When the mountains call, pack up your bags and gear up your mountain bike for the adventure. Cherry-picking the right helmet for your ride is as vital as gearing up your mountain bike. Mountain bike helmets are designed in such a way to provide you paramount protection during the ride.
The type of helmet you need will depend on what you are going to do – Enduro, Cross-Country, Dirt Jumping, or Downhill all benefit from slightly different helmets.
Mountain bike helmets are generally of two types: Full Face and Half Shell.
As the name indicates, the full-face helmet provides more coverage to the face, covering from the back to the chin. Enduro and downhill riders prefer to choose the full-face helmets for extended coverage while driving through the tight bush trails and fast open tracks.
The Half Shell helmet predominantly covers the top, sides, behind the ears, and back of the head and does not cover up the chin. The cross-country riders and few enduro riders prefer these helmets.
99% of the Mountain bike helmets in the market use EPS foam–expanded polystyrene, which serves as a protective shield. The EPS foam is generally low in costs and high in energy consumption.
The MIPS is a brain protection system designed inside the helmets, placed in between the comfort pads and the EPS (high-quality foam). When you fall and hit your head during an injury, the angle at which you fall is generally linear. The fall creates a rotational motion, and it is believed that our brain is very sensitive to rotational forces. These forces can generally cause severe brain injuries. The MIPS tries to reduce the rotational force and the risk of damage to the brain.
Mountain bike helmets are generally heavier than regular helmets. However, the full-face helmets are manufactured lighter than the half shell as they have to put all the weight on the rider’s shoulder all through the ride.
The vents are the small spaces in the helmets which allow the riders to get in cool air across the head and vent out the head from the head. The ventilation in the mountain bike helmet allows the air to travel from and to the entire scalp from back to the front giving the rider maximum comfort.
Mountain bike helmets are available in different shapes and sizes. Before you purchase your mountain bike helmet, it is advised to measure your head circumference.
Based on the size, you can choose the appropriate size mountain bike helmet for your ride.
Once you have measured and chosen your perfect fit mountain bike helmet, wear it in your head on the right spot by the mid-way of the forehead. The forehead should neither be fully covered nor be visible.
The rear ratchet system shall be adjusted according to the required fit – it can be tightened or loosened up based on your preference. Once you tighten up the ratchet system and remove the helmet, it will not fit in the next time unless you loosen it up again.
The rear retention system gives more adjustability to the helmet. Generally, it has three adjustment positions – the middle one, further back, or further down. It depends upon the shape of your head and the perfect snug you are trying to get. If you feel that your helmet is moving when you are riding, the rear retention system might need some adjustment.
Once you are set, adjust the jaw strap beneath the chin. Allow enough space to fit a couple of fingers beneath your chin so that it is comfortably fit. The ear straps should be centered below the ears so that the jaw straps are perfectly fit at the back of your jaw.
The final adjustments would be to adjust the peak angles and the goggles strap.
If there are harsh weather conditions and still you plan out for a mountain ride, then visors are a must in your helmets as heavy rain or dust could quickly get into your eyes, interrupting the ride.
These visors come in different shapes and sizes. You can choose the ones that perfectly fit your riding style. Generally, visors are of two types – Built-In and Detachable visors.
The Built-in visors are those which we generally find in any motorcycle helmet. It is built-in along with the helmet and cannot be removed. They are not stretched out but provides an adequate shield from sun and rain. But, if you are a person who loves to ride on a mountain track in bad weather, then you better don’t choose the built-in visors. These visors better for regular mountain riders.
Detachable visors are those which you can take out from the helmet. They are available in different shapes and sizes and are long enough to cover the face until the chin. It is suitable for all kinds of riders, either a casual mountain rider or a racer challenging bad weather.
Do you find that extra coverage in your helmet which peeks out over the goggles? This plastic brim is called a peak. When you go on a mountain race with a partner or a team, the peak helps to deflect the Roost you could get from the rider in from of you.
Roost is a common term used by mountain riders to denote sand, dirt, rocks, or any pollution thrown up by the riders riding in the front.
When you go away from the corner, and the rider in front of you strikes the control, you can tilt your head slightly, and the peak will take care of the rest.
The road bike helmets and mountain bike helmets are designed to protect the riders and achieve a perfect snub. The amount that you spend on the normal helmet or the mountain bike helmet does not differ much.
Until recently, visors were not available in the road bike helmets. Since there is no visor, it is slightly lighter than the mountain bike helmet and has a round-shaped shell. The mountain bike helmet comes along with a visor, either built-in or detachable. The visor is an essential component of mountain bike riders.
oad bike helmets have more holes providing more ventilation and cool air to flow through, while Mountain bike helmets have more padding and less ventilation.