The thrill of mountain biking always comes with risks and some can be very fatal. Any experienced mountain biking fanatic knows that helmets can make a difference between life and death when you get into a crash. But how do you choose a helmet fit for you in a market with so much variety?
In this guide, we discuss 7 best mountain bikes helmets for women and men in 2019. We will also highlight key features of mountain bikes helmets including functionality, durability, and comfort. Then we'll show you how to choose a mountain bike helmet and answer some of the most common bike helmets-related questions. Let’s get started!
A Quick Guide to Picking the Best Mountain Bike Helmets for Women and Men in 2020
A mountain bike helmet must keep you safe. Therefore, choose a helmet that meets the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission bicycle helmet standards. These standards check on your helmet’s vision, its fitting, and impact on the head during a crash. Remember to look for a certification sticker on the inner lining of your helmet. This sticker is proof that your headgear has passed all the safety tests to qualify for this daredevil sport.
In addition, mountain bikes helmets must have at least a hard outer shell made of reinforced materials such as expanded polystyrene or hard plastic. The inner lining should have an ergonomic design that absorbs maximum shock during impact.
Similarly, its adjustable straps and retention system should keep your head cushioned without falling or sliding off your head. Moreover, most mountain bike helmets come with visors that protect the head from direct sunrays, hanging branches along the trail, dust, and rain.
Adjustability and Visibility
A mountain bike helmet needs to fit comfortably on your head. Ensure your helmet uses the latest technology to adjust its size for a proper fit. Mountain bike helmets come with detachable visors for eye protection. These visors are also compatible with additional eyewear, camera mounts, and torches.
Durability and Ventilation
The best mountain bikes helmets for women and men in 2020 should be made of materials that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Such shells have strong yet light carbon fiber or strong plastic outer shell. They also have straps and linings that stay in place for long.
Such types remain sturdy even after being exposed to the sun’s heat, excessive downpour or wind for long.
Does your helmet protect your head at the expense of its ventilation? A good design should not be so. The 7 best mountain bikes helmets for women and men in 2020 discussed in this article have numerous air channels all around.
Choose a mountain bike helmet that is compatible with other sports accessories. These accessories include a headlight, goggles, camera mounts, and reflectors. Your choice of helmet should retail at a reasonable price. You should also be able to access the helmet’s spare parts and repair service with ease.
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1. Giro Chronicle MIPS MTB Helmet
Are you looking for features above what a traditional mountain bike helmet has to offer? Then, take a look at the Giro Chronicle MIPS MTB Helmet. This headgear is light and comfortable. It protects and performs well for the trail riders and cross-country bikers. Use it for optimal coverage, ventilation, and seamless compatibility of other accessories.
This GIRO Chronicle Helmet has a unique multi-directional impact protection system that minimizes rotational head movement. This mechanism protects you from injuring your brain during a crash. The helmet uses the internal channels of its 14 Wind Tunnel vents to cool your head in hot and humid weather conditions. It fuses with a polycarbonate outer shell making it light and far much better than other traditional helmets.
The helmet also uses a robust in-mold EPS Coolmax padding. This extra plush cushion keeps you comfortable all day. It is easy to remove and wash. The helmet fits snugly around your head as it wicks away moisture and won't shrink over time.
In addition, this helmet has an adjustable POV Plus visor, which shields the eyes from dust, wind or rain. The visor is compatible with most goggles and eyewear. Its additional strap grips the helmet in a stable position, minimizing any rotational movement that causes brain injury during impact. Use the Roc Loc 5 fit system to adjust the helmet's fit to a comfortable vertical position.
The helmet is available in a sleek shape at small, medium, large and X-large sizes of between 51cm and 65 cm.
