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Choosing the Right Mountain Bike Helmet
Your mountain bike helmet is the first piece of equipment you should focus on.
A mountain bike helmet's fit and quality can be lifesaving and it’s important to wear one every time you ride, especially in active, fast paced sports like mountain biking. It’s vital to choose the right mountain bike helmet for you.
There are so many options when it comes to selecting a mountain bike helmet, it’s important to make sure you’re educated and aware. The fit, style, price, certification, and construction all play a role in the final choice you’ll be making.
What kind of Mountain Biker Are You?
The amount of protection you need from your helmet depends on how aggressively your ride.
Openface Mountain Bike Helmets
Openface mountain bike helmets are a great option for those who like to ride cross country, single track and recreationally. The two main styles of open face mountain bike helmets are the standard bicycle or cross-country helmet and the half-cap skate style mountain bike helmets.
Standard Bicycle/Cross Country MTB Helmet Features:
Skate Style MTB Helmets Features:
- The classic bike look, streamlined and technical.
- Impact absorbing EPS liner and polycarbonate or ABS exterior shell construction.
- Lightweight and aerodynamic. Well ventilated an great for hot weather and long rides.
- Comfortable fit.
- Protection for front, top and back of head.
- Removable/adjustable visor to shield against the sun and ward off branches.
- The cross country style bicycle helmets are sold in different shell sizes, coming with ratcheting and adjustable dial systems for a comfortable fit.
- Prices vary from $35 to $200.
- A classic universal look, multi-purpose helmet.
- Made with impact absorbing EPS liner and strong ABS plastic, fiber glass composite or carbon fiber composite exterior shells.
- Heavier and less ventilated than the classic bicycle style helmets, but provide better coverage and can resist impacts easier.
- Weight and lack of ventilation make them not as well suited for endurance riding.
- Sold in different sizes with additional padding to adjust fit.
- More budget friendly, prices range from $25 to $200.
Fullface Mountain Bike Helmets
In downhill mountain bike riding, dirt jumping or other high speed riding the risk of injury is higher. Consider the added protection offered with a fullface mountain bike helmet.
Fullface MTB Helmets Features:
- Protect your head, chin, jaw, cheeks and the rest of your face.
- Impact absorbing EPS liner and thin polycarbonate, fiberglass composite or carbon fiber shell exterior construction.
- Naturally heavier than openface helmets, but high-tech materials such as carbon fiber greatly reduce the weight of a fullface MTB helmet.
- Passive venting systems promote air circulation inside the helmet.
- Built in visor to protect against the sunshine and branches.
- Thick, dense interior with cheek and head pads for a snug fit.
- More expensive, ranging price from $70 to $500
Mountain Bike Helmet Safety Certifications
All bike helmets, including mountain bike helmets must meet specific requirements from ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), Snell and the CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission). These cover all of the mountain bike helmet safety certifications.
Come see AllSportProtection's variety of mountain bike helmets in both fullface and openface mountain bike helmet styles.
The openface/traditional bicycling helmet and skate style mountain bike helmets meet the safety requirements of:
The fullface mountain bike helmets meet the safety requirements of:
See our mountain bike safety certification page for the best information on ASTM, CPSC and Snell safety certifications for mountain bike helmets.
- ASTM F1447
- Snell B-90/95 & N-94
Proper Fit of a Mountain Bike Helmet
For a mountain bike helmet to have any effect at all in protecting you from a serious head injury they must fit properly. A proper fit for a mountain bike helmet is ensured by first selecting the right size of helmet, too loose and, no matter how tight the chin strap on your mountain bike helmet is, it will still leave room for injury if it's not centered properly on your head. Too small of a mountain bike helmet won't give you the proper amount of coverage.
Measuring the size of your head
To measure your head properly you will need to first check out the AllSportProtection Advice Center sizing guide for mountain bike helmets.
