Previously, riders would wear helmets with ill-fitting straps. Nowadays, you will find helmets that provide proper head protection, like mountain bike helmets. Additionally, they are lighter and tougher. Wearing a helmet might not be a legal requirement, but it is highly recommended. Several bike parks and trail centres require you to wear helmets to avoid damage to the head after a crash. Whether it is steep trails, techy sections or a harsh gust of wind, they can knock you off easily. You will find different types of helmets suitable for off-road riding for mountain biking. You can learn all about them in this article. Plus, you can learn how to choose the perfect mountain bike helmet.
Things to consider while choosing the perfect mountain bike helmet
When you purchase a mountain bike helmet, you must consider a few factors and features for ultimate protection and comfort. Below listed are some of the factors.
- Construction: The primary purpose of wearing a helmet is to protect your head from any accident or event by absorbing the impact of the collision. If you want a good quality helmet, it is necessary to consider the construction. Thanks to technological advancement, the field of protection has a lot to offer. Manufacturers are creating helmets, which are lighter and stronger in weight. Generally, they are constructed from polystyrene foam and protected with a thin layer of polycarbonate, which spreads the impact over the foam. When it comes to internal construction, the helmet comprises a gel or soft foam padded for comfort and secures straps to fasten under the chin and loop the ears. Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) is a new protection system for helmets, which provides a low-friction slip cage inside the helmet to reduce the rotational forces.
- Ventilation: When you exercise, you tend to lose a lot of heat. Hence, it becomes crucial to enable adequate airflow. You can ensure that it will allow the heat to escape throughout the ride and keep your head cool. But excess ventilation in the helmets is not recommended at all. Instead, it should be at the front and back of the helmets so that air channels will work effectively and efficiently.
- Fit: Your helmet must fit you perfectly. For your off-road rides, it must provide sufficient coverage. With a high-quality helmet, you will be able to adjust the inner helmet cage’s height and circumference. In case there are any foam or gel pads in the helmet, it must be evenly spaced so that the weight and pressure will be spread evenly. The straps of the helmet must be durable, adjustable and strong.
- Adjustable visors and removable pads: You can look for mountain bike (MTB) helmets with adjustable visors so that they can protect your eyes from the sun’s glare and allow the rain to be out of your eyes. Also, you can search for features such as removable pads, which can be removed and washed easily.
Types of MTB helmets
There are different mountain bike helmets for varying disciplines. Some of them include XC, enduro and full face.
- XC: XC helmets are well-ventilated and open-faced. Its coverage ranges from half to ¾ of the lid. When it comes to construction, it is super lightweight and strong.
- Enduro: Enduro helmets have a long adjustable visor and ¾ coverage. They are one of the most versatile helmets. You can ensure that they provide ample protection and coverage.
- Full-face: In case you prefer riding the steep trails of the downhill routes, you can consider purchasing a full-face helmet. You can ensure that it will protect your face and head in a fast and heavy impact event.
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