Uses MIPS technology for safety
Goggles and eyewear compatible
The excellent ventilation system and hydrophilic padding for a fresh, sweat-free ride
Comfortable in hot and humid weather
Easy to wear, adjust, wash and maintain
Crash replacement is at a reduced price
- The visor is too slim
2. POC - Tectal, Helmet for Mountain Biking
Do you love going for long rides out in the woods? What do you do when you get lost? Get the POC Tectal Helmet for Mountain Biking to keep you safe and locate you when you get lost.
The helmet is the first-ever to have a Recco reflector. It makes it easy for the search and rescue team to locate you and get you to safety. This Recco reflector is a lifesaver should you be stuck in an avalanche, thick forest or any accident that gets them invisible from other riders.
Additionally, the helmet's built-in high-tech protective features offer maximum ventilation and coverage for its riders. It is a super comfortable helmet with a proper fit for most riders.
The helmet has an EPS inner lining with a polygene construction. Consequently, this anti-odor design keeps the helmet fresh when you sweat. The shell has a hard outer plastic shell in a unibody shell construction. Also, it has seventeen air vents are at the forehead, crown and rear areas for free air circulation.
This helmet uses the Aramid Fiber Grid a durable and safe construction. This military grade material absorbs extreme impact pressure during a crash. Additionally, the helmet's dial size-adjust in the back system provides a perfect fit. Its tightening retention system keeps the helmet stable as you race downhill or uphill.
Adjust the shell's detachable visor and inbuilt goggle straps to fit in goggles or any other helmet accessories. Get this shell in six different sizes.
3. Troy Lee Designs Stage
The Stage Helmet by Troy Lee Designs is a much-anticipated one. It combines the protection of an Enduro full-faced helmet and the ventilation of an open one. In turn, it is functional and aesthetic, providing a safe ride on rough terrain, with a touch of class.
In most enduro races, wearing a full-face helmet is a must. They offer the best head protection in a head-on collision. Yet, riders have had to put up with the discomfort that comes with such shells. The Troy Lee Designs Stage helmet solves this.
Dual Foam Layers
The Stage retails with safety features that include a dense EPS foam layer and a soft EPP foam layer. Hence, the EPS receives most of the impact during a crash, while the EPP cushions the head even more afterward.
Next, the helmet uses a MIPS liner to allow for a slight head rotation after impact. Again, this rotation can mean life or death to a rider. It's a fact, brain damage can occur during impact, even when wearing a helmet. For, the brain matter spins in the skull during a crash. Thus, NIPS helps in delaying these rotational forces.
Break Away Style
All the aluminum and plastic components of the helmets can break away from the main shell during a crash. That way, you will not be at risk of getting splinters of broken fragments in your eyes, ears, or flesh.
The Stage helmet has more ventilation than a regular full-faced unit. In particular, it has 11 intakes at the front and 14 exhaust ports at the back. These big holes give you a decent airflow in and out of the helmet. Plus, they are big enough not to trap any flies or branches as you race. Besides that, it retails with pads of different sizes. You can use the pads to find the right fit for your face shape.
The helmet uses a magnetic FIDLOCK closure that snaps into position in an instant. There is a visor that tilts up and down to block direct sunlight, wind, or branches from the eyes. The helmet is compatible with most prescription glasses. Moreover, it retails in nine different colors.
- Dual density EPP/EPS foam layers for greatest cushion
- MIPS liner cushioning the brain
- Drawstring bag with breathable mesh paneling
- Extra pads for perfect fit
- 3 Years limited warranty
- TLD shield logo
- Certified by CE EN 1078 and CPSC 1203
- It has no GoPro mount
4. Base Camp NEO Mountain Bike Helmet
Are you looking for a safe and comfortable mountain bike helmet for your extended ride in the woods? Get your hands on the Base Camp NEO Mountain Bike Helmet. This classic MTB helmet has an ergonomic design that offers maximum head protection to the rider.
This helmet has an adjustable and detachable visor that slides up and down a few degrees for better visibility. It has an easy to adjust locking ratcheting system and additional padding for a custom fit.
