Full face or convertible helmet


E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 2, 2022
Chichester, W.Sussex, UK
Today I ordered a Dainese Linea 01 (white) full face helmet. White because if last summer is anything to go by a Black helmet (cheaper) will be a brain fryer. Dainese because it's very light for a full face helmet.


Active member
Sep 11, 2021
Slovak Republic
The only two convertible Full-Face helmets with DH certifications are Giro SwitchBlade and Leatt 4.0. I had both and if you have seen them, you would know it's different league compared to Parachute, Bell R, etc..
Obviously they don't protect as true full-face, but neither do they less than light-weight Enduro full-faces like TLD Stage or Proframe.

I use them alongside true full-face in following way:

1) Hard bike-parks with real DH/Freeride tracks: My TLD D3.
2) Light bike-parks that only have flow trails and single-tracks: My Leatt 4.0 convertible in Full-Face mode
3) 3-4 hour ride during which I both session some light freeride trails but also have to ride a lot to get there and back. I just snap my Leatt jaw to my hip-pack.
4) When I do regular trail riding, I keep just the top of my Leatt 4.0.

This way I only own two helmets, and when I car travel, I potentially only need to take 1 to cover every type of riding, which matters, because even my Land Cruiser doesn't fit 2-3 helmets per every family member.

I personally cannot imagine riding full-time in light-weight full-face like TLD Stage. Even lightest most breathable full-face is too much for me on pedallable trails, although I can imagine for Fall in the UK it's different. But I do a lot of mixed day riding where I do both jumpy trails and still plenty of km (30-40km) that I do want the flexibility.

Convertible is for specific niche (like I outlined above), it's not replacement for either true Full-Face or Light-weight Full-Face. They're not competitors, either you need it or you don't.


Active member
Sep 11, 2021
Slovak Republic
Also the reason I swapped from Giro SwitchBlade to Leatt 4.0 is that Giro proved to be just bit too unorthodox and hot in jawless mode. Almost everyone I know eventually got rid of them because it's too much of helmet in either mode. The SwitchBlade though, in Full-Face mode, is almost 1kg and just as sturdy as my TLD3. Absolutely deserves the ASTM DH cert.

Leatt 4.0 is far more breathable in both modes, yet very sturdy in both as well. In "Trail" mode it's lot more sturdy and bigger coverage than my older POC Tectal. I would say it's even slightly bit more coverage than POC Kortal. So definitely very solid base.
Only downfall is the jaw connection mechanism. Takes a bit of patience to learn..


E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Feb 16, 2019
Maffra Victoria Australia
"Morbidity" is generally related to disease so trauma is probably a better term to use.

But you misunderstand the point of my post which took issue with the use of the word "ALL" ...


No, morbidity is the disease burden - so trauma induced disease or disability counts as morbidity

eg https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/26/Suppl_2/i46

The phrase ALL cause ( morbidity / mortality ) etc is a widely used term to quantify the health burden from ALL causes. eg if we are looking at injury reduction stats from various helmets , we consider brain injury, neck injury, facial trauma , and ALL the other causes of morbidity / mortality

Now lets stop arguing about pedantic words and think about the reality - a full face lid fails the down hill standard if the chin bar deflects, not fails. STUPID standard - I'll take a flexible impact absorbing chin bar over a rigid one when my neck gets twisted, thanks. At least until there is health data supporting the DH standard.


Active member
Jul 22, 2022
Helensburgh, Scotland.
The whole full face/open face/convertible issue is a tricky one. If you knew when you were going to crash it'd be easy but as you don't everything comes down to risk assessment and guess work. I personally ride almost all the time in an open face lid but I sometimes wonder if I should use my full face more often. I used to hardly ever wear my knee pads either but one of my riding mates made the very valid point that if they're comfortable and not too hot why wouldn't you use them most of the time? Carrying this argument on, I never wear elbow guards but a couple of weeks ago had an otb at the Golfie which resulted in me landing on my right elbow and knee. My knee was unhurt (my pads were scuffed and muddy but saved me) but my right elbow was quite badly cut and grazed. This didn't stop me riding on but it meant a painful session scrubbing the wound with a brush and disinfectant when I got home to clean it out. If I'd been wearing elbow pads I probably would have been totally unharmed. I've now bought a pair for the next time I'm riding somewhere a bit more challenging but I could still get caught out by a silly unexpected crash on easier trails. Applying the learning points from that crash, maybe I should be wearing my full face more often as well........who knows?
Jan 22, 2021
BC, Canada
I've ridden a half shell helmet almost all of my riding career... until I realized I was almost 50 and didn't want to endure dental work or facial injuries. Now the only time I wear my half shell is when riding the lazy trails with the kids. I have an IXS Trigger FF which is comfortable, not too hot and light(er). I am beyond caring how people perceive me based on looks and am happy to know I have a little more protection.


E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 16, 2019
....there is another approach.
Having decided what to wear, or not, in terms of helmet type, armour etc, you can moderate your approach to the ride accordingly.
Of course accidents can happen on the most innocuous trails but it is about risk mitigation.........and you cant win them all!
The only time I do not wear any armour at all is a ride out with my wife which would pose the lowest risk, and open helmet is fine . For my usual forest trails I have padded shorts and an armour jacket I class as "intermediate" protection and usually full face helmet ( Smith Mainline) For rocky or unfamiliar trails I wear Leatt armour and full face.
XC type /adventure rides are where you can exercise discretion. If I have decided to wear open face and just light armour I dont push it on more techy/gravity stuff..........whereas if I was fully kitted out I would risk more.

Arron M

Oct 14, 2021
....there is another approach…
Of course accidents can happen…

They certainly can… sorry I have not been back to this thread, I ended up waiting for and buying the new Fox proframe RS with BOA and it’s great.

However the lid was on its second ride and now I’m sidelined again with 2 broken vertebrae and some internal bruising thanks to a half Witt who left their bike on the down ramp of a 20+ footer, I didn’t see it until I was leaving the up ramp 😡


Aug 3, 2020
I use a bell super DH convertible helmet, its certified to the following standards, which is good enough for me.

CE EN1078, ASTM F1952-00 (Downhill), ASTM F2032-06 (BMX) certified

Most of the time I use it without the chin bar, but if we're going to an uplift only place I will put the chin bar on.

Its a great helmet.

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