The face guard doesn’t have to completely resist the force. If you could design it to predictably fail in a safe manner you could dissipate a ton of energy. Same idea as car crumple zones. A rigid structure just transfers the force somewhere else.
You really don’t have a lot of room for an energy-dissipating structure there… but maybe a MIPS-style attachment point allowing some deformation would be possible.
In slalom chin-guards, the impact energy is minimal (although anyone who has taken a rapid-gate in the face without a guard would tend to disagree), and the helmet it is attached to has lots of energy-absorbing material around the wearer’s head to work with.
The difference with the ski mask is it needs to survive repeated impacts. A bike face guard could start deforming at almost any load. And you can feed that load pretty far up, all the way from the chin into the temple/base of the skull tri-angle. I would at the very least be interested to see what kind of safety they could get our of chasing it. If it made me 2x less likely to break my face in an crash… seems work an extra $100 for more carbon in the right places.
That’s actually much more of a problem for beginners, who stay too far from the gates. On the proper line with proper angulation, your head and body are way inside the gate, and chin guard hits should be very infrequent.
Ok, ok, TMI.
I mean… I’d wear this all the time not just cycling.
As my son progressed through racing I don’t really recall any facial injuries from gates. More often than not with the young ones it was more from rubbing their faces in the hard snow. Most injuries were the gates snapping back and catching them on the thighs or butt. 32mm frozen plastic tubes at 35km/h pack a nasty slap. Some of the bruises I’ve seen He eventually stopped wearing one.
The POC ones were over engineered. A lot of them were just a wire
I found the perfect full face for the athlete training for an IM event…
I wore a full face mtb trail helmet (similar to the Met Parachute pictured earlier) for a few years, but even with large vents in the chin guard breathing was a real issue. I would sometimes stop at the top of a climb and rip it off my head to get some air! In the end I went back to a regular open face helmet.
I like the idea of having face protection, but if it affects breathing or cooling then it’s not going to be practical for me.
How are we supposed to breathe in that? Especially if you’re going hard! That face shield will fog instantly and constantly. It might be more dangerous due to lack of vision.