The Base Camp NEO's chin-straps have a quick release adjust to fasten it around the head and over the ears. It uses the Velcro Chin Guard to conceal any hanging straps.
The outer shell of the helmet has 18 large air vents for maximum ventilation. Also, the inner shell's lining is conveniently removable. Its adjustment mechanism works for varying head sizes of between 22.5 inches and 24.5 inches circumference.
The helmet comes with a tail light fitting with a USB port to charge it. This helmet meets the U.S. CPSC and CE.EN1078 safety standards. The Base Camp NEO Mountain Bike Helmet is available in a variety of sizes and sleek colors.
5. Giro Hex Mountain Bike Helmet
Are you a pro mountain biker who knows what you want in your favorite mountain bike helmet? Then you should pick the rugged looking Giro Hex Mountain Bike Helmet and use it in your next trail, riding up the mountain or participating in a marathon. This shell is a lightweight and comfortable helmet made of robust materials. It comprises of a reinforced in-molded polycarbonate shell making it a safe, light and durable helmet.
The helmet uses the Roc Loc 5 fit ratchet adjustment system located at the back of the helmet. This technology allows the rider to adjust the helmet’s proper fit using one hand.
Apart from size adjustment, this helmet also comes fitted with a convenient POV color matched sun visor. This visor allows for up to 15 degrees adjustment angle. Use this wide-angle allowance to shield yourself from the harmful sun rays and wear your favorite eyewear.
This shell’s air circulation is through its 21 air vents conveniently located all around the helmet. You no longer have to worry about excessive sweat build-up during those extended rides.
6. Smith Optics 2019 Forefront 2 MIPS Adult MTB Cycling Helmet
Smith Optics Forefront series marked the company’s entry into the bike safety niche. And, its Smith Optics 2019 Forefront 2 is a revamped Forefront that is lighter, robust, and with a sleek look.
This helmet uses the Koroyd tubular structures and EPS foam as its impact protection system. Koroyd comprises of precise straws that create a honey-comb like structure. This dual structure allows the helmet to breathe.
It also means that the headgear uses minimal EPS foam. In turn, this design improves energy dissipation during impact. Hence, it is up to 30% more tolerant to shock than your regular foam. Also, it is a lightweight and breathable alternative to the foam cushion.
Next, the MIPS technology offers protection against brain damage during a crash.
Are you taking part in an Enduro race or a downhill dash? This Forefront 2 uses massive 20 AirEvac vents suited for the grueling climbs in the hot sun. By keeping your head chilly, they reduce your core temperature. In effect, you’ll improve your performance everywhere you go.
Again, this helmet pulls further down on the back than the predecessor model. Hence, any air that gets into the headgear pulls straight to the back. This way, there is free airflow around the head.
This helmet will embrace all the areas that it’s supposed to hug. It uses the VaporFit adjustable fit system to give you a snug fit. This retention system provides up to 5cm adjustment for an individualized fit. Then, there are three-click stage visors. Now, you can run your goggles through it as you ride, and the shades will stay intact.
Other features include an integrated mount at the top of the helmet. These mounts are suitable for GoPro cameras or other motion lights. They improve your experience at night. There is a goggle strap at the back to secure your goggles. It is compatible with Smith eyewear. The structure is available in attractive colors that are visible from far.
Three-stage adjustable visor
Koroyd tubular structure and EPS foam for cushion
MIPS technology for protection
Will not trap insects or low hanging branches
CPSC, CE EN 1078 certifications
The mount retails separately
7. GoMax Aero
Are you looking for a helmet ideal for the scorching summer weather? Then the GoMax Aero Adult Safety helmet is your best pick. This shell is made light with an alien-inspired aerodynamic design targeting the style-conscious biker. Not only does it look cool on the outside, it feels cool on the inside too.
The helmet is of a robust in-mold polycarbonate shell with wear and tear resistant EPS liner. This overall construction will absorb maximum shock during a hard impact, shielding the rider from potential brain injury.
