BIKING

Best Mountain Bike Helmet: A Guide to Safe Biking

Best Mountain Bike Helmet
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Mountain biking is an exciting sport and hobby, but as you know, it is performed in rough terrain therefore you need to protect yourself. In order to choose the best mountain bike helmet you must be aware of the fact that it is the most important part of your gear since it has a role in protecting your skull.

In this article we are going to help you pick the best MTB helmet, so you can decide which one would suit your preferences the most. Make sure to enjoy mountain biking to the fullest, as long as you are equipped properly!

Types of Mountain Bike Helmets

When it comes to choosing a helmet, it is important to note that even though there is a huge variety of designs and colors, it is the material and durability of a helmet that is the most important and that can potentially save your head.

There are helmets designed specifically for track racing, road biking, dirt jumping, including mountain biking. First of all, it is important that the helmet you purchase has passed the Consumer Product Safety Commission test and that it carries the CPSC label.

Types of Mountain Bike Helmets

After that, the usual material that these helmets are made of is the expanded polystyrene foam, including a thin polycarbonate shell that is used for absorbing the impacts of your fall. They can be divided into two categories:

  • Half-Shell Mountain Bike Helmets: similar to road bike helmets because they cover only half of your face including the visors that protect your eyes from the bad weather. You can combine this type of helmet with sunglasses in order to protect your eyes or you can go for goggles which provide even better protection if you ride through a dusty area.
    This type of helmets can be used for recreational riding as well since it is very practical and easy to use. However, make sure to remember that you should never wear Leatt style neck braces combined with this helmet because these braces are designed to go with full-face helmets only!
  • Full-Face Mountain Bike Helmets: cover your whole head and provide the maximum protection. If you are into aggressive rides, then this type of helmet is a must! However, the downside of this helmet is that you can feel a bit suffocated under it because there is no much ventilation.
    It can also be a bit heavy. Having in mind that it covers your ears as well, it is not easy to put or take off.
    You can wear this helmet with sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes from the sun, wind, rain or mud. Keep in mind that this full coverage will protect your head the most and if you add the neck braces, it is even better.

The Most Important Features of Mountain Bike Helmets

Let’s take a look at some of the most important features of mountain bike helmets that you need to consider before purchasing one. They are:

  • Coverage and protection: definitely the most important, simply because the main role of a helmet is to protect your head, absorb the impact and potentially save your life.
    This is achieved by the expanded polystyrene or ‘EPS’ foam which is combined with a hard plastic layer on more expensive models.
  • Ventilation: provides an airflow so you do not start feeling suffocated inside the helmet, and some models have it, but some do not. If you go for the full-face helmet you probably would not be able to get a ventilation even though some models of better quality have vents on the front and back including a couple of channels that push the air through.
  • Weight: another thing you should consider, depending on the type of biking you perform. The more coverage you need, the heavier the helmet will be.
  • Comfort: depends on your head’s shape and helmet’s design. However, since you can adjust the straps so the helmet is not too loose or too tight. It is important to put it on properly because that might reduce the risk of real injury if you fall off. You also do not want it hurting you or flapping around your head when you ride.
  • Fit: your helmet isn’t going to do you a lot of good if it isn’t the right size and adjusted properly. Not many people know how they helmets should be fitted, especially if they’re beginners to the sport.
  • Size: A majority of biking helmets come in three size – small, medium and large – but it pays to know which size category your head fits into. The best way to do this is to use a flexible measuring tape and measure the circumference of your head, just about your eyebrows.
    If you don’t have measuring tape, use a length of non-stretchy string, wrap it around your head, and then measure the marked length against a ruler.
    Then look at the sizing chart of each helmet you’re interested in to see which size would fit you best. Be sure to try them on too, so that you can figure out which ones feel the most comfortable.

Properly Wearing Your Helmet

Putting on a helmet may be easy, but that doesn’t mean that you’re wearing it correctly. Instead of risking your noggin to injury, knowing how to wear your helmet will guarantee that it won’t go flying off when you have an accident.

Properly Wearing Your Helmet

First, your helmet should be level from back to front. You can determine this by the feel of the sweat bad around the circumference of your head. It should sit just above your eyebrows. Once that’s in place, tighten the rear adjustment band and the harness until your helmet feels secure.

Lastly, you’ll want to adjust your chin straps so that they make a Y-shape, so that your straps won’t slip off your chin or put pressure on your trachea.

Now we are going to cover nine mountain bike helmets of high quality that are designed to protect you from injuries and make you safer. If are a mountain biking enthusiast, then you will definitely find at least one helmet among these nine that will fit your needs and requirements.

