In a sea of bike helmets you could buy, the Strider ST R Full Face distinguishes itself as truly unique in function and purpose. With a removable chin guard, the Strider ST R can be used as a full face helmet or a standard bike helmet, and is the smallest full face helmet to boast this feature.
Significantly more lightweight than any other full face helmet on the market, it’s particularly appropriate for toddlers and young kids who may struggle with the weight of a standard full face. But that light weight comes with a tradeoff – the Strider Full Face helmet doesn’t offer the same coverage as other full face helmets. Read the review below for all the details on who this helmet is best for!
Strider Full Face
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Strider racers or kids who need extra facial protection, not recommended for advanced mountain biking
SIZE: S (48 – 52 cm), M (52 – 58 cm)
ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM: Dial-adjust
WEIGHT: 410 grams
- Removable chin guard – can be used as a full face or standard helmet
- Easy-to-access dial-adjust knob
- Long visor for added protection against face plants
- High-quality, in-mold construction
- Less coverage than other full face helmets
- Side straps can easily get twisted
Strider Full-Face Helmet – Results of Our Test Rides
Do you need a full face helmet?
With the added protection of a chin guard, full face helmets can be a life saver in the event of a crash. While a standard helmet will protect your child’s head and much of their forehead, the face, chin, and mouth remain exposed. Depending on the angle of the fall, a chin guard could mean the difference between a minor crash or a trip to the emergency room and dental bills to repair tooth damage.
Full face helmets have historically been most common in mountain biking and dirt biking, where riders reach higher speeds and ride on much more aggressive terrain. But we’ve recently seen an increasing interest in full face helmets for neighborhood riders.
Because standard bike helmets are the norm in the neighborhood, the idea of a full face helmet often comes to a parent after a child has experienced a face plant that resulted in injury to the face and mouth. They elect to get a full face helmet to avoid another similar injury.
So does your child need a full face helmet? Ultimately, that’s up to you and your comfort level with your child’s riding ability, as well as the potential dangers inherent in where they ride. For our family, the option of a full-face helmet is awesome when we ride more aggressively at bike parks and pump tracks, but we often choose not to use them for average neighborhood rides.
Who is the Strider Full Face Helmet best for?
The Strider Full Face helmet is very different from other full face helmets. With limited rear and side coverage, we wouldn’t classify it as a true full face helmet. The Strider is really a standard helmet with additional facial protection. As a result, it’s also much more lightweight than a standard full face helmet.
Because other full face helmets are so heavy, we discourage their use for average neighborhood riders. (More on this below). While not ideal for aggressive mountain biking, the Strider certainly is a win for parents looking for a lightweight, “full face” helmet for neighborhood riders.
At $89, it’s a bit on the pricey side. When not used with the chin guard, it’s a nice, but average helmet. If you don’t plan on using the Strider as a full face regularly, it’s probably not worth the cost. But if you’re looking for the face protection of a full face helmet for your adventurous or clumsy everyday rider, we eagerly recommend the Strider Full Face.
Coverage and Certification
The world of full face helmets is a bit complicated. There is a certification for down hill full face helmets (ASTM F1952 DH), but many full face helmets do not have this higher certification. They have the same certification as a standard bicycle helmet.
For example, the popular Bell Sanction helmet (shown below) is only certified for standard bicycling use, which is the same certification that the Strider ST R has. Looking at the helmets and holding them in your hands, this is a bit confusing. The Bell Sanction feels much more sturdy and has much more coverage.
The difference in coverage is particularly noticeable on the rear and rear sides of the hemet. While the Bell Sanction covers the entire rear portion of a child’s head, the Strider ST R only covers the rear about 2/3 the way down the head, like a standard helmet. The Bell also has a longer visor.
Looking at the underside of the helmets is also telling. Standard full face helmets have a significant amount of padding along the sides of the face, to keep that helmet firmly in place in the event of a high speed crash. A child’s face should look like he has “chipmunk cheeks” in a true full face helmet. In the Strider ST R, there is no padding for the face at all.
All of these difference in coverage aren’t a ding against the Strider Full Face. The Strider serves a niche purpose, and does it well. We point out these differences here to show that it’s not your best best if you’re looking for a full face helmet for a truly aggressive rider on aggressive terrain.
