we have a few tricky bits on the trails around here and frequently escape routes for unscheduled landings are full of rocks and trees. i don’t think additional scars would much improve my face, i would really miss my teeth and i’m somewhat attached to my brain, too.

mountain bike helmets are treading a fine line between protection and heat stroke. they used to be a bit like wearing a thin slice of swiss cheese on the top of your head and probably provide about as much protection (i never had to find out).

bell were probably the first to build a helmet for the enduro crowd, with better protection, a good shield, tight fit and acceptable ventilation. but as the trails become more extreme, especially the downhill sections, more protection sounds less like a nice thought than a minimum requirement.

the new switchblade comes with a detachable chinbar, so it can easily be removed for better airflow on the uphill parts and then reattached in a few seconds without taking off the helmet when the fun begins. the helmet is not heavy and appears to be well enough ventilated for the protection it provides. it really wraps around the head and feels safe from the first instant. the only thing i’d say is that somehow it appears hell bent on ripping off your ears every time you put it on.

ok i have not used it yet. looking forward to the first ride – tomorrow!