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Old 05-07-2014, 03:01 PM   #1
ShenandoahRider OP
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Noob question: why a dual sport helmet?

Here's a helmet question I've not seen addressed yet: what are the advantages of a dual sport helmet over a regular (street) full-face helmet?

Before looking into adventure riding, I kind of 'wrote off' off road helmets, as they always had goggles associated (and I didn't like the idea of my helmet being open to dust and bugs anyway). Now I've become interested in adventure cycling and I see the dual sport helmets with full face shields and am wondering why people buy those? Is there some advantage to the extension in front of the mouth? Is there something else about them I don't know?

Thanks.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:06 PM   #2
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Street riding involves very little physical activity compared to off-roading. You don't breath heavy so worry about fogging up the screen.

dual-sport helmets help prevent you from overheating if you are on a technical section by providing more airflow. When I started dabbling offroad I had a street helmet and quickly bought a cheap DS. I wear it once in a while on a street bike with a windscreen as I like the extra air movement, they also happen to be louder though, making earbuds a necessity.

After seeing vidoes here of people getting branches through their cheeks with these helmets, I bought one with a lid. AFX makes inexpensive DS helmets, I just don't understand how some helmets cost 300+
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:41 PM   #3
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Harder to clean both sides of a dusty shield, so the DS helmets tend to be goggle-friendly. Visor keeps mud kicked up by the guy in front of you off the shield/goggles.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:55 PM   #4
T
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Buy what you feel comfortable in. The longer brim of my XD sometimes provides a bit of shade from the glare, but my modular is convenient for having a sip/snack at a stop.

The full on goggles only off-road helmets serve a different purpose for muddy/dusty/hot/dirt conditions.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:00 PM   #5
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Compared to a street helmet*:
The visor keeps the sun out of my eyes.
Using goggles with the face shield up allows airflow to most of my face, but keeps my eyes protected.

*I have never used a street helmet, so I'm guessing these things

Compared to a dirt helmet:
If it gets cold or rainy, the face shield can protect my whole face, and can be used with goggles.
The chin bar is closer in, and even though there is still wind on my face, it's less than with a dirt bike helmet.
Less wind noise, though I still use ear plugs for any ride longer than 5-10 minutes.

Had a Shoei Hornet for a few years, got an Arai XD4, the Arai is better in every way for me.
The visor is bigger and more useful, the face shield seals better if I decide to use it without goggles, the foam is more comfortable and the vents work better.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:05 PM   #6
BushX
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I've been riding 25+ years, dirt and street. Always either had a street only helmet for the road, and dirt helmet for the dirt. A street helmet in the dirt, fogs up when your going slow and working hard, doesn't keep billowing dust out of your eyes, it just fills up your whole helmet, get's a little warm, has nothing to deflect roost, or shade your eyes from the sun. I recently started riding dual sport (it was either one or the other in the past) and got my first DS helmet. The visor is great for blocking the sun when riding into it late in the day or early morning, the shield keeps the rain and wind off your face when you're on the road, and, when you go off road, you can flip the shield up, put on some goggles, and ride away, keeping the dust out of your eyes and some airflow on your face. I like it.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:15 PM   #7
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The reasons depend on if you primarily ride to Starbucks or offroad.

Previous posters have done a great job of explaining the offroad benefits.

For Starbucks it's gotta look cool, and has to be made by Arai or Shoei as well as be the latest model. The brighter and flashier the colors, the better. Only put stickers on it that you can back up with an adventurous story that you read in Ride Reports.
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:39 AM   #8
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Dual Sport helmets are the most versatile and adapts best to many different riding conditions which is why dual sporters love them.

Advantages:
- More space around chin bar to move air when exerting (Also less clausophobic for some users)
- Wide enough opening to wear googles in dusty conditions (BIG ADVANTAGE) Face Sheilds suck in heavy dust, plus you can adapt you googles lens for different conditions mid ride.
- Full Face Shield for rainy, cold conditions. Also can add a pin-lock to the visor to help with fogging issues.
- Visor to stop sun glare when riding in evenings/mornings (Shoei's is too short to be really helpful here)

Disadvantages:
- Sun Visor sucks on long Interstate runs, especially when you turn your head to check your blind spot.
- They can be noisier than a full-face
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:34 PM   #9
clintnz
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Another thing I've found to be useful with a DS style helmet is that cos the face shield folds up under the peak it won't get ripped off by branches when riding brushy or overgrown trails.

Also when riding gravel roads into the sun being able to shade your dusty face shield with the peak greatly aids visibility.

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Old 05-08-2014, 03:04 PM   #10
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Some guys wear road helmets with sunglasses and just open the shield when they're off-road. I can't do that. My eyes are really sensitive to dust and sun (but tear gas hardly hurts ), so I really need to wear goggles off-road. You can't wear goggles with a street helmet so . . .


One other point, I've tried a few dual-sport helmets. The only one I will use is the Arai XD. The reason? It's the only one with an adjustable visor/peak. On the freeway, having the visor angle right is what really keep vibration at bay. It's much nicer to be able to adjust the angle on the helmet rather than having to hold your head at some absurd angle. Also, the Arai has the longest visor and really feels like a dirt helmet that's been fitted with some niceties for the road, rather than the other way around. (There may now be other with adjustable visors.)
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YetiGS View Post
One other point, I've tried a few dual-sport helmets. The only one I will use is the Arai XD. The reason? It's the only one with an adjustable visor/peak. On the freeway, having the visor angle right is what really keep vibration at bay. It's much nicer to be able to adjust the angle on the helmet rather than having to hold your head at some absurd angle. Also, the Arai has the longest visor and really feels like a dirt helmet that's been fitted with some niceties for the road, rather than the other way around. (There may now be other with adjustable visors.)
My AFX FX-41 has an adjustable visor that also is quite long (much longer than the one on the AFX FX-39, which was basically a cosmetic visor only). It also is pretty good for not grabbing the wind except for when you turn your head sideways at higher speeds. It is a lot noisier than the Arai XD4 though (and lower build quality), and for that reason, my next helmet will probably be the Arai...
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BillMoore View Post
My AFX FX-41 has an adjustable visor that also is quite long (much longer than the one on the AFX FX-39, which was basically a cosmetic visor only). It also is pretty good for not grabbing the wind except for when you turn your head sideways at higher speeds. It is a lot noisier than the Arai XD4 though (and lower build quality), and for that reason, my next helmet will probably be the Arai...
Good to hear. I've only tried the 39.

Btw, a very reliable source tells me there's a new Dual Sport helmet coming to market soon that will feature and adjustable visor and an internal drop-down sun shade! I for one cannot wait to try that out. That's why I haven't replaced my XD3 yet . . .
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:37 PM   #13
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The shoei DS helmet seems neat,except goggles dont fit well if at all ,and once the shield is scuffed from dust and mud,it costs 60+ dollars for a new shield. Also dust readily floats inside the helmet getting in your eyes and the outside and inside of the shield get coated in dust.

If its going to be dusty/muddy,I wear goggles and another helmet.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by YetiGS View Post
Good to hear. I've only tried the 39.

Btw, a very reliable source tells me there's a new Dual Sport helmet coming to market soon that will feature and adjustable visor and an internal drop-down sun shade! I for one cannot wait to try that out. That's why I haven't replaced my XD3 yet . . .
Ooooh... tell me more!
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:16 PM   #15
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Can't, sorry. Hopefully soon. Speaking of which, I need to call someone...
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