A Guide to Mountain Bike Helmet Selection

A Guide to Mountain Bike Helmet Selection

You probably don’t need to be persuaded to wear a Mountain Bike Helmet to protect your head if you’re reading an article on how to pick one. Every time you ride, you should wear a helmet, and in certain locations, it’s the law. Although all helmets sold in the United States must fulfil the same standards for impact protection, there are a few other factors you may want to take into account when purchasing.

When choosing a Mountain Bike Helmet, consider:

Above all, ensure sure the helmet you purchase fits correctly. Get the appropriate size and make the necessary adjustments since a bad fit might compromise protection (and the desire to wear your helmet).

Find a bike helmet that fits your riding style: By directing you toward solutions more suited to your requirements, helmet categories make the choosing process simpler (but a road helmet can be worn on a dirt trail and a mountain bike helmet can still be worn on the road). There are three main categories of Mountain Bike Helmets:

Recreational bike helmets are an affordable option that will provide you with the bare minimum impact defence for everyday riding.
Road bike helmets are designed to be aerodynamic, light, and well-ventilated.
Because a mountain cyclist is more likely to fall backward than a road rider, mountain bike helmets are highly vented and most types provide increased rear head covering.
Think of the specialized features you would desire: Do you value modern designs that are lighter, cooler, and more aerodynamic and innovative protective technologies? Do you need extra features like built-in mounts for an action camera or a light? Remember that each of them will make the helmet more expensive.

A Guide to Mountain Bike Helmet Selection

Bike Helmet Comfort and Fit

A bike helmet’s fit is very important since a poorly fitted lid may actually reduce its efficacy in an accident. Additionally, you want it to fit properly since you’ll be wearing it for the whole of every trip.

Since bike helmet sizing is determined by head circumference, start by taking that measurement.

Wrap a flexible tape measure around the widest part of your head—about an inch above your eyebrows—to determine its diameter. You might also tie a thread around your head and use a yardstick to measure its length.

bicycle helmet dimensions:

Extra-small: 20 or less ” (51cm)
Small: 20″-21.75″ (51cm–55cm)
Medium: 22.25 to 24.25 (55cm–59cm)
Large: 23.25″-24.75″ (59cm–63cm)
A size larger than 24.75 ” (63cm)
Has a highly customizable fit mechanism; one size fits all

How to Make a Mountain Bike Helmet Fit

Set the tightness first. For a tight fit, many helmets contain an adjustment wheel that you may completely open before placing the helmet on your head. (Fit methods vary, however; you can still get helmets that use replaceable inside foam cushions to tighten the fit.)

After that, fasten and snug the chin strap. As they lie under each ear, the straps should make a V. The buckles beneath each ear should be adjusted until they create a secure V.

Finally, with the chin strap fastened, smile widely. As you do so, the helmet should touch the top of your head. If not, slightly tighten the strap and try again. (Just be careful not to tighten the strap to the point of discomfort.)

Extra Bicycle Helmet Fitting Advice

Brand sizing varies; thus, always confirm the head circumference for the size you’re considering. The example sizing values above vary significantly across helmet brands. Since manufacturers use unique forms for helmet molds, similar to how they do with shoes, it is a good idea to try helmets on in a store to see whether one brand fits your head shape particularly well.

Choose the lesser size if you can’t decide. To make the bigger helmet fit better, you may also consider alternative helmet types or use a bicycle hat or beanie. Some people with smaller skulls may easily wear a child’s size.

A well fitted helmet should be snug without being uncomfortable. To protect your forehead, it should rest flat on your head (not tilted back) with the front edge an inch or less over your brows. Move the helmet backwards and forwards while doing so. You must modify the fit if it moves considerably (by at least one inch).

Helmet protection options

Standardized tests are performed to evaluate how well a helmet works in preventing brain injuries brought on by the force of falling from a bike. The fundamental goal of a helmet is to protect against brain injuries brought on by this force.

An integrated outer shell and inner lining make up the protective portion of a helmet:

The plastic outer shell of a helmet offers some puncture resistance and enables the helmet to move when it is struck (to protect your head and neck).
Expanded polystyrene foam, or high-grade Styrofoam, makes up a helmet’s liner, which slows down and disperses impact forces to protect your head.
We now understand that, even though the effects are less visible, rotating forces may also result in brain damage. In order to reduce rotational forces after an accident, helmet manufacturers have created a wide variety of technologies—all branded with various titles. Consider the extra expense of the following specific technology if you ride your bike often or if you just want more peace of mind.

Mips: Multi-directional Impact Protection System (Mips) technology may be found on helmets from a variety of manufacturers. Mips allows the impact-absorbing foam liner to rotate slightly during an impact, which reduces rotational impacts.

The WaveCel technology, which is available on various Bontrager helmets, uses a honeycombed liner material to produce a complex “crumple zone” that can absorb both main impact forces and rotational energy.

SPIN (Shearing Pads Inside) technology may be found in POC helmets and uses silicone-injected pads in a moving structure inside the shell to reroute rotational forces during an impact.

Bike Helmet Features Available

Helmet vents improve airflow over your head, allowing you to be cooler and more comfortable while riding. The helmet also becomes lighter the more vents it has.

Visor: Visors that block the sun are popular among riders and are often seen on mountain bike helmets.

Full face protection: For downhill mountain riding or racing, some mountain bike helmets incorporate a wraparound chin bar.

Compatibility with mounts: Some helmets are designed to let you to attach a mount for an action camera or a light (sold separately).

bike helmet maintenance

To clean a helmet, stay away from chemical cleaners. Manufacturers advise using simply a gentle cloth or sponge, along with light soap and water. Disposable pads may be cleaned.
A helmet should not be kept in a garage, attic, vehicle trunk, or any other space where heat might build up. The components of the helmet may develop bubbles due to excessive heat. Do not wear a helmet that has heat damage.
Don’t let anybody else borrow your helmet. You need to know precisely how your helmet has been used throughout the course of its life.

Replace a Helmet When:

Since bike helmets are designed to withstand a single collision, you should always presume that they have sustained some kind of damage in any accident. Get a new one, even if it seems OK.

Additionally, you should replace any helmet after five years, even if you haven’t had any crashes (which is wonderful!). Key components may eventually become weaker due to weathering, UV rays, and pollution.


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