Mountain biking has come a long way from its early days of using modified bikes on forest trails along the United States west coast. The craze spread across the Atlantic, and a new kind of biking experience began to gather followers in the UK. In the forty plus years mountain biking has been popular in Britain, the technological advances in bike construction have been matched by improved clothing and safety equipment. None more so than the helmet. Finding the best mountain bike helmet for your needs can be a confusing issue. So what do you look for when buying your first mountain bike helmet?
Features to consider
- Weight – the heavier it is doesn’t necessarily mean greater protection.
- Head protection – the main consideration for most of us.
- Coverage – modern helmets give greater protection around the ears and extend to the back of the neck.
- EPS liners – the thicker the liner the better the impact absorption.
- MIPS – Multi-directional Impact Protection System. Meaning greater protection from certain types of rotational impacts.
- Padding – helmet padding normally has a limited lifespan although kits are available to replace it. Saving the cost of a new helmet.
- Retention – the ways in which the helmet stays strapped to your head are improving all the time. The last thing you want is the helmet to start slipping while you’re trying to stay upright.
- Shell – the outer layer of your skid-lid. It comes in various shapes such as dome, half-shell and full shell.
- Ventilation – unless you’re just practising tricks in a bike park, having a properly ventilated shell will make a big difference when you spend hours on the trails.
- Visor – a personal preference and available in half or full face. Most are adjustable up or down, so style and comfort should be the only issues.
- Comfort – having picked the best from the above, if the helmet doesn’t feel comfortable when you put it on then forget it. It will only become more irritating the longer you wear it, which could lead to you taking it off with possible dire consequences.
Bear in mind the above, when you are looking for the best mountain bike helmet for your particular needs.
Top 5 Mountain Bike Helmet Reviews
See below for out top 5.
Prowell F59R Vipor Cycle Helmet
For just over £25, and with a free LED helmet light, this restyled Prowell Viper helmet represents good value for money. All helmets have to meet European Safety Standards. It’s the level which makes the difference. The helmet is constructed using a dual-density process to absorb multiple impacts. Ventilation has been improved and weight reduced, making it ideal for long hours of trail riding. With reflective strips to improve visibility and available in a range of colours, it is a good all round crash hat.
AWE Aerolite Men’s Bicycle Helmet Size 58-61
Constructed with a moulded polycarbonate outer shell fused to its inner EPS foam pads, this helmet has an excellent weight to strength ratio. At around 265g it is one of the lightest helmets around. With 15 front and centre ventilation slots, and nine rear exhaust slots, keeping a cool head should never prove a problem. Nor should head size, the helmet has rear size adjusters to fit from size 58 through to 61. Fully TUV tested to all the required European standards, at around 30 quid, another good helmet for the price.
Ventura Downhill Helmet
Designed for real downhill riding the Ventura is a full face helmet with an attachable visor. There is still a minority of mountain bikers who foolishly believe full face helmets are for the girlies. None-the-less, on fast, dense downhill trails, those sagging sapling branches spreading across the track can do major damage to the unprotected face. At just under £35 the helmet meets all European standards. It has 17 ventilation and exhaust ports, and is adjustable from adult size 58 to 62. If you intend some serious downhill biking this is a good helmet to consider.
IREALIST Eco-Friendly Super Light Integral Bike Helmet, Adjustable Lightweight Mountain Road Bike Helmets for Men and Women
Are you considering kitting the family out with mountain bikes for some casual biking holidays? At under £15 each (depending on colour), you can have good quality head protection for a family of four for under 60 quid. It is an ultra-light, high strength helmet which has been designed in a wind tunnel to minimise drag. This high quality, high protection item is designed for the hobbyist mountain biker rather than the seriously competitive rider. It has removable sweat absorbing chin pads. A built-in attachable visor for those sunny days is included, and the helmet is adjustable to suit various head sizes.
Premium Quality Airflow Bike Helmet
Do you have a no expense spared attitude when it comes to the head gear of self and family? This helmet could be what you are looking for. At around 50 quid, it is the most expensive helmet reviewed. Available for men, women and teenage children it looks good and feels good. It has even been designed to accommodate ponytails. It is available in matt black or matt white finishes. Another EPS moulded helmet.
Its claim to fame is both horizontal and vertical adjusters which mould the shell to any head shape. Sold in small to medium, or medium to large adjustable sizes, the manufacturer guarantees to change or refund the helmet if it doesn’t fit perfectly. Having passed a plethora of safety and construction tests, the makers also offer a full lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. Whether casual road riding or serious forest trailing it’s a high quality helmet providing good value for money.
When looking for the best mountain bike helmet, its protection features should always be the first consideration. All of the lids reviewed provide excellent protection, are lightweight, comfortable to wear, and stylish. Base your choice on your needs. Casual daily or holiday bike riding, or serious competitive cycling will determine your final choice of helmet.