Things to look for when buying mountain bike helmets

Head safety is the most important while riding a mountain bike. The basic function of a helmet is to protect the skull from damage due to accidents. The bike helmets are also known as ‘bike lids’. While crossing the mountain riders have to ride through trails and tracks which are quite risky. So they need to wear helmets for their head’s safety in case of crashes and collisions. A good helmet is one which fits well on the head, is lightweight and has proper ventilation capability for long hours of riding. There are safety standards set for helmets which they need to pass before coming to market.

How do bike helmets provide protection?

You must be wondering how these cycling helmets provide protection. The cycling helmets consists of two parts- an expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam liner designed to compress and absorb shock on impact and other part is a tough outer shell meant to protect the EPS foam liner from bumps and scratches. Browse this site to get to know about some best full face bike helmets!

There are bike helmets which have an ‘in-moulded’ construction where the inner liner and the outer shell are fused together to create greater strength. This protects the shock-absorbing EPS core and also prolongs the life of the helmet. Now-a-days some bike helmets use the MIPS Brain Protection System (Multi-Directional Protection System). The shell and liner are separated with a low friction layer which helps reduce the rotational trauma caused by angled impacts.

Mountain bike helmets

Mountain bike helmets (MTB helmets) are more robust and provide more head coverage compared to the road helmets. They sometimes provide protection around the neck and ears also. Latest designs are more comfortable than ever before. MTB helmets have a visor to prevent mud and dirt flicking up into the face. There is mesh on the air vents to prevent leaves and bugs getting caught between the head and helmet.

The mountain biking helmets can be divided into two basic categories: full-face and half-shell. Full-face helmets are the ones that provide full coverage of the head, including a chin and face guard wrapped around the front of the helmet for additional protection. Half-shell helmets offer less protection and coverage than full-face models. They cover the top of the head, down on the sides above the ears, and the back of the head. Cross-country, trail, all-mountain and some enduro riders generally wear half-shell mountain bike helmets. More aggressive downhill, endure and bmx riders mostly prefer a full-face helmet.

How to choose the perfect bike helmet?

Choosing the best mountain bike helmets is just like choosing the best bike. The choice mostly depends on the head’s shape, rider’s riding style and budget. The premium helmets are light weight, more comfortable, provide better ventilation and have high-tech features. Go for the one you can afford, provides comfort and adequately shields you against any possible mishaps.

Things to look for while buying mountain bike helmets

  • Protection

The most important function of a helmet is protecting your head. MTB helmets have more coverage and offer more in the way of head protection, than a road bike helmet. Rotational impact protection systems are growing in popularity in all types of mountain bike helmets. MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) are one such system featuring a slip-plane liner integrated into the helmet design between the foam and the pads of the helmet. The MIPS liner shifts in the event of an impact reducing the rotational forces on the brain.

·         Proper Fit

Only a right sized helmet will work properly. Mountain bike helmets are available in several sizes measured in centimeters. Measure the circumference of your head (Go around your head on a level plane, beginning and ending just above your eyebrows) using a flexible measuring tape that will be your head size. Generally one helmet size is intended to fit to a range of head sizes.

  • Adjustments

The adjustments ensure that the helmet fits properly. The straps and the fit adjustment on the back of the head are the adjustable features that allow the user to dial in the fit to their exact preferences. Always wear the helmet properly then only it will do its job as intended. Make sure that the helmet levels on the head from front to back. The front pads/sweatband should sit just above the eyebrows around the middle of the forehead. Tighten the rear fit adjustment by turning the wheel or sliding the sliders until the helmet feels secure on the head. Adjust the strap harness so that the helmet stay put on the head even in the event of an impact. There is a fine line between a properly tightened chin strap and an uncomfortable one.

·         Weight

Light weight helmets are better. The half-shell mountain bike helmets weigh between 350 and 515 grams.

  • Ventilation

The vents of a MTB helmet are typically in the form of large holes through the outer shell and foam liner. It allows air to flow directly to the head. Many helmets incorporate air channels that allow the air to flow over the head from front to back. Some helmets keep head much cooler than others. A helmet’s ventilation is not directly related to the number of vents that it has, but to the placement of the vents and overall design of the system.

Article contributed by Hari babu!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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