Mountain biking is one of the most popular hiking activities around. It is an exciting way to keep fit and to enjoy the many health benefits that come with being fit. However, it has an inherently dangerous side to it making it important to practice proper mountain bike safety measures. Mountain bike helmets are an essential part of these safety measures. A good mountain bike helmet helps to keep you safe; it protects you from impacts to the head that can occur during unforeseen accidents. The Mountain bike helmet is the next most important gear for mountain biking after the bike. Because of this, it is essential to choose the best mountain bike helmet suitable for you.
The benefits of a mountain bike helmet
A mountain bike helmet is designed with more head coverage than road helmets. This gives additional protection in case you fall off in uneven terrain and hit your head on rocks or branches. The head coverage also acts as a type of shield to prevent mud from getting into your eyes when biking in muddy terrain. Every mountain biker knows it is important to have a shield against low lying branches and other particles that might fly straight for your eyes. The head coverage also functions as a shield; it keeps you away from low-lying branches. A mountain bike helmet has more ventilation than the full face cycling helmet so there is no cutting off airflow and making the rider uncomfortable. The mountain bike helmet offers additional rotational protection. It has a lower cut in the back that serves as rotational protection.
Why do mountain bike helmets have a visor?
Bike Helmet with visor provides shades and block sun rays that might get into your eyes. As you will be on a higher altitude it won’t block your vision. It adds additional protection to your face. The visor also acts as a sort of shield when you are riding through wet terrain. It prevents mud and other particles from going straight into your eyes. It might not function 100% in that capacity but it is another layer of protection.
Are mountain bike helmets safer?
This depends on the type of biking you are involved in. If you are into mountain biking or you want to get into mountain biking. Then yes, it is safer to go for a good mountain bike helmet. Mountain biking trails are often in the forest and rough terrain, with twigs, it is essential you get all the protection the best mountain bike helmet can give you. It gives you more ventilation than a full-face bike helmet; this is helpful when you are riding uphill. As a full-face bike helmet retains more heat and has less ventilation. It is not ideal for climbing, when climbing your body temperature increases and you need all the ventilation you can get. The road helmet offers little to no protection against the dangers of biking in the forest and that is why it is not suitable for mountain biking. The full-face bike helmet is suited for downhill riding; it offers more protection that is needed when biking on a downhill trail. It is better to choose a mountain bike helmet or road helmet if you are a cross-country biker. As it involves more work and climbing, you will need all the ventilation you can get.
Mountain Bike Helmet vs Road Bike Helmet
The Visor is the most prominent feature that sets the mountain bike helmet apart from the road bike helmet. Almost every mountain bike helmets for adults have this feature; it serves as additional protection. The mountain bike helmet offers more head coverage and is designed for rougher terrain. The road bike helmet is specialized to be used for road cycling, it has more ventilation and doesn’t have the additional protection that mountain bike helmet offers. Because road cycling requires more speed and hard work, more ventilation is required.
The lower cut in the back also set the mountain bike helmet apart from the road bike helmet. The lower cut offers additional rotational protection in a mountain bike helmet. The road bike helmet is designed with more ventilation and might have lighter weight than the mountain bike helmet.
What size of mountain bike helmet do I need?
It is important to find the right size of bike helmet for your head, the best mountain bike helmet for your head should be fitted. It should stay in one place and be well fitted to avoid creating pressure points. When the helmet is too small, it won’t cover all your head and won’t protect you in case of an accident. It might create pressure points and lead to serious head injury. When the helmet is too big, then it won’t stay in one place and there is the danger of slippage, it still won’t protect you in case of an accident.
The first step to finding the best mountain bike helmet size for you is to measure your head’s circumference; right-sizing is dependent on this. To measure your head’s circumference, take a tape measure, and wrap it around the largest portion of your head; that is the part just above your eyebrows. Another alternative is to use a string and get the length of that string. You should have a bike helmet size chart to deduce the right size from your measurement.
Bike Helmet Size Chart
Extra Small: Below 51cm
Small: 51cm – 55cm
Medium: 55cm – 59cm
Large: 59cm – 63cm
Extra Large: Above 63cm
You can decide to go for the one size fits all helmet if you don’t want to go all through all that stress. It has a highly adjustable fitting system so it is suitable for all head sizes.
Other factors to consider on how a mountain bike helmet should fit include weight and comfort. Choose a bike helmet that is not very heavy, the lighter the mountain bike helmet the lesser the strain on your neck. The comfort of the mountain bike helmet is also important; choose a bike helmet that you are comfortable wearing.
