If you’re a mountain biker, you know how important safety is, especially for your head. Suffering a concussion after doing an endo is no laughing matter. So a good bike helmet is essential equipment, but which one is the best? What should you look for to make sure it’s the right one? Here are three of the best mountain bike helmets we recommend and why.
Giro Fathom MTB Helmet
Giro is one of the most respected companies in the field of cycling. Their Fathom helmet is based on their road helmet, the Atmos, which is one of their all-time best-sellers. It has an in-molded polycarbonate shell with a thermoformed SL Roll Cage and an EPS foam liner, which creates a highly durable, impact absorbing helmet all in one piece. Their famous Roc Loc 5 retention system allows you to make adjustments on the fly so you always have a good fit. Antimicrobial X-Static padding adds comfort and helps manage your sweat while an amazing 23 Wind Tunnel vents channel heat away from your head, even on long, hot rides. The Fathom is a great helmet for any level of riding skill.
• In-molded, one-piece shell fused with a thermoformed roll cage provides extra impact protection.
• The Roc Loc 5 system allows you to make fit adjustments with one hand.
• An incredible 23 vents will keep your head cool no matter the weather.
• Visor is a little small to adequately block the sun from your eyes.
• The visor is removable, but it rattles in its place and isn’t always easy to adjust.
• A fusion point in the top of the helmet creates a pressure point that may bother some riders.
Fox Flux MTB Helmet
Fox is synonymous with mountain bike riding. Their Flux helmet has many great features beginning with the deep rear profile for added protection around the back of your head. The extra coverage makes it seem like a lot of helmet, but it’s actually incredibly lightweight. It has a Detox ratchet retention system that you can adjust with one hand for a great fit and 20 ventilation channels to help keep you cool. The visor is removable and is a bit larger than some other mountain bike helmets to help shield your eyes. Fox also throws in an extra set of pads comes with the helmet, which other companies don’t always offer.
• Extra coverage around the back of the head provides added protection.
• Very lightweight at only 390 grams.
• Larger visor than other helmets on the market.
• The rear retention system can be a little difficult to adjust.
• Though women can wear it, some may find the coverage a bit much.
• The visor has only one connection point on either side of the helmet, which makes it a little too easy to pop off.
Bell Super 2 MTB Helmet
Like Giro, Bell offers a variety of helmets for all types of bike riders. The Super 2 is designed specifically for off-road trail riding and racing. It has an in-molded polycarbonate shell with a low profile all the way around adding extra protection during impacts. It has a whopping 23 vents in the top and another four right over your brow to promote the flow of cool air. A Twin Axis Gear (TAG) retention system allows you to adjust the fit both vertically and circumferentially around your head. Ample antimicrobial, quick-drying X-Static padding keeps you comfortable while fighting odor and germs. It has an integrated Breakaway Camera Mount for your onboard recordings and breakaway screws on the visor so it doesn’t get caught on any branches while riding at high speeds. The Super 2 is compatible with Bell’s Super 2R chin-bar for more facial coverage and is available either with or without the newly innovated MIPS protection system.
• Extensive coverage all the way around your head.
• Four overbrow ports plus another 23 vents promote channeling cool air.
• TAG system allows you adjust the fit in two different directions.
• Has both a camera mount and a goggle guide for goggles or sunglasses that works with and without the visor installed.
• Compatible with Bell’s Super 2R chin-bar.
• Straps are attached on the outside of the helmet, which can make wearing sunglasses uncomfortable.
• The size guide is misleading, so choose carefully when ordering online.
• The camera mount requires an adapter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can bike helmets fit extra-small and extra-large heads?
A: Most helmets have a variety of sizes to accommodate any size or shape of head. Consult the company’s size guide to find which size will work best for you. Each of the helmets we reviewed have all sizes available and should fit anyone, from kids to large men.
Q: What’s a good price for a new mountain bike helmet?
A: You can findmou helmets at many large box retailers. But if you want higher quality, durability, and comfort, don’t be afraid to make an investment. You can expect to spend somewhere between $40- $400 depending on the helmet, but most cost between $70- $120. Your budget is important, but the protection of your head is even more so. So don’t be afraid to spend a little extra.
We think these are the best mountain bike helmets to buy, but we like the Bell Super 2 the best. It has the extra coverage needed to properly protect your head, an incredible 27 vents including four over the brow to help keep you cool, two different ways to adjust the fit, lots of antimicrobial, quick-drying padding, and a camera mount for your GoPro. Plus, it’s compatible with Bell’s Super 2R chin-bar for even more protection and it’s available in an MIPS system to reduce the rotation of your head if you crash. The Super 2 offers everything you could ever need in a mountain bike helmet.
A good helmet for safety is necessary no matter what kind of rider you are. If you have one that is adequately protecting and comfortable, every ride will be the best. Always take the time to choose the right one for you before you conquer those trails.