Top Products of 2017

Troy Lee Designs A-1 Helmet

Troy Lee Designs A-1 Helmet

Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 9 inches; 1.9 pounds

Best Use: mountain bike riding, recreational cycling, road biking, cross country

Design Features: it is made of plastic while the shell Material is polycarbonate; the impact foam: EPS (foam); the ventilation is 16 vents; the fit Adjustment is cam-lock stabilizer.

Description: This amazing black Troy Lee Designs A-1 Helmet  can be purchased for an affordable price but it is still a product of great quality. It covers your head and prevents injuries and it also has 16 distinct vents that allow the airflow from and out of the helmet.

There is also a synthetic liner inside of it that absorbs the sweating. If you are a mountain biking enthusiast, make sure to check this one out!

Z1 MIPS Helmet Matte Black by Lazer

Z1 MIPS Helmet Matte Black by Lazer

Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 7 inches; 1.4 pounds

Best Use: mountain bike riding, recreational cycling, road biking, cross country

Design Features: the shell material is made of In-Mold (polycarbonate), while the impact Foam of EPS (foam); the ventilation is made of 31 vents; Fit Adjustment is made of an ARS Advanced Rollsys retention system; there is no visor.

Description: Check out this amazing black helmet by Lazer that will definitely make you want to buy it as soon as possible! It is quite light-weight and comfortable for wearing and it consists of 30+ vents that make the airflow go through the helmet and out.

It is designed to absorb the damage upon any impact imaginable, so you do not get injured. All you need to do is secure it in place via its retention system and you are ready to go!

Fox Flux Mountain Bike Helmet

Fox Flux Mountain Bike Helmet

Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 8 inches; 1.8 pounds

Best Use: mountain bike riding, recreational cycling, road biking, cross country

Design Features: there is a deep rear style that covers the back of the head and neck for increased protection, including the tough outer shell that uses In-mold construction to protect the EPS foam without adding weight; there is a detox retention system that lets you dial in the perfect fit and 20 large vents for maximum airflow and temperature control; the visor is removable.

Description: Fox Riding presents this amazing Fox Flux Mountain Bike Helmet for a great price. It is very easy to adjust the straps while the outer shell is made of the best material that absorbs any impact.

There are also 20 huge vents that provide the airflow and reduce the sweating. Additionally, you can remove the visor if you wish so.

Bell Super 2R MIPS Equipped Bike Helmet

Bell Super 2R MIPS Equipped Bike Helmet

Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 11 inches; 2.9 pounds

Best Use: mountain bike riding, recreational cycling, road biking, cross country

Design Features: there is a removable chin bar that makes these two helmets one; a TAG fit system that allows adjustment for a precise fit; a breakaway camera that can be attached; an adjustable visor with an X-Static padding and an overbrow ventilation system that helps you.

Description: Check out this amazing Bell Super 2R MIPS Equipped Bike Helmet that will make your mountain biking more enjoyable.

What makes this helmet amazing is that the chin can be removed so you can choose to ride with or without it. If you are riding through a rough terrain then you can attach the chin in order to make it more secure.

Giro Feature Mountain Bike Helmet

Giro Feature Mountain Bike Helmet

Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 8 inches; 1.4 pounds

Best Use: mountain bike riding, recreational cycling, road biking, cross country

Design Features: it consists of a Form Fit System and an adjustable moto-style visor; the material is an In-mold polycarbonate shell construction with EPS line; there are 12 vents with internal channeling for superior ventilation and airflow;

Description: Take a look at Giro’s amazing helmet designed specifically for mountain biking. Giro Feature Mountain Bike Helmet shape provides more coverage than the usual helmets and it also has got 12 vents that push the air through the helmet and reduce the sweating and itching.

You can adjust the visor according to your requirements and rest assured that the In-Form fit system will offer all the stability you need during the climbing.

POC Trabec Bike Helmet

POC Trabec Bike Helmet

Dimensions: 13 x 10 x 8 inches; 11.8 ounces

Best Use: mountain bike riding, recreational cycling, road biking, cross country

Design Features: This POC Trabec Bike Helmet consists of an EPS liner and an outer PC shell; the aramid fiber grid is put for protection and durability; it provides additional coverage at temples and at the back of your head; the aerodynamic ventilation channel system has 16 vent slots; there is a size adjustment system.

Description: What makes this biking helmet unique is the fact that has an additional fiber put inside in order to increase your protection and durability. The inner shell of the helmet is reinforced with aramid elements and EPS core which makes it more resilient and tough to the impacts.

