and fasten the chin strap. Then rock your head forward, chin to chest. Now grab the helmet at the back and try to roll it forward off of your head. A proper fitting helmet will not roll off.
Everyone's head, "melon" is a different shape. One size that fits in one name brand may not fit with another name brand. A helmet that rolls off your head is not good protection.

Corventure Dave

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: Frogfinder ()
Date: February 08, 2018 08:04AM

I find that in most of my accidents i have taken it on my chin.

jeff

66 Corsa 140 4 spd
Houston, Tx

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: Nickshu ()
Date: February 08, 2018 09:46AM

For autocross open is probably fine unless rules dictate otherwise. For a road course full face w/ visor closed for sure. I have been hit in the visor w/ a rock thru my open window on the track, it can happen.

Nick
_______________________________________________________________________
1964 Monza Spyder Convertible #435 - Rotisserie restored - Check out my restoration thread here: [corvaircenter.com]
Recreational Mechanic/CORSA Member/COG Supporting Member/US Navy Veteran
Northern Colorado, USA

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: Bernie ()
Date: February 09, 2018 09:41AM

Maybe I'm a little late on this post, but I have some thoughts: I've been a skateboarder and I've rode a few motorcycles. That evening said, I've seen a lot of facial injuries that have occurred even with a open face helmet. Why, not go all the way and protect all of your head?

Sure, maybe an open face will protect your brain, but will it protect your face?

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: corventure Dave ()
Date: February 09, 2018 11:48AM

Forget safety. Go for the Rebel Cool look! No obstructed vision. Light weight. Stores away easily!

Skid Lid is the answer! hot smiley

Corventure Dave

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: February 09, 2018 01:14PM

corventure Dave Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Forget safety. Go for the Rebel Cool look! No
> obstructed vision. Light weight. Stores away
> easily!
>
> Skid Lid is the answer! hot smiley
>
> Corventure Dave

That is right!
Besides, scars make better stories than tattoos! ! ! hot smiley

.
-----------------------------------------------
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
'66 Monza Coupe - 4spd, 140 Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - PG, 140 Daily driver beater

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Re: Should I buy open or full face helmet?
Posted by: Seth Emerson ()
Date: February 10, 2018 05:00PM

Reference to "Like a Rolling Stone" lyric by Bob Dylan seems appropriate. "When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose!"

Seth Emerson

Check my new Performance Corvair Web site [www.perfvair.com]

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