Doing your research on full face kids bike helmets? The Fly Racing Default should definitely be on your list of considerations.
It’s a popular helmet with the BMX racing crowd, and also works well for mellow downhill riding and dirt jumping. The one important thing to note is that it is NOT ASTM certified, so don’t pick this lid if your child is doing agressive gravity riding.
That said, the Fly Racing Default is more substantial than most non-ASTM helmets and includes additional safety features like a D-ring closure. This substance makes it heavier than some non-ASTM helmets, so it’s better for grade-school kids than preschoolers.
Overall, we’ve been impressed with the Fly Racing Default and feel comfortable with our son wearing it for all but the most aggressive riding.
Review in A Nutshell
- Adjustable visor
- Removable pads
- Can also be used for water sports
- More substantial than most non-ASTM certified helmets
- Doesn’t have ASTM certification
- Hot and sweaty
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Good Entry Level Choice For MTB And BMX…But Lacks ASTM Certification
We chose the Fly Racing Default for our son for use both on lift-served mountain bike days and at the BMX track. The helmet offers significant coverage and feels more substantial than other entry-level full face helmets such as the Bell Sanction.
That said, it lacks the ASTM certifications for both downhill mountain biking (ASTM-F1952) and BMX (ASTM F2032). While I feel comfortable with the helmet for the level of riding my kiddo is currently doing, if your child is doing more aggressive gravity riding or racing, then spend the extra money to get the ASTM certification (and peace of mind).
D-Ring Closure Is Safer But Harder To Operate Than a Traditional Buckle
Like the more expensive ASTM certified helmets, the Fly Racing Default has a D-ring closure. This makes it safer than a traditional helmet (score), but is harder for kids to operate than a traditional buckle.
That said, with a little coaching my 7 year old was able to figure it out just fine. And with some practice, he was buckling/unbuckling the helmet quickly between BMX practice laps and motos.
Visor Is Adjustable
Unlike many entry level full-face helmets, the visor on the Fly Racing Default is adjustable. This means you can move it up (or down) to better shade your child’s face or to better accommodate goggles–which brings me to our next point….
Works Well With Goggles
Chances are, if you’re in the market for a full-face helmet, you’re in the market for a pair of goggles as well. Goggles can be super helpful for protecting your child’s eyes, especially when riding or racing in dusty or muddy conditions.
The Fly Racing Default has a groove around the helmet that helps hold goggle straps firmly in place. We’ve been using it with a pair of Fly Racing goggles, but you could just as easily use another brand of goggles.
Pads Can Be Removed For Washing
Kids are dirty, and biking is a sweaty endeavor. Sooner or later, your child’s helmet is going to be totally gross.
That’s why I appreciate that the padding inside the Fly Racing Default are removable for washing. Unfortunately, this isn’t true of all full face lids.
Heavier and Bulkier Than Other Non-ASTM Helmets
The Fly Racing Default is quite a bit more substantial than other non-ASTM certified helmets. In fact, the profile and padding make it look quite a bit more like an ASTM certified lid.
That said, that extra heft adds some weight and bulkiness. This is NOT the helmet I would choose for younger pre-school age kids. (Pick the Bell Sanction or Kali Zoka instead).
For comparison sake, the Default weighs 1,133 grams, while the Bell Sanction weighs only 950 grams. Older kids and those only racing shorter BMX motos might not notice this difference much, but young kids with weak necks definitely will.
The Default comes in both “youth” sizes and “adult” sizes. The youth sizes are pretty small, so bigger kids will want to choose the smaller sized adult helmets. (The youth and adult Deafult helmets are the exact same, just sized differently).
Can Get A Bit Hot and Sweaty
Full face helmets in general are hot. But we definitely noticed it on the Fly Racing Default.
While my son was fine wearing the helmet at his BMX races, on a hot, full day at the Targhee bike park, he had to take the helmet off at the end of each run to cool off.
Bottom-Line: A Great Entry-Level Helmet For Mountain Biking And BMX Racing
Unless your child is going huge at the bike park, the Fly Racing Default is a good entry-level full face helmet for kids. Of course, if you prefer an ASTM certified helmet for safety sake, then shell out a bit more money and choose one with the extra protection.
We recommend this helmet for gradeschool age kids as it is a bit heavier and bulkier than other helmets like the Bell Sanction of Kali Zoka. But it also offers more substance.