How a Mountain Bike Helmet is Supposed to Fit
How a mountain bike helmet rests on your head is imperative to a mountain bike helmets performance. Proper mountain bike helmet fit means proper head coverage, meaning that the front of the mountain bike helmet should sit down onto your forehead just above the eyebrows. There should be room to fit a pair of dirt goggles or sunglasses, about a half inch between the sides of the helmet and your head.
Mountain bike helmets are sold with varying outer shell sizes and accommodate riders with removable and interchangeable padding and liners. Mountain bike helmets come with a sizing guide that explains the relationship to the actual head size, usually in centimeters and the corresponding helmets size (small, medium, large, extra large, etc.
How Does the Mountain Bike Helmet Feel to You?
Different mountain bike helmet manufacturers make their helmets differently, what's important, in the long run, is how the mountain bike helmet feels to you. It's your head, you tell me what you like or dislike and our knowledgeable reps will accommodate you accordingly. If you purchase a helmet that is the right size and there is still a little too much room, that is less of a problem since you can add extra padding or a liner. If the helmet feels too tight in any area it's too small and you need to get a larger size of mountain bike helmet or a different brand of mountain bike helmet in the same size to get a better fit.
Mountain Bike Helmet Prices
Mountain bike helmets can range from $25 to upwards of $500. All of the MTB helmets available at AllSportProtection meet CPSC standards so the difference is in the features. Obvious differences are with openface vs. fullface helmets so we'll mainly be discussing the openface MTB helmet features with a brief overview at the bottom regarding fullface MTB helmets.
Openface Mountain Bike Helmets
Openface mountain bike helmet prices range from $25 to $200.
High Price Range Mountain Bike Helmets
Such as the Kali Protectives Samra Carbon Helmet ($124.99), the Giro Athlon Bicycle Helmet ($139.95) and the POC Trabec Race Mountain Bike and BMX Helmet ($179.99).
Mid range Mountain Bike Helmets
- In-mold construction.
- Internally reinforced with super light materials, like carbon fiber for added support without the added weight.
- Adjustable fit system to dial in that perfect fit.
- Much lighter weight.
- Most aerodynamic shapes for least wind resistance and low-profile look.
- Tons of venting capabilities.
- The choice of the serious and committed rider.
Such as the Bell Slant Bike Helmet ($52.99), the Bern Brentwood Helmet ($72.99) and the ProTec Cyphon Bicycle Helmet ($84.99).
Low Price Range Mountain Bike Helmets
- In-mold construction.
- Many venting options.
- Internally reinforced without adding bulk, low-profile MTB helmets.
- For beginner to intermediate mountain bikers that want to take it seriously and stay protected without breaking the bank.
Such as the SixSixOne DirtLid Bike and Skate Helmet ($24.95), the ProTec Classic EPS/SXP Bike or Skate Helmet ($32.99) and the Triple Eight Brainsaver CPSC Certified Helmet ($39.95).
Fullface Mountain Bike Helmets
- Hard shell construction for the skate style MTB helmets, make them more durable. Cross-country style helmets use in-mold construction making them light weight.
- Less venting.
- Basic adjustable fit systems and padding.
- Heavier because of less technical construction.
- traditional, inexpensive, no frills look.
- Great choice for youths, as a spare or for those that use helmets/ride less.
The price of a Fullface mountain bike helmet ranges from $70 to $450. The lower priced helmets are more for youths, so size would be an issue. With a higher price in a fullface helmet you get light weight stronger construction. A fullface helmet is designed to protect the entire face as well as the head, compatible with mountain bike neck braces and upper body armor protective gear systems.
Need help with AllSportProtection's top-rated selection of mountain bike protective gear?
Call and chat with one of our service pros at 800-766-7269. They can help you figure out which piece of mountain bike protective gear will suit you best.
Learn more by taking a look at our Protection Blog.
AllSportProtection carries helmets, protective gear and pads for your elbows, knees and shins. We carry cross sport protection for wakeboard, mountain bike, BMX, ski, snowboard, skateboard, roller derby, snowmobiling, inline skate, and longboard.