Additionally, this helmet is well-ventilated because of 16 vents that will reduce your sweating and make your riding more enjoyable.

Smith Optics Forefront All Mountain Bike Helmet

Smith Optics Forefront All Mountain Bike Helmet

Dimensions: 11 x 13 x 8 inches; 2 pounds

Best Use: mountain bike riding, road biking, cross country

Design Features: This Smith Optics Forefront All Mountain Bike Helmet has a shell made of an aero core technology featuring Koroyd; it is not designed for multiple impacts; the ventilation is aero core while the fit adjustment is VaporFit; there is a visor included.

Description: Smith Optics has designed this amazing mountain bike helmet in order to create a perfect protection. There is a visor that protects your eyes from the bad weather and you can also adjust the straps according to your head shape.

The most amazing thing about it is its Koroyd tube structure that can sustain almost any impact, so if you fall down, the injury will be reduced. Those tubes are tiny but extruded so they absorb more impact than the traditional helmets designed for the recreational biking.

Even though it is protective, it is not heavy which makes it for an easier ride and climbing. Additionally, it is possible for you to attach a GoPro camera and Motion lights on the top of the helmet, especially if you wish to record your amazing biking.

Giro Xar Cycling Helmet

Giro Xar Cycling Helmet

Dimensions: 7.2 x 9.4 x 14 inches; 1.6 pounds

Best Use: mountain bike riding, recreational cycling, road biking, cross country

Design Features: this helmet is made of massive Wint Tunnel vents, an X-Static antimicrobial padding and a streamlines shape. The Roc Loc 5 fit system provides the best comfort.

Description: Check out this amazing Giro Xar Cycling Helmet designed for the rough mountain biking. Giro is famous for creating top-level helmets for extreme sports and MTB biking. The Wind Tunnel vents will provide the internal channeling and reduce sweating while the anti-microbial padding will reduce the unpleasant odors.

The adjustable visor will help in protecting your eyes while the shape and material of the helmet will reduce the impact of a possible crush.

Kask Rex Helmet

Kask Rex Helmet

Dimensions: 13 x 9 x 8 inches; 1.9 pounds

Best Use: mountain bike riding, road biking, cross country

Design Features: it is made of an Aero Control Technology that creates an incredibly aerodynamic and top-performing shell, which is further tested in the Wind Tunnel and able to provide an incredible CX rate; the safety is guaranteed by MIT Technology; the material is the inner polystyrene core to the outer polycarbonate layer; there is a reinforced frame.

Description: This incredible Kask Rex Helmet is made of the best material possible – the inner polystyrene core including the outer polycarbonate layer is also called the In-Mold construction because it can reduce any injury to the head.

This is probably one of the best models on the market, simply because it is made of the best material possible. You can remove the padding and wash it so to prevent any bad odors and sweating. The straps are adjustable and the vents give you the best feeling during the ride.

Conclusion

To sum up, we have covered nine best mountain bike helmets that are designed in such a way so they can protect you from injuries or even death. We have also talked about different types of helmets, what makes them different and the most important features of each helmet.

Choose your Mountain Bike Helmet

It is important to remember that even though mountain biking is fun and exciting, it can also be very dangerous and you need to make sure to protect yourself.

A helmet is the most essential part of your gear and that is why you need to invest in it. The design of the helmet and its material are the most important features of each helmet, while the ventilation, weight and comfort come second.

It is always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to purchase a helmet that fits your needs and requirements so you can enjoy your riding even more and overcome any obstacles! Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Kendra Larson

    My Giro Xar helmet looks even better in person. It’s never disappointed me, the adjustable locking strap on the back is well built and seems like it’s going to last for a long time. The visor is perfect, providing shade but not obscuring vision. Very well ventilated, too.

    • Daniel Carraway

      This helmet is very durable, if I may add Kendra! It adequately protects your head in case you fall off your bike. The price is affordable and those 12 vents really provides ventilation. I find that the sleek design is a great come-on!

  • Joe McGowan

    After a lot of research, I went for the Bell Super 2R. When not mountain biking, I commute to and from work so the option to remove the chin bar so quickly and easily is a major plus for me. Obviously, when off-road, I tend to leave the chin bar on. Even with the chin bar on, the helmet has ample breathability ensuring that you don’t become hot and sweaty. Looks great too!

  • Daniel Carraway

    Isn’t it amazing that a small innovation in a product makes it standout from the others? I think this unique feature makes the Bell Super 2R quite popular with the biking crowd. Giving the users more options is still a wise business move, so take note rival products! 🙂

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