But if you’re looking for a full face helmet to protect against neighborhood accidents, the lightweight Strider Full Face is an excellent option.
The Strider Full Face helmet comes in two sizes – small (48-52 cm), and medium (52-58 cm). The small is the size of a typical toddler helmet, while the medium is on the larger end for a youth helmet. We used the small helmet with both our 2.5-year-old and our 9-year-old.
As a full face helmet, the Strider ST R was a great fit for both of them, despite their age difference. Our 2.5-year-old has a 49.75 cm circumference head, while our 9-year-old has a head circumference of 50.5 cm.
As a standard bike helmet, the Strider ST R was still a great fit for our toddler, but looked a little “perched” on top of our 9-year-old’s head. That said, this is helmet that saved his head during a crash, so it’s clearly still a great fit for him as well.
Easily Removable Chin Guard
If you want to remove the chin guard to use the ST R as a standard bike helmet, the process is easy. To remove the guard, you have to remove the helmet from your child’s head. By pushing a black button on the inside of the helmet, the chin guard tab is released.
To put the chin guard on, your child can be wearing the helmet. You simply insert the side tab into the receiving hole on the side of the helmet, and snap into place.
Lightweight compared to other full face helmets
The weight of this helmet is one of the primary reasons to buy the Strider Full Face for a neighborhood rider. True full face helmets are very heavy by comparison. Heavy helmets are of course more cumbersome to wear, but they can also cause additional neck strain injuries in the event of a crash. Unless you truly need a full face helmet, it may not be worth the additional risks.
A standard bike helmet weighs about 280 – 350 grams. The popular Bell Sanction full face weighs 850 g. That’s almost triple the weight of the helmet your child may be used to wearing. The Strider Full Face weighs only 410 g!
Extra Long, Integrated Visor
The visor on the Strider helmet is the longest built-in visor we’ve ever seen on a standard helmet. Visors serve two purposes. One, to shield the eyes from the sun. But more importantly in our book, they take the brunt of the fall in the event of a face plant.
During our testing process, our 9-year-old actually experienced a scary crash and sent the Strider helmet to the helmet graveyard. The Strider ST R stayed firmly on his head and prevented so much potential injury.
As you can see here, this long visor legitimately saved our son’s face. Removable visors aren’t nearly as durable and can pop off easily upon impact. This integrated, long visor gets two big thumbs up from this grateful mama.
Dial-adjust easy to use
While most full face helmets don’t have a dial-adjust in the back, the Strider full face helmet’s systems functions the same as a standard helmet. The knob is low on the head and easy to grab. The chin guard has no effect on the dial-adjust, so it can be tightened or loosened in full face or standard helmet mode.
The side straps of the Strider helmet are soft, but the plastic sliders are basic and tend to slide down. The straps can also easily get twisted in the slider. For the price, we wish Strider had upgraded to locking sliders, but it’s not a reason to not buy the helmet.
The standard buckle is another pretty basic component, but we do appreciate the upgraded dual-colors. With one side red and the other black, it’s much easier to see what you’re doing when you’re trying to buckle a squirming toddler.
High-quality, in-mold construction
Bike helmets come in two broad categories – in-mold construction, and hardshell construction. In-mold construction is more durable, and is the style of construction of the Strider helmet. By comparison, you can see the more budget Joovy Noodle below, which is hardshell.
A hardshell helmet has an outer plastic piece that covers the foam core of the helmet. Over time, the plastic can warp, crack, or even just come off. Additionally, hardshell helmets leave a significant amount of the foam core exposed, which leaves them open to casual damage from careless kids.
The in-mold construction of the Strider wraps completely around the sides of the helmet to entirely cover the foam core. Because the plastic cover and foam core are fused together as one piece, in-mold helmets boast higher-quality and durability than cheaper hardshell helmets.
So what’s the bottom line?
The Strider Full Face helmet is a solid-quality, lightweight, full coverage helmet. While it doesn’t offer the coverage or protection of a true full face helmet, it’s a fantastic option for aggressive neighborhood riders or Strider racers.