Mountain Bike Helmet Safety Ratings
The EN1078 is a mandatory European standard test for mountain bike helmets. The EN1078 test involves impact testing, hot, cold, and wet conditioning. The bike helmet is also conditioned to artificial ageing with roll testing and retention testing to make sure it doesn’t roll off the head easily. The materials used for constructing the helmet (pad and straps) are tested for harmful substances. The tested is very detailed and when you are getting your mountain bike helmet make sure it is EN1078 certified.
When should I replace my Helmet?
The rule of thumb for this is to change your helmet once you have a major fall with it. The next question you will ask is What if my helmet falls from my hand? It is not always necessary to change your helmet every time it falls from your hand. Mountain bike helmets are designed to withstand impacts, so your helmet can withstand more than a few falls here and there.
This also depends on the type of helmet you are using; some helmets are designed to be multi-impact meaning that they can handle multiple falls without losing their impact strength. But even those types of helmets have their limits. You should always check your helmets for tears and wear. How you take care of your helmet also comes into play here, if you take good care of your helmet, you don’t need to replace it often. A bad care routine of your helmet coupled with several falls from your hand might necessitate that you replace your helmets more often.
Are Mountain Bike helmets different?
There are varieties of mountain bike helmets to pick from and the question becomes which mountain bike helmet should I choose? Choosing the best mountain bike helmet that will be comfortable and stylish might be a bit difficult and tedious for you. That is why we have put together the top mountain bike helmets reviews in this article.
Oakley DRT5 Bike Helmet
Oakley is a well-known brand name in premium eye wears and helmets market. Their DRT5 helmet does not come short of expectation as it comes with several unique features. It provides external protection and comes equipped with a sweat guard. The sweat guard prevents sweat from running into the eyes during biking. It has an adjustable visor, a MIPS system, and an eyewear landing zone. The eyewear landing zone is made of two clips that are designed to hold eyeglasses. The clips can flip to the back so the eyeglasses are held securely when they are not in use. A pair of plugs is included to cover the holes completely when you don’t plan to use the clips at all. It weighs less than 1 kg and has several air vents for ventilation. The helmet comes in 5 different colour options, giving you the choice to remain not only protected but stylish.
Smith Optics Session MIPS Helmet
The smith Optics helmet is well ventilated with a comfortable fit and ample coverage. The helmet is equipped with massive air vents to keep air moving inside it. It also comes with an adjustable visor that can flip up. The helmet used the Koyord system as their main Impact protection. It comes in several colours, sizes and is light so it would not cause any strain to your neck. The helmet was designed to maintain a balance between protection, ventilation, and style.
Alpina Unisex Garbanzo Cycling Helmet
The Alpina unisex is next on our best mountain bike helmet review. The helmet is equipped with large air openings and channels that help to distribute airflow in the interior. This guarantees optimal temperature management. The bike helmet was designed specifically for use in rough terrain. A prominent feature of this bike helmet is its flat polycarbonate cover designed to give the best protection for your head. With its height customisable fit, the helmet can be adjusted to fit firmly on your head. The good ventilation makes the helmet very comfortable even when it gets really hot.
Alpina Unisex Adults ANZANA Bicycle Helmet
The Alpina unisex Anzana helmet has an outstanding price/performance ratio. This is one of the best mountain bike helmets you should consider if you are on a low budget. It is made in Germany so it has a high production quality. It is equipped with plug-in LED light for optimal vision. The helmet comes with several air vents to allow for ventilation. Its overall mesh finishing gives it a very stylish look.
Smith Helmet Maze Outdoor Helmet
The Smith Helmet Maze Helmet comes next on the list. It comes with a self-adjusting life-fit system and ear pads to cover the ears. It is beanie compatible and has removable Google locks. The helmet is optimized for ventilation with its 9 vents that allow for airflow climate control. With its lightweight mold construction, it is the go-to for a modern, minimalist, clean design. This is one of the top mountain bike helmets you should consider especially your budget is low.
Uvex Unisex’s Adult Bike Helmet
This lightweight helmet is designed specifically for your comfort and protection. The polycarbonate outer shell is joined inseparably with its inner shell to give it maximum impact strength. With its adjustable Uvex IAS 3.0 system that allows for height adjustments, the helmet is designed for optimal adaptation to your head. The FAS webbing can also be easily adjusted to suit your head. The helmet comes with an optional plug-in LED light for optimal vision. The anatomically shaped monomatic comfort lock makes the one-handed opening of the helmet possible. The Uvex Unisex Adult bike Helmet is one of the best mountain bike helmets available for its price range. It is an excellent option to choose especially if you are on a low budget.