Additionally, the shell uses 22 air vents that allow free air circulation around the head. It's built-in removable sun visor protects your eyes from the harsh summer sun rays, dust and tree branches along the trail. These features were tested and passed the CE safety certification.
The GoMax Aero Adult Safety helmet comes fully accessorized for your ride. This helmet uses a convenient adjust dial, Red LED Tail Light system for accurate size adjustment. This reflective LED light switch will also make you visible to oncoming traffic, keeping you safe on a busy road at night. Additionally, this helmet also has an adjustable strap, inner padding, and a chin protector; all these to ensure you achieve a comfortable fit.
Choose between the shiny-white, shiny-black, black/orange, neon-lime or safety-orange colors available in either medium, large or X-large sizes.
How to Choose a Mountain Bike Helmet Guide
The mountain bike helmet you choose depends on your type of riding. A cross-country helmet, for example, is different from a dirt jump helmet. Do you know how to differentiate these helmets?
A cross-country helmet maximizes on keeping you cool. Therefore, it has as many air vents as possible. Such shells will be light yet tough enough to endure the ride. This helmet has adequate space for your favorite eyewear.
When choosing a trail or an enduro helmet, go for one that has more coverage at the back and sides. These are the areas that are prone to injury should you crash. Again, the extra back coverage holds your goggle straps in place.
Next is the dirt-jump or skate helmet. This helmet focuses on protecting the rider. It has a hard shell with fewer air channels. In addition, it uses ProCore for additional comfort.
Finally, if you are a gravity rider, enduro racer or free rider, choose the full-face helmet for maximum safety. This helmet protects all around the head including the chin areas. You wouldn’t want to use this helmet for an all-day race though.
A helmet using the EPS lining deforms upon impact. On the other hand, a shell using the EPP lining can withstand multiple impacts. All these helmets use different retention systems, moisture wicking padding, and other accessories.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mountain Bike Helmets
Q. Which is the right way to wear a helmet?
A. Once you’ve settled for the helmet of your choice, check for the safety certification sticker. Then, put it on and confirm that you got the perfect fit for you. The sizing pads or fitting ring keeps your helmet from sliding or rocking sideways. As you fit your helmet horizontally, leave no more than two fingers space between your eyebrows and your helmet.
Fasten the straps at the center of your chin. Only two fingers should fit between the straps and your chin. Check and ensure the V-straps on the sides sit slightly below the ears allowing for free jaw movement. Open your mouth wide. You should feel the helmet slightly pulling down on your head. Repeat this until you achieve a comfortable fit.
Q. How often should I replace my bike helmet?
A. Weather elements and natural wear and tear determines the shelf life of a mountain bike helmet. This shelf life is subject to how often you use and look after your helmet. You may replace your bike helmet; -
- Immediately after a crash
- Once the helmet’s shell life lapses
- When upgrading to the latest helmet version with improved safety features.
- If you notice any signs of wear and tear that compromise the helmet’s performance
Q. What should I look for in a bike helmet?
A. Confirm that the size and shape of the helmet match that of your head. Consequently, the helmet should fit slightly tight around the head. Therefore, use the finger test to the strap adjustment. Finally, check for visibility and ventilation.
Q. How should you choose a bike helmet?
A. Choose a bike helmet that supplements your riding style. It must have safety certification for your planned activity. Also, it should fit comfortably around your head.
Q. Why you should wear a bike helmet?
A. To protect your head and brain from potential injury.
The above 7 Best mountain bikes helmets for women and men in 2020 offer a wide variety for the various types of riders. Therefore, choose a helmet that matches your style. This helmet must pass the recommended safety tests. Also, ensure it has a durable construction. The inner padding and air channels should keep you fresh as you tackle the hard terrain. Ensure you opt for a helmet is compatible with your other safety gears. Use this guide to stay safe and stylish as you ride your bike.