Best Mountain Bike Helmets 2021
How to Choose A Mountain Bike Helmet Guide
Choosing the right helmet for you, really comes down to the type of riding you do from cross country, up to down hill. Let’s take a look at all those different features and why you’d pick those helmets.
Let’s start with the cross country lid. And one of the main considerations with cross country is trying to keep your head cool when you’re riding hard so there’s big vents on the front of the helmet, but again, on the rear to let that air flow through. You might notice that this is actually really similar to road helmet that Pro Road teams use, the biggest difference really is the shells. This one, the road one, is slightly lighter. On the mountain bike helmet, the shell is tougher.
So, it’s got aramid bridges and it’s slightly deeper, just to give you that little more protection that you need on a mountain bike. A couple of other features. This helmet, you have this rentention system on the back that you get on most helmets nowadays. It just gets the helmet nice and snug on the back of your head. Stop it moving around when you ride.
Also, the most common eyewear you wear with one of these types of helmet is a set of sunglasses, so they’re designed to fit nicely underneath that brow. Moving on to the trail helmet, this is one that I wear a lot. You see the biggest difference, really, is the shape of the helmet. It’s got more coverage in the back, but also on the side, cause these are real danger areas for a trail rider or enduro rider. So, the back of the head is covered that bit better and also the temples.
You got a rentention system that all these helmets have. You’ve got a peak on the front So, there is more weight to this helmet because of these extra features and more coverage but some of the venting has come over from the cross country helmets to try and keep this helmet as cool as possible still. You’ve also got this goggle retention system on the back of this helmet, so the eyewear you can use with this really is the option of the glasses still, but if you’re more of maybe an enduro rider, you like the extra coverage you’d get from a goggle that works really well with this helmet. So, this is what I would call a dirt jump helmet, great for dirt jumps, skate park, that sort of thing.
Again, you see now, much more protection so less vents but it’s a really strong helmet this. Now we have a hard shell on there, so it’s super protective. The liner is still what we call EPS, so it’s a foam polystyrene liner just like the other two helmets but this has also got a ProCore So, the best way to describing this is like a suspension analogy, you’ve got the small bump sensitivity of the foam but also it ramps up harder. So, if there’s really big hits you may get in the skate park or dirt jumps this helmet is still gonna protect you for those.
Finally, up to the full face helmets. This suits gravity riders really more than anything Downhill racers, enduro racers, free riders, this is all about protection. If you compare this to the cross country helmet, you can see the vents in that, we still have vents in the down hill helmet in the front and the rear but this isn’t the helmet that you’re gonna want to peddle a long time in. This is all about protecting the rider.
So, the chin bar in the full face helmet is obviously there just to protect your face. We’ve got vents in the front still to let you breathe. Now to the insides of the helmets. This is EPS, it’s something that you’ll see on probably 99% of the helmets on the market. It’s just polystyrene.
It’s really protective. What you’ll see, if you push it, it deforms up And that is what helmet manufacturers really stress, that if you have one big crash and you hit your head then you need to get rid of that and replace the helmet. This is EPP, and this now has elastic properties so if you push that liner it just bounces back to the same shape it was. Which gives you that protection for, sort of, multiple impacts.
So, all that technology goes into these full face helmets because you’re likely to be riding at faster speeds, gnarlier terrain, and you need that protection. Eye wear choices for full face helmets. You can wear sunglasses, although the fashion police might get you, so a goggle really does suit a full face helmet that little bit better. You can see that it’s not all about the different designs, the different shapes of the helmets, the manufacturers also really think about the materials that go into these helmets to make them work the best for